Yon Oak

7″x5″ pastel on sanded paper

This was another quick study, there was a brief rain, not at all gloomy. I loved how the grey and yellow worked together in the Sky.

Live thy Life,

Young and old,

Like yon oak,

Bright in spring,

Living gold;

Summer-rich

Then; and then

Autumn-changed

Soberer-hued

Gold again.

All his leaves

Fall’n at length,

Look, he stands,

Trunk and bough

Naked strength.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Walking to School – SHOW!

24″x36″ oil on canvas

Please come see my show “Walking to School”! It will open at the Sunderman Gallery There will be an opening reception 6-8pm, Thursday, September 13th. 5100 Ross Avenue, DALLAS,TX 75206

I use my art as a way to notice something beautiful everyday. “Walking to School” has been a whimsical fun series chronicaling my second grade daughter’s daily walks to school.   My 3 older children all start school an hour before my youngest. We like to eat breakfast as a family, so that leaves Lydia and I an extra hour every morning. What I am trying to do is not waste our gift of time, the phrase “killing time” is a phrase that makes me so sad. Instead of “killing” that time I have painted it, and all the adventures and beauty that we found in those extra hours. This series is about half landscapes of what we have seen on our daily walks and half mixed media pieces of people walking. It includes: homework, tardy slips and bit and pieces we collected along the way.  In addition to many kinds of media, I have used a bit of magical realism in these paintings. For example, in “Spokes and Shadows” the light was beautiful, the shadows were beautiful, but the backdrop was generic new suburbia. In my mind, I saw a fantastic tree lined drive, with a young girl pumping up a hill onto great things. In the painting, I created the leaves with bits of homework. As the leaves fell, I could imagine the days and years and the entirety of Lydia’s childhood landing on the drive as she confidently rode into the future.

These paintings are about being present: we put away the phone, compose a rhyme or poem, talk about the day, share our hopes and dreams, plan dinner or our next family celebration.  We notice what is in bloom, when the leaves change color, or when someone repainted their front door. We have noted that all those carpoolers don’t have a chance to: meet a new neighbor, pet a kitten, do a cartwheel, twirl a tutu, pick a flower or sneak a fresh fig hanging over the fence.

In painting this series, my hope is you will be reminded of a sweet memory of when you walked with your friends, siblings, or parent to school. Or you will be reminded of when your child walked to school. Perhaps you will be inspired to be present and get out and find the beauty and life that is in YOUR neighborhood waiting for you to just enjoy and discover!  Perhaps you can grab your dog, or kid, or mom, or neighbor and embark in a simple way to really live your life…go for a walk.

Oaken Boughs

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The Oak

Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Summer-rich
Then; and then
Autumn-changed
Soberer-hued
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Climbing Tree

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Climbing Trees: A Poem
By Joe Suzz
 

Mom seeking quiet

Hurried me outside:

Forgetting my shoes by the front closet,

Leaving my socks on the back porch

Through the screen door, then,

Running to the canopying maples

Just past the clustered pines,

Mom had things to do, but she gravitated towards

The double paned glass.

Star burning energy, glimpses of sensation:

Climbing high enough to see Robin’s nest,

It’s fluttering wings, perched on the twisted twigs,

Feeding its young.

I perched myself a time or two. Watching my dog, Nicky, chasing squirrels

Along the fence. Sometimes, seeing my mom through the branches.

In the crossing of brief moments,

Childhood eclipsed.

The Golden Hour

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I love that last hour before dark, when the sunlight slams into everything making it glow. There is something magical about that hour metaphorically too. If you are a procrastinator you know what I am talking about. There is nothing like the looming darkness of a deadline to causes you to write a brilliant paper. Sometimes it takes being conscious that the end is near to really notice things around you. The last hour of vacation is often more appreciated than the first. I wonder if we were able stay present to these ideas how much more we could enjoy our lives. So for those of us who rush around and forget to be present, stop and look up when the sun is hanging low and the light changes your perspective, and really soak it in.

Reading Tree

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I love prairie flowers, and the way the change every few weeks. This composition was tricky with that one live oak tree, but what a lovely walk to such a beautiful reading spot. Spend a minute under that tree today when things get crazy.

Sunrise 12 May 2013

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My mom reminded me of a mother’s day picnic we hosted a dozen years ago. I was pregnant with my first child. My mom came, and Matthew’s mom, and her mom. Many of our friends and their moms. As sort of a toast/ prayer we all shared what we loved about our own moms or being a mom. It was probably the best Mother’s Day celebration I have ever been too. I will put the question out there for all of you…what do you love about your mother, or being a mother?

I love the way my mom always made me feel like becoming and being a mom was the most important thing that ever happened to her. I never wondered if she would rather be doing something other than taking care of my brother and I…it was a great feeling. Thanks mom, I love you so much.

As for being a mother, I love it all: the work, the laughs, watching them grow up, watching them be kids….everything, everyday. Today my day started with time to paint, and a good strong cup of coffee. Followed by a BLT (my favorite breakfast) expertly made by my sons, on toast with extra tomatoes, and a presentation of very charming gifts made by my children. My favorite were the fill in the blank worksheets done at school. Number 11. on Micah’s worksheet said “What do you think your mom was like before she had children? His answer “very, very, VERY bored.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, my wish for you is that you work be filled with meaning, and never leave you bored!