Magic Moments- Taking Risks

Diving in-

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Painted from a tiny sketch scratched on the back of an envelope in the dark; here is Mahlers 2nd symphony as experienced in the Tanglewood shed this summer.

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It was a moving experience and I can still hear the glory of it all. I see the the sound baffles as clouds of green and gold above a rapt audience. the choir silent in black and white rising as one to sing and the soloists flanking the conductor with perfect voices. Harps, timpani, bases, cellos, brass and woodwinds; one beautiful rich sound building to the next..

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the chorus like one voice over 150 strong and the two soloists beyond compare. Andris Nelsons’ interpretation new but completely fitting and beautiful….A lovely evening. And one I’ll have to try painting again. But here is a first try.

for you-

Angel in the dust (Holly)

Magic Moments-just peaches and lilies

Life has gotten bigger than me and I am scrambling to catch up. A friend just gave me some tiger lily bulb-lets; they need to be planted out right away and the peach trees are dripping peaches. There are 3 shows I should be entering; I”ll be lucky to get work ready for even one. I think for the next several days I’ll be focused on canning peaches when I’m not helping out at Hollister House Garden, or Gallery on the Green (yearly maintenance) or working the Art League tent at the Peach festival.

Here is one painting I recently finished which i hope to get matted and framed. There are a couple more figure studies that I’d also like to show.  For sure, “I’m traveling faster than my soul can go….”

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“Life’s a twinkling but its such a fine thing” (Carrie Newcomer)

Holly    PS how many of you noticed the Cobalt Teal Blue  in the painting above? Debi’s right; it really is a cheerful color. Now i just need time to experiment with it!

Magic Moments- It’s a Strange Life

Thunderstorms and sketch of the bend in the river at Satan’s Kingdom.

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Traffic on the highway bridge above me lends a surreal feeling to an already surreal day. All around me people i love are hurting and i can’t help them. I don dark framed new glasses, and strappy platform shoes I bought this afternoon on impulse. I think I’m losing my mind or just reacting to the reality of its loss. Who the ___ am I and why am i alive? I don’t have any answers just heartache and unanswered questions, a CD, and a bottle of Jack Daniels. The music and songs deepen the anguish in my heart. An evening with friends last night seems a light year past. Plans for tomorrow so irrelevant. Nothing soothes. “Sometimes it seems this whole life ain’t nothing but a long Good bye, nothing but a long Good bye”…. Odd I’d like to dance a polka right now. i often want to dance and have no one to dance with….Maybe a brush can dance?

I guess it’s time to try painting those foolish lilies again. Golden in the light they’re a symbol of the beauty of this world we are all so lucky to share.

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“Didn’t nobody teach you there’s a time and place for every thing? Didn’t nobody teach you here’s a method to this madness, my Dear? Didn’t nobody tell you? Didn’t nobody teach you?”

Angel in the dust

Magic Moments- i wonder

“I wonder.  If more of us painted, more of us drew, more of us tended our gardens, more of us wrote poems and stories, if more of us Created from the artist within….  wouldn’t  it all  be a much better world.


I look at the skies above

and wonder.”                                                                                          quoted from debiriley’s blog

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a painting by one of my favorite writers/illustrators Holling Clancy Holling. What a difference he made to me as a child.


The truth is there are artists all around us. We just need to pay attention.

Here in the grey snow covered and rain soaked hills of North Western Connecticut one doesn’t always expect much culturally but this weekend proved that there is hidden fire in these hills.

Hartt School of Music hosted the Northeast Horn symposium and offered three concerts to the public at large. What a treat for both my husband and me. Playing horn is definitely a thing of our past and while Jamie was first horn in all state it was only a minor part of my musical study but we both still truly love the horn. And to be privileged to talk with and listen to these musicians in intimate surroundings  was one of those incredible experiences to treasure-to be immersed in the nuances of the sound and repertoire of French horn for a weekend of three concerts for less than the cost of a bus ticket to Boston-wow!

Pieces included works by Gounod, Beethoven, Holst, Rapoport, Dukas. Glazunov, and others including a beautiful piece by James Naigus for 9 horns just released called Harvest Lights. Imagine towering white pines against the blue sky and golden sun filtering through the woods-well that’s where my mind took me when I closed my eyes. Horn is so awesome and to hear the difference of sound demonstrated between Viennese horns, Bruckner horns (James Summerville played on one of the original 1887 horns only recently replaced by the BSO by a new set. It was clear, sweet –took me back to my childhood in Symphony Hall) and classical and bright modern double versus velvety deep Wagnerian Oh gee!

And so we got to listen to Erik Ralske, Principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera and James Sommerville, Principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra up close and personal.

In addition the programs included other fine horn players including principals of Hartford and New Haven symphony orchestras ,Professors from Yale and Hartt and more as well as an evening with the US Coast guard Band featuring pieces with french horn.-Awesome.

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9×12 canson sketch book 170326


Well I did pick up the paint brush but only briefly. However, now when I close my eyes I see golden horns and when I listen to recordings I can sometimes identify the type of horn being played. It’s like pigments and colors in watercolor only overtones and sonority/color in music.

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i think a still life or figure study with a french horn is my next challenge if only i can get one decent wave!!


(angel in the dust wishing she could share the beauty all around her with you)

Magic Moments-in song

R    you there?

“You are the wind beneath my wings

Today was Gospel Sunday at ST. John’ Episcopal Church and the choir celebrated by singing Gospel Hymns: “Sweet, Sweet Spirit”, “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”, “Every Night When the Sun Goes In”,” There is a Balm in Gilead”, “Elijah Rock”, “Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child”, “Take me to the Water”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand”, -lots of rhythm and soul.

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photo by Zachary Webster


I love this community and being able to sing in the choir. Best of all they accept me, the Black sheep in the flock, (Unitarian faith and all). I do live with the optimistic hope that we can all live with the common goal of having compassion for and understanding of each other. Our need, Man’s need for Faith, Love, and Hope transcends all religions.

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Now I’m off to pick up more paint and paper and to collect some paintings that have been on exhibit.



Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-close your eyes

Ever close your eyes and stop and listen?

Ever feel alive and you’ve nothing missing?

You don’t need a reason

Let the day go on and on

Let the rain fall down

Everywhere around you

Give into it now-

Let the day surround you……..                                                                        Enya

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Is there a road I should follow?

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sketching to fill the extra moment-New England is full of churches.

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two sketches of a road i walk

sketched from my car in the rain and snow. this is addictive.

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and studying with a master yoga teacher.

condos-a great place to live as sketched from my “studio”aka my car.

Angel in the dust

the day is not long enough!