Friday, March 21, 2008


On Thursday, I took my friend Pirkle Jones to Bolinas, to visit Mary Nisbet at
California Orchids. Pirkle and Mary are long time friends, and Pirkle is an avid orchid collector. So we dropped off some plants that were done blooming--Mary offers a great boarding service for your orchids. She takes care of them and brings them to you when they are ready to bloom. We got to explore some of the greenhouses, and see the preparations for their big Spring Sale, which is being held this Saturday from 9 to 4.

Being at California Orchids was like being in the middle of one of Henri Rousseau's jungle scenes (one of my very favorite painters!) Incredible blooms and colors erupting from fantasy-like foliage. One of the most interesting things was the big tree trunks, which were cork trees, that Mary has used as a "planting bed"---upon which she has cultivated various kinds of orchids and other plants.

Seeing the incredible diversity of flowers, fragrance, types of leaves and growth was quite inspiring. Just the thing I needed for some foliage ideas for a painting I'm currently working on. It was a great trip and I want to go back again--I didn't get to see all the greenhouses (I think there are about 5) To top it off, the drive over to Bolinas from Mill Valley was just exquisite---a sunny clear day--we spotted lots of egrets and ducks and the water sparkled like jewels in the sunlight. It was a very good day indeed.
Images of the greenhouses at California Orchids in Bolinas. Bottom picture: L to R--Tim and Mary, owners of California Orchids, and Pirkle Jones

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Wednesday evening at 6:30, people began to gather in front of the bank here in Point Reyes, with their candles, signs & banners, and hopes for peace. We have a loyal group that has been out here many times expressing the views of the majority of West Marin citizens about the war in Iraq and about this administration. This time marked the 5 YEAR anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. 5 YEARS! Hard to believe. And 9/11 was in 2001--that was 7 years ago. And what have we accomplished? Many deaths, much destruction, and many lives destroyed. Saddam Hussein ousted, but still no stability in the government of Iraq. And what about Afghanistan, terrorism and Osama Bin Laden? Not much progress I'm afraid.

But there was a good turnout for our vigil--we had several speakers and people took turns reading letters of service people's experiences. It felt good to be a part of it, felt good to be doing something. I had signed up with and volunteered to take pictures to send to them and the local papers.

And Joey participated as the Peace Dog.

Monday, March 17, 2008


This tree painting was inspired by a flowering plum tree that lives along the path I painted earlier ("Winter Path") It was so full of blooms--they were like clusters of popcorn. And the fragrance! Divine! Now, of course, we've had a rainstorm with hail and furious the blooms are mostly gone. Glad I painted it when I did.

Image: "Night Blooming Tree" 9 x 12 acrylic on canvas

Monday, March 10, 2008


My opening at The Depot Gallery in Mill Valley last Tuesday was great fun! Lots of people came--the Depot put out a beautiful spread of appetizers and wine & everyone had a great time! I got to meet several supporters who I have communicated with via email, but hadn't met in person yet. Margery Cantor, who lives in Vermont and who is the Design and Production Manager for Inquiring Mind, a semiannual journal of the Vipassanna Community. I have working with her for several years now, submitting artwork for the journal. They will be using one of my images in their upcoming Spring issue, which should be out sometime in April. I also got to meet Louise Wilson, who has been a fan of my work for a long time. She is a writer, and she specifically works with her dreams--and she also is hoping to publish some of her writing and use one of my images. So lots of exciting developments.

Another exciting development is that I will be participating in Alyson Stanfield's Blog Tour for her just released book "I'd Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion". I discovered Alyson last summer and signed up for her free Art Marketing Action newsletter. She is responsible for getting me started in Blogland. (Thank you, Alyson!) Then I signed up for her Promote Your Art class last fall. It was an intensive, interactive class conducted on a blog (Who knew?)--with tons of information to assimilate and much fun, as well!
So Alyson will be making a Guest Appearance on my blog on April 4. How exciting! So mark that on your calendar & stop by to check out Alyson's visit. More info to come...

Images: My opening reception at The Depot Gallery in Mill Valley

Monday, March 3, 2008


My very first post on this blog (my very first blog!) discussed the fallow and axis deer herds that have lived in this area of the Point Reyes National Seashore since the 1940's. The park has gone forward with their plans for exterminating the non-native deer, and have been unwilling to work with community members and the Friends of the White Deer to arrive at a solution that involves input from the People of the Community. And who is representing the People of the Community in this so called Democracy? Certainly not our Federal government, nor its representatives in the National Park Service.

At this point, the axis deer herd has been wiped out, and fewer than half the fallow deer herd remains. White Buffalo, Inc.-the para military goons hired by the park to do the killing, are roaming at night in their helicopters, baiting the deer and shooting them. The park's initial statements about the procedure was that the deer would be killed humanely and their carcasses would be donated to shelters to be used as food. But witnesses to the killings have stated otherwise.

I personally am mourning the loss of these gentle and beautiful animals--------seeing them in the park was a treat and a delight. But I am also mourning because of the huge rift that park administration has created with the community by closing down discussions and research, by acting in secrecy and allowing hired killers to be roaming around at night shooting in the park---making a killing field of blood and terror for all the animals (and people!)in our beloved parklands. It is a sad time indeed.

I would like to include here a quote from a post by Miriam & Liam on their blog for Solas Web Design. They are fellow members of Friends of the White Deer, and this post was written about the end of the Axis herd:

"I have listened to Park officials say that the Fallow and Axis Deer destroy the environment by pawing the ground.
I have listened to those not paid by the Park say that all signs of this pawing disappear within a couple of months, and this is why no one can ever show the ‘damage’.

I have listened to Park officials say the Fallow and Axis deer are eating all of the vegetation in sight, leaving nothing left for the Black-tailed deer.
I have walked many of the 150 trail miles of the Point Reyes National seashore, and have seen the almost inconceivable abundance of vegetation - plenty for everyone to share.

I have listened to Park officials claim they are dedicated to returning the seashore to a Pre-Columbian paradise.
I have wondered when they will tear up their concrete roads, remove their toll booths and trucks, take away their power lines and leave. I am sure the Miwoks would be glad to have their land back.

I have listened to the Park’s head hired killer, Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo Inc. say that his unit of gunmen will kill all deer with one swift shot to the head and donate the carcasses to a homeless shelter.
My friends have found the corpses of gut shot deer on their lands, left to rot after the agonies of a long and painful death.

I have listened to the Park explain away these brutally killed deer as first not having anything to do with their killers, then blaming the deaths on poachers, then turning around and saying that yes, they are leaving some deer in the fields in order to feed vultures.
I was not aware of a federal program to feed vultures. But I do know when someone is not speaking the truth.

I have listened to the Park’s paid biologist say that these deer are scary and aggressive.
I have stood amongst these deer unharmed and in great wonder at their quiet and beauty. It has been a privilege to know them.

I have listened to my government say that they are here to serve the people.
The Humane Society of the United States, State Senator Carol Migden, Representative Lynn Woolsey, In Defense of Animals, the Wildcare foundation, Dr. Jane Goodall and the taxpayers of Marin County, California have all made it abundantly clear that we would like our government to serve us by caring humanely for these deer, not by massacring them."
Image: "Our Lady of the Mountain" original gouache on paper in private collection. Giclee prints available