Hi. I'm a painter, a writer and a mother of three teenage sons, one with a severe disability. This is a journal: riotously disorganized, full of art, food, children and everyday domestic events. Unless you are a friend or family member you may not be interested, but you are welcome to look. Artists who are parents may find some common ground here, as well as parents of children with special needs. For art only, see my site: nancybeamiller.blogspot.com
Monday, April 30
TRICK OF LIGHT
in the tiger pen. I didn't realize I'd caught some reflected kids as well as the prowling tiger till I uploaded the shots to iphoto. Maybe not a happy accident but kind of an interesting one.
Wednesday, April 25
what we put into it
what we take out of it-
knowing we are it
Friday, April 20
THE ENKINDLED SPRING
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.
D.H. Lawrence (1916)
Thursday, April 19
My nephew H, last week, eating a banana and playing with his beloved toy planes. Babies are the ultimate multi-taskers, and whenever I read magazine articles about how unnatural and bad it is to multi-task I think of a toddler lying on the rug having its diaper changed while watching a video on the TV and sucking on a bottle of juice. And probably singing to himself at the same time and also fending off pokes from his older brother. And maybe squeezing a soft toy in one hand. All done with great ease and calm.
Wednesday, April 18
Long hours of sun, heat,
days of rain, sap pumping, luck:
to make the blossom.
Tuesday, April 17
IT IS A BEAUTEOUS EVENING
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder - everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,
And worship'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
We were in southwestern Florida for less than 24 hours this past weekend. Our abruptly truncated vacation included trips to two different hospital emergency rooms and a frantic dash for a plane...yes, for once I was part of a group being raced through check-in and customs at high speed by airport officials. I don't think anyone watching was feeling envious however: my son Henry was in a wheelchair having violent convulsions. Although these appeared to be seizures, and fooled even trained hospital personnel, when we got him hooked up to an EEG it appeared that they are not brain seizures, but perhaps a mysterious new behavior. Possibly stereotypies, a kind of compulsive tic that develop sometimes in autistic people at various stages. These are doozies, and since they simulate to the untrained eye (and even to some trained eyes) full-blown seizures, they are scary and extremely diffucult to manage. They seem, like seizures, to come upon him without volition or trigger, and he cries afterwards. The convulsive clenching and spasming must be painful and scary to him as well, the poor baby! I forsee I will be spending many upcoming hours sitting in specialist's offices.
I did get a chance to shoot this lovely sunset from our lanai right before things got really bad.
Saturday, April 14
An unusual spring color, this clear, true, blue! More eye catching than a dozen yellow anenomes, or a field of purple crocus, because of its rarity.
Friday, April 13
SLEEPING CAT BALL
Daisy just had some surgery done a couple of days ago. As a special post-op treat I bought her a sleeping pad advertised as a cat magnet...and I must say she does seem to love it.
Wednesday, April 11
I love hydrangea...such a friendly flower! All those little flat "faces" cheerfully overlapping, like a basket of puppies or a crowd of schoolchildren. I have painted hydrangeas that are white, cream, pale celadon, blue and violet but never pink...yet. I am hoping this pot plant's blossoms will hold out until after Henry's spring break is over...but that is another week and a half away! (I don't have time to paint while Henry is home, as he needs constant availability.) So it is pretty unlikely that I'll get to this beauty before it fades, I'm afraid. Maybe there will be another host of pink potted hydrangea available next month for Mother's Day!
Tuesday, April 10
is this week's topic over at Studio Friday (I am horribly late!) I think I've posted about this greedy aspect of my character before but oh well! Anyway, yes, art books are one of my weak spots. I love them and covet them. I have a large collection which is slowly but carefully ever-growing. The bad thing (or good thing, depending on how you look at it) is that these books are SO EXPENSIVE that I can only afford a new one every now and again. And for some reason, they are not all that easy to buy used on-line as you would think. After ordering such copies, I often get an e-mail saying "Sorry! We thought we had that one but we don't. Refund forthcoming." Are art books harder to keep track of than other types of books? Not sure what this is all about. Ha, that reminds me: once I even got a long rambling excuse from a seller apologizing and explaining that her golden retriever had started chewing the book when she left it on the table before wrapping it. The dog ate your art book, OK!
Monday, April 9
A BOY AND HIS PLANE
Well, his grandfather's plane. But when little H saw it he immediately cried out "Mine!' and his grandpa said he could borrow it. He kept coming up to me brandishing the plane and assuring me "mine!" in solemn tones, all the rest of the day. H's father (my brother) has his pilot's license, my Dad was in the air force, and I guess this fascination flows naturally through the masculine side of the family!
The only interest I have in flying is as a means to get to interesting places...and I don't want to even look out of the windows. I read, sketch, write, eat, listen to music and try to pretend I am sitting (in a very uncomfortable chair) in my own living room. Now if I could have sparkly fairy wings to fly with...that'd be a whole different story!
Sunday, April 8
Upon reflection I decided that my previous Easter post was pretty dark for a holiday celebrating the rebirth of summer and color and warmth. So here is a shot of homemade easter baskets and goodies from this morning. My friend Emma Powell made them, as contributions to our annual egg hunt. Emma, visiting from England with her family, is an artist and so resourceful...she made all this from stuff lying around her mother-in-law's house! It won't surprise you to learn that most of her (utterly delightful) art is based on found and recycled materials. She is a bit like Martha Stewart crossed with Marcel Duchamp!
or whatever Spring Festival suits you best. I was visiting family last week and of course stopped in at my parent's house. Mom and Dad keep The Toy Chest That Time Forgot as they never have parted with a large percentage of our childhood toys. Including these very bedraggled Easter rabbits from almost 40 years ago. Not much longer till they are bonafide antiques, I guess. Or junktiques? You can tell which ones we really loved, as they are the most worn.
Friday, April 6
is today's Photo Friday challenge. I just came home from visiting my brother and my sister-in-law and their new baby. Tiny J, just 3 1/2 weeks old is an enchanting little scrap of humanity. Sleeping peacefully in his cozy-cot, he brings to mind these lines of poetry:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
From Ode by William Wordsworth
Wednesday, April 4
drumming rain wakes me-
old house sighs, shifts- I lie there,
reshuffling the day
Sunday, April 1
I meant to wake up and say "White Rabbits!" first thing, for luck, but I forgot. Maybe posting a photo of a gray rabbit will do, instead. This is Bun-bun's favorite spot, resting on the persian carpet, next to whoever is sitting at the computer. Rabbit, couchant, on a field of flowers. What could be more spring-like?
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