Saturday, June 28, 2014

Art camp, what a picturesque adventure

My cousin Karen called months ago.
"Might you be willing to have Leah and her friend for a week of art fun?"

So the girls flew in from suburban Maryland to a whirlwind of 
sketching and photography here in our nearby farms and fields, beaches and mountains.

 And I'm beginning to wonder...

Who might be interested in a grown up summer camp for a few days of sketching and photography and fine dining in the beautiful Skagit Valley next July?

If you've never picked up a brush but secretly wanted to try, this might be perfect for you.
If you're an experienced artist interested in fresh inspiration in a world class rural destination, this might be just what you've dreamed of to kick start your creativity.

If you would like to be put on a no-obligation list to get more information, let me know and we will explore the possibilities!

Want to think about the indulgence of a creative retreat next summer with me?

I'll share more about the opportunity in the days ahead.

Don't you just love the thought of a fresh adventure?

Monday, June 23, 2014

All the blessings of summer

Summer is garden time.
Time for dreaming.

It's the season for long walks and long conversations. 

For food that sings of sunshine and loving hands.

Time for friends and family and parties like this one, when we celebrated a traditional Scandinavian midsommar with dancing and laughter on a long, golden summer evening.

Summer is the time we pause to savor the outdoors with abandon
with friends large and small.

I hope you are taking time for creativity of all sorts and enjoying it as I am.

Happy summer, dear friends. How are you celebrating? 

What are you seeing and doing under the blue, blue sky?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Country rich

Summer is such a hardworking season in our little valley.

But my friends understand the importance of balance, so we save some energy for play after the work has been done.

After the hay boys came in with the last load of the day, Dave and Barb's farm came alive for a barn dance.

It's pure fun, time for friends that feel like family to celebrate summer with play that seems like it stepped out from the pages of a story book.

 I walk through the barn and spot an old plastic container hanging on the wall, words plastered across it like a sign. And it hits me again: We are the wealthiest of all people.

 We are sharing things money can't buy; we truly are country rich.

Rich in faith, in friendships, in love and laughter and sorrows shared.

There's talk of weddings and crops and who has new boots.
Talk of a tragic shooting at a nearby university.

News of friends who have moved, sharing of recipes and exclamations on the growth of this child or that.

The music starts, toes tap and soon we're dancing the Barn Dance, the Macarena and line and country dances that leave you breathless, grinning.

Nobody cares if you don't know the dance, they'll just show you how.

The golden light is fading into the sapphire sky of a summer evening.

Fond goodbyes echo into the night.
I think we're all aware of how precious and fleeting these moments are.

There is so much joy my heart can't contain it all.

Thank God for simple pleasures,
for summer nights and work to do and loved ones to share it with.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Early summer, early morning

When your plate is too full to take even ah hour off and your heart is calling you outdoors, what's a girl to do?

Why, get up with the sun at a ridiculously early hour and bike briskly through the farmland
and return, heart pumping, full of inspiration, at the time you'd normally awake!

So we do just that.

Nell and I roll down the road and around the bend, past fields newly planted and growth everywhere.

Past lanes that beckon and barns that seem to smile as we cycle by...

Past honor stands overflowing with bounty and flowers blooming out of control.
June, you are the most lush month of them all!

I finger the foliage gently, savoring the softness, the prickliness, the scents of each plant.

Beside an old, old farmhouse sits a barn I love, and today it's decorated with brilliant purple iris.
We hop off our bikes for a sigh of admiration together.

How splendidly lavish nature is on a June morning!

And before we know it, we're rushing back, almost home, legs pumping like pistons and damp morning air refreshing us.

Soon we're bumping across the field and into the garage.

I head into the studio with a steaming mug, ready to capture a bit of it on paper.
Feeling blessed.

So thankful for the endless inspiration of this rich, simple life.