london for two days

we were only in london briefly, but the highlights were this little market & festival happening in the streets, seeing joan miro’s retrospective exhibit at the tate, the spiciest, most incredible indian food i’ve ever tasted, and seeing the 25th birthday celebration of les mis at queens theater. amazing.

three days in florence

i have to say, this was the best surprise i could have asked for…i have wanted to go back for five years.

five years ago, david and i began dating…and two weeks later, i left for italy…for six months. i completely freaked out on him when he came to visit me in florence- i did. i panicked and ruined his trip. i’ll just say that. it didn’t faze him though. and despite my ridiculosity, i have a letter from him from every single day i was gone. five years later, i’m so thankful for this man…i couldn’t love anyone more.

for our two year anniversary, we spent it in firenze again. so much better this time…it was good.

i’ll be honest…there’s not much to tell…all we did was eat. our trip revolved around meals every. day.

i loved it all. we ate kebabs on the river across from piazza ognissanti, we went to art bar for raspberry mojitos, we ate at buca del orafo, had balsamic steaks at la giostra, and went to ciro & sons.  we had cappuccinos every morning. we packed bread, prosciutto, cheese, & wine and hiked for four hours through the countryside to have a picnic on a bridge. and we managed to squeeze in gelato every day.

the important things. we had priorities &  successfully got them done.

i love you david. happy anniversary! thank you for loving me so well.

ps. 139:14

some good friends of mine commissioned this drawing last month in anticipation of their first baby, who was born three days ago. she arrived healthy, perfect, and so precious…wonderfully made. this is one of her first pieces of art…can you believe they did that? i want to do that for my first baby.

someday.

what they know: their drawing is finished.

what i know: it had an insanely rough start.

what they know: they have a new baby & they love her!!

what i know: this drawing was so worth it once i got my brain in gear & past the start.

after mess-ups (of course. does that sound familiar? commissions. always. are hard.), ending with melt-downs or paper shredded or pulling out my hair, i did what i ought to have done from the start. i got a membership to the public library.

and two hours and ten books on starfish later, i came home and read about every kind there is. and then began.

and i’ve loved it all.

it’s no good drawing from an illustration or drawing: mistake number one. that’s what i started out doing & seeing as paper ended in shreds…i had no luck. i thought, using the examples they’d sent at the start, i could use my imagination to create something different, but with the same gist, that worked. that’s lazy & i was so wrong. i needed to see these invertebrates up close & study them before i could wrap my mind around them & draw.

once i found starfish i really loved & had researched them, the freedom to create a compositional space & take liberties came back easily.

using charcoal oil pencil on a thick fabriano paper, i did my best to create a vintage, textbook drawing of these sea stars that feels like it came from an old science book page. the letters below were carefully drawn & not traced, in a vintage typewriter font, which took awhile, but was worth it to me.

this drawing was so refreshing to be working on while simultaneously working on larger paintings. i feel like always, i am stretched & challenged as i go from painting to drawing & this time was no different…i took away many new things.

ps. 139:14   ::   10″ x 14″     (charcoal oil pencil on paper)   ::   sold

random, simple & good.

the past few weeks have been such good ones…and full of many great things.

like garden salads that we grew ourselves…totally simple, but good.

working with the windows open & enjoying the cool breeze & glorious sun.

my thyme…beautiful. and when the afternoon light pours through…it’s one happy place to be in our house & i love being there.

these paints alone make me love everything about life. they’re like butter…just with poppy oil & pigment instead.

flowers that make me wish i could be a color. i would be the pincushion protea.

besides these beauties, getting to see & hug on good friends, having family visit & celebrating my precious husband’s birthday made my month.

life is good.

and i’m so thankful for these small things.

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fresh-squeezed lemonade

Just had the pleasure of meeting Sophie and Jackson this afternoon on our walk to the post office! They’re offering fresh lemonade for 50 cents, just a few blocks from us, on the corner of Main St. and Alexander. The lemonade was awesome, and even cooler still: they’re giving all their proceeds to the food pantry here. So if you happen to be parched and in need of something to drink, go and meet them! and get a great cup of fresh lemonade.

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