Magnificent Muse- 1, Gaga

“Among the things that give existing a sense of value is the making sure that no day goes by without the conscious admitting into it of the great and spacious. We must consistently see the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day”  -Thorton Wilder

My grandmother, my Gaga, used this quote in her book A Spacious Life   (which was her gift to us at the end of her life). That book is one of my greatest treasures, as I will be able to show my boys a glimpse of what a wise, graceful, intelligent, loving, and independent woman she was.
She had a wonderfully open heart and mind allowing her not only to absorb the arts she loved so much, but to live her “spacious life” authentically on so many levels. Her curiosity was endless. She loved gaining other’s perspectives and by doing this was able to live a life that allowed her to forgive, have a wonderful sense of humor, and have friendships with people of all ages and different lifestyles.  And, I miss her terribly. 

Inscription inside my copy of  A Spacious Life, by Mate Converse

She also gave me my love of color. Saying her apartment in downtown Richmond was special and colorful is an understatement. From her lime green kitchen to her gold living room to the orange furniture in Howard Johnson guest-room (called that for the many colors of paint on the walls, trim and ceiling and fabrics that went with the needlepoint cushions of ice cream sundaes). There were fun wallpapers in the dining room, library and bathrooms. Her grand bedroom with hand-painted trompe l’oeil closet doors and canopied bed felt like it had popped right out of a fairy tale book. I loved that apartment.  It was magical. It was interesting. It was welcoming and cozy. It was sunny. The colors defined the space, showcasing her art, her books, and her treasures that told the story of her life. I love that I can close my eyes and be with her in that space that was as unique as she was. A place where I remember listening to incredible pieces of classical music, watching epic movies, being read stories from her wonderful library, walking across the park to go see the ballet while hearing stories of her childhood or going on adventures to the art museum, Williamsburg, a dinner theater, or a favorite to Maymont Park (where we spent her last birthday out under a huge magnolia tree). But perhaps the best memory of all was just sitting on her gold sofa with her talking for hours. She was a grand listener and a true friend. 

*I love to share her book with those who are interested. I have a dear friend who has read it and has since created beautiful pieces of art inspired by it. I can’t wait to celebrate her next! Stay tuned! 

Winter Water

One of my many heart rocks tucked in my gardens. This one my boys found for me in Moab.

Here in Colorado, we have to winter water our trees and shrubs to get them established and on their way. When we bought our little corner of the world, there wasn’t a single shade tree (however we have some glorious CO Blue Spruce trees). Now, we have several Crabapples, a beautiful Maple, a couple of Serviceberries, a Hawthorn, a Bartlett Pear, some transplanted Aspens, and my favorite, a Honeylocust all carefully planted to create color, shade, texture, fruit and privacy. I am giddy to watch them grow. By the time Chachi graduates, we may be able to even sit under a few of them. It was a glorious weekend here and the perfect time to go out and give our trees a little mid-winter drink.  I loved dragging the hose around, watching the water absorb into the thirsty earth in swirling patterns, picturing the roots soaking up the moisture. I am fully aware that the trees aren’t the only ones being nurtured.  I love the peace and quiet of tending to my yard. I cherish getting lost in the potentials of what I can create on my earth canvas-the dreaming of ways to get rid of more grass, the wondering if certain plants bought on clearance at the end of the season will uncurl their leaves come spring, the hoping that other plants will be large enough to split and the wealth of their beauty multiplied. In the winter, I so miss the focus and clarity that comes from working the soil, digging up weeds, pruning shrubs and perennials and planting my sunflower seeds. The intuitive nature of it makes me feel calm, connected and whole. I most definitely have spring fever… and a long wait. 


Sky in nursery. One of my favorite things to do is paint clouds.

First of all, I was so very wrong. Sending this out into the world was not at all like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. I have the most beautiful, colorful, and grand parachute of all.
Your cheers, feedback, kindness and support are overwhelming and I will hold onto them to keep moving forward. And, I know that I can continue to go back up into the sky and jump all over again.  I am ever grateful. Thank you.

I have been thinking endlessly these past few days about all of my muses. From a childhood friend, whose photographs grab my soul with his use of light and line, to a new friend who is dedicated to saving the world through her support of the arts; from a sister who battles stage 4 breast cancer to a friend whose spirit shines as bright as it did when she walked this earth; from pure wonderment of a whispered “wow” from my son’s lips to a simple message received from across the miles that comes at just the right time. The examples are endless and my muses are many. So as part of this little corner of the world, I want to take the time now and then to celebrate you for making my life so colorful. I sat down and have written names upon names of those who inspire me and ignite a spark with in. It will probably take me my whole life to do this, but I am willing to try. Not only will it let me shine light and gratitude on you, but will hopefully pass your gift, love, and uniqueness on to inspire others.
So, soon look for the first of my many muses to be celebrated. This is going to be fun! Cheers!

Walk the Talk

For the past few weeks, the universe has been so sweetly and gently giving me a good kick in the pants. Yet, my stubborn ways, my fears, and yes, guilt seem to not want to budge. Not even an inch. Amazing how strong those parts of myself are and I am the only one letting them hold me down.  Fortunately, for me, I have my better half, Chris. He is so good at holding up a “mirror” to let me know that I am really the only one standing in my own way. I can make all the excuses I want, but until I stop that, nothing is going to change.  It is time to shut up and walk the walk. So, here goes. By sharing this little corner of the world of mine, it feels like I am about to jump out of a perfectly good airplane without a parachute. But the fact of the matter is, I need to paint. I need to mix color. I need to let all this energy, these range of emotions and dreams swirling in my head out and let them dance on a canvas, board, piece of furniture; whatever I can get my hands on. I spent this morning in my “art room” (as it is called in this house), lost in color and texture and dreams of other places.

 When I get in that sacred place, where time is gone and peace washes over me, a wholeness fills my core. And, soon after, I am frustrated with myself for letting so much time lapse. I finally admit that I need to be held accountable. I need some sort of deadline or rather goal perhaps is a better word. So here I am, opening up to you, to ask you to help hold me accountable. To keep painting, to keep moving forward. I have lots of ideas for what the future could hold, but at this point I just need to get the ball rolling and keep an open heart and mind and start walking the talk and see where the path goes.