Wednesday, June 15, 2011


It is the full moon and it has me wanting to get into the paint. I haven't painted in a while (other than walls.) I have been too busy being a farmer lady. Spring sure has been a busy time here.

But I have been painting in my head... a painting of Earl, my donkey.

I took up painting in my early 30s. I had to paint. I couldn't get out all that was stirring inside of me, verbally, On some auto-pilot of knowing, I bought some paints.

This is my first painting, ever.

the tree

Objectively, or as objective as I can be 15 years later, I am going to take a deeper look.

Let's start with the paint. Obviously, the only paint colors I worked with were black and white. Colors would have been too brave a venture for me. If  I could have used only black, I probably would have at the time. It took me days and days to finish the painting. I was so stiff. It is a dark painting, as far as composition, but it still does have some light. The light source is not visible. There is no sun, no moon, but there is illuminated clouds by something. (My later spiritual paintings all seem to include a moon or a light.) Perhaps, at that time, I was holding out hope for hope. The light was there, even though I couldn't see it and even if I didn't call it light.

The ground cover in the painting is indiscriminate. I suppose it is a grass, but obviously it wasn't important at the time. Not much time was used to develop some sort of landscaping. Perhaps I looked down too much back then and it all was just a blur.

The subject was a tree. It was growing at some point. I am not sure if the tree was supposed to be alive or dead when I painted it. Obviously, it is broken. The severity of damage to the tree is extreme. Perhaps a lightning strike, or something that took the whole top trunk off. Something catastrophic happened. Again, I have no recollection. I am not sure if I was even feeling at the time. But the branches, there are many, and most are reaching up. I addition, I notice that the tree is not centered, between light and dark. It is off on the lighter side. Also, the sky takes up a larger area than the land. Broken tree under a big sky.

About the title, The Tree, I think what I would name it today: The Woman Broken.

I do remember when I was finished painting, I could not believe that I had painted this. I do remember that. I also remember staring at it for hours. I think a couple of people said to me, "I didn't know you could paint." I didn't either. It was quite a leap. I must have been at the brink of insanity to even try.

I could have also been on the cusp of bold. The Tree was the marker of the beginning. Like a landmark. I had just got into therapy and was ripping through my past and present. They were, of course, intertwined. I was in a very bad place. I was in a bad marriage. I won't go into detail about it, but it was as unhealthy as it gets.

I kept painting. After it was suggested that I paint "normal" things, I gave it a good shot. But it was disjointed and forced. I kept painting past the criticism. I painted through the ups and downs, my hand grasping the paintbrush like I was holding onto a ledge. If I let go, I would fall and die.

I painted about death, and of blood and of memories. Bad memories. I painted through the worst of times, I painted through therapy and group. I painted with other women, who were in different stages of life, but with similar bad memories. .

Once you know you are in a hole, it is your job on getting yourself out out. And so I began digging my way out of my hole. Not easy, but that is when the boldness kicked in. I made extreme changes. I found the light and I named it as such.

Before I go any further, I want to come back to tonight's full moon and to the paint. I am going to dig in again. But this time, I want to celebrate within my paintings. Yesterday, Chris from Grow Fish Eat made a comment;
"That last shot of Sling staring out of the window has a surreal look about it. Reminded me of some of Michael Sowa's paintings.."
He was talking about this picture:

the room upstairs

Of course, I do need to keep painting. And, I need to paint about now. This photo, and others like it here on my blog, pretty much capture my essence now. Living life as close to nature as I can, with a sense of purpose and humor.

I will loosen up my grip on that paintbrush this time 'round and add some color and flavor, and sprinkle a bit of whimsy. I had been thinking about different angles to paint Earl. A donkey painting is not anything what I would have painted before, with the exception of the below which is a rendition of my old cat Sage. It is a very folk art looking painting that I whipped up pretty fast. I didn't even finish it when it sold.

sage x 4

Why not? It doesn't have to be a masterpiece and it doesn't have to be my past, and it doesn't need to be so darn serious.

Yes, it is time to loosen my grip and paint with light. A light heart.

to be continued...



  1. Hi Crow

    Those paintings are wonderful, especially 'The Tree' which I find strangely beautiful.

    Clearly you're very talented. I look forward to seeing you new works.

    I think we all carry excess baggage to some degree or other, much of which we don't need to drag around with us. Taking a peek at your life through your blog and photos, I can see that you've carved yourself a little slice of heaven there.

    I truly envy you...

  2. Wow, The Tree is incredible! You're truly talented!

  3. I too have continued to think about that pig in the window. I imagine you painting it only with red and white. But how to keep it from turning out pink, which I think would ruin the mood.

    Your first painting of The Tree reminds me of

  4. So much of what I do these days is rooted in the past. Trying to discover old ways, remembering things long since forgotten. Often the now is overlooked. When I do take time to stop and be still, I am always amazed.
    Please do keep painting your present. It is beautiful.

  5. Chris, I will have to tell the story of how I manifested my dream. Thank you again for the inspiration. You never do know how long a kind word will travel.

    Thanks Lisa. I believe that everybody has an artist in them. We all at some point were all artists as children, then something came along and told us we were not. But it is there.

    Yes Sylvanna! I see red and white too. I will have to have my hand at it. Pink pig though! ;-)
    That is a crazy gorgeous tree. It is so obvious that the tree is pointing the way. I watched a really interesting show on Lewis and Clark. Perhaps it was on the history channel or PBS. But that tree does speak to their trailblazing. Maybe I was trailblazing in my own little way as well.

    Hi Jessica. So true, we carry what we have experienced and it brought us to right now. Living in the moment is so very precious. It is the recipe of a seasoned soul to come full circle and be present, to show up. Otherwise it is missed opportunities to savor and the little wonders.

    Thanks to you all. Time add some paint to the dirt under my fingernails. :-)

  6. Crow, I looove the tree. My first thought? That it was dawn and the lone tree had survived . .something. The clouds were breaking, not gathering.
    "Once you know you are in a hole, it is your job on getting yourself out out" Beautifully said.
    You inspire us all to "loosen our grip". I look forward to meeting Earl


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