March 28, 2020

DG, day 7
Garden Vista at the Descanso Garden, day 7, 3/21 (Derwent colored pencil on Canson Mix Media paper)

Day 7, Saturday, 3/21

Last Saturday I went to the Descanso Gardens and walked among the tulips. I took pictures of tulips and lilacs, as well as a picture of a glen for gathering that might be a place for a leprechaun, and vistas from benches that might give me a respite from worry and wondering if I could imagine myself sitting there, staring off into the distance. The piece of art you are looking at here is exactly one of those spots. It’s where I would rather be sitting today instead of sitting inside at home. (It is also day 7 of my two week self-inflicted art at home challenge.) Of course I am not the only one at home today, it just feels like it. I imagine a caption for this one that could be very literal and has something of a cliche about it. That might go something like, “Looking off into the future and wondering what is ahead.” Or it might be, “How will my SoCal world change?” And finally, my favorite right now is, “It’s always darkest before the bottom falls out.”

Then I got to thinking about my literal interpretations and wishes for our lives and cliches seem like a kind of survival mechanism—the only way to try to make sense of things. I’m no philosopher, but I’ve always been interested in philosophy. (My dad was a big fan of Plato.) So, for all you geeks like me out there, here is a suggestion that might help. I recently watched a great Netflix movie called “Genius of the Ancient World.” It’s all about the lives and teachings of Buddha, Socrates and Confucius, and presented by the historian, Bettany Hughes. It was amazing! Check it out.

hummingbird, day 9
Front porch hummingbird, day 9 (ink and watercolor on watercolor paper)

Day 8, Sunday, 3/22 (art of pen and ink of hummingbird at the nectar feeder outside my kitchen window) 

Day 9, Monday, 3/23

So, this is part 2 of my Sunday sketch. The sky Sunday morning was really that amazing blue, and the puffy clouds really looked that white. In previous posts I have described the lovely birds outside my kitchen window. Doing this watercolor got me away from my imaginings of the Descanso Gardens and the world outside and brought me just outside my own window. I love the idea that the birds just come and go all around, unaware of COVID-19 and/or their own mortality. In fact, yesterday I very wisely texted something about birds to a dear friend. I said, “They don’t seem to notice, or care about, what’s going on. Of course they are the descendants of dinosaurs, so they are in way better shape than the rest of us.” Amen to livin’ like a bird.

Geranium, day 11
Front porch geranium, part 2, March 25, day 11 (Inktense pencil, sprayed with water, on Canson Mix Media paper)

Day 10, Tuesday, 3/24, Geranium on my front porch (Inktense pencil only)

Day 11, Wed, 3/25

Today was a mixed bag of being one California girl on a rainy day during self-quarantine. 

1. I called my nearby nursery yesterday and ordered some summer garden plants. This afternoon I received my order— three specific tomatoes (brandywine, early girl, and better boy) and two 6 packs of cucumbers (pickling and lemon). The plants were delivered to my door by a lovely lady from a company called Roadie. What a wonderful vision—something to put in the ground that will grow and provide vegetables later in the summer. (It’s nice to imagine a “later” that I want to live in…) The plants were also nice to see as they were my dad’s favorite tomatoes, and I remember planting those very varieties in many of our yearly vegetable gardens. 

2. I made beans for dinner.

3. As the sun was heading way to the west it was shining bright and all around there were dark clouds, but no rain. Then it began to rain and then hail—all the while the sun backlit the whole scene. I went outside and ran around with my umbrella. When I Iooked over my house towards the San Gabriel Mountains I saw a complete double rainbow. Wow!! What a wonderful water blessing for my new seedlings. And Happy Birthday mom!

Rusty in the garden, day 14
Rusty in the back garden, with garlic and dill in the background, part 2, March 28, day 14 (Ink and Inktense pencil, sprayed with water, on Canson Mix Media paper)

Day 12, Thursday, 3/26, (art sketch/pen and ink of monk’s hood)

Yup! You read that one correctly…Hoping to do a “full on botanical,” as requested by my son…

Day 13, Friday, 3/27 (pen and ink of Rusty, our neighborhood cat, in the back garden.)

Day 14, Sat, 3/28 (Inktense pencil and water of Rusty the cat)

And this ends my 14 day self-inflicted art quarantine. I don’t know what kind of art will inspire me for my first April 2020 post. But I think this image is perfect for me right now—life somehow going on with the hope of a CA summer garden of vegetables. Take care and be safe!

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