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