Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
The sun set a good 30 minutes earlier last night than it did the night before. Suddenly cicadas are fillling the air with a tremendous rhythmic zz-zz-zz-zz that is supposed to mean frost in 6 weeks. Six weeks! School busses are rumbling down the streets, brakes squealing as they pull up to load children born just yesterday for their first days of school. The sky is even a different color, just a bit bluer than before. The coneflowers are fading from their rich lavendar to a dull grey. Sunflowers that just yesterday were hilariously yellow are now bent under their heavy brown load.
My friend is writing a book. Her goal is a chapter a month. Suddenly she realized, like I had, the changing of the season. Months had gone by - what month was it? She couldnt say, but she knew she had 6 chapters written.
Another friend passed away recently. She'd lived 78 years. I'm certain that she saw her life as ridiculously short, although the last days were probably endless. At her funeral her life was recounted in laughter and tears, lessons learned and shared rather than units of time.
I'm setting a goal for myself. I'll share it with you when the time is right. Four days ago I was behind, yesterday I'm ahead enough to feel comfortable.
How do we measure time? It's a season, it's a goal, it's the number of ticks my clock makes in the earth's ciruit around the sun. When the kids were home it was measured in homework and grades and days left before leaving the nest.
Now it's measured in sudden moves of the earth. In chapters written, lives ended and paint tubes squeezed dry.
How do you measure time?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It's a good place to start, actually. The sun on my black-eyed Susan's was really gorgeous. (That's my sister's really awesome chain-saw carving you see there in the background.)
There I stand, just like Claude Monet. The warm sun, cool shadows, brilliant yellows, purples, birds and cicadas breathing life into every stroke of my brush.
Things begin to go awry fairly quickly. Monet steps aside and Curly Joe moves in. Somehow I managed to flip my 5 x 7 board upside down, onto my fresh palette. The backside is now decorated in great gooey globs of cadmium orange and scarlet. Not to worry I tell myself, I'm outside. Wipe it off, put the board back and get back to work. I notice a bit of red paint on my brand spankin' new pochade box. The pochade box is supposed to carry the paint in it, not on it. Stop painting, wipe it off, gotta keep that new pochade box shiney and clean.
It's not long before I find I'm holding in my left hand a paper towel full of red paint, 4 brushes and a palette knife. Yes, my paint box came with a brush holder. It's just that my hand is so, well, handy. And yes, I have managed to get red paint on each and every brush. Oddly, the hair part is clean.
About that time a cute weiner dog strays into the yard to check out the Lady in Red. We introduce ourselves, and he leaves a moment later with a red stripe behind one ear.
An hour later, I've got red paint on my hands, brushes, pochade box, up my arm, on my shorts, the back door, my left sock, and on my right cheek. My hair is highlighted in - yup, you guessed it.
And now, as I'm typing, I see cad red scarlet on my keyboard. And up my arm again, and on my right knee. What would Monet think?
I'm thrilled. I survived my first real plein air session. I expanded my horizons, all the way to my back yard. Maybe tomorrow I'll expand them all the way to the end of the block.
How far will you expand your horizon? And what color will it be?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This past year has been as challenging as it has been great. I'm celebrating my birthday with a gratitude list. One for every year.
I'm grateful for:
The rest, in no particular order:
my friends. You know who you are.
fresh clean water
my Hundai Santa Fe
a good cup of hot coffee
any reason for a good belly laugh
a good haircut
the time to read them
my cell phone
fresh sweet corn
long walks with Dan
a comfortable bed
The Office television show
Far Side cartoons
pineapple smoothies at Geneva Java Coffee Shop
sunrises in Nebraska
Gee, that was easy. Truly, I've got alot to be grateful for.
Take a moment to make your list.
What are you grateful for?
Monday, August 4, 2008
It's a really lovely framed 8 x 10 oil. Haybales are a favorite subject for me. Their warm gold hue and solid form speak to safety, comfort, and warmth against the long cold winters we enjoy. Under any other circumstance, I'd sell an 8 x 10 for at least $250. That's a potential savings of $249!!
Funds raised will go toward supporting CASA volunteers in Fillmore County. These folks use their own cars and gas, time etc. and funds raised will go directly to helping them out. I can't think of a better group to support.
How can you help? Send in $1 for each chance to win. Your name will go into a big hat, or bucket or whatever, and during half-time of a Geneva Panthers basketball game, we'll grab a name out. Along with your $1, send your name and address so we can get the painting to you if (when) you win. Send your bucks to:
Good luck to you! Your donation can help children get a better life. Not bad for $1.