When does your year begin?


Last summer, in Paris I secretly photographed this gentleman and his faithful companion, waiting patiently in line at a boulangerie. Wonder what a day is like for them and does one season melt into the next? Does their year begin after the Summer Soldes?


When does your year begin? September is often a marker for many of us. The first day of school: new clothes, new supplies, new friends and new experiences. January is a logical starting point as well. My August birthday has always been my “beginning.” And while celebrating my birthday always brings up many emotions, mostly positive (I’m starting another trip around the sun!) and a few negative (my dad, Merrill May died four days before my 11th birthday (quite some time ago – obviously – but still the memory is bittersweet), I use this yearly marker to assess where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Art wise I’m becoming more confident in my processes and mediums – encaustics are more or less turning out as I envision them – working with hot wax, while still challenging, is more predictable.



Cold wax, not so much. Learning to mix oil paints and create abstract interpretations of my inner visions is still a struggle. Work is often put aside until I can figure out where it needs to go, as in the piece below, “In the Distance.” Can’t begin to tell you how many variations this work went through (or how many layers of wax and paint exist under the topmost one). It’s like an archeological dig – scrape the surface and surprises await!


When not in the studio, the rest of my life continues on a pretty even keel. I travel, eat great meals and share good times with family and friends. At a recent event I took many photographs of these lovely koi – gracefully swimming under and around lily pads. I love how they shared their beauty and were unaware of what was above them or where their lives were going. Totally blissful.



This wall exists here in Portland and I love textures and peeling paint. It’s old and still hanging in there. Nuff said.

Everything’s connected . . . one way or another

An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, 

regardless of time, place, or circumstances. 

The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.

Ancient Chinese Proverb

August is generally a slow month work-wise. Clients intent on soaking up the sun don’t require my invitation design services and I, too, have the opportunity to enjoy the lazy summer days . . .

. . . not so much this August – I’ve been busy as a bird dog. One job – designing invites for a dinner party is particularly challenging – I can’t mention either the honoree’s age or the fact that it’s a birthday celebration. Fortunately the restaurant’s decor affords plenty of inspiration and my collections of Chinese trinkets, papers and ephemera are finally being put to good use.

On The Street is this weeks 52 Photos Project prompt and these photos taken last October in San Francisco not only fit the bill, they also connect to my “Chinese” theme. As this was my first trip to Chinatown, hours could have been spent strolling the streets and snapping pix. My sweet traveling companions, while indulging this photo frenzy for awhile, had other plans, so a return trip is in my future . . . what a delightful destiny!

August: a month full of gifts

In my family birthdays are an excuse for extended celebrations. We don’t just honor the “birth” day – we give the entire month to the birthday girl or boy. August is my birthday month (and my brother’s as well) so we’re in the throes of a “wild birthday rumpus.”

These lovely earrings are from my sister-in-law. As a collector of hands, in all shapes and forms, they are the perfect gift for me!

Another earring pix – coupled with a favorite postcard (given to me by an old friend) of Christo and Jean-Claude’s “Running Fence.” I think that all of their thought-provoking installations are visual gifts.

Beach birthday celebrations are the best. This past Saturday’s stunning weather capped off several days of delicious food, great bike rides and good times with family and friends.

August is full of gifts, both received and given. Making homemade blackberry and raspberry jam is an easy way to capture summer in a jar. Having enough to share with my pals is the perfect way to celebrate my wonderful birthday month!