Saturday, October 21, 2006

October 21 - Healing and Horses

"On the Windward Side" This is a 10 x 8 acrylic done in about 35 minutes in between horse riding and ATV riding at the Kualoa Ranch on the rainy/windward side of Oahu. Eight thousand acres of open space, this was just what my heart and mind needed after yesterday, and how better than from the back of a horse? I found peace and great pleasure in communing with the beauty and solitude of this side of the island.
  I bought a day on Kualoa ranch, and spent a couple hours on horse back, one hour on an ATV (going to the valley where they filmed the movies Jurassic Park and Pearl Harbor, and also 50 First Dates), after taking a jeep tour deep into the rain forest in the morning. 
  For me, there is nothing to equal being on the back of a horse moving through scenery that makes your eyes ache to the beauty of it. The quiet, birdsongs, vistas and friendly people filled out the bracelet of the day's events with the connecting sound of "clop-a, clop-a" on the volcanic dirt trails. 
  The story on this is the horse.  His name is Buddy, and he's very old for a horse, about 28 years.  He has permanent retirement here, after doing daily trail rides and working cattle for most of his life.  He was the perfect model, not moving a muscle the entire time--a rare event for live horse painting! He's standing near Monkey Pod trees, the common wood for making all those souvenirs you bring back! Rising behind him is the ridge of the extinct volcano, with vertical walls covered in vegetation. The windward side will ease anyone's need for green growing things!
 Original acrylic JUST SOLD in memory of her own 27-year old gelding, to Gayle Youngs of Orange, California

Friday, October 20, 2006

October 20 - Final Goodbyes - Burial at Sea

"Final Goodbyes" Original acrylic, 9 x 12, not for sale.
A long day, full of emotional content, and I don't know if I ought to try to contain it all in an email. However, perhaps the painting will give you a greater gift than my words tonight.
Today's painting is the culmination of the reason for this trip to Hawai'i, Diamond Head in the late afternoon light, from the ocean side--not the "usual view" from Waikiki. It is approximately here that we dropped our parents' ashes, and said our final goodbyes. Diamond Head remained in shadow until we were well toward her, and then for the entire time we were releasing Mom and Pop's ashes, the sun shown brilliantly on her flanks. The rainbow followed the mountains all the way from the harbor, and stopped just where you see it in this painting. After we began our journey back, Diamond Head again went into shadow, as if to say, "I welcome them to me, they are mine now--you can go with comfort."
  More amazement for us when we arrived to get on the catamaran--the one we were scheduled to take had "sudden engine trouble" and so we were upgraded to the one that carries 40 people at the last minute. Truly amazing. The service was short, with each of us putting 1/3 of the mixed ashes of both parents into the water. Then we scattered flowers and I read this modified poem:

Do not see the ocean and cry; We are not there. We do not die.
We will be the trade winds that blow. We will be the ocean waves below. We will be in Hawai’i’s rain.
And because of you, we are home again.
So when you go on with smiling faces, far away, in other places
You’ll think of this moment when you unpack,
But know this now--You’ve brought us back.
Please do not stand here and cry, we are not here, it is not goodbye.

I have to say, I have this feeling of great tiredness, yet a lifting of my spirit today, for the burden of being caretaker for their corporeal remains has been lifted from my shoulders now. Tomorrow I spend the day on a ranch on on the windward side, for some much needed horse time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

October 19 - At 33,000 Feet over the Pacific Ocean

I'm writing you from about 33,000 feet above the blue Pacific Ocean this afternoon, sitting in first class on this flight to Hawaii. I have never flown first class before, and I could get used to this! The service is wonderful, the flight is gentle, and five hours in the air is literally "flying by". 
So, in anticipation for the peace I hope to find while in the Islands, and the closure I need to bring to this phase of my life, I paint for you a small watercolor of where perhaps my mind will be in a day or two. Not today or tomorrow, for tomorrow we have the chartered catamaran that will take us out for the sunset sail, services and scattering of ashes. I need to hold everything until that moment. Afterwards I can release and relax.
 Just how profound this voyage is for me came today, before we lifted off when the flight attendant needed to move our carry on luggage--I said, "Please handle that with care, in there are the ashes of my parents." The clarity of that thought and its implications allowed me a good cry. Even now I am on the verge of tears as I write this. The journey to tomorrow's closure moment progresses, and I look at this little watercolor (about 5 x 7 inches) and see myself sitting in the chair beginning to enjoy the rest of the voyage. Passages.  Life is all about those passages.  I don't think I'll sell this one.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October 18 - Sunset of the Hawaii Trip's Beginning

"The Sun Sets and the Journey Begins" This was "kinda sorta" the view as we drove in over the hills to my brother and sister's-in-law home to spend the night before leaving tomorrow VERY early for the airport. This is an oil, 6 x 6 inches, and shows such a complementary color scheme of blue/orange! Yet (she says with a grin), the area where your eye goes is to the yellow in the sky! How much fun it is to break the rules in painting!  The journey begins. $100 from the October daily painting page.
  The folks' ashes are in the carry-on luggage, the computer will be packed, and my paints are in the checked luggage for your daily paintings. I'm taking the acrylics and watercolors. I am planning to build a page of images on the site, too, because it may be fun to see the whole shebang while we're gone. I'll post the page link as soon as there's something on it!
  It was rough putting the dog in the kennel today, (again) and saying goodbye to the house that has barely had time to become our home, so when this trip is finished, you can count on seeing a bunch of "happy paintings" created when I return to the now-familiar studio space. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October 17 - Blue Bottle of My Mom's

You ever get one of those days where everything seems to be chuggin' along just fine, and then someone or something comes along and mucks that all up for you? The world's smiling, and all of a sudden there's a rain cloud? I've had one of those days. OK, you know I'm packing to take my parent's ashes tomorrow, and was hip hopping along with no worries, and then I get a phone call. Unexpected and out of the blue, some bad news.  Nothing I can't handle, but it always is a wake up call that things aren't always what you think they are when dealing with organizations and individuals. More may come later. Enough for now to say that my faith in human behavior has been shaken a bit.
  Might make a difference in my painting tonight. We'll see. Well, well. Yessir, a little bottle of the blues came off the brushes (in oil) tonight. This painting is not about the nifty variations of the little glass bottle, but about the shadow shape that defines the composition. Simple though it may be, the "L" shape of the shadow and bottle defines the image, and almost look like a blue hand coming up to pick up the bottle. Hallow'een anyone? Oh, too soon. Sorry!  Freaky day, though. You really find out who your friends are.
  Y'all be safe, now, tuck your loved ones in and have a safe night.
Original oil, 4 x 6 inches, $100, available from the Daily Paintings archive.

Monday, October 16, 2006

October 16 - Monterey Cypress

I'm already thinking about the trip to Hawaii, looking westward over the Pacific Ocean. Today's painting is of a landmark on the coast of California (think "jumping off point") from a reference photo I took oh-so-many years ago. I can't even remember where it is, I think it's along the coast of Northern California.  One of you well-traveled folks will let me know, I betcha! I've been both places, and the reference photos get jumbled in the files. 
 It's an oil, 12 x 9 inches, and what I wanted to accomplish in this one was to have a contrast of soft distance against the stark shape of the pine, without losing the brushwork of the sky and fog. $150 from the October Archives for this date.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

October 15 - Pacing the Hounds (Hunt Scene)

"Pacing the Hounds" This was an acrylic I started as a demo for the acrylic workshop in Kentucky, but didn't get enough time to finish it. So here it is today, in a finished state. I had a wonderful ride today on Raindance (my mare) and it was an overcast day, just like this one. I like the feeling of "lift" on the horse and rider. Of course, the color is a great red-orange/blue-green complementary. Original acrylic, 9 x 12 inches $350