Watercolor Journal – Day 19

Demo #1

“I paint what I see, what my eyes perceive and not necessarily what is really there.”

The above is a quote by Julie Gilbert Pollard. She paints with oils, acrylics, and watercolors. In the 36th issue of “The Art of Watercolor,” a highly valued publication from France, she authored a demo of the images I practiced. This has been a fun project and opened a new space in my (h)art for color.

Demo # 2
This is a full journal view.

This is what I see when I open my watercolor journal to this latest painting. The color bar on the right is a sample of colors I chose and one I could use as I made my way through the exercise.

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Watercolor Journaling – Day 18

A watercolor journal is a place to practice techniques, write personal notes, create perfect paintings, or feel free to do whatever comes to mind and heart. This entry was a practice piece that my inner critic has decided needs a second chance. Be well, be safe, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Art isn’t always perfect – or even close.

Watercolor Journaling – Day 17

Ghost Piano Arriving From the Past

Abstract of Foggy Sunny Morning on Grand Piano

It all started for me when I was in the 7th grade (1950) when my parents gave me an Acrostic spinet piano. Now, jump forward to about 2014. My little senior friend had grown old and was literally falling apart. It had moved with me too many times over the last 50, plus, years. My granddaughters inherited it, and I set out in search of another small piano. I turned to Bend’s only piano shop with disappointing results, and eventually ended up in the shop’s warehouse with the owner. There were no decent smaller pianos there either, so as a last ditch effort he unveiled a medium size grand. He placed himself at the keyboard and proceeded to play. The sound was beautiful, and other than it’s dark (black) finish in need of a little touch up it was tempting – and inexpensive. After days of deliberation and obsession, I decided to take it. The cleaning fee was reasonable, and it would be two weeks until it would be delivered.

Delivery day finally arrived, and when the movers brought it through the door the dull black piano I had purchased shown bright like a mirror in the sun. It had transformed to a highly polished cherry wood jewel. Its renewal was stunning, and I fell madly in love with it. The only slight dissonance here is that I am far from an accomplished pianist who should rate a grand piano. For example, this afternoon it took me about 15 minutes to plunk my way through a very simplified version of “Ode to Joy.” But never mind, there is an understory to my evolutionary rambling about my piano. It’s the best part and surfaced in researching the history of this instrument. I found that its manufacturing date was the month of January, and the year was 1939. This is so fine: January is my birth month and 1939 is my birth year. She’s a Kimberly, by brand, and it feels like I’ve found a long lost twin sister. Finally, I’m no longer an only child. Obviously I still get mushy over small and grand things.

Watercolor Journaling – Day 16

Time to switch to another journal. This one is handmade and larger than the previous one. The stitch that’s binding the pages together is called a “coptic stitch.” It’s complicated, for me, but it allows the pages to open out flat so that a painting stretch across both pages for a single image. I secured the waxed twine with clear packing tape, presenting quite a challenge to paint over the slick surface of the tape…or not.

After moving to town and away from the mountain trails I walked for 18 years, Isabella, my white chow, and I resorted to lower ground. This is a likeness of a place we often visited where the mountains were visible and the weeds prolific. There was a trail that paralleled the one we usually took, and often a little coyote would walk along beside us on its own path. It was no threat to us. In fact it felt like a little friend and seemed as if it was saying, “Hello, good to see you again.” The journal is made of 140 lb. watercolor paper painted with watercolor and pastels.

Watercolor Journaling – Day 14

Abstract collage on paper.

Still making art under the influence of Richard Powers, I looked him up on YouTube last night and found the most delightful and meaningful conversation with Richard Powers, “The Overstory,” Terry Tempest Williams, “A Voice in the Wilderness,” and Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass. These authors are prolific writers with many other books to their credit. The discussion I found was presented at Harvard University. I do want the Earth to know that I am happy to be here where the seen and the unseen mingle in full co-operation with one another. Awesome!

Watercolor Journaling – Day 8

My “go – to” book of the year. It’s deep and brilliantly written.

These next posts are a series inspired by Richard Powers, “The Overstory.” Still sad about having to leave the mountains, Power’s brilliant novel using trees as some of the main characters touched me and shown light on the fact that change is the “forever” that is forever.

Watercolor Journaling – Day 7


Something inside me
constantly bleeds toward god. 

That's why I keep writing,
slipping messages under the door.

Marrow of Flame: Poems of the Spiritual Journey
Dorothy Walters

Dorothy Walters, the author of the opening poem, is a retired, professor of English Literature.

She taught mostly throughout the mid west, but I had the pleasure of getting to know her while I was attending University of Creation Spiritually in Oakland CA. I have to tell you, Dorothy is an authentic delight, brilliant, deep, and one who carries her joy on both her insides and out. She is round. And she laughs about her roundness equating her expansion to the expansion of the Universe. Early this morning while reading her poetry and thinking of her beautiful mind, it came to me that she is a human mirror of one unit of a Mandelbrot Set. I imagined the infinitely regenerating fractals as maps from her mind and heart. She has a power of thought that reveals a whole world of sacred treasures that are formed in her poetry. (If you’re not familiar with a Mandelbrot Set and fractals it is worth looking them up and watching the “dance.” This dance is in and all around us. (Try YouTube.) I’m sure you will be reading more of Dorothy’s poetry on my future blog posts. Be extra safe, and thank you for checking todays post.

Mandelbrot Set. Watch these in motion. Dorothy’s body and head I imagined. The light around the set reveals the light that surrounds her in real life.