Gifts from the Summer

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Before I tell you about this cool plant, I want to share with you two exciting blogs I just came across: projectlighttolife, and volunteeringabroad.  These two really are shining light into the world, and I hope you all get a chance to visit their sites and be inspired.  Stumbling across them really did feel like I’d been given a gift.

My drawing is of a Poke Milkweed, and it is a symbol of another gift I received this summer.  You see, when my family first moved here I was young(ish), had just left one wonderful circle of friends, and quickly found another.  I thought that was how life was…but then the economy began to intervene, and one friend after another lost their post to downsizing and left.  to California.   We kept in touch for awhile but it drizzled out as lives diverged.  Suddenly I found myself in a desert~ nobody to share excitement over a butterfly siting, or a new trail or a bag of trail mix.  I began to feel old, and kind of like a leftover that was no longer needed.  And then, this summer, things changed again.  I plodded into yet another stewardship meeting, alone.  But another steward said something about an art exhibit she wanted to go to, and would I like to join her.  And just like that, I have a new friend.  I have been needing more time for me business, and so I’ve handed over my site to another volunteer, and given up butterfly monitoring again.  But my new friend has been willing to take me out to her site.  How good to be out in the field with someone to share the experience again!

We’ve been busy monitoring rare species and pulling exotics and visiting art exhibits.  Life is good.  And there, at her site, was this cool milkweed!  I love how the flowerets look like a fireworks explosion.

Things are blooming in the studio again, too.  Here is one of my latest:

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Bottle Gentians are such a lovely surprise at the very end of summer, with their astonishing blue color.  I just love them.

I hope the summer is bringing lots of gifts to you, too!

Don’t Close the Door

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I’ve been shy about sharing this piece, because it arose from a dream I had while in therapy some years back.  In the dream, I’d been sent to the store on an errand and a force was resisting my efforts to close the door.  After a bit I realized that it was God, trying to shine love in my life, and there I was trying to close the door!

What prompted me to bring this up today is a desire to celebrate the amazing progress my daughter is making.  We’ve been working our way through the book, “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain”, by Barbara Arrowsmith -Young.  If you know anyone who suffers from learning disabilities, I cannot recommend this book enough.  

Every morning we run through a series of brain exercises that were developed by the author.  Progress was slow at first- well, you’d expect that.  But now, a year later, I’m watching her make connections with abstract ideas her doctors had said she’d never be able to do.  She’s even memorized the poem , “Invictus”!

So there you go.  No matter how completely the path before you appears to be blocked, do not give up. 

Companion Pieces

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It took me forever to get this painting the way I wanted it.  Finally it occurred to me that painting the trunk in shades of lavender would make the landscape beyond pop, and now I’m happy.  As you can see it wears a little frame, a “floater”.  Love those.

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Just put the finishing touches on these little guys.  Unless, of course, in the middle of the night it seems I need to change them.  again.  

My studio has been a crazy place lately, with another dog commission (YAY!) and those goldfinches I promised you and…. somehow it seemed more approachable to work on something little.  

I’ve been reading “Tales From the Art Crypt” which is an interesting read about the art world.  The author believes that artists are only relevant and seeking the edge when they are hungry.  Au Contraire, Mr. Moneybags.  I dream of going out there, to the edge, sometimes.  It can be hard to pay the bills from the edge, though, so I’ll leave that to another day.  In the mean time I am happy painting my happy little paintings.