Sunday, January 14, 2018


Plant Growing in the Desert
I am halfway though my month in Tucson and I am still very much enjoying my time here. My house feels more like home every day rather than just a place I visit. I managed to make a small piece of art yesterday. You can see the effect that the desert colors are having already.

I have been reading, relaxing, meeting new people, riding my bike, napping, and doing lots of walking.

Last night I had the opportunity to look through a high powered telescope! That was something I had never done before. It was really enjoyable and I learned so much about space and the stars from a professional astronomer.

The best part about being here is that I am not waiting. Back east I am in a holding pattern where I am just waiting, waiting, waiting. That is no way to live. My art helps me keep the waiting at bay somewhat,  but mostly I am waiting when I am there. Waiting to be able to finish packing, waiting to sell the condo, waiting to finally make the last trip out here with no return flight needed. It is very hard for me as I am not a patient person and have already had to wait too long. Three years is a long time to live in a holding pattern and not a very healthy way to live either.

But it is hopefully coming soon.

Friday, January 5, 2018


Studio View
The end of my first week alone out here in Tucson and I do feel as though I have died and gone to heaven. Every day is my own to do with as I please. Hiking, biking, walking at dinner time. Every so often I need to pinch myself! Seriously!

The weather has been sublime. 70's every day. The birds are singing away!

My 13 boxes arrived pretty much unscathed. Although there were two containers of paint that spilled. It was my own fault really for not making sure the lids were on tight enough. I need to make sure I do that when I ship out the rest of my paints. But other than that, everything arrived safely via UPS. It is a really great way to move if you don't have furniture!

The only thing I find stressful is driving out here. It is not fun. And I am a Boston driver! But the roads are very wide and there is more room for accidents! I am not used to having that much space to make a left hand turn. There are not one but two lanes for left hand turns. It is pretty stressful. Some left turns have arrows before the green light and some after the green light. Some have no arrows at all and then it is a free for all. Up here in the foothills traffic is pretty light but past River Road it gets a little crazy!

Luckily I live very close to Whole Foods and Bashas but Trader Joe's is a little too far. I haven't driven there yet and probably won't. Whole Foods and Bashas will be good enough for me!

One thing I need to remember is to bring my shopping list with me whenever I go out since making multiple trips out for groceries as I do in Brookline, does not make sense here.

I have to admit that I have not done much painting since being here. I have however, hung a lot of my art on the walls and they really look wonderful! Some of my older collage works look fantastic. I had forgotten about those pieces as they were buried under all the other more recent art.

I always want to be outside walking, hiking, and biking. Being inside even to paint is not appealing right now. I will have plenty of time to paint when I have to leave here so I am focusing on getting much needed fresh air and exercise.

I am also eating mostly vegetarian here. I can't do that when I am cooking for my family as they don't eat vegetables. They would be looking for the "meat"

Love, from sunny Arizona!

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Trilogy #7
In exactly 8 days it will be 2018. This will be the year that I finally get my life back. It seems so hard to believe after 18 years of anything but that.

I am out in Arizona now and I am staying for the month of January. I plan to use this time to recover, heal, make some new art and mostly just be. I will see what it is like to only have to care for myself. I will see what it is like to only have to cook for myself.  These are all things that many of my friends take for granted. I will never take these things for granted. Ever.

We both arrived Friday. We left a day early due to the big ice storm that hit Boston. We wanted to get out before it hit. We were glad we did even though it cost us so much extra to change the tickets. I will be so glad when I don't have to fly so much anymore. Especially in winter. The trip out here is becoming more and more difficult for me physically. In fact, my leg went numb for the entire day yesterday and I was quite worried that I had a clot or something. But it is much better today thankfully.

When I am finally living out here permanently in June, I will be sure to only visit the east coast during the summer months. I will never  have to travel on school vacation ever again.

I shipped out 13 boxes of art supplies before I left Boston. I paid an extra 30 dollars to have UPS come and pick them up as they were quite heavy. They are due to arrive on Friday, December 29th. So far so good. I am tracking their progress and they are currently in Illinois. I love being able to track packages and know exactly when they will be delivered.

My first few days whenever I arrive are always spent just absorbing my home. Walking around, touching things. Making sure they are real and that it is not a dream. When I am back in Boston I sometimes feel that this is just a dream. And that I will never get here. At my age you can't take anything for granted.

It is funny, but, many people do not understand why we love it here so much. My answer is, I don't really know. Yes, summer is unbearable. No, there isn't much rain. Yes, it is mostly brown with olive greens. Yes, there are scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, mountain lions, etc.

But love it I do. I hope to live out the rest of my life here.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Trilogy #1

Trilogy #2
After so many years of painting (over 40 now), you would think that I had heard of most everything painting related. But that is not the case. I recently learned of a man named Anders Zorn (look him up). He developed a palette which has been named after him called the Zorn Palette.

What is the Zorn Palette you might ask? Well, it consists of only 4 colors. Well three really plus white. The colors are Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red light and Titanium White. I didn't have Ivory Black though. Apparently Golden Paints does on carry that color in their line. I will look around to see if another company makes it in acrylic. So I used Carbon Black instead. Unfortunately with other blacks you do not get the blue hue that you get from mixing Ivory Black with White. So I need to find that color.

Anders Zorn mostly painted portraits and his colors were very subdued due to the subject matter. I am quite interested in this palette for more abstracted works. The ones you see above were done entirely in the Zorn Palette. I love the way the colors all work together. They are both intense and subtle without being too colorful. I am feeling quite resistant lately to too much color. I am finding it confusing and I am not too sure what that is all about. I will follow it though since I an finding it interesting and inspiring.

On another note, it snowed here yesterday. I really am not happy when it snows. I find it difficult navigating the city sidewalks and I am always afraid of falling. So I don't go out as much as I should. Looking forward to Arizona where there is no snow.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


The Short Night
This week we hit a milestone. My grandson turned 18. Nothing much changes quite yet but it is still huge for me. It means I am no longer his legal guardian. I can now go back to being just a grandmother.  I can leave if I want to. I can move. Of course I won't until he graduates. But still. I am leaving for a month in January. That will be good for him. He needs to learn to live without me always being there and doing everything for him.

Yesterday we went to the bank and set him up with his own accounts. That was pretty huge. I will no longer have to be responsible for his money.

I will continue to keep him on my cell phone account and if he needs any financial help I can help a little. In other words, I am not just throwing him to the wind. I will have his back until he no longer needs my help.

I am looking forward to being out in Arizona for the entire month of January. It will make the winter not seem so relentless. I am going to see an old friend who is coming to visit me there. She retired many years ago to Colorado and we haven't seen each other in a very long time. I am looking forward to that!

Also, my aunt from CA and my cousin are coming out to see me as well. I expect to do some artwork, and continue setting up my studio out there.

It will be really nice to have that time all to myself. When you have a spouse and you are raising children or a grandchild, there isn't much time alone. As an artist I crave it. I have to steal the time to paint in between grocery shopping, meal prep, etc. I am always cooking but I don't always enjoy it. I would much rather be in my studio painting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Square Abstraction
Whenever I first sit down to paint, I make these painted strips from the cut ends of the paper I am using which is 9" x 12". I like to paint in a square so these ends measure 3" x 9". 

Sometimes I will paint 3 or four of them at a time to test out a new color palette. So the other day I was playing with them as though they were a puzzle and this is what I came up with. I adhered them to another piece of paper which did not work so well.  It caused the paper to warp even though I thought it was sturdy. I think if I do more of these I will need to adhere them to a cradled panel. I think they have great potential as a series. I enjoy painting these strips and I find sometimes that they are more successful than an entire painting. It is worth investigating.

Here are a few examples of the strips:

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Ethan and Troy

Well here we are. Thanksgiving is over and we are fast forwarding to the end of another year. Frankly, I hate to wish my life away but it can't come soon enough for me. 2018 will be the year we finally move to our new home in Arizona. It has been too long in coming.

For Thanksgiving we went down to visit my son and his family and meet our new grandchild, Troy. It was so lovely and wonderful and it made me forget for a moment just how hard things have been for all of us. Just seeing my son and his growing family gave me so much joy, I was near bursting. We have all had a hard road to deal with over the past 18 years. So to see him with a lovely family now, and dogs and a house was just, well, fantastic. He made us a lovely holiday dinner and we all took turns holding the baby. Even my grandson took a turn holding the baby and it made quite a wonderful picture as you can see in the above photo.

There are 18 years exactly between them as Ethan will be 18 in 6 days. It is hard for me to believe that he is so grown up.  He now has an after school job at Trader Joe's and seems to enjoy that very much.

Painting is still eluding me pretty much. But that is going to have to be OK for now.

I am doing a lot of resting as I have been quite exhausted lately. In fact yesterday I spent the entire day in bed. Reading, napping and watching a movie called "The Minimalists". Honestly, I love the idea of being a "minimalist" but most of the people they interviewed were (a) young  (b) single  (c) no children. I feel like once you have children minimalism is a non starter frankly. Minimalism is either for the young or the very old when you have to get rid of stuff so you can fit in your room at the nursing home.......

Have a great week!