Sunday, January 28, 2007


Each moment contains fullness and emptiness both. In our union with God and creation, we can know complete contentment of oneness. On the other hand, that same union can make us aware that our separateness exists as well, and how utterly dependent we are on the whole. Lately, I have been blessed to experience non-separateness and letting go of preconceptions of mind. In the Baha’i writings, Baha’u’llah has said that the soul is first to recognize its creator. Since soul is eternal and always linked to the Creator, when we live entirely through soul, we are also aware of eternity. I enjoy so much the feeling of eternity, where past, present and future meld seamlessly. Perhaps it is part of aging, but often these days, I look with fondness at my past, enjoy tremendously the present, and trust the future entirely.
I have my tickets for Europe. I depart March 11, and will arrive in Sicily the evening of the 12th. On June 7th I will leave Paris for home. The details are taking shape and the trip is full of promise. I am in no hurry. The days take their own beautiful course and the future is somewhere else.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Painting in the Venetian Style

This past week I participated in an art workshop, called “Painting in the Venetian Style.” The class was taught here in Santa Fe at the Andreeva Portrait Academy by Geoffrey Lawrence. For years, since I graduated college with a degree in painting, I have stubbornly pursued my own vision and resisted instruction from other artists. Furthermore, I developed a successful style of palette knife painting.
I must say the week of intense instruction and work suited me. I liked building the painting up in layers, as the old masters did for centuries.
Below is my painting, seen in the beginning stage with the underpainting apparent, shown beside the completed image.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Our Bodies Store Memories

Our bodies store memories. While swimming on Wednesday afternoon, I had not gone far when I felt as if floundering. Staying in my lane was difficult and I felt lost, in another world, one without boundaries. Feeling something was wrong with my routine, I stopped early. Although I have not been sick in eight years, I wondered if I was falling ill. I fantasized I had a brain tumor. Driving home, any bright light zinged my brain, and I fought off a headache. At home, weakness forced me to rest in bed. After a half hour, my stubbornness got me up to go out for dinner, and then join the figure drawing group I attend weekly.
Thursday, when I woke I felt the same rolling waves of unreality and dreaminess, tinged with remorse and loss. It is my daughter Naomi’s birthday, January 11. If she were alive, she would be 27. Even though I feel I have become more adjusted to her death at nineteen, I realize just how little control I have over the profound influence and effect her dying has had on my life. At the cemetery, while I stood in the snow at her grave, her spirit came, more expansive and loving than ever. She expects me to be happy, and shown brightly in my mind the promise of a joyous future.
Today, normality for the most part returned, and I wonder at my “episode ” which I mistook for illness.
The picture here is of Naomi when she was fifteen, two years before her diagnosis of cancer, and four years before her death.
For more, go to: A Heart Traced in Sand

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Beautiful Places to Paint

I could not finish listening to the audio book, "Madame Bovary." Gustave Flaubert's writing is superb, with exquisite descriptions of characters, physical settings, and the minutiae of life. For me, following Emma Bovary’s pent up inner yearnings while she has affairs, dismissing her marriage and fortune as too provincial and not up to snuff . . . well, if it were not one of the great works of literature, my listening would not have continued until almost the end, (which I know ends in suicide.)
Plans for Sicily are becoming solid. I will arrive in the second week of March and rent a house on the Northwest side, near Trapani, on the Mediterranean. I want to paint sunsets over the water. There are great towns everywhere nearby, like Erice, a historical city with ancient Greek ruins that sits on a mountain top overlooking the sea. Two weeks later I will go to the other side of the island, nearer to the active volcano Mt. Etna . Taormina sits on a bluff above the Ionian sea, at the foot of Mount Tauro. For centuries it has been Sicily’s most famous tourist spot, dating from the time of the Greeks. The town has preserved its medieval layout. It will be easy to find beautiful places to paint.
Afterwards Venice beckons . . .
The image above is a new work created from a photo of a Rodin sculpture I saw in Frankfurt, Germany combined and manipulated in Photoshop with an image of painted glass.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Anticipate Happiness

It is the New Year and I anticipate happiness. My heart connection with the world is strong, so that every situation is positive in some way. New forms of creative expression are developing. Photographic and digital modalities are coming to the fore. Now, I am creating large photo based collages and painting on them. In the spring I travel for three months, painting, photographing, and absorbing life in other lands.
Sometimes I feel guilty at my pleasure, especially at this time when I am separated from Jean. But why feel guilty at being happy? My heart is pure as I can make it, although God knows I have more work to do, and I ask for His mercy and guidance. Certainly, I pray that Jean be happy and strong in herself, and likewise look with eager anticipation to the future.
So much of my new art has to do with naked bodies, and I wonder how people perceive this. I am an artist and the world is my canvas. The human form is sublime and I am held enthralled. I work to exalt it.