Summer 2020

Today is the last day of summer. I recently started documenting my life and work with photos again. I stopped taking pictures regularly after I started using Instagram and became overwhelmed with the sheer volume of images, not to mention a little disturbed at the effort some people appeared to be exerting in order to make their life look good on social media. I didn’t stop taking pictures altogether but my goal became only to share what I thought my tiny social media audience would find meaningful about the week’s art making.

Now I’m taking them for myself again and collecting them by season on my web-site as part of my on-line sketchbook.

Breathing

I walk into the dark woods
under the evening clouds
to sit on a log.

The woods begin breathing oxygen
and we menace each other
as the owls leave
their tight camouflage to hunt
and the moon chases the sun
over the edge of the neighborhood.

Darkness is soft at least.

On the way home the crows cackle.
The sound of shopping carts and aluminum cans
sharpen the silence as the sun fades
little by little.

Independent Artists

11 Independent women artists have teamed up to share our work and thank our supporters. Artists, in order of appearance: Binta Thérèse, Carrie Tasman, Diana Ryan, Darlene Klister (Firelight Designs), Jennifer Lommers, Marianne Post, Sharon King, Alexandra Schaefers, Jan Maitland, Jan Roberts-Dominguez, and Louise Magno (Natural Moments Studio). Find links to us here: https://linktr.ee/independentartistso…

Jennifer Lommers made this amazing video. She is a full-time artist and this is one of the many things she’s doing to keep her art going through the pandemic, normally she would be at a lot of art fairs over the summer! I’m really honored to be included!

Nearness of Wings

A hawk flies into a tall pine
followed by an angry crow.
A towhee screes across the street
while I walk down the hill
from the neighborhood
into the woods
where everything is filling in
with new shades of green.

The mallards are in the creek
where I stop to sketch the trees.
It’s an uneventful session today,
drawing impatiently in the woods.

When I cross the road
from the trail head to go home
I feel my last chance
slipping away from me.

I walk under the freeway
and hear a Red-winged Blackbird
for the first time here.

Did they just move in to this swale
built between I-5 and Barbur
when the cattails
became tall enough to perch on?

It’s such a tiny piece of wetlands
abbreviated by the street
that leads back to my dry wall cube.
A townhouse that is suddenly more
than an address on an avenue.
It is a place just north of the swale
and west of the creek
in the nearness of wings.

Gentleness of Rain.

watercolor illustration of a person walking down a rainy spring street by Alexandra Schaefers

A rainstorm comes in just as I leave for an early morning walk. My heavy cotton trench coat soaks through at the shoulders in the chorus of rain plunking through the trees and onto the ground.  

As I burrow through the streets littered with flower petals and teeming with spring’s growth I wonder why I’ve been so diligently timing my walks during sun breaks or overcast moments. 

Yesterday I walked to the office over the freeway under the gray clouds after several days of sunshine but I couldn’t remember what season it was for a long moment.

I don’t know the cause of these disconnects but today is my day to tend to chores and rest and walking in the soft deluge settles me into the goodness of ordinary tasks. 

The neighborhood houses are dark still but each one holds at least one human’s heart. A person sleeping, making coffee perhaps—safe and dry under their roof while their dreams slip out to catch the clear light as they bounce off the asphalt with the rain.

When I return home I hang my coat in the garage to drip dry, leave my hat by the gas fireplace then sit by the window in damp hair and pajama pants soaked below the knee to re-calibrate to the gentleness of rain.