Beach sunrise


Part of a series I painted when we vacationed each summer at the beach. We hope there’s more of that down the road.

My husband’s surgery went smoothly. Now it’s time to rest and heal. Many, many thanks, dear ones, for all your kind words and healing thoughts, for emailing and calling and visiting the hospital and taking care of our daughter and providing sorbets for his sore throat!



St. Ronan


There are probably a dozen St. Ronans, some Irish, some Scottish, all with different feast days. And the one I’m choosing actually had his feast day YESTERDAY, June 1, but that day was taken by John Masefield. So I’m noodging Ronan onto June 2nd. Being saintly, he surely won’t mind.

This St. Ronan was an Irish missionary who had left Ireland and lived in a forest overlooking the Bay of Douarnenez in Brittany, a location I would select myself if I were an Irish missionary. The story goes that his wife disliked his proselytizing among their Breton neighbors, so she accused him of being a werewolf. When you want to reform your husband, drastic action is required. But when Ronan was brought before the authorities, the nearby hunting dogs failed to attack him, thus proving his innocence. He went on to become a wandering healer of the sick and was buried in what is now Locronan.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with the picture above? Well…it’s a stretch, but the CD Lord Ronan’s Return (for which I painted this cover) was named for another wandering Ronan. And you can learn more about that one, as well as how to obtain this CD of lovely music by by Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton, by going to their website. Happy St. Ronan’s Day! (yesterday)

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

—John Masefield


My mother shared with my husband a deep love of sailing ships and the sea, as well as sea-related poetry and books. They discovered together and passed back and forth the entire Patrick O’Brien series, set aboard ship during the Napoleonic Wars. (My mother was convinced she had been a cabin boy in some past life and had drowned off the White Horse Reef.)

At her memorial service, my dear husband, never one to stand up and speak before a crowd, decided to read aloud in my mother’s honor this poignant and evocative poem they both love, written by John Masefield (1878-1967), whose birthday it is today. For me now my mother and my husband are forever within its lines.


Last Glimpse of Erin

In honor of his birthday today, a poem by Thomas Moore (1779-1852), and a painting.


Though the last glimpse of Erin with sorrow I see,
Yet wherever thou art shall seem Erin to me;
In exile thy bosom shall still be my home,
And thine eyes make my climate wherever we roam.

To the gloom of some desert or cold rocky shore,
Where the eye of the stranger can haunt us no more,
I will fly with my Coulin, and think the rough wind
Less rude than the foes we leave frowning behind.

And I’ll gaze on thy gold hair as graceful it wreathes,
And hang o’er thy soft harp, as wildly it breathes;
Nor dread that the cold-hearted Saxon will tear
One chord from that harp, or one lock from that hair.

—Thomas Moore