Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting back to normal?

I don't need the Mad Hatter to tell me this, however it does describe how I have been feeling of late.I have lost a little of my muchiness. Maybe it is the rain, or maybe the bad patch we have been going through with so much loss, or maybe it is just the natural cycle of life. Whatever the reason, I am looking forward to getting back some of my "muchiness".
Lucky for me, I have a wonderful group of friends who support me and each May I get to go to a lovely retreat with my art friends in PAC called Menucha, which means "still waters". It is here that we fill our wells with friendship and laughter (lots) and art and the beauty of the natural world, and we inspire one another.
Over the years, we have watched the slow evolution of this beautiful stone labyrinth . It is "jewel in the crown" of Menucha and I just wish I were not too impatient to walk it slowly.
In spite of the constant rain the flowers were glorious, especially this rosa rugosa which fairly glowed. If I were to paint that rose, opera rose would be the perfect color.
I am always transported to a much calmer, relaxed state as I drive down the mossy road to Menucha and see the wild Delphinium and orange poppies growing along the side of the road.
A walk through the spacious and well tended grounds reveals even more wild flowers, and plenty of cultivated ones, too. This is something that I look forward to with great anticipation each Spring. As Debi said, "We sure are lucky ducks".

Maybe this is what we need to remember when we are feeling the lack of direction or motivation:

Let Yourself Be Carried

Our souls feel good
when we go with the
flow of the universe.
All we have to do is
make the choice
to ride its currents.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Barn House Sale

This is one of my favorite country sales around Portland, though it is a bit of a drive to Battleground, Washington, to get there. The Barn House sale is really a collection of various merchants who come together periodically to offer fabulous antique oddities under one roof, or many tents, depending on the season. It is a beautiful setting, way out in the country, and the llamas are happy to pose for photos.
After the barn house, I found this sign at another sale just down the road. It really resonated with me. Whoever you have beside you, be it a good friend who shares your interests, or a mate, or children, that is what matters in life. Yes, I'm feeling a little sentimental, but it was near mother's day.
I came home with this sweet santo. When my friend pointed out that now I have a santo collection, I could not disagree. How did that happen? I just could not leave her behind for someone else to take home...
There really were the most delightful vignettes all around the grounds. Everything but the bathroom sink was for sale, and all artfully displayed. And always there are cupcakes and other sweet treats to keep us early risers happy. It was a lovely sunny day, perfect for a drive in the country!

Every day in May

Back in the beginning of May, before things spiraled out of control, I decided that I wanted to follow the idea of doing a flower painting every day in May. I got a good start for the first few days, with some of my favorite May flowers. We have has such a cool Spring, that some things are much later in blooming, but now everything seems to be popping out, including some roses.
The best Spring flower of all, however, is the Lily of the Valley, which is both my and my mom's favorite flower. I am lucky to have friends who generously share large bunches of this fragrant beauty with me.
Any flowers look good in this tiny blue green vase, and it is the perfect size for a diminutive bouquet by my bedside. Pansies are just the sweetest flowers, but not so easy to paint. I keep trying, though.
Take a look outside in your garden (or your neighbor's) and see what is blooming now. Consider joining me in starting now, halfway through the month, to make a painting every day in May.