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At Vivian’s House

February 27th, 2022 No comments

I can remember the first time I went to Phil and Vivian William’s house. I was an aspiring musician, and the house was full of sound, of music, of laughing. It was beautiful and intimidating. Everywhere I looked I saw amazing artifacts, and in every corner, violin cases. There were many friendly faces, some of whom I got to know over the years. There was every manner of instrument; and if we were lucky, (we usually were) someone would be playing the parlor grand piano.
Vivian's living room
I know that over the years, besides these well attended jams that met every first Wednesday of the month in this living room; there were recording sessions, practices and get-togethers of every size. Musicians would come to visit from all over the world, and find good music and fun at Phil and Vivian’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer, I managed to be there for an amazing recording session featuring Isaac Callender and four of his amazing guitar playing friends; Gary Lee Moore, Rich Levine, Pete Martin and Rod Anderson. There was so much energy in the room, that I realized it had been reverberating like this from the sounds of strings for over 40 years. This was the last recording session to ever be done at Vivian’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A most memorable day for me was  when Barbara Lamb came and it was just Vivian and Barbara playing intense beautiful music. I was afraid if I blinked, I’d wake up, the fiddling was so amazing. They played harmonies back and forth, up and down, and challenged each other the way they have been doing for almost half a century.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though the energy at Vivian’s house was mostly in that living room, the rest of the house is a feast for the eyes.

kitchen

 

Vivian’s kitchen was filled with light and a wonderful collection of cast iron kitchenware. The centerpiece is a warm wooden table that has always been full of offerings brought by the many friends that came to the jams and practice sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

diningroom view.

 

If you were lucky enough to visit during the daytime, the view was wonderful, facing east and looking over Lake Washington, here is looking out the dining room window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

landing

Of course if you were a closer friend or maybe a relative, you got to go upstairs. If you got as far as the landing between the first and second floors, you already were treated to a glorious view. With a sunny window, a rocking chair and a harp, it looked like a place that you could just hang out and absorb the energy coming from the living room or  just a scene from a magical children’s book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

phil's office

 

 

Phil collected musical instruments you could see this when you entered his office; the walls were covered with every strange kind of guitar, banjo and other curiosities. I visited him in his office once for an interview of sorts, this was very impressive. I felt very humble in that chair.

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Categories: acquarello, music, portrait, writing Tags:

My Tonsu

January 21st, 2016 1 comment

tonsuThis winter has been a long dry period for me. I haven’t been inspired to paint. Hoping that a class might help, I started a class with Tom Hoffmann, a local artist and instructor. This week he told us that we didn’t have to waste time looking for stuff to paint, just sit down and paint what you see. Based on that and his reminder to paint lights, darks and midtones, I sat down and painted my tonsu.

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Thirty day challenge – collage

January 31st, 2014 9 comments

PicMonkey Collage

What a month! I made a collage of all the work I did.
I sold ten paintings out of thirty, and made almost 400 dollars for endangered species conservation! There are several more of these paintings for sale. If you travel backwards on this blog, you can see which are available and which are not.

And I forgot poor Enza! shadesofenza1

Next month, I will be focusing on faces.

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Categories: acquarello, animals, birds, cats, crows, dogs, flowers, Italia Tags:

Day 18 – His sweater

January 18th, 2014 2 comments

hissweater

Many of you know that my husband died recently. I can write it in a sentence and it sounds so matter of fact. You can meet me and talk to me, and you’d never know what it’s like inside of my head. Widows (and widowers) can smile and laugh, many young widows carry on with full time jobs and raising kids, but inside of them there is a secret sorrow. We don’t often show it, because we don’t want others to feel bad, or to be uncomfortable, but it’s there. I can’t imagine what widowhood was like before the internet. Widows were alone. They had no one around them who actually understood their experience. Of course most of them had family and friends, who also suffered a loss, but our kind of loss is just not comparable.

Losing the person you thought you were going to spend your life with is unimaginably hard. People do not understand. They compare losing a spouse to losing a parent, an aunt, a pet; they even compare the loss of a spouse to their divorce! Thanks to the internet, modern widows don’t have to be quite so alone.

There are forums where we find others like us and discover, we’re not that unique, we’re not crazy, and we can talk about all this crazy stuff and not disturb our well meaning aunts, sisters, and friends. I painted this painting today thinking of all the young widows I have met on line. Some of them are younger than my own sons, but widowed just the same.

This painting is sold!

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Categories: acquarello, biographical Tags:

Plein Aire in downtown Seattle

October 30th, 2013 2 comments

1standbattery
What would you do if someone told you that they would give you $100 if you’d set up an easel and paint pictures outside just long enough to have it recorded forever? Well, I said yes!
I was told I had to be at 1st Street and Battery Street at 3:00 pm, so I got there at 2:00 pm and set up my easel. I was in a rather industrial section of downtown Seattle, or mostly just streets, with some appealing vistas off into the distance in two directions. So, enjoying the incredibly rare warm sun, I positioned myself looking out over Elliott Bay and started to sketch out a painting. What was I doing? EEEK…
And people walked by. I got many smiles, and a lot of encouragement, even when all I had to show was a couple of blotches of color. It’s the first plein aire I have done in a long time (plein aire means paint outside from life) even though I do a lot of sketching in my travel book, this is not the same, there’s a lot more pressure, because unlike working in a travel sketch book, you are on display for the world to see AND CRITIQUE. And critique they did! But it was all favorable.

And I’m going to do it again!

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Categories: acquarello, biographical, landscapes Tags: