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Evergreen Couch: A Painting Is Born

Evergreen Couch

Evergreen Couch. Painting. 16" x 20". Painted at our cabin in Twisp, WA, Winter 2012.

Where did Evergreen Couch come from? The canvas board was a gift from a friend. My son said the cabin needed a comfy couch. My husband scored the cozy couch. The cabin where the couch resides is a place I long to be. A place I can recharge myself. The drive to the cabin over the mountains and down into the valley takes 4-5 hours in decent weather.

Driving from Seattle over mountain passes I find myself someplace else where multiple cascades are frozen midstream and a different rhythm merges with postcard beautiful scenery like classical music for my eyes. Winter air is clean. I’m heading into the silence and solitude of winter. The cabin sits and waits without moving on. It faces a small mountain and is slightly larger than 400 sq.ft. The outhouse a short walk away has an amazing view frequented by herds of wandering deer. There’s cold running water 9 months of the year from our well. A single solar panel provides electricity — sometimes.

Hibernation time for me — listen to the deep quiet. About 2 miles of primitive road with switchbacks, hairpin curves, and (unbeknownst to me) recent cougar sightings in the final approach to the cabin. Our 4-wheel drive took me partway up the road. Unable to make it up the steep hill I backed up and skidded on the ice under the new inches of snow. Stopped and sitting in the driver’s seat precariously perched on the edge of the cliff I thought it best to exit thru the passenger side.

I grabbed my paints, a 1200-page book, and food and hiked the rest of the way up the road. It was cold and black except for the moonlight.

I built a fire in the wood-burning stove. Got the BTUs going. Heated up my soup and read my book before reporting home and hitting the sack. The car sat on the edge of the cliff for a few days until my gallant neighbors helped me out. They’re the ones who told me about the cougar in the vicinity. I figured out that I could stay at the cabin for one week until I had to go into town for supplies.

The next day was beautiful. Sunny, cold and quiet. Ahhhhh. For two days I read, I walked, I stoked the fire, I ate soup and I slept. The day after I finished reading my 1200-page book I set up my easel in the room by the wood-burning stove.

I get my paints out and choose the palette. Where does it come from? Stored-up experiences, dreaming and memories all play parts. Mixing new colors. An emphasis of the moment of movement equivalent to spherical perspective…several points of view gives a feeling of space. I listen to the quiet, classical music and local radio. I paint with brushes and with my fingers. What is work and what is play? If you like something is it still work? What type of work is important? I walk in the snow. I eat and dance as I paint the cabin walls behind the couch and the trees and the mountains in the window. As I paint I change things. The cabin walls and the window behind the couch are gone now. The couch beckons…come sit after chopping kindling, bringing in snow to melt on the stove and ‘birthing’ a painting which is drying by the fire.

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  1. Rickie Moore
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you for making art that matters, and for making the whole world more beautiful.

    Your contribution to cancer patients is inspiring.

  2. Rickie Moore
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    You’re remarkable work makes the whole world more beautiful.

    Congratulations on making art that matters, and for helping people with cancer.

  3. Henry
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Ahhh – what a beautiful tale! Your magical cabin is the perfect birthing place for your wonderful art.

  4. Jovanna
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Your words paint a picture as intriguing and fun as your sculptures and paintings. Does magic just happen or is it for those who take delight in all that surrounds them? I love your work!! Thanks for writing, I look forward to more.

  5. Erica
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful – makes me yearn for a place like that where I can retreat. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Andy
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad to see that you have added a blog to your site. I’m looking forward to more stories — in words and pictures!

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