A playdate

Recently the moms from First Child’s toddler playgroup got together for our more-or-less annual dinner. The toddlers themselves, I should add, are all in college now, and when we are able to get together, all six of us, we make a jolly group–we all have stories to tell and news to share, we have some good food at a restaurant overlooking the sea and the shore and a few cocktails and talk and laugh and marvel at the nearly two decades that have passed since we gathered in each others’ kitchens and yards to share coffee and tea and keep each other from going baby buggy. We’re also still learning new things about each other, and I was delighted to hear that another of my friends has also been working in watercolors.

Yesterday we got together at her house for show and tell and painting (oh, yeah, and for a wonderful cool lunch–did I mention it’s hot here?). I was stunned by the beauty of the paintings she’s doing–so much feeling and loveliness and such a wonderful grasp of how really to paint. Her things make me want to go out and find a teacher immediately and try to figure out what I’m doing. For now, no money, no space for that, so I’ll go on with what I’m doing and loving (and hope she’ll keep sharing her wonderful work with me).

After lunch and some good conversation about how we got to this place, we settled in to work, she on a rich and marvelous painting (water, trees, docks, and a beautiful coral red roof on a white clapboard building) she’s been working on for a while, me on more brush paintings. We talked a little while she painted and showed me some nifty techniques and I ground ink and worked on quick sketches, but mostly we just worked quietly, happily.

I’m afraid it’s bowls for a while, specifically, bowls used in the zen meal ceremony called oryoki (literally, “just enough”). They’ve been in my head since I painted this and several related things at zen the art retreat back in May, and now they just want me to pay lots of attention to them. I did lots of quick sketches:


and these

but my favorite bowls of the day were the simple turquoise stoneware ones in which she served up a beautiful amethyst cobbler, hot from the oven and full of blueberries and blackberries and peaches just as we decided we needed a break.

Now that’s art. Thanks, Maureen!


2 responses to “A playdate

  1. How great that your group still gets together after all these years! And I have to say I love the bowls that you are painting. They’re so graceful and beautiful. (The cobbler looks excellent, too.)

  2. Pingback: On not making books « Floating Ink

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