And what would the sky say?

Y’all will be happy to hear that I’ve given up attempting to analyze the greatest American short stories of the last century (according to John Updike). Apparently Americans were screwed up then and guess what? 2020 has proven that the first twenty years into a new century, we ain’t getting any better.  What would Updike say?  Do I care anymore?  Nah.  

And … with uncommonly good weather forecast for the remainder of the week, I’m off to the teahouse.  

My attempt at the fields of Tuscany – looks more like the black hills of Mordor

I am a mediocre artist who’s been awfully lucky.  My husband, son, and father built this teahouse so that I would have a place to paint far from the house, the television, the telephone and the internet.  It wasn’t a hurried project.  I think it took them four years of working primarily on the weekends and holidays.  For years it was their man time while I entertained my stepmother who loved to shop.  Their reward would be a big meal and nice glass of wine in the evening.  (my step mother also loved to dine out so a home cooked meal was a real treat for Dad) 

The grossly over-engineered ceiling … built to withstand even an attack by Godzilla

Then I decided to write.  Such a great idea, follow one mediocre career with another, hey? But I never totally give up painting.  Every now and then, going down to the teahouse is like taking a sanity break. 

My sane place

Sometimes I’ve taken out my awe on the canvas.  Sometimes my grief.

Done shortly after a friend’s death through tears and much guilt.

Today I decided to take on my view.

View to the west
A rough sketch

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be brave enough to add some color! What do you think – purple branches? A marmalade sky?


My Taj Mahal

Beyond the door I posted yesterday is my messy studio. Inside1Built by my husband, my father and my son over the space of about five years, it provided an ideal bonding experience for all three. There were some disagreements as the project expanded from a simple eight by eight structure to what it is today.  (My neighbor once joked that we were building the Taj Mahal!)

We call it The Teahouse.


Of course, traditional teahouses do not have aluminum roofs but this is California where a thatched roof and paper walls are not practical. There are four barn-style doors that open to allow cross ventilation – a necessity when you’re addicted to painting with oils.


I don’t get down to my Taj Mahal as often as I should.  All of this editing, blogging, tweeting, and creating a presence on social media has greatly cut into my painting. The last time I went down there, I discovered that a mouse colony had taken up residence in my paint box. Sorry mice. I’m not Bob Ross! You’ve got to find new digs.