Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The gift of quietness

Our culture is so hurried.
So frenzied with activity.
So loud.

Which might be why it's been so hard for me to embrace the gift of quietness.
 I've been forced to slow down and be quieter lately.

It seems that my chronic voicelessness is going on and on and on. 

My doctors are not sure what's causing it and I have shed a few tears.

But I'm turning the corner, determined to learn to see even this as a gift.

To let my weakness teach me the joy of silent reflection
and make me the best listener you ever met.

To be grateful for a good therapist, for an hour when I can speak fairly well.

I'm embracing the humility of learning the simplest things,
like how to breathe properly and I'm learning greater compassion for others.

We all have weak areas, don't we?

We can choose to turn those areas of pain and weakness into a gift.

There's always a bright side, and I'm embracing the beauty of peace and quiet inside and out.

May you, my friend, be given the grace to find the beauty in your weaknesses, too.

That's one more thing to be thankful for when we count our blessings next month.

Friday, October 26, 2012

On work and joy...

Do you know the feeling
of finding yourself so absorbed that the hours slip by and you forget
to notice that it's supper time?

Well, I do.

Here I am, painting for hours.
Debating over shades of brown and green...

Will speckles of indigo be perfect
or do I really want a deep umber instead?

After bending over the work table
I stand and stretch

and then find I can't resist picking a snippet of type for a brief diversion.

I decide I can slip away and print for just a bit.
Just a teensy bit.

But it doesn't end up that way.
The press is inked and I'm in printing bliss.

With my favorite pal, of course.
Companionship makes art so much sweeter.

And before you know it
the studio rings with the mechanical music of the press
and festive tags are drying on the table.

 I am so blessed to be able to lose myself in my studio, 
savoring color and shape and splashes of inky joy.

Today I count my blessings.
Right up near the top of the list is work.

Is your work your blessing, too?

Send me a message, dear friend, and tell me...
do you love your work as much as I do?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blessed with beauty

Just around the corner, leaves beckon and shine.

Across the road, Steve and Joan turn their cows into the front pasture to graze. 

The first snow dusts the mountains and we cosy up to the fire, half-finished art on my lap and half-knitted sweater on hers.

Thank God. We are overwhelmed and blessed with beauty this week.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dream, a calendar

Just a peek at my new calendar from Graphique de France, shipping to stores now...

It's all about dreams... 

the kind you dream while you are your most wide-awake self.

It's available in stores nationwide. Barnes and Noble is carrying it and you can find it  at Barnes & Noble online by clicking the link.

It's always fun to see your work in the stores... and this inspirational calendar, which features quotes from people like Helen Keller and Harriet Tubman and my own grandma came straight from my heart, is especially uplifting. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn morning

This morning as the neighborhood woke up, while last night's rain lingered like diamonds on the grass...

the farmer across the road began to harvest his potatoes

and Linda drove her school bus down the road, collecting reluctant children along the way.

The last of the roses still smell wonderful, and they are now preserved in my sketch book.

Windfall apples and brilliant mums decorate the gardens...

I gathered a little bouquet of sweet peas to sketch at my drawing table,
 the elegant tendrils still dewy...  

autumn joy spilling over into my morning's work.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Is there anything more lusciously autumn than red leaves?

Definitely not!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kayaking the San Juan Islands

Early morning crisp air. The fog was burning off Puget Sound.

Sometimes words would just spoil everything, wouldn't they?

So imagine the gentle splashing of paddles and the call of gulls.

Imagine the sparkle of light on water,
the clean scent of salt water on sandy beaches.

Kayaking for miles along the shore of San Juan Island...
such romantic place names:

Snug Harbor.
Dead Man's Cove.
Smallpox Bay.

Smuggler's Cove.
Lime Kiln Lighthouse.

I couldn't photograph the blood starfish with a school of herring flashing silvery
The egg yolk jellyfish, the ravens or deer or the beautifully sleek bald eagle in his nest of sticks.

I couldn't take pictures of the odd little creatures living in the damp sea cave.

I hope your imagination fills in the gaps.

Or better yet, let's go kayaking together next time.