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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Of Roses and Rosé

Sixty-seven degrees of sunshine beat down on a single straw hat
The rosé threw rainbows, dangling from five long fingers
The breeze, tired of tossing nothing but silly leaves, entertained itself with the hem of my skirt
And I looked both ways before hopping the fence

Nature will always take back what was rightfully hers
And these stairs are no exception
Ten feet up and the sweetness permeates the air
Twenty feet up and the headiness plays tricks
Thirty feet up and the roses arch their eyebrows
Staring bold-faced
Sizing me up

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I curtsied, clumsily
Saying "How do you do?"
In clear unison they replied "Charmed I'm sure"
And I knew we understood each other
At least for today
Although tomorrow may be another story

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Long conversations lead to long cups of Earl Grey tea, which in turn lead to long evening walks.  And those are my very favorite types.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back in Oregon and Other Woes of an Artist

Well technically I'm back in Seattle as I sit her in my ol' faithful white sweat pants (see Jordan? Every gal breaks out the sweats!) but I was back in Oregon all last week.  To be more exacting, I was vacationing in a true vacation house alongside the Umpqua River in prime wine country with my BC and a couple of old friends.  It was also prime insect country as I quickly discovered (I don't care how much time you spend in the woods, when a 2.5 inch - 6.3 centimeter - moth flies into the bird's nest of hair you keep perched on top of your head, dive-bombing your scalp and trying to evade your swatting fingers, you DO squeal).  
While the house allegedly offered internet in it's long list of amenities and I had grand plans of daily blog-photo posting, the service ended up being worse than dial-up.  Dial-up people.  I just don't do dial-up (I gave it up years ago along with margarine and spiked belts).  So mercifully, it was a techie-free week.  
Does any one else find bliss in not being able to check their email and voice messages-oh-oops-I'm-out-of-range-reading-by-the-river-so-sorry?  
At any rate, the week consisted largely of painting, reading, wine tasting and eating.  As all good vacations should.

I was lucky enough to find a spare patio table, drag it off to the very edge of the yard overlooking the river and set up a mini-studio.   Absolutely beautiful, exactly what I needed and wanted.  I watched the river slur by at a fast clip and a loud swush, light playing off every peak and unexpected splash.  I sat in the phosphorescent glow of afternoon light filtered by a thousand sheer maple leaves.  I ran down to the water one afternoon, rubber gloves still on, brush in hand, to watch a whole family of wood ducks flitting across the water, the young small enough to fit in my palm and in numbers no less than 15.  I listened to the Stellar's jays fighting over the best way to build their nest, chasing robins off prime materials.  I swatted the fat summer flies and hummed little tunes to myself, the song of oil pooling on a tight drum of canvas, an ode to pushing and pulling neat piles of paint with my palette knife, a ballad of the slick bend of my favorite round brush.
And herein lies the difficulty.  
I have been suffering from an acute case of studio restlessness.  Please don't get me wrong, I love my studio, it is truly my space and I've built something there.  But sometimes I long for a space close enough to jaunt into the house to pour up that second cup of joe, a space that looks out into the trees, a space I can work late into the evening (my studio is not in the best part of town...).  I don't mean to complain, not at all, but sometimes I wish I DID just have it all AND a slice of dark chocolate cake too.

I'm writing up new goals.  I think I need them, printed in bold lettering, in my best handwriting, to clear my head and focus my direction.  I know where I want to be (figuratively), but I need to uncover where I want to be (literally).  But this time of indecision, well, I'm done with it all together.  It's just too exhausting.

I'm making my way.  A bird of bright plumage, buoyed up by the currents of her clan, flying soft across the deep summer moon.

~ Side Note ~
EEK!  It's so tiny, only 5 inches square! I've been on a bit of a kick with these little canvas, so intimate, cradled in my hand, each one a complete thought, like a single sentence in the novel of my life.  I could make a thousand and every one would still be individual, still be able to stand on it's own two feet, but grouped together they weave a complex tale.  In this, painting makes more sense to me than the very molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide that play tag team in my lungs.  

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bling Bling Baby

However, far, FAR more do I love this soul.  
For art with no soul is not art at all, but merely decoration.

Miss Nancy McKay, thank you for organizing such a lovely tribute day to our dear friend, silversmith, and wordsmith, The Noisy Plume.  PLUME - my cerebral sister-twin - you know how much I love you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"You are always picking up odd shaped stones, pebbles, fossils, saying that you do this because I pleases you, but I know better.  Deep inside you there must be an awareness of the rock power, of the spirits inside them, otherwise you would not pick then up and fondle then as you do."
- Lame Deer (1900 - 1976 Lakota Holy Man)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm having garden envy.

There is no other way to say it.

The sun is a coy tease here in Seattle, with flirty sparkling lashes and a grand cape of green .  I have been preening over my house plants, sticking fingers in the soil just to bring them up with grim under my finger nails (I feel like Amelie, questionably enamored with sticking her hands into bags of lentils, the feeling of all those little beans jostling cozily against her skin).  I have been eyeing the neighbor's sage plant, wandering off the sidewalk just far enough to rub my hands inside the brush and sniff them deeply, slyly snipping off chunks of lavender to tuck behind my ears.

Apartment dwelling can be tough.

Today I need more space.  And dirt.  And the scent of tomato leaves.  And sweat trickling down the backs of my knees as I work tirelessly in the garden.  I want to visit here and buy whole flats of flowers and starter veggies (don't get me wrong, my new tiny African Violet, miniature fern for the mosserarium and peace lily for the studio - apparently the best plant for filtering paint-fumed air - are all wonderful but...).

The kitty boys have the restlessness too.  They've been moody in the sunshine and I know they too want to roll in the dirt and snip the blooms off the alliums.  I've been bringing the outdoors in for them, gathering up casserole-dish-sized selections of dandelion greens, blooming clover, fresh spearmint and wild grasses then arranging mini green-forts for them to play in.  

I like to think it's helping.  

But who knows.  This city gal might return to the country life before too long, dragging her little urbanite felines along, sipping mint tea on a front porch somewhere, popping cherry tomatoes like candy.

So what do you think?  Where should BC and I move?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Gotta Woman

It's 85 degrees here in Seattle.
I'm eating [too many] cherries.
I still haven't cleaned my bathroom or kitchen (even though the in-laws will be here in 9 hours).
I'm belting it out and swinging my thing to the sweet sweet sound of Ray Charles.

I think you should be too.  
Stay cool, Cats.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So it turns out Idaho is pretty great

I knew I would be enamored, I knew the scent of sage would capture me and the rolling cumulous columns would enthrall me.  I knew Plume Gables would feel welcoming, and I knew Miss Jillian herself would be just as lively, just as thoughtful, just as generous with her home and heart as I suspected.  

What I didn't expect was to miss it so much after I came home.  I mean, I was only there for five days, a veritable blip, but I feel like I left a very important sliver of my soul back in Idaho.

The Noisy Plume with The Gables in her eyes.

It was one of those trips where the return to routine and normal responsibilities is tricky, and the last two days have held their share of struggles.  Making this even more difficult is the extraordinary inspiration I feel.  I want nothing more than to hermit myself away in the studio, coming out only for water and berries but the exterior world keeps pressing; business emails keep piling up, the refrigerator is empty, in-laws will be arriving in mere hours, the porcelain needs scrubbing and I can't find my tweezers to tame back these eyebrows.

So today I awoke, determine to bask in the goodness that was last week, and the goodness I will create for myself this week, even if it is already Tuesday (when you live in my world, days of the week really only apply when the gallery you want to visit is closed on Mondays).  I sluffed off the last sticky burrs in my skin and greeted the day early.  

*I've greeted the Dogwoods, with all their subtleties and lanky blooms.
*I've baked three loaves of bread, tasty farmhouse whole [white] wheat.
*I've caught up with business emails (I know, rough life when you have to correspond with various gallery directors, art collectors of ALL types - painting and pillowing).
*I've whipped up a few new pillows, some that will be landing in el etsy shop this week, and some that will be heading to a brand new gallery-boutique here in Seattle - but more on that later.
*I've determinedly sought out time for myself, a quick bit of reading and a petit glass of chenin blanc.

Slowly, so slowly, I'm putting my feet down and testing the surface.  It's gonna hold.  

*** side note ***
I just had to share with you my new favorite bit of plumage, found, naturally, right here.  I don't believed I've ever used the term "flattering" when it comes to earrings, but these long babies are FLATTERING!  They  make me hold my head up a little higher, allowing their curve to swing flirty against my cheeks, making me feel as elegant as any gypsy princess ever has.  

I love me some pretty, shinny things.