Every Day in May—EDM #105 Scissors

Day 5 of the challenge—Scissors. I have way more than I need—hoarding? Most of these brightly colored handle scissors are in drawers, in the kitchen, my studio space, the hall cabinet, the bathroom and my bedside table. They are all more dull than sharp. There is only one pair in my "scissor collection" that is razor sharp for when I need to cut fabric. The rest I use to cut anything from paper to plastic to pruning plants and flowers to occasionally cutting wire.

My father is a bit of an "Orchidholic" and they are in full bloom in the garden right now. It is sunny and warm here in the San Francisco Bay Area so I enjoyed a few minutes last evening sketching in the garden.

I bought some Schmincke watercolors the other day and tried them for the first time on this little geranium painting out in the garden. They seem to be more opaque than the Daniel Smith and Holbien watercolors I started to use when I taught myself how to use watercolors several years ago. Wonderfully bright colors so I will continue to explore and develop the technique for this brand...hopefully...

Every Day in May—EDM #104 Salt & Pepper shakers

Day 4 of the Every Day in May challenge. Hand crafted salt and pepper grinders filled with sea salt and fresh pepper grounds.

"I'm out here having fun in that warm California sun" and visiting my parents in the house I grew up in the foothills behind Stanford University. After a long snowy winter in Maine with lots of work travel up and down the east coast, it is nice to just stop for awhile and enjoy some time with my family, visit with old friends and sketch and draw again. Hopefully I will shed another layer of sadness.

My mom watching Dancing with the Stars after starting her day at the dog park, an hour at the gym, shoe shopping with me, Jeopardy, dinner and a glass or two of Charles Shaw Chardonnay with my father and I. At $1.99 a bottle it is lovingly known as Two Buck Chuck and they have cases of it stacked up like cord wood in the garage.
And speaking of the garage. There are shopping bags filled with tennis balls lined up next to the work bench. Seems as though my father takes his walks past the Swim and Tennis Club we belonged to when we were kids. He starting picking up the tennis balls along the way and took them home and tossed them in a bag. Now there are 5 bags!!! I always ask why, we then discuss as to what to do with them and then we all walk away. Must be part of my inheritence. Jerry always said I get my hoarding tendancies from my father...sounds about right.

Every Day in May—EDM #103 exercise equipment

Day 3 of the Every Day in May challenge. 2011 unfolded far from what I had planed and I could not imagine the rocky path I had suddenly stumbled on to. A friend suggested yoga for a way to cope with all the change happening in my life. So off I went to try hot power yoga at a new studio nearby. It has been a lifesaver both physically and mentally. I am a total addict. I am a yogi. So when I am not traveling for my consulting job, I am taking yoga classes. The combination of breathing which clears your head of clutter, the powerful poses that create long lean muscles and focusing on your core that makes you strong. I can now hold "crow" (shown above) for over 15-20 long as I don't forget to breathe...

"I breathe in what I want and need and breathe out what I don't need anymore"

Every Day in May—EDM #101 a bar of soap

After a long time of working through the sad days that crippled my creativity, I decided to take action to get back into doing what I used to love. Not having done much drawing and painting in almost two months, I am quite out of practice and I knew the longer time drifted the worse it was getting both in my head and what was coming out on paper. So the "Every Day in May/EDM" challenge sounded like just the kick in the butt I needed to jump start my creativity and get me sketching again. Besides, I am going to Lisbon in July for the Urban Sketchers Symposium and I need to get in sketching shape.

I did manage a quick sketch of my friend Mary's mother Julie, on Easter Sunday, and realized how much I love to draw, but it just wasn't enough . So here I go, a drawing every day for the next month...

Wish me luck

The leaves are turning

The brilliant colors of fall foliage have finally come to us in Southern Maine. The mountains are past peak and the leaves are probably off the trees. Around Portland about 50% of the leaves have turned. Fall foliage is one of those things in nature that is so beautiful, but so fleeting. One minute the leaves are just turning and then they are gone—it makes me sad. I sometimes have to remind myself to stop and look, so I will really see.

Getting to know my garden

I own an old Victorian house that was built in 1890. It sits along a street of old victorians with panoramic views of Portland, Maine. It is a two unit house and we are renovating the downstairs. This renovation is taking time away from any drawing or painting because I am at either at Lowes looking at lighting and paint colors or online investigating cabinets. I did this quick sketch of the sweet little garden at the end of the driveway, while waiting for the plumber.

Chasing the Giant Trevally

Jerry has just left with a friend on a guided "catch and release" fishing trip for Giant Trevally. They will fish off a beach in Sumbawa, which is two islands west of Bali in the Indonesian archipelago. To get there they will take a short flight to Lombok, a ferry to Sumbawa and then a five hour 4 X 4 ride on dirt roads to a remote beach where they will have to walk over rocky coral in hard-sole diving boots to get to where they will surf cast for these huge fighting fish. Bug spray and SPF 50 sun block are a must and then there is sleeping in the jungle. Clearly not my kind of holiday!

So I am here in beautiful Bali, where today, at 5 AM I was awakened by the loud grinding sound of the fogging trucks, roaring up and down the streets of Sanur spraying some ungodly chemical into the air to kill mosquitos. I grabbed the cat and hide under the covers to wait for the blue-gray fog to dissipate. The first time I experienced this, I was so freaked out that I couldn't stop talking about it that morning at the Kalimantan. They all looked at me and with such concern Muni said "Ya, bagus, it kills mosquito so no Dengue fever"—DENGUE FEVER!?! And then a giant 2" cockroach scampered across the floor...

Pura Luhar Ulu Watu

A Balinese sea temple built in the 11th century. It is located at the southern most tip of Bali and is perched atop sheer cliffs that drop down to the pounding sea. Monkeys run free and will take whatever they can rip from your body—hats, sunglasses, jewelry etc. This monkey and his family were sitting in a tree on the edge of the cliffs. Ulu Watu is a destination for surfers from around the world.