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Book Announcement!!!!!

It’s official!  I just signed the contract to write and illustrate “The Complete Book of Horses and Ponies for Kids!”  I’m soooo excited to be able to impact a generation of young horse lovers on a larger scale!

As a horse crazy, horseless bookworm, I devoured every book I came across growing up.  There are certainly plenty of “everything about horses”  books out there! After a lifetime of learning, training and teaching, I intend to add value (and enjoyment!) to the genre.

Let the writing begin!!!

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“Art and Earth”

I’m thrilled to have work selected for “Art and Earth,” an annual, nationally juried exhibit sponsored by the Berkeley Arts Council! This is one of my favorite shows, for both the content and caliber of the work.

Paula Phillips, the Juror, states:

“Regardless of the artistic discipline or medium(s) utilized, all works submitted are recognized as passionately rendered and inspiring, lending credence to the hands and stout hearts of artists who work diligently, skillfully manifesting their artistic visions, life experiences and values within the physical / earthly realm, each in their own ways and for their own reasons.

“Being asked to serve as juror and ultimately charged with selecting the works for the Berkeley Arts Council’s 11th Annual Art & Earth Juried Exhibit was an honor and a role accepted with grave sincerity, carried out with sensitivity, great thought and care.

The Art and Earth: My Art – My World exhibition is an eclectic gathering of related works of various disciplines, mediums and dimensions. Some of the works selected are “states of being” that present actual scenarios and experiences. Some are fantastical or futuristic. Some come forth as alter egos, portraits or self-portraits. Some are visual renditions of abstract thoughts that represent form, color, and movement, the core message remaining somewhat obscure or direct. Some are observations of and within distinct or obtuse environments; and some the haunting products of brief, yet profound experiences that may have emerged from life-altering events. Others portray concepts and methodologies that remain mysterious or vague. Each work exhibited contains an energy, vibrancy and relevance of the “now” that collectively represent a fullness of “Life” in its various states of whimsy and stolid grace; fiction, fantasy and realism; humility and glory.”

“Thank you for the honor to participate as your juror!
Peace & Health….”
– Paula Phillips

The exhibit will be open beginning on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 through Saturday, May 29, 2021. All are invited to the virtual reception and awards presentation on Saturday, May 22 at 2pm via Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent out closer to the event date.

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Friday Plein Air Painters at Cool Spring Preserve

Invisible insects sing soprano as I saunter past, their sudden silence a moving bubble of quiet surrounded by a sea of sound.

I choose a spot by the stream with lovely benches and even pop-up tables. The sun plays hide and seek with the clouds in the landscape. I hear more than feel the breeze, enveloped as I am in brush and branch.

And that is the star. The feeling I want to convey, of coziness, of protection, of sharing a secret with this little glade.

I pull out paper and start to sketch and find I want to explore the textures in the burled sycamore wading in the stream. And then a flash and a splash and I’m drawn into a giant leaf slowly spinning and circling in an eddy before catching the current and racing down stream. I wish I could think fluently in music, for right now that’s how I would compose….

I settle on the sweeping tangle of marsh and meadow to the far-off farm. But in the midst, a leaf  lands dramatically next to my paints. Watercolors.  Not a familiar medium for me, but fascinating and most important, portable.  “Paint me, paint me!” the leaf demands. I laugh and continue my wash, so different from the stream-side glade I initially intended to explore… but that’s the way it goes.  Listen to the landscape….


I bid my spot farewell, even as the infinitely intricate (intricately infinite?) negative spaces in the leaves try to lure me in…

I don’t realize how chilly I get sitting on the cold bench until I start back. The last time I wandered this trail, hoarfrost twinkled from every blade and secret hollow.  Let me see if I can find a picture….February feels like a lifetime ago.

The painters head off home, but I’ve packed my running gear and look forward to logging a couple of miles. The trails are springy and welcoming underfoot. A brief bright blob bounding into the woods shows why it’s called Whitetail Trail. When I pass my spot by the stream, my bossy leaf has blown on…

A hidden vista off a side trail. A palette of leaves and lichen.  A trail through a tunnel to wonderland.  The soaring buzzards are too far off to see unless you blow up the photo…but scant minutes later I startle when they swoop down just above me. That’s why they’re called buzz-ards, I laugh to myself.

I’m fascinated at the contrast of texture that rolls by.  Spike and tendril.  Vapor and solid. Fluid and unyielding.


Puff and sweat.  Pause to shoot. The trail turns towards home, past a bucolic pasture scene. As I raise my phone,  the statuesque bull lazily flops his head all the way to the ground, now just a distant blurry blob.  I think about calling to him for a more majestic pose but realize the wisdom of letting sleeping bulls lie. Enjoy the sunshine, buddy….


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Pathway to a Palette

The choice of a color palette dictates the mood of a painting.  Color theory is an ongoing source of inspiration, frustration, and constant study. And yet, as each season unfurls, I’m struck with nature’s ever-changing, harmonic color, and EFFORTLESS palettes. Einstein urges, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

And so I do.


From each hike, run, and round of farm chores, the world gifts me new palettes to explore.

Or not….

Toni Morrison reminds us: “at some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”

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Friday Painters: Blandy Arboretum

Mark takes the day off so we can continue my Birthday festivities with the new Steeplechase exhibit at the NSLM, some delicious pub fare, an errand at the secondhand tack shop, and a visit with a friends feisty black colt.  I tear and fold a little concertina spread, and drip and splash inks in advance.

But first, Friday Painters at the Arboretum.  We love this place!  After we say hi, we drive around a bit to see what calls to be painted today.  So much amazingness in this sprawling wonderland!  When we get to my rocks, I ask Mark to drop me off.

I sit and just soak up the scene for a few minutes, listening to the landscape.  The sun burns relentlessly somewhere on the far side of the mist.  These 3 rocks, as they march across the hilltop, whisper of rolling waves and I think of lava deepdeepdeep in the earth’s core, in long ago time. I imagine all the swirl and fury trapped in sharp immobility, yet somehow remembering endless motion.

Blind contour drawing.  Splashes of watercolor, still unfamiliar.

My bladder urges me on, long before the sketch is “done.”

Mark had planned to run a few miles while I paint, but instead takes a well-deserved snooze.

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“Buzz-hundheit!” Stop-Motion Play

Morning email brings an invitation to join the “Kitchen Table Film Festival.”  Kara Kramer, Carla Sonheim and her team have combined “Make it Move-a Low-tech Intro into Animation” with a sure-to-be joyous online film festival to celebrate all the new creations!  Take THAT, Covid!

Despite childhood dreams of creating the next “Fantasia,” I haven’t done anything with animation.  Perfect!

With that niggling feeling that IceKanse wants to take me in new directions, I decide to spotlight some of the misprints.

Can you tell it’s a heckuvan allergy season!

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No Foolin’

April Fools, and there’s a thin slab of ice on the smaller water buckets.  As much a gift as the tulips exploding through winter’s doldrums-wahoo!  A whole new palette, a whole new perspective… and new pressure to create pictures as the ice trickles then streams down my arm.

A playful narrative begins to form. Vincent Van Gogh and Alice in Wonderland join me in revelry.  But even as the ice melts the implications are chilling:  everyone, everything from the fresh blossoms bursting from still cold soil to the historical house standing stoically among the growing floral kerfuffle will be affected if not destroyed by climate change….



“Alice Gallivant”



“Vincent Strolls”