I took this on July 9, 2011, after we had a very unexpected, very welcome, but very brief rain shower. I'm fascinated by light and shadow...rain drops on a cherry in dappled sunlight was irresistible! After I took the photo I ate the cherry. I figured the birds wouldn't mind if I took just one. (I have to admit, though, it tasted so good that I came back and picked a few more...but I was careful to leave plenty for the birds).
My mind has been stuck in the doldrums of summer lately, or becalmed as my brother would say when we were sailing off the coast of California and the wind died. Usually at those times a fog would also surround us and that could be pretty scary if we happened to be close to the shipping lanes. I feel like my mind is fogged in, too. Any activity that requires more thinking than lifting a glass of sweet tea (iced tea), reading a not too challenging book, or picking the dead blossoms off flowers has just been beyond me. I haven't even been doing too well at the dead blossom thing, as you can tell from the photo above. And, the brain fog is getting thicker as I write this...I think I'll go to bed.
(Blogger cut off part of this photo, so left click to see the whole photo). I took this while I was sitting working on a painting in my studio. The big window I sit in front of faces out onto my little fenced in 'secret garden' area and the forest. I've taken to keeping my camera handy lately after years of looking up from working and thinking 'Oh, that would be a wonderful photo, if only I had my camera...'
These two photos are a little blurry, but I'm amazed they came out at all. The Dogwood tree the butterfly is sitting in is about 60 feet away and it was windy on the day I took this. There is a Dogwood right outside the window, but, of course, it wouldn't land there.
This is one of the biggest Swallowtail Butterflies I've ever seen. It's on the leaf of a Pacific Dogwood, which is the only kind of Dogwood indigenous to the West, and their leaves average about 5 to 6 inches across.
The only problem now that I'm keeping my camera close by is that I'm doing more looking than painting! And, apparently, being looked at...
This blog party is being hosted by Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage. Click on the first link on the right to visit some really fantastic studios! And...welcome to my studio! Walking through the open door, this is what you would see above: My tree, which I leave up all year round. In my studio, it is always Winter, always Christmas (and Halloween, as you will see).
This chair is directly to the right of the fireplace.
Looking a bit to the left...
This is what I see when I'm standing in front of the hearth looking back. (That mirror on the right is there because I haven't decided where to put it yet). You can see part of a small bathroom way in the back on the right.
This is where I do most of my painting. It has a little sink close by, which is handy when I work in watercolor.
A few of my Windsor and Newton Alkyds. This is directly to my left when I'm sitting in my chair.
And my easel is just behind me if I turn around.
This is what's on the easel right now. It's a preliminary drawing (which is not showing up too well; left click on it to see it better) of a girl riding a polar bear under the Northern Lights with the Brooks Range of Alaska in the background. The colors of the lights will be reflected in the snow and there will be Faeries flitting around the bear and the girl. I'll probably do this painting in Alkyds.
This is a little 'kitchen' area to the right of the sink. There is a small refrigerator under the counter and a microwave on the counter across from this one. I have to have my tea and scones!
Looking back towards the fireplace. The Reindeer is Prancer. My husband is so wonderful, he knows I'm only 8 years old at heart and bought Prancer for me to indulge that little 8 year old. My small great-great-nieces are convinced that Prancer can magically fly through the walls every night and up to the North Pole to visit Santa.
This is Minette Mouse. She's great at coming up with ideas for paintings...
and wonderfully efficient at keeping my brushes for various mediums separated and in their proper containers!
This painting was one of Minette's ideas.
This is a painting that I taught my students how to do when I was teaching Decorative Painting.
My mother crocheted all the doilies and the covering over the table behind Prancer, which is actually a twin sized bedspread. She always said that crocheting wasn't an art, but I firmly believe it is! Sadly, I didn't get her gift for crocheting, but instead got my Nonna's gift for painting. Well, a little bit of it; she was a much, much better painter than I can ever hope to be.
The sewing basket underneath the cricket (it's always lucky to have a cricket on the hearth, don't you know) was my Nonna's, then my Mama's and now mine. The Fairy Tale Book was given to me by my Father in 1955.
My wonderful husband built this studio for me in 1998 and bought the sterling tea service on the right of the table as an anniversary present that same year. It was the first thing I put in the studio!
When I'm not painting, I love sitting on the couch, especially when it's chilly enough to have a fire in the fireplace. This is not just a studio for me to work in, it's my sanctuary, my refuge. I love being surrounded by things my family has made, used, or given to me; it's like they're right here with me. Sometimes my husband and I have dinner in front of the fire. He says it's the only time he gets to visit the painting I did for him, which hangs over the mantel, lol. I keep meaning to paint something else to hang there so he can put this painting in his den, but, so far, Minette Mouse hasn't come up with an idea.
I hope you enjoyed your visit, and thank you so much for stopping by!
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Young Steller's Jay
Common to high altitude forests all over the west
The photos and text on these pages, unless otherwise indicated, are my sole property. They may not be reproduced in any manner for private or commercial use without my consent.
Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~~ Albert Einstein
June Is Adopt a Cat Month
But, there are always strays who need a loving home - so don't shop, ADOPT! Click the photo for helpful tips on adopting.
If they breathe, they live. If they live, they feel. If they feel, they love. If they love, they are aware. If they are aware, they have a soul. ~ Williams
I love cats because I enjoy my home and, little by little, they become its visible soul ~ Jean Cocteau (That's Malcolm O'Mewy on the chair)
Feed the Hungry
I think we are bound to, and by, Nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us. ~~ Alice Hoffman
What I'm Reading Now:
Give a Child a Book
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A person who collects or is fond of books. Also, a person who immediately feels safe, happy, even euphoric, when holding a favorite book.
Care for a cuppa?
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir, from "The California Mountains"
I'm three-quarters Native American (Oglala Sioux and Cherokee), and one-quarter Northern Italian. I live in a little cottage with my husband and our furry "children" in a beautiful, high altitude, California mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, rain, snow, tea, the moon, creating all kinds of art...and, I'm proud to be a Crone ~ I never thought I'd make it!