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Dilleen Marsh  Artist!


Day 985. Bent to their tasks, these women in Thailand prepare their floating markets for another business day on the water. 'Shoulder to the wheel', 'nose to the grindstone', and 'put some back into it' are meant to spur us on in our work. And there's always a merry song to keep us moving: "You and me/We sweat and strain/Body all achin'/And wracked with pain/Tote that barge/Lift that bale" (from Old Man River, 1927 musical, "Showboat".) We do what it takes to do the job. I sometimes think of a woman who told me she had wanted to be an artist when she was a girl. Her mother told her, "Don't do that! Artists have bad posture!" She became a teacher instead. Good thing there are so many different ways to put food on the table and gas in the car, and everyone has an opinion about what work...works. To all the contorted bodies and determined spirits out there in the job force...I salute you. Keep that stiff upper lip and back!

#work #workforce #passion #jobsatisfaction #determination #perseverance #thailand #watermarket #choices #artist #posture #oldmanriver #surviving #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters # bent backs #figuredrawing

Day 984. Just yesterday, they were sitting together under this tree, walking down the sidewalk with their dog, trimming their roses. But after a decade of neighborly-ness, he has died and she has moved. Things just keep changing. Heraclitus, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, said: "Change is the only constant in life." Sometimes that little constant stream of change occurs like a flash flood suddenly washing over while you grab for a moment here and a moment there. Slowing down some of life's best moments in a changing world can be accomplished with BEING PRESENT: having your focus, attention, feelings, and thoughts all fixed on the task at hand, while not dwelling in the past or the future. In other words, 'be there, right there, right then' when your neighbor hugs you goodbye. For the moments...they are always a'changin'. #moment #change #beingpresent #consciousness #intention #focus #neighbors #life #journeys #stayingwarm #fineartist #storyteller#sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 983. Mesmerizing...watching the flames of a campfire dance, the winking of sparks. A few jokes, a little music, something to sip, and poking the embers with a stick. Lapsing into hypnotic silence. Then the stories begin: how people met, heartfelt proposals, miraculous cures, near misses. An uncle saw a UFO on the desert one night. Appearances of long-dead relatives and mysterious creatures. The wood on the fire shifts, there are pops and crackles. The forest creeps to the outer rim of the orange glow. It is so black. What could lurk close by or out into the future? For now, drawn to the light like a moth I will huddle around this sacred sacrament of summer. Pass me some more marshmallows to burn, chocolate to melt, and, oh yeah, crunchy graham crackers. I have serious pondering to do.
#campfire #campfirestories #summer #familylore #orange #contemplation #stilllife #fire #introspective #light #fineartist #storyteller #illustrator #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 982. "Well, it's not far down to paradise,
At least it's not for me,
And if the wind is right,
You can sail away,
And find tranquility..."
('Sailing', Christopher Cross) "A gathering of angels,
Appeared above my head.
They sang to me this song of hope,
And this is what they said,
They said come sail away,
Come sail away,
Come sail away..."
('Come Sail Away', Styx) "I started early, took my dog,
And visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement,
Came out to look at me..."
('By The Sea', Emily Dickinson) "Come o'er the sea,
Maiden with me,
Come wherever the wild wind blows;
Seasons may roll,
But the true soul,
Burns the same, where'er it goes..."
('Come O'er The Sea', Thomas Moore)

From out here in the desert, just drifting through some islands of poetry... #tranquility #calm #sailing #thesea #wildwind #poetry #hope #journey #purpose #landscape #seascape #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 981. Algonquin legend says that "beneath the clouds lives the Earth-Mother...who at her bosom feeds plants, animals, and humans." I have no problem getting behind a personification of nature that focuses on life-giving and nurturing. The idea of MOTHER NATURE has run the gamut from serious Greek mythology of the Goddess Gaia who created everything to comedic TV ads in the 1970s showing us an ill-tempered power upset over butter, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!" Certainly not! Especially if our blazing summer heat is the result of a hot temper. Oh, wait! Have the earth kids been bad? Usually why moms get upset. This rock formation and singer, Ella Fitzgerald, bring to mind how comforting it can be to know there's 'someone to watch over me'. Perhaps Earth-Mom would like us to return the favor.

#mothernature #motherhood #nature #kindness #comfort #hiking #protect #environmentalism #mindfulness #fineartist #storyteller #illustrator #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters #landscape #southwestdesert

"I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy." (Oscar Wilde, Irish author, 1800s.) Nine x12 inch oil painting from my double life as an artist, #outofmymind series.

#outofmymind #hypocrisy #bigheart #demons #beinggood #authenticity #oilpainting #imagination #seeingthings #fantasy #fineartist #lasermodemasters

Day 980. The other night, on a page of my sketchbook, there was a summit-of-sorts. Four separate tiny entities, representing a population of 7 trillion insects, flitted in through an open door, swirled around my table lamp, and came to rest. They were all on the same page, just in different places. (Artistic license rearranged their seating.) During the brief time this Group of 4 met they could have discussed 'light addiction' and 'paper trade' policies, making life better for their fellow-bugs. But I don't know if concensus and compromise were on the agenda. Alas, since they were in a 'no-fly zone', they were soon "shooshed away", leaving only their fascinating diversity for history, recorded in a couple of photo-ops and a sketch.

#compromise #diversity #worldpeace #comingtogether #conversation #bugs #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 979. Last night I paused to watch a video of cello players play a 'tango'. Soberly attired in black ties and tails, the musicians nodded their heads with great feeling to the sensuous rhythms. So did I. Lost in the art of an art, like this violin player at a high school graduation. When our son was young, he took piano lessons. One day, after he had accurately pounded out the notes to a piece he was preparing for competition, his teacher saw that the emotion of the music was missing. She said, "think of moonlight on a quiet lake as you play it for me again." He did and there was a distinct shift. This time the piece was art. The piano teacher and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows, spirits touched. There are those moments. "Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. Although the spirit be not master of that which it creates through music, yet it is blessed in this creation, which, like every creation of art, is mightier than the artist," said Beethoven.
#music #art #withfeeling #rhythm #spirit #creative #lostinthemoment #contemplation #pausing #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #poetry #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 978. Tucked away in a tangle of overgrown bushes and shaggy wild things was...a single chair. One of those lightweight plastic and woven vinyl folding contraptions taken to picnics and campfires. This one was at the edge of an isolated, stagnant pond, some person's private place-of-solitude. For years, driving by, I wondered how that chair never moved, given the unexpected high winds that occasionally burst upon us, and I never saw anyone sitting in it. One summer a wildfire swept through taking all the flora, even the water, and of course, the chair. Is there a new lonely location with a single chair? Or, as William Jay, an American philanthropist in the 1800s opined: "Half the pleasure of solitude comes from having with us some friend to whom we can say how sweet solitude is," and prompted by experience, TWO are anchored somewhere?
#solitude #companionship #friends #isolation #quiettime #landscape #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 977. It is rather a strong INSTINCT to find our place in the world. Like 'a fish out of water', either trying to blend in or stand out can be uncomfortable. I have some painful memories from my youth of being picked last or not at all for playground teams. Sports, it seemed, was not my pond. I tried my hand at riding horses. Scary. My legs, definitely too short for accomplished running; my grasp of mathematical numbers 'floundered', and thank heavens my husband does the cooking around here. My personal 'fishing expedition' always hovered around arty things. As Emerson mused, "All our progress is an unfolding like the vegetable bud. You have first an INSTINCT, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the INSTINCT to the end, though you can render no reason." Six decades later, I have definitely found my place...in or out of the water.
#artist #instinct #passion #journey #purpose #landscape #clouds #fish #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 976. Scrolling on my phone the other day, I suddenly became aware of how quickly I was flicking through images of really great art. I wasn't pausing to consider each piece as I would in a museum or gallery. The art patron of this sketch was standing in front of a complicated oil painting by Ivan Albright when I photographed the moment for reference. "That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door)" is the title. Albright spent weeks collecting and arranging props for the elaborate painting. Then spent a decade painting it. I'll bet it also took some time to come up with that title. Behind every great piece of art is an inspired, passionate, and hardworking talent with an idea to share. Out of respect for my fellow artists and awake to "That Which I Should Have Done...I slowed down! "There is one art of which every man should be a master--the art of reflection." (Samuel Coleridge, English poet, 1800s.) #reflection #ponder #taketimetothink #artgallery #chicagoartinstitute #idea #illustrator #fineartist #storyteller #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

Day 975. "Dawn seemed to follow midnight with indecent haste." I wish I'd said that, but I am quoting J.K. Rowling. Twenty years ago in June the first Harry Potter book was published. My interest was piqued when I read a newspaper article about upset groups trying to ban this book about witches and wizards from schools and libraries. With a hint of "Huckleberry Finn" in the air, I drove to my local bookstore and began an odyssey. In times of sickness, anxiety, sadness, peacefulness, and amazingly even in the midst of overwhelm, I re-enter the world that J.K.R. made possible and am enlivened by the story and the telling. "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." (From 'The Chamber of Secrets'.) Thank you, Ms. Rowling. In a corner of my bookshelf...there is magic.
#enlightenment #odyssey #jkrowling #harrypotter #comfort #lovetoread #choices #magic #stilllife #curios #illustrator #fineartist #storytelling #sketchoftheday #lasermodemasters

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