“The Burning of Waldo Canyon”

Pastel on sanded paper 11″x9″ Daily Painting#25

“But clouds bellied out in the sultry heat, the sky cracked open with a crimson gash, spewed flame-and the ancient forest began to smoke. By morning there was a mass of booming, fiery tongues, a hissing, crashing, howling all around, half the sky black with smoke, and the bloodied sun just barely visible.” -Yevengy Zamyatin

I like to think of myself as an adventurous person, but as I painted this painting I thought of J.M.W. Turner and I realized I am not so brave. Turner would tie himself to the mast of a ship in a storm, and he ran to paint the burning of the parliament building in 1835. I painted this painting from a photo a friend from Colorado Springs sent me, no smoke, no danger, no noise, no heat, no immediate fear. For all who have no choice but smell the smoke, feel the heat, hear the roar, and fear the losses: of your homes, your community, and your precious forest, my heart and prayers are with you.

“Reaping What We Sow”

10″ x8″ pastel on sanded paper Daily Painting #24

“Out of gardens grow fleeting flowers but lasting friendships.”…Beverly Rose Hopper

I felt a bit like Tom Sawyer when I asked my fiends for help in the garden this week. I hoped we could make a trade: help me in my garden, and you can have produce, fresh eggs, and show your kids a “morning on the farm.” They came. They endured the 100+ degrees, and hard work. I am humbled. How can we value the seeds of asking for help, and the fruit of growing friendships? That harvest awaits us always…..

“Beautiful Red”


I love roosters. They remind me of traveling in Central America, and life on the farm. I like the idea of shouting out the greeting of the day. I usually choose some quiet time with coffee, but I smile at the idea of “cock a doodle dooing” at the first hint of change from black to blue.

I had fun stylizing the head….making it like a big map of blended colors; sort of an O’Keefe -enlarge and simplify.

So, top of the morning to you. Whether it be with a cup of coffee, or a “cock a doodle do”, I hope you are off to enjoy a fine new day.

“The Lesson”

Pastel on sanded paper 11″x9″ Daily Painting#22

Meet Mrs. Cherry. She comes from a place where magic is made every day. Four years ago my son Micah had her as his preschool teacher for the 3 year old class. One day during a family bike ride, Micah looked up and noticed that the trees met above him in a canopy. “Reminds me of Rousseau,” he said. “Who?” asked my husband. “You know, Rousseau painted trees the way Michelangelo painted Bible stories.” “Did Mommie teach you that?” “No, Mrs. Cherry did.”

People who teach are special, and people who teach preschoolers are extra special. So here is Mrs. Cherry doing what she does every day, sharing her gifts with little souls. She meets these little wonders, some timid, some bold, and teaches them both the expected and remarkable…making it all seem like play. This little soul is named Atticus. Atticus was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor this winter. When he became too sick to go to go to school, she just kept doing what she has always done – this time she just had to take the magic to him. I still have kids at New World Day School, and I shared the pain with the staff and teachers as they accompanied Atticus on his painful journey to its end this spring. Mrs. Cherry, you are one of my real life, everyday heroes, thank you. Thank you for doing what you do – and I thank God for who you are.

“Puddle Person”


I have always been a puddle person. I remember when I was 6 years old. My parents took me to Disney World, we saw the sights, watched the shows, and rode the rides. At the end of the trip they asked me what my favorite part was, “the puddles!” I answered. I had never seen so much car-free cement in my life (nor have I since). I can feel the jump, the satisfying smack as my feet hit the puddle, and then, the weird limbo as my feet displaced the water beneath me, and my feet hit the ground with a satisfying spray of water all around me. I am still a puddle jumper, and I try to remember how much I love them when my labrador-children run and leap for the shining ground, or trudge through the lowest spots after the rain.