Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer figs

Fresh figs!
Essence of summer...

Don't you just love how real life becomes art?

My baking frenzy and penchant for figs collided in deliciousness
alongside a favorite mug and napkin.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer afternoon in the North Cascades

The road twisted temptingly and we followed it up into the mountains...

...stopping to linger in fields sprinkled heavily with dandelions...

and admiring the leafy goodness of summer foliage against skies of the most gorgeous blue.

Is there anything more delicious than a summer picnic?
Only a summer picnic complete with cherry pie 
and a nap with a favorite puppy under a leafy canopy.

Do you agree that the best treatment for feet that have been in shoes too much
is a fast dip in icy glacier snowmelt? 

Tiptoeing across a stream on granite and shocking your feet in the chilly bubbles...

Oh, summer, you leave us smiling and breathless!

There is nothing on earth like the mountains near home in July.

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words
in the English language."
-Henry James-

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The fine art of the One Hour Miracle Vacation

Do you ever feel the need of a restful vacation but find it completely impossible?

Then it's time for what I call the One Hour Miracle Vacation.

You don't need anything exotic or fancy.
Just go somewhere nearby where you can get outside and hunt for miracles.

Don't worry, there are enough miracles in one ordinary square foot to shock and completely revive you.
Just go outdoors, open your eyes and look for little everyday wonders.

I did it today.
I'll spare you the details but oh, honey, I needed restoration.

And I got it in the ripples on a leaf, the sparkle of water in the sun, the cerulean sky.

Tiny daisies in the grass.
A leaf laying in a bed of moss.

Ocean. Forest. A feather right by my toes.

I found seaweed.
A lovers' bouquet laying on an old log.
A heron gone fishing.

I even glimpsed a spotted fawn and her mama in the dappled sun at the park's edge.

An hour given over to looking deeply and with gratitude at the world around you is an amazing One Hour Miracle Vacation.

And maybe the best miracle of all is the way it leaves you feeling so refreshed and delighted.

Oh, thank God for one hour vacations right in your own neighborhood. 
I challenge you to do it, too...

Take one hour somewhere outdoors and look for ordinary little wonders. 

You'll be surprised how refreshing it is.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What's inspiring me today: the shades of summer

It's the height of summer.
Inspiration right at your fingertips.

The shades of summer are the most fantastic of the year, or so it seems to me.

All the hues of July almost sing...

the brilliance of leafy greens and olive colors in our raised bed runs through so many shades and values it defies reproducing.

No less stunning are the  subtleties of succulents, with one plant containing everything from magenta to yellowy green without ever looking the slightest bit muddy.

In summer it's the colors that stun me and send me back to my palette again to try to get better fidelity to the amazing shades of summer's glories here in our beautiful little valley.

In a few weeks I'll have another artist retreat in my studio, and we'll be painting en plein air... the valley is the perfect spot for creativity, humble and glorious stirred together.

Thank goodness for the long days at this season.

I can hardly bear to close my eyes at the end of day, and find myself dreaming in living color all the night long, happy to wake to another morning of brilliant color.