Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Red Barn Door

Shoot me, but I can think of only a few collaborations between man and nature that produces something more beautiful than a well-built barn sitting on a beautiful piece of land. Actually, a well-designed boat being well-sailed through a Maine island thoroughfare would be a close second.

This beauty, obviously well cared for, is one of many I encounter on my travels. It was her lines, but also that red barn door along with a beautiful Maine winter day that got to me.

The Red Barn Door • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, January 8, 2018

Feather, Puff and Huddle

It always amazes me when I hear chickadees flitting around, and crows on the prowl in the bitterest of Maine winter days.  How do they stay warm when temps plummet to 20-30 degrees F below zero for five days in a row? Feather, puff and huddle.

Feathers! Their first layer of defense against the cold is feathers, and the oil that coats feathers also provides waterproofing.

They also puff. Their body heat warms the air between feathers, so they fluff up in the cold to trap as much air in their feathers as possible. The more trapped air, the warmer the bird.

Birds have a counter-current heat exchange system in their legs. Veins and arteries in their legs are close to each other, and as warm blood leaves the body, it heats up the cold blood returning to the body. They also stand on one leg, while the other is tucked up warmly in its feathers. And then they switch.

Lots of species flock in to a ball at night too. They will gather in large groups and crowd together in a small tight space to share body heat. They may roost closely together in dense shrubbery or trees, or empty birdhouses and tree cavities.

We humans probably did the same thing once upon a time, huddle that is.

Feather, puff and Huddle • 8" x *' acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, January 1, 2018

Perpetual Ping Pong

Based on my own experience, all decisions are issued by either heart or mind, feelings or logic. Life is a perpetual game of ping pong between the two. So when the first day of the New Year arrives, I put my paddle down on the table and take a break.

I stopped being an anti-person years ago, adopting a pro-person for mental and physical health. It's working. I feel much better now, but still suffer from the ping pong thing when forced to address real issues in the world. For although I try to keep war out of my mind and vocabulary, I am a Star Wars fan, and therefore understand the dilemma of war.

To counter differences in a civilized way is tricky when trying to reason with people who reject the notion of community and always selfishly want more for themselves, not to mention two-year-old world leaders with their thumbs on nuclear weapons.

I like what Rose said in The Last Jedi. "We're going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love!" I'm going to have to keep a paddle in my hand, but when I power the ball back across the table, it's going to have different spin on it.

Perpetual Pin Pong • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Solstice 2017

I love the dark - it shows me stars. 
I love the light - it gives me life.

I love the night - it brings me sleep.
I love the day - it wakes me up.

Solstice 2017 • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Longest Night

The upside is we only have 10 days until the longest night of the year. I always mark it with ceremony - a candle and contemplation.

I'm intrigued by night, and this being the longest makes it all the more haunting and scary. I become super alert and conscious - primal.

The Longest Night • 8"x 8" acrylic frame to 12" x 12" • $250

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Remember the Peace and Quiet

For those of you who will not get a Holiday card from me in your mail boxes, here you go.

I am sending this out to the people of planet Earth today hoping that we might remember what peace and quiet looks and feels like. Recent world events would indicate that we've forgotten.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

City Bling

Portland is getting the holiday spirit on - its bling.

 I can see the bling, but don't usually feel it because my annual
"do I really believe in all of this stuff" 
mind debate kicks in like clockwork every year
right after Thanksgiving.

But then, every year the internal war ends. In a draw.
Nothing wins, no one looses. 
 I simply walk out into the night, look up at the stars on the eve
and report to the universe that I believe. 
I don't know exactly what I believe quite yet - I'm only in my late 60s.
I just stand there small in comparison,
but big and brave in song and let it rip.


Then I go back indoors, climb into bed and forget the whole debate until next year.
It is a peculiar holiday tradition.