This beloved hand tool came to my husband through his father, both woodworkers. Woodworking is a Rix tradition that goes back at least three generations. Maybe further? Were there woodworking Rix's back in Nebraska of the 1890s or in early 19th century Germany?
I love that this tool in particular is from a pre-computer age. It is very tactile, not virtual.
This painting is a gift for my hard working valentine. He's at the hospital overnight and might not see this post before I give it to him on our date tomorrow night. Happy Valentine's Day!
One adaptation I will happily make to our predictably unpredictable seasonal weather patterns involves being ready for a glorious (65 degree!) outdoor painting day in early February.
Yesterday I not only took my morning drawing class outside, I also painted this watercolor en plein air in my backyard in the afternoon. This "business" in my backyard keeps my heart lifted, even during the dark days. For three winters now I have maintained these bird feeders and I've come to think of my regular visitors as my family's outdoor pets since we do see them every day.
The birdbath also has special significance for me. It was my grandfather's and I acquired it last year after he passed away. For many years while I was growing up I didn't fully appreciate his dedication to his backyard birds on view through his kitchen and back porch windows. Now I get it. I feel like I am continuing his practice every time I rinse and refill that birdbath.
So while yesterday was an unseasonably balmy winter day, today is a snow day. The kids are off from school. I will be doing my bird watching from inside my house. However, I'm keeping my outdoor easel and plein air bag at the ready. One never knows when the next fair weather opportunity will arise.
Back to Aesop. Today I played around with a composition for Jupiter and the Bee that I used for a woodcut print a few years ago. In fact, if you google "Jupiter and the Bee" you will see it because someone used it in a blog post that apparently gets a lot of hits. Now, he didn't ask for my permission, but he did put my name on my work which I appreciate.
The story. A little bee is tired of others stealing her honey. She brings Jupiter a gift of some honey, then Jupiter asks, "What can I do for you, little bee?" The little bee says that if only she had a stinger, she could protect her honey herself. Juno steps in and Jupiter agrees that there should be a cost. Juno suggests that if the stinger is used, the bee must pay for the act with its life. Each bee must choose - protect the hive and die, or share the honey.
The moral. Be careful what you wish for.
A telling lesson in this age of protectionism we've just entered.