Monday, September 11, 2023

A Summary of Spring and Summer thoughts...


So summer came and went with alacrity this year...streaming by in a myriad of images from here in Madison to up north at the cabin. Back and forth.  This year we went with a 3-4 week on and off plan.  The idea being not to have to pack and unpack so often which for two old folks is arduous.  

Weather in Madison was on the average this summer was dry and quite hot.  Weather in Lac du Flambeau was on average cold, dark, and rainy.  So both had their ups and downs.  

So to simply highlight our happiest sister's visit in May as she was making her way across country was splendid and so wonderful.  Then in June the visit of our granddaughter, Maddy,and her entire family was amazing. Getting to meet Maddy's fiancé AND our two beautiful great grandchildren.  What a special time.  

So summer "up north" was totally full of joyous community and family gatherings.  4th of July was a local potluck of lake folks.  Great to see everyone!  

In between family gatherings I tried to keep a little sketching going.
I found the name of the clouds to be amusing as they sounded like perhaps a bad chest cold?  When they gather in the north like this it is time to be watchful.  

Beth made the trip all the way from Rochester Hills, Michigan by car this summer to the cabin for a sister duo with Julie!  Greg's son Mark and his big family came and my son Rick and his darling family came.  Katy and Chris came as a sister duo and we loved that!  Julie and her husband came.  What a treat. They all spoiled us so!  

I found a wee amount of time to keep up with sketching some  botanicals around the cabin although I found that walking too far along the verges was harder for me this year.

We returned to Madison on Friday the 8th of September.  The summer warmth will linger awhile in autumn generally comes on slowly and with sweet colors.  Then suddenly as October approaches it will rain and the colors will slide away from us offering us the always bleakness but coziness of November.  We are already beginning to think of the holidays in general terms.  With a large family one has to plan ahead! 
Art wise Julie and I have a few Zentangle® "gigs" in the works.  I am helping here at Oakwood to plan a new Art library which should be fun.  Choir at church starts this week AND a new Oakwood choral group is beginning here which should be joyful.   

I brought back a lot of old paintings stored at the cabin that "never made the cut" and so am thinking of collage and gift card making with those this winter.  I am sure I'll start up some beginning Zentangle classes here at Oakwood and need to look over the calendar for that. 

In the spring I did part of the project pack for Zentangle.  I'll drop a few of those in so you can just see a sample.   It was an odd project which was designed to get one to look at familiar zentangles in the sense of possible botanical implications.  Here's an example.  The format was unusual to say the least but I enjoyed the challenge of making "make believe" plants.  Complete nonsense, of course, but a way to push your ideas into a project that most of us wouldn't have dreamed of.  I got five of the 8 done before we went up north but hope to get back and finish the rest this fall.  


Wishing you a good autumn.  And GO Packers! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Entering the Good Old Summertime

 "Way beyond pretty pictures, cool techniques, gripping stories, or fancy footwork, artists make art that’s worth spending time with because it makes us feel like we are not alone in the universe.....but you do need to be authentic and unafraid. Art is the opportunity to share yourself. Seize it." Danny Gregory

Suddenly it's June and I haven't posted since April.  Cliches about time flying come to mind but I promised myself not to say that.  Instead I'll note that life has been and continues to be full of surprises and most of them are pretty okay.  

Above and below are a few of the 2" Bijou tiles in the latest project pact from Zentangle HQ.  All in all they posted 21 videos of various prompts.  I only missed one.   Black, white, and translucent tiles.  Quite fun and enjoyable.  They are meant to be put into mosaics.  

While I am writing this on June 6 here in Madison we are getting a little rain storm.  I do hope it lasts a bit as the lawns here are going yellow and brown and my daughter's garden is suffering and I am sure the farmers are worried about corn and soybeans and hay too.  

Up north for our recent 10 day stay to open the cabin...we had high danger warnings for fire. No campfires allowed.  The mosquitoes were swarming so much that most of my sketches were done indoors.  

I've been able to do a few sketches here at Oakwood this spring..this one in May near a lovely Fountain Pond on the east side of the Oaks. 
The blossoms were falling fast and floating in the pond like confetti from a celebration.  

We have a busy month planned for June here in Madison with farmer's markets and garage sales and art shows and outdoor music concerts.  We will return to the cabin just before the 4th of July and stay about 3 and half weeks. 

Wishing you all a good, safe, and creative summer.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

April Thoughts


By Ginny Stiles

To graduate is to arrange in a series or according to a scale.

“The stones were graduated in height from the lowest near the entrance to the tallest opposite.”

The longer I live the more I think of time as a spiral and not a straight line.  Every ending opens a door to a new beginning.  In this way we “graduate” all the time, minute by minute and year by year, experience by experience.

The spiral starts out tight and small and “graduates” outward as time spins on.  At least my spiral does.  I could see that some folks might see it the opposite, getting smaller and tighter as they age.  Dark hole style.

But my spiral is headed for the stars.  As the serendipity of life is arranged through both my choices and my chances…through luck and planning, through the best and worse…the spaces get wider and you see farther.  There are more “thin” places in the spiral where you can see beyond your spiral…just every so often.

We gather a little star dust along the way and when the spiral gets wide enough…and you get to the end…it will feel like home.

A little birthday card painting for my grandson Patrick's 17th birthday. 

Watercolor and Gouache

The Wonky House project was part of a Sketchbook online challenge series this spring.  (Ink, watercolor, white pen, white gouache)

Ginny teaching Zentangle last week  out a Prairie Ridge on the East Side of Madison.

My sister and I had 5 days to enjoy each other's company here in Madison and now she's off to new adventures in California.


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Easter Season

The end of March draws near.  It's truly been a month that I have almost lost in terms of time.  I've done many things...we've been busy and not a month where I noticed many spare moments although I am sure there were.  

Spring fever hit me hard in mid-March.  A few 40-50 degree days slipped in, the time on the clocks moved forward, the vernal equinox that celebrates the season slipped in, and the local Farmer's Market sent their start date in April... but outside things looked VERY wintery in Madison for most of the month!  Last Saturday we had 12" of snow! We NEED spring and it's almost painful.  Under the snow, Julie's snowdrops and crocus are poking up.  Or they were when we could see them!  And I have seen my first robin!  

On the 18th of March the Urban Sketch group went down to sketch in the capitol dome here in Madison.  Oh my it was a blustery wintery day! It was fine inside the dome but getting there was a very cold walk.

I've been obsessed with Zentangle® during these inside days...teaching an advanced class we call the "Zentangle Club".  They have been doing a great job... First project we worked on a "Zendala". These two  on top were the way it looked to start and then my finished sample.  The 3 on the bottom were my "variations on the finished piece".  

The students really worked hard on theirs and they turned out quite well I thought. Even though we all the did the same tangle they all turned out differently but then that's the fun.  

So now we are working on "part II" to finish up in late April.  We are working on a "Wonky Village".  The second one is my sample in ink and colored pencil that I am working along with them.  The top one is as far as I got in the first day of instruction.  Neither are completed yet so you'll have to wait to later in April to see how they all turn out!  

Lastly I've been working along with the Project Pack #20 online in Zentangle and Day 6 turned out well.  This is done on a gray Zendala tile using ink and while charcoal.  

Heading right up to Easter now and the choir at church is practicing like crazy as we sing Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter!! Family will be here for Easter Brunch and we all have our finger's crossed that the sunshine and spring like weather will arrive in time!  

Blessings for this Easter Season.

Monday, February 6, 2023

February: A Time to Dream

“Teach the children… Stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms.”
— Mary Oliver

Here is is the 6th of February and I've not posted for a long time. The holidays have come and gone with all their family and friends and joyful celebrations.  The New Year has begun in all it's complexity and bewilderment...all it's wars, earthquakes and gun violence. We have to fight to keep the balance.  I've started a Tai Chi class.  Lots of gentle movements, breathing, and contemplation.  My Zentangle® brings me healing.  I share that with others.  I led a lovely class last week.  

This month, for a time, I've lost myself in thinking about the outdoor world lying still and silent now under deep snow here in Wisconsin. I walk gingerly over ice and snow and think of the world..mostly silent and sleeping in the woods.  There is great beauty in the frosted branches and the long long icicles.   

The owls are about...I see sparrows on the branches of my Sycamore Tree.  But mostly we are lost still to the signs that spring is ahead.  Yet we still we plan for Ash Wednesday and dream of Easter on April 9.  It's only two months.  So the "green space" Mary Olivers writes of above will come again.  We have set the up north cabin calendar in motion among the family members.

It's a good month to dream of the 9 acres woods here at University Woods.  The robins will be back next month.  They always come. I so enjoyed putting together a little nature library sign for the book corner by the entrance to the woods.  

I loved thinking of each bit the woods I cherish here..the trillium, the Sycamore tree, the oaks, the Lady Slipper and the Bluebells, the hickory and the robins.  And then lastly the turkey feather.  We have an absurdly funky flock of them that think they own the 9 acres.  We have to get permission from them to walk there (well at certain times of year).  There were so many things there wasn't room for...the owls...beautiful.  All the song birds...many many wild flowers.  The list is endless.  We dream of spring now.  


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Closing the Year with Thoughts of Art and the Cosmos

One day last month friends here at Oakwood had  a "Paint Like Klimt" afternoon.  A crazy group decided to look at some of Gustav's work and enjoy it and talk about gold leaf...which he used extensively in his work... and which doesn't photograph very well (by the way). Art therapist, Jennifer, brought in some "fake" but very realistic gold leaf and we talked about using it in a little painting to try it out.  Klimt loved to paint women so I just sketched a make-believe one and looking at his many patterns (which you surely know I loved) I threw them recklessly all over her kimono and did a lot of crazy background patterns.  Then I glued on gold leaf which you cannot even see on this photo.  Many of the small black areas are in fact gold.  The medium otherwise is watercolor and ink.  8 x 10.  


This is just a quick little line sketch done in early November that I happened to come across that I'd forgotten to post.  I'm in the process of sketching around my apartment home this winter.  I LOVE looking back at my in-home sketches from Florida.  Just LOVE.  They bring me right back to the spots I enjoyed.  So I am doing the same here.

The window in the sketch looks a bit different from the way it looked then, as it is now in mid-December filled with the lovely snow out on our Sycamore.  The holidays are in full swing here now in Wisconsin.  The snow comes and goes.  So you never really know if it will be a white Christmas.  But if we have a little snow to remember, it'll be fine.  

My friend Lisa recently sent me her collection of all the old Christmas cards that I had hand painted over the years.  I had forgotten that I did that many!!  I wish it were not SO expensive now to do this.  Even the postage is up to 55 cents each!  I did love doing them.  The cabin in winter card painting is framed and hanging the wall here in Madison.  And I wish I could find the original of the birch tree shadows on snow at the bottom was the view out our window at 7 mile house. 

The dining room table scene is from 7 mile house...just before all the children arrived to have one of those memorable big family Christmases that you think will last forever...and come to find out they don't.  Time moves on.   

Looking at it, though, I can bring back that moment...the sun slanting through the dining room window.  All the grandchildren (12 of them) were so young...many still babes in arms.  A real fire in the fireplace crackling, hot rum drinks, games and presents, wet mittens, and so much food.  Looking at all these cards just brings back so many happy memories.  

I wish you all a hopeful, gentle and sweet Christmas.  I know it's just not like that every year.  There are so many losses and so many changes.  The Christmas cards and email greetings this year were fewer because of that. And old friends and family now live on in our memories.  

Our church here in Madison is focusing on the stars this year...somewhat based on photos from the James Webb telescope to inspire us!  Every song the choir sings has a star theme or a night sky theme.  Every sermon refers to our cosmic connection to the universe.

This has inspired me to do my own personal time line interpretation with a kind of "cosmic" background in many kinds of watercolor.  The center being a sort of black hole looking back a those who came before me.  Then the dots (starlike) on the spiral are events in my know them well from your own time line...births and graduations and losses and joys and the memorable events. 

Now as I approach the outward spiral of my life the events are closer and closer together just before I spiral off the time line back into the star dust of the universe.  The events are closer together because now I know that EVERY event and happening in the moments of my life are an "event" worth remembering.  

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  

Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Sycamore Tree Part II

The Sycamore Tree Series continues.  
These three will close out the series for the year 2022. The month of November in Wisconsin was filled with highly diverse weather...for the most part much warmer here than normal...barely light jacket weather many days including the day (Nov 2) when I did this sketch above.  And took many photos.  I sat directly under the tree and sketched en plein air for this one.  People dropping by to look over my shoulder and we visited about the tree, about sketching, and about life in general.  This is one of those plus things for outdoor sketching. And it's probably the last outdoor sketch day for many months.  But I took a lot of photos.  

This sketch above was done indoors but directly looking at the tree out our window (and some of the photos I took on November 16).  That day was our first very wet and beautiful snow fall in Madison.  The snow lasted about a week before disappearing.  These branches are highly visible from our window in Sycamore Tree House on 4th floor facing east.  I used toned paper, and graphite tinted watercolors in muted tones for the branch itself.  Then added white acrylic ink for the snow itself.  I shadowed the snow with cobalt blue Daniel Smith watercolor.  I always love how the seed balls on the tree get a snow cap that look for all the world like a child with a white hat. I've had several folks suggest it would make a nice Christmas card.  We've not had any real snow since then but pretty cold temperatures in the teens and single digits at night now.  


This last sketch done Nov 29 is from a photo taken back in early November sitting outside and looking straight up at the amazingly strange bark of the Sycamore.  The bark falls off as the tree expands...usually this happens in the late summer.  Big chunks of bark fall off and surround the base of tree.  The "patchwork" of texture left on some parts of the tree is smooth and in other places hugely textured and unusual.  Again I tried out the Derwent Graphitint Paint Pan set.  The colors are subtle and grainy.  They lean toward pinks, greens, golds and grays.  I think they will be nice for painting rocks too.  

Painting in a series has some interesting challenges.  I've kept the task to just this one amazing tree for now.  Looking at it from different angles, using different seasons and using different media.

There's been a lot of interest in it  among the residents of University Woods because it stands close to where some de-construction will soon take place.  The tree has been here a long time.  It's an unusual tree...probably the only Sycamore on the property and also it's unusual to see one this far north.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Sycamore Tree

And yet I know that hope is not a default, it is a choice, it is daily intention and action. 

Writing a better story is not a given, it is an intention,

 it is how we lean into the next great turning.

Carrie Newcomer

The Sycamore Tree to the east of our apartment in Oakwood University Woods is something of a "symbol" of the connection to nature that our community is committed to.  Although the campus contains 9 acres of oaks woodland forest through which we all love to amble regularly in all seasons of the year...this lone tree sits by itself as a sort of "welcome place holder" to the entry way to that area.  It is not brightly colored in fall...but it turns lovely subtle combination of gold, yellow, burnt sienna, and raw sienna each October.   The branches appear mottled colors of olive, browns, and grays.  Hanging from the branches in profusion are the seed pods of the tree (often called a Buttonwood Tree because of the pods).  They are perfectly round soft brown balls about the size of a ping pong ball.  The pods remain on the tree year round...dropping during the spring and summer as new pods appear so that the tree is never without them.  In winter, as you'll soon see, the tree looks as if it's been decorated with them.  Each pod snowcapped.  

Those of us who live in the Oaks at one end of the campus and especially those of us facing east...have come to embrace the tree as a an old friend.  Indeed in our apartment on the 4th floor it almost completely fills the entire window giving our apartment the name "The Sycamore Tree House".  Indeed we feel that we are nestled up in the branches.  When we have a stiff wind we almost get sea sick from the illusion of being tossed about!  

I've challenged myself to sketch the tree in various seasons and in various mediums this year.  (An early resolution).  Above is watercolor and ink.  Below is multi media crayon, ink, watercolor pencil, on toned paper.  


Saturday, October 15, 2022

Tangling Time this Fall


October and it's time for INKTOBER.

It is supposed to be done one day at a time through October.  But since I had Covid in September I finished it that month!  11 x 15

Here I am at Olbrich Gardens last weekend teaching 15 people how to Zentangle®.
They have a good set up there.  The only issue was the sound system was not working well.  
But we got through it.  

A dozen of the participants were brave enough to put their tiles up for a photo. I was very proud of their work.  

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Alone: if you are lucky

 To be alone at your desk or in your studio is not enough. You have to free yourself from the phantoms and inner critics who pursue you wherever you go. “When you start working,” said the composer John Cage, “everybody is in your studio ― the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas ― all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.”  Stephen Batchelor

Actually planning for "alone" time is not really luck.  It take some planning and some practice.  But when you achieve it...then time no longer has any meaning. You float along in a meditative way.  

This week I've been participating in a challenge program for CZT and other lovers of Zentangle®.  The kind of meditation that is very very freeing and hopeful.  Against the daily news each day...we all need to find ways to fight depression.  Besides a walk in the woods, Zentangle is the next best thing.

This week I've been working with "translucent" tiles...heavy vellum papers that allow you to see "partly" the other side of the tile.  Still working with 3.5" squares.  Much of what you see below is on BOTH sides.  You may not be able to tell which is front and which is back as they line up by my window in front of my beloved Sycamore Tree.

I've been experimenting on the side with using different medium

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Leaning in to Art...Leaning in to life

Thinking too much about painting is perhaps a little like reading about your car’s engine. It may be interesting enough, but it isn’t getting you to the grocery store for bread and milk. To the easel!  Christopher Volpe.

Oh my gosh.. I've had such "hankering" or yearning to get back to my painting lately.  I am up north right now so I don't have a lot of supplies with me.  I can keep up with my sketching...the observation of botanicals around me etc.  But I think I need to carry on a bit more.  I can't wait to get back to my studio in Madison.  (another week to go). 

So I am, in the interim, enjoying a "challenge" art project in Zentangle®.  That keeps my pens and pencils busy at least.  Part of the challenge is that the paper (or "tiles" as we tanglers refer to them) are translucent.  (Materials purchased from  

They are an interesting plastic combination of materials that are somewhat like the clear vellum you sometimes see in notecards.  The project above is a multi-media approach to a lovely tangle called Verdigogh
And actually if you click on that link and scroll all the way down you'll find the video information on how to do the exact project above. won't look quite the same without the special transparent paper.  Heavy tracing paper might work too.  Very fun.  Other materials are ink pens and pastel or chalk pencils.  And a graphite pencil too.  

Above is also from the Zentangle challenge project.  The major tangle is Hollibaugh and then the little fish-like tangles are actually on the back side of the paper and just show through.  There is lovely lovely sparkling silver pink ink for that bit.  

All the tiles are 3.5 x 3.5".  The project is every other day for a week or so.  So I'll keep you up to date on how this progresses.

If you are a subscriber to my blog you are going to find that it has dropped off from coming to you temporarily.  Feedburner, my subscription service has deserted me.  I am in the process of finding another one.  And I'll let you know as soon as I do.  I have no idea really who is subscribing to my blog so I am just sending this to a few folks and then asking you check back if you are interested in getting a note in your inbox telling you when I post on the blog.  

Monday, August 1, 2022

Sketches as "Shorthand" in my sketchbooks!

 “The sketch hunter moves through life as he finds it, not passing negligently the things he loves, but stopping to know them, and to note them down in the shorthand of his sketchbook.”  Robert Henri

Never throw art away...well, let me rephrase, at least not without looking at it with a practiced eye.  Old paintings that did not work out?...I've tossed a number in my day, of course.  But it is a good idea to use a viewfinder or you old mats to see if maybe there might be a little hidden gem somewhere amidst the larger painting.  This is what happened here.  It's been so long I don't even remember what I was attempting with the larger format...but with a paper cutter or scissors I snipped some little sweet spots out of the painting and tucked them into an envelope to save.  This one was cut down to card size (5 x 7) and it was only after I discovered it that I added the ink, the shading, and line work.  I added the pine trees, some stones along the shore, highlighted the birch trees (which were there but not highlighted), darkened the shadows under the trees.  July...high summer green, green, green and this little painting says that.  

Voila..a lovely little vignette card to send to my grandson for his 21st birthday!  I think it's frame-able myself.  

Outside Oakwood Apartments in the conservancy is a little home made cage for moth and butterfly cocoons (in season).  And dear Gretchen makes it part of her spring and early summer hobby to curate the cocoons and chrysalis and then share them with residents for release. This screened.  

The Madison Urban Sketchers have been at it again...this time introducing me to the Biergarten on Lake Monona last Saturday.  (Note the Madison capital building in the bottom far right corner.). Pretty amazing view across the lake!

Gorgeous Saturday afternoon about 82 degrees and a light breeze...many folks out enjoying the cold beer (Greg and I had root beer floats.).  There were large home made soft pretzels for some folks and also brats.  But the sketchers were too busy to eat or drink much...lots of sketching going on.  People were paddle boating, canoeing, swimming, and having parties under tents.   (No life guard on duty but looks like once upon time there was!). On the beach was this dark old wood box that look for all the world like a coffin!  So I sketched it in.  Maybe Mr. Olbrich decided to stay in his park?  

You can tell we had a good turn out.  I'm standing WAY in the back row. And at that point I hadn't finished painting some things in.  

We are in Madison, obviously, for a few weeks.  Summer is lovely here and I don't want to miss the whole's been so windy, wet and cold up north.  But we'll leave August 9 (after we vote in the primary) for another two week try and hope weather will improve this time!!!  


Sunday, July 24, 2022

We are Here to Keep Watch, Not to Keep

 The astonishment is all in the being here. It is the turtle in the pond, the thought in the mind, the falling star, the stranger on Main Street… To all of this, loss, which seems only to take away, adds its own kind of necessary contribution. No matter what goes missing, the object you need or the person you love, the lessons are always the same. Disappearance reminds us to notice, transience to cherish, fragility to defend. Loss is a kind of external conscience, urging us to make better use of our finite days. Our crossing is a brief one, best spent bearing witness to all that we see: honoring what we find noble, tending what we know needs our care, recognizing that we are inseparably connected to all of it, including what is not yet upon us, including what is already gone. We are here to keep watch, not to keep. 

Kathryn Schulz (from her book Lost & Found)

I am not sure why the above struck me as appropriate for today's blog except that it "vibrated" with me somewhat as a tuning fork makes a hum with you wrap your fingers around it...vibrating your whole hand for a short time.   

Our first long summer stay at the cabin is wrapping up now...Four weeks...28 days.  Not so long in the scheme of things. We are here to keep watch, not to keep.  The cabin reminds me of things we are blessed with and so much also of what "cannot keep".  Our physical and mental selves savor the familiar lake and the Northwood smells and sounds differently now.  A real quiet descends upon us.  Deep quiet.  Wind, waves, pines, eagles, loons, wild storms, campfires, a canoe ride, wild flowers, etc etc. Things my husband has known and loved for well over 50 years.  Me, over 30.  

This time we spent time assessing things that we won't use again here and dismantling some to make room for the kids who we hope will want to keep the cabin someday and make it their own.  We still hope for some years here...but not the same way they "used to be". "Transience  to cherish...fragility to defend".  My art studio is being dismantled now (a small desk and shelf left by the window facing the lake.  We need the storage for other things and I don't need to duplicate a studio here anymore.  Greg's train tables came down.  He has his one train layout now in Madison.  He needs a work table and some storage instead.  

It is interesting that in the two summers starting with the pandemic summer in which we did not come here at all for the first time so much has changed.  Now it is as if everything has moved slightly so that we are looking at things from a different point of view.  It would have happened anyway, of course, but it's just that it's more than obvious now.  The change continues as the pandemic goes on.

We'll be back on August 9 or 10 for another shorter stay with more family headed up with us for awhile.  Then there will be more berries, more acorns, more pine cones, and the sumac will begin to turn just slightly as the ferns get dusty and turn yellow on the tips. We've seen it so many times.  

Spreading dogbane?  I've never noticed it before. What a lovely find and with a silken moth nest tucked in one leaf too!

The Boathouse is an older landmark in nearby Minocqua...a somewhat dusty and aging lakeside restaurant it turns out.  A bit of a disappointment on a sunny Thursday morning last week.  I was immediately taken in by the signage, however, which I found so interesting AND a real challenge as well.  Who knew there was a beer called "Bell's Oberon"?  Or "Landshark Lager"?  I was inspired after reading about a delightful artist named Doris Rifkin who loves to incorporate signs into her paintings.  If you google her you'll find dozens of wonderful paintings full of print. 

I hope I didn't already post this sketch.  I may have.  It's my bags full of art supplies coming up to the cabin which are now filling up again for the return trip.  Done in water-soluble tinted graphite.  

The cabin nestled into the forest from the road side.
(Lake on the other side.). Our car is covered in a gray car cover off the left side behind the trees.  A blue bag of recycle waiting for us to take to the recycle.  There's a group of large trees just to the left of the door.  One of those fell this spring in a wind storm.  Toward the cabin!!!!
BUT just missed major damage by falling where those trash cans are sitting and then getting hung up in the upper branches!  HOW lucky was that.