Saturday, February 20

Snow Man

Snow Man
oil on gilt cardboard, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Maybe I will start a new blog category: speed painting. The way I am using this term, it is a subset of alla prima painting and means getting the image onto the canvas in the fewest strokes possible. We are talking half an hour or less! Speed painting was necessitated in this case by the pain of painting while looking into the white glare of snow...excruciating. I wore a hat to cut the glare but even so...ouch. Note to self: no more snow painting midday!

My youngest son took this picture of me as I was crouched on the landing painting (I think he was so pleased that I was painting his snowman!) Very circular..taking a photograph of someone painting a sculpture created by the person taking the picture. Whoah, am I dizzy!

Wednesday, February 17

Winter Tulip

In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

~Albert Camus

Tulip Head, oil on canvas on wood, 3.5 x 5, 2010

Sunday, February 14


i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

~ee cummings

watercolor heart by Henry Downs (assisted)

Friday, February 12

White Doom

For once, the scaremongers got it right! We were smacked upside the head with a full force blizzard Wednesday, whomping us with another avalanche of snow and ice on top of the heavy snowfall we'd already experienced just four days earlier!

Icicles on the porch

Several kids came over to play.

The boys had a ball!

I gave in to the urge to bake.

In the middle of dinner the power went out. Candlelight was pretty, but no heat was no fun.

At one point I started burning old stretcher bars. You might ask why my husband the furniture maker did not bring home wood scraps when he heard the forecast. Ask away!
Anyway, we were without heat, light or any heating power (no stove) for over 24 hours, and I have to tell you even this little tiny taste of natural disaster was pretty darn sobering. Makes you think, especially about how lucky we are 99.99% of the time..
Despite the temporary exigencies, we were lighted and warmed by the camaraderie of wonderful neighbors and the generosity of friends who opened their (warm!) homes to us.

Monday, February 8

Studio View

View from My Studio Window

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

--Helen Keller


Philadelphia got 28.5 inches of snow this past weekend. My neighborhood "only" got somewhere about 22. It's the biggest snowstorm since 1995, when the twins were toddlers and the banks of snow were way over their heads! They toddled along sidewalks with high walls for a few weeks, probably wondering what kind of strange, mutable, new world they had come into.

Friday, February 5

Something Different

uncanny in death,
the little owl's clenched talons-
more bunny than bird


My neighbor called me over today to see a little dead screech owl he had found and asked me to take its picture. Hiroshi has a particular tenderness for owls, and even helps band saw-whits at a certain time of year. He told me this little fellow had most likely been gotten by a cousin, the Great Horned Owl, who often eats only the heads of its victims. Nature red in tooth and claw indeed!

Haiku for this week's Haiku Bones theme of uncanny.