Forever home

It’s always nice to see my work in it’s ‘forever home’.  This one is a bit special because I got to hang it myself – and it’s one of the most difficult paintings to hang because it’s not only a 4-piece painting, but because the four panels can be rotated, all the wires and hooks have to be perfectly aligned, so that when it’s changed around, there isn’t a need to make any adjustments.  Here I am with the finished installation.

Vivaldi's Window

“Vivaldi’s Window”. My concept of the one window Vivaldi may have looked out across as he wrote his most famous musical work ‘The Four Seasons’.

The power in the sky.

Here is an interesting video showing lightning in slow motion.  And all this comes from air, water and movement.


Lightning Hits the Earth in Slow Motion


Work in process

I thought I liked this one that I put together yesterday.  But I wasn’t sure.  So I slept on it. (Well, not literally, that would’ve been really messy.)

oil painting of lightning storm

Last night’s version of ‘Cascade’

This morning I toyed with it a little more – now I like it a lot better, I think it has more movement:

oil painting of lightning storm

That’s the up side of working in oil.  It’s not too late to change your mind the next morning.

Several people have wanted to see this upside down.  It’s not the first time I’ve hung something upside down (The Road to Selfoss looked great upside down when I accidentally wired it the wrong way and hung it up before I realized.)  So – here it is without the surrounding ‘wall diaper’ – upside down.  Nah, it doesn’t work for me.




Here I am at the show in Fallbrook.  It’s raining outside.  I was setting up during the rain.  Today, the forecast is more raining.  We need the rain.  I love the fact that this weekend I’m doing an indoor show!

Vodka Tango Foxtrot? There has to be an explanation….

vodkaoverstockA few weeks ago, this stack of vodka appeared in our local store.  For those of you who don’t live in Salton City, you can gather from the size of the aisles how big the store actually is (and it’s the post office too….).  Seriously, this is waaay too much vodka for this little beer-drinking town in the middle of the desert. Only one case of the smaller bottles has been consumed so far, and last weekend when the Tierra Del Sol people were here, everywhere ran out of beer and ice. Ideas please on a better/funnier explanation.  My first thoughts were:

  1. Vladimir Putin is going to be paying us a visit [with a large entourage, I’m not suggesting he’s an alcoholic].
  2. CVWD (the local water company) keep asking us to cut back on water consumption so to help they are providing us with a cheaper alternative.
  3. This year’s batch has a special ingredient that makes people actually want to vote.
  4. Once we all discover it doesn’t taste quite as good as Budweiser/Coors/PBR/Corona, we’ll just go pour it into the Salton Sea, and the problem of the falling water level will be solved.
  5. The local meth chefs decided to switch to moonshine and ‘acquired’ the bottles.

The birds know.

So this year we are forecast an El Nino.  Even before the first rain, which gave us a good inch of water a couple weeks ago, there is a shift in activity in the desert.  For many years the house finches would raise young in the nesting baskets and boxes I placed around the eaves of the house. It is such a delight to hear the twittering of open beaks insisting that they are definitely the starvingest chick in the nest and need to be the recipient of the next beakfull of food.  One year I even had a verdin build a nest in the bottom of the tiny windmill tied to my washing line.  The verdin nest is a ball of sticks with an entrance facing downwards. A few years ago, the  number of nests built dwindled noticeably and last year no chicks were raised around my house.


Remodeled verdin nest in the smoke tree

This year is different.  In the wash where I frequently walk, a smoke tree which had one derelict verdin nest now has that nest remodelled, and a second one built.  And the other day, I found a verdin nest in the mesquite in the front of the yard.  I think it’s going to be a good year for rain here! [Just not on weekends, please…]

verdin nest

Verdin nest in the front mesquite

Pillows as soft as a cloud.

Velvet Virga on a pillow

Velvet Virga on a pillow

I offer cards and prints of a few of my works on Fine Art America – and recently they added throw pillows to their list of products.  Ah, the poetic possibilities – skies to put your head on – your head in the clouds – just the thing for an afternoon nap!  Check out the ones that I’ve added here – but if you see a painting on my website that you’d like in pillow form, let me know and I can put the image up.

(Almost) lost work

I was preparing for an upcoming poetry feature or two that happened to pop up in the next 6 weeks and decided to read a few poems from each of my books plus some newer ones.  While going through the poetry folder on my laptop, I found a poem that I’d forgotten I’d written.  I guess that’s what happens when I don’t exercise the poems after they’ve been completed.  I think this one was inspired by a dream, rather than a storm, but as we can see with my train of thought, the sky is still playing a role!

A grove of trees

Near the top of the hill
A grove of trees
Stands in warming sun, refreshing rain
In storms, in blazing heat
In beautiful dawns and sunsets
Growing together, outstretched limbs
Touching and intertwining
Shedding leaves mingling on the ground
Budding together in spring.

A summer storm
Gathered beyond the distant mountain,
Rolled thunderheads like cabaret girls plumes
Water looking like smoke
Anger aloft for no reason
Power gathering, struck
One of the trees
Cast into flames briefly
Extinguished by a torrent
A spirit borne aloft into the wind.

And still we stand
Trees growing together
Still stretching, ever branching
Budding and shedding in the seasons
Seeds falling by and saplings sprouting
And a space amongst us
Left by one tree taken
Where sun now shines between.

Our branches still dance the memory
of your shadow on the grass.

Toluca Lake for the weekend.

Toluca Lake Fine Art FestivalThis will be my second show in Toluca Lake – and this time I’ll be right outside the wonderful coffee store.  If you’re in the area please drop by – I’m in space #10.  Bring your umbrella, we’re forecast for the possibility of a cloud being delivered right to the booth.


Is that a start eyewall??

Is that a start eyewall??

This time last week I was at my mother’s house in Wales.  It rained.  I was there for seven days and it rained (at least a sprinkle) for five of them.  On the Tuesday night, it poured, and I was sleeping in an upstairs room that is partly under a flat roof and I could hear the rain delightfully.

I was happy to see lightning across the sea when I looked out the window this morning at about 4:30.  I spent some time attempting to photograph it – my digital is not up to the task so we will see when I get the film back whether I had succeeded.  Accuweather and NOAA had been promising the possibility of rain and this morning there was a brief shower.  I regret finishing the task I was on before going out to dance in it, because it only rained for about three minutes, and I was too late.

This evening, there is a continued promise of rain – but as we are so far from any hills, it’s really just vague maybe.  I did step outside once I saw the sky colors – now this is an interesting formation.  Looks like the beginnings of an eyewall…. we don’t get those around here.  I hope.  But it will likely be the precursor to a painting.  At least if the rain stays away we will have a meteor shower instead tonight.