Tag Archives: Eureka

Thanksgiving abundance

chili pepper wreath

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m thinking about the fact that we in the U.S. have a holiday that is completely devoted to gathering with our loved ones and giving thanks. Isn’t it cool that in deepest, darkest November, family and friends come together to share a feast that represents abundance? Covered in gravy, with a side of cranberry sauce. I’m grateful to be enjoying a less stressful holiday season than usual. For this month and next, I’ve consciously stepped back from some commitments Read more

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Before we were tamed

painting of red fox

For the past twenty years, my family and I have lived in the country on the side of a redwood-covered hill. In the morning the woods fill with bird conversations, and we often glimpse deer and foxes wandering past our house. A raccoon that hung around our compost pile got nicknamed Deke, short for “decomposition.” But when “he” showed up one day trailing four fluffy baby raccoons, we had to rename her Delilah. Because we don’t have the heart to chase them off, Delilah and her grown Read more

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Juicy bugs and other treats

three chickens with haiku

Happy Haiku Poetry Day! To celebrate, I’m sharing a selection of the haiku and senryu I’ve had published in the past year. (And if, like most people, you were taught that haiku in English need to follow the 5-7-5 syllable pattern, think again. On his Graceguts site, haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch explains why that is an urban myth, and the secrets of how to write good haiku.)

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When you work for an idiot

excited dog in entry room

It’s been said that one of the downsides of being self-employed is that you may find yourself working for an idiot. As the founder, CEO and sole staffer of Makino Studios, I get to consider this on a regular basis.

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Ripples from a stone

doe and fawn in forest clearing, with haiku

I’ve been thinking about cause and effect—and ripples. Even we fuzzy artsy types, who met our college science requirement by taking “Physics for Poets,” know that when you throw a stone in the water, the effect is not linear: the ripples radiate out in concentric circles, farther and farther from the source. So it goes in the rest of life: while actions certainly have consequences, you can never clearly predict what they will be. A tossed pebble may create a wave that washes a bug Read more

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Happily ever after, and other fairy tales

two frogs in pond with lily

We all know the fairy tale about the frog prince. In the traditional version, once the princess lets the frog eat from her golden bowl and sleep in her bed for three nights, he turns into a handsome prince. (In the modern, instant gratification version, the transformation happens as soon as she kisses him.) The Brothers Grimm account concludes: “They then took leave of the king, and got into the coach with eight horses, and all set out, full of joy and merriment, for the prince’s kingdom, Read more

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Yeah, but is it art?

cow in pasture with words

The head of a local gallery once turned me down for a show, saying my work was too “popular” and not a good fit for his gallery. “Come back if you do something different,” he said, “maybe something more from your soul.”  Ouch. A nationally recognized artist put it in more positive terms: “Your work is very accessible.” As I’ve been painting a new series and preparing for a solo show in July and August, titled “Savor the Day,” I’ve been pondering the question, “what is art?” And I’ve Read more

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On a wing and a prayer

monarch butterflies in flight

Yokwe! I am writing from the Marshall Islands, a tiny atoll nation in Micronesia, roughly between Hawaii and the Philippines. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry: it’s the fifth least visited country in the world, barely ahead of Somalia. But you have to love a country where the main greeting, “yokwe,” means “hello,” “goodbye,” “love,” and “you are a rainbow.” I’m here for a couple of weeks to help my sister Yuri adopt a baby boy. It’s an incredible, heart-expanding Read more

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A series of unfortunate events

persimmons on branch

It was a very trying couple of weeks. The first thing to go wrong was that mice invaded our kitchen and bathroom, leaving their droppings in most of our drawers and cabinets. Just days after I finished cleaning and sterilizing everything from that episode, the dog did his business on the driveway, my husband stepped in it wearing hiking boots, and voilà— a trail all through the downstairs that even a human could track by smell. After cleaning the evidence off the carpets and floors, I updated Read more

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Humboldt Holidays

haiku and dog painting

What a rainstorm we’re having! As I write, I can see redwoods swaying in the wind, big green leaves blowing off the alders, and raindrops bouncing hard off the deck. I hope you are finding ways to stay cheerful despite the wet and gloom. steady rain 80% chance of popcorn Meanwhile, I have been busy in my studio framing paintings and prints, assembling new cards, and making books with washi paper I brought back from Japan. This post is especially for folks here in Humboldt County, California. Read more

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