April 16, 2014

no comments

Watercolor Wednesday ~ Dragon Incarnations

dragon watercolor

14″ sq. watercolor

Never laugh at live dragons ~j.r.r. tolkien


My son and his family are visiting this week  (with a flu I now have) so I thought I’d post the dragon painting I’m finally finishing.
It’s time {I think?} … I started it at least 5 years ago!!

And my oldest grandson thinks it’s “cool”!
{I think THAT’S pretty cool!}


Grandson & grandfather plowing fields

I am not a quick painter.
Finishing is never my ultimate goal as I wander blissfully thru my palette of countless hues.  I must “feel” it’s done from a spiritual perspective.  I find it difficult to know, to put a time frame around the process, until I see the completion has magically happened. It can never be forced.

When I reach a point of “not knowing”, I don’t look at the work for several weeks to years. One day I’ll feel inspired to pick it up again.

I’m not sure how productive this is but I’ve been doing it for decades so doubt I’ll be changing my eccentric ways.

Here are three incarnations of this painting, despite questionable photographic merits! There is a pinkish cast, a bluish cast and I’ve not got the foggiest reason why…


dragon watercolor

dragon beginning


dragon watercolor


“This of course is the way to talk to dragons, if you don’t want to reveal your proper name (which is wise), and don’t want to infuriate them by a flat refusal (which is also very wise). No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time to trying to understand it.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien “The Hobbit”


I will return next week to visit your blogs. I am not able to spend much time online right now and will then need a few days to rest over the weekend. I adore my family yet cannot keep up with them as much as I’d like. I accept that but the time I do have with them is precious. Thus they are my priority until they return home.


Animal House watercolor painting

April 11, 2014


An Old Wisteria and Spring



Nothing that you see here was planted. At least not by us. It was planted by the original homesteaders of this land over 120 years ago. Originally there was a farmhouse here on this little knoll behind our house. The wisteria wrapped around a porch that surrounded the front and side of the house. It was huge then and if I can locate an old photo we have, I will post it.

Wisteria Behind Oaks

Wisteria Behind Oaks

In addition to the wisteria, there are privet hedges still standing here and there, calla lilies, narcissus, naked lady lilies, many walnut, oak seedlings and huge trees. There used to be an entire orchard in the distant pasture but they’ve all fallen over in recent years, tho we do still see an apple on the old tree. I believe it’s called a “Lady Apple”. Years ago they were small but very sweet! And very buggy!

Wisteria + Trees

Wisteria + Trees

The tree which moves some to tears of joy 

is in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands in the way. 

Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, 

and by these I shall not regulate my proportions; 

and some scarce see Nature at all. 

But to the Eyes of the Man of Imagination, 

Nature is Imagination itself. 

~William Blake Offering of the Deepest Luscious Green of Early Spring

April 9, 2014


The Simple Life

trees at

fingers of trees

To find the universal elements enough

To find the air and the water exhilarating

To be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter

To be thrilled by the stars at night

To be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring…

These are some of the rewards of the simple life.
~ John Burroughs

With a planned visit from family over the coming week along with flu floating around, things seem a bit MORE than simple just now. Planning is hard to do, not knowing whether cooking for 3 or 9. It’s a rather sizable difference in the grocery bill! In other words, if the flu doesn’t take flight, we won’t need hot dogs and chips but rather OJ and applesauce. I suppose time will tell and I can stop “trying” to MAKE things happen when it’s humanly impossible to fix certain unpleasantries of life!

I think I’ll just take time to smell my roses that are starting to bloom in the courtyard… Even now they are gorgeous!

English Rose "Tamara"

English Rose “Tamara”

yellow roses in vase

Yellow English roses


Rose “Grenada”


April 7, 2014


Hummingbird Babies

hummingbird nest in my tree rose

Hummingbird nest in my tree rose

I introduce you to two new additions to the hummer family that lives in my courtyard. In case you can’t tell, and I can’t, there are two little feathered birds in there. The eggs were the size of jelly beans! I wrote about Hummer the ‘Hun’rieta here.

 I was worried because we had a few days of cold, wet weather. I thought perhaps they wouldn’t survive as I didn’t see the parents around during the storms.
But they had already flown the nest.

hummingbird babies in nest

2 hummingbird babies in nest

 I am now watching for them in the olive tree across the courtyard where Hunrieta always sits and squawks at me.

I hope I can get a picture of them now that they are a little cuter and much easier to get a photo of… Maybe!

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems. 

 ~Rainer Maria Rilke

hummingbird + English rose ©

hummingbird + English rose Charlotte

mustard plant

April 4, 2014


Photo Friday ~ Vineyard in Spring

vineyard spring

Vineyard Spring & Daffodils

 I saw this bright yellow bunch of something in the vineyard from my bedroom window. I didn’t know what it was.

It had been saved by the vineyard workers thus wasn’t mustard. Mustard is actually considered a weed.
It’s picturesque as long as you don’t care if it impacts the growth of your grapes.

mustard in napa

In many Napa(and some Sonoma) vineyards, you see row upon row of mustard this time of year, as if they are farming the stuff.
I assure you they’re not. Sometimes native California poppies and blue lupines are also planted so they all bloom at about the same time.

Mustard “looks” organic and is usually allowed to flourish for photos of wineries used in advertising and/or events. It can be horribly invasive!
It’s not a native plant but was purportedly planted by early Catholic missionaries in California so they had a path to follow southward again.


Another example of mustard yellow.

It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes. They are easily disillusioned and they are angry with you,
for it was the illusion they loved.

~ W. Somerset Maugham


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 637 other followers

%d bloggers like this: