Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


February 7th, 2017

The Moon


When I was three and you were thirty three we walked hand in hand down the red dirt lane towards our little white cottage accompanied by 10,000 crickets, an equal number of lightening bugs and a fat Georgia moon.  I drew your attention to the fact that the moon was going with us on our walk but you said that wasn’t so.  With my sharp eyes I could see you were wrong and said so!  “Look!” I exclaimed, pointing my tiny finger at the irrefutable empirical evidence.  But you said, “It just looks that way.  If we stop the moon will stop, too.”  And so it did.  I remember being disappointed with the disillusionment.  However, looking back through many years now I recognize several salient points of that tender memory.  You were honest with me and chose not to condescend.  Calmly you told the truth which was respectful of me and you gave me credit that I could absorb that information.  You presented the facts and treated me as a thinking, reasoning person despite my very young age.  I also see in that little episode something I have appreciated all my life  – that being your patient quality in teaching.  Invariably you would present a bit of information for me to chew on and when I had that piece digested you would add another bit.  You always had this easy teaching progression.  And looking back fondly on this lovely memory I recognize another something which makes me smile.  My guess is that walking a small child through the summer moonlight was a pleasant way for you to go slowly and do little.  This was always a gift of yours – your calm, slow nature.  Too bad, Daddy, you left this old world without being able to teach more of us that delightful way of living.

Two Love Affairs – Mother’s Day

May 9th, 2015

My parents each had long love affairs during their marriage. My question is when did Mama find the time and when did Daddy get the gumption?

Mama seemed the human manifestation of perpetual motion. She tended an acre garden with neat straight rows of vigorously growing vegetable of glorious hues. She gathered bushels and bushels of harvest all during the long growing season and set to canning and preserving. We kids were served a hearty breakfast, handed a bag lunch for school and came home to a fine supper the table covered with vegetable dishes from that which had been in the dirt that morning.

Mama was busy. She:

ironed all the clothes, many of which she made;

kept the house spic and span;

planted an orchard and kept the fruit trees in good trim;

was president of the PTA;

hosted dinner parties, bridge parties, cocktail parties with lots of dancing;

mowed the lawn – half the eight acres was grass;

held my horses for endless hours at horse shows;

built my barn, with a hand saw as my sister recently reminded me;

baked a cake for the neighbor down the road whose wife had died;

taught tennis lessons on our clay court.

In the meantime my southern through and through father had chosen well his life’s mate, the dairy farm girl with German staunch. Daddy was the softer side of life. He enjoyed a toddy of the evening. He was a little dreamy. He found his true peace after we four rambunctious kids had finally vacated the premises. We were like that room covered in ping pong balls balanced on mouse traps. Remember that image? I think it was Walt Disney who dropped the single ping pong ball into the middle of the room covered by the primed mouse traps.

Daddy liked reciting poetry, sitting quietly, musing…the stuff of an artistic nature. I’ve heard that Einstein created out a similar interior space. Daddy invented things. I’d tell him, “Daddy you could make a million dollars with that!” But that would be too concrete, too effortful. He liked the creative part.

We had a little run about we’d take to Alatoona Lake for water skiing and swimming. Daddy drove the boat while we took turns skiing. Mama could take off from shore on a slalom ski. SHE WAS AWESOME! We spent all day roasting under the Georgia sun. Two days later our skin would erupt into chains of bubbles and we kids would compete who could peal the longest piece of intact sloughed skin.

My mother ran the show and Daddy made it fun with his calm, accepting and humorous wisdom. They had a wonderful marriage. Both had long love affairs. Sixty-six years their love affairs lasted – with each other.

A look forward

August 9th, 2014

once-upon-a-timeTwenty some years age I painted a large oil in blues and creams of a beautiful chestnut horse with a lady riding side-saddle. I painted quickly spurred on by fear and curiosity. Would it be successful? What would it look like? I loved the painting.

Just recently I realized that early effort reflected much of my inner self. After all these years I’ve come full circle to recognize that what I appreciated in that painting can now guide and inspire my future work. How rewarding it is that now I want to look to my own work rather than to all the masters I’ve studied through the years.

What I see in that piece is rhythm, an interesting composition, lovely color, large passages and shapes, some subtle and delicate paint. And there is a story. The girl is comfortable, confident, relaxed; the horse is submissive, quiet, trusting. The horse and girl are effortlessly connected. The painting appears to have been executed with joy. Without too much detail there is, to me, an elegant simplicity which supports the mood of the piece.

I am pleased to see this work with fresh eyes and to finally understand why it has remained one of my favorite images.

The Naming of My Studio

July 31st, 2014

“Mill Creek Studio” seems the perfect name for my work space. The last week has been particularly pleasant for painting outside. Our log cabin has a covered porch which faces Mill Creek and in this latter part of July I’ve been painting on the porch with the creek gurgling in my ear. Our property has a couple of acres of undeveloped low land which the animals make their own.

This morning we caught sight of a mink, (a small sabel colored and very shy creature). This spring we saw a mink carrying in its mouth little fish and other fresh water treasures to its den for the babies. Ducks and geese raise their young on our property and teach them the water ways coming and going from the ponds to the creek. I feed the geese corn while they are nesting and then later when their goslings join in hungrily. Our trees are full of birds which noisily vie for their “neck of the woods” – busy all day from first light till dark.

I am so grateful for the wilds of Pennsylvania including our own little patch of it. I grew up in the country and since my tiniest childhood have had an affinity for the wild things. Nature holds a large swath of my best self. Many of my paintings depict animals and I believe my love and respect for nature and the creatures who dwell there comes through my work.

So Mill Creek Studio it is!