Every day life changes.  Some days the change is subtle; other days the change feels like a storm let loose inside me.  Yesterday was one of those thunderstorm days.  In spite of the rumblings, the sun continued to cast a beautiful light upon the heart of my inspiration.

I painted this little warm up of my rooting Purple Heart Wandering Jew before dashing off to visit my dear friend, Betty Stroppel.  Betty introduced me to the joy of watercolor over thirty years ago.  I knew this day would be difficult.

Purple Heart Wandering Jew watercolor warm up sketch

Betty is moving to Ohio to be close to her two children.  She remains in my mind as one of the most optimistic, fearless woman I know.  Poor health has taken its toll.  Yesterday, she gave me all of her brushes, paints, paper and books.

Driving home I felt the rumblings, the need to make an important decision.  I acknowledge that I am a Marshwiggle (C. S. Lewis).  I often don’t allow the joy and the beauty that I see in the world around me to pour out of me in paint or in words.  It is time to open the floodgates and let it all out.  With Betty’s paints and brushes I will do just that.

The day began with Betty and ended with Maria.  I drove to Frenchtown to hear her play at the open mic.  It has been a while since I’ve been out to hear live music.  It was the perfect way to end a difficult day.

Open Mic Listening Room at the National Hotel, Frenchtown, NJ