River Painting: Deep Summer Afternoon

I’m in the last throes of completing a series of river pictures that have been ‘almost done’ for weeks now. I nudge each of them forward every time I get out the palette, and yet they seem to stay stubbornly in the ‘not quite yet’ camp. ALMOST!!

Last Sunday I completed this one: (click for larger view)

Deep Summer Afternoon, ©2015
20″ x 16″ Oil on board; $500 unframed

This was one of those summer days when you can feel the thunderstorm wanting to happen. Living on Piscataway Bay gives me the most wonderful relationship with the sky. I am so much more in tune with the movement of weather and celestial bodies than I was living in the big woods.

Moyaone Market this Saturday, October 3rd.

Come on down for new paintings and new things happening at Clearwell Studios

My Shadow, the Fannibal

One definition of myself holds that I’m a kind-hearted person who shouldn’t love violent and scary stories, serial killers or for god’s sake CANNIBALS.

But, due to the mysteries of fandom, I find myself on the edge of my seat tonight, and tweeting with a few hundred thousand, maybe more, Fannibals for the finale of the NBC TV series Hannibal.

I swore I wouldn’t watch it. I didn’t like the books, and Silence of the Lambs was too creepy. I don’t need a vicious killer show to watch, life is too short. I don’t remember what changed my mind, but it was only a few months ago that I watched the pilot episode and I was hooked from the beginning.

I’ll not try to sell you on the show; it’s been cancelled, (although vigorous Fannibal lobbying may have some clout) it’s about an elegant murderous cannibal and a mentally unstable profiler who have an unhealthy obsession with one another – not everyone’s cuppa.

If I did make my case, it would sing the praises of the writers and particularly their excellent gender swapping of key characters. Also, the use of myth and alternative states of consciousness is fascinating as well. The Wendigo and antler theme are amazing and beautiful.

I would also laud the art department, including the food stylists, who work under the direction of none other than Jose Andres of restaurant fame. Everything to look at in this show is a feast for the eyes.

Well, one more surprise, for me, as I am still scratching my “I’m supposed to be a nice girl” head: I’m cleaning out folders on my Mac and find a painting from 2010 called Integration, that I created for some very deep and intense therapy work.


It’s very Hannibal-esque. I guess I should have known.

Summer Painting

You can catch me at the monthly Moyaone Markets, where I often have art for sale and in progress. In good weather I love to set up outside and invite anyone to make art with me, and that’s what I did at the August 1 Market, a blissful summer’s day.

I had a variety of guest artists of all ages, and we had fun in the dappled shade, splashing our watercolors, sprinkling with salt for cool effects, and watching the colors run and bloom, just like the flowers we were painting.

Haven’t you wanted to pick up the brush or pen and make images? What’s holding you back?

Next Moyaone Market Saturday September 5
9am-1pm  •  2311 Bryan Point Rd, Accokeek MD


Word Nerd : Philocalist

Originally posted on Lawhimsy:

Word Nerd Header 2015 by LaWhimsyWord Nerd is an on-going feature that shares and highlights unique, whimsical and sometimes forgotten or overlooked words. It’s dedicated to the logophile in us all.

Philocalist (philo-cal-ist) noun

A lover of beauty. One who appreciates beautiful people, places, objects, etc.
Philocalist Word Nerd
To be a lover of all things beautiful or to find the beauty in all things, that is to be a philocalist. I believe that we quaintrelles are all true philocalists at heart, don’t you agree? We cultivate, create and appreciate beauty in all of it’s endless forms.
Philiocalist QuaintrelleThere have been poems, books, art, etc created all in the name of and inspired because of beauty by philocalists throughout time and history. Debates and arguments about what beauty is and isn’t, various definitions and descriptions of what is beauty, what makes beauty are continuous and never ending. It’s a subject that enchants, fascinates, intrigues and beguiles the philocalist

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Color is Life

I’ve written about my struggles with depression; the past few weeks have been challenging, with the loss of a dear friend, a pet’s death, plus health and money woes. My faith has been tried.

Years ago, when a fellow depression-sufferer asked me, in the throes of her illness, “What keeps you alive when things get bad?”  I knew well the feeling, seeking for a shred of hope. As I gazed across the yard, and saw the shaded sky, the mirror lake, the deep green pines, the word just rose to my lips. “Color. I live for color.”

This week I arose before dawn to paint the sunrise. It was ostensibly in honor of Solstice, but in truth it was intended to wrench me out of my sucking depression.

Painting was good medicine. But the Supreme Court decision on Friday, unleashing a tidal wave of rainbows, is really buoying my spirit in splendid waves of shared joy. Hallelujah, it’s a rainbow! May your life be colorful!

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My Father the Racist

My father was smart, brave, determined. He was loyal and patriotic, hard-working, and he adored my mother. He devoted all his efforts to creating a great life for his family.

All these things are true about my dad. And so is this: My father was an unremitting racist.

To be fair, so was just about everyone else in my family and the all-white neighborhoods I grew up in. I went to school in a suburb famous for the invention of ‘red-lining.’ I never met a Jewish person until I got to college. In suburban Detroit we were taught that segregation was a problem of the South, but any black people I ever knew caught the bus home at the end of their domestic work day.

Dad and I had a running pattern that he called a ‘joke.’ He’d make an offensive remark about an ethnic group other than his own, and I’d take offense. He’d smirk and pretend to make a reasonable argument until I began to lose my temper or get upset. As I got older, I learned to resist the ‘bait.’ But I still resent it, and although he’s been dead for 14 years, I still want to fight.

It wasn’t funny, Dad, the way you bragged about sharing Hitler’s birthday or flew the Nazi flag. It wasn’t funny to tell American blacks to “go back to the jungle where you came from.”

My father would do anything for you if you were his friend or a family member. He wasn’t a gun nut, didn’t give money to racist groups, but his attitude toward the ‘other’ was hateful and entitled. I could never understand this.

So this year, I had to tell the truth.

Another truth is that I miss him, every day.

You Never Know

It happens every day. Every second, actually. Someone is breathing one moment, then not the next. It’s nature’s way: we’re born, we die.  But my mind refuses this. No, she can’t be gone, not that kind of gone. Not dead.

The word landed with a leaden thud, flat black, that sucked all the air out of the room. But I need that word. My child’s mind refuses to understand. Dead. Gone.

Monday I got a strange email from a friend-of-a-friend:

“Has anyone heard from F-?”

I called F’s cel, and got a wrong number. Idiot, I told myself, and dialed again. This time, a strange and business like voice answered, and asked me who I was.

“Who are YOU?” I demanded, confused.

“This is [name forgotten], County Sheriff’s department. Are you a relative?”

This was the moment when the chill of dread descended, when I knew something was terribly wrong. Why would cops be answering F’s phone in the middle of the day? It’s not like her to have been arrested, unless it’s finally illegal to be a snarky blogger in Florida.

Nice Sheriff Lady realized she had to tell me now, because, pretty much, I already knew.

“I’m sorry to tell you that F has passed away.”

The room went all echoey. She asked me if I knew any next of kin. Sorry. I was busy falling backwards through a tunnel, remembering last week when I called F on a whim.

“Hey you. Not interrupting a hockey game, am I?”

“You know you aren’t, or I wouldn’t have picked up.” I hear her short breath, sucking that damn cigarette, or maybe just gasping for air.

“I’m just calling with the neighborhood gossip report, and to let you know not to worry about the weather. You should really stop watching the news, you know. Bad for your blood pressure.”

“Well, you never know.” There’s that breath again.

“How’s the Bench?” We can always talk cats.

“He’s fine, but no more catnip for him. He bites me when he gets a buzz.”

I laugh, but now I’m the worrier. The last cat bite was serious.

“Please, Ferne, explain it to him again: you don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”

It was a silly conversation; like Seinfeld, about nothing. We were hanging out over the cellular ether. I want to grab those minutes back, and hold them.

I’ve been looking for photos of her, so far no luck. The last time I saw her was two years ago when I was in St. Pete. We wandered on the beach, went to the movies, ate thai food and hung out with her writer friends. I can still see her, in her Yankees cap and capris, an ageless platinum pixie with a cigarette and a smirk.

Bon Voyage, Ferne. Love ya, and don’t forget to write.


Ferne Horner, artist, writer, blogger at the Hairball Gazette  1945-2015 

The Holy land is everywhere.

Astrology Rob Brezhny is a weekly source of inspiration for me, and sometimes he knocks my socks off with a profound connection, a pithy quote, a soulful connection. But today it’s just one simple sentence.

The Holy land is everywhere.

I spent my Memorial Day Weekend basking in my new home, enjoying the neighborhood and the house. This was somewhat a wise decision to keep things low key, and somewhat forced house arrest due to budget constraints. It worked out beautifully. With no dollars to spare my food was humble and home-made, my engagement was with neighbors, friends and pets, and my entertainment came from the cycle of the day.

One splendid evening I took a walk with dog Lily and cat Charlee, and we watched herons wading in the sunset waters of Piscataway Bay.

The Holy land is everywhere.

there is a web that connects all things


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