• If only for an hour

    Left: Air-popped, olive oil, salt | Right: Roasted, butter, parsley
    each 10.5" x 12.5" (framed) | Acrylic on panel | 2020

    If only for an hour or so...


    She was always one to count her blessings, and her vivid imagination was at the top of the list. Despite spending all her time foraging for food, she often went to bed with little or no supper. “If I could just fall asleep quickly, my dreams will take the hunger pangs away”, she thought. “If only for an hour or so…”

    She often had food dreams – delightful dreams where she encounters (and gets to eat) an abundance of her favorite foods. For instance, last Wednesday she dreamt of summiting a mouse-sized mountain of baby red potatoes. And the following Friday, she dreamt of swimming down a beautiful river of cinnamon-spiced rice pudding.

    On this particular night, she dreamt she was floating weightless through the woods - with arms stretched forward. A fantastic vision where she zigzagged through the trees for quite some time, then as dreams often go, was startled to suddenly find herself standing in a kitchen! She watched in awe as the trees fell away, and then transformed themselves into a wooden table. And poised on top, she saw a glorious pile of freshly popped corn.

    Without hesitation, she scurried over and crawled right in – feeling soothed and enveloped by its warmth and aroma. She climbed up through the pyramid’s center, taking several scrumptious and satisfying bites along the way. She was content to stay there, inside this wonderful dream, if only for an hour or so.

    §

  • Goth-Squirrel with Bouquet

    Acrylic on wood panel | 16" x 20" framed | 2019

    Goth-Squirrel with Bouquet


    Her teenage “identity crisis” has brought some sudden changes.

    Recently she’s been hanging out with a new group of friends at school and adopting some of their edgy clothing styles and music choices. Seemingly overnight, she went from wearing her usual lacy, pastel-colored dresses and girly bows to donning all black and streaming thrash metal on her ear buds.

    But in many ways, she hasn’t changed at all. In fact, she continues to enjoy picnics and weekend nut gatherings with her family. She still takes time to collect extra food to share (because she hates the idea of anyone going hungry through winter). She still does all her chores around the den on time and without complaint, continues to get high marks at school, and respectfully adheres to her strict 6pm curfew.

    Surprisingly, her parents have been supportive and rather tickled by all this, chalking it up to her going through “a phase”. Mama even lent her Great-great grandma’s Victorian era dress to complete her new Goth look (now she’s the epitome of cool with her new found friends).

    After all, they say her appearance may have changed on the outside, but she’s still the same sweet squirrel on the inside.

    §

  • Bramble

    Acrylic on wood panel | 11" x 14" | 2019

    Bramble


    Some believe we spend the first half of our lives
    discovering which cards we’re dealt
    and the second half
    trying to figure out what to do with them

    but if it takes a lifetime to realize
    the conditional love you’ve endured and always been so baffled by
    is not actually love at all
    then so be it

    call your obstacle out - using all its true names
    call it irrational, call it self-serving, call it cruel…
    now you see you’re doing the hard work
    to render it toothless

    sometimes you can’t go beneath it
    sometimes you can’t go through it
    but with some effort you can go up and over
    it’s time to let the tether go

    §

  • Fiddleheads

    Acrylic on panel | 10.5" x 12.5" oval (framed) | 2020

    Fiddleheads


    For quite some time, she searched around the house for a quiet place to rest…

    Behind the refrigerator was problematic because of all the cobwebs, and the compressor kept sporadically kicking on and startling her awake.

    Under the couch wouldn’t work because a nearby radio was left on between stations, blaring intolerable noise and static throughout the room.

    The warm basket of freshly dried socks and towels seemed promising until she heard the floorboards creak and the lights flicked on – alas, it was time to fold the laundry.

    Reluctantly, she decided to search outside for a quiet place to rest…

    To her, night sounds like random hooting owls, croaking frogs, creaking trees and their rustling leaves were unsettling and all spelled danger – mainly because she could never quite figure out which direction the sounds were coming from.

    She spotted a nook under a fiddlehead fern and sensed that she might feel safe there. Turns out, she was right. In fact, the fern was pleased to have the company and in exchange for a little warmth, kindly unfurled some of her fiddleheads to cover her guest in a comforting blanket of fronds

    They both rested there together, safe and content, throughout the night – amidst the random background sounds of the hooting owls, the croaking frogs, the creaking trees and their rustling leaves – all of which now, surprisingly, didn’t seem so scary anymore.

    §

  • Runa

    Runa

    Acrylic on panel | 8" x 10" (16" x 18" framed) | 2020
    Sold | Private Collection | St. Louis, MO

  • We are drawn to it because we are all made of the same stuff

    Acrylic on wood | 6" x 8" | 2018
    Sold | Private Collection | Astoria, OR

    We are drawn to it because we are all made of the same stuff


    She first learned about atoms, elements and chemical compositions in her 5th grade science class. “We are all made of stardust”, she exclaimed! This extraordinary fact got her thinking about how we are all elementally connected to each other, the universe, as well as to most matter on earth.

    The more she thought about it, numerous realizations began to flood in, “So with each beat of my heart, the same oxygen and iron elements in the sun are circulating in my blood. And, when I water my favorite cactus plant each week, I’m also nurturing the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus parts of myself. Or, when I look at the night’s sky through my telescope to view Saturn and its rings, I’m viewing the oxygen and hydrogen parts of myself too”!

    To learn even more, she joined her after-school Science Club. On her walks home she began taking extra notice of her surroundings. She thought, “I wonder which elements make up those rocks over there? Or, what compound makes those tiny flowers orange?” She was full of questions, and excited to feel a stronger connection to her world and the heavens than ever before.

    §

  • She sought the comfort of order and repetition in all things

    Acrylic on wood | 6" x 8" | 2018
    Sold | Private Collection | Astoria, OR

    She sought the comfort of order and repetition in all things


    Compared to your average rodent, she’s an exceptionally worrisome mouse. Even her friends notice she often fusses and frets over the strangest things, like; being categorically frightened of all pod-shaped plants and flowers - or at supper, taking time to form her seeds, grains and food scraps into separate piles before eating them one at a time.

    What comforts her most is order and repetition – she finds it in the strangest ways too, for instance; she’s calmed by the soft and rhythmic ticking of her metronome – and is soothed when she makes her daily to-do list with a fresh notepad and her favorite pencil.

    All of this extra worry can be very exhausting. But, her acute attention to detail has a beneficial silver lining too; friend’s say she’s the absolute best at organizing, and somehow she always finds the best food stores and hiding places. And most importantly, she’s often the first to alert everyone if danger is near.

    Her friends love and accept her just the way she is; and kindly remind her that perception is everything – even the oddest behavior can sometimes be a gift.

    §

  • The Betrothed with Violets

    Acrylic on wood | 6" x 8" oval | 2018

    The Betrothed with Violets


    It was a beautiful night for a romantic picnic. He imagined how the bright full moon would shimmer and dance across her large jet-black eyes. He was smitten. He knew it was the right time to pop the question.

    He shook out a checkered blanket for their feast and placed it under the large willow tree where they first met. For their meal he foraged for days to find all her favorite foods; one small field mouse, a sack of slugs, one and a half frogs, two French fries, a pile of worms, three moths and one; almost entirely intact persimmon for dessert. Lastly, he collected water from a nearby stream in an old tuna can. He thought of everything.

    When he asked for her paw in marriage to his surprise she didn’t respond right away. Instead she gave him a coy smile then gazed down at her plate, nervously pushing a plump worm around the edge. She was clearly overwhelmed by it all. Sensing his disappointment, she told him she needed a day to think about it. They agreed to meet the following night and she would give her answer.

    With a full belly and heart she arrived home, but sleep was futile. She tossed and turned thinking about their long courtship. She thought about how touched she was last summer when he gave her the antique locket adorned with little painted violets (her favorite flower). She remembered all the love letters he wrote her over the years and how she carefully stacked and saved them in the order of receipt. She knew why she did this; in her heart she knew she loved him too.

    The following night they met as planned; under the same bright moon, they agreed to wed the following spring - together under the willow tree, just when the violets are in full bloom.

    §

close