November 28, 2007

oil on canvas 12" x 12"

Woodland Garden
oil on canvas 36" x 36"

Christmas Trees

I've become obsessed with the trees I see as I look out of my studio window. I wake up in the middle of the night and imagine all those vertical trunks reaching for the stars. In the morning, I'm at the easel working on the tree painting de jour.

I'm doing both smaller studies (12" x 12") as well as larger ones (36" x 36"). I'm particularly enjoying the large format. Surrounded by these big forested canvases, I feel like I'm in the woods even when it's drizzling and wet (bring it on!) outside.

I'm using a lot of jewel tones colors for these trees. The emerald greens, deep purples and transparent reds seem to convey the atmosphere of both rainy and sunlit days. Both the large and small paintings appear to glow, the way a real tree does if you stare at it long enough.

This holiday season we're hearing a lot about giving "green" gifts. I can't imagine one greener than the ones we've already been given -- those trees growing in our own parks or back yards. Even after their shade is no longer needed, even with branches bare of autumnal color, our arboreal friends stand watch over us.

What's not to love about such grace-filled presence?

November 12, 2007

Seagrass 1
20" x 20"

Seagrass 2
20" x 20"


This week I'm taking care of my mom. She wrenched her back last week and needs a nurse. As if being 95 wasn't enough to deal with! I am constantly amazed by her grace in such trying circumstances. Even when she's in pain, she always thanks whoever assists her and offers up a little joke or a smile. Last night as I fed her pudding with a spoon, I could not help but think of how many times she'd done the same for me.

Another of mom's great gifts to me has been the experience of Martha's Vineyard. After my dad died, she bought a small Victorian cottage in the town of Oak Bluffs and lived there independently for 20 years. I wintered over one year and worked in the hospital's ICU. I now go back once or twice a year to paint.

The images above are abstract landscapes inspired by the grasses on the edge of the Tisbury Great Pond. (Roo and I swam there on a sunny day in early October of this year.) I was intrigued by the shadows cast by the grassy mounds, and the way they contrasted with the bright sand and water.

Such contrasts abound in life, of course. Particularly at this time of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the gift of my long-lived mom and all she has made possible for me. In this shadowy time of her life, she continues to bring light to all who know her.

Happy Thanksgiving!