Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday stroll

Its Sunday afternoon, the temperature is 31 degrees, the sun is out and its time for a walk.  

Today I am going to stroll through Saint Joe's campus.  This is always a very relaxing walk, unless the weather does not cooperate.  But today it is clear and not really too cold as I am dressed from head to toe in down.

The first thing I come upon is an old friend who was an old oak tree not so long ago but is now a pile of huge logs waiting for I don't know what on the Barnes property on Lapsley Lane.

On to St. Joe's.

This building which was once a stable now has 'Honors Program' over its door.  It makes me want to take an honors program in something or other just to go inside and be cosseted in quiet contemplation of greater truths.  As I wonder off I am lost in wondering what subject to choose.

The quiet order of these spaces creates a very receptive mood and everything feels beautiful.

The very blue sky makes the orange smoke stack sing a warm tune.

The stately old buildings nestle into the giant old trees as if they had grown there.

 Back on Latches Lane the elaborate gate of the Barnes says, "Nothing doing here".  But that old lovely building is still there waiting for some meaningful use.

....and then I'm home again, thoroughly refreshed and soothed by my very familiar old neighborhood.  I lived a lot of places before I moved to Latches Lane but I am very grateful to have been here for 43 years.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What's going on?

If you have not been reading my posts, ( I don't blame you I seldom read things without pictures or paintings either ) you are probably wondering where the paintings are.  Well I am working on a book in collaboration with someone else who does not want me to talk about the book.  Mysterious isn't it?  So I can't share the illustrations as they are created.  Meanwhile, in order to keep in touch, I am just going to share my daily visual activities in hopes that they will give you as much pleasure as they give me.

Out again with my iPhone I caught this lovely bark.   Inside this exuberant plant basking in the sun.

Monday, January 12, 2015


We had a couple of really cold days, but the sun was out creating those beautiful blue shadows that I love so much - especially from my warm room inside.  I did venture out to add to my mulch pile.  While I was there I got a  shot of the blueness with my new iPhone.    When I came in I was greeted with this beautiful begonia in the sun made even more delightful because I was warm again.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


This morning I got this post from Altoon Sultan's blog.  Beautiful pictures of Maine in the snow and this poem from John Updike one of my favorite authors.   It is REALLY cold there.
by John Updike 

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dreaming of Summer

I should, I think, embrace the cold as a welcome hiatus in the relentless exuberance of the natural world, always thrusting and growing.
But I really don't.  Instead I pine for summer.  Some tea in the garden with friends or family dinner at the picnic tables.  The snow is happy to gather there instead.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New project

I won't be posting paintings for a while as I am working on writing and illustrating a children's book with a friend.  I will tell you all about it when it is finished.  In the meantime today I walked to the library to pick up some books to do research for the book.  How lucky I am to be within easy walking distance of a library!
It was snowing and on the way through my neighbor's yard I spotted a slightly mangy young fox.  We eyed each other and moved on.  I hope he or she makes it through the winter.  I also hope my dogs don't catch the mange from the fox in the area.  It is an ugly harsh disease.
Without sun, snow has little to offer in the way of saturated color, but there are some nice subtleties in the dark greens and tans.  The light snow coming down was a slice of something softly dreamlike.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Fresh Start

Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

It is really just another Thursday morning but because we count and measure our lives and have done so for centuries it is also the first day of a new year.  I thought this painting of a leaf of Swiss Chard braving the snow was a fitting symbol for the day.  To be outside in the winter on the coldest days is a small act of courage, unless you are a child, and then you hardly notice until the blue night begins to creep under your hat and through your mittens and you know it is time to go home.
I plan to don my warmest gear and head out for a bracing walk on this cold day to celebrate still being alive in 2015.  The sun is out and it looks like a good day for hop scotch!