More Parcheesi and a House-warming gift

Dec 9, ‘14

I know not how such things can be;   

I only know there came to me

A fragrance such as never clings       

To aught save happy living things;              

A sound as of some joyous elf

Singing sweet songs to please himself,           

And, through and over everything,     

A sense of glad awakening.    

From Renascense by Edna St. Vincent Millay


Mood is a slippery thing and what it tells you cannot be trusted– but process can.

Julia Cameron


Dec. 9, ‘14

A blissful hour and a half of Mozart on CD, reworking more old paintings….

Today is in the low 40’s and all is wet from a huge rain storm that blew in overnight.  If it were snow…..  (I shudder to think….)  Earlier this morning it was cold; I watched cars and people slipping and sliding on the icy sidewalks and roadway.  School openings were delayed 90 minutes.  I planned on driving 25 miles tonight to see friends but am loathe to go as the rain, possibly mixed with snow,  is scheduled to continue through tonight, all day tomorrow and into tomorrow night.

I have yet to make my final decision but in interest of caution, am leaning toward “no”.



Parcheesi #4, Jan ’09 BEFORE


Parcheesi #5 AFTER

Leafing through the pile, I discovered Parcheesi #4, begun in Jan ’09 while healing from a leg injury.  I’ve given it a face lift using deep grays and increasing the intensity of light colors.  As I go further into the pile perhaps I’ll discover #3….  I’m still think of #4 as a work in process but am putting it aside as I think it doesn’t need too much more….



Parcheesi #5 (from a few days ago)


Parcheesi #5 After a few changes Dec 9, ’14

A few more repairs to Parcheesi #5….



Peaches in Blue Bowl Before


After a good cleaning with tissue and q-tips

As I’ve work on the paintings from the scrap heap I gaze over others that are spread on the floor around my chair.  This one has caught my eye several times and my initial thoughts on it have been that it’s too far gone into mud, I may as well scrap it; the paper is clogged with the hard-shell of glue and paint turned to mud I made by using a great deal of Burnt Umber.


There are possibilities of saving this painting, so I spent more than a half hour washing it down with tissue and q-tips.  It still has a dirty appearance but also seems to have possibilities of a ‘save.’

Back story on the bowl.  I’ve always loved this bowl since I first saw it in a store in Waterbury CT.  I was a bank teller at the time and usually lunched with 2 friends.  After- lunch window shopping was a favorite pastime.  One of our favorite places was a store that sold kitchen and dining items.  I loved the pattern on this dish and while I couldn’t afford this casserole dish I’d already started a collection and had 4 of the smaller bowls that matched this large one as well as a few matching coffee mugs.  I loved the blue glaze and I  loved the pussywillow pattern from the moment I first saw them

One day, after lunch, my friends and I went to this store because one of the women needed to buy a wedding gift.  I remember her questioning me about the bowl and why I thought her friend might enjoy it.   In my mind’s eye, I can still see her face and her serious expression as she listened to me.    She thought about it for a bit and then went on to purchase something else.

A few weeks later, friends and family threw a surprise house warming party for me and my (now ex and deceased) husband.  We were totally shocked and surprised when cars started filling our parking area and the sides of the street and it turned out to be family and friends bringing a picnic and housewarming gifts.  It was a wonderful party in every way.  One of the gifts was this casserole dish, from my friend Marie.  She told me she’d had it set aside the day we were at the store together and had picked it up later.  It gave me great pleasure that she had tricked me so and that she wanted me to be so surprised and happy.  I never use this bowl without thinking of her and the moment she quizzed me and the housewarming party so long ago.   The top has been broken, but I continue to use it with a hunk missing.  The bowl has seen many casseroles and shows some wear, but to me, it’s always beautiful.  I no longer recall Marie’s last name, nor have I seen her in many years but I’ll never forget her kindness in giving me this bowl.

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2 Responses to More Parcheesi and a House-warming gift

  1. beetleypete says:

    A great story, which doubled as a suitable back-story to the paintings. Also great improvements shown with all the work. You are very industrious at the moment Gretchen!
    Avoid the trip, if snow, rain, or sleet is forecast. Tuck up warm and safe at home, and make the necessary apologies.
    Best wishes from England as always. Pete.

    • Thank you, Pete. I have a lot of time right now to devote to painting seeing as how there’s no gardening and no free lance work. I love having this much time! I’m even daring to dream of the possibility of a show sometime in the next year.

      It’s been raining all day and at the moment it’s coming down hard. I opted to stay home tonight. I made necessary apologies but my friend said there was no need. We’re going to try again on Friday.

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