Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Putting away Christmas treasures.

January 13
The morning dawned clear and cold, blue shadows dividing the ground into shapes that define the contour of the earth covered with snow. The year started off with a bang as we watch and listen to the events happening in France. As horrendous as this act was it has brought forth compassion in people all over the world that actions against peaceful people who express themselves with words or pictures, will not be tolerated. Expression of freedom, of love is what the world wants.

Christmas is over and I have put away the decorations and symbols for another year. Even though I keep everything up longer then most people it is a sad time when I take it down. What gives me the most pleasure is seeing and reacting to my surroundings. Christmas can always be experienced as a child sees it, full of wonder and magic. I love each decoration on the tree, the beautiful cards and wrapping paper on the boxes, the living tree and the smell of balsam. I love the lights inside and out that glow in the darkness. Santa is a symbol of all the good qualities of a human, Christ is the symbol of the light in all of us.

As I get older, I am weaker, have less energy, mind the cold more. It takes more time to do everything. The physical body is aging. I have to be carful not to slip on the rocks in summer or ice in the winter, things I never ever thought about when I was young. Thank goodness painting is not a physically stressful occupation. The problem is I don't get up often enough and move around.

Perhaps the biggest problem now is what to do with all the paintings, stacked everywhere, hundreds of them. I love and live to paint, everything excites me so I keep making paintings but I don't sell many so they have accumulated, in closets, against walls, under beds, everywhere. You say,  put them in galleries. Because I have negative approach of rejection from galleries and have alway disliked their taking so much commission up to 50 precent, I project subconsously this to them from me so of course they don't want my paintings. This is a strange dilemma, because I like my own work, as all artist like their work, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. Perhaps this is not what I should be talking about, because I have survived all these years, I have done and do what I love to do. I am living a great life, living in a beautiful place, and have loving family and friends. But all these paintings, what to do with them, any suggestions.

I wrap empty boxes in nice paper and put them under the tree then store them for next year. 


Doug's sculpture with santa

I made this elf doll about 50 years ago

After playing with the lights I am tired


corners 1 16 x 20

corners 2  16 x 20
Can you guess what the corners are?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas 2014



Christmas 2014

The Holiday season has begun. Christmas decorations were up before Thanksgiving. It is a time for spending and making money. It is also a time of celebration and thinking and doing for others. Already two storms, the first put out the power for three days and I had no phone for two weeks, the second I lost the internet and TV for a few days. I manage quite well with the wood stove and gas to cook with. When my water ran out I used snow for water. Living in the country the outdoors is a convenient bathroom. One adjusts to the natural timing of nature, going to bed early and getting up early, but as soon as the lights were on it was back to staying up late. There are robins that live here all winter. After the first storm and the snow was melting I looked out the window to see a flock on the front lawn. Apparently the worms were close to the surface and they were hopping around finding the worms and also taking baths in the driveway puddles. I watched them for a long time. Usually I see them doing this is the spring so it was interesting to see this happen this time of year.

Last Christmas the ground was covered with snow and ice. It was a wonderland. The thick ice made it possible to walk on the top of the deep snow and I could walk over the fields to the cove water. The condition lasted for a week and I could walk the dog everywhere. 

It was a snowy, cold winter. For the second time since I have lived in Maine the cove froze over and there were huge blocks of ice on the shore. The tides carved these blocks into beautiful sculptures. I made a painting of the piled up ice but couldn’t show how wonderful and strange it really looked. I live in such an amazing place, and it’s beauty gives me much pleasure. I love all the seasons although winter can drag on to long and spring is always cold and muddy.

In the spring I joined a co-op gallery in Pemaquid that I used to be a member of about ten years ago. I had some great paintings there but didn’t sell enough to make it worth while. It is a tourist  spot and the people are mostly interested in gifts and souvenirs so I won’t go back there again. 

Summer got off to a late start, no hot weather, mostly in the seventies and low eighties, enough rain for the garden. It is nice to be outside, gardening, painting, swimming, walking the dog and mowing the lawn. Fall was great, warm and dry. Nancy came up with Susan in October and we a couple of nice days to be outside sketching and painting. Doug came up and put the new windows in the barn studio. My cousin David who I haven’t seen for fifty years or more, drove up from FL. He has a daughter in Portland area and after visiting her came up to Waldoboro. It was wonderful to see him and his wife Dawn. I also had a visit from Iris and her friend. We went swimming in the cove and had dinner together. The jazz jams moved to Thomaston and I found out a friend from the reading group, Bo, liked jazz so we went together to most of the events.

The twenty minute movie that was started when I turned seventy five was finished and there was a presentation this summer in a new art space in Waldoboro. It was produced in the local cable station by two of my friends. I was impresses how good it turned out. They spent was a lot of time on it. You can watch it by googling Audrey Bechler Reflections. My life is well documented, a movie and three books that I produced on the internet with a lot of my art work in it.  I could only afford to produce one printed copy of each book. At least my children and a few others will know I have made a lot of paintings in my lifetime and a few of those paintings are pretty good. 


I do not have any animal stories this year. After Doug sealed up the foundation the wild animals can’t get under the house. No I do have one story. I let my chickens roam the yard in the daytime when I am home. They go into the coop at sunset, and I lock them in. In the spring I plant my garden and I put row cover over the beds to keep out bugs, and the chickens. Once the plants are up and growing I take the row cover off and at that point I had to enclose the chickens in a rather flimsy chicken wire pen that went around their coop. This worked for a while, but you know the grass is aways greener on the other side of the fence. One day I saw one in the yard, outside the pen. I caught her and put her back.  The next day they were both out. When I weed the garden they come over to find worms that I may have unearthed. I have to push they away. Well after putting them back in the pen I watched to see how they got out. Their coop has a small wire cage so they can be outside. This attached  pen is two feet  high, four feet long, with wire all around including the top and the one I put around the coop was four feet high. On one side there was a space of about three feet between the coop and the part that was next to my garden.  I watched one fly up to the short pen and from the top of that fly over the four foot one into the garden. So on that side I strung some wire to make it higher. The next day they were out again.  I should have taken pictures of this construction. I had poles and string and wire and got it up about eight feet and that worked. We call these animals dumb?

Chris  was here in Maine from November seventh to the twentieth. Doug and Chris spend all there time working on this old house. It is never ending. Chris cooked wonderful meals which I appreciate. Chris and I had one day to look at art in the galleries in Rockland and his last day here we went back to Rockland to the Farnsworth Museum. We wanted to go to Boston to see the Jamie Wyeth show but not enough time for that. Both sons have been working on there own houses, kitchens and bathrooms  which look like what you see in Home and Garden and those fancy magazines. We had a pre Thanksgiving in Amesbury that Charlie’s sisters came up for, eleven people for dinner. It was good to be together. Chris flew back to Eugene on the 24th. He cooked another Thanksgiving dinner that Diane’s family came to their house for. Chris said the turkey he cook for them turned out to be the best tasting, moist  turkey he has cooked. It was perfect, and that was good because Chris is a great cook and it is rewarding when it turns out well.

Bo’s mother died suddenly of a heart attack November 24th. Bo had moved from CA to Waldoboro  a few years ago to look after her. She was 87 and had an active productive life. Mab was part of our spiritual reading group and was a dear friend. Doug told me Tom Fleming who originally owned the Grog in Newburyport  and Richard Simkins who bought it from Tom and owned the Grog up to present both recently died. Charlie played in the Grog in the early years and there is an interesting history of that. Life weaves in and out with a trail of events that are now distant memories.

Saturday December 12
Every Saturday I sit at Tidemark Gallery in Waldoboro. It is snowing lightly outside, the end of a three day northeaster that was rain here and snow in the mountains. Tomorrow is the Christmas  party for the reading group. We have been together for about seven or eight years, and I love them all. I am so glad they are apart of my life, especially after Charlie’s death. Yesterday I put up the tree with the help of  a friend. I grow my own trees and they are not like the bushy ones for sale at tree farms.This year we tied it to the ceiling because I have a kitten and kittens climb. I got Boo this Halloween when he was eight weeks old, a grey and white coon cat. Whenever I sit down he comes and gets in my lap. Kittens are the most fun to watch when they play. Boo plays with Mira who is very gentle. Boos head fits in Mira’s mouth. It is fun to see them play one big dog and a little kitten. Tippy my older cat is not accepting the kitten. He hisses and chased Boo away 

The tree is decorated, no glass balls or anything that can break.One candle in each window, ten windows, this is a small cape. All my Christmas treasures are displayed and my favorite cards stapled to ribbons are taped to doors. There are greens and real candles and the nativity. I love the Christmas music and listen to it while I do other things. Every Christmas is a trip down memory lane. I wish I could experience them over again. I am a visual person and seeing the tree, lights and decorations makes me happy. Some people love to put up thousands of lights outside, and people ride around to see the lights. There are different ways to enjoy the holidays and lights are a big part of it.

There are so many things that bring pleasure to the senses. There was a story written years ago about a little angle. Jesus was about to be born and all the angles in heaven were making gifts for the baby. The little angel had a small rough box that he placed with the other glorious gifts. When his box was opened it contained a dog collar and pebbles from the beach and I can’t remember what else but they were objects from earth that were treasured by the little angel when he was alive as a little boy. His gift was chosen because Jesus would also love these things. Christmas is a religious holiday with a lot of pagan traditions attached to it but it is Christ’s birthday. He chose a terrible time to be born. The time of Roman occupation. Look what they did to him in his physical life. He was a renegade.  On the other hand he came at a differ cult time to make change, to show a better way of living, no different then the desires of peace and love that Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela wanted for the people of their time. They endured hardships, but the flame inside them could not be extinguished. Great people come when they are needed, men of renown. There is a rhyme and reason for everything, the cycles move as this earth moves around the sun. In out ignorance we want to know the truth. Our body has a spiritual part, the god in us. We have a soul.  We ask Who my I? As physical humans  our accomplishments are remarkable, great thinkers, writers, poets, artists, musicians, composers, builders, and scientists.


Being physical is a wonderful experience and we should all remember this. You say that is all good and well but angels don’t have to make money to pay the bills, They don’t know what it is like to starve to death or die in some horrible death. Dying is the last thing we do, It is about living, and how we live, that is why we chose to be born. We have senses, of touch and smell  and hearing. We can smell the turkey cooking, taste it when we eat it and look forward to the pumpkin pie and sharing the meal with our friends who we hug as they come and go. Being physical should be appreciated. List your pleasures, a hot shower, a swim on a hot day, sitting by the fire on a cold day, watching a kitten play, hearing a child's first words, listening to a symphony, reading a good book, dancing, walking in a beautiful place. This list can go on for pages. Most pleasures come with being with others and sharing what we have.

Every physical life is a chance to live life in a way that effects others in a positive way that works toward peace and well being for all. I don’t think it matters what we do, what job, be it dishwasher or president of a bank. It is about how we handle the situation we are in, our attitude, our desire to do what is best for ourselves and everyone else. We have this body that may not be in perfect shape, but it allows us to experience the world we live it. WE learn through duality, through our senses, We experience everything, grief and pain, joy and happiness. The thing is we make many mistakes. The road has a lot of bumps and curves and we can’t see
ahead. We do the best we can at the time. We need to keep this in mind so that we don’t judge others for their actions which may be bad but we don’t know the circumstances that caused the actions. Would life be worth living if there were no challenges. The news is full of stories of all the terrible things that are going on in the world. The truth is most people are good, caring and compassionate. The terrible stuff has been going on for centuries. Now we know about it because we have cell phones,computers and global communication. Changes can be made with information and knowledge. We help the world by being who we are, angels in physical form, full of light, the Christ light. the essence of love. It is inside all of us, we are a piece of god. We are his physical part, the individual parts that make up the whole, and the whole knows all it’s parts. At one time or another each of us has had the same experiences. All our desires are the same. Let us rejoice together. We form a circle of love. We are beings of love. Say I am thankful for my life, for my physical and emotional  body. Sing, express love, remember Christ’s birth, all births, all the possibilities. Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It is the light in the darkness. The light is growing, expanding, Rejoice, It is the birth of a new age. I love my family and friends. I love this earth and I love humanity. I love being a living human to experience the love of others.

The party on Sunday came and went. It was as wonderful as ever, good food, conversation, stories, fun and laughter and the unconscious  or conscious feeling of love we share with each other. May all of you be together with your loved ones this Christmas and may the year bring good health and happiness. 


This a Table   by Alice Paul

The wind blew the door shut
The screen door slammed.
He had to dance quickly into the house
before the door closed on him.
He put his cap on the table.
His cap was an African print worn at a jaunty angle
He bought it at Black Expo in New York
on one exciting afternoon shared with Black Yankee 
Baseball Stars of Yesteryear.
He put his cap and his memories on the table.
He put the junk mail on the table;
magazines offering exotic travel and glamorous cloths.
 He put thoughts of visiting his daughter on the table,
looking forward to seeing those he loves and those they love.
He put the events of his life and his mind on the table
the ribbon stretches on unraveling as life unfolds
recording the days endlessly while telling the story.
The table is available near the door allowing him to
put everything  on it
on matter what it weighs
because it stands strong 
unbending
while the putting continues.

"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive."
~ Albert Einstein.

this years Christmas tree

chicken coop first winter storm in Nov

ice sculpture on the shore

They are not friends

Boo 8 weeks

Boo 12 weeks

Mira rolling in the snow

taking a bath

robins looking for worms

last winter ice storm Christmas

Sunday, November 2, 2014

First Snow

Here it is the second of November and it is snowing and blowing. The wind is whistling outside and the fire is crackling inside. I love the first snow storm, watching out the window as the wind blows the fat flakes diagonally in the air, covering the grass, still green, while I am warm and cozy by the fire. I am going to start painting a winter scene.

looking out toward the garden



my driveway  Snowing for 3 hours

Boo by the fire

Boo on my lap sitting by the fire

Thursday, October 30, 2014

another pet, new kitten

There is a new member in my pet family, a sweet little coon cat. As tiny as he is he can do all the things grown cats do, spit and arch his back, and sing. He can move pretty fast and can climb my pant leg and stay in my lap until I have to get up. My other cat Tippy, won't come in the house. As soon as he sees the kitten he hisses and runs away. Mira on the other hand is friendly with the kitten. I haven't named him yet. He is a little love bug.
















Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Harvest

Bring in the vegetables


This is a Waldoboro turnip


Harvesting the vegetable


Lately I have been walking the dog out to this point about
sunset  
B





Last nights sun set at the point

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Columbus Day Weekend
Oct 12th is Christopher's birthday and why he is named Christopher. Back when I was in school Columbus was a great person who decovered America. Later I learned he didn't decover America and he wasn't such a great guy. However he did cross the Alantic in those funny little ships and made it back to Spain and for those times that was a great accomplishment.

The fall weather has been nice, no frost yet here, inland there have been frosts. The color is better than last year but the leaves are drying up from lack on rain. On the day it got to 80 I went out in the kayak, went swimming and painted from the island. It was a perfect day.

I have to dig up carrots, leeks, beets onions,and turnips for storage. The summer squash is has stopped producing. Basil has been made into pesto.  I have eaten all my potatoes, kale will last until it is covered with snow. With all the weeds and bugs in the garden it is amazing that it produces so much food. My two Golden Comet chickens are still laying an egg a day.

Most galleries close after this holiday, even in Rockland where there are 25 galleries, they stay open less days and then close at Christmas. The Farnsworth holds the fort. I am so glad we have that wonderful little museum. There are so many great painters and creative people in Maine I don't understand why more people don't come here to buy art and fine craft.

Ken Davis a friend from the time I lived in Newburyport found me on face book and sent images of paintings he has of mine so I am sharing them.





Susan collecting stones
Nancy and Susan at Marshall Point Port Clide




Nancy and Susan came for a visit. The first afternoon we painted here on the cove I live on. They sat on the chairs and I sat down on the rocks. 

Scene on the Island wc 10 x 14
The day I took the kayak out and painted on the Island
Stone Pier wc 14 x 10
Nancy, Susan, and me ate our lunch here in Port Clide


Friendship House #3 wc 10 x 14
In Newburyport I painted many buildings. I was living in a city. I still like to paint architure but I am in the country and mostly paint Back Cove. I go to Friendship to pick up my mail where this house is.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Work week

It is Labor day, the last day of summer for a lot of people. Children are going back to school, or have already started. It is a warm muggy day. This summer has been one of the coolest, most days in the seventies and low eighties, just right for me.
Doug and Christina came up a couple of weeks ago and spent the whole time working. They stacked the wood, mowed the lawn, weeded, cleared brush, and weed wacked the overgrowth. Most of the old wood got burned in a big bon fire.
A shed that was falling apart was taken down and was part of the bon fire. Doug put in new windows in the barn studio. Christina sorted and cleaned. She is a wonderful organizer. The van was filled three times for dump runs. After a week Christina went back to Amesbury and Doug stayed and kept working. Old houses are in constant need of repair.  I can,t keep up with what needs to be done, so I do what I can. I am blessed to have children that take care of this place. I am blessed to have children that are loving and caring, creative, interesting children, that are wonderful adults, making the world a better place.There are so many interesting people in my life. There in not on person that does not influnce another. We are entangled.
While Doug was working I went out to the shore with the dogs and painted.
As the expression is a picture is like a thousand words so I am including some images of work week.

Doug and Christina at Homer,s studio Prouts Neck

Doug spends a lot of time on his I phone

The wood pile

Garden in the front of the house

Starting the fire

Bon fire

Weeds in the garden

After weeding

Stacked wood, Doug weedwacking in the back of the house

New windows in barn studio

Watercolor painted when Doug was here

Watercolor painted while Doug was here

Watercolor with Christinia,s dog. Dogs were with me when I painted.