Sunday, December 21, 2014



I read something interesting last night...apparently some people  experience psychological lows during the winter solstice. Huh. 

The more I process this, the more sense it makes. I have ALWAYS felt very low spirits this time of the year. I try to plow through with my normal good humor, but it is more usual for me to dissolve into tears at the sounds of traditional seasonal songs. I always thought it was Christmas that depressed me. But if the full moon can affect me as strongly as it does, it's only logical that the long nights of the solstice can too...If I feel a darkness of the soul during the darkest days of winter, it could be simply the way I react to the seasonal change. OK, I can deal with that.

...I am a creature of the light. 

Monday, November 17, 2014


...I feel a sea change coming. It is an unsettled feeling. A wary and uncertain feeling. I am out of balance, low in spirit, off the path, and adrift. I sense the turning of the giant gear, teeth catching in endless cycles, relentlessly obeying the laws of Universe.  

I have always had a happy soul. I am cheerful in my work. I am energized by change, and my strength lies in my ability to evolve. I love helping people. 
I know there is a light...I can't see it just now.

I am praying for my friend Ruth tonight. She has lost her son Doug to cancer. Words are not enough to heal that kind of loss. 

...Ruth you are well loved...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

...small successes are OK for now....

"1960~Baby Artist"

Recently I was approached via email by a woman from New York City. She was a marketing coordinator for a gallery in Chelsea. She told me that she had viewed my art work on my website and wanted me to consider presenting my portfolio if I was interested in gallery representation. She asked if I was interested in more information, of course I said yes.

The lure is cast:
The information that she sent me was beautiful. It was professional, glossy, contemporary--   in short-everything I would expect from a NYC gallery. Artists dream (in full blown color, exaggerated details and even scents) of such an opportunity. The ultimate goal is to reach that level of gallery representation. If I could find gallery representation in some major cities, then I could possibly, just possibly achieve that ultimate goal. To be able to paint full time, to make a living with  my art...that one thing that I have been told my entire life that could not be done. 
An unbelievably lofty goal.

My EGO engages:
"Wow, Wendy," it says to me. "I told you your work was good enough!" it sings. My extraordinary imagination begins to see myself greeting people in NYC, with my paintings hanging on perfectly lit pristine wall spaces. Of course the paintings glow with rich colors and textures, causing masses of New Yorkers to stop and stare in rapture....

Then reality thunks me in the head:
"We ask that artists read the FAQ section before submitting your portfolio: We offer a few representation options, starting from $3850, which can be paid in six installments of $710 each...." 

It says in fine print "That which appears too good to be true, usually is..." (this common sense comes to me in my mother's voice and refers to everything from interesting men, to low fat ice cream.)  

Reality is saying to me:


Saturday, August 30, 2014

...did you know....?

  HEEEEEERE's Lucy!!!!

Today, this blog received it's 10,000th page view!!!

....speechless...   :o)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

...oasis in the woods...

I watched a young doe approach the water bucket under the deck this evening. 

It was about 6:30 and still very bright. It was obviously very difficult for her to overcome her fears, she must have been so thirsty. I first noticed her coming downhill as she was still 50 feet away. I heard her snort twice. She may have smelled the dogs in the front yard, or she may have sensed me watching her. 

She took three nervous steps and froze. She lifted her feet high and placed them quietly. 

Then her long ears twitched front, back, side to side. A vulture settled to roost in one of the tallest pines making a feathery flapping racket. This sound was expected. Familiar. No worry there. Then she turned back and looked hard at the windows off the deck. 
It was me who made her delicate legs tremble. 

She took two high steps. Standing for several tense moments, she listened and taste the air. Closer she crept and closer. She needed the water badly. I could almost feel her thirst.

I left the window then, knowing that it would be calming if I was not standing watching her, and I wanted her to drink her water. I have been thirsty, even knowing that it was a simple thing for me to find water. How challenging for the woodland beings who struggle through the hot dry season. Ponds and nearby creek-beds are long dry, driving them to travel long thirsty distances along known game trails, crossing well travelled roads until the intoxicating scent of water entices them to risk goat-cleared hillsides, forcing them to brave the dangers of dogs and hunter-humans.

Many evenings I hear the deer drinking from the water bucket. They walk so quietly, that I would never know they were there, except the cats alert me. Then I hear their soft sipping noises as they quench their thirst. Their drinking sounds just the same as my goats. 
Many mornings when I do my early chores, I notice that leftover alfalfa from the previous day is gone like magic. 

I know better than to purposely feed them. This leads predators in to wait. This leads to hunters shooting between buildings to poach, and it leads to dangerous confrontations between farm folk and deer who have lost respect for them. 

I can't help but be glad that they find the water here that they so badly need for their survival.

...Autumn is nearing...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

...Stockton Art League demo this evening...

It has been a LONG time since I demonstrated for a group. I am truly looking forward to my visit to the Stockton Art League tonight. They are an awesome group of art enthusiasts, and I feel a connection to them, even though I have only met them recently. How nice for me to be invited to share! 

We are going to talk about trees. LOTS of trees. Such a simple thing really, but very important to my art and what makes me tick. My goal is to share my respect and passion for my subject matter, inspire some to try, and sprinkle everything with fun!!

...aiming to inspire...

Monday, July 7, 2014 notes....

 "Relax, Cowboy"

It's time for Amador County fair entries again and I am entering five paintings this year. 
This cowboy is going :) My camera discovered him at last year's fair, ladies, I do not know him. 
It is a lot of fun to show in our local fair. I know many of the artists and enjoy seeing what everyone has entered. Our county has done such an excellent job of preserving that small country fair feeling.
Two of my most recent paintings "Sunlit Vines and "Jackson Butte" will not be in the fair this year. They have the honor of hanging in the 
Haggin Museum in Stockton for the National Show there. I will post more information about that soon.
I'm so excited to see that show!!

For now, I am working to finish three paintings before the fair. Yes, I can do that.

...feeling special ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Sunlit Vines"

Today, I took the day off to go to Roseville for my six month oncology appointment. My last bout with cancer was in 2008, and I am still seeing the doctors every six months. I am doing well. There is still a tiny spot on one side of my neck, and although it has grown very slightly, we are watching it carefully.  I have the highest confidence in my doctors. I have GREAT energy, and my over-all health is excellent. 

So, this morning before my appointment, after enjoying my coffee on the deck, I had a moment of clarity. My weight is up a little, and my knees were feeling a little achy. 
"Hmmm," I said to myself. "I know that I have to get my weight down and KEEP it down. It is important that I do everything that I can to promote wellness. I know that I feel better when I exercise, so what am I waiting for?" I got up, went in and pulled on my shoes and walked for 1/2 hour. It was a great start! (Where are you, Dawn when I need a walking partner? ;)

So I have a new and important goal--get up an hour earlier EVERY morning and exercise. I LOVE the cool mornings, love nature, and l know it will make me feel better. 

...feeling very grateful... ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2014 lessons....

This painting is untitled...still searching for just the right one...

Yesterday, I had a firm reminder of what I was not. I am almost sure that it was not intentional. But it made me think about and reaffirm for myself all the things that I am: 

I am quick thinking and bright.
I am energized by constant change.
I am kind and thoughtful~open minded.... 
I am a versatile artist driven to create.
I am fascinated with Nature...and am knowledgeable in the life sciences--biology, botany, physiology...ask me to identify your tree or shrub, ask me how to grow it, and tell you what is eating it.
I have a great job that I do very well and am richly rewarded for. 
I am deeply spiritual.

I have the courage to confront and shoot a lion, or to hold your hand while you are dying. 

I may not be a philosopher or a physics major, but I do have an interest in those things.
Never think that because I choose to be kind that I am weak or stupid. strength will surprise you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

...everyday miracles...

This morning I woke early. 6:30 am.  Multiple rooster syndrome...but then the sun rose and just look at the view out my kitchen window!!! That is my garden with lilacs and lady banks roses in full bloom, and the plant in the wine barrel is Japanese kerria....


This wily hen thinks if she doesn't move we won't see her.

The scents of lilacs and roses mingle with a hint of cedar. The light angles in, spearing through the trunks of oaks, lighting patches of tiny wildflowers and tufts of grass. 
As I walk the hill with my goats, my heart fills with the songs of birds. 
I count the yellow dog-tooth violets as a meditation.
This is where I worship. 
Peace fills my soul.

...there is magic here....

Saturday, March 1, 2014

...rainy day...

This morning I woke to rain. The sound of droplets softly falling on my roof, the wind buffeting the branches of the tall tree above, sending the scent of cedar swirling...all cause for celebration.
My warm nest of quilts held me down, a comforting weight. Drifting out of dreams, I feel a sense of contentment.  "My forest will drink deeply today," I think.

Later, preparing for my workday, I enjoyed some music, setting my player in the window ledge.  The window was open just a little, letting in the rain-washed air. A songbird perched in the cedar branches sang along in his elegant voice....

...welcome rain! 

Monday, February 3, 2014



The dogs and I had hiked up the hill behind the cabin on a day of sunshine after a snowstorm. 
The air was crisp and cold, and the rising sun shot slanting rays of brilliance through wintry branches to cast sparkling crystals across the snow. 
Where the light hit a fence post, a puff of steam could be seen. The prints left by our feet were periwinkle blue.
It was magical.
I love snow.  I love living where snow falls. I love how all sound is muffled, almost as if in reverence.  I love the crunch my boots make...and I love to lick the fluffiest bits off the ends of cedar branches.

...a walk in winter is good for the soul...

This painting will be entered in the 2014 Lodi Spring Art Show in April.
Giclee prints are available.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

My friends and family really like this Tuscan Vegetable soup. I made this for the first time when my good friends Dawnia and Ruth were coming to visit. It was an invention of necessity, since I was forced to use ingredients that I had on hand.  Over the years, this recipe has changed a bit, to adjust to my changing dietary habits, but the flavor is still just as delicious, and healthier.  
Gluten and dairy free...

1 package Tuscan-style frozen veggies
1 package frozen artichoke hearts
1 can beans (I like cannellini or kidney)
I can diced tomatoes
1 onion chopped
minced garlic to taste
mushrooms, sliced
1 quart chicken broth (I bottled my own ;)
1 tablespoon Tuscan Salt (found at Andre's in Amador City --YUM!)

In my large crock pot, I pour in the chicken broth, add in the frozen veggies, the artichokes, the beans and tomatoes, and turn it on high. In a pan on the stove, I saute my onions and garlic and mushrooms until the onions are clear and start to caramelize, then I add them to the crock....and simmer until it smells so delicious you can't wait another minute!

This is hearty, satisfying and delicious served by itself. 
Or, serve it over a bowl of fresh pasta with Parmesan cheese grated over the top, with a fresh slice of Andrea's sourdough. 

...Tuscan Veggie Soup...served at FiddleSong Farm today...:)