Monday, November 04, 2019

November News

Well, I've spent the summer painting. Mostly big paintings on canvas but also 24x18" ones on paper. I really get into a groove once I get going. Functioning by 8am, 2 hours at my journal drinking coffee and counting my blessings (or untying the knots in my thinking), then breakfast and to work. That's the way it's supposed to go but I have a family and life intrudes.

However, I can usually paint every day unless Mercury's in retrograde in which case I think I've lost my touch and wonder why I try to do something so difficult when I dont have to. Why am I telling you this? Maybe because since you're here I think you are a person who grapples with self discipline as I do and that we all like to ask each other how we manage our creative lives. I'll be doing more of this as we go along.

We turned the clocks back this weekend and I noticed the persimmon tree is nearly bare now. In the summer the fruit trees looked big and lush, but now their small bones are revealed. There's some kind of metaphor in there but I'll leave it alone.

John is turning soil to plant garlic this week. I used to think gardens went to sleep when the freezing weather killed everything above ground. But no. Garlic will be planted and next month fava beans will go into the ground. So even as winter death lies all around us, beauty changed and laid to rest, the succession is already in motion for what comes next. Life is always starting anew.

I wont make this too long. I just wanted to check in. To say I am still here, still thinking of so many of you that I've walked beside and many that I haven't; to say that as long as I am here I'll probably want to talk to you. My life is pretty solitary by choice but when I am in your presence you have all of me. Because I do love people. As time passes that feeling of appreciation increases.


One more thing. I've decided to draw and collage in my journal again. For the last 3 years I've used it mostly to catalogue my paintings and "progress" whatever that is. But this weekend I worked in the journal like I used to and felt a burst of joy that told me this was one thing from my past that I shouldn't have put aside. So we'll see how it goes. Smaller works for awhile. More journal art. Sounds good to me.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

August Dispatch

Sweet summer! June and July slid by in a blur of road trips, family gatherings, hikes, summer shows, books read. I discovered that my breakfast tastes better when eaten outside, admiring the hummingbirds as they sip from the coral penstemons and rest on the purple boughs of the datura.

I've saved up some photos of the garden for those of you who enjoy seeing them. I've gotten out more than usual this summer to help with the pruning and deadheading. Those are two jobs I always love; cleaning out the beds and making everything look neat and well groomed.

John and I are really committed to eating vegan now and cabbage has been our go to since the lettuce is at the in-between harvests stage. We cook easy things together like cabbage slaw over beans and quinoa with avocado and watermelon for dessert. The secret is in adding seasonings to the greens and beans so that everything tastes good and we use lots of lemon or lime to brighten the flavors.

We've been eating lots of tomatoes too. This variety is prolific; you can see how loaded the vines are. We use a lot of them and share them to the community table downtown in our hamlet.

Lots of foxglove on our place. We are careful with it and the datura. Both plants are poisonous and need to be respected. 

I love how much our "fried egg" poppy looks like crepe paper. So delicate and big; a good hand span across.

This is amaranth that the indians used for dyeing and that I've made ink out of. It's a gorgeous color.

Here is dahlia, basil, penstemons. So pretty, the colors John puts together. He has a touch. 

These are our breadseed poppies. Very pretty and will take over the area unless you keep them in check. 

A yellow dahlia that is unusual for its dark foliage. Lovely girl; very cheerful.

How about some actual ducks? Saw this little family on one of our Sunday hikes.

Daylilies. These look like I painted the petals; they must be a new variety. We have the old fashioned ones as well.

Ah, the wonderful peaches promising pies, cobblers, peaches eaten over the sink al fresca. 

I saw this plant referred to as the zipper plant beacuse ... well, you see. There is a honey bee in there too.

A new variety of cosmos. Have grown this annual forever but not this variety. It's so pretty.

And yet another new variety of cosmos. Are you familiar with this one? It's very strong, just wonderful.

I'd better get a picture of the farmer in here. This is John and he is the most nurturing man I know. His heart is golden.

Corn and sunflowers. This is the garden as it looks today. We're on our second round of corn and the sunflowers are in many places besides this one. I have many more photos but maybe this is a good place to stop with the garden. 

I do have one of myself in my booth at an art fair this summer. It was a terrific fair and I sold many paintings. This is me being happy.

I love to show my work. My daily life is quite isolating; in general I prefer it but I also get lonely for  community so I look forward to this art fair every year. In addition, you can see all my daily paintings on Instagram under the name judywiseart. I try to post every single day.

And in general I'm not teaching as often but I do have this one awesome workshop planned that will be held in Ireland. I'm welcoming YOU to join me there; it's going to be a deep inquiry into abstract painting and I'll make myself available there for guidance on everything I know about painting, studio practice, selling, etc. 

For prices and additional information please go here. I'm hoping some new and old friends will join me; I'm so looking forward to sharing my first trip to Ireland with you, to discovering Mulranny, and to experiencing EOM studios. 

That's the news from here, friends. Thank you as always for stopping by. 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Gentle May

Waiting for paint to dry on the rather large braced wood panel above. I'm always impatient to work once I get started but even acrylic takes some time to dry.

So I grabbed my phone and caught some of the May garden to share with you. Making good on my promise to revive this blog. There's always a lot going on in the studio and the yard.

These are the peppers hardening off in the protective cloche John has set up for them. Here they are protected from all shocks of light or temperature.

We have strawberries flowering all across the lawn where they have seeded themselves.

Ferns growing in the shady area under the big fig tree.

Some nice, rich, potting soil.

Purple Columbine. So pretty. Self seeded all over the yard. Pink, white, other colors too.

Lily of the Valley is showing her fragrant face.

My favorite flowers are scented. Daphne, Gardenia, Roses, Lilacs. 

The blueberry bushes were humming with fat bumblebees. They carried giant loads of pollen on their hind legs.

And aren't the white lanterns beautiful?

Leeks in the foreground and favas in the back.

Two varieties of grape. Concord on the left and Valiant on the right.
Very pretty espaliered.

Taters growing between alfalfa bricks. It takes 3 years for the alfalfa to break down and all the time it's doing so it's nourishing the soil.

Glorious fava beans. Oh, we eat good.

Various types of cabbages and brocolli nestled in the alfalfa bricks.

Dianthus (Carnations) in the foreground and onions behind.


Little peas getting a start up the strings. There's a screen propped up on the right for protection against sunburn and on the left is a rabbit fence. They dont eat the peas but for some reason bite the strings and leave the peas to fall on their faces. Bad rabbits!

These plants give us gigantic, juicy, blackberries. So good for breakfast with sliced mango.


Waiting their turn to be planted.

Swiss chard volunteer.

I forget the name of this little flower but love it for it's blue-ness.

Leeks and borage.

Lilacs as a gift from our daughter, Stephanie.

The garden is a gift to our spirits; to the birds, bees, wildlife and bellies. 

May your heart be full.