An Exhibit of My Art in June — Save the Date!

I am delighted to invite you to a show of my art during the month of June.  Mark your calendars!

Local Wonders:
Nature in Watercolor and Ink
by Rosemary Washington

When:  June 1 – 30, 2018.  Artist Reception/Open House on Thursday evening, June 7th, from 5:00-7:00

Where:  Elisabeth C. Miller Library, Center for Urban Horticulture, on the University of Washington campus, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle

The exhibit will feature selected works in watercolor and ink — mostly plant and animal portraits — inspired by nature in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.  Art works will be on display and for sale* during the Miller Library’s regular open hours.

Please stop by for a visit.

*All sales by cash or check.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the UW Miller Library Fund.  Buyers can pick up their art on or after June 30th.




Hand-Painted Valentines Inspired by Nature

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ferns in the heart of winter
Rosemary Love
Ferns, pen and ink

On the Occasion of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Watercolor portrait of Abraham Lincoln

When I was in school, we remembered Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and celebrated Washington’s birthday as a holiday on February 22nd.  When the government made Mondays the holiday of choice in 1971, we no longer observed the actual birthdays, but instead began to honor all presidents on the Presidents Day holiday, the third Monday in February.

Today’s post goes back to the more traditional celebration of Lincoln’s actual birthday.  Here are some quotes from this great leader:

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’  Now we practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’  When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’  When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
— letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 22,1855

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed.”
— letter to Col. William F. Elkins, November 21, 1864

“The struggle for today is not altogether for today — it is for a vast future also.”

We are still struggling.  Sometimes progress feels like one step forward and two steps back.





Black History Month: Lessons for Us All

The Greenwood Branch Library display honoring Black Leaders during Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and to help celebrate it, I painted a few portraits of Black leaders to use in a library display.  We can learn a lot about resilience, strength, dignity, courage, humanity and creativity from the history and examples of Black leaders who faced racism, injustice, and social and economic disadvantages.  Such lessons and wisdom are timeless — just as helpful in today’s world as ever.

For example, think about these words:

“I will not allow my life’s light to be determined by the darkness around me.”
— Sojourner Truth

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
— Frederick Douglass

“We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what is in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.”
— Barack Obama

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
— Rosa Parks

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



Wayfarers Chapel: Man-made and Natural Cathedrals

Interior, Wayfarers Chapel
Wayfarers Chapel, Los Angeles

As we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway, we glimpsed this glass church up in the trees.  My brother-in-law said he had been there before, and it was worth a look, so we turned the car around and up the driveway to the Wayfarers Chapel.  This chapel was sponsored by the Swedenborgian Church as a memorial to Emanuel Swedenborg.  It was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of the more renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  His inspiration was the “cathedral-like majesty of the redwood trees of northern California.”

Unfortunately for us, the chapel was locked for maintenance, so I could only peek through the windows.  I would have loved to sit inside for a few minutes.  It looked like a meditative space and felt very open.  It was about as outdoorsy as a building could get, with glass walls and ceilings giving views of trees, sky and ocean.

The colonnade of trees on the grounds echoed the cathedral-like structure.  Awesome!

Rows of trees on the grounds of the Wayfarers Chapel

We are all wayfarers on this journey called life.  And like all wayfarers, we occasionally get lost along the way.  Being lost can bring its own rewards.

Cutting Loose
by William Stafford

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from all else
and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on earth, again and again.


Day Trip to the J Paul Getty Museum

J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Other than exploring beaches and spending time with family, another highlight of our short LA vacation was a day trip to the J Paul Getty Museum.  This was a visually satisfying destination — pleasing architecture, well-maintained grounds, long views of Los Angeles and the surrounding area, and the art, of course.  Admission to the museum is free, but there is a $15 fee to park.  A visit begins with a tram ride up from the parking garage to the museum complex.

Lovely patterns of shadows and reflections

I enjoyed strolling through the galleries and taking time to check out the views from the balconies and decks.  The patterns of shadows and reflections made the buildings and grounds seem like extensions of the more formal art inside.  Everything seemed well-designed and thoughtfully arranged to bring pleasure.

Trees and their shadows in the museum gardens
The arrangement of tables and chairs would have made a great painting, I thought.

After spending time in the galleries and wandering the gardens, we ate lunch in the museum cafe before leaving.  We all agreed that the food and selection were superb.  This museum is really a wonderful destination for a day trip.

“Irises” by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

View of the Los Angeles skyline from a balcony
Cactus garden
My husband loved these rebar trees!
Garden maze (sans water)

Sun Break in Southern California

“Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.”
— Walt Whitman

Palm trees, Point Vincente, California

“On my way to sunny California.
On my way to spend another sunny day.”
— from “California Saga” by the Beach Boys

My husband and I escaped the cold, gray, wet, gloom of Seattle’s winter and spent four days visiting my sister and her husband in Long Beach, California.  Aaaah!  It was wonderful to feel the warm sun on my face.  Our time together was low-key and relaxing, spent mostly exploring the many beaches and coves along the Pacific Coast Highway.

I was struck by the tall silhouettes of palm trees which dotted the vistas in this part of the country.  They stood like sentinels on the horizon — resilient and proud.

Gray whales are still migrating south to give birth.  We saw a couple of whale spouts in the distance.

Point Vincente Lighthouse and whale watcher tabulations
Whale watchers
Lighthouse at Point Vincente
Santa Monica Pier, the terminus of Route 66
Crescent Bay Point Park near Laguna Beach
San Clemente Pier
Sunset at Seal Beach
Pier at Seal Beach
Pacific Coast, southern California

“I sit listening
To the surf as it falls,
The power and inexhaustible freshness of the sea,
The suck and inner boom
As a wave tears free and crashes back
In overlapping thunders going down the beach.

It is the most we know of time,
And it is our undermusic of eternity.”
— from “Spendrift” by Galway Kinnell





Miller Library Book Sale Poster Features One of My Paintings

This year’s poster for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library‘s annual used-book sale features one of my watercolor paintings of hydrangeas.

The Miller Library is located at the Center for Urban Horticulture on the University of Washington campus.  The Miller Horticultural Library is one of my favorite places in Seattle, and I am delighted to use my art to support one of their fund-raising efforts.




Some days I feel all over the place, not sure what I am doing.  Time slips away.  In an attempt to settle down, I did some doodling.  I remembered some succulents that I saw at Swansons Nursery last month, and I thought the repeating pattern of their leaves would be fun to fill with doodled lines.  A contemplative exercise.