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Day 25. Room for all

, "Surprise Visitor" 4x4, oil on canvas The tufted titmouse. When I first started getting them in my yard in Covington I was elated. I’d never seen one up close before, and by sheer luck of whatever seed I’d picked at the gardening store down the road, there they...

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Day 24. Run this run.

, "A lot on my mind"  6x6, oil on canvas Here’s something that happens a lot on one of those guided runs I do: The coach says, “You may feel like picking up the pace. Sometimes it takes discipline not to go faster even when you you can. This is a recovery run. I want...

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Day 23. Sheer delight and gratitude

  "Sheer Delight" 11x14, acrylic on canvas I was working on my first ever painting assignment in college and as the professor made the rounds in the studio, she stopped at my easel and commented that she could tell I had been painting for quite some time. I was...

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Day 22. The inside on the outside

"Inside on the Outside" 6x6, oil on canvas One of the reasons I do the 31 in 31 every year is for the gifts. There are always little unexpected connections, joys and insights that pop up along the way. They come unannounced and without fanfare. They feel like...

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Day 21. Advice Givers

"Let it Soak in" 5x5, oil on canvas I was painting another one of my wilderness-haired women, trying to decide what kind of bird to put in the brush (still thinking about putting a brass band in there at some point). I usually go for the tiny and cute variety– little...

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Day 20. Nostalgia

"Nostalgia" 5x5, oil on canvas Today’s painting is an egret that I painted mostly with a brush but threw in a few palette knife strokes at the end just for kicks. Using the brush again feels pretty good. There’s a touch of excitement in it because the strokes are so...

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Day 19. I can relate

"Three's a Party" 4x4, oil on canvas I love body language. I like looking for curves and asymmetry. I like when bodies move like a wave. I’m not musical. I compare it to the people who constantly tell me they can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. My first impulse...

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Day 18. Something about context

"In Good Times and in Bad" 4x4, oil on canvas I tried something new. I brought a small 4x4 canvas with me to a wedding I was painting. I’d already prepped it with a magenta wash so it was ready.  Once I’d set up and was waiting for the reception to start, I did a...

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Day 17. When your horse dies…

9x12, oil on paper Another little work on paper, this time with the lines from the poem I mentioned in day 5. Not a whole lot to say about it or much else at the moment. I painted at late night weddings both last night and the night before, and, well, I’m just tired I...

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Day 16. Life is like a…

"My own font yard" 11x14, oil on canvas We were watching TV the other night eating those little Dove dark chocolates with the messages inside the wrapper. I opened mine to read something along the lines of, “Live with no regrets. It’s worth it” which I obviously and...

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Day 15. Respect

4x4, oil on canvas (can you help me think of a title?") Respect the run, Coach Bennett says. Is it going to be 100 degrees? Run before sun up or after sunset. Is your day crazy? Don’t plan for 20 miles. Respect the art practice. Am I feeling burned out? Don’t plan...

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Day 13. The song that entered your heart

"Thus Wilderness Bloomed There" 16x20, oil on paper For Christmas, I received the best gift. My uncle walked into my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve morning with a very clearly tackle-box-shaped package. Ezra, our enthusiastic  fisherman, immediately thought it...

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Day 12. My own best coach.

"Adventurer" 9x12, oil on paper I opened my running app just to see if there were any new ones in the mix that I hadn’t done yet. Guess what popped up? The Worst Advice ever run, a lovely companion to the Best Advice Ever run that I’ve been applying to my 31 in 31. ...

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Day 11: Be a fan

: "Your biggest fan" 6x6, oil on canvas That was another of Coach Bennett’s running advice: be a fan of your sport. Go to games– high school, college, rec, professional. Join a park clean-up volunteer crew. Coach a kid’s team. Be a fan.  When I translate this to art...

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Day 9. Painting makes you a painter.

"Play the Pauses" 6x6, oil on canvas The next note from the “best advice ever” guided run with Coach Bennett was this: “Running makes you a runner, you don’t have to run everyday to be a runner everyday.” Let’s try it another way. Painting makes you a painter. You...

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Day 7: Don’t worry, I’ll get there. Eventually

"Ponder" 10x10, oil on canvas I have these leggings that are too tight, but what they lack in comfort they make up for in pockets. I chose those this morning for the pockets.  I can slide a caseless phone in the side pocket and because the pants are tight, it doesn’t...

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Day 6. If not that, then what?

, "Break in the Rhythm" 6x6, oil on canvas Yesterday I opened my app for a morning guided run and there was a new one available. It really stood out to me because for this 31 in 31 I’ve been thinking a lot about advice and trying to share some of the best I’ve gotten...

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Day 5. Of course they were.

"Resurrection" 4x4, oil on canvas I love goldfinches for two main reasons. 1: yellow. 2: Mary Oliver and her poem “Invitation” that I’ve posted here about a hundred times so I’ll spare you this one time on this one blog post.  So imagine my delight to find another...

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Day 4: Sometimes it just takes time

"All the pieces" 4x4, oil on canvas   Last week, I texted my best friend in a panic. The holiday cards, which I wanted to send but didn’t get around to until after Christmas, had come in and they were blurry. For whatever reason, at the moment, it felt like a...

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Day 3. Your Own Backyard

"Your Own Backyard" 5x7, oil on canvas My mother-in-law takes photographs and writes poetry. This January she’s creating images from her own backyard and when she posted a picture of a little bluebird, I fell in love. He was cute and poised, practically begging for me...

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Day 2: Ride the waterslide.

  "Waterslide" 4x4, oil on canvas I was on a walk with my nine year old a week ago, thinking about the impending 31. “What’s some advice you would give someone?” I asked him. I was pretty sure he’d shrug but instead he immediately launched into a Ted Talk...

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Day 1: Ease on in

"Ease In" 5x5, oil on canvas   Day 1s are not always a walk in the park but, for me, they come with a tremendous sense of relief. The thing I’ve just been thinking about, worrying about, trying to decide this and that about– that thing gets to finally just take...

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I Could Use Your Advice.

I got some advice the other day that has kind of been simmering all week. That’s how advice, good or bad, tends to work for me. I put it on a slow burn, watch the little bubbles form, the flavors gel. Once it’s had the time it needs, I try to really taste it or it...

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We’re headed to Kindergarten! 31 in 31 turns 5!

We started the 31 in 31 group in 2017. Almost five years old. We’ve cried it out, we’ve potty trained. We’re coming into our own but still have a lot to learn. We ask insightful questions no one can really answer.  My 31 in 31 group is about to attend our metaphoric...

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Walking around in your underwear (sorta)

Walking around in your underwear (sorta)

It’s why my son says he’s the best runner and world champion marathoner Paula Radcliffe says she has areas where she could really improve. Why kids at lemonade stands brag about their business skills and CEOs of successful companies revamp their entire strategies.  If...

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I Could Stay Here A While

, "I Could Stay Here A While" 24x24 My tank was on empty. Not metaphorically but that too. The light came on in the minivan and I pulled over to the gas station closest to my house. Insert card, open gas lid, chose fuel type, the whole drill. I got everything rolling,...

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A long way, indeed.

I went for a run this morning on the beach. Not the street next to the beach. The actual sand-in-your-toes beach. There were a couple of dead catfish, one beheaded, washed up on the shore and I zig zagged around my fair share of...

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