Starting here, what do you want to remember?

Winter Tree

Winter Tree

I want to remember the wide black wing span as you glide over the river.

I want to remember the crunch of snow under my boots with every step in the woods and the silence of snow covered trees.

I want to remember cups of hot golden milk swirled with honey and ghee soothing my insides. I want to remember the coziness of flannel sheets, my soft fuzzy blankets, and burrowing under comfy covers for a long winter sleep.

I want to remember your kind hearted hugs where you pulled me close so our hearts could touch with no words. I want to remember your yellow toothed crooked smile and the sparkle in your crescent eyes when you opened packages of home-made chocolate chip cookies.

I want to remember the wordless afternoons as we sat together in the living room, over-looking Lake Merrit – you with your thriller mystery in hand, me with my art journal – just there. I want to remember my early life with you spent navigating the kitchen together, me moving twice as fast as your turtle pace as you made breakfast for mom.

I want to remember your made up calisthenics routine, where you flung your arms up and down, right and left - your own version of yoga, juicing the joints.

I want to remember the last time we went out to the Legion of Honor to see the Impressionist show and I told you how much I loved you and how I felt that the only time I’d be uncomfortable with that love would be at your funeral in front of your biological children.

And you told me just to be myself.

And I did.
And it was.

 I want to remember all the times you trod up the ski slope when I fell to help me back on my feet.

Yes, I want to remember your warm heart, the kind and gentle man you grew into in old age. And I will remember.

I will re-write my story.
I will remind myself that I did nothing wrong.
That I just landed in the role of your daughter through marriage.

I never stole anyone’s place.
I did nothing wrong.
I simply loved you.

Proximity made it so.
You were there.
I was there.

Under the same roof, in the same house.

I want to remember the last thing you said to me on the phone in your garbled voice, and I will:

“Di, I love you. I love everyone.”

Winter Storm: How the Painting Emerged

Winter storm.jpeg

The good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. Lao Tzu

As with all of my paintings, I had no fixed plans when I began Winter Storm. I lay down the first few layers in pinks and reds, browns, oranges and yellows, making marks with brushes, my hands, tools from around the house.

I let go into the play of color and movement.

The canvas sat for a few weeks with those layers pulsing their energy. Then winter descended and all I wanted to do was see what snow looked like on the canvas. How could I “express” the feel of snow, cold and a winter storm? How could I make YOU the viewer feel winter?

That’s when I began to drip white, make marks in white and finger paint in white, gold and the super light hues of gray blue.

Winter felt abstract – hard to see through the snow. It felt barren and yet full of beauty in subtle ways. As I layered the whites, light golds and gray blues, I began to see hints of bushes, trees and ponds within the landscape of white.

So I followed the winter path laid out before me and Winter Storm emerged. Here’s the first in the series.

Often I find, I need to drop into faith – and remember that things WILL work out, but perhaps not how I had imagined. This is the lesson I receive from painting again and again!