Friday, May 20, 2016

Postcards from the Outer Banks

This week, I'm celebrating my mother's 65th birthday by the sea. We're partaking in the Squam Art Workshops in Nags Head, North Carolina. We've set aside this time to walk the coastline, collect sea shells and take a few art classes that delight our creative hearts.

Here are a few snap shots of our surroundings. 
I'll check in next week with a full report.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Morning in the Garden

Morning is by far my favorite time in the garden. Everything is fresh and watered and the heat of the day has not quite set in. It's a good time to look closely for bugs and scan the garden for any "to-dos". As usual, I've over planted my beds. It always looks like a lot of room in the bare winter, but when things start growing well in late spring, the square footage seems to disappear. What's groing in your garden right now?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

In Anticipation of the Sea

A week from today, I'll be in the sea town of Nags Head, North Carolina as part of a Squam Art Workshops gathering. This short trip is to celebrate my mother's 65th birthday. While I'm there, I'm going to take a watercolor class - be still my heart! And I'll be taking a class named after Ann Morrow Lindbergh's book, Gifts From the Sea. I've been looking forward to it for a whole year and now, it's only a week away.

I want first of all - in fact, as an end to these other desires - to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints -to live 'in grace' as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony. . . 

 ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gifts from the Sea

All photos by Amy Gretchen

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Front Porch Spruce-Up

I switched out some patio furniture this week. The weather has been great and I've been hanging on my front porch. Spending more time out there made me realize that the little metal chairs were really uncomfortable! So I swapped out these teak arm chairs. They were a hand-me-down from a neighbor. The side table is a mid-century kitchen cart that my mother gave me and the ceramic pitcher was picked up at a local yard sale for 2 bucks. Here's a quick look at the new set-up.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

May Garden Report

May is here and I'm so happy for the glorious weather and growing greens! This weekend, our little upcycled coop was featured on an urban coop tour. My favorite description of it came from a neighbor who called it "a steampunk gypsy wagon". Perfect!

The garden is in great shape. The heat of summer is still a ways off and the scattered rain has kept my beds deeply watered and happy. Right now in my garden, I have 6 heirloom tomato varieties, lazy wife pole beans, one pickling cucumber, four different varieties of squash and zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, kale, chard, red and yellow onions, basil, mint, oregano, sage, lavender, sunflower, nasturtiums and one lone strawberry plant. I also planted a Jersey Black Apple tree this spring. It won't see fruit for a few years, but it's nice to plan way out in advance. I also have a happy Asian Pear tree and a Meyer Lemon, which is in its first year of bearing fruit!

Here are some photos of my May garden. I'll be transplanting the watermelon elsewhere in the garden this month, because I can already tell its going to take over! I'll keep posting throughout the summer so you can see what thrives and what dies. (Something always dies. I'm a trial and error gardener, so I don't mind when something tanks.)

How is your garden this month? 
What are you growing? 
Are you trying something new? 
What are your old favorites that you always grow? 
I'd love to hear from you in the comments section!

We had a post-coop-tour afterparty and this was the cake!
So cute, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In the Studio

For the last year or so, I've been casting around for a studio space solution that gets me out of my house. I have a lovely home studio that has served my purposes well, but there are some serious drawbacks.

I would like to find a place where I have my own private studio within a context of many studio spaces. I love being surrounded by other artists and the isolation of my home studio is sometimes lonely. I would also like to have a separate work address - having studio visits in my home can be somewhat awkward: "Don't mind the toys strewn all over the hallway - Whoops, are you okay? That was just a lego." The other thing I'd like to have in a studio is a space that allows me to hang and have open studio events. In my current situation, that's not possible.

I still haven't found the right place, but I have a few leads. Cross your fingers for me that something wonderful becomes available this summer. I'm ready to take my work to the next level and having a studio space, reserved just for the purpose of painting and showing my work, would be a huge step in the right direction.


Also, here two of three pieces I was commissioned to make for a local pediatric therapy clinic! The third piece will be completed sometime in the coming week or two! As always, you can see my work at

Lift Off   |   36" x 36" acrylic on canvas

Fly   |   36" x 36" acrylic on canvas

Installed in the clinic waiting room.