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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.



Filtering by Category: "painting love"



I finished her this morning.  Actually, I was close, so close late last night, painting with the windows open to the dark.  I brought her downstairs and hung her on the bedroom wall, facing the end of the bed, because when a painting is this close, I like to sleep with it close by.
When thunder shook the house in the wee hours and lightning blazed right through my eyelids, I awoke to the sound of a torrential downpour.  In the hazy black of night the owl glowed softly, just enough for me to sit up and make out her outline.  I felt safe.  Held.  Communal.
I'm still working on the official words for this painting, this Homage (for a great many of my paintings I like to write story-titles, a bit of poetic prose that serves as companion for the paint, as another doorway in which to enter a the painting), but I want to tell you some of the raw, perhaps unraveling, untidied thoughts behind it.  
It starts with this: we're moving, again.  Back north by the end of August.  We've known the move was eminent for months, and while it is deeply bitter-sweet, I can not deny that I know this chapter of life is drawing to a close.  So for months now I've been soaking up the land, willing my cerebral cortex to perfectly imprint the shape of every hillside, the bend of these redwoods in the wind, the scent of this dirt, the sound of this particular mix of flyers, the color of my river at sunset.  I've been promising to never forget, and offering thanks after thanks for all this land has gifted me.  It has been my place of healing, a place of quiet, of deep breath, of salt and tears and emotional stretch-marks.  It has been a refuge.  
But still.  I know in my bones, the time has come to leave the nest.  
So this painting, like so much of the work I've been creating through of late, is my small offering of gratitude to the land which has cradled me so well.
Tonight I know I'll sleep deeply under her guardian gaze.

(acrylic on canvas, 3' x 5')
(please please click on the image above - it will take you to my flickr page wherein you will be able to see this image MUCH larger!)

The Natives... part two


The Natives: American Robin
6" x 6"
Watercolor on Arches Cotton Rag
(A continuation of "The Natives" series, original painting in the shop now) 

I love working in a series.  There is something about pushing an idea, keeping it rolling around, that allows a full exploration of thought.  I also love robins.  I've watched the robins here fatten up like thanksgiving turkeys on the bounty of winter worms.  They scoot about on the muddy hillside, half a wriggler hanging from their beak, chests puffed and bright as if to say "I don't need your silly seed.  I can take care of myself, thank you very much!  But please, do keep the rains coming, ok?"

Truly it's a wonder I get anything done at all, what with the wildlife entertainment here!

The Natives


The Natives: the California Quail and the Dark-Eyed Junco
6" x 6"
Watercolor on Arches Cotton Rag

It's the wildest thing:
We meet eyes.  They give me a wink.  And I know we are made of the same stuff: stardust, fern spores, redwood decay, salt air, limestone, blue sunrises and golden sunsets with a tiny pinch of silt from the crush of tectonic plates.
* * *

(A new mini series of watercolors)
(in the shop now...)

A Fondness


In the name of seeking joy, I painted a small tribute piece to the feathered finch of my daily delight.
A Fondness
A Fondness
5"x7" Watercolor on 100% cotton Arches watercolor paper

It is no secret that I harbor a great fondness for the feathered creatures that inhabit my property. They are the original survivors, the songmakers, the joy bringers, the gifters of grins and scatterers of seeds. 

Sometimes it just feels good to paint with nothing but joy and thanks in your heart.