to flourish and decide and dream

Max frown/acrylic

Max/acrylic

sixteen today
time, is his friend
an entire life
to flourish and decide and dream
he was born
with an old soul
warm and caring
those eyes of his
speak in softness
two more years
then he will fly
all that resides in him
all that is good
all that is still mystery
for now
he’s thinking pediatrician
a tender spot for babies
cares about children
while looking in the mirror
trying to see the man
he will one day become
max copy
Max portrait painted about twelve years ago
15-years-old in detail photo above (at his sister’s 2016 high school graduation)

may she sparkle

Caroline detail

Caroline detail

Didn’t think much about it. I seldom do. Heard it was difficult. It is. She’s going off to become whatever it is she wants to become. She will be a student of sustainable agriculture. I ventured into Mad Men territory while in school. We are different that way. The best way possible. She will try to effect agricultural change. Make an earthly impact. Walking our Dachshund this morning (still miss my Shepherd) gazing down at the road thinking back to those days–trying to remember lessons for her. The rocks and tar rolled out then rumbled flat. There are cracks and joint fixes. Sparkles of glass and dull-faced stones. Her life will be like this road. Combinations of things adhered together, splitting sometimes, getting fixed or not, hot in the heat, icy in the cold–dangerous at times. Her feet will walk as she destines they should–barefoot or booted. She will be smart and she will not be smart. Go off to study abroad. Maybe fall in love or at least what she thinks is. I pray she will be happy. I know to ask for ‘always’ is unrealistic. She is so much more confident than I was at that age. I’m hoping enough to keep her out of situations. When one doesn’t like who they see each morning in the glass, trouble follows. I didn’t think she would be teary-eyed. She is. But she is also excited. Imagine, it’s all shiny right now…may it glisten for a long while. This place is more raw than ever. And they all know it. Let them enjoy the sparkle in a bubble while they can pretend.
caroline largerphoto detail-Caroline, age 18
above, painting detail, from a larger portrait-Caroline is 8

side by side

we hope our children view the world through rose-colored glasses
shades
pray they live well, so their buckets won’t need lists
green bucket
we’ll try to respect their deep-seated thoughts
car leg
and teach them to respect those who have gone before
pray
they must always believe they’re more magical than mermaids
lil mermaid
and understand playing dress-up is fabulous, as long as they remain young at heart
money bat
we’ll tell them it’s okay to think upside down
Caro upside down
and they’re the apples of our eyes
apples
and when the world gets too big, they can hide under a blanket
eyelashes
and that same big world is full of wonderment
max laugh
we’ll let them sit in a red chair and do absolutely nothing
max red chair
and tell them they don’t have to smile all the time
painting image
as long as they keep their heads above water
max head above water
we’ll hope they love each other enough to hang out upside down
upside downand sideways
butt heads
but above all that they’ve learned–
love simply means standing side by side
carmax hugwith Caroline attending college this fall, and Max a high school junior come September, I’ve been waxing nostalgic
I published this post last year but have been thinking about it lately
damn, time wearing his ankle wings and over-priced Nikes sure does fly
xmas 2105

Spirit mural

maternal nightmares

scary baby masklittle witch babies and tormenting black skies
gusting wind
long dark dresses swinging like death bells

a frail newborn with antlers growing
crying out as it tries to lift its weak neck
ocean-deep in salted sweat
those early months

panicking…

a pink infant
without bony deciduous growth
or skull-sunken cheeks

seventeen Halloween moons gone by since,
those first seconds
one more fall harvest
until her
perfect little face departs

dreaming…

scary baby mask, mixed media rendered a few weeks back…
the first time I was pregnant: during the first trimester, I had many bizarre dreams–some were nightmarish, others surreal like Dali paintings…my oldest is now 17 and college planning is on, lots of positive dreaming 🙂

Money Whales and Wolverines

My Friends,
This weekend I sketched a gentle humpback whale and an uncooperative wolverine. When uncertain with specific morphology, drawing animals can be challenging. My bathtub is a tad tight for a frolicking whale, and I dare say a feisty wolverine would snack on Mojo the Dachshund. Since I can’t have a play-date with a whale or wolverine, I need to rely on resources. I use my general knowledge to imagine the subject first then roughly sketch out a preferred pose. Next, I research multiple image sources and study them noting specific characteristics. I move on to studio reference books, i.e. Animals in Motion. I use this text to get a sense of bodyweight and movement. Finally, I combine this visual knowledge with a bit of improvisation to render a critter I can call my very own. This is important if one hopes to get published and have no concerns over royalties or copyright issues.
I’d like to introduce you to my newest friends, Henry Humpback and Willard Wolverine born today.
whale:wolverine

Below Henry and Willard’s pencil sketch, is a post from January 2014 – my first month into blogging. It mentions whales. Notice the clever segue 😉
whale and wolverine

Posted January 2014

My daughter is in tenth grade. Today she will peruse college course offerings with an eye toward the future. She’s unsure what she wants to do, or who she wants to be. She’s interested in two things – marine biology and making money. At the tender age of fourteen, whatever she decides will probably change. But as long as she’s filled with cockeyed-optimism, she can keep a positive outlook when if they begin downsizing at her job.

I wonder if there is an employment opportunity out there for rescuing money-spouting whales. 🙂

Thank you. May you and your pet wolverine dream of sitting in a whale’s belly for some quality reading time.

Mind Traveling

Dear Friends,
Since admitting to brain tattoos, I’ll admit one more grey matter item: I mind travel. Mind traveling is out of necessity. The giant husband works six days a week (someone has to tend trees and plants for the universe). At present, long distance trips are difficult. Once the delicate daughter and big son go off to college – just a few short years away – we plan on doing some serious traveling. We are going to leave the upper right side of the United States map, assuming we’re both still present and accounted for on earth… So here’s to planes, trains and winning Powerball!
Travelin' Man

Thank you. May you dream of pristine sailing vessels, five-star jets, luxury trains and winning the lottery…
Traveling Man created after receiving ‘free’ cruise coupon in the mail.

A Tall Order

Dear Friends,
The big son wants to be giant like his 6’7″ dad. At the big son’s physical, the doctor offered, “You’ll definitely reach six at least.” The big son was waiting for her to say, “and seven inches.” She didn’t. When we arrived back home the big son bemoaned, “I want to be as tall as dad, so I can talk to him – eye to eye.” I supportingly said, “Hey, you may get there. But for now, just use a ladder like everybody else does.”

I have two nephews – brothers – who are 14 months apart. They are amazing kids: bright, handsome, kind, athletic. I jokingly refer to my sister Virginia’s, three children as the platinum kids. They’re nearly perfect in every way. All three received huge scholarships. The 2 boys have since graduated and are finding much success. I’m quite sure their beautiful sister will do the same. The interesting thing is my eldest nephew is 5′ 10″, while his younger brother is 6′ 3″.

Years ago, my mom requested a portrait of her darling grandchildren. The images below are details from the 6′ x 8′ oil painting. I’ve not yet recovered from painting so many teeth.
This is platinum nephew, number one –

danielThis is platinum nephew, number two –

JoeyThis is the beautiful platinum niece –

Marygrace

Here are all the teeth I was talking about –

grandkidsThank you. May your dreams reach tall heights…
All images of my painting are iPhone pictures of photos, quality is poor, sorry…

Earth logo for blog