I spent the afternoon picking cactus spines out of my daughters foot and backside, I was struck how much her foot looked like a porcupine, and how beautiful the cactus spines were. They were long, fading: brown to orange to yellow. She is tough and brave, no complaints on her part, she knows the risk of playing barefoot. I was grateful it was a cactus and not a rattle snake.

Here is a haiku I wrote about the event:

Barefoot game. Hide. Seek.
Prickly Pear under my foot.
Ouch! Sat on one more.

Walking On

Pastel on sanded board 24″x18″
I jumped out of my seat the other day when I saw this beautiful, sprite of a woman charging across the alfalfa field. I loved the abstract shape that the sunlight was making connecting her hat and blouse and I knew it would make a beautiful painting. So…I ran and chased her down the road trying to snap a photo. Don’t let the walker fool you, she was trucking. I was inspired and touched. I loved that she returned to the ranch with a walker instead of staying home. I enjoyed watching several elders interact with their families last week. Three different families were here with someone who was in need of special care and it was a joy to watch them nurture and help. I hope that when someone in my family has a stroke, or goes blind in one eye, or whatever ailments age or life bring I will be there to help them continue to do what gives them life. I also hope that when my balance falters I will buy a walker, ask for the help I need, and keep on trucking!

Adobe early afternoon

24″x18″ pastel on sanded paper
I did this painting as a demo. I enjoyed painting for a group of friends/ students/ artists, and listening to live music. I started with a complimentary color study of the scene, and ended by being gifted with a snickers ice cream bar. It was a great afternoon!

Underpainting before denatured alcohol wash

Underpainting after alcohol wash.
I love the way an underpainting adds complexity to colors in way that is hard to duplicate.