The Magnificent Firefly

Dear Friends,
Imagine our inner-light glowing brightly outside our skin. How the world could peacefully glisten. Calm, warm light tinted with golden rod, blue fire and white sand sparkling against night’s tapestry of transient stars.

We sometimes believe ourselves dim, refusing to acknowledge the wings on our backs or the power of our inner-light.

no wingsTo be bold like a firefly. How mesmerizing they are. Their diaphanous illuminations flitting through the velvet dark, oblivious to manmade concoctions. They brighten the blue-black air and pull the stars closer to earth.

If firefly light joined man, oh, how the planet would smile – bathed in a comforting glow like children ’round a campfire…

firefishThank you and goodnight. May you flit within your velvety dream and wake up glowing…

Wing-less created with Prisma pencil on paper, July 8, 2014 after a late-night walk among fireflies
Fish/bug Morph, acrylic on canvas, 1998

The Pointy-Eared Dog Who Admired Art

Dear Friends,
There once lived a pointy-eared dog who admired art. He marveled at flat empty spaces of no significance brought to life with color, line and form. His great canine imagination soared whenever he gazed upon brushwork harmony -

rocky w:captainOne day he met a lovely blue-eyed woman. They spent the afternoon sipping Harley & Sons Peppermint Herbal Tea – his favorite – bantering about the merits of sable brushes infused with hog hair. He asked a passerby to take a photo of  this lovely smiling day. For the pointed-eared dog feared, if precious moments were not captured on canvas or film, the memories would be lost forever-

rocky:doloConcern for his own lasting image began haunting him. The pointy-eared dog once heard of a legend. A pointy-eared dog like himself - a Queen in her day - who had her image committed to canvas.

chama w:paintingHe wished for the same and set about the task of gathering the portraitist’s location. During his info quest, the pointy-eard dog heard another legend. This one painted terror in his heart. After the Queen’s death, the royal portraitist became a recluse and had moved beyond the border of Werewolf Wood. If one desired their portrait painted, one must make it through Werewolf Wood alive.

werewolf woodThe pointy-eared dog contemplated his motives for desiring a portrait of himself-

rocky reflectingHe questioned the intelligence of risking life and limb -

rocky tip headThe pointy-eared dog even tried imagining the mighty Werewolf fearing itself-

werewolf worriesIn the end, the pointy-eared dog smartly decided not to risk a journey through Werewolf Wood. He’d have to do his best to remember himself from the inside. He’d try to summon his best qualities and paint an image in his heart. The pointy-eared dog reasoned if he focused on his good qualities everyday, his image would be a masterpiece…

Thank you. May you dream a dream free of werewolves and hobgoblins…
Hope you enjoyed this little tale. Incidentally, Rocky the Shepherd is a ham ;-)

Photo: Rocky posing with Captain -acrylic on canvas, 1998 Photo: My lovely sister Dolores with Rocky 2011 Photo: Chama posing with her portrait: oil on canvas,1994 Photos: Rocky the Shepherd closeups – 2013
Werewolf art – mixed media 2011, Werewolf with Goggles – Prisma 2014


Dating Naked and World Peace

Dear Friends,
I was planning to write something fully dressed and sassy. Two things happened between last night and this morning that changed my mind.

Last night, the delicate daughter had seven friends over. Throughout the evening there was much googling and giggling. Around 9 PM, all eight teens gathered around the television. This is when the cacophony rose in intensity. Such was my curiosity, I swung wide my studio door. Two words instantly explained the hearty laughter and watering eyes, Dating Naked. Who knew? Apparently it’s a new ‘reality’ show where people – other animal species have already figured this out - meet each other au-natural. Now, I could say many things here as a mom of teenagers, as a former Catholic School girl, as a person who was raised to wear clothes, as a person who’d like to believe American audiences aren’t becoming this banal. I could have fun, but I won’t because it’s too easy. Maybe the talented Universal Federation of Tattoo Artists and not Pharmacological Intimidators Worldwide is sponsoring the show. Maybe Dating Naked will feature the kind of people who jiggle when they laugh. All I know is there was much laughter coming from my living room last night and it was soothing. Who knows, Dating Naked could become the next Seinfeld

etherealThis morning, a second thing contributed to changing my intended post. The AM newspaper headline made a lump form in my throat, ‘Jetliner shot down.’ Tragic events such as these boggle the mind and confuse the heart whether one comprehends the political complexities of world affairs or not. After reading the ensuing articles, the big son, Rocky the Shepherd and I went for a walk in the sunshine. I was chatting with the big son, telling him how I wasn’t in the proper mood to write light spontaneous. The big son, maturing into the good man he will be replied, “Mom, things happen that you have no control over. If there are no bright spots in the world, it will become a dark place.” Did I mention, the big son has been writing since his little feet dangled from an adult chair.

So the moral of my story for today is: life happens, some of it we have no control over and if a few naked people can make us laugh, so be it. Perhaps naked is the answer to world peace. Oh yes, and family and friends are the honest bright spots in an often dark world…

carmax hugThank you. May you restfully dream of peace (pjs optional) :-)

Everybody, walkin’ by the river, now
(Share the land)
Every night, everybody laughin’
(Shake your hand)
Everybody singin’ n’ talkin’
(Share the land)
Smilin’, laughin’, diggin’ each other
(Share the land)

Ethereal Being generated with Prisma pencil last night between bouts of laughter. Photo of big son and delicate daughter taken in Vermont by Lake Champlain, 2005…
Partial Lyrics from the song, Share the Land as sung by The Guess Who 

One Magical Stream and a Bullfrog Helmet

Dear Friends,
At the end of my cul-de-sac flows a small stream. It’s a lovely sparkling thing. After a great rain storm or a generous snow melt, the stream bursts over its treelined banks. Sometimes when the spill-off is plentiful, the stream enjoys river mimicry. When it is a barren summer or dry autumn, the stream, like a magical trickle disappears. Long wild reeds and straw grasses – the kind that make eerie swooshing noises at night – quickly take over the empty gullet.

July has poured buckets of rain into the little stream. Some might even say too much. Its wet path is boisterous and bubbling. This morning while walking Rocky the Shepherd, I heard the unmistakable bellow of a mighty bullfrog. A deep throaty call leaping the imagination to a land of gigantic reptiles. I sensed the bloated amphibian squatting heavily on a warm rock. Its long sticky tongue springing forth to grab its fly by breakfast. His marble eyes so round they appear poised to roll out of his bulbous bullfrog sockets. Rocky’s ears perked up at the echoing dissonance of nature’s gong. I eased his pointy Shepherd ears back down with simple reassurance, “Rocky, it’s just a big old bullfrog croaking because he can’t bark. I can make you a bullfrog helmet if you’d like to ribbit…”

close upI wonder where the bullfrogs go when the magical stream disappears…

frog helmetThank you and goodnight. May you kiss bulbous bullfrogs and wakeup human still…
Frog Helmet created July 10, 2014 with Prisma and five cups of coffee :-)


The Quiet Humble of a Role Model

Dear Friends,
I’m a floating sideline spectator whenever the giant husband and big son are entertained by crunching helmets, leaping high-tops or cracking bats. Once in a while, I’ll land on the couch and observe the action up close. Above the din, there is one echo I listen for. A sound one must hear with both ears open these days - the quite humble of a role model. It’s a rare combination of platinum ethics and golden athletic prowess. The man donning pinstripes No.2 possesses this treasured combination. Each time Derek Jeter tips his cap, he lifts a young fan’s heart.

Throughout Derek Jeter’s prolific career, his on – but more importantly – his off-field image has gleamed. One sometimes wonders the plausibility of such a feat anymore when ridiculous entitlement breeds contempt. Derek Jeter has exhibited with grace and class how to be outrageously talented yet quietly humble. And now I’ll wait for a few more superstars to step up to the plate and shine for all those watching, including my children…

max wrestlingPerhaps in the end, I admire Derek Jeter most for his endearing sentiments-
“You try to carry yourself the right way. I’ve always tried to do that. Then again I am who I am. I don’t try to be any different. If people respect you for the way that you carry yourself, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family. It makes you feel good.”  -Derek Jeter as quoted by the Associated Press

upside down carolineThank you and goodnight. May you dream of the world’s children playing ball happily together.

Photo of the big son at age 12, taken during last year’s wrestling season
Acrylic painting, Delicate Daughter & Big Son, 4′ x 2′ on canvas, 2008

In an Elephant’s Eye

Dear Friends,
Do you ever have one of those outer-body experiences? It usually happens when you pose the intrusive question, “Who am I really?” Then you become aptly concerned when you don’t have enough solid information to answer yourself. Sometimes outer-body occurs after staring at your reflection too long. You investigate the mask you happen to be wearing at the time and think, “Is this what they see when they see me?”

The elephant is one of a handful of mammals who recognizes its own reflection. This beautiful creature doesn’t get caught up in human over-analyzations. In an elephant’s eye it sees who it is - nothing more, nothing less - it sees itself and simply knows its purpose for the day…

elephant eye:trunkI had a little fun with this beautiful creature, imparting human qualities upon its regal form. I thought if elephants were people they might become a tad self-concious after watching, The Biggest Loser.

belly maskThank you and goodnight. May you dream of tutu-clad elephants dancing a lullaby…

Elephant close-up rendered in Prisma on construction paper, 2009 
Belly Mask rendered in Prisma July 14, 2014

Love, Snake

Dear Friends,
Not more than a few miles from my home, a wonderful nature museum thrives. Throughout the year, this interactive institution hosts an assortment of wildlife guests. Museum employees give entertaining classes on how to ‘better communicate,’ with our outdoor neighbors. This week is Snake 101. I asked the big son if he’d be interested joining in the fun, but he doesn’t care for snakes the way his mother does.

I retold the big son a favorite fourth grade story of mine. I boasted how I’d been the only girl in a class of sixteen to participate in a summer-fun snake class. The big son squirmed a little as I regaled my joy in cuddling snakes. Much to my surprise, my slippery story did not shame him into the response I was looking for.

I wonder about snakes and the unfair rap they’ve received. Perhaps if Adam and Eve had been tempted by a meerkat or a parrot, oh, anything else… I’ve never owned a snake though I’ve had a few iguanas as longterm companions. For those frightened by snakes, I’ve sketched a cute snake – sort of. They can really be adorable ;-)

smiling snakeThank you. May your dreams be carried off by doe-eyed reptiles with heart-warming scales…
Love, Snake created with Prisma pencils July 11, 2014

Can’t Forgive and Forget – Memory Chip Implant

Dear Friends,
I often joke how I don’t dislike anyone. I can never remember what it is I shouldn’t like, so I love all people and lead a charmed life.

“Pentagon backs brain implant project,” read an editorial headline in this morning’s paper. I’m sure many of you have already read about ‘memory chips’ somewhere over the past year. “A device that can be surgically installed in the brain to help form, store and recall memories.” Neuroprosthetics is the stuff of great science fiction. What fun H.G. Wells would have had!

The Pentagon is coughing up tens of millions of dollars to fund neuroprosthetics research. According to the article, the initial end users are “…service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries…the first human test subjects will be people with memory difficulties caused by epilepsy.”

Hum, implants. There are folks out there obsessed with implants of all types – especially the ones that make things larger. Memory implant research could get quite interesting or at the very least, mildly terrifying… My heart would like to believe all parties involved with neuroprosthetics have only compassionate intentions, alas…

clionClion sometimes wishes he could forget - he can’t fly…
Thank you and have a spectacular weekend. May you recall and dream a bygone fantasy…

Clion created with Prisma, July 10, 2014.
Quoted editorial material taken from TImes Herald-Record, Middletown, NY

The Talking Mushroom and the Little Red Fox

Dear Friends,
There once lived a little red fox-

fox face

Her auburn fur edged with gold, flickered in the sunlight whenever she ran about the forest. She was smart and lovely, yet she was unhappy. Though she could do all things in perfect fox-form, she dreamt of being a kangaroo. Daily she practiced graceful long jumps. The little red fox could even leap much higher than her older brothers. But this amazing athletic prowess, didn’t satiate her bounding appetite. She wanted to be a kangaroo. One misty morning with dew saturating her delicate toes, the little red fox came upon a purple-spotted mushroom. It was a purple-spotted fungus, the likes of which she’d never seen.

“My dear child,” bubbled the purple-spotted mushroom from his damp earthen throne, “you are unhappy.”

“Yes,” replied the little fox, not even a bit concerned she was talking to a purple-spotted fungus.

“I can make you happy,” whispered the mushroom low, as not to share his secret.

“How?” asked the little red fox, unable to contain her excitement.

“One bite of me and your dream will come true.”

The little red fox wasted not a moment, she chomped on the purple-spotted mushroom. When she awoke next morning, she could not push up on her strong front paws as she done all the previous days of her life. She rolled to her side, then much to her surprise, sprang up. So forceful was the leap, she soared fifty feet across the forest floor. The little red fox landed by a large puddle that had collected between gnarly tree roots and rock. She caught her reflection in the shimmering water. Her wish had been granted – her dream realized. Instead of being jubilant for the change, she sobbed mightily. She was neither a little red fox nor a complete kangaroo…

fox:kangaThere was once a snowman who wished he was a fox-

snowmanHope you enjoyed my little fable.
Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of being content in your own skin…

(Fox Up Close: Prisma, 2000,  Foxroo: acrylic on canvas, 1999,  Snowman with Fox Mask: Prisma, two days ago)

Movies in My Eyes

Dear Friends,
I usually leave movie reviews to the pros, but this movie is too precious not to share. If the sweltering summer is getting to you and you’re in dire need of poignant humor, I highly recommend Run Fat Boy Run. I was surprised to learn this movie was directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame. It stars Simon Pegg and is an endearing comedy with sweet emotional moments. As an added bonus, this darling cinematic piece inspires as well. It makes one want to tie up the old, dusty Converse and ‘just do it’ (or is that Nike’s old slogan :-)). I’ve been working out to Run Fat Boy Run’s soundtrack which is equally entertaining and motivating. A lyrical snippet from the Story Problem song, by The Envy Corps inspired ‘Movies in My Eyes’ guy -

movies in my eyesThank you and goodnight. May warm-hearted laughter fill your dreams…