Aspirational weight…

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© Joan Currie Nude watercolor

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. – Steve Maraboli

When I renewed my driver’s license recently, I was surprised at the weight listed on the new license. I had made no changes during the renewal process, so all of the information was the same as it was several years ago. Was the weight listed my true weight at the time or an aspirational weight? If it were an aspirational weight, I wonder by how much? Short of requisitioning my medical records, I truly have no idea!

Down Up to Up Down…

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Map from my grandfather’s 1930 school atlas.


Amsterdam is like the rings on a tree: It gets older as you get closer to the center. – John Green

I love Amsterdam, not only because my maternal grandfather (Opa) was born and raised there but because of the canal houses and houseboats, art museums, flowers, and chocolates.
I have visited Amsterdam many times, but until recently, I have always stayed in the southern part of the city. From there I explored on foot, but even with a good map, found it difficult to navigate and was always taking wrong turns. This time I relocated to the northern part of the city and had no difficulty at all finding my way around.
I am still amazed that a simple change in orientation made such a huge difference. I now see the benefit of changing perspective everywhere in my daily life.
Thank you Amsterdam!

Making do with what you have…

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© Joan Currie – Saluda, South Carolina

Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.

Over the last several years I have taken many online and in-person art and craft classes. Instructors routinely have provided students with a list of materials needed for each class. At first I thought it was necessary to buy everything on the list, but unfortunately, practically every instructor had a different set of material preferences so the cost of the more expensive supplies became prohibitive. I finally decided to start making do with what I had.
One of my favorite mop brushes came from the town of Saluda, South Carolina. I was walking along the side of a dirt road when I noticed a very large, and thankfully dead, rattlesnake in my path. Oddly, next to the rattlesnake lay a watercolor mop brush. Although it had seen better times – the wooden handle was chipped in many places and the ferrule was dented, the bristles appeared intact. I snatched it up and quickly moved on! On closer examination, the bristles were soft and full, and it has turned out to be the best brush in my stash for doing large color washes.
I have made similar but not so exciting finds at Goodwill, garage sales, and in nature. Not having all the designated workshop supplies has not been a barrier to entry for my creative pursuits. In fact, sometimes the found supplies have been the most enjoyable to use!

Beautiful blue inside and out…

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© Lauren DiMarco


Blue are the people here
That walk around
Blue like my corvette its in and outside
Blue are the words I say
And what I think
Blue are the feelings
That live inside me
I’m blue

From Blue by Eiffel 65

I came across a bin of bed linens in the attic during this year’s spring cleaning purge. In it I discovered a much-loved Ralph Lauren blue duvet cover that I had packed away long ago for a bicoastal move. I had searched and searched for it for many months, but finally gave up assuming it had been lost.
Instead of replacing the duvet, I decided that the new surroundings demanded a change in color palette: from the light and dark Denim blues and Linen whites that suited the clapboard Colonial house of the northeast, to the Celadon green, Tuscan orange, and creams of my new Hacienda-style home in the southwest.
Over the years, I never really embraced this new color palette, so when I found the denim duvet cover, I placed it on my bed and instantly felt as if I had gone through a portal to wonderful times gone by. Blue has always been my favorite color and I started to think about how not only had I given up the comfort and familiarity of my exterior landscape when I made the move, but how my interior landscape had changed as well.

Model: Lauren DiMarco

Welcoming My Muse…

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My Muse watercolor © Joan Currie

I had only to open my bedroom window, and blue air, love, and flowers entered with her. – Marc Chagall

Merely opening the window does not ensure that my Muse will arrive – she is attracted by genuine intent. So when she appears, I am truly grateful. And if she appears after my opus is complete, she still guides me on my creative journey, which is never-ending.

One of my favorite Chagall paintings, Les Amoureux (1928), is discussed https://youtu.be/5v7C2nMnZjc

Polishing Up on Valentine’s Day…

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© Lauren DiMarco

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings. – by Anaīs Nin

I know that our love is still alive – it just needs a careful polishing.

Models: Lauren DiMarco and Oleg Galagan

Thoughts of Love…

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© Lauren DiMarco

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts–from far where I abide–
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,

Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.
Sonnet XXVII by William Shakespeare

In that wonderful place between wakefulness and sleep, I think of you.

Model: Lauren DiMarco

Ice-gripping Cold…

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My father spent his last winter
Making ice-grips for shoes

Out of strips of inner tube and scrap metal.
(A device which slips over the instep

And holds under the shoe
A section of roughened metal, it allows you to walk

Without fear of falling
Anywhere on the ice or snow.) My father

should not have been doing
All that close work

In the drafty workshop, but as though
he sensed travel at the edge of his mind,

He would not be stopped…
from “Ice” by Mary Oliver

Our ice calipers were fashioned in rubber with metal studs and they, too, allowed my father and I to travel when the exterior world was covered in ice – like a thick plexiglass covering that offered a view to what was beneath, but no warmth.

Photograph © James Currie