Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Voice To Be Heard Above All the Noise

Oprah interviewed Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh February 16 for her O Magazine:

His message of compassion and reconciliation is worth sharing in these troubled times. Thank you, Oprah, for your continuing commitment to give wisdom a chance to be heard amid so much noise in the world today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Artistic Renderings

I try to paint or draw from time to time. I returned to art after more than 30 years away from it. I began by taking some classes at the San Diego Art Museum School where I did oils for the first time. When I do art, I am totally in the present moment. I have done art since I was 4 or 5 years old. You're never "too old" to begin, or renew, a passion for painting and drawing.

I sometimes take classes at the Harwood Art School in Albuquerque . My favorite teachers there are Leo Neufeld (life drawing) and Deborah Secor (pastels).

Below is Los Poblanes Farm in the North Valley (Albuquerque), a value study in oil (2006)

Life Drawing Models in Leo Neufeld's classes (2007 and 2010)

A quick sketch of my daughter, Amanda (2007)

My friend and fellow artist, Takako, was so patient to pose for me while on vacation in Sedona, Arizona (Fall, 2007).

Pastels (2006-2008)

North Valley Farm near Rio Grande (2006)

Ladies View - Killarney National Park, Ireland (January, 2006)

Dry River Bed in New Mexico (2006)

Rio Grande Gorge Road to Taos (2006)

Chapel at Tlaquepaque Village (Sedona, Arizona 2007)

Cathedral Rocks (Sedona, Arizona, October,2007)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

It is Valentine's Day. Sunny and clear. A break in our wintry weather. Ron brought me a dozen long-stemmed roses that brighten up our home and smell so fresh!

I love my husband!

...and I love flowers!
Here are bouquets I received for my Wedding Anniversary this past January 14th.

When Ron and I married in San Diego in 2006, I chose alstromerias and roses for my wedding bouquet.

Valentine's Day is a special day to celebrate Love. I hope you are in love. If not, please take the time to remember a special friend, a past lover, a child or parent who has given you joy or compassion in your life.

Here is a wood-carving print of a Valentine from a dear past love of mine. It is a human heart. He didn't make the Valentine for me. But I treasure it as the most beautiful Valentine I have ever seen. That man had the greatest heart of all with compassion so deep and loving that he could embrace all pain and wash it away. This loving heart gave out one day in May of 2004 and I will miss him always.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Critters In Our Midst

Two cats are our companions in our house. We also have wild birds that visit our feeders and suet blocks. Unfortunately, they do not play well together.

On these cold winter days, the cats sit longingly by the window, believing they are invisible to these birds who taunt them from the other side of the glass. Bandit looks at me as if to shout:
"Miss Vicki, Take Down This Glass Wall!"

We don't own a dog. Our neighbors have more than enough and our adding a dog would surely break the harmony of the orchestra that currently serenades us all day and night.
My husband has always had dogs. He thought we might get one when we moved to the mountains east of Albuquerque.
Then my daughter, Mary, moved in with us bringing two Pugs with her. Unfortunately, Handsome Jack and Hank from Hell were not well-trained. Despite their endearing faces and clown-like behavior, their practice of "marking" our entire home and chewing on anything they could get their teeth around quickly wore out their welcome.

The cats quite resented these interlopers. Although he tried to play and make friends with them, poor Jack was rewarded with one of Bandit's claws embedded in his face. When Mary moved out last year, she took her two Pugs (with all four eyes intact) to her new apartment in Albuquerque. She saw the wisdom of giving Hank back to her ex-boyfriend and now has only Jack (the "googley-eyed" one).

Pet owners often think of themselves as either "dog persons" or "cat persons". My husband never cared much for cats. But these two cats have found a way to the heart of this former dog person. He has grown to appreciate their independent ways.
And, when they climb into your lap and snuggle into your arm, they almost substitute for that missed Grand-child who is so very far away.