Over the years I’ve spent quite a lot of time out in nature, off-trail (only where permitted). In those many many jaunts I found myself noticing little pockets of shelter, somewhere a plant or a creature might be safe from the elements which can certainly be harsh.

Today there is a Pow Wow near my home~a friend of mine is of Native American descent so he always participates. If the rain stops long enough I plan to go. Oh, the drums and the costumes are wonderful. But what I find astonishing and irresistible is the acceptance you find there. Native Americans have as much right as anyone to harbor a festering hate in their hearts…and yet they don’t. They hold these pow wows in part to offer healing. All are welcomed and even invited to dance in the circle, regardless of race or sex. It is a powerful experience. They aren’t trying to convert anyone, merely spend some time dancing together. It creates a sanctuary of peace, one I hope we can all experience.


IMG_20170803_161604_443                                                       Melissa Blue Fine Art

This painting may not be done yet, but I was eager to share it with you. It recalls a day when my daughter and I were out botanizing in extremely tough terrain. No trails here~just a wet prairie. The moraines and sloughs are like corduroy in this preserve,  with tall vegetation that obscures your footing. One minute you’re on a sandy ridge, the next you are plunging into water and black muck, with grasses sawing your skin and biting insects assaulting your senses. Makes me shudder just to think of it, and Katie and I vowed we’d never go back in there no matter what plant might be growing there! However, one of the things nature teaches us is to look up from our trials and tribulations and see what grace notes she has to offer. On this afternoon we looked up to see these fledglings lined up on a dead limb. Aren’t they cute? You birders can set me straight on what they are. Martins? Swallows?

Companion Pieces


It took me forever to get this painting the way I wanted it.  Finally it occurred to me that painting the trunk in shades of lavender would make the landscape beyond pop, and now I’m happy.  As you can see it wears a little frame, a “floater”.  Love those.


Just put the finishing touches on these little guys.  Unless, of course, in the middle of the night it seems I need to change them.  again.  

My studio has been a crazy place lately, with another dog commission (YAY!) and those goldfinches I promised you and…. somehow it seemed more approachable to work on something little.  

I’ve been reading “Tales From the Art Crypt” which is an interesting read about the art world.  The author believes that artists are only relevant and seeking the edge when they are hungry.  Au Contraire, Mr. Moneybags.  I dream of going out there, to the edge, sometimes.  It can be hard to pay the bills from the edge, though, so I’ll leave that to another day.  In the mean time I am happy painting my happy little paintings.

A Wild New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

I don’t know if you ever experience this, but I frequently have several different ideals wrestling to be uppermost in my mind as I go about my days.  “Be free!  Be innovative!   Be economical!  Be environmental!”  all of which mostly just leaves me feeling mental.  And frozen.  So this year I am hoping to be gentler with myself.  I figure if I can do that, it is bound to spill out into how I treat others and the world in general.  Of course, I really do want to be a little more free, innovative,…etc.

in my garden there runs a wild woman


whose job it is to remind me to lighten up and think of the possibilities.  Not that I would run naked through the garden….

Sometimes things get a little off-kilter

but that is ok.

So, in the interest of lightening up, here is my newest painting.  I don’t know what I think of it.  It is kinda wacky, maybe.

Maybe one of these days I will be able to leap all the way into abstraction.  But I’ll be leaving my clothes on in the garden!