Wishing peace for everyone… from my heart to yours!
Author Archives: Dana Burrell
Yet Another Online Gouache Painting Session
I meant to post this in March but time just slipped away so here I am backdating it (as I post this it is early April) so it will show up in correct chronological order.
On March 12, 2023, I logged into Zoom for another gouache paint-along with Gayle Kabaker and Jennifer Orkin Lewis. Since March is Women’s History Month Gayle and Jennifer chose Women and Pattern for their theme.
I loved creating the quick celebrity portraits on assorted pre-painted colored ovals. The trick is to capture only the defining features, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s collar or Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows.
Then it was time to do the portrait of a lady with a fan. I had to go over the white markings in her hair to get decent opacity. I guess I need to get myself a tube of Winsor & Newton white gouache. It’s Gayle and Jennifer’s recommended brand for just that reason.
I don’t usually work with gouache outside of these online workshops but I do enjoy the fun few hours departure as I paint with other artists around the globe.
Comfort and Solace
Since I’ve been ignoring this blog for too long I’ve started clearing out a bunch of half-done and currently irrelevant blog posts. This one was saved because it shows how I work out the stressful times like I had late last summer.
I go basic. Pen and ink and my journal.
I had to refresh my memory by revisiting that journal but it’s clear now. I drew this at the end of a long day in the midst of a long month of long days.
Fortunately, things have gotten better or maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten better at handling the stressful times but I’m going to continue to carve out time for pen and ink drawings. They are my comfort and solace.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
— George Bernard Shaw
New Years Day – 2023
Starlings in Winter
– Mary Oliver
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
“Starlings in Winter” by Mary Oliver, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays
Winter Solstice 2022
Wednesday, 21 December 2022 at 4:48 PM EST, my time… 21:48 UTC.
by Barbara Crooker
Here, the bells are silent, blown glass hung from
branches of pine whose fragrance fills the room.
It’s December, and the world’s run out of color.
Darkness at five seems absolute outside
the nine square panes of glass. But inside
hundreds of small white lights reflect off
fragile ornaments handed down from before
the war. They’re all Shiny-Brite, some solid balls—
hot pink, lime green, turquoise, gold—some striped
and flocked. This night is hard obsidian, but these glints
pierce the gloom, along with their glittery echoes, the stars.
We inhale spruce, its resinous breath: the hope of spring,
the memory of summer. Every day, another peal
on the carillon of light.
Barbara Crooker, “Bells” from Some Glad Morning © 2019 University of Pittsburgh Press.
I was talking with a friend this morning and I realized I hadn’t yet uploaded anything for November. With all the upcoming holidays it just wouldn’t do to miss the first holiday of the month: El Día de los Muertos also know in english as The Day of the Dead.
A sugar skull is also known as a calavera and I’m comforted by the thought that they aren’t considered grotesque or macabre but instead are a reminder that, even though death is unavoidable, we need to remember to not only celebrate the lives of our family and friends but to seize each day of our own lives.
I found this blog post had a wealth of information.
We’re always camping with family on Indigenous Peoples / Columbus weekend and again we celebrated with our annual pumpkin carving extravaganza. We were up to our elbows in pumpkins guts and seeds as we spread across three picnic tables. It was quite the mess but we wouldn’t think of skipping!
Happy Halloween !!!
Autumnal Equinox 2022
Thursday, 22 September 2022 at 9:03 PM EDT or Friday, 23 September 2022 at 1:03 UTC.
The visiting woodpeckers have become fewer and fewer as the summer waned. But the other day I found this gift among the yellowing grasses… sigh. The leaves will be following soon.
World Peace Day 2022
21 September, also known as the International Day of Peace.
To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.