Monday, May 2, 2016

Around Here


 Hello friends. It's all kittens, all the time. I've been volunteering at a cat shelter, and offered to foster five kittens from three different litters, and the heroic mother cat, who has been caring for all of them. It's been great fun, and I love them all, but no, I'm not keeping any. Once they are spayed/neutered and healthy, the shelter will find homes for them. Kittens must be adopted with another kitten or young cat (or the mother cat) and it comforts me to know that some of them will be adopted together.

I've missed a couple of Catskill weekends because of family stuff and kitten emergencies, but look forward to getting back later this month and seeing the wildflowers. I finally have a few blooms in my yard, and supplement them with flowers from the store. I need flowers. There, I said it.

I'm still painting regularly. Seascapes, landscapes...Thinking about night flowers 

and frog ponds.

A few evenings ago I went to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, which stays open until the civilized hour of 10 p.m. three nights a week. I saw this Edward Hopper painting, A Room in Brooklyn, and it was like looking in a mirror.

Although I rarely post, here, I will continue to do so, to keep the thread, the connections, with those of you who aren't on Instagram. And maybe someday I'll post more in depth. I find myself staying away from the computer more, leaving my phone behind sometimes, picking up paper and pencil.

I hope that all is well with you.

xo, Jennifer

Monday, April 4, 2016

April Snow

Catskill hills

Aji and hyacinths

It is April, and today it snowed and tomorrow it will snow and at night the temperature will dip close to single digits. I worry about the birds, and the blossoms. I don't actually have any blossoms, but my neighbors do. I'm not going to complain. I can buy flowers at the store and bring them in my house. I have a house, and money to buy flowers, and a family that loves me, and a few friends and cats and lots of books. I have everything. I love the sharp seasons of New England, and  unpredictable weather. Actually, weather can be pretty well predicted these days, but we can't control it. And that makes me happy. A clear night with a splash of stars gives way to slow moving clouds. Wind blows, snow falls, sun shines.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Ice world, Catskills


They seem alive, these icy wonders,
constantly melting and refreezing, morphing
covering rock, moss and fern
hanging in the air.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

quiet, drifting

 After eleven feet of snow last winter, I've been happy to have a mild winter, although it didn't feel quite right. There wasn't the invigorating briskness of autumn or the freshness of spring, just something that felt in-between and kind of blah. Yesterday we had the perfect storm--about eight inches of snow, heavy and wet, so it stuck to the trees creating a Dr. Zhivago/winter wonderland effect.

 I put seed out under the eves close to the house and eventually birds found it. I sat for a long time, quietly watching them, and realized that sitting and watching is probably what serious bird watching is about. That's something I could get into. Wrens, juncos, titmice, sparrows and cardinals (spectacular against the snow) found their way to my deck while the cats and I observed. Nature is so lovely and complicated and poignant. Watching birds is surprisingly (to me) absorbing. It reminded me of what I've heard people say about fishing. It's mostly about being out on the boat, quiet, drifting.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

deep purple

Somewhere in December I hit a painting wall, 
so I took some time off, didn't even think about it. 
But I became obsessed with a color--
a deep purply black.

I only saw it in my mind's eye, and I don't know why,
but when I returned to my studio I painted this.

Then this.

I've been painting thicker and faster.

tree bark, Providence Rhode Island

I suppose the lesson is than when stuck
it really can help to step back, take a breath,
to let my mind, and my eyes, 
and my mind's eyes

Friday, December 18, 2015

Merry & Bright

Season's Greetings from the Freshtown bear.
Freshtown is our Catskills grocery store, 
and it is well populated with carved bears.

Every year I do less and less holiday decorating
and enjoy it more and more.
Just imagine a single wreath on this old barn.

Deer festivities,

mantlepiece whimsy,

and a tree. Greens scattered here and there.
Outside, a tree with colored lights.
Inside, the first time I've used white lights in many years.

We are doing our family Christmas with the boys this weekend.
Christmas Eve I will find a candlelight church service,
and on Christmas proper I will be at the cat shelter in the morning,
then a movie and Chinese food.

I am almost free of tradition, and it is liberating.

Monday, November 30, 2015


When in the country the waterfall is the center of attention. It is majestic and loud and beautiful. It slows people down, they pause and contemplate. The stream it feeds into becomes an afterthought. So I've been trying to pay more attention to what goes on downstream. The smaller falls, swirls and eddies formed by rocks. The rocks themselves. Mossy, ferny twiggy things.

 Icy bits are starting to form.

Thanksgiving was an eclectic bunch of friends, everyone brought something. I  made my favorite applesauce cake. I boil apple slices in apple cider so it is very apple-y. Holiday lights went up in the little towns, a wonderful thing when it gets dark at 4:00. There were lots of leftovers, and Reader, I read Jane Eyre for the first time.

xo, Jennifer