Painting for Cheer in Mud Season

Here have some flowers. Patience matters is all I can say about this.

After thinking about the demos of sheep painting (and a different teacher’s reminder that people in paintings can start with a carrot shape) I gave these a try and as you can tell wasn’t quite patient enough in terms of adding background etc. Oh well, still ok with it.

and of course, from the quote box, a reminder to take the time to look:

Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time. It is the strange knock at the door, the sudden sight of an unceremoniously blooming flower, an afternoon in the yard, a day of riding the midtown bus. Just to see. Just to notice. Just to be there. — Joan Chittister

Today I took a side road, and frankly after all these years I should know better than to take a side road on a gloriously WARM February day – I was lucky to arrive home with wheels and axles intact – and yet for all the tricky driving I was glad to have views like this. Thank you, who ever took the time to put up a snow fence and a red one at that! Thank you.

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Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

Report from Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Where the heck did she go, you might be asking yourself. I asked myself that quite a bit. After heading out from the workshop, heading down through Betwys y Coed, lunch at the Ugly House and all… I spent a lot of my time on the road wondering where I was. I finally caught on that roads were only marked with route numbers at intersections. I knew I didn’t want to be just then in Powys. I knew I wanted to go south along one road towards Aberystwyth in hopes of going to the National Library. Well after spending quite a bit of time “enjoying the landscape” I did end up in Aberystwyth in a total gridlock which diverted me. I finally ended up back on the right road towards my next stop but it was clearly going to be dark when I got there.

There was white stuff on the ground at one point while I was driving and I knew it was hail but I counted it as winter-y driving anyway. Oh, and some places here they tell you the percentage grade if it’s ten percent or higher… say… I don’t know twelve or seventeen percent…

I thrashed around and finally the shepherd’s hut owner mercifully met me out on the road. Got myself settled and had no problems sleeping that night for sure!

Next day I decided maybe I needed not to thrash around for a day. I knew I could make it to Lampeter and was pretty sure I could find the Quilt Centre. I went, turned up and found a grocery store. It had a post office – they know everything I figure so I bought a stamp and asked – oh yeah – just up the street – about a ten minute walk, you can leave your car here. And if you’re hungry there’s a cafe right next door, quite good. Not driving sounded great so I rearranged my stuff and headed off.

At the Quilt Centre, the wonderful Jen Jones said – oh, the exhibit just closed… (sadness) but the person who was supposed to help take it down hasn’t come yet so I don’t see why you can’t go in. She was the only one in the shop so she showed me around and said she’d check back. Oh my – what a blessing to have squeaked in to see those quilts.

More to come – photos uploading and it’s going to take awhile. I think this will take you to the start of the most recent. I’m doing them in chunks.

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Caemes Bay and Llanfechell and Standing Stones!

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I did a lot of driving around today. As Marge warned me – easier with other cars to follow. Only had one dicey moment but nothing too hairy. Many of the roads I was on today were one car wide and if you met another, someone had to find a place to pull over. My right hand keeps wanting to shift at all the right moments but my left hand is catching on.

Why was I driving around? well, to see stuff of course! This area is full of places to see, the ocean, sheep… a lot of sheep, a lot of wind turbines aka windmills.

There are a lot of public walks here and I knew there was at least one to get to where I needed to go. I looked in the general area and just didn’t know so I regrouped, went back, found the one I wanted AND a very nice young man answered my question (is this it?) and got me started. Amazing. I am never afraid to ask a question and I am always gratified by the people who help me.

My boots and my car, both a wee bit muddy. Well, the boots… muddy and… did I mention all the sheep and cattle? Well then. Having a bit of a rest up and then looking forward to dinner and another good night’s rest.

For the Quote Box, Yeats

Hope and Memory have one daughter and her name is Art, and she has built her dwelling far from the desperate field where men hang out their garments upon forked boughs to be banners of battle. O beloved daughter of Hope and Memory, be with me for a little.

1893

William Butler Yeats. The Celtic Twilight.

Follow the Heron Home

In darkness we cradled our sorrow
And stoked all our fires with fear
Now these bones that lie empty and hollow
Are ready for gladness to cheer.

(Chorus) By night and day we’ll sport and we’ll play
And delight as the dawn dances over the bay
Sleep blows the breath of the morning away
And we follow the heron home.

— Karine Polwart

and from the quote box just now:

It is often wonderful how putting down on paper a clear statement of a case helps one to see, not perhaps the way out, but the way in. — Arthur Christopher Benson

What I Did Today

Got to work too early so I sat in my car and admired the really big gulls up on the mall roof for a little bit and when that had gone on too long I did this:

Not sure why the gnome looks so crazy-eyed. Looks like he’s coming home with a bag of stuff after a wild night out.