Friday, May 14, 2010

Left to My Own Devices

The acrylic painting class that I'm taking at Crossroads Art Center is on hiatus until June. I've been trying to paint a couple of times a week in between work, graduating children and baseball games.

I seem to be obsessed with marshes. Painting them and being in them. I need to figure out how to do both at once. I wonder if it is possible to paint while kayaking. People fish while kayaking so I don't see why not.

I love to take my kayak through marshes in search of birds and fish and any other creature that might be lurking. For mother's day Harry and I kayaked at Dutch Gap nature preserve. Although the day was windy, the area is protected from the elements. As we paddled, the area gave up her most precious secret: her own ghost fleet of historical barges and tugs. Years and years of barges and tugs have been abandoned here, and here they remain. Some have been here so long that trees have actually grown in their hulls. This creates a happy habitat for nesting birds and spawning fish.There is a heron rookery in this preserve - they've counted 80 active nests. Vultures hang out close to the nests - kind of creepy.

Often while paddling I get the sensation that I'm in the middle of a painting. So, while painting I try to get that feeling back again. The painting above was done after an afternoon in my kayak. I sent it to my mother for mother's day. It brought back some of those kindergarten days when you spent the day in art class making something for mom or dad. Mom loves the painting but then she's my mother - she has to. I've been experimenting with the palette knife - I think it is my favorite technique.

Now I'm working on a large marsh scene - this is it in its very rough beginnings.
I'd like to be in my kayak in this marsh today but I guess I'll just paint it instead.

Poor Harry. He is surrounded by paint and canvases. Our son, who graduated this past Saturday with a BFA in computer animation sent us home with all of his paintings. On the way home Harry said, "I have too much art in my life". I think he was sort of kidding. But this hobby does take up a lot of space. Most of them are still in the front hall waiting for a permanent home. I did take one piece and put it in the Dining Room. The ginger jar hides the part that no one wants to look at while eating. At least I don't want to.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Babes in Squirrel Lane

Now that the house tour is behind me I have more time to hang out with friends . Yesterday some of the neighborhood gals headed over to the Diamond and took in a Flying Squirrel Game. If you don't know, the Flying Squirrels are Richmond's new double A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. There is often a 10:30 a.m. game -- we left the neighborhood at about 10:15 and at 10:30 we were in our seats watching the last of the warm ups. Another reason to love living here. We sat, thanks to my friend with season tickets, practically on the field.

In addition to great baseball, there is a steady stream of entertainment from the mascot, Nutzy, as well as people in large plastic bubbles playing lawn bowling, dancing contests (we won a pizza for a spontaneous dance routine - I think we won as one friend was on crutches and she was twirling her crutches around) and several opportunities to catch t-shirts and hot dogs being thrown into the stands.

It was a glorious day for a ball game and the Squirrels beat the Altoona Curves after several extra innings - very exciting. I'm a new fan.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tour Day

We're ready.

Above are some before shots of the yard - waiting for mulch.

Here it is this morning - what a glorious day for a house tour. Harvey doesn't realize he is about to go to his dog sitter for the day. The critters get a reprieve from his constant patrol.

Harvey - get down off the table. Jeez.

I made a quick trip to the wholesale florist yesterday.

Except for me.

We need to get out of here. Enjoy this gorgeous day.