Thursday, December 23, 2010

Away in a Manager

Away in a Manager

The little wooly sheep in this nativity scene belonged to my husband's great grandfather. Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus belonged to his grandmother.  One year we made the little A frame and other animals wandered into the collection.  I remember little hands that use to often rearrange the crowd of adoring animals.  I enjoyed unwrapping these but  wondered where I could place them.  I decided if they were on the wooden tray I could scoop them all up at once when room is needed for a guest.  Tonight they were like another plate on the table...and for me it was a  feast for eye and heart.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas, it's not all sleigh bells in the snow...

While I was doodling on the Paint Program on my computer tonight, this otter  decorated with starfish
floated up to help me wish my readers a joyous time of Christmas preparation.

And various thoughts floated up too...the last weekend before the 25th is often a time of pressure for many people, last minute shopping in the crowds and bad traffic in harsh weather raises the pulse of many....makes it hard to stay focused on what is really important, on the people we love and want to bless.  How to remember not to fuss about details if it is going to cause more tension than joy?

I saw a  few televised clips of Americans in the military who are serving abroad, away from their  families and our homeland this holiday season.  While their families will miss them and they will miss holiday sharing, gifts and decorations, food and parties,  hopefully they won't miss out on being remembered, appreciated, and prayed for.  And I thought too of those who have died in service this last year...Christmas is for you too.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Music, Music Music....

In the morning:
 It's a Saturday morning.  Does thinking it, saying it, writing it, deepen the impression, the preciousness of it?
Does documenting that there is morning light on the wings of a white bird over the waters of the Pacific, that the horizon has a low quilted band of gray soft  clouds and the waters that have already melted in the morning's sun are floating  up into the short blue waves of a promising sky....does that deepen the impression for me?  It is Saturday. Yes.

Our first practice....

We are practicing music much lately. It is hard to describe the mix of music...a group of people centered around an oud player... lots of original compositions from  the oudist and the guitarist...
The violin player studies Egyptian style.  I am playing my flute.  A lovely keyboardist came to practice  the other night...I hope she will come back.  We are in preparation for a December 15th event...more on that later. 
                                                                     The Afternoon:
I have soup  in the crock pot and we ate broccoli for lunch...trying to eat like grown ups once in a while to not let  too many of the Christmas sweets that keep appearing here and there  take control of us. 

We practiced at home this morn but will leave soon.  At home, we had  some of our  music taped to the hearth.  The black-eyed-Susan  is blooming  along the stairs to the laundry room.  I picked a bouquet of that today and hung some cedar boughs with red ribbon.  Pretty heavy level of decorating...huh?  But imagine how the two kitties would  enjoy swatting anything new in the room.  All ornaments would be considered for their amusement.  Trees surround us outside and they are hung with cones and birds and lichen knit right there in their limbs.

 Time to go!     Happy Saturday afternoon and evening to you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Always Expose for the Shadows of the Subject

"Always expose for the shadows of the subject..."   so says my 1948 focal guide retrieved from storage a few weeks ago.  Somehow the advice suggests other connotations....the realms of metaphor... " always expose for the shadow of the subject."

The other day  it was the Walter T. Foster painting book, Seapower that got me thinking this way.
I had looked at the  10" x 14" teaching book  with absolutely no intentions of trying to paint the ocean or the cliffs I live above and yet I

enjoyed perusing the step by step paintings and the tips and clues to doing the same.
"If you continually think in large masses of light and shadow ..."    "Always think and paint the large masses first..."   "...pick out the lighting...then you will know exactly where you are going."
  So if you know where the light emanates from, you will know where you are going; that makes more than sense to me.

Later in the day, out and about on the land,  I found  the painting advice impacting how I saw the ocean waves, the light on the rocks, the blue of the sky.  Lessons for painters are first and foremost, lessons for the eye.

Writers must see carefully too and one's eye must be attuned to many realms.  It's good to be able to see one's own framework of understanding, to filter the light from the dark.  Every heart frames reality in its own terms, its own limits.  To have an impact it needn't be large, but there must be an intersection with other frames of reality other than one's own.

I look at the sea.  Clouds are stretched like peach tinged taffy along the horizon. Light is scattered across the waters so white and shimmering  in areas that the eye can barely absorb the beauty without reflexively looking away.   I can change my visual perspective and for a moment the waters in front of me appear like a bowl, but I know the horizon is distance beyond my scope.

There's a boat out there carrying its own reality across the waters, but to me it is little more than a dark speck.  We are often in each other's view, but seeing eye to eye, well the eyes and the heart can take a lot training. 

Such are the topics that have been on my mind lately.  You might enjoy the essay I  wrote this week and posted on Write Purpose  "Why We do the Things We Do "

Now that I have read  my old focal guide, I want to see if I can translate it to my digital camera.   My  notes to my self need to say.."Always be aware of your tendency to just point and shoot on automatic..."   and of course that too has metaphorical implications; I'm not just talking about taking pictures.