A Secret Chord

A Secret Chord

I was going to post this later,
but after the madness of the violence this week,
I am searching for some kind of peace.
This is a study I did of Skip.The expression was so powerful,
intimate and human…
and maybe
somewhere in that mix
there is some common ground.
Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Contemplative Follansbee

The thread of our friendship has been weaving itself for nigh on to three decades now, and lately I believe my little studio wren has one end and his beloved cedar waxwings up north have hold of the other…drawing us ever closer… in spirit if not in miles.

After a hearty breakfast of sausage and French toast, Herself and Finn have left the building to give me some of that concentrated painting time that has been my bliss this winter. But a quick look at this morning’s missive by Himself encourages a quicker note here…passed along for your pleasure.

We have been lobbing these musings back and forth via the blogosphere but I sure would prefer to pull up one of those fancy pants chairs he carves next to his window and spend the day carving a spoon alongside the master and listening to Rose and Daniel telling stories about squirrels and pirates in the background.


Here’s the link to read how he is spending his creative snow day…


Small works in a big way…

All hail the return of civilized weather. When that first waft of cool air hit my lungs I all but fell to weeping. The edges of my soul were beginning to get crispy and my eyes felt like thickly glazed donuts.

With the earlier sunsets and the thin carpet of leaves, the studio is poised for a hiatus. We are once again returning to Martha’s Vineyard for an autumn sabbatical and an opportunity to work among the gulls and the waves in person.

But I haven’t been idle in the last few weeks. My brushes have been flying in pursuit of some smaller panels but no less meaningful gestures. I will shortly be loading the car to bring up new works to fill spaces on the walls at the Granary Gallery…and will be sending a parcel of new paintings out to Denver, to Gallery 1261, for their upcoming small works show in November.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d give you dear readers a sneak peek. Here, for your perusal, are the latest musings from the studio… I hope you will enjoy them with a fresh mug of  cider…or warm cup of tea.


Falling…into my easel chair.

Tis a beautiful morning in the studio…

There are still some maple trees holding on to the last of their glowing yellow leaves and the sunrise was a stunner with every shade of red clinging to the edges of the clouds. The light is strong and the air is crystal clear. My lungs have followed suit and yesterday’s reaction to the flu shot is a whispered memory. Finnegan had a good romp in the leaves with her bucket and is snoring peacefully at my side.

In the words of Monty Python… I feel much better. I feel Happy !

Just thought I’d share…

early morning mist

It’s been stressful in the studio this week and I have been finding solace in my early morning walks with Finnegan.

Finn on our walk

It’s not safe to walk a pup on our street so I drive 10 minutes over to a local park and we walk for half an hour or so. The farms along the way are close to harvesting corn and sunflowers and the other morning, when we got a particularly early start…and just as we crested a small hill…the sun was a firey re/pink globe hovering over pockets of mist that hung in the valley of the fields below. I have driven that way every day since and the late August morning mist is there but not that spectacular sun.

Here’s a look at yesterday morning’s mist giving way to the sun…

walk in the park

I have a couple other paintings in the works which the Granary Gallery has requested but I am taking a small detour to work on the challenge of recording these peaceful early morning vistas while they are still fresh in my mind and before the snow flies.

As Polly would say…Shake yourself together !  and indeed I have.

Flights of Angels

A sweet sadness is in the air this morning.  After a long life of loving and laughing and raising a  family of 10 magnificant children with passionate curiousity and free spirited thinking and a nature of true kindness…and after a very brief window of going… our dear friend Julie died last night.

julie and pat

Here is her shining face with Pat in the studio a while back. Pat was honored to help care for Julie in the last few weeks she had on the planet and to send her peacefully to her much looked forward to reward of once again seeing the love of her life…her husband Frank. 

Right about now they are getting that red canoe off the top of the station wagon and over to the lake… and all I need to know of love…is the hint of Frank’s pipe trailing in their wake.

Dear Julie, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest…

Old friends make new friends

A breakfast party !


With two of our favorite girlfriends… Amy and Sue. We go waaaaaaay back and finally found a slot in all of our busy schedules to reconnect….they brought the bagels and we brought the puppy kisses.


These women have the most powerfully positive and peaceful energy and Finnegan was instantly in tune and in love…


Amy even gave Finn her first lesson in the Art of Wi …


But all this excitement was tiring out the wee one…


and it was time for a flip flop nap for Finnegan…


Angels walking among us ….

thanks gals…

love ya, H


9 Januray 09

Gulliver found this dear little sparrow in the studio yard early this morning.    We didn’t know then that she was a messanger.


We had just left Pat in the log cabin packing a suitcase and getting ready for her first full day of hospice care for Mae.  As Gully and I were  finishing our breakfast Pat came into the studio kitchen with a stunned look on her face and said that Mae had died last night.  After spending part of almost every day for the last few weeks with Mae in her home and with her family and watching her do hours of yoga and exercises each day and telling stories of her decades of union organizing around the globe and dancing with her husband and protesting against the war every friday since it began years ago…and all with a memory sharper than every one of ours combined…it was shocking news. But after hearing Mae’s conviction that she was ready, indeed eager…to die…and not at all interested in being a burdensome invalid … it made Pat smile to realize Mae’s spirit trumped us all.

Mae Millstone        95 yrs of truth telling activism…

May flights of sparrow sing thee to thy rest …. PEACE.

Mae Millstone  
YORK Mae Millstone, 95, died Friday, January 9, 2009, at her home in the company of her family. She was the widow of Harry Millstone, who died in 1999, and to whom she had been married for 60 years. She was born September 17, 1913, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Hyman and Dora (Shedlovsky) Kaplan. She graduated in 1934 from Pennsylvania State University with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in sociology. She then worked for the National Recovery Administration in Pennsylvania as a special investigator, making sure that workers were being paid the required wages and that working conditions for home employment were not being abused. Later, she was employed as a supervisor with the Public Health Service on a project studying chronic disease in west coast mining towns. In 1936, she moved to Detroit, Mich., for the next phase of the project, compiling information and preparing a statistical report. There, she met Harry Millstone, a union organizer for the CIO. Their marriage in 1938 began a partnership of mutual interest in and work for the labor movement. In Newark, N.J., Ms. Millstone was associate editor of the Fur & Leather Worker magazine. After moving to Williamsport in 1941, she served as education and welfare director for the Fur & Leather Workers union. She moved with her family to York in 1961, where she became the editor of the women’s pages for The Gazette and Daily newspaper. She worked to broaden the range of articles on those pages by including information about nutrition, health, and consumer education. A lifelong activist and supporter of progressive causes, she was involved in voter registration drives, opposition to the Vietnam war, support for the civil rights movement, and women’s issues. In recent years, she was an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and participated in regular peace vigils in downtown York. She was also an escort for patients at the local offices of Planned Parenthood. She was preceded in death by both her husband, Harry, and her daughter, Amy Millstone. She is survived by a son, David H. Millstone of Lebanon, N.H.; two stepgrandchildren; and two step great-grandchildren. At her request, her body was donated to the Humanity Gifts Registry to be used in the education of medical students. Local arrangements were handled by the John W. Keffer Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 902 Mt. Rose Ave., York. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made either to Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania, 728 S. Beaver St., York, PA 17401; or to the Jane Addams Peace Association, 565 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116. www.kefferfh.com