Monday, January 27, 2014

Monochrome Cold


I have been forcing myself to go outside for a walk every day. When the landscape takes on that blueish gray monotone look, you know it's January, and you know it's damn cold out there. I think the subzero temps affect the colors of the landscape somehow, or maybe it's my eyeballs glazing over with a tinted protective anti-freeze.  Regardless, it happens and I call it Monochrome Cold.

Rising to the occasion, I haul out my ice cleats and100-year-old LLBean full length down coat. My TRAX won't work on this solid ice. Gail and Larry Warren have tried everything - they're big walkers up in Kingfield. They recommended the product below. It's the only thing that works, they both agreed, because these things penetrate solid ice:

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21078496&emssrcid=PPC%3AgooPLAs%3AbrandKahtoola&utm_source=gooPLAs&utm_term=brandKahtoola&utm_campaign=Product+Listing+Ads&device=c&network=g&matchtype=&gclid=COb13ej8nrwCFXHxOgodnxsAmw

As for my coat, it's totally out of date and way off every year's fashion color chart. But it works, and by the time I get wrapped up in it against the cold, no one can figure out who I am anyway. They just see an animated down sleeping bag with arms and legs.

Monochrome Cold • 8"x8"  watercolor framed to 12"x12" • $200

Monday, January 20, 2014

Colors


When I first arrived in Portland after having spent 30 years in the western mountains, there were two things that struck me like bolts of lightning.

One was the produce section at Hannaford. I was blown away by the variety of colors and the diversity of the fresh produce laid out like the garden of Eden. It was awesome and I walked to that produce section every day for months before I could believe it.

The other thing was my first walk downtown. I saw old people and babies, Blacks, Asians and Indians - all pretty much non-existant in Carrabassett Valley. I was scared and fascinated at the same time, because though I had been raised in a very diverse town, I had forgotten how to be in a world where not everyone looks like me. I had never lived in a city before - this move was a big experiment - but it really didn't take me long to feel more and more comfortable in my own skin again. I found I belonged here with all of these different people from all over the world. I didn't want to stand out. I wanted to blend in.

Diversity is challenging because it means we all have to continually stretch our knowledge way into the unknown. It forces a choice between hate, and unconditional love and compassion on a very deep and meaningful level - not as a belief, but as a real core feeling.

I choose love and compassion every day on my walk. I have found it stimulates a profound gratitude for being a part of this beautiful rainbow called humanity. I have also discovered that I would much rather be splayed out in the fresh produce section than crammed into the boxed and canned.

Colors • 8"x8" watercolor and gouache framed to 12"x12" • $200

Monday, January 13, 2014

Minor Thaw


Whoa! is all I can say coming back to Maine after a three week (not my idea) hiatus out of state! Even with the minor thaw going on out there, the skating rink that is our driveway has not softened and the avalanche looming over our heads on the roof has yet to let go, not to mention the volcanic craters on our road with the mud oozing like lava around them.

Let's face it. We now have a seventh season here in Maine. There's summer, winter, fall and spring, black fly and mud seasons. This not so fun roller coaster ride that is the big freeze, thaw, big freeze season needs a name. Any ideas? No cussin.

Minor Thaw • 8" x 8" gouache framed to 12" x 12" • $200