Love the One You’re With

4 25Art Kit web

They say the best camera is the one you have with you. It’s one of the reasons I abandoned my SLR camera in favour of one-handed point-and-shoots while Thing2 still wanted to hold my hand everywhere we went.  

I’ve found the same holds true for art supplies. I have a drawer full of watercolour supplies, but lately, it’s the $6 purse-sized watercolour tin and purse-sized journal that have been winning the title of ‘best art supplies’.  

Under the Influence


Day is Done, 9×12 – SOLD

I paint at night because it’s the best way to get a block of uninterrupted time, but it’s a double edge sword.

If you’re under the influence of the art bug, walking into your studio was a bit like an alcoholic walking into a bar.  You think, ” i’ll just take a look at last nights stuff quickly.” Then you pick up a brush to fiddle with a spot just didn’t look right and before you know it, the paint is still flowing  at 2am on a work night.

And even though I’ve learned to hate 7 AM and I don’t have any illusion that I could quit anytime I want, it’s not a problem.

Prints can be purchased on Etsy here.

Blizzards and Other Things

Summer Storm, 9×12

It’s a painting day today. It’s also blizzard day, and I’m happy about  it’s a painting day today. It’s also blizzard day, and I’m happy about both of those things.

 We went to have brunch before we got snowed in, and I’m sure the scenery from the driver figure into paintings somewhere today, but for the moment I have the other extreme–summer–on the brain. 

New York States of Mind

Upstate State of Mind, 9×12, Watercolor

Gershwin and Copland were at the top of the playlist last night, and I was  in a New York State of mind, thinking about how these two children of immigrants fleeing persecution expanded our musical legacy with contributions that captured the optimism and possibilities of America. 

I kicked off with Rhapsody in Blue to help my head try and find its way back to a vivid sunset we enjoyed a few nights ago as we drove through New York’s Capital Region.  T1 was driving, letting Mom focus on sinking sun behind the snowy, rolling hills, dotted with farms.  I marveled as I always do that we were driving through the same state that holds one of the biggest cities in the world.

I’ve lived in New England for over 20 years–the longest I’ve lived anywhere in my entire life.  My parents lived abroad a couple times when I was a kid and moved within the US. When I left home, I kept traveling and moving.

I love the New England, but despite the long residence, I never felt that it – or any place – was home. I’ve rarely been any place that I didn’t fall in love with for a time, but the ants in my pants never completely leave me alone. I’m always ready to try a new food or hear the music of another language — for a new adventure.

It’s one reason, that the place that most feels like home is New York state. Ten minutes from the house, it’s close enough for a get away to Saratoga or Albany. Between the Capital Region and nearby Adirondacks the state offers enough diverse activity to quench – for a little while – my wanderlust with an occasional day trip.  It turns something as mundane as a snowy sunset over an Appalachian foothill into a reminder of the world of possible adventures — from Manhattan to Niagra Falls — just over the state line.

Possibility is a powerful aphrodisiac.  Almost as heady as the adventure itself.










An Easy Winter

Cold River 9×12, Watercolor

 I avoided learning to paint snow for as long as I possibly could. In watercolor, white is about what you don’t meet, and the challenge of leaving the right parts blank seemed too daunting last year.

Last year we hardly had any snow, and I was content to paint the dormant fields and forests.

This year we’ve had a bit more snow, but it’s been an easy winter — on and off the paper.

Things I can’t Control

Dust Devils, 9×12, Watercolor

These are dust devils in eastern Washington. They rise up from the dusty Palouse and wheat fields especially after the wheat has just been harvested.
I love them because they are proof that, even though, on the surface, the land has been thoroughly tamed by humans, there are some things we can’t control.

Each time I see them they inspire awe. Also, the recognition of dust bunnies … I mean Devils … as something that can’t be controlled is a great metaphor for the way I keep my house.


Highway to Eyjafjallajökull


The highway to the volcano Hekkla,  once known as the gateway to hell, was closed when we were in Iceland in the fall, as an increase in seismic activity had the geologists concerned that the eruption which had been overdue should be upgraded to status imminent.

We didn’t get to see any eruptions, but we did get a look at Hekkla’s sister, Eyjafjallajökull, which had been slightly hellish just a few years ago. From where we stood, however, the road to hell was gorgeous.

I found myself painting this a few times in my watercolor journal and again when I got home, and the results were always similar. The paintings were never faithful copied of my photographs but, rather interpretations of the vivid beauty and vastness of land that had been ravaged but then recovered.

I kept coming back to that theme of land and people recovering and digging out from the ashes, stronger than before. I go back to it even now, months later, and it helps me to temper my fears.