Sep 16, 2020
Sep 8, 2020
Big Basin 60"x30"
Sep 5, 2020
I love yellow legal pads. I buy stacks of them at Costco and always have one by my bed. Before I go to sleep at night, I write about my day, sorting through big feelings and trying to remember what I'm thankful for.
During quarantine, I've been writing my life story, going through the boxes of journals and yellow pads, finding gems and making notes. All these disparate parts of me come back, obediant, angry, critical, curious. The shy teenager, the first grade teacher, the world traveler, the new mom, the artist--they all climb into bed with me and influence my dreams.
Quarantine has been going on for six months now, and it's been boring and frightening and lonely. But I'm very grateful for these months of quiet reflection and getting reaquainted with these fascinating bed fellows.
Aug 10, 2020
Jun 20, 2020
May 22, 2020
May 2, 2020
Sheltering in Place... I'm healthy, I have a place to live, and I'm with people I love. So for me, this is a time of slowing down, discovering what it means to move slower, to not watch my husband leap out of bed in the morning for an hour commute. It's strange, but I think I'll miss aspects of this when it's over.
Apr 30, 2020
Every morning I sit down to write for about four hours. As I progress through the decades, I toss old gilt diaries into the trash. When I leave my computer, my eyes won't focus on distance, and it's hard to readjust to face masks, lines at grocery stores, and unemployed friends. How the world has changed since 1963, since 2019! I rediscover my current self and reaclimate to the world I live in now by going to the studio and painting for a few hours in the afternoon.
Are you writing during this time? Would you like to? Let me know!
Apr 26, 2020
On Thursday evening, I felt so claustrophobic. I just wanted to walk on a beach. Ed and I jumped in the car and drove across the Richmond/San Rafael bridge and down highway 101 to the exit for the Marine Headlands. Everything was blocked. Back in the car, we drove across the Golden Gate and into San Francisco. So many apartments were dark, with almost no traffic on the streets. We went for a walk at Fort Mason; Alcatraz seemed close enough to touch. We drove home across one more bridge.
Now when I walk the Berkeley Marina, San Francisco shimmers inaccessible across the water.
What else is there to do during 2 months of sheltering in place? Read old high school diaries, of course! Which leads to looking up old boyfriends on Facebook. I found Sid, the dispenser of my fist kiss. It made me so happy to see him on my screen, big white beard, big belly, American flag T-shirt, still in the arms of the woman he married right after her high school graduation.
Apr 24, 2020
My daughter is working from home right now, but, as a receptionist, she has a lot of down time. She has filled that time with making masks, 13-15 a week that she shares with family and friends and front line workers. Now she's branching out into making art masks....
Apr 21, 2020
Apr 19, 2020
A friend of mine, Leah Korican, is a poet and artist, and she wrote the following poem. Part of it refers to her teaching art to kids on-line during the shelter in place.
Is it the beginning of the end
or the end of the beginning?
I am bundled in my bunker,
you are spinning on the screen
and you are mute
most of the time. I try to teach you
and sometimes you vanish
or type 25 emojis of a heart eye face
and a brown dog and a yellow flower
or show me a crooked drawing
of Garfield on lined paper.
The worriers are worrying overtime.
The stoners get high before noon
The bakers bought all the flour
and yeast and fill the fridge
I know there are others out
there suffering in the headlines but
Everyone I know is fine but not fine
Everyone I know is waiting it out
Everyone I know is getting a little antsy
and only occasionally cryong
Spring keeps on coming
the birds seem more plentiful
and their song is so lovely
but still somehow annoyingly repetitive
the same three notes
I'm grateful I'm the lucky one
Twitter keeps me scrolling
my eye twitching
in rhythm with the outrage
of what was said and I should
just log off now, log off NOW
and someone tweets it's time for the artists
to create a new world in the forty days
and forty nights-
during the flood
the two by two animals
Apr 15, 2020
When the quarantine is lifted, I want every painting in my racks to be a jewel. Our world will need beauty and truth more than ever. If I run out of canvases, it's time to pull out old friends (paintings) from my work space and say goodbye and paint over them.
My galleries are finding new solutions for reaching audiences. Shoh Gallery is hosting an on-line show called How to Breathe. You can see the work at https://www.shohgallery.com/. The Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery is hosting Friday night Zoom sessions. For more info, go to https://jenniferperlmuttergallery.com/2020/02/first-fridays-in-lafayette/
Apr 12, 2020
Someday we will go to the ocean. Someday we will have friends over for a big pot of soup. Someday we will go hear a concert, see a movie in a theater, linger in a bookstore, I hope....
Apr 8, 2020
On good days during the epidemic, I feel like this, very quiet and peaceful, but I still have my cold feet moments.
Apr 7, 2020
My 100 year old house has a full basement where I paint, and for over a year I've been sharing this space with Michelle Fillmore, a very gifted artist. We'll put a speaker in the doorway between our studios and listen to Ear Hustle podcasts or get angry at the news together. Sometimes when I'm struggling with creative block, I'll hear a long groan come from Michelle, and I'll know she's feeling the same. Sometimes she'll flop down in the recliner by my easel, and we'll talk about the business of art. She has really become a member of the family, especially when she got meningitis and we raced her to the hospital in the middle of the night. She recently had her first solo show at Shoh Gallery which was very exciting.
Michelle's side gig is working at Trader Joe's, and since Ed and I are over 60, I had to tell her she couldn't paint here during the pandemic. That was hard! When I helped her carry her paints to her car, I told her, "I'm looking forward to the day when you can bring your supplies back." I hope that day comes soon, Michelle!
Apr 5, 2020
Apr 4, 2020
When our governor announced the Shelter in Place order for the Bay Area on March 16, I told my husband, "It's like our Alaskan art residency without the bears."(See the previous blog posts.) We have a favorite pre-dawn hike in Tilden Park that is as steep and as beautiful as the walk to the blue bridge that we would do every morning at Alderworks, I have as much focused time in the studio, and contact with friends is limited to screens. I daily feel a fresh clarity--the excitement of a new image on a large canvas, the smell of banana bread baking, the beauty of an empty beach after dark.
But I have to acknowledge that we still have half of our income when many of our friends have none, we are healthy when thousands are struggling to breathe, and I share a home with three people I love while others are alone or worse.
My prayers are for health, safety, employment, and deep connections for all of us as we go through a Lent like no other.
Jun 16, 2019
Our residency is over but not our travels. On Friday we rented a car and drove two hours into the Yukon Territories, through miles and miles of forest, stopping in Carcross and Whitehorse where everyone we met were artists. Saturday we loaded our bags onto a ferry for Haines, another town with great art, and today we're on to Juneau.
I'll be sorting through what the take-aways are from Alderworks for a long time. Be watching for the mountains in my paintings. I loved the daily rhythm of hiking and sketching that led to new paintings. It was wonderful being part of a working couple, seeing Ed so excited (and frustrated) with his writing. ( I felt frustrated, too, sometimes.) The first thing I want to do after I unpack is apply for the next residency.
Jun 12, 2019
Jun 11, 2019
Yesterday at 5:00, I got word that a dear friend had passed away a few minutes before. Kathy had a huge impact on my life over 40 years ago. She challenged me to live out my faith in hard and tangible ways when many of my friends treated Christianity like a country club. Kathy walked with me through the end of a very toxic relationship which put my life in a whole different direction. We didn't see each other very much for a few decades, but I visited her frequently in Sacramento the last 7 months as her health declined. On our last visit, she was confused and rambling, but as I said goodbye and left the room, she called out after me with great clarity and a radiant smile, "I AM going to Brazil next week!"
I hope you're loving Brazil right now, Kathy.
Jun 10, 2019
Jun 8, 2019
Jun 7, 2019
Jun 6, 2019
Here's a poem by Ed:
Sitting in my kitchen with windows shut
I’m swearing in C sharp
not wishing anyone
to hear me howl.
A warm typhoon has blown in
from the Gulf of Grief,
wrinkled sky smelling of
thunderclouds and surf.
I’ve always loved the shape of women.
Your lovely ribs.
Your lotus skin.
I remember you in the Greyhound depot
with your frayed bedroll and blue canary,
your pharmaceutical bag full of
someone else’s prescriptions.
Our knees touched
and somewhere in the Pacific
an island sank.
I want you still
but you are thinking of one thing only:
crossing me off your list.
Just now, I thought you were smiling
but you were simply drifting
Please--before you go--
sit with me just long enough
to watch the trees grow old.
Jun 5, 2019
Yesterday we caught a ride with Jeff into Skagway. A huge cruise ship loomed at the end of Broadway, and the tiny town was flooded with shuffling tourists, us included. Ed filled out a request at the museum to find out about his great-grandfather's trip up the Chilkoot Trail in '98. I stocked up on carrots and canned tomatoes--the food from the weekly barge hadn't been shelved yet--and buried myself in a book at the library until Jeff was done taking garbage to the dump--no weekly pick-up here. I was so glad to get back to our cabin and finish a painting that had been weighing on me. I'm addicted to the unlimited painting time here.
Jun 2, 2019
We are now halfway through our residency. I was able to join the North Words Writers’ Symposium for their Friday night barbeque here at Alderworks. Mostly from Alaska and the Yukon, the participants were very warm and friendly with a wacky humor; at moments of high enthusiasm, they would erupt into hoots and howls. Many of them came to the cabin to see what I had been painting. After two weeks of solitude, I was back in gallery-mode, talking about my art and doing my elevator speech.
This morning Ed and I visited the Skagway Presbyterian Church. I felt like we really got the pulse of the congregation as we heard the prayer requests during the service and talked about wild rhubard and wild moose as we ate biscuits and gravy in the fellowship hall.
Now it’s back to work. I sold one painting this morning (my first to go to the Yukon!), and I am putting most of the rest away in the closet so I can start fresh. I have two weeks left to go.
May 29, 2019
May 28, 2019
May 27, 2019
May 26, 2019
thinking, "I'm too old for this."