It’s finally beginning to feel like summer in Oracle. So far there have only been a few days when I felt it was warm enough to switch to shorts. I’m waiting for a stretch of hot days and then I’ll declare my own official Start of Summertime. I’m not teaching any classes this summer & am devoting my time to painting, preparing for a show at the Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City, opening in September.

Meanwhile, I also have apricots on the brain. Apparently our tree thinks it’s summer. The fruit ripened all at one time. I’ve been baking (apricot kuchen, apricot muffins, apricot upside down cake, etc.) & giving away apricots to friends.

Apricots always remind me of my childhood in California. My family lived in a new subdivision that had been an “Italian plum” orchard. That’s a fancy name for the plums from which prunes are made. They weren’t great to eat, kind of mealy and tasteless. We had 13 Italian plum trees in our yard which translated to what seemed to me to be millions of little plums. This was not lucky for me, as picking up the fallen fruits was one of my chores. If not done in a timely manner they got squishy & full of slugs. Ugh. Across the street and beyond was a former apricot orchard. Lucky them. Lucky me, too. I could go up and down that side of the street and eat apricots until they were coming out of my ears. Warm from the sun and as sweet as anything.

One of my early art-making memories was badgering my mother into driving to an apricot orchard I had seen so that I could create a oil pastel drawing of the trees in bloom. I insisted that we park at the top of a hill looking down onto the orchard. Way too ambitious for a 10 year old and I still remember the struggle to capture what I saw. My Mom sat patiently in the car while I made this attempt. I’m guessing I got pretty cranky trying to figure out how to make the orchard look the way I saw it.

This post is really about a bunch of paintings, three of which I started yesterday, one a few days before, two have been in progress for weeks and finally the last one which may or may not be finished. This makes a total of 6 or possibly 7 paintings in the works. By the way, it’s still a struggle to reach my vision. But I love the challenge.


Ptg 1 480One day old, 16″ x 16″.


Ptg 2 480Another newborn #2, 12″ x 12″.


Ptg 3 480New start #3, 12″ x 12″


Ptg 4 480I’ve been working on this one, #4, for a few days. It’s 16″ x 16″.


Ptg 5 480#5, in progress for weeks. Note the white blob on the piece of driftwood in the forefront. I got mad at what was happening and slathered the problem area with Golden Crackle Paste yesterday. Today I need to paint it and make it blend in with the rest (hopefully). 20″ x 20″


Ptg 6 480This is a big fellow, #6, 36″ x 44″. Been working on it for many weeks (possibly months, I’ve lost track).


Ptg 7 480Technically this one, #7 is done. I’ve signed it, which is usually a sign that a painting has been completed. But I keep fooling around with it. Maybe now I’ve got it. Just not sure…