Entries Tagged as 'Main'

2016, here and gone

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Celebration

The Celebration

48″ x 60″

2016 brought unexpected gifts and losses. Perhaps trying to absorb it all, I recently returned to an old theme–trees losing leaves, somehow at the height of their beauty.

So here’s to all that’s come and gone this year, from the blue blazes of grief to the joys that endure.

Happy New Year!

Sweetwater Light

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sweetwater Light, 48×60″

Our near brush with Hurricane Matthew in Gainesville, FL ushered in the fall. Besides the cooler weather, I love this time of year for the light–broody and golden at once. Soon, it might even be cool enough for a midday visit to Sweetwater Wetlands Park.

Dry Gardens

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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Dry Garden, 48 x 48″

After an extremely busy Spring at work and exciting changes on the home front, I return to the blog to realize that it’s still alive, if not rather dry. This is fitting given my latest pieces–more cacti gardens.

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Cacti, 20 x 30″

Though I’ve been absent from the blog, I have been working on a book about the personal aspects of being a counselor. It’s slow growing, like a cactus, and when life heats up, I neglect to water it. Still, the book keeps reserving me a seat at the writers’ table, even when I refuse to sit down.

Perhaps what is meant for us waits for us.

Speaking of writing, I did recently publish a piece about counseling. If interested, you can read it here.



The Dry Spell

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Dry Spell

The Dry Spell

36″ x 48″

I’ve been painting succulents lately. Succulents are draught-resistant plants whose fleshy tissues are fat with water. I love their funky shapes and their metaphoric humor for surviving the dry spells of our own lives.

Succulent Spring

Monday, February 22, 2016

These are sweet days amidst the blink of North Florida spring. For me, it’s been a weekend of yoga and thrift shopping, cooking and house cleaning, connecting with friends and painting–in other words, taking a sort of impeccable care of myself, which is easier at some times than others.

Succulent Spring

Today, after a week of this painting not coming easily, my friend Katie dropped by for a visit. “Any new paintings?” she asked innocently.  I hedged. “There’s something, but it’s really weird. I know it’s bad, but I don’t know what to do.”

“Let me see,” Katie said, and I let her, because she’s a painter too, and has a great sense of design, and a knack for seeing what’s good in my work and helping me bring it along–all without judgement.

“Oh,” she laughed, “it is weird.”

“I wanna abandon it,” I whined. She looked awhile and said, “You know, I really like the plant shapes. They remind me of succulents. Why don’t you just go crazy on it with some more shapes and see what happens?”

So I did, and yippee, it’s done.

I know this because now when I look at it, it brings me delight, not distress.

Thank you, Katie!

Simple little ones

Sunday, February 14, 2016


It’s a sweet inward time for me right now: I’ve been reading about and meditating on simplicity, clearing my closets and drawers of the non-essentials and saying no to social opportunities to create more quiet opportunities to care for myself and work on my art. Saying no–well really, no thanks–is initially awkward but ultimately liberating. Here are a few recent small works inspired by the local Gainesville, FL Sweetwater Wetlands Park.





Exploring the Wetlands

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Sweetwater (2)

48 x 60″

The new year is here, and with it I’ve been feeling the need to challenge myself at the canvas, to venture into unexplored territory, to make marks that are looser, forms that are more ambiguous. In this spirit, I’ve started a new series of paintings inspired by Sweetwater Wetlands Park in SW Gainesville, FL.

I’ve always been taken with the area wetlands and prairies, and have written before about how intimidated I feel when I consider painting these landscapes–so much information, and no clue where to start or how to proceed.

Yet for me, the best part about painting has always been the exhilaration of being somewhere new in my work, and finding my way into and through it.

So here are my first two wetlands paintings of the new year. I hope you have a wonderful 2016, and wish you fun, creative challenges of your own choosing, too.

Sweetwater (1)

Sweetwater (1)

60 x 72″



Sunday, December 6, 2015


Birds are overtaking the submerged path. It’s noisy in there, messy, and kind of dear.


Like all of us, I suppose, when we get down to it.

Birds (detail)


As Brian Andreas says, “The hardest thing is to listen well enough to quit worrying about dying.”

I hope you are listening well, and enjoying your own mess, noise, and dearness.



(p.s. If you didn’t see it on Facebook, I recently published a piece about loneliness and some of my experiences in Cuba. You can read it here.)

Just today

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jackson’s Forest (detail)

The news media and Facebook tell me the world is broken, to pray for the brokenness of the world.

I am reading Mary Oliver’s Felicity (2015), a tender and remarkable collection of love poems to her life partner-lover, and to the trees, rivers, and change.

I am loverless–for how long who knows–but autumn is here, at least a little, and the yoga is good. There is chocolate and my new bicycle daring me to go anywhere, especially around the block at dusk. And those miracle friendships that endure whether I’m in love or not.

I am painting again, too, a childlike painting with colorful trees and chubby birds, in honor of my infant nephew Jackson, his innocence and simple delight.

In her famous poem The Summer Day,  Oliver says she doesn’t know what a prayer is, but she does know how to pay attention. I am paying attention. Which may be a form of prayer. Which may be a hint about how to love and how to tend the brokenness, in the world and in ourselves.

Everything That Was Broken

(by Mary Oliver, from Felicity)

Everything that was broken has

forgotten its brokenness. I live

now in a sky-house, through every

window the sun. Also your presence.

Our touching, our stories.  Earthy

and holy both. How can this be, but

it is. Every day has something in

it whose name is Forever.

Submerged Path

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wet Prairie Grass

5′ x 6′

On my last two visits to Payne’s Prairie, the path was submerged, and I couldn’t walk as planned.

Sometimes the way forward, however attractive, is temporarily blocked.

This painting may or may not be done. I like it, but it’s flooded with information. I can’t decide if it’s passable or not.

Perhaps I’ll give it space and return. Perhaps then I can paint in a way that clears the path.

But then again, perhaps the painting is finished: Messy, complicated, and temporarily unpassable.

Like it or not, sometimes life is, too.

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