What’s in Mommie’s Pocketbook?

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I did this still life during a workshop I took from Marla Baggeta (more on that workshop in a later post). The assignment was to choose an object and paint it on the biggest piece of paper we had left…fast. So this is my bag, painted on a piece of 18″x12″ kitty wallis paper.

When I was a little girl my favorite book was titled “What’s in Mommy’s Pocketbook?”. It was a little board book that had sleeves with little card board objects that would have been in a purse, a key, a mirror, lipstick, etc. My Dad lovingly remade all those little cardboard pieces not once but twice during my childhood, and twice more for my children, the last time the book got new binding. I am thankful for all the times my family has helped me re-do something spending hours of precious time, in the face of the consumer culture monster that tempts us that buying new would be easier.

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As a year end review, I thought I would go through my bag. Here are its contents:

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There was a fair amount of garbage that I chose not to photograph. The little pink coin purse could get one out of most jams. It contains: instant coffee, Advil for big and little people, benedryl because it is not, if, but when someone in my family gets stung by something venomous, eye drops, CPR mask, fingernail clippers, a nail file, a variety of hair bands and clippies, and one of those magical glasses cleaning cloths. I have blank notecards to entertain my kids, and make notes and small drawings, and some little toys…notice the ratio of baby to ladybug is 1:1. In my bag you will find a snack, as long as my youngest son doesn’t find it first, two kinds of spearmint gum, lip gloss, and a selection of black pens and pencils. My wallet has more cash that it used to because my favorite grocery is very euro, and cash only. It also has a variety of plastic cards…2 science museum memberships, a zoo membership, an art museum membership, a botanical garden membership, membership to 2 libraries, and a visa and health insurance card. In 2013 I am going to try to use the cards at the front of the list more than the ones at the end. In my coin purse I have coins and treasures: a baby tooth (from one of my kids, an upper bicuspid), a butterfly wing, a buffalo nickel, a small mammal vertebrate not sure the species, a fortune: “Let the sun shine on your soul”, and a little pink rhinestone…all things my kids collected and asked me to hang onto and never made it out of my purse. As I look over the contents I am aware of what is not in my bag. No diapers, my 2 year old graduated from pull ups to panties this year ending what my husband refers to as “the diaper decade”. Bittersweet.

There is something new this year, a business card that has a web address for this blog! Thanks to all of you have visited, followed, liked posts, told your friends, and especially commented. My year end report from word press came this morning. I learned lots of fun statistics from this report, including the fact that people from 29 countries look at this blog! I have decided to give a painting to my top commenter (ok, besides you mom) congratulations Diane Plum, let me know what your favorite paintings are, and I will send you one I still have!

Happy New Year to all of you! I am grateful to have you along on my journey as I search to find beauty in the world that surround us.

Orange with green leaf

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I love orange. The fruit, and the color. I have bowls of oranges big and small sitting around my house the time of year. I love they way they taste, and they smell of an orange that has just been peeled. The color delights me, and I almost always find orange in what I am painting whether it is there or not.

This little delight was in a bag of grapefruit that my dad brought to me from someone in his office. One lone orange, and it had a leaf! Delightful. Now that it is painted, I shall eat it.

“Window to my Heart”

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The father daughter day hike at Big Bend takes place at the famous rock formation called Window Rock. The lower painting is from a Christmas morning long ago. I love to imagine the phone conversations that must have taken place.

I painted these paintings from photos and memories, and I was honored to do so. The little girl from Christmas morning had a chance to grow up, and loved to hike with her Dad, but her life was cut short. As I went through the day today with my family, I thought often of the parents in these paintings, and the parents in New Town, and any parents who have had to bury a child.

Merry Christmas to all, and I wish you all a peace filled holiday and year to come.

“December Rain”

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I love rain. I love to splash in puddles in the spring, and grab my shampoo and take a rain shower in the summer. I love winter rain, even though it has a way of cutting right to your bones, and keeping you cold long past the time you get dry. It is rare to feel really cold in Texas, and that is a welcome change, and it reminds me that many Decembers ago I had my last first date on a rainy December night.

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

-Langston Hughes

Hiking into the fog

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For those of you who like geography…this is near the wettest place on earth. The fog rolled in at the end of our hike, and I enjoyed watching my dear husband hover in and out of existence as he hiked in front of me. We ended the hike barefoot, enjoying the cool dirt beneath our feet.

The fog added a splendid magic to the day.