Monday, April 14, 2014


I've been staying in Washington DC these last few days. Sarah (dubbed "Sasa" by my son when he was 18 months) is my niece and one of my favorite people. She is smart, sassy and a good listener. This is her 7th year in DC and she bought a townhouse last fall. I am only the second family member to visit this new abode (of course her twin was first!) and it is a great honor. Her neighborhood is close to the Capitol and contains a mix of cultures, from artists to professionals to street people. The largest soup kitchen in the city is across the street and down. My first night we walked five blocks to a trendy new bar/restaurant and enjoyed cocktails and fabulous appetizers. Of course Sarah knew the owner. He sent over two luscious desserts, on the house.

It is exciting to be here. The view from her sunny patio reminds me of "Rear Window" (favorite Hitchcock movie): narrow 3 storey brick and stucco buildings, tightly pressed together along an alley, complete with a warbling tenor, her notes sweeping across balconies and wafting through the open doorways. I'd forgotten what it's like to live in a city. Parking is a sport and sirens punctuate the night. Sarah is as comfortable as a cat here. I envy her energy.

This morning I drank two strong cups of coffee and fried myself an egg before hopping in my car to head to Maryland. Yesterday we drove out to a point of land on a small bay off of Chesapeake Bay, where Sarah introduced me to her friends, a delightful couple who were happy to let me paint from their dock. It is a luxury knowing my landscape location ahead of time, not to mention having an actual bathroom at my disposal!

The wind was strong so I set up on a small beach rimmed with white rocks where I could nestle into the hillside. The scene looking left included a pier with a sailboat. This seemed to be the quintessential East Coast view and I got right to work. The wind picked up. I did some hearty swearing in an effort to control its gusts but to no avail. At last I laid the canvas on the ground and continued while kneeling in the sand. After three hours, the drawing appeared accurate, the colors were scrubbed in and I closed up shop.

Tomorrow I am driving to Bethany Beach in Deleware. My friend's family has a cottage where I can park and paint. I hope the day is sunny and mild!

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