My Family.

Oliver Finn Harry 2014 2-001The-Collins-2014-188The-Collins-2014-203-1The-Collins-2014-190The-Collins-2014-196oliver finn harry laughingThe-Collins-2014-205This weekend we stayed with the Collins family in Arch Cape on the Oregon Coast. The extended family had some photos taken by Portland based Kristine Ridley. We took the opportunity to have some romantic pictures of Beau and I taken. I never think to plan for this type of thing so it was lovely to have it land in my lap!  (We haven’t had any of just the two of us since our wedding!) I LOVE how they turned out.  The boys were being complete crazies that day so I opted out of photos with  them, but when we got home they were all in such a happy mood, tan, and sparkling I sat them down on Finn’s bed and promised them pop corn if we took a good one.  (I also went cross eyed and said “fart” a few times). I am so over the moon delighted with the shining souls I get to be with every day. All of my boys are treasures, each their own shade of gem.

Happy September!


Sun Prints

img_7188img_7183img_7186 img_7176img_7176-002When I was a kid we made sun prints simply by putting leaves on construction paper and leaving them in the sun all day.  Now you can buy special paper that works in five minutes.  The kit we got had a bunch of photo sensitive sheets in a blackout envelope, and a piece of plexiglass to hold the flowers down.  After five minutes in the sun the sheet turns white, while the shadows remain dark, then you wet the sheet and wait for everything to develop. It was so fun to pick out all the different fronds and fuzz from our garden with the boys. And they were so giddy waiting to see what kind of shadows they made, and delighted when the paper changed color! I think I may have had more fun than the kids with these…I even tried to get a spider web on one, but all I got was a squished spider.  Ha!img_7157

You can find sun prints on Amazon.

I really believe that sometimes life imitates art. Certainly we see the world around us and create beauty on the page from the files in our brains. But sometimes I think a wish and hope can be whispered into our creations that God presses into the universe, and it in return calls to us, pulling us with invisible threads until we can be taught. I painted this painting with hardly any idea of what it would end up as. I like to let the paint tell me what it wants to do. Sometimes I sit and let words come to me without trying to think very hard about what I’m saying. Poetry from my subconscious. A painting can certainly feel like poetry to me. So I don’t know if it was the sea calling me, those great monolith rocks surging up from the deep, or if I was the one who tethered them with my strings and pulled myself to them. But I found myself there with the kindreds this past weekend. 20140731-112555-41155158.jpg20140731-112554-41154410.jpg20140731-112555-41155559.jpg20140731-112738-41258807.jpgI added the stars on this last one because you can’t capture them with a phone. I saw a bright blue shooting star that night! Someday I want to go back and camp and watch the Milky Way sink into the sea. The stars are incredible out there!



Well, I was going to make double poppy seed packets for all my friends, but somebody wanted the opium in my pods. Ripped all my plants right out of my front yard! What a strange and vexing violation!

Oh well! The above is a painting I did while they were blooming. (It’s peonies and poppies) I never actually painted a double poppy though. I should! And here are a few shots of the poppies themselves :)

20140716-094721-35241696.jpg20140716-095509-35709871.jpgI got a temporary bottle of pink dye for the tips of my hair so I could match them!20140716-094721-35241409.jpg20140716-094721-35241994.jpg20140716-094723-35243127.jpg20140716-094722-35242715.jpgThis was the last one!20140716-095001-35401678.jpg

Seeds and paints.

20140715-091109-33069003.jpgI have a canvas of earth and a garden in my heart ready to unfold its bright swirling petals. I love how we have been infused with the seeds inside to create beauty, and the tools to make our visions bloom. This has been a season of petals and stamens and color for me. I breathe and sleep their tufted forms. And I watch them burst forth along my front path and up from my water color paper. The earth returns my love to me, and as always, there are surprises and delights even I could not imagine. A gift for my faith in tending a seed, and inspiration for another jewel toned painting. 20140715-091108-33068698.jpg

Dark Underground Cities

By Mary Oliver

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

The other day Joey read this poem by Mary Oliver to me while we sat in the Horticultural Center’s garden. I was swept into it as she read. I immediately wanted to paint the ants. It was the prettiest, most exotic description of a bug I usually have a strong distaste for! I love finding beautiful ways to look at things we are frightened of.

Here is Joey in the garden. Aren’t those poppies amazing!?