I walk the same beach twice a month when I'm on the island, scanning for beached birds. My dog scans for otter scat. Just over the bleached logs in this image is an otter ... den? holt? stinky spot? ... anyway, it is often inhabited. What fascinates me more than the redolence is how dark the forest seems compared to the brilliant gray light of the beach (grey light? Yes! This is the Pacific Northwest, after all. The light is like the pearly nacre of an oyster shell, most of the time).
For an ad commissioned by a friend. The goddess is Avalokitesvara, who is male in some traditions and female in the tradition that Dharmagiri Sangha follows. In the final version, I made her skin color darker. I'm not sure what I think about that. Do we change longstanding traditions if they are ridiculously not inclusive? Or do we forge on into the future, resolving to be more sensitive, and leave the artifacts of the past as a lesson?
I felt similarly when I visited several sites where the Berlin Wall had been. All traces were gone (though there are some places where it has been preserved). Is it more or less likely that we will repeat old mistakes if we erase all evidence of them?
Don't even get me started about what appears in history textbooks.
Yggdrasil is the World Tree of Norse Mythology, containing the nine worlds. There is an eagle at the top, and a snake at the bottom. Two stags eat the leaves, a squirrel runs between the eagle and the snake carrying gossip. Many other features of the tree came to light as I learned more about it, but my version of it is designed to use the fabrics that Astri and I have both used, and reflect the color schemes in her house. I asked her friends to do a bit of work on it too, and then sign the back. I think there are about 40 signatures now, but we can add more over the years. The quilting is not nearly done.
Spending a few weeks in Norway to help my dear friend celebrate her 50th. Here we are in Numedal, and if you want pastoral, this is the place. Wildflowers, meadows, forests, cows. Also mosquitoes.
There is something comforting about this tree. I listened to Michelle Obama's "Becoming" while painting it, which seemed about right.
My colleague turned "The Phantom Tollbooth" into a play suitable for our eight 1st - 6th grade students. I got a bunch of cardboard and canvas and put the kids to painting sets and props. We were trying for a sort of early 1900's nursery tale book look. The kid who played Milo is in 3rd grade and did a fantastic job.
We put on two plays a year, an all-encompassing process i highly recommend.