Magic Moments-from the heart

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
— Marc Chagall

(re-quoted from Jane Hannah’s blog)


My Artist has fled. And for the past several weeks i have given up chasing it. Instead I’ve been focusing on people and places. I am hopeful that with time i will heal. i know i need to paint and i continue to see in watercolors. For those of you who also do this you know what i mean, otherwise you probably would consider me crazy. Basically i look and see everything as though i were rendering it in watercolor as though it were a watercolor! Gradually i am also seeing my emotions in watercolor as well. This could get interesting if i am ever able to paint again. Now i don’t mean ply the brush; i mean paint as with baited breath. So i keep dabbling. See my plein-air blog;  for the moment that’s all I have to show.

I’m spinning a new thread of hope, the old one having given way. Soon like the spider in the  Navajo legend i’ll pull my world back together and be able to enjoy working with the many images that just now live only in my head. It just takes time. And, yes, as in the legend a full moon will help.

Holly (aitd)


Magic Moments-watching movement


The swift flight of the blue jay in silhouette against the sun, coopers hawk,  flicker each a different shape, the swinging flight of tree swallows and stealthy flight of the black billed coo coo (who yes, landed 15 feet from me and sang to me so I know that it was he) the flitting nervousness of veery, towhee, and oven bird in the under-story, the zig-zag of black and white warbler and jigging of yellow rump, yellow, and yellow throat warblers high in the tree tops, the swooping of nuthatch and tumbling of oriole, the flit of redstart and chestnut sided warblers, a bobbing sandpiper in the brook, and an eruption of Blue heron huge above our canoe, while two families of Canada geese smoothly shepherd their balls of fluff safely past us and the turtles slide into the water.

And now there is only one

Ah well, you get the picture; just now I am not painting but simply observing and truly enjoying the journey. I am also working hard at learning the songs of the birds as well as learning to recognize their movement. Not having a legitimate set of binoculars or any kind of scope or fancy camera I have to stay sharp to participate on these birding walks. Of course I can always take snap shots of the birders themselves and do. Here are a few:IMG_3851 (1024x768).jpgIMG_3892.JPG

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People watching is fascinating: after all I have loved painting them as well as birds so why not! Here are some I took of people in the Matisse exhibit at the MFA a couple of weeks ago. Look how the birders lean backwards and the museum goers are intently leaning forward as though somehow we might connect with the object of our interest.



Notice the predominate color of the museum -goers  “feathers” too. It’s a strange world.



Magic Moments- within

Depression can take a terrible tole on one’s life and on ones loved ones too. The last post i made included a painting of a nuthatch in our red-bud. I actually had begun this painting  almost 2 years ago and was only recently able to return to it and finish it by painting in the tree branches. For over a year i have struggled to return to the intense happiness that painting used to bring. i don’t know yet where my story will end Holly angel sculture by Kelsey but i can say that it is so important to have people who care and believe in you. If you know of someone suffering from depression don’t give up on them.

For me a turning point surely occurred when I discovered this early photo of me on the breakfast table a few weeks ago.

me summer1974-01c1974

It was snapped while I was out sketching on the hillside behind the trailer we used to live in up in Vermont.  With the photo was just a little note in my husbands hand,”I’d like this person back.” It makes all the difference to know someone cares. He loves the artist in me, and knowing that is so important to me.

I am working on finding and reconstructing her. it may take a while but I’ll do my best. If I post less frequently its because I only want to post solid accomplishments: paintings i feel good about.  In the mean time I continue to avidly read  your posts and deeply appreciate your comments. Keep up the good camaraderie and enjoy your work! And, please don’t forget to look for mine rare though it may be!

I shall repeat this poem of Rumi’s from my last post. For me it speaks volumes.

“Let yourself be silently drawn,

by the strange pull

of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.”


Holly angel sculture by Kelsey (2)
Sculpture by Kelsey

Holly angel sculture by Kelsey (2)

(Angel in the dust)

Magic Moments-My Own

Just now the “sparkle” dominating our home, Esperanza, are the red buds. They are in full and glorious bloom. The old one on the front lawn stretches most of the length of the porch now, its old branches supported at odd angels by posts placed there over the years to help it through the winters. The birds love it and fly back and forth to it from the feeders on the porch. In keeping with the advice in one of Rumi’s poems which i found in a recent post by Ancient Skies, i have chosen to paint it today along with one of our resident Nuthatches.

“Let yourself be silently drawn,

by the strange pull

of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.”


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9×12 Canson multi-media w/c and Prismacolor pencils 170509


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9×12 Canson muti-media w/c  and pen
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detail of blossoms and horizontal branching of the old red-bud.

Everything Sparkles

Forgive me for not being original. However, writing is truly hard work for me and here Charlie has said everything i, myself, would like to say or nearly so. i might add that working and reworking a motif remains important to me and part of what I do but otherwise this post pretty well sums up my day. I hope yours will be “Sparkly ” too.
(Angel in the dust)

Magic Moments-painting on location

The plein air session for today was scheduled to catch the apples in bloom at Topsmead State Forest and it did; they were lovely. But the only one foolish enough to brave a cold wind from the north and temperatures below 50F was yours truly. I choose to sit on the grass to stay out of the wind.  I was so stiff when I finally tried to get to my feet that I couldn’t bend my legs. No matter, it was a lovely afternoon and I enjoyed the painting and sketching.

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Two of the older trees but not the oldest. That one stands out in the middle of the meadow near the top of the hill.

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9×12 fluid cold press 170508

The path which winds up to the stone cottage.  Ms Chase built  her house at the top of the mead (meadow) to be like an old English Cotswold cottage complete with dove cote. If we paint there again next week as planned and its warmer I’ll work from up near the house.

Angel in the dust

“align yourself”

i find myself rereading Sibelius Russell’s poem yet again, this time dictionary in hand, to check the meanings of words such as ekphrasis.
And again i am drawn by the double depth of meaning in this poem; (only there are other paintings by Mondrian i would align it with such as his earlier paintings of apple trees or his later painting Boogie Woogie.) In any event it cries out the human dilemma we all must face,
how to find meaning in our lives. Painters must paint and writers write and all of us can hold that thin thread of hope which binds us together.

No Talent For Certainty

"align yourself, and live in ways
 that will bring order to your days -"
 advice that some might follow, if
 the world allowed us to

 but only in the things we make
 does chaos, and its constant ache,
 find any easing in our minds;
 just simple things we do --

  to make some sense of what's beyond
  the furthest truth that we can know;
  an antifragile entropy
  to which our efforts all must go

 so paint with lines of love, and see
 the colors of humanity;
 align yourself with hope, and be
 an ordered shape,
 yet always

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Magic Moments-on Sunday

Today in church psalm 116 and Peter 1:17-23 seemed so appropriate for me.

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Morning mist on Shady Brook

This afternoon a gentle rain with all the blossoms springing forth and the leaves unfurling gave a stillness to the grey day like a soft rustle of silk. I am restless, caged in impatience, waiting for some special signal. Something within me is about to unfurl.

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supporting one another in mutual love and growth

We witnessed the Baptism of little Elijah Ryan and promised as a congregation to support him in the life of Christ.

I am groping for my connection here and I read into every bit of scripture my own personal interpretation. I wasn’t brought up in the church. But these words from Peter (usually not my favorite) seemed to sing for me: “Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.”

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Looking out my studio window

I know I have to be myself, for myself, from myself so that I may have the strength to love others deeply from the heart. I know that I must genuinely love myself to realize this goal and that part of that, a major part, is believing in my worth even when I have reason to feel lost and lonely-finding the inner strength to know I can, yes I can bring joy to my  life and the lives of others. And that I want to.

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The plein air group gets underway

Try the link below for more information on our newly formed en plein air group.


Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-painting with words

Shari says it is still national poetry week (at least for a few more days) so perhaps this is legitimate???

My GardenIMG_3435 (1024x768)

I am the cloud that cloaks this hill and sometimes hides the sun

For in my darkest hour I shed too many a tear

But here where wave on wave of westward marching hills green up at start of year

The daffodils can dance and laugh and have some fun.


In shining shade the cherry hangs and pansies peek and playIMG_3433 (1024x768)

While Koi slip silver, red, and gold beneath the falling water

Azalea, iris, lily, rose all thrust against the earth. And there beneath the arbor

Still nods the Lenten rose, though tulip, bluebell,  hyacinth are now on full display


Shy bleeding heart and Solomon seal discreetly hang their heads

And gaze below to littler flowers of violets, yellows, butterflies-and-lobeliareds.

So many tiny promises of joy in life are springing forth, ones heart should surely sing.

If only I could nurture friends as well as flowers in spring  

It is a garden of delight

          Or so it was when hearts were light.



Angel in the dust