“Crutches.” 6×12 Oil on Panel $150.
Archive for March, 2012
So I really loved tea and cookies, and my snack cupboard, but I’m not a fan of mango. Everyone is always a little surprised, because there were great huge mangoes in Africa and everyone else was thrilled.
“Mango.” 4×4 Oil on Panel $110.
*By the way, Mt. Agou is the highest mountain in Togo at 986 meters.
Our school secretary, Beth, always came up with a way to make the meeting special. Sometimes we’d have ice cream, or she’d bake a cake, and she always set the table with pretty things. We had a few of these silver bowls floating around leftover from the glory days of elegant cruising. Beth used one to hold sugar for our tea.
A few weeks ago, I got an email offering me one of those silver bowls and couldn’t reply fast enough. My friend Warrie sent me a few mementos and pieces from the ship, and when the box arrived I felt like I was holding a bit of home. So of course, I made a cup of tea.
“Silver Bowl.” 6×6 Oil on Panel $130.
Now the story:
Each year, we spent 8-10 months in West Africa, then sailed to Europe to resupply the ship. I always took this chance to resupply my snack cupboard too.
A few weeks ago, my friend Annette handed me a treasure. It was a Hanuta bar that she brought back from her trip to Germany. Suddenly, I was right back on that ship again. Good memories.
“Stocking up.” 6×6 Oil on Panel $120.
That ship that we lived on was an old Italian cruise ship. It was built in 1951 and filled with marvelous details and bits of beauty.
So much of it reminded me of “An Affair to Remember.” You could totally imagine Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant waltzing in one of the lounges.
That ship is full of stories. A glamorous cruise ship during the golden age of travel, she sailed between Europe and Asia– even appearing in a Tintin comic– before she was abandoned when cruising went out of style. She was resurrected and became a hospital ship for another 30 years. She was finally retired in 2007, and all these details are lost. Except in memories.
“Details.” 6×12 Oil on Panel $130.
Leap in to new things.
I made this available to my email subscribers on Leap Day, but now I’m releasing this to the wide world!
Today’s the day. Starting right now, you can pre-order my newest creation.
Beauty Everywhere. (My book!)
I’ll ship them out to you later this spring, but because this is a limited edition item, I wanted you to have the opportunity to reserve yours now.
Beauty Everywhere is a delightful collection. Measuring 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches, every page is printed in full color with a flip out easel back, so you can display it wherever you need a little more beauty in your life. Each one will be signed and numbered by me.
Most of those 51 countries that I dreamed of in 2nd grade were seen by sea.
For nearly five years, Chris and I lived onboard a hospital ship based primarily in West Africa. That ship shaped me as a person and an artist. It was amazing.
But it was also stressful. Working in intense conditions and sharing 12 washers and dryers with 400 other people made life complicated sometimes. And it was a little hard to find personal space. But I was lucky–just outside my classroom was a quiet area of aft deck that most people forgot about.
There was one particulary challenging school year while we were in Liberia. After a rough day, I’d go out and sit on deck to watch the waves. The mooring ropes would creak as the ship moved against the dock. It was always warm, and occasionally there was a very large jellyfish (I named him Norman) below in the water.
Even though that ship is long gone, sometimes when I’m having a rough day, I can put myself right back on that deck. And it’s a comfort.
“Solace.” 6×8 Oil on Panel $120.
When I was in second grade, I got a globe for Christmas.
I spent hours on the floor of my bedroom spinning the globe, closing my eyes and putting my finger down wherever it stopped.
Then I’d look up the country in my World Book Encyclopedia (I was a total nerd) and decide if I wanted to visit when I grew up.
I made a list but never let it get longer than 10. Because who could imagine visiting more than 10 countries? I never thought it would happen.
It’s a good thing our lives turn out better than we imagined them in second grade, because I’ve been to 51 countries– which makes me feel very lucky, but still doesn’t seem like that many.
As I write this, on the bulletin board above my desk is a list of places I haven’t yet been, but still want to go. Chile, New Zealand, India, Russia, Italy and Antarctica. And these are all places I learned about from spinning that globe.
“Spin.” 12×12 Oil on Panel $360.
I have a confession.
In college, I delivered pizza for a very long six months. I learned a lot about food and life by knocking on doors with a large flat box in my hand.
But one of my favorite deliveries was always just down the street. About once a week, employees of a certain burger joint down the street would order a pizza, and when I delivered it, I got french fries as a tip.
It was a fair trade. They were sick of burgers and I was sick of pizza. Those were the days when the 99¢ value menu was expensive for me, so those fries were a big tip.
“Tips.” 8×6 Oil on Panel $140.
Jolyn is one of my favorite people. We were knitting together yesterday, and she told me the best story. We were talking about how I’ve never regretted being brave. She said that she had.
She was 8 and known in her family for not being very brave, when her family took a trip to the zoo. Her brother was making fun of her because she was afraid to feed the animals.
So she worked up her courage, bought a bag of food, and walked over to a giraffe. She held up her hands in trepidation and the giraffe took all the food in one big slurp. She looked up and was just feeling proud of herself, when the giraffe finished chewing and promptly spit right on to her face.
“Regrets.” 8×8 Oil on Panel $180.