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.

Walking the Dog

20130102-173804.jpg
Walking the Dog

Two universes mosey down the street
Connected by love and a leash and nothing else.
Mostly I look at lamplight through the leaves
While he mooches along with tail up and snout down,
Getting a secret knowledge through the nose
Almost entirely hidden from my sight.

We stand while he’s enraptured by a bush
Till I can’t stand our standing any more
And haul him off; for our relationship
Is patience balancing to this side tug
And that side drag; a pair of symbionts
Contented not to think each other’s thoughts.

What else we have in common’s what he taught,
Our interest in shit. We know its every state
From steaming fresh through stink to nature’s way
Of sluicing it downstreet dissolved in rain
Or drying it to dust that blows away.
We move along the street inspecting shit.

His sense of it is keener far than mine,
And only when he finds the place precise
He signifies by sniffing urgently
And circles thrice about, and squats, and shits,
Whereon we both with dignity walk home
And just to show who’s master I write the poem.
~Howard Nemerov

“December Rain”

20121222-095125.jpg

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