Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Lavender Bush

An unseasonably warm afternoon in an unseasonably warm October meant that I had a perfect day for transplanting a few treasured garden plants into containers.  When gardening became much more than a hobby, I felt it was OK to openly admit it's therapy. Non-gardeners may not understand why I feel pride in a lavender bush.  Lavender is slow-growing, and can be fussy, but years of love and care allowed it to grow into the beauty it is today.

It's possible for lavender to survive, and even thrive, in a container, if cared for properly.  I'm the sort of plant geek that views this as a challenge, and the possibility of having a container of lavender growing indoors is too good to pass up.  Indoor container gardens have added cheer to many long winters up here in the Great Lakes, so I'm not a stranger to growing things in flower pots (as well as recycled plastic bottles and yogurt tubs, as needed.)   Urban gardening means making the most of what you have, and I've seen enterprising souls create truly ingenious solutions.

Part of this, though, speaks to a more urgent need:  mobility.  The modern economy has created a class of techno-gypsy, and sometimes you need to pull up stakes, without much warning.  The old tribal dreams of  a family plot of land with an herb garden or an idyllic farmstead become something that must be grasped loosely.  We do not know that "this land" will be our children's children's for ten generations to come.  It's a rare family that could guarantee it for the next five.

Yet, some ancient part of us needs to touch the earth, and to see one season follow the other.  We need to know that there is continuity so that we can have belief that life will continue.  Without that, hope looses plausibility.  We do, in fact, need to "put down roots," if only so that we can be reassured, every spring, that the blossoms will come back.  Thankfully, humanity invented clay pots, so that roots and the life they generate can be carried, moved, protected, and allowed to grow wherever it needs to.  While Mother Nature has a lot of great ideas, I really have to give some credit to human ingenuity.

Were we meant to live with the constant uncertainty of modern life any more than lavender is meant to live in a container?  A better question is can we.  The best answer I can give is, "Some can do it better than others, some break and die, but many have thrived."

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