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100 Paintings in 100 Days

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Translation Island

This is a painting of the island of Naitauba, in Fiji. It is the hermitage sanctuary of Adi Da Samraj. This was the magical place of my childhood, where I lived and grew up in nature and happiness. When I go back to visit my heart leaps at the sight of the island, which you can see hours before you pass through the reef. Stepping foot on the island is coming home.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Translation Island
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Gratitude

There is something majestic and regal about cranes and herons. You put them in a landscape and they elevate the scene. One day we were standing on the deck of our house that extended over a lake. It was a quiet day. Suddenly we heard a sound that was so loud we thought that a light plane must be coming in for an emergency landing. It was a great blue heron, his wings spread wide as he descended. He flew over our heads, the wind from his wings reverberating off the lake's surface, amplifying the sound. He landed in his favorite spot among the reeds at the far side of the lake. We often saw him there, standing in the water, motionless, a patient fisher.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Gratitude
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Bhramari

Bees are special beings. Flowers do their very best to attract them. This dahlia's purpose was to be so beautiful that the bee had to come over and visit.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Bhramari
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Sweet Inspiration

Have you ever seen a hummingbird surf? They do it as naturally as they fly. We had an outdoor fountain with a cascading fall that came down in a sheet. One day we saw a hummingbird do a most unusual thing. He would fly up to the top of the fall, then surf it backwards. Just before hitting the pool below he would fly back up to the top of the fall and surf it backwards again. He repeated this surf play over and over. This wasn't just a one-time show of sport, the hummingbird returned day-after-day to surf the falls.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Sweet Inspiration
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Aquatic Animation

I really got excited when I painted "Manner Pond" a few weeks ago. Since then I have been wanting to do another painting of koi. This painting was directly inspired by reading this haiku, once again the words brought forth an image, and the fish were just waiting to show up on the paper. Next time you are at a koi pond, let your vision rest on the water surface. Relax your eyes, let them go out of focus, and let the fish swim in and out of your field of view, while the sunlight dances on the surface of the water. You will get a play of color that is Fantasia-like in it's character.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Aquatic Animation
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Blossom's Surrender

This Buddha image is based on a Tibetan repousse of Sakyamuni. I love the detail in Himalayan statues, they are refined and exquisite. They are normally fabricated in gilt copper, but I wanted to paint in sumi, so I used gold leaf to bring that gilded character to the Buddha. When I read this haiku by Hikaku I knew that I wanted to do this painting. The words evoked such a strong image, and it stuck with me for weeks. Now that I have finished this painting, I look at it and realize it is almost exactly as I had envisioned it. I really enjoyed painting the cherry petals, they were the last step of the painting and once that pink landed on the page the whole image came to life.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Blossom's Surrender
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Prasad

The first time that I visited the begonia house at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens it was the perfect time of year for it. The entire greenhouse was filled with begonias of every type and color. There was barely enough room to walk down the aisles, the flowers were abundant and growing wildly out of their containers. It was dazzling! I fell in love with begonias then, and I have been growing them ever since. Each year it is exciting to watch the plants grow and the buds form. The flowers in the hanging baskets fall eight feet to the ground in a cascade of vibrant color and delicate, beautiful life. The begonias in this painting are based on flowers that bloomed last week.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Prasad
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Night's End

I woke up early one January morning, the moon was full and beckoned me outside. I looked up at the bright moon through the branches of a pine tree, the needles stood out like fans in front of the moon. Just then a raven flew between me and the tree, then turned west towards the beach. It was a quiet and beautiful vision. I could hear the surf in the distance, but the wings of the raven made not a sound. The moment put me in a poetic frame of mind and I immediately wrote this poem.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Night's End
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Discrimination

Samurai swords have always struck me as magical objects. Of course, there are the depictions of the masters of them in Japanese cinema. Toshiro Mifune is, for me, the archetype noble samurai warrior. More than the lore associated with the swords is the reality of the master sword makers of Japan. The tools and technologies for making these swords may be considered primitive in this era of 3-D printing, and they are. That's what is so beautiful about these swords, the ones forged by the master's hand. It takes extraordinary skill to do it perfectly, and the great ones would not settle for less than perfection.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Discrimination
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Primary Sensations

This painting is inspired by a panoramic moment walking on Primary Sensations road on the island of Naitauba. I came upon the sunset reflected in the lagoon below as I descended towards Qaravi. The colors in the sky and on the water stopped me mid-stride. The nearby trees were dramatic in black against that lit up sky. All was quiet and still, night's approach cooled the air, and this high view to the water kept me standing there, taking it all in.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Primary Sensations
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Prapatti

This is another exploration of highly stylized waves, featuring a tern diving into the water. When I was living in Bodega Bay I watched for hours as a great number of birds, along with many seals fished cooperatively. The seals had corralled a school of fish in the shallow waters off the beach. The nearby birds quickly joined in. It was amazing to watch them dive straight into the water, emerging moments later with a fish. They were equally adept at swimming as they were at flying. The water's surface was a storm of waves, seals, fish, and birds. The feast lasted all day, and was still going when night fell.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Prapatti
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Let's Get Naked in the Garden

There is a tree by the lake house that I lived in that I have never seen the likes of since. In the fall it produced colors that were out of this world. It was luminous, it glowed with gold and yellow and hints of red. As the leaves fell they rested on the green grass in patterns that only nature can provide. What a show this tree put on as it undressed for winter! This painting is from my imagination, inspired by the memories of many autumn color feasts.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Naked in the Garden
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Rosa Leela

A few years ago I lived within walking distance of a friend of mine. She was seriously into roses, her collection just kept growing, she couldn't help herself. She had a large sunny deck overlooking a hillside of redwoods. The deck was filled with roses of many types. When I visited her I always spent time with the roses, lingering over this one with a fragrance, that one with the velvety petals. There was one red rose that was particularly stunning, a Mr. Lincoln rose. This flower was especially good for the rose jelly that she made, a confection that was out of this world, perfumed-deliciousness. I couldn't get enough of it! When I think of her rose jelly I can not help but think of the Vanished Gardens of Cordoba.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Rosa Leela
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Star-Pointing Mountain

Since I painted "Island Universe" I have wanted to paint another "stars and Milky Way" scene. This time I used more pinks, and purples in the sky, taking a colorful leap into portraying a night sky. Snow-capped mountains point to the canopy of light. Have you ever spent a night in a remote location away from the city lights, just laying on your back and observing the stars in the sky? On a moonless night what was vast becomes infinite. I know you know what I am talking about.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Star-Pointing Mountain
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Humpback Mother

It doesn't matter how old or young you are, or what time you live in. When you see a whale jumping out of the water it is thrilling! When I read the Buson haiku that accompanied "Deep Breath", I realized how similar our response to these wonders is. We haven't changed, over centuries or millennia. Imagine how Neanderthals responded to seeing a whale leap. The sheer force of the upward movement, the graceful arc of the body, and the great surprise of seeing a whale almost flying. This is what I wanted to capture with this painting.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Humpback Mother
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Fall Into the Heart

Persimmon trees are beautiful in their changes throughout the year. In the fall they really put on a show. Their leaves turn golden yellow, then orange and red. At the same time the fruits have ripened and hang like lit up orange lanterns below the leaves. I lived with a persimmon tree outside my window and was able to witness this cycle day by day.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Fall Into the Heart
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Koro-i-Cake

There is a small cove on the island where I grew up called Koro-i-Cake (ko-ro-e-tha-key). It was one of my favorite places to swim. The floor of the cove was sandy and gentle, with fewer coral heads than most of the lagoon. Maybe that is why it seemed to be a favorite resting place for turtles feeding inside the reef that surrounds the island. I frequently saw them resting in pairs; so beautiful on the sea floor. The turtles punctuated the serenity of Koro-i-Cake.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Koro-i-Cake
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Consort of the North Wind

Madrones stand out whether they are in a forest or rising from cliff edges on the Pacific coast. Their color, the way the bark peels off, their sculptural forms, it all combines to make these trees a knockout! Madrones are dear to me, I notice them, and I appreciate their beauty and their ability to withstand harsh climates, high winds, and rocky terrain. Madrones are a sacred tree to tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Consort of the North Wind

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Notice This

We used to live on a large forested property in West Sonoma County. There were walking trails that took you to three ridgetops, down to a lake, and through a meadow. While we hiked these trails we would look for wild orchids, and every once in awhile we would spot one. They were small and delicate, and grew low to the ground so they were not easy to see amidst the other plants. The orchid in this painting looks something like those wild ones, but this orchid was one that lived in the cabin with us.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Notice This
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Kale Yuga

One warm summer afternoon I was hanging out at a friends house, it was a birthday party and a get together of many fine friends. I was sitting along a wooden bench, talking and nibbling on food when I looked to my left and saw this statue of Buddha reclining. His head was close to me and his long body stretched away from me. An abundant kale garden was in full summer show, and several leaves hung over the Buddha, just so. The placement of the statue was perfect, and this image stayed with me.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Kale Yuga
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High Tide

I couldn't help it, I had to do another night scene with the full moon and the light reflecting on the water. This painting is inspired by the Japanese woodblock masters, Hokusai, Hasui, and Hiroshige. They had a real way with portraying night, often using the moon or lanterns as light sources that reflected on water. The scene here is a small cove, high tide has arrived. The night is quiet, and the silhouettes of the two wind-carved trees stand out dramatically against the lit up ocean.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

High Tide
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Bright, Golden-Brocaded

There is no flower quite like a California poppy. The plants are hearty, thriving in dry and hot environments, popping up in the most unlikely places, a crack in the street, a patch of gravel, or a rocky hillside. I admire their tenacity and ability to thrive. In the sunlight the flower petals glow with orange light, and their sheen is even more delicate and luxurious than silk charmeuse. Sometimes you see poppies growing next to purple lupines, that combination is killer, you just can't beat that pairing. I love poppies because in the midst of difficulties and difficult times they do not lose their brilliance, nothing is compromised.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Bright, Golden-Brocaded

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Roka's Window

When I read the haiku by Roka I was struck by the image that it brought to mind. I am impressed by the mastery of words, in a few short lines the poet can inspire great feeling and an entire scene. I had been wanting to do painting through a window, and after reading this poem I knew that a swan was to be seen through the window, swimming away from the viewer through the cherry blossoms.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Roka's Window
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Manner Pond

There is a garden that has a deep pond fed by a waterfall. A small wooden bridge spans one edge of the pool, shaded by a large willow tree. As a child I used to feed the koi that lived in that pond. When they saw my figure on the bridge they would swim quickly over to get their share of the food. I would take handfuls of the food and dip my hands into the water. The fish swarmed around my hand, and as they ate I could touch their heads. Sometimes just for fun I would put some food on my foot and let them suck it off my toes.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Manner Pond
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Green Flash Comin'

The day was absolutely beautiful, clear, and warm with a crisp air. It was a family gathering at a house on the beach. We sat on the deck overlooking the ocean and watched many whales traveling north, causing exclamations from us. It was a celebration of these whales, a procession with migratory purpose. Soon the sun began to set. The sun was a brilliant yellow and the sky blood red as it slid below the blue horizon line. Then the mystical fabled natural phenomena happened, The Green Flash!

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Green Flash Comin'
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Rhod-Side Attraction

Have you walked through a rhododendron forest? I have, and I can report that it is delightful. Many years ago we visited some friends who ran a rhododendron nursery. Their home was perched on the side of a hill and there were hundreds of rhododendron trees in bloom. The trees were very large, their branches reaching upwards to the sky. Flowers of many colors were covering the tops of the trees. The colors stood out dramatically against the redwoods and ferns that grew there. It was like a fantastical painting, something you just don't see in your ordinary day.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Rhod-Side Attraction
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Island Universe

Since the beginning of the Extravaganza I have been wanting to do a painting inspired by this haiku by Basho. As soon as I read the poem an image sprung into my mind and has been waiting there to appear on paper. When I started the painting it came into form very naturally, and I was excited during the entire painting process. I liked the challenge of painting the Milky Way and the many stars above the ocean. This time I did not include a moon, wanting the focus to be the stars.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Island Universe
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Orange is OK

When I painted this I was reminded of an incident with a cat that lived with us whom we called "Prapatti". She was young and waiting at our door one night when we came home. Prapatti was mischievous, and a bit destructive as well. The three of us were relaxing on our deck one afternoon. Nara had created a beautiful garden scene with potted flowers and plants and was pointing out a beautiful tulip that had just opened. Prapatti was sitting on the deck about five feet from the pot the tulip was in. Before Nara could finish her comment of praise for the flower Prapatti leapt the distance to the tulip, and, in midair, clapped the tulip between her two front paws. Yes, Prapatti was a bit of a juvenile delinquent.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Orange is OK
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Still Pretty After All These Years

A few days ago I took a walk with with friend through an old forest that surrounds a seasonal lake. The lake is dry at this time of year, but the woods are very interesting. This old oak tree was very compelling, the textures of the bark, the crazy shapes of the broken branches, and the deep hollow that looked like a home for many creatures. The tree also had brand new slender branches growing out of the side of the trunk, covered in green leaves. It was a study in old life/new growth.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Still Pretty After All These Years

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Passing Temptations

We walk on a trail in Sonoma County that has untended fruit orchards, blackberries in great quantity, and local eggs for sale outside an old-fashioned house. Naked ladies line up along the trail, with grapevines growing wildly over a vineyard fence. Goats and alpaca graze in a large meadow. It feels like the land of milk and honey. Oftentimes I just walk by, but sometimes I've just gotta stop and pluck something off the branch. There is nothing like picking a ripe plum from the tree and eating it as you walk.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Passing Temptations
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Tamasudare Falls

Waterfalls are enchanting, right? Who doesn't go to a waterfall and thoroughly enjoy it? This one is very close in, you can almost feel the mist on your face as the water crashes down onto the rocks. Ginkgo leaves fall gently down to land in the unseen pool below. I have been wanting to paint a waterfall from the side in a stylized graphical form for some time, and now here it is!

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Tamasudare Falls
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Green Is Here

With Hurricane Lane fast approaching the Hawaiian islands, I am thinking of Hawaii and my friends there. May this hurricane change directions, lose power, and dissipate. May all be safe, and the islands be protected. This is a painting of Mt Waialeale, the second highest point on the island of Kauai. The name means "rippling water" or "overflowing water", and the mountain is one of the wettest places on earth. Many waterfalls cascade down the mountain and merge into the Wailua river.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Green Is Here
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The Food of Holy Friends

The color of pomegranates is so rich, and the seeds remind me of delicate jewels. I like to open the pomegranate and carefully pick out every seed, filling a bowl to the brim, and then munch on them. Others like to squeeze the pomegranate until all the juices have been released inside the skin, then cut a hole in the fruit and drink the luscious juice. No matter what way you eat them, pomegranates are wonderful fruits to grow, eat, and admire.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

The Food of Holy Friends

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Summer Blues

If you go to a lake in the summer and spend a little time there, you are bound to catch sight of a dragonfly. A few days ago I was swimming at a lake with some friends, the water was cool and refreshing after the heat of the day. I watched as blue dragonflies flew low over the water, landed on lily pads, then flew off again. The moment was a quintessential summer enjoyment, and I knew that I would paint a dragonfly in the coming days. So here it is.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Summer Blues
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Patterns

This is a further exploration of the stylized wave paintings that many of you have responded to. This time I wanted to portray three waves all curling and breaking at the same time. Artistic license taken; I have never seen waves this close together all crashing at the same moment. I laid in the sky first to set the tone for the painting, it is a warm tropical evening, light still colors the sky and the sun has just set. The colors of the water reflect the late evening light.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Patterns
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Royal Family

For many years I have visited the annual "Bouquets to Art" exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. It is a floral explosion of colors and creative breaking-the-rules designs. Each arrangement of flowers is created to complement a particular painting, often the colors are chosen to match the colors of the art. I fell in love with the dark purple calla lilies in a particularly opulent flower arrangement there. The depth of color, almost verging on black against light green foliage; it was eye-popping! Since then I have been drawn to use these callas in my own ikebana, and now I offer them here in painting form.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 12"

Royal Family
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Walk This Way

I have always been attracted to moon windows. What a perfect shape they are for viewing the moon, or a beautiful garden. The window is placed for the best view of the garden, the scene, and the moon. Now walk through the door and wander the edge of the pond, feel the moonlight on your head, and listen to the quiet sounds of the night.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Walk This Way
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Sentinels

In Fiji the shark is the protector God of the islands. I like sharks. Even more I like flowers, and there is no reason that they can't be protector guardians, as well. So, we have an island that is watched over by a pair of stalwart birds of paradise. These flowers are very strong, and they are so handsome in their uniforms. A golden, watery path shows the way home.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Sentinels
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Deep Breath

When we lived on the north coast we would walk the beaches every day. We saw many many whales spouting and breaching as they traveled along the California coastal waters. Sometimes we would see this show of water spraying for over an hour, spout after spout would appear. It was thrilling! I was recalling those moments the last time that we were at the beach. We overheard a kid saying that someone had spotted a whale offshore. As long as we looked we didn't see a whale, but it didn't matter, the ocean was plentiful enjoyment and beauty without any whales showing up. I have been picturing the whales in my mind since then, so this painting was created.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Deep Breath
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If a Star Falls in the Forest...

I find this lyric compelling because of the humor of seeing one's travails from the perspective of the cosmos, at large. Everything that rises also falls, even the stars. They haven't lost their humor. I have it on good authority that we should not lose ours, either, no matter what the circumstance.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

If a Star Falls in the Forest...

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Pilgrimage to Myōshin-ji

I have a particular fondness for this haiku, and when I thought of doing the Extravaganza I knew that I would do a painting to reflect it. Butterflies are frequent subjects in Japanese poetry, and this is the second painting I have done in this series that includes them. I imagine we will see more of them before September 23rd.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Pilgrimage to Myōshin-ji
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Tara's Bouquet

Blue lotuses have been on my mind. They figure in to many traditions, and are associated with Green Tara who is a Bodhisattva of compassion and action. Who doesn't love Green Tara?

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Tara's Bouquet
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Night-Lightenment

It's weekend's end again, an ideal time for calm reflection, like the full moon on still water. Start your week, cool, calm, and refreshed.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Night-Lightenment
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Red Dragon

Red Dragon Japanese maple trees have the most brilliantly red leaves, when the sun shines through them they become almost neon red. Once I asked a few friends what their favorite flowers were, and one friend who is an avid gardener replied with conviction "maple trees!" I laughed in appreciation of his response. Even though maple trees are not flowers I am right there with him in the love of these trees that are so beautiful they seem like flowers.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Red Dragon
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Da Tcha

I love the shapes of handmade antique Japanese teapots, they are an art form. Drinking tea with friends, the warm cup in your hand, the scent of the tea as it rises to your nose. What a pleasure that is! A quince blossom, freshly picked is placed by the teapot.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Da Tcha
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Cuckoo at Shikoku

Cuckoo at Shikoku is a combination of sumi ink and watercolor. It is inspired by the Basho haiku, but I preferred to have it be daytime, perhaps late afternoon.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Cuckoo at Shikoku
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Embrace Mountain, Return to Ocean

It has been very smoky, all night and all day today; a day to stay inside and keep the windows closed. But we have a big bathtub and cool, clear water to fill it with. I just jump in when I need a refresher. Today I can't get to the ocean, so I bring a little of it to me.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Embrace Mountain, Return to Ocean

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Fourth Harvest

Just outside my house there was a waterfall. Not far from the waterfall were three fig trees. The three trees flourished next to the cascade of water, providing an abundance of fruit; plenty for the birds, raccoons, and me.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Fourth Harvest
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Fall Free

I have intended to do a painting that reflects this haiku by Kakei ever since I began the Extravaganza. Camellias offer their flowers early in the year, when it is still cold. And they keep on giving until spring flowers are well established. I have lived where there were large camellia trees right outside my window; white, pink, red. And I have watched them fall...winter's bounty; daily gifts.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Fall Free
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Time to Leaf

It is August, hot and dry; the perfect time to pay yet another homage to spring. And so, "Time to Leaf", an image reflecting the oak- and pine-covered mountains of my youth.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Time to Leaf
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Leaving the House of a Friend

Well, I am halfway through this pursuit! It has been so useful in so many ways; a challenge, yes! But it has had many rewarding results, not the least of which is to be in touch with so many friends and supporters. Not incidentally, my speed has picked up, and ideas are rolling through me constantly.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Leaving the House of a Friend

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Portuguese Beach Interlude

It was the second morning we spent in our new home in Lake County, and we woke up to smoke as dense as winter fog; we couldn't see trees one hundred yards away. Jeff and I left immediately and headed for the coast. We didn't stop until we reached one of our favorite North Coast beaches, Portuguese Beach. We walked down the beach a mile or so, and then planted ourselves in the sand opposite this rock. Gulls, cormorants, and pelicans were constantly flying through our vision, and we sat and watched the spectacle, crashing waves, and all. It felt SO good to be there!

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Portuguese Beach Interlude

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Shiva-Shakti

Well, I am moved, if not settled. Whether or not I would complete a painting today was teetering in the balance, but I resorted to one of my favorite subjects and found instant inspiration. Calla lilies are such a great form.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Shiva-Shakti
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Snow

I have been thinking about snow angels, laying in the snow, and making snowmen. In response to all of the fires and the heat here in California, "Snow" offers a visual respite.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Snow
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Amethyst

A small painting this morning to brighten your day. I appreciate the combination of delicacy and tenacity found in pansies. They thrive in harsh and challenging conditions. I plant them in a bed and then watch them spread to gravel driveways and beyond without coaxing or encouragement. You have to admire the movement of life. The next time someone calls you a "pansy" take it as a compliment.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Amethyst
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Unmovable

Unmovable, that's how I feel right now; not quite in the same way that a mountain or the Buddha is described. Actually, we are in the throes or relocating right now. The Extravaganza will continue, at least that is my intention. I guess if I can't be unmovable the next best thing is to be a soldier on the march...while remaining a "still pool". OK, that's it.

Watercolor on Paper    9" x 12"

Unmovable
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Four Thorns

This is a cool, blue moonlit night on a calm, tropical beach. An offering of a white rose is made...never mind the thorns.

Watercolor on Paper    12" x 6"

Four Thorns
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What It Appears to Be

May the fires that we encounter be ones of purification and blessing. May they be fires that consume fear, sorrow, and bewilderment till there is nothing left but ash.

Watercolor on Paper    3.99" x 9.8"

What It Appears to Be
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The First to Call Me by My Name

Today is Guru Purnima! I have painted this image in homage to my Guru, Adi Da.

This painting is symbolic in nature. It is inspired by the feeling memory of a sacred site at the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary, Holy Cat Grotto.

Watercolor on Paper    10" x 8"

The First to Call Me by My Name

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Purnima Reflections

Moonlight on calm water; a reliable spectacle, and far more enjoyable than any man-made light show. Who needs fireworks? I remember running and dancing on a beach with my friends, the full moon bright above the ocean. We were full with happiness, sharing our delight and celebrating the moon. What more joy can there be?

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Purnima Reflections
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Days of the Heart

Marigolds are very close to a perfect flower. They are prolific, putting out lots of flowers, and they last a long time, even when cut. They come in wonderful oranges and yellows...also some red in there. Marigolds figure nto my childhood summers. I remember walking through beds of them when they towered above my head. I liked that. Growing up has its downside.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Days of the Heart
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Rendezvous at the Palace Window

I have always loved the Rajasthani miniature paintings of India. They captured "enchantment" and "serenity" in beautifully executed works. Peacocks figured heavily in them, and so in homage to those masters I have placed a peacock feather in a regal setting. The peacock feather is in tribhanga (tri-bent pose), referencing Krishna, who is traditionally associated with peacocks and wears a peacock feather in his headdress.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Rendezvous at the Palace Window

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A Perfect Gift

Lotus flowers are as good as it gets. Perhaps the same could be said about broccoli, but I prefer lotuses. Lotuses dwell in water. That shows good sense. The lotus flower is a subject that I have happily rendered many times over the years. The structure of the flower is strong, and the flowers stay bright and supple for the longest time. That's why I say lotuses are very intelligent. They stay fresh by living in water, but they don't hide below the surface. They rise above and let themselves be seen. That's a very considerate and accommodating flower.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 9"

A Perfect Gift
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Banana Smoothie

I am rather taken with these tree frogs. The image of this rake, wrapped in a banana leaf at first brought to mind a Jungle Jacuzzi, which was what I was going to name it originally. But Banana Smoothie seemed to fit his persona. He seems to be beckoning to a lady friend to join him in his hot tub.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Banana Smoothie
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Medicine Bow

The Colorado Rockies are world-class mountains. I have driven through them, summer and winter. I have also taken the California Zephyr through the Rockies where roads and skiers don't go. There was not a footprint anywhere to be seen, just a mountain goat standing on an outcropping, here and there. The Rockies are humbling. They are mountains to be reckoned with.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 9"

Medicine Bow
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Spring, More

Here in California, where we are getting hotter and drier as we approach August we are feeling like we could use a little more spring. I loved painting the stylized tree in sumi. It hearkens back to the Asian masters of sumi; life-long inspirations. I also love "popping" the foreground with COLOR! The three birds and irises bring life to the old, gnarled tree.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 9"

Spring, More
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Facing West

It is more than wonderful to live on the water, the BIG water especially. The Pacific is more than beautiful. It is restorative; a place to let the mind go and to be reminded of my place. I never go to the sea when I am not glad for what I saw and heard and felt. I never leave the sea empty-handed or empty-hearted.

Watercolor on Paper    9" x 12"

Facing West
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Open, Up

This one is for the Mississippians, and the Japanese and Chinese, or anyone else who has affection for magnolia trees. Not only are they beautiful, they help wanderers to navigate. Like moss on a tree indicating north, magnolias indicate up. You can always tell where "up" is by looking to see what direction the flower is facing.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Open, Up
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The Third Gate

This painting is a representation of the Itsukushima Shrine gates. It is a Shinto temple, and the gates are the place that you drop your "business" before entering the temple; the place to throw it down. The kanji above the gates reads Heart Life, a good place to visit, perhaps stay. I mean, why leave? The waters are still and calm. The passage is open.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

The Third Gate
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Wave, Goodbye

I have heard from quite a few people that they like the ocean/wave paintings that I have been doing. So, watermen and waterwomen, this one is for you. Just remember, stay away from the rocks, watch out for sleeper waves, and ask yourself, Would Eddie go? The answer is invariably, Eddie would go!

Watercolor on Paper    3.9" x 9.8"

Wave, Goodbye
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Cricket Pavilion

Imagine when the night was only lit by a candle; no glare in the eyes, no headlights, no city lights bleeding into the sky. The heavens were far more brilliant. Even small towns pollute the night. A candle lantern seems to be a sane alternative. This cricket thinks so.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

Cricket Pavilion
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Conversations with the Moon

There was a half-coyote, half-mystery animal that lived with our friends and us. His name was Kado. Jeff was working late one full-moon night. He wandered out our front door to find Kado sitting outside the door, facing the moon, his back to Jeff. The moon and Kado were framed perfectly in the doorway. He turned around briefly to glance at Jeff, then returned his attention to the moon. The night was still. Everyone and everything seemed to be asleep except for Kado and Jeff. A half-hour later Jeff went out again. Kado was still sitting in the same position, his attention still with the moon. This time he didn't bother to turn to see who it was.

Two hours later Jeff went out one last time before going to bed. Kado was still there, unmoved, his attention still with the moon. He never moved, never looked toward anything else. He simply allowed his attention to rest with the moon. Now, that's meditation!

Colored Pencil    6" x 9"

Conversations with the Moon

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Letting Go Mountain

This watercolor is inspired by the haiku by Akiko, who was a poet-feminist; an all-round rabble-rouser and social-reformer before it was fashionable. She seemed to be as tough as her poetry was gentle.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Letting Go Mountain
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Shimmy in the Garden

Asian poppies have an inclination to grow long stems that grow this way, then that, then the other; a lot of movement there.

This painting reminded me of a skit that a couple of my friends did in our teens as Diana Ross & the Supremes. We had a lot of fun, singing and dancing "Stop! in the Name of Love" in our gold lame, high heels, and big hair. These poppies reminded me of that occasion. They kind of look like they could be playing the Apollo, themselves.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Shimmy in the Garden
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Kanamota

Although it grows all over the region I live in, I always think of Mt. St. Helena and the Oat Hill Mine Trail in the Mayacamas when I think of manzanita. I was looking for a name and appropriate poem for this painting. I searched on Mt. St. Helena to find ideas and inspiration. I was directed to a result that stated that the native Wappo people's name for Mt. St. Helena is "Kanamota", which means "human mountain". No one is alive who speaks Wappo anymore, so there was not much to see when I searched again on "Kanamota". So, I searched "Wappo" "Kanamota". The search returned this verse from Swami Vivekananda. And so, it is written.

Watercolor on Paper    6" x 9"

Kanamota
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Barely Winter

It's hot here in California, fires burning, tempers maybe a little short. To relieve the heatstroke symptoms I have "Barely Winter" for you to consider. Feel like a turn down an ice-covered stream? This one's for you, sumi with a bit of color up front to tickle your fancy.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

Barely Winter
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Oh—There You Are

Today's painting is another haiku-inspired image. There is something enchanting about finding a tiny frog hiding among the foliage of your garden, is there not? I always feel I am intruding when I find one wrapped in a leaf, enjoying the cool moisture. On these hot summer days I wish I could join him in there. I can't shrink myself, but I can enjoy reflecting my sense of how it would feel to be hanging out on a banana leaf.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

Oh—There You Are
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First Dance

For weeks the trail that I frequented was "raining" caterpillars as they descended from the trees on a silk thread. Actually, it was kind of gross. Bicycles were responsible for many fatalities, probably a shoe or two, also.

But now, butterflies. I mean, the ugly duckling into a swan thing? Baby swans aren't that ugly. The creepy, crawly bug into a winged stained glass window, now that's what I call transformation!

I loved doing this painting. I really like this haiku by Ryota. So, I pinned the haiku on my studio wall next to my painting table, and waited for the right moment to paint First Dance".

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

First Dance
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Undivided Attention

Calla lilies are out in force in California. They grow wild along Highway 1, bordering the beaches. They are such a sculptural flower, there is nothing quite like them; strength and simplicity...fine qualities in any being.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Undivided Attention
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Standing Bear

Today's artwork is another colored pencil drawing of a Zuni bear fetish with a bit of sage flower offering.

Colored Pencil    8" x 10"

Standing Bear
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All Out

The gold-leafed flowers are quite popular, it seems. Everyone likes "shiny", me too. I also love cattaleya orchids. They remind me of my childhood, not to mention that they are gorgeous.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

All Out
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Current Chaos

Remember Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa"? I am sure that you do. Here I let myself go with the dramatic stylization of the waves, inspired by the master. Some days I don't know which way I am going either.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Current Chaos
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Fall's Spring

This is another painting that plays with perspective. The sumi background makes the flowers in the foreground "pop", accentuating the depth in the image. It's that Japanese perspective thing that I love so much!

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Fall's Spring
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Summer Dream

I love haiku, and some of my paintings are inspired by them. Sometimes the reverse, I do a painting and present a haiku that I feel complements the painting. In the case of Summer Dream I painted and named the painting, then found this wonderful haiku by Buson. Haiku are themselves like paintings to me. The few words evoke such imagery. There's not enough words for your mind to get lost in, and that enhances the "feeling" the poem communicates.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Summer Dream
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Show Me the Way Home

For me Mt Fuji is perhaps the most iconic and recognizable mountain in the world. It has been represented in so many artworks that it is unmistakable. The mountain seems perfect for Japan; the balance and symmetry. Those two qualities are often exaggerated, as they are in my sumi representation here. Fuji is often covered in mist and cloud, and I wanted to project an ethereal quality here. It's not a threatening landscape, still you need some guidance on your way home.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

Show Me the Way Home

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Moonlight Revelation

A few nights ago I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. I walked outside into one of those "full-moon nights" that sort of captivates you, like in the movie "Moonstruck". I moved around and gazed at the orb through various tree branches that surround our house. I sketched out an image before returning to bed, and painted "Moonlight Revelation" the following day. As you can see in my work, I love painting water, and I love branches. I like using the composition that Hiroshige used in his woodblock prints. His perspective always enchants me.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

Moonlight Revelation
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Sacred Ground

This painting is an homage to Hawaii. When I was in Hawaii I often used Ti leaves in ikebana arrangements. They remain a favorite of mine. I love the bold contrast of colors and the form of the leaf and plant, both.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Sacred Ground
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False Cypress

Today I have a pencil drawing of a bonsai tree that we have had for eleven years. It survived the Valley Fire with no water for nearly two weeks. You have to admire the tenacity. The tree is over thirty years old. It has not had an easy life, but it is still beautiful…should give us all hope.

Pencil    9" x 12"

False Cypress
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Look Up—
There!

Gladiolas are on the menu today, and that's not butter sauce they're bathed in.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Look Up—There!
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Fans of the Moon and Stars

This is the kind of thing I suspect ginkgo's of doing at night when nobody is watching. It's a celebration!

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

Fans of the Moon and Stars

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Spirit Breath

Another colored pencil drawing, this one inspired by a Zuni fetish I bought recently as an icon of strength.

Colored Pencil    8" x 10"

Spirit Breath
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3 Waves
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Poinciana

Here's today's offering, Poinciana, my all-time favorite flowering tree. If you ever get a chance to climb one, take it.

Watercolor on Paper    9" x 12"

Poinciana
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Dragonfly

"Dragonfly" is an image inspired by my time living on a lake in West Sonoma County. Red, blue, and green dragonflies flew low over the water surface and around our house. In summer they took up residence, constant welcome visitors, always dressed in their finest colors.

Watercolor on Paper    9" x 12"

Dragonfly
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Sakyamuni

"Sakyamuni" is a pencil drawing of a bronze statue of the Buddha. It's a small piece that I have here, at home. I like the disposition and asana of this Buddha. I also like the small carpet the statue is placed on. I got into the pile.

Pencil    9" x 12"

Sakyamuni
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Bella Rosa

A pink rose to offer.

Watercolor on Paper    7" x 14"

Bella Rosa
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Sumi Landscape

A landscape done in sumi ink.

Sumi Ink on Paper    7" x 14"

Sumi Landscape
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A Star Is Born

An orchid set in gold.

Watercolor on Paper    4.25" x 9.66"

A Star Is Born
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Apple Blosssoms

A branch of apple blossoms in full bloom.

Watercolor on Paper    8" x 10"

Apple Blosssoms
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Mount Radiance

A painting of Mount Everest in clouds and sunshine...brilliant! It is also the cover image of "Enlightenment of the Whole Body"

Watercolor on Paper    9" x 12"

Mount Radiance