September 30, 2008

Apples in Four Parts

So this is actually Four 4"x6" paintings. I wanted to paint something a little fun, a little different. You know, watercolors are not boring. I'm always trying to find new ways to make watercolor painting fun and different. I'll frame them and hang this "bowl of apples" on my wall in my kitchen I think. Then, I'll eat a crunchy apple dipped in peanut butter....

September 22, 2008

Happy Monday?!

Well, not sure if it's a happy Monday yet. It's too early to tell. But I think my newest geranium will at least help you move in that direction.

Last week I started working at this great floral shop in Clayton. I just love the atmosphere and being around flowers all day (pics to come). THANK GOD FOR FLOWERS!!!!!! This little job has been fun, but the best part about being having a little structure in my generally free spirit non-structured life is that it requires me to be more conscious of my time and getting things done. I really do get more done when I have more to do. Sounds strange.

Also I'm getting close to reaching my 100th Post here on GerAmyUm. I have no idea who reads this besides my mom and dad. But please check back in the next couple of weeks because I'm going to be giving away an original watercolor of a geranium of course!!!!

September 20, 2008

A Place to Nap

Last night I was too tired to sleep. So, I stayed awake and just played around with ink from one of my fountain pens and watercolors. I was surprised and liked it. Love to use water soluble inks in my work - they always bleed nicely. Now I wish I could take a little siesta outside in the garden of this little Italian country home zzzz.....

September 16, 2008

9:00 a.m. Tuesday - Already Overwhelmed

My mind rushes a million miles first thing in the morning. I'm one of those people who really don't need coffee to wake up. I love the morning and I have the most hope and energy during this time and also a complete lack of reality. If I make a "To Do" list first thing (which I often do), it's ridiculous. No human could complete this list by themselves, perhaps with a team of assistants or clones, but not alone. Still, I write these lists. In the last few months, I've started saving them. 1. They are comical and 2. I really do get the things done on my list. But, I just forget about them because I've already gone to another list... It's much like praying. One day during a conversation with my dad (a minister) I declared with a great deal of emotion and certainty that "God didn't really care much for me and I don't even know why I bother to pray - he just doesn't answer my prayers..." blah, blah, blah, sniff, sniff, blow nose and wipe eyes... You get the picture. Now this isn't a post on religion, God or theology and I have all three in my life on some level and not always correctly. These things do play into my thinking, my art and even my understanding of who I am, so I really can't ignore or separate my life into neat piles. So, back to the point, I do pray... if that's what you want to call it. Of course my father reminded me that my prayers have been answered, I just managed to forget about them because I have new requests or in my case demands. He told me I should write a just a few of the most important things down and pray about these things and keep the "list" somewhere where I won't lose it and can come back to it. So I have a list of three things that at this point in life are very important to me and on some level is all I worry/pray and plea to God about. I feel as if I've sent God his "To Do" list. But will he do? Ahhh and so I treat prayer the same shallow way I do my daily to do lists...This is a picture I did of Noah waiting for the water to recede and in many ways a picture of faith and patience. On a good day I have a quarter cup of both. For some reason completing what's on the list is an indication of my ability and in God's case, His caring for me. So what do we do when the list sits there with nothing crossed off. I pretty much feel bad and say all kinds of nasty things to myself and I'm sure this same attitude seeps into my thoughts of God. But have I ever thought that just because the things aren't finished today, doesn't mean it's not in process. Just like Noah praying for dry land, it happened but not instantly. Who knows what God was working on while everyone sat crammed on that boat.
For the last couple of years I've been praying the same three things for my life. 1. A home with a garden 2. A husband and 3. Making a living with my art. (in no particular order - because the order changes with the weather) I have worked hard and come so close to all three but never to the point of crossing it off the prayer list myself. Perhaps it an answer to prayer when you know that only God could have made that happen and no amount of hard work or personal effort could have brought the answer. That's when you know its from God.
Okay, enough of the spiritual side of life today. On my to do list is to finish another painting for the GerAmyUm book and complete a painting I started of Lafayette Park and make beef stroganoff. That's it!

September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11

I Saved a Life Tonight

By Amy Woods

(September 12, 2001 - 1:30 a..m.)

I saved a life tonight

Covered with ash, eyes blood shot and unseeing

What happened?

I was just going to work

Same as always

Never the same again.

I saved a life tonight

Hero in yellow with so much to carry

So strong, so able -- promising life

He climbed to hell and I ran down to heaven.

15, 23, 46 flights, thousands of steps

Sweat smelling of hope running down his back

Heavy breath then …

Able no more.

I saved a life tonight

Unable to take another step

Exhausted and red unable to breathe

I slung her over my shoulder

Ran like a tiger. Strength from God.

I saved a life tonight

Alone in my room – safe and comfortable

Close my eyes. I can’t watch anymore.



And in the night, now still with no sound.

I heard the voices grow. Each asking “Why?”

I found them and carried each to his home

Mother, Father, Wife, Husband and Child

Crying with joy

Holding their own.

And when I was through

Nothing was left

But steel, ashes and

Four twisted jets

And the "Whys" piled high in the middle.

I wrote this seven years ago after an entire day of watching the news alone. My husband at the time was not in town - he was a federal marshal and I'm not sure where he was called to but I was keenly aware of how alone I was. I had not cried the entire day but then around eleven that night, finally broke down when I watched a young reporter lose it on air. I'm really not a poet but for some reason I wrote this and this is the first time I am sharing it. I took this picture of the Twin Towers on my first visit to New York City in 1996. I went there on a Saturday - not a soul was there and laid on the ground and looked up to take the shot.

I will never forget September 11.

September 9, 2008

Chicago - Michigan Avenue Painting

For some reason this watercolor took a painfully long time to paint. Late last night I finished it and was just relieved to be done. I'll probably do some touch ups as I look at it on my easel the next few days. I was inspired by the loose watercolor work of one of my favorite artists, Childe Hassam - he did many cityscapes with flag paintings and there so loose and watery. I could only find this one example on line - it's an oil, but it gives you an idea. I love his painting of flowers and he too had an eye for that red geranium. Another favorite. That could have been me sitting at the window you know.

September 8, 2008


I seek the sources of refreshment,
sustenance, and healing
that my spirit, like my body,
is constantly in need of.

I am made whole again
- my self is given back to me -
in solitude and silence.

So now I seek to silence the word and thought
by being conscious of the sounds around me,
or the sensations of my body,
or my breathing

I am energized by love.

So I recapture
and relive
the times when I felt loved,
cared for, and treasured.

And I see myself going out in love
to friend,
to those who are in need,
and every living creature.

I come alive in times of creativity.
(--From Anthony De Mello's book Wellspring - A Book of Spiritual Exercises.)
This past week has been very oppressive. I'm weighed down by the pain and burdens of other and have been truly exhausted. I found this book a friend gave me and was drawn to this particular meditation especially after such a heavy, strange and sad week. There is so much noise in my head. In some ways painting can be meditation for me. I know that sitting in a garden among flowers creates a peace and solitude I can't seem to find anywhere else. So, when I can't get to a garden, I hope this painting will bring me back to my afternoon in the St. Louis Botanical Gardens.


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