Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring in Skagit Valley

Imagine living in a beautiful little valley
where tulips and daffodil decorate the earth like a vivid carpet every spring.

The most beautiful valley anywhere.
And I get to call this HOME.

I took a quick bike ride this afternoon and brought camera and sketch pad.
Peek over my shoulder and look at what I saw.

Daffodils and narcissus.
Grape hyacinth, scilla, tulips, and hyacinths.

Thank God for eyes and noses.

The earliest tulips are just barely coming into bloom, the fields being picked by hand, one stem at a time.

I cycled to my favorite display garden, Roozengaarde, just a few minutes down the road, and bought my season pass.

Glory awaited.

The color of flowers and sky, that gorgeous spring green behind it all...

You turn a corner and find another vista, each one fresher than the last.

And we had the garden almost to ourselves, the tourists having not yet learned that bloom season has arrived already!

The birds and I were singing.

Glory hallelujah, spring has come to the Skagit Valley again
and taken my breath away.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Painting with Grandma

I suppose every artist has memories of someone who ignited the first spark
of creativity before anyone else saw it.

For me it was Grandma and afternoons spent painting china in the kitchen.

The pieces we both painted together are special treasures for me.

The kiln in the garage is waiting for me... it's been way too long since I painted porcelain, but someday...

This morning I drank tea from one of those dainty mugs while I painted poppies
and thought of her.

Twelve year old Leah is flying in for a week when school gets out to paint with me.

What a pleasure to watch the love of creativity pass down a family.
What a happy legacy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

 Spring arrived last Tuesday morning.

Never mind what the calendar says.

I prefer to go by daffodils.
By frogs singing in the field under the starry skies.

By flowering cherries and magnolias and the primroses that line the drive.

A brisk spring walk down the road brings peeks of pink flowering trees
and sends me home with daydreams and sketches.
Oh, what a gorgeous color palette... sky and flowers!

All the neighbors have their weeding tools out and shout their greetings.
Our dogs have to sniff every one, wagging for joy.

Everything is budding, greening, and growing.

Hello, spring...
You've been gone too long.

Welcome back.

And tulip season is just around the corner.

We may be the luckiest people on earth.
Spring in the valley.

Oh, yes, please!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hints of spring on the farm

I am frankly besotted with living in a rural community.

Living in community with other people is amazing.
I was born a city kid but now I'm rural to the core.

So when my neighbor's goats kidded this weekend and she needed help bottle feeding them I ran right over.

Even day-old baby goats can leap so fast you can hardly capture it with a camera.

Early spring and the new life it brings is amazing.

This little one snuggled right in and guzzled the bottle I offered.

And then I noticed her nose, a perfect little pink heart.

Going back to feed goats again tomorrow, hurrah!

I think the farm look is going to show up with me in May when I set up the annual New York show…
just can't get past the glories of living in a land of rich soil and people who embrace it.

Farm life is the real deal.
Authenticity is so attractive…

Just as wonderful as a barnyard full of baby lambs or goats and chicken scratching in the garden.