Inner Landscapes and the Holly Wreath

I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future - the timelessness of the rocks and the hills - all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.                         
~Andrew Wyeth

backyard thicket of  redwoods, pines, firs and surprisingly--- holly!

Landscapes have been on my mind.   There are the landscapes one finds in Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth and Ivan Doig's English Creek  (and recently read, Hannah Kent's Burial Rites)---harsh, brutal reality of living with the land and how its raw beauty seeps into one's heart---giving it a meaning and memory worth fighting to keep.  Of  sorrow, of place and yes, even desire and want.  There are the measured and layered urban landscapes of  Wayne Thiebaud's paintings, the contrasts of light and shadow in Ansel Adam's photographs and even the contemporary, visually delight of David Hockney's IPad sketches.  Then there are the more private landscapes of one's own thoughts and hearth.
big green mat for visiting grand-dog, Flynn, who is having  a grand time outside

my brave and oldest son trimmed a holly tree for us

and made a beautiful wreath

My son wanted to add more holly to my wreath, but I liked the wonky twiggy look.  He made a fuller one for his own house and family.  I thought every one was outside when I took these photos, but I spied a pair of zorii at the foot of the loft ladder.   My oldest grandson, who towers over me, was up in the loft.  He peeked over the railing and in his quiet way said that he liked this house very much.


In the meanwhile,  100 cups  have sold through, as well as a few wall pieces and two sculptural pieces---large blackbirds. I am finishing up some wall boxes---just for fun and the Tiny Show opening in January.  The above is #2: Soaking Shore Birds


  1. Winter has become my favorite season. I like the stark clean lines - seeing the bone structure.
    Your house is amazing. And that holly wreath is beautiful. Hope your holidays are filled with mirth and wonder!

    1. And the tones of winter grays--the brilliant contrasts---I also like putting on layers of knits (I am avid knitter) and taking a walk--puffing out bits of foggy nonsense--yes, we do love our house---it is a good combination for a software engineer and artist spouse;) Here's to hot cider and cocoa and wonder and the winter solstice and our homes---Merry Holidays, Judy

  2. I like your house too, Charlene. Very much. Serene and peaceful. Just as I imagined...

    Love your soaking shore birds. Absolutely delightful!

    A real holly wreath beats plastic hands down.
    You are so fortunate to be able to enjoy such natural wonders, which lend a beautiful tone to the coming season.

    Here, we are sweltering under summer's cruel gaze, as the temperatures soar above 108°F in this pre-Christmas heatwave.
    Not happy.
    Images of pretty, snow covered landscapes are my ideal mind images at this time of year, not the reality of bloated blowflies and sizzling skin.

    Winter and autumn - my very best seasons.
    How I long for them now...

  3. I feel for you, Vicki. It is hard to imagine 108 degree Noel. I would find it hard to motivate me into decorating or doing anything productive or fun. During the our summer, we had several 102 degree heat waves which is unheard of in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were melted, nearly evaporated and now have become congealed little blobs of people jumping with joy about the rain while filling our sandbags for the coming El Nino storms. In the meanwhile, I will cut out paper snowflakes and wish for you cooler days, Vicki...happy holidays...

    1. Thank you Charlene... I'll take all the cool, paper snowflakes you can dedicate, lol.


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