What is your favorite animal at the zoo? We went a while back and I have always been fascinated by Flamingos as they just seem outrageous! Amazing colors, weird shape, very long strange legs and a strangely beautiful face. I took several photos of them that day and thought I might try my hand at painting them. With their aesthetically pleasing neck and slightly different way of standing on one leg or occasionally two, I found it a bit difficult to capture them perfectly. I decided to give up on perfection and go for fun.
It is fun in a kind of crazy way. Going back to landscapes or cityscapes for a while in the future, or maybe some big abstracts. I just need to find a venue where I now live to sell my work. Any ideas are welcome.
In the backyard of our California home we have an abundant Meyer Lemon Tree. At first it does not look like you are going to have many lemons. Then they slowly start arriving. The little buds show up and they must grow and divide, as all of a sudden there are lemons everywhere.
Last year I made Limoncello, Lemon Bars, Lemon Marmalade, Lemon Chutney, Lemon Pie and etc. So in other words, if it had lemon in it or on it I made it. This year I am making the Limoncello, but little more than that! This year I will paint the Lemons, not bake the Lemons.
Picking up and moving to a new place for half a year is proving to be an interesting transition. Definitely not a bad one, but traveling and hoping you have packed everything you need.
I brought a lot from my kitchen, as my new kitchen in the north is so much smaller and out of date compared to the house l sold. I do miss the view of the harbor when I am in my Washington home, but adapted by enjoying the trees (that constantly make a mess of my back yard), the deer wantering through and the smaller space. I finally had the kitchen of my dreams, but not the marriage. So the choice was be happy in the house and miserable in part of life or move on. I am very happy I moved on.
Then there is the packing of clothes. So very often when I get dressed in the morning I realize that I left a few too many things behind. When I arrived in California it was supposed to Fall, but it was still summer and I had no summer clothes. Thanks to Nordstrom Rack I found end of summer sale clothes, so filled in what was missing. (sort of). With the Pandemic having the right clothes certainly is not as important. I just needed a few lighter weight clothes and some T-shirts to get me to Fall.
Fall has finally arrived and I am savoring the weather and finally got a studio, of sorts set up in the 1918 garage. I got a heater, a light and have a folding table and one easel for my art. I got the heater after the first day I painted and had to wear tights, a turtleneck, a flannel shirt, overalls, a fleece vest, cashmere gloves, which I cut the fingers off, a hat, Ughs and I was still freezing. The heater has helped a lot.
The fires were finally under control in Central California, so I painted the above painting in honor or that and for all the people that lost homes, pets and loved ones. I usually do an abstract rather quickly, but I think I felt a little emotional over the fires that blazed so close. The painting was done for our home in Vacaville and seems to fit in perfectly.
Life brings you joy, happiness, challenges, changes and a long list of other things. This last year I sold my beach house, got a divorce and could only afford a small older cottage. It is amazing how well we all can adopt.
So begins a new story in my life in a small waterfront town in Washington half a year, and in California the other half. The little house has literally nothing in the yard, but brush that people left for years under the trees. My gardener from my last house took out two full dump trucks full of yard waste and etc. I have spent a lot of time putting down beauty bark, and will slowly plant the garden. (not today) Friends have been generous with gleanings from their gardens, so I know in the long run it will be lovely and carefree! (In appearance, not maintenance)
The entire little house has been painted the brightest white available, and I would love to replace doors, trim and cabinets, but that is not in the budget at the moment. I cheated on the drawing, as the house is actually yellow, not my favorite color! So hopefully next summer we can paint it a nice dark gray.
Every day is a new and mostly fun challenge. Today I discovered who ever lived here waxed the ceramic tile floor. It was already kind of an ugly light pink, but it never looked clean. Today Clorox and a brush on my knees, and a metal scraper, helped it look a tiny bit better.
I serendipitously came to see my first love from college again about a year ago. His late wife was a sorority sister, a beautiful and smart woman whose Celebration of Life I attended. It was wonderful to see they had a wonderful life together. I guess I had always wondered how his life had gone. It was a beautiful celebration and I was so happy to know he had a good life and two wonderful children. It was amazing to reconnect with so many of my AX sorority sisters from fifty years ago.
Over time Reed & I talked and discovered, both being widowed there was still some magic in life. We are having a amazing time getting to know each other in our seventies. You never know what will happen in life.
With the wildfires and COVET 19 life is not simple for anyone. The air quality was so bad in Washington when I wrote this, I was not sure if it is even a good idea to go to my garage to paint. We are having strange times. I feel lucky to be sharing it with someone so positive, loving and laughing.
I was in Vacaville, California when the pandemic began and it was a time, when the big excitement of the day was going for a drive or sitting on the front porch having a glass of wine. I don’t sit still well, so got some pens and started sketching the neighborhood. My oil paints were still in Washington, so could not paint. (Won’t do that again). Here are some of the in house and neighborhood sketches done at that time.
I started with simple sketches around the house.
Beautiful roses in a vase. Probably should have added color. (Oh well)
Drew the house on the corner.
And the house across the street.
Then added color to the house on the corner across the street.
Another house right across the street
And added color
Drew a tree rose in the front garden
Drove back to Bainbridge where I drew my girlfriend’s flower pot. I moved to my little Port Ludlow Cottage and spent the next couple of months trying to organize and move in to the house.
My friend and I were out and about and stopped in Port Gamble in a newly opened wine bar for a glass and a charcuterie plate and I like the house so I took a photo on the way out and drew the house below. I had an extra frame, so I framed the house and dropped by as a gift to the owners.
Once in a while it is just fun to do a nice and unexpected gift!
Today I was reading about a young couple that had lost two babies before finally being blessed with two beautiful boys. They write a blog about the experience at age 26 that tells of their trials and now how it is to raise their two young sons. I think it is fabulous that they now have a family they can enjoy and was totally intrigued that they could support their family in a very nice manner by writing a blog.
It started me thinking. By the age of (in my case – 67) 65, if you have had an interesting life at all, you have had lots of ups and downs, happinesses and sadness, challenges with defeats and hopefully more challenges with successes. There is a growing population of maturing adults as medicine improves and we get to enjoy aging in a much healthier manner.
Why not write a blog about aging in our society? There are so many stories out there that are captivating about interesting successes of the maturing adult. Many entrepreneurial magazines tell of the successful careers of self-starters that did not begin at a young age. There are so many benefits of being a little older, I thought maybe it might be a fascinating venue to explore.
I will call it “STEEL” as so many of us mature folks have a little steel in our hair coloring, steel in our backbone and a few have a little steel in one or more of our limbs. Steel will talk about daily adventures, senior discounts, commentary of being older in a young world, fun ideas for retiring, life stories we have lived through and hopefully make a difference to those of us that are “seniors” or will be soon.
For the last about 15 years I have been enjoying the creative pastime of painting and drawing. Over the years I have sold many pieces and with the exception of a doctor’s office, where I helped install the work I seldom get to see it in it’s new environment.
The second photo is of a piece I sold at Interiors of Edmonds and the new owner was kind enough to share a photo of it hanging in her lovely home. All artists should be so lucky to see where their work finds a home.
Today while listening to classes on real estate I decided it was a good time to sketch while listening. Multi-tasking and now I need to add color and come up with a By Line. Anyone have any ideas? Here are some I was thinking about:
Thinking about making a move?
Ready for a change of scenery?
Where do you want to be at this point in your life?
Don’t think I need to to exert this much energy to move? What is your idea?
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