Wednesday, April 30, 2008


She wears a crown of scorn,
Unfuried Hell.
Shadows of rabid dogs follow her
nipping at her heels.
Foaming every opportunity to remind
her who she was.
Trails of ember turn to ash.
She’s stronger now.
In morning
I walk beside her
trying to keep up.
But, I know we will never speak the same language.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Lion's Teeth

Löwenzähne (Lion's teeth)

The fields are pocked with yellow.
It happened overnight.
What a beautiful nuisance looking up at us.
Only she cannot see them smile.
They are weeds to her.
Pull them up.
Rake them down.
Replace the grass, if you must.
I'm careful where I place my step.
I'm sensitive that way.
Like walking on eggshells in a mine field and avoiding broken glass.
While taking off a soggy boot, I find
a prisoner in my sole.
A little strand of yellowness
longing to be whole.
The broken petals of my friend
are too lost to mend.
I can only wish more fields to smile at her
until the very end.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Purple Tulips

Purple Tulips

30 x 40

acrylic on canvas

Friday, April 25, 2008

Palette Of A Mad Woman

Exposed inards of a hungry animal waiting to be fed. The tulip painting howls from hunger, but his master is too sick to hear.

Hopefully, Monday I can feed the beast. What really is the point of getting a flu shot?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More Doors

I have added more doors to this slide show since the last time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Final Curtain

Death has an audience with hecklers and fans.
I have never been a witness to uncinematic death and there I was in line for a bullfight with my ticket in one hand and a beer in the other.
I never realized how much a body changes once life inside it has gone.
It leaves deep long marks in the earth as it's slowly dragged away.
The bullfight lasted 2 hours. After the first fight John asked me if I wanted to stay.
I noticed two young girls seated behind us gathering their belongings. Both were in tears.
I don't know why I chose to stay. Perhaps there was still something I needed to learn about the fact of dying.
Four years ago a nurse pulled a curtain around my grandfather's death bed. His struggle to hold on to this world lasted several hours. On the other side of the curtain I turned the pages of a photo album for Mimi. Her dementia was so, the few pages were endless. Over and over each picture was brand new for her. Her own curtain had been put up years before.
At that time, the only words I could remember of the Hail Mary were, "now and at the hour of our death, Amen."
Repeating them over and over while turning each page only seemed to intensify the situation.
Sadly, I can't say if I have prayed a Hail Mary since then.
But as I watched them drag this dead bull out of the ring, I found myself repeating those same words.
Now and at the hour of our death , Amen.
Now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
Still unable to remember all the words of the prayer.
Those trailing marks so deep in the sand will be forever etched in my mind.
I am uncertain what lesson I learned sitting through the entire bullfight.
What exactly did I need to prove?
As I download my photos, I think about the many types of curtains.
The ones that shield and protect us.
The ones on those games shows revealing the new washer and dryer or random kitchen appliance.
I also think about all the different times when we choose to open or close these curtains.
I then sit quietly at my computer and begin to pray a Hail Mary and this time all the words come back to me.

Timeless Characters

Goya's cast of characters still haunt the many streets of Madrid.
A boisterous dwarf screams at us as we pass with our non- Spanish ears.
A disfigured woman waves hands from where shoulders should be.
Milky eyed beggars on corners and stairs parading missing limbs, teeth, and dreams.
They remain forever painted in this city's noisy composition oblivious to Goya's silent spirit.
But how oblivious are they?
I wonder.............

Thursday, April 17, 2008

La Dolce Vita

Three years ago today we said I do.We were married at the Palazzo Zenobio in Venice. After we said our vows we ate white candied covered almonds. This is a very symbolic Italian tradition.

The color white is said to represent purity and the sugar coating is symbolic of sweetness. When combined with the bitterness of the almond the confection represents the sweet and the bitter sides of marriage. Before this time my palate knew only of bitterness. This sugary sweetness was foreign to my tongue. Since then I have developed an addiction to sugar. My body knows no less. We live the Dolce Vita-The Sweet Life.

I am truly blessed.

You can see more photos from our special day by clicking on this link. Look under "all" and then John and Mary Beth Crane. You can see all the photos by clicking on the one photo.We are going to Madrid for our anniversary and won't be back until Tuesday. I am all too excited. There is a Goya exhibit at the Prado of 200 works never seen by the public. The tulip painting will just have to wait.......

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Day In France

Today was a special day. It was my dear friend, Katherine's birthday. We drove to France to shop for pottery and have French onion soup.
How wonderful to go to France for a day!
Katherine and I met 3 years ago. She and I had just arrived in Germany.
We met during a jazzercise class.
I remember being so nervous the first day I decided to join this jazzercise class. I took a place in the back so I wouldn't be so obvious. I had no clue what I was doing. The bad part was there was a big mirror in the front and you could still see the blonde in the back with the big soccer legs straggling about.
I had noticed a woman in the front who knew all the moves. She moved with a confident grace. After class I approached her and asked her if she had a background in dance.
I thank the day that my insecurity led me to question her ability. Because of my knees, I no longer jazzercise, but our friendship continues to dance.
I am proud to be her friend.
My Mimi always used to say," Show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are."
Growing up I was always afraid to show her my friends.
Since I am older, my friends are better reflections.
I wish Katherine could have met Mimi.
I am not too worried, for I know she will meet her someday.
Somewhere, someday
where we all can dance again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Purple Tulips Day 3

Purple Tulips
Day 3
30 x 40
acrylic on canvas

Monday, April 14, 2008

Purple Tulips Day 2

Purple Tulips
Day 2
30 x 40
acrylic on canvas

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unwelcome Guest

Purple Tulips
day 1
30 x40
acrylic on canvas
This morning a timid sun arrived holding hands with a stranger named blue sky.
I greeted them and took them in. I didn't have to try.
Like memory in an aging mind
our visit was too brief.
For a crowd of clouds came pushing through carrying heavy bags of grief.
In my house there's little room for what these guests do bring.
I look at them and close my eyes while longing for the Spring.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Witte Tulpen

Witte Tulpen
30 x 40
acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rene Magritte's House

The photo on the left was taken in the front room of Rene Magritte's house in Brussels. Visiting the house where the Belgian Surrealist worked and lived for 24 years was the highlight of our trip.
The painting on the right shows how he used objects from his home in his compositions. You can see how he transformed the fireplace heater into a locomotive train. That is the same mirror above the fireplace only larger and without John's reflection. That in itself was a happy accident. Rather surreal, don't you think?
To the right of the fireplace hangs a portrait of his wife, Georgette. He was inspired to paint this from Manet's Olympia . Originally he had painted a frog resting on her stomach, evidently she was not pleased. This may explain the reason why we now see a conch shell in its place.
Magritte was an interesting character and loved the idea of shocking his viewers. He stated that the images in his paintings concealed nothing. He was more concerned with achieving a sense of mystery. You really experience a sense of other worldliness when you look at his work.
I love the fact that he lived so modestly in such a small house; there were only three rooms. He produced over 600 paintings from his tiny kitchen. I wonder if he ever thought that someday people would tour his home. But like most of his imagery, I will have to keep wondering.
Seeing the environment of a famous artist always adds to that ineffable mystery. His paintings become even more mysterious knowing that he said that mystery meant nothing because it was unknowable.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tulips day 2

White Tulips
day 2
30 x40
acrylic on canvas
I have been in a strange place all day. Last night I had that recurring dream. The one where I am running on all fours . This time I was being hunted by a primitive man. His ivory spear grazed my neck and I quickly became woozy from the poison. Too tired to run anymore, he caught up to me. I remember looking into his grimy cave man eyes. At that time, I woke in a pool of sweat. I haven't been the same since.
These primitive dreams are so visceral. I can truly feel each stick and stone digging through my palms as I propel my body through the woods.
I would like to think that these dreams are highly symbolic. I just have not been able to interpret them. The time will come, I believe.
On the other hand, they probably don't mean a thing.
Any thoughts?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Long Weekend in Belgium

We had such a nice weekend in Belgium. Enjoy the slide show of some of my favorite photos.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Filling In The Blanks

White Tulips
Day 1
acrylic on canvas

The other day a good friend shared a journal entry with me. From the corner of her eye she saw a beautiful heron fluttering in a tree by the lake.
With wide eyes she found it was only a plastic bag. This experience left her questioning how she would chose to remember this. Would she remember the beauty or the trash?
Studies show that when the background surrounding the subject is vague, the mind tends to fill in the blanks. That is why we often imagine seeing things in the dark.
From the corner of her eye there was a beautiful bird.
I believe she is lucky for what she believed she saw. Let's hope she chooses to remember it that way.
Maybe it is the other way around and believing is seeing.
In this day and age it's probably better.
We are leaving to Belgium tomorrow for a long weekend.
I will catch you up Tuesday with pics and possibly a finished painting.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

From The Past

From The Past
collage on paper

I have had 2 long lost friends contact me in the past week through my blog. I am ever so greatful to have the chance to reconnect. I have wanted to paint a red fox for some time now and found the words," from the Past". The red fox is a creature of the between times; the times between dawn and dusk. I haven't spoken to either friend in over 10 years.That is quite an amount of between time.
I have a new card store located in the upper right hand corner. There will be new ones added in the next couple of days, so you might want to wait so you can make that big purchase.