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Three guys in suits standing on a mountaintop. The one on the left is my father. A strange photo I found and I don’t know why they were standing in this spot. 

Here’s the original photo. 

Updated watercolor

Although I posted this the other day I worked on it more. Maybe I overdid it but boy it was fun painting all those dots. I’m proud that I’ve covered the blog with Kerfe offline–I’ve posted every day for a week. WordPress folks have been kind in their likes and comments. Thank you!

This was the first version:

Cliff Town

A view of the village of Roussillon, France. This is a lovely place known for its cliffs of ochre in varying shades. 

A little house typical of the region–a tchotchke we picked up while visiting this area of Provence, France. 

Draw a Bird Day: Pinto’s Spinetail

pinto spinetail s

listen magnetic

Pinto’s Spinetail is an endangered bird that hives in subtropical forest and shrubland in NE Brazil.  Just 2% of native forest remains in this area, and less than 1000 of these birds are currently surviving.  They mate for life, and my favorite fact about them is that “pairs sing in duets to defend their nesting territories”, according to

see the forest
as quiet as
no air


song has wandered

pinto spinetail close up s

This painting is an experiment for me–I’ve been inspired by how Claudia McGill takes the world and simplifies it into color and shape, and this is my first attempt to imitate her approach.  Although she likes to use her paints straight out of the tube, I have to admit I mixed the bird feather color, not having a tube of gouache even close to the right tone.  It felt like painting in layers, and I do like layering.  Although I have a long way to go to reach Claudia’s grasp of the essential shapes of things…

And the Oracle was insightful, as always.

On my way to the beach (although the forecast is for a rainy week).  Nina has promised to keep you entertained while I’m away.


spirits wander 1 & 2

spirits wander close up s


spirits wander magnetic

between dusk
and deep night, spirits
wander through
air, climbing
clouds to follow soulbird paths
of ancient moonlight

That is what The Oracle had to say about the painting/collage I did in response to Sue Vincent’s prompt photo, below.

I had written another shadorma first, inspired by geo.kalpataru’s cloud riders:

soaring, we
dance with light between
heaven and
riding clouds—sparkling forms dark
against rainbow skies

but I think as a pair the Oracle’s words work best as #1.

spirits wander collage

dusting and dancing

fairy dust s

Are fairies dusting
the air?  Lights glimmer, dancing
magic in reply.

Colleen is celebrating International Fairy Day (Saturday) with her word prompt this week.  Time to dance!


twilight 1s

On its way
from crimson to blue,
violet bleeds
threaded through the deep silence
of retreating skies.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, below, was the inspiration for my embroidered watercolor and poem.

The land and air have morphed into water I think….

Sky Dancing

calligraphy crows s

like calligraphy
skywriting black against blue
clouds and trees dancing

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, gave me a chance to try an idea I’ve been thinking about for awhile.  A few years ago I did a cross-stitch poem on paper, and I was intrigued by the pattern that appeared on the back.  This seemed the perfect opportunity to see what would happen if I tried it over some watercolor collaged together.

calligraphy crows close up s

I think I may have overdone it with the stitching, but I can always pull some out; the holes in the paper will make a subtle and interesting pattern too.  I’ll look at it for awhile and think about it.

calligraphy cross stitch s

Here’s the poem side, with part of the haiku and some patterns (I wanted to try those out as well).



happysad s

happy_sad magnetic

luck opens happy
dancing and believing all
sounds are hearts laughing

sad remembers promises
the voice between dream and light

The Oracle is cryptic on this subject.

For Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge.


Green-Headed Tanager

green headed tanager s

The ancient forest
above, fragmented into
isolated gaps

Cursed by poverty of vision–
wings clipped into parts, denied

I chose to paint this bird because of its colors.  The most common tanager in Brazil, it also lives in the humid forest canopy in Paraguay and Argentina.  Although not yet endangered, its population has been decreasing.  What hit me most is the fact that only 8% of its original habitat remains, and the populations are fragmented as a result.  That will surely result in a continued population decline.

The words for my tanka were supplied by the Secret Keeper’s weekly prompt.

Happy Draw a Bird Day!