“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Trust me - there were robins

I woke up this morning to a yard full of robins, which is quite a good thing, as it means spring is almost here. But an undocumented thing because I'd left my camera at the lab. However, I'm not one who believes everything has to be photographed - in fact it's a pet peeve of mine. (That's a phrase I haven't heard in a while. I remember it used to be in Tiger Beat & 16 Magazine back when I was 13 or 14 - all the teen idols would answer silly questions like what's your favorite color? what's your favorite tv show? what's your pet peeve?) I on purpose do not take a camera to my niece's basketball games or other events because I don't want to end up missing what's really happening by being preoccupied with documenting that it - whatever it may be - really happened. I sometimes wonder what's behind our photo-obsessed culture (odd, I know, for someone in the photo business, but maybe it's because I am in this business. I've yet to meet a male photographer who didn't become a photographer in order to see naked women and prove to others that he had, in fact, seen naked women. But that's a whole nother story.) I see people on tv all the time who've lost homes to fire or tornadoes or hurricanes saying they've lost all their memories, and while I know what they mean, the reality is that they haven't lost their memories, they've lost their documentation. But trust me, the robins were there.

The above painting is one I keep thinking is finished, but I'm not sure it's finished, so it probably isn't. It's 24" x 48" or so - mixed media. I've been looking at it for months, waiting for it to tell me what to do, but it stays silent. It's also one of the many chair or bench works I've done. I have a thing about chairs. Years ago I had a small show & you know how people are - they want art to mean something (another pet peeve of mine, and yet another story) - & this woman came up to me, wine glass in her hand, & mentioned that she'd noticed I had a lot of chair drawings on display, and what exactly did that represent? I was sitting with my mother at the time, and my mom immediately replied that it was perhaps because we'd had no chairs when I was a child. My mouth dropped open, as did the woman's - as did everyone's within earshot (what a great word!). I mean, I didn't recall being deprived of chairs! I looked at my mom & asked her if that was true, and she just smiled and said "No." It was a terrific moment!

And speaking of birds (were we speaking of birds or chairs?), I just got a call from the-usually packing-heat-but-still-kind-to-birds Robert that last year's owl is back! Same tree, same knothole. I promise I'll try to document it!


  1. Wow Deb this is beautiful. Took the time to read about the robins this morning because I love that painting, reminds me of the MAGPIE that sits on the bench on my verandah and your writing is superb. The people who gather on KW's site are unbelievable talented... I will be checking in often...the music the best too Regards Maggie

  2. Maggie - that's my cat's name, too and SHE was quite thrilled with all the robins this morning! Thanks for checking in & for the kind words.


  3. I have to do the same with my camera-leave it at home. Being behind a lens removes us from the moment. But then there are many times where I wish I had my camera with me!!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. I'm kind of like Angela (one of the commenters) who said that she has no problem with painting over something that she is working on...but then feels like painting over an old finished painting is like painting over a captured moment of a stage in her life.

    But as your post talks about, it's never gone. hmmm. I think I need more coffee. :) Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

  4. uh oh.... i guess i am a member of the camera obsessed culture. i try, i really do, to keep one eye to the viewfinder and the other on the happenings. it's hard though. sometimes you just have to choose one or the other. you have to try and see it from my POV though... i can't paint, i can't draw, i can't sketch or even use crayolas to express myself. i need to use my camera for that.

    i laughed out loud at the motivation of male photographers :) i think you are probably right. maybe they are able to shift to other subjects once they get their fill of naked women... i don't know how long that is supposed to take though.

    and your mom! i love her and i don't even know her! what a great comeback. something you might have said yourself don't you think?

    so back to the robin's in the yard and the chair. i love the painting. and i love robins. they have such big butts and full chests. all pouffed out.

    i have been trying to think of the author but i can't remember. i read his/her novel and it was all about a woman who did chair art. it was her constant subject matter and actually she lived in the woods and had NO CHAIRS! i will try to remember it. it was a grand novel. very good read about art, love loneliness and a dirth of chairs.



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