dilleenart dilleenart

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Dilleen Marsh  Artist!


Day 962. TWO TALES of marvelous manure: 1) When my mother was a little farm girl, she and her twin brother liked to run around without shoes. They went LOOKING for fresh piles of dung to step into. When it dried, this stiff coating on the bottom of their feet enabled them to more expertly tightrope-walk the top rails of their barnyard corral. A game of balance and grace. 2) One day, while working on a stucco wall in our yard, a woman stopped by to observe our progress. There were cracks that needed to be repaired. She said, "You know, a great way to fix those cracks is to seal them up with cow manure...if you can find some fresh stuff." Who knew cow dung was so versatile?! Indeed, cow droppings are used for fertilizer, fuel, paper making, insect repellant, and disinfectant. My humble apologies to all of the 'cow pies' I have avoided...with disdain (cocked eyebrow). #enlightenment #perspective #cows #motherchild #manure #thegreatergood #resource #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 961. Some things just take a long time to learn. While looking up some information for a friend the other day, I came across photos of art projects with children I had done during a decade of volunteering at a local elementary school. Art supplies there were poor quality or non-existent. I asked the Principal for help. She said, "give me a list." The total cost for six classrooms, K-6, was about $900. That seems like a lot...if you're NOT an artist. She (the Principal) warned me that she would never spend THAT much on art again--use the supplies well. So, I was a little protective of things like, 'paint brushes'. "Never leave your brushes in the paint bottles or water cups," I told the kids. "It ruins the bristles!" But, as you can see, there was more power in the bell for recess...than in my dire warning, lol. "It will take,
I think,
A long time
To learn how.
Should we not
Start now?" (Carol Lynn Pearson)

#patience #stewardship #mentors #resource #artwithkids #paintbrush #urbansketcher #volunteering #art #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 960. Fairly new to the desert, I've been mostly enchanted by the lacy, fern-like drape of the leaves on our 'mesquite trees' each spring and happy for the generous shelter they provide from the sun. The other day I sat in that shade and watched changing patterns of light play across the limbs of this southwestern veteran...which led to sketching and some investigation. Mesquite trees are hosts to nitrogen-fixing bacteria, enriching otherwise impoverished soil; their wood is highly prized; and their bean pods, roots, and leaves have healing properties. But it is the work of the tap root that amazes me. They find water as deep as 200 feet below the surface. Think of that persistent, inch by inch, year after year, pushing through rock hard desert dirt to find something to drink. "...with ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." (T.F. Buxton, English philanthropist, 1800s.) I am inspired.
#perseverance #persistence #mesquitetree #desertlandscape #healing #inspired #lightpatterns #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 959. Life is a DANCE. Following a sequence of steps, we move in a quick and lively way, and if lucky... rhythmically. Dancing usually makes us smile, even if we're clumsy. (Then we laugh out loud.) Could be the 'feel good' endorphins of physical exercise or the simple joy of MOVING. Let's not forget the power of the music! Last night I attended a high school graduation. There were LOTS of 'sequence of steps' counsel given. Very inspiring. But it was after the confetti and fireworks, with the music turned up, that my soul wanted to 'DANCE'. The graduates are young, therefore 'quick and lively' won't be a problem--at first. Mmmm, 'rhythm'. Life is good at disruption. So, to all the graduates everywhere, still sleeping off the night before's celebrations: good luck, happy trails, and "let your life lightly DANCE on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf" (Sir Rabindranath Tagore, Bengalese poet, 1800s). #dance #life #inspiration #youth #purpose #powerofmusic #movingon #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 958. Without light we can't see anything. And when light shows up it bounces all over the place, sprinkling and REFLECTING color here, there, and everywhere. Water in a stream running through a red rock canyon will look...red. Actually, it takes practiced attention to see some of the many colors present in any scene. One day I sat down to paint a still life with my grandmother. We had assembled some glass dishes and fruit to model for us. She was an eager novice that knew shadows were always dark gray or black. I was honored to point out that the shadow on the yellow dish had red in it from the apple sitting nearby. At first she couldn't see it, convinced of her normal routine. So skeptical! Then she saw the red. I love the way those "aha" moments are REFLECTED in lit up eyes and raised brows. #insight #reflection #color #redrocks #landscapes #illustrator #teachingmoments #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters #light #love

Day 957. "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use," so says Galileo, the Father of Modern Science, who was an astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, mathematician in the 1600s. Whew! He obviously had A LOT on his mind... as did this actor, doing the work of portraying Galileo at a Renaissance Fair. THINKINiG fills us up. And CRITICAL thinking is essential for a rational and democratic society that wisely works for the 'greater good'. Perhaps we should follow the lead of the Wizard-of-Oz-Scarecrow, who felt empty without a brain and BEWARE "...the dangerousness of a hollow man." (David Brooks, contemporary columnist for The New York Times.) #thinking #thought #brainscience #galileo #acting #actor #sense #reason #greatergood #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 956. While I was weeding, an upstart of a blossom, like a mother hen collecting her chicks underwing, seemed to be guiding the eager press of potential lining the edge of this cactus. Began to ponder my OWN mom's influence in my life: enthusiastic support, unwavering faith in eternal possibilities, and open-hearted hospitality; laughing out loud, REALLY looking at sunsets, and cheerfully answering the phone. "Life is but one continual course of instruction, --The hand of the parent writes on the heart of the child the first faint characters which time deepens into strength so that nothing can efface them." (Rowland Hill, English preacher, 1700s.) Thanks, Mom. Even after all these years...still 'blossoming'. #thedayafter #influence #motherhood #guidiance #mentor #cactusblooms #urbansketchers #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 955. Someone had noticed the absence of birds and bird song in the downtown historic district. "We need to save those charming old buildings--make them a tourist destination." "Yeh! Let's get some artsy lampposts! People are attracted to lighted areas. Birds'll wanna perch on 'em." "Great idea! Let's not forget to order cool banners to hang on them. We could be a 'festival' town!" "Should we have street parking or walking spaces?" "Are you kidding?! Nobody walks anymore!" "If you're gonna have cars, you need to direct traffic. That area can be confusing." "No prob, just put up some signs!!!" Plans went into action and not long after someone was heard to say, "how come the birds are leaving the city?!" ("[People] of great parts are often unfortunate in the management of public business, because they are apt to go out of the common road by the quickness of their imagination." --Jonathan Swift, Irish satirist, 1700s.) #somewhereiniowa #smalltowns #committee #losingfocus #creating #preservation #historicbuildings #art #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 954. ORANGE and BLUE. Complementary or opposite colors, when combined make gray and black. BUT put them NEXT to each other and they create the strongest contrast for those two colors. Who came up with this stuff!!! A few humble observers: Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and British scientist-David Brewster. I stood with my neighbor this morning chatting while we looked at the healthy blossoms on this ocotillo across the street. She had tried to grow two in her yard and failed. We had killed four. Possibly too much coddling. The perky plant in front of us has been left to its own devices, come whatever...snow, extreme heat, no water, high winds. Mmm, perhaps the CONTRAST of tough experiences actually COMPLEMENTS and brings out the best colors in all of us. #color #colorfulliving #life #contrast #opposition #orange #blue #science #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters #complementary #earlymorning

Day 953. In 2013 science said we think about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. (I wonder. More or less now?!!) That's quite a traffic jam of thinking. Obviously we have myriad ways of thinning the herd, organizing our frontal lobe, and corralling the best ones. Afterall, there are only so many thoughts worth keeping. Barbara Tuchman, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian, was very direct when she sorted, "This is excellent and that is trash." It's a fairly important daily task, this choosing what to keep in our heads and what to throw away. Thoughts lead to actions and actions lead to life well-lived...or not. Like this 'thinking' man at a Renaissance Fair, it also probably wouldn't hurt to have a color co-ordinated trash can nearby...just in case you have a few thoughts to toss. #thoughts #choices #reading #ponderings #lifewelllived #dailytasks #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 952. The price of farming: In the 1960s a ton of hay on our little family farm was worth $19. In 2012, a ton of hay was selling for $192. "I believe it," my dad said as we nostalgically chatted on the phone. "Rain will ruin cut hay. Causes mildew." Musings turned to stories of "old Bill", who owned land adjacent to ours. Once he let his irrigation water run too long and flooded one of our fields. The floating hay bales were ruined. Another time, "I hired his boy to mow our wheat. He mowed down a line of little trees we had hand watered all year," Dad said. "I saw him flat on his big stomach drinking canal water once. When I told him there was a dead sheep upstream and the water might not be good to drink, Bill said, 'It's wet, ain't it?!'" Dad reminded me of the time one of 'Old Bill's' heifers died in a nearby field. The smell was terrible as it decayed. "He just mowed around it 'til it rotted away," Dad said. "Didn't these things ever bother him," I asked? "Nah," said Dad, "he'd just shrug his shoulders and say, 'that's the price of farming'." #gettingalong #neighbors #farming #hayseason #forgiving #landscape #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 951. Fingers fidgetting, eyes roaming, he refused to divulge any information other than his name. It was understandable. The little scientist was only in kindergarten. Having assisted in judging an elementary school science fair, I now know some of the crucial issues facing the rising generation: Which rocks are hardest to break with a hammer (sandstone loses to '5 hits' granite); which frozen treats melt faster in summer temperatures ("I won't be eating pudding pops this summer," a five year old declared). I remember doing a science project on deciphering the age of a tree from tree rings. Fascination with trees has stuck. Here, in the late glow of an afternoon, I am thinking of the pleasure I will have sketching this statuesque bird sanctuary with a white trunk. You just never know what early experiences may cast a long shadow into your future. #trees #science #curiosity #pathstotake #children #shadows #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #urbansketcher #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

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