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Red Pepper

Red Pepper

Watercolor in Raffine sketchbook (to enlarge, click image, select “All Sizes”)

I hadn’t planned to paint this evening, being tired and over-stimulated from day one of our two day annual staff meeting/retreat combined with a little too much urban grit. But I realized that painting was exactly what I needed to calm and center myself.

We used to hold our staff retreats at a lovely Sonoma wine country retreat center where we stayed overnight and relaxed while doing the learning, reflecting on the past year, and planning for the next year. But it became increasingly more difficult for people to leave growing families and other parts of their lives for work retreats so we started having them in Preservation Park, a charmingly restored group of Victorian buildings in downtown Oakland.

Walking back to our office at lunch time, about a mile away from the meeting, the things I saw made me wish that there was such a thing as iPods for the eyes; sort of like rose-colored glasses, I suppose. Just like listening to an iPod can tune out the sounds of traffic and annoying people talking on cell phones, putting on these glasses would allow you to see lovely gardens, the ocean, sunsets…like music for the eyes. Much better than what I saw today: various mentally ill or drug-crazed people ranting; a man peeing on the sidewalk as we passed by, requiring us to step out of the path of the urine heading towards us; an old woman lying on the sidewalk screaming in pain surrounded by paramedics; the many empty, shuttered storefronts. Even in our nice meeting room we couldn’t get away from the grit–a homeless guy in a bright blue wig wandered into our meeting room but fortunately turned around and left.

11 replies on “Red Pepper”

Jana, what you said about tuning out sights was brilliant!! I wish we could sometimes. This pepper is gorgeous. Then i noticed its shadow, which i think adds so much to its beauty.

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And amid all that you managed to paint a glorious pepper … that is so bright and cheerful — and certainly balm for your eyes and soul. Honey, what a contrast to live and work in ….it must be exhausting ….

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Wow, those peppers jump right off the page! Gorgeous painting!

Your words, unfortunately, really describe how bad things can be for people. Makes us count our blessings.

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Ahhh, that we could all have a set of those eye-pods! Amazing that you could draw such a tranquil sketch after all the unfortunate events and lives you encountered during the day!

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Jana,

Your paintings keep getting more and more beautiful. I don’t even like peppers, but I wanted to eat this one. Just gorgeous. And I love your father’s cartoons. What a treasure and how nice that they still exist.

As for where we live, at least there are many beautiful places very near the awful, sad ones. When it gets overwhelming and we feel so impotent to help, we can go a few miles, or even a few blocks, and see the beauty of nature. Also the “beauty” of upscale people with their lattes, etc., but that just makes it worse, as the contrast is so great – and unnecessary. It’s good that we have our art. And I keep being inspired by your dedication and what you, and we, are gaining from your blog.

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Jana, Oh what the world has given us. It’s blogs like yours that does make us have rosy glasses on when we see your art. I Thank-you for this. I live in Pittsburgh and have the same pictures when I go out. So when I found Journaling and art was the ticket for me. Although my Journeys been long I,m trying to teach myself and thats a journey in its self. I have youre art and many others to learn and grow.
So keep the good work up so I can have wonderful pictures for my day.
Linda

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That’s so… good. It has hard edges which you wouldn’t normally associate with bell peppers, but it looks so… right. Mmmm. Especially the white highlights.

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Jana, this is exquisite…love it and the modeling…and I think the lemon cucumber is well done too…love the pink hues on the one on the left…and I think those cukes are pretty tasty too!

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