Ah, my dear readers, are you enjoying these high summer days as much as I am? They seem so lazy, these days of sun and heat, and yet, everything in our garden has reached perilous heights of glory! When Mr. Bill and I returned from our travels, we found zucchini as long as our forearms and lettuce which had bolted up to our waists. Now the beans are coming on with great energy. These are the days when I want to sit in the garden with my sketchbook and listen to the bees buzzing around me. (Thank goodness we still have bees!) I've been involved in Mary Ann Moss' online Sketchbookery class and it has been fabulous.....go to dispatchfromla.typepad.com to get all the details of this marvelous class. She will be opening a new group in December. Mary Ann teaches with a wonderful ease and encourages an attitude of exploration and curiosity rather than performance of absolute accuracy. In fact, as she says herself: "There are no ART POLICE comin' round today." She has so inspired me that now I don't want to do anything else but sketch everything around me....all the wonderful stuff of everyday life. Apples, dogs, art supplies, toast smeared with jam, a group of forks, a jar of colored pencils, yellow squash peeking out from under their shady camouflage.
I spend my mornings writing a long and involved story for my two grandchildren, Paloma and Luna, about the Goblin Wars In A Sacred Wood. I am on page 81 so I am making great progress....taking my laptop down to the coffee house on summer mornings and stoking my creative fires with a couple of lattes is bliss. Oh, would you like to meet the latest character to barge into my story? He is Horatio, a long eared rabbit who was once captured by the Slinkers (nasty beasties who work for the Goblin King) and who managed to escape and live to tell his story. He's a likeable fellow, although he stutters terribly from the trauma of his captivity:
He is rather shy and timid (well, he's a rabbit) but he has asked me to give him a close-up:
"B-B-B-but Ellen, I am also b-b-b-eautiful from the back?"
OK, Horatio, one more shot of beautiful you."
He really does have the lovliest ears--they are quite soft and the insides are so nice to touch. I enjoy spending time with him and hearing his story, even though he is quite whacked out from his time with the Goblin King. (For those of you who would like to know, Horatio is 14" tall and was designed by Art Rogers of Chatham Village Bears.)
Travels give me such a renewed sense of my creative life. I always come home inspired to do many more things than I can actually do. Right now it is sketching, writing new chapters on my Goblin story, and sifting through many ideas for shorter stories here on my blog.
Gosh, you have been so patient, waiting all this time for a photo of my second grand-daughter now in full bloom of maximum fat baby cuteness! Here she is, Luna Ellen, six months:
(She is doing her push-ups to prepare for crawling.) And here is a very tired Paloma:
It seems that the only time you can catch a photo of a 4 year old is when she is completely exhausted at the end of the day. And here is their glowing mother extraordinaire:
That's me, 8 years old, on her left arm. You can only see part of him on her right arm but her father is there too. Believe me, when you first see your portrait on your daughter's arm, your brain goes round and round and finally comes up with the message: "File not found." Such a sweet gesture on her part. Whenever I am around her I am always stunned by her competence, her lovely heart, and the depth of her devotion to her family.
High summer offers us cupfuls of great green sunlight. Here in Oregon I drink from them while I can. I hope you, dear readers, are doing the same, wherever you might be!