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Friday, December 19, 2008

When One is Officially Snowed In

Seattle has been transformed.  And the city has no idea what to do with itself (we're talking major shutdowns, the entire school system, seventy percent of the public transportation, several bridges) so it has released its residents out to play.

We trekked up to our favorite breakfast haunt along with approximately half the population of Seattle, jostling padded elbows and winking festively under beanies.  I had the Rainbow Rumble (an appropriate name for the hippy veggie dish) and he had the Daily Special.  We laughed with total strangers over snowball fights, chatted with a 3 year old on telemark skies, and cheered on the brave (and by brave I mean foolish) souls who sledded down the steepest street on nothing more than a cardboard box.  

Jovial doesn't even quite cover it.

I've decided that I love the snow.

Like, "if you love it so much, you should marry it."

I think I might take it on as a mister.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Midnight Romps


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmafication Part One

Hi.  I've been a bit delinquent, but honestly, I think some caped crusader came in and stole the entire last week from me.  I remember being busy, and eating some really great cheese, and watching one spectacular sunset while I jogged the ridge of Capitol Hill (my neighborhood here in Seattle), but other than that, I really don't know what happened.

Except that my home has suddenly been Christmafied and every morning I wake to the glorious scent of a fresh fir tree wafting its spicy goodness throughout the house.

An ever wise friend joined in on the decorating fun and pointed out that I should have an entire tree in my home at all times, year-round.  I tend to agree.  It fits my redwood soul and makes these plaster walls feel so much more alive.

I love these mountains.  
The far-reaching marine layer from the Puget Sound wraps its tendrils over the hilltops even in the hight of summer and there is a stillness in the trees that always quiets my heart.

We gratefully accepted our complimentary hot cocoa, and then went back for sneaky seconds, and then took a hot cider for the road.  Scandalous!

And then, I went out for a spot of urban foraging, harvesting two full bags of cedar and fir boughs 
from the surrounding blocks.

Ahhhh, Christmas!  How I love you and all of your scenty, delectable ways!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I tell myself that I am a morning person.  And I DO love waking before the rest of the world, when the sunlight is watery and the birds are just beginning to shuffle about.  I love the ridiculous productivity that can happen before 10:00 am, the feeling of actually wanting lunch at noon (rather than around 4:00, which is when I usually tear myself away to eat) and feeling that the day has been full by the time the sun sets.

But the truth is, I can not keep myself from working late into the night, sipping on a tiny glass of Amaretto, pencils flying, fingers (and wrists and forearms) covered in sticky, glue-like matte medium, Jack Johnson strumming in the background and my terrariums keeping watch like portly soldiers.

These are both in progress (I know, I know, how many "in progress" items can one gal have?) but I've been enjoying working on these the last few nights.  Part collage, part watercolor, soon to be mounted on panel and covered in a thick, protective layer of resin, they are loose stories of small discoveries made while walking through my neighborhood.

So the question is, are you a morning bird or a night owl?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And so The Rainfall begins

So I know I've been on a bit of a kick with the videos so please forgive me (I plan on blaming it on my mother - she likes them because she gets to see me in action precious little - I love you Mum!).  BUT I was just starting a new painting in the studio yesterday and thought it might be interesting to record just how I attack (in the outpouring of creative energy) the canvas on day one.

As a total side note, do you know where the Umber of UmberDove comes from?  Now that I've officially published my website, I suppose the cat is out of the bag and I can let you in on the secret of half of my pseudonym.  I do not think a painting has ever, in the history of my oils and myself, gone without this particular luscious shade of deep, cool earthy brown.  And as a side note to the side note, I DO squeeze my toothpaste from the middle and it DOES look just like those tubes of paint in the background.  BC and I have come to a truce on it.  Which basically means once a week I painstakingly squeeze it all up to the top, rolling the flattened base like someone who is far more left-brained than myself.  But back to the real story.

The working (a.k.a. unofficial) title of this painting is "The Rainfall."  The last, larger painting, "The Inheritance" is still coming along but I had an experience this past weekend that had stuck in my head on repeat and I knew I need to get it down on canvas.  I feel pretty clear about the direction of the painting, but as they all go, there are many more layers to be put down, many more hours to spend with it, and many long meditative looks to give it.  The process in this video will be repeated (entirely) in about 48 hours, scraping and blending to create a ground of pure mottled color seamlessly flowing upon which to begin the "real" painting.

So, The Rainfall.  Day one.

And when it rained
The insects sang.
A primal chant of
Wing beats and
Thorax stomps

Antenna beseeching the heavens.

A melancholy pulse
Detritus laid out upon the altar 
Fog rising as burnt offering
Manna falling from the sky.