Life is a bowl full of…

Sour Cherries !

bowl full of cherries

In Mima’s honor, Finnegan and I sat on the quiet sunny summer morning porch and carefully pitted three boxes of sour cherries into Saren’s beautiful bowl… enough for two pies…one for us and one with a Z for Zola and Zack…and Zue.


A few years ago this week I was on pins and needles waiting for the orchard to say it was ok to pick the sour cherries as I was scrambling to include a painting of Mima’s Sour Cherry Pie  for the recipe series  in the Granary show that July.


The pressure is off this year…all the paintings that can be done are done…and it was almost a zen like meditation to have a whole hour to do nothing this morning but sit and pit.

Now on to the painter’s notes…

and maybe just a tiny pieced of pie.

American Art Collector

Many thanks to John O’Hern and the editors of the American Art Collector Magazine for showcasing the painting Temple of My Familiar in their latest issue. You can access the magazine on line if you are a subscriber or find it at most book stores to read the entire article. Above is a link to the AAC website and below is an excerpt from the article. The painting is on exhibition at the Granary Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard.

John O'Hern

AAC July09

Calling all Artisans

My niece Caroline is finishing up her Peace Corps Volunteer service in Lesotho working to help a woman run weaving cooperative build and sustain their business. She has asked me to spread the word about a  special project which needs funds to train workers and grow the business. So I am sharing the information with my readers and fellow artisans here. You can help by donating or by spreading the word to others who might have an interest. The goal is to remember and honor those who have helped us by paying it forward and here’s an opportunity to do just that.

This is a link to a website with some photos of their weaving ,

and here is Caroline’s letter with an address for the org. which is collecting the money for this project,

Hi Heather,
How are you? As I mentioned, I’m working on getting funds down here to my weavers to train five more women. I was wondering if you know of anyone who would be interested in contributing, other artisans?
We have found a weaving guild in SC who is raising most of the funds, but we still need more. The total cost of the project is $1100 and that will pay the women a training stipend, pay the trainer, buy supplies and transport. Women here in Lesotho have such a hard time supporting their families since there are simply no jobs to be found. When the women here go unemployed their children are left with little education or food to fill their bellies. By employing these five women we will not only be pulling them out of poverty, but also their families and parts of their communities.
The checks need to be made out to the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, with a note for the Maseru Weaving Coop Project.  They can be sent either to the Guild mailbox, PO Box 42119, Charleton, SC 29423, or  To the Guild Treasurer, Garnette Tuten, 25 Plainfield Dr.  Charleston, SC 29407.  We need to have this money collected and to the PeaceCorps Volunteer by JUly 15, so our deadline will be earlier. 
I know the economy is awful right now, but you can imagine it’s so much worse here. And any help you can give would be appreciated.
Thank you so much,

Sunshine at last

When we walked out onto the creekside porch early this morning and saw our shadows … Finnegan and I knew it would be a good day. It has been so wet and steamy for so long and to see blue skies and walk in dry grass…the best.

The sun followed us over to the studio…

through the trees

what a palette

a day for daylilies

and now this can take a rest…

this can take a rest

and there’s nothing like sunshine on whiskers…

sunshine on whiskers

But there’s no time to waste…the show approacheth and the Finnegan’s job is to get me back to work…

ready for work

So here we go…a messy kitchen set-up…with supervisor on duty…

apprentice supervising set up

A visit from the past…

Last night our dear friend Rae Hearne arrived for an overnight on her way to her new home in Maine from her old home in North Carolina. Rae and I were neighbors twenty years ago in Muddy Creek Forks where she ran a magical B + B and I lived next door in the big old abandoned general store. There were a couple other folks scattered about but we pretty much had the entire town to ourselves and it was a blast. Rae befriended all and is a powerhouse of a woman who has a gift for bringing stray humans together for some remarkable communions. Buddhist monks, traveling Russian Circus troops, Scottish racounteurs, channelers, activists, symphonic musicians and local vineyarders alike… you could count on a glass of may wine and a good story on Rae’s porch.

We have both moved away from that town but not from those memories or from our friendship and it was a treat to sit down with her spirit again in person. Her friend Will is accompanying her on this trip and we’ve now made another friend with a gentle soul and wealth of interesting stories to share.

Ciele the guard dog got Finnegan up and running this morning before they all headed north. We’re looking forward to being their new B+B stop on what we hope will be regular treks between homes.

And now…the tired pup and the soul sated artist … will get back to work.

Apprentice gets to work…

We’re in full tilt show-prep mode here in the studio and our young apprentice has been keeping a tight schedule.   I’m trying to make up for lost time and get a few more paintings finished and this next one has been rumbling around inside my head since it came to me in a dream last winter.  The stars aligned and the rain went away and the model was free so Finnegan gathered the boots and teacups and headed out for the pool early this morning .

apprentice snaps her paws

As prop assistant, she is in charge of making sure the set up is complete…

assistant approves props

I have been using her pool lately for everything but swimming…besides the mosquito factory, it is now a staging  pond for spoon blanks that I split a couple days ago and am carving up when there is an extra hour in the day… it’s all Follansbee’s fault… …but Finn’s  job is to keep me focused and to make any adjustments needed in the setup… like pushing the model a little to the right…

a little to the left

It’s exhausting work, and she’s nudging me off of this machine so she can take an afternoon nap.

I’ve got the panel oiled out and the sketch done so it’s time to lay down some paint… catch ya latah.

The fence is finished and the roses are a-bloom.

Ok so this blog is getting far and away from the art related content which is its focus… but I am trying to keep it real.  If an artist is painting from her soul then she brings to the easel every part and corner and adventure of the surrounding world. If each sense is alive then they are constantly recording and… on a good day…remembering.

Painting from ones authentic self, nod to Joseph Campbell, is my goal. Woven through the early days of this year have been threads of death, dying, grief and mourning, anticipation, joyous birth, heart-pounding happiness, soul searching love and ab-stretching laughter. I’m expanding the dialogue here to share some of this life that is lived behind my easel. You will be the judge as to whether or not the common threads make their way into the paintings.

In that light, here are some photo updates and some things that fall into the category of … musings…

Finnegan's Fence Finished

Finnegan's Fence Finished

Finnegan's fence

Teaching her to spell her name

My heart in her clamshell

My heart in her clamshell

claiming clamshell

Just wait until we get to the beach !

Almost as tall as the Irises

Almost as tall as the Irises

e'er...all the roses that are blooming

e'er...all the roses that are blooming