Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin joy

Don't you love rituals? 
Repetition isn't boring to me; it's pleasure.

So it's no surprise that for me, autumn wouldn't be autumn without a visit to Gordon's Skagit Farm, where I sketch to my heart's content during October. And bring home all the goodness of fall on a farm...

Pies and stuffed pumpkins perfume our kitchen; pear tarts and applesauce and pumpkin chili fill our bellies. Walnut ink simmers on the back burner.

And I sketch the entire thing, snip out leaves from paper, begin the Christmas list and letter like a madwoman with that gorgeous walnut ink.

 Gordon's is the perfect place for a crisp fall afternoon...

What are your favorite fall rituals?
Are you, like I, besotted with the wild assortment of pumpkin varieties? 
Do you hunger for squash and apples when the weather turns chill?

If you happen to live in the Northwest and the answer is yes, come to Gordon's, where the bounty will fill your eyes and delight you. I dare you to try it... 

or another local farm where you can feast your eyes on brilliant color and drink local cider, pick a bushel basket of apples and haul home autumn, fresh and delicious.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Every time a new season arrives, I find myself thinking it's the best one ever. 
Ever in my life.

This autumn has taken my breath away.
We pick the last of the year's huckleberries in the woods and sprinkle them on morning's yogurt.

Delicious moments together are as fleeting and rare as the storybook mushrooms we stumbled across on a hike along the woods beside the shore.

Rare gems like the bear finding a last snack before hibernation are the icing on the cake. 
There is nothing like autumn, delicious autumn.

And this is the best one of all.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Look up!

"Why," Mr. Wonderful asked, "do we see so many amazing sunsets here?"

Which, of course, freed me up to point at the sky all day yesterday, saying, "look at that! Just LOOK AT THAT!!!"

The truth is I am slightly obsessed with the beauty of the sky.
Okay, maybe more than slightly.

All over the earth, every moment of every day, God paints on an enormous canvas right over our heads, a changing panorama of epic proportions.

The thing is, we hardly even notice it!

 Sometimes soft, gray clouds, sometimes deep black studded with stars.
Sometimes a glorious sunrise or sunset.

Or a simple, intense cerulean blue.

How is it that we don't take time to see it, to stop a moment for the pure pleasure of noticing this love letter of epic proportions?

Wherever you are on this great, grand spinning globe, stop.
Indulge yourself for just a moment.

Look up! What gorgeous work of art lies in the sky above you?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Under tropical skies

Ready for a little tropical inspiration?
A virtual trip along with me?

Hawaii is a land of wonders. 
Just like home, it's full of miracles.

But because it's so different, it's easy to notice every one and walk around almost stunned by beauty.

The colors alone are enough to knock a person flat. 

How many blues are in every vista? 
How many greens on any one plant?

Real life looks so photoshopped here, as if one had hyper saturated everything in sight.
(Which, by the way, I did not do!)

Everything seems to have been painted with a brush dipped in neon shades.

This cardinal appeared with a mate and wasn't shy of my camera.
I've been wanting to draw birds and here was one just a few feet away, my wish fulfilled.

Because what does an artist do on vacation?
Why, she fills a sketchbook, silly! 

Gestural drawing of the people on the beach. Sketching the fish tacos eaten beachside at Duke's Canoe Club. And birds on the lanai, perfectly posed for just an instant.

Even the coconut scarecrow at a roadside stand.

Life under tropical skies.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Down by the bay

Months ago Mr. Wonderful booked us for Hawaii.

Oh, the joy of sitting on the beach, staring out at the sea.

I've played in my sketchbook, not caring if things turned out fantastic or a total flop~ isn't that what experimentation is all about?

If you get to Kauai, you must visit the National Tropical Botanical Gardens and marvel at the cocoa and vanilla and coffee plants, the orchids and palms and birds.

But nothing beats the warm beach air for simple rest and restoration.
Not to mention eye candy!