Nuala’s Painting

In my essay, Angel Wing; An Illustrated Meditation on Nature Immersion, I mentioned Morris Mountain, with a picture of part of it.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard of Nuala, the non-resident Balsamean. She has been learning watercolor painting. She liked Morris Mountain enough to invest in it. Below is the photo, and her painted rendition, which is framed under glass in my bathroom with two old favorite photos. Thanks again, Nuala.

I’m glad to have another original piece in this little house.  I have a massive collection of photos of art in all media throughout the ages on my computer, but very little original art in the house.  There are a few nice prints that my parents gave me ages ago.  There are some framed photos, all mine except one forest scene from a friend.

The dominant piece is a painting by another watercolor student, Vivian Smithwick, that she framed and gave me as a gift 43 years ago in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Still in the same frame.  I doubt she’s still painting.  If she is, she would have to be well over a hundred years old.  She left me better than she found me.

Untitled Watercolor by Vivian Smithwick, 1976

Now I have a second original painting, from the early works of the only person who can ever be a non-resident Balsamean.  If she made the picture with crayons and the skill of a three year old, I’d cherish it as much or more.  (No offense to three year olds.)

You may think a bathroom is an odd home for a cherished watercolor, but think more.  It hangs in the most conspicuous place of all the walls in the house.  It is above the primary bath towel bar, across from the toilet, beside the shower.  It gets a lot of viewer “hits.”  No, bathroom moisture won’t hurt it.  It’s sealed under glass.

I’ll insert the picture below as intensive practice for learning not to care what people think of me, for Nuala’s sake:

Nuala’s picture is the one on the left. I’m patting myself on the back for getting a shot in such a small room that includes everything I included in my description of the picture’s location.

I am not jaded by all the years of looking at these two other pictures, old photos.  They are more than pictures.  They are moments, situations, experiences, people.

The new painting is all of that plus relationships with nature and with a person, the longest sustained, continually positive and productive human relationship of any kind I’ve had in my adult life.

2 thoughts on “Nuala’s Painting

  1. I have artwork in my bathroom also. I’ve always thought it’s an important place for art.
    Hanging above my towel bar across from the toilet is a photo I took. Two boys, on concrete boat ramp. There’d been a hurricane the day before and the waves were still quite large. A big wave was coming in and the boys had turned to run back up the ramp, both of them looking over their shoulders.
    I just love the photo. The quality isn’t great, but I get great pleasure every day looking at those two boys playing. Brave, but not fearless or stupid.


  2. Do I get a prize for being the absolute ‘most’ tardy for a comment ? The post has stayed on the screen all this time, and i had a comment ready but the ‘refresh’ lost it just now.
    The painting is lovely – exceptional, and you are the lucky one to be able to enjoy it every day!!

    A good friend of mine once left a small painting of my rancho – painted while he peered ovr the little wooden gate, and on the back was a sweet greeting.. Years later he died unexpectedly, and while in town I read the news.. When home, his painting was face down on the table, where it had feelen from a shallow shelf/ledge where it always hung. \i suppose it was his ‘goodbye’ before zooming elsewhere.

    You’re surely enjoying your quiet time, long days of summer, while the rest of the world goes a bit crazier each day!


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