Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Thanksgiving Day

I followed the winding dirt path that wound it's way down the steep cliff face to the ocean. Many of the paths along these ridges of land are precarious....a misstep can lead to a quick trip to the bottom. The sun had spilled over the ridges hours earlier, warming the rocks, transmuting the cold of the night that was stored in them, into the warmth of the day. I finally reached the beach, removed my shoes, left them by a large boulder and began to walk the empty strand. It wasn't a sandy beach, but one made up of small grey pebbles warmed now by the sun and smoothed round by endless cycles of wind and waves.
As I walked i relished the feel of my bare feet sinking into them. The pebbles felt like some exotic accupressure treatment to my soles. I walked on, and the crashing waves washing up on the beach provided a musical score to my footsteps. White water running up the steep beach, grabbing hold of the small grey pebbles in its fingers and tumbling them back down, continuing the process of smoothing, sorting, refining the stones, turning them slowly into sand. The uniform greyness of the pebbles was somehow comforting in it's sameness...like a subdued backdrop for whatever anyone would like to add to it.
Up ahead something caught my eye. A bright flash of light in the field of grey. A piece of glass maybe? As I approached the small object it seemed to dance as it caught the sunlight. Bursts of light in reds and blues and yellows sparkled and drew me in. I leaned down and picked up the object...seeing that it wasn't a piece of glass at all, but a perfect, beautiful Moonstone lying there among these ordinary pebbles. I held it in my hand, feeling the smooth velvety surface and marveling at its clarity. The small round stone seemed to hold within it an entire world of light and color and beauty. It was a beauty that was never static but always changing and moving. As I turned it in the sunlight, different facets that I hadn't seen before would become illuminated, capturing my attention. It was much like watching the waves break on the beach, or the flames of a fire...I felt as though I could gaze at it forever and never see the exact same thing twice. There was always something new there, always another perspective that I hadn't noticed before. I had truly never seen anything like it. It was exquisitely beautiful. I looked back down at the beach to see if there were any more like it...there must be, I thought....so I walked along, scouring the entire landscape of small grey stones looking for another....I never found one. This one Moonstone was entirely unique...a gift in it's singularity. I thought about taking it home, putting it on the windowsill where it would catch the morning sunlight...but somehow it didn't seem right. It belonged here in the open, warmed by the sun and washed in the sea...and left so that some other fortunate wanderer might discover this jewel and delight in its magic.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I have obviously taken a long break from writing...I have needed time to shift gears into a new lifestyle after selling the micro-gypsy caravan. It has a wonderful new home with two delighful people who love her. She has been spruced up and redecorated to be even more gypsy-like, and is a happy caravan. I cherished every moment I lived in her, knowing it wasn't forever and appreciating it all the more. She is in very good hands.

The redecorated micro-gypsy caravan

In the time since then there have been many changes and events in my life. I've spent most of the time on a beautiful piece of property in Big Sur. I met a wonderful new friend, Annie Mahoney, who passed away shortly after we met. My friend Rose and I took her to the emergency room late one night. She never came back. Annie was one of the most delightful people I have ever met. I knew, from the first day that I had made a friend for life. Her passing was completely unexpected an knocked the wind out of all of us here who loved her.

My studio on the cliffs

Plans for my own life have changed since I've been here. I've wanted nothing so much as to paint the dramatic scenes that are Big Sur...the place that has been more home to me than anywhere. So I have decided to settle in here in this place that keeps pulling me back. I bought a small van, outfitted it for camping and painting and have just gotten my easel and oil paints out again. Through Thanksgiving and Christmas there have been some of the most perfect days here on the cliffs that I've ever seen. Painting here has been pure bliss.

I'm very excited about this next chapter of life. I'm looking forward to seeing what transpires on my easel and also to living in this awesome landscape that lies along coast route one....and I'm happy to get back to writing about the things that inspire me. I hope, dear reader, that you will continue to follow along as I explore with my paintbox, this unique landscape.

New Morning 12x24 oil on canvas

Thank you for being here.