A forever home in Palo Alto

A recent sale at Palo Alto subsequently got back to me as a pic of the painting in its forever home.  This one might not look as interesting as you would think it could be, but I knew before the new owners took it home, it was going in the guest bathroom, so most of the surrounds are omitted for aesthetic reasons.

Refractured watercolor painting

“I thought this would be” has the following lines written for it and painted into the horizon areas: I thought this would be the view I’d live and die with but the sea recedes.

Sonnet Challenge #34

This was inspired by my ex’s doormat, which said ‘Welcome Fishermen and other Liars’.

Fishermen

They say that fishermen will lie a lot.
They’ve time to make up many a fishing tale,
sitting by lake or stream, all day they’ve got
to turn that fingerling catch into a virtual whale.
And when they come home with a two-pound trout,
the only the only worthy product of the day
they’ll think next time the wife won’t let them out.
“You should’ve seen the one that got away!
a five-pound beast, it nearly broke my pole,
my buddy saw how hard it fought the line,
it nearly pulled us both out of the boat,
an eagle swooped and snagged it just in time.
Someone will help with just how to begin
so get out there and fish and reel ’em in!

Sonnet Challenge #33

If there’s a challenge for a sonnet, it’s when the power goes out and it’s soooooo quiet.

Silence

Silence can be the loudest sound of all –
the emptiness between the beats of heart,
the absence of now-frozen water’s fall
from rock to pool, in winter. When we start
and fail to stop and listen to each sound
that tells us so much if we just know how
to hear it. The when quiet comes around
we simply can breathe out, breathe in the now,
the peace, the solitude, the soundless bath
of spirit washing over a rattled mind
and so, refreshed turn back to our own path
with spaces between the stars still left to find.
Dark windless nights aspire to extol
the virtue of the silence of the soul.

The Puppy project

Riverside Art Museum is holding a fundraiser called Art Bark in the Park to which I applied and was assigned a pup. I decided to paint the pup in oil – a skyscape with lawns on the bottom of each paw with dogs on, and my sonnet about dogs painted into the clouds.  So far I’ve done the sky and the lawns.  I will need to wait a week or so until that is dry enough to add the dogs and poems.  I didn’t know until I picked up the dog that I was getting a beagle.

metal dog ready to paint

The blank canvas. I’d had to fix the undercoat in a few places. The difference in undercoat color won’t affect the painting.

Jeni Bate painting metal dog

My fellow artist Mary Foote came over to see this as a demo so took some photos of me in action

Jeni Bate painting metal dog

I was showing Mary how to blend clouds in oil

Metal dog with oil skyscape painting

Photographed this one at an angle to get the entire dog in.

And it’s possible to paint on the back, so I have another canvas to dream up!

Newer Work #87

It’s been a while since I posted a ‘newer work’.  Here’s one from a recent batch of smaller mixed media pieces.

Mixed media painting with poetry

“1391 Inexplicable”. 14×11″ on gallery wrap panel. Embedded poem is: Inexplicable – air, water, angle of light – fill our souls with joy.

Sonnet Challenge #33

I haven’t posted a sonnet in a while.  I was going to post one about hot flashes (seeing as I’ve been enjoying to the extent that I need to start laughing about it) but Andrew Eales’ post this morning reminded me about this sonnet:

Birdsong

It’s in man’s heart, because it’s in his head
to merge both words and music into song.
There’re places in our brains they both belong
together – feelings more than just what’s said.
But too, we wonder how that seed was sown
that made us lilt our words into a tune.
Was it the wolves a-howling at the moon
or cat’s meow, or buck’s loud rutting groan?
It’s much more likely that the sound above
that we sometimes call angels, were the trills
inspiring us to develop singing skills
to tell our stories, feelings, sadness, love.
Whatever was that singing that we heard
outside our souls? It was a little bird.

Salton Sea update. Sonnet.

reflectingpoolapr2019

I often get asked about the Salton Sea. Whether it is still there. Yes, but a little smaller. I am looking at a mid to dark blue sea as I write this, sitting at my dining room table (the view is better than the wall in front of my desk), which means it’s pretty breezy out there. I love the fact that I can tell the windspeed by the color of the sea, and that sometimes one half of it will be dark and the other light. That when there is no wind, it is the same color as the sky.
This morning I walked down to the shore, such as it is, now perhaps a half mile of what will eventually be salt flats – some of it dry enough to walk on, much of it not, so I can no longer go to the water’s edge without ending up up to my thighs in fish guano.
I took a photo of the ‘reflecting pool’, which when I moved here almost fifteen years ago was full of water up to the far side of that little row of vegetation in the front.

When I returned I wrote this:

Shining Sea

Palm Springs to Yuma – not a hint of breeze,
the silence is so loud you’ll hear your heart
beat in your chest. Your breath will stop and start
as you behold the mirror Salton Sea’s
become on such a day. A piece of sky
stretched on the desert floor – cerulean rug
of knots so fine. And ’til a stop will tug
the air, that blessed earthly canopy,
and then that sea to ever deepening blue
then gray, then black with whitecapse, watch this glass
this polished surface thirty five miles vast
reflects the sky it lives under, to you.
On windless days, the Salton Sea shines most,
more than the oceans found on either coast.