Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fan Mail From Some Flounder

Saturday one of the things we did, in between chicken coop cruising (see "Tour de Cluck" references), census taking, and wedding planning, was stopping at the fish monger stall at the Davis Farmers Market. We got a Northern California specialty, sand dabs, and Dan fried 'em up for us later that night.

One of the things I did, since I play with food, was to photograph them before he chopped their little flat heads off. I don't like having any fishy eyes looking up at me from my plate, and I sure as heck don't like two fishy eyes looking up from one side of the fish!

They were more fun to paint than to eat, although the flavor is sweet, mild and delicate. Even after filleting, there seem to be innumerable little fishy bones just waiting to find their way to a good choking spot in one's throat if care is not taken. Dan regaled Sean and me with a colorful childhood story of one such experience.

Between the choking story and the many bones to pick through, it was hard to keep an appetite revved up, no matter how good they tasted. Ah, life.

Anyway, here's a watercolor of the little flat guys. I might try it again later sometime in another media, just as I may try eating them later sometime in another life. Like when I'm not hungry.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Artist Statement (or: Is She Nuts or What?)

Dori can be reached at or follow her blog at for art and musings or at for The Quiet Woman sermons.

Doriene (Dori) Marshall

Artist Statement for "Tour de Cluck" 2010

"Hildegard of Bingen, twelfth century mystic, counseled her spiritual directees to be 'juicy people,' folks who are so filled with wonder and curiosity, with lusty appetites and high spirits, that they embrace life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with a burly, grinning bear hug. To be juicy is to be: a fearlessly joyous optimist, a troublemaker tirelessly afflicting the comfortable, a passionate lover of good talk and tasty food, an anonymous prophet hovering over the cosmological riddle, a frequent violator of the ordinance against indecent exposure of the heart, and a guerilla in the insurrection against Dream Molesters everywhere." Rich Heffern, Daybreak Within: Living in a Sacred World

A writer, painter, religious educator, and lay pastor, Doriene Marshall uses watercolors, acrylics, collage, ceramics, and sculpture to pursue her potential as a "juicy" person. A native of southern California, she was transplanted in Davis in 2004 after a 15-year sojourn in Utah's high desert climate where she had begun to uncover the spiritual connection between creativity and the divine universal Creator.

About this Painting:

"Eggs III" is an acrylic painting done from one of about 3 dozen compositions using eggs raised at UC Davis and sold through their meat and dairy program. It is appropriate that this painting completes a circle of bringing wholesome healthy food into our schools, since it originated with fresh, healthy food coming out of the school that anchors our community. The Tour de Cluck raises funds for the Davis Farm to School Connection.

When she's not playing with her food, she's painting it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For Spring Dreams Lightly

Maybe this says it:

Mistily wafting
Jasmine blossoms unending
For Spring dreams lightly.

Years ago I recall attending Sabbath at San Francisco Theological Seminary for the first time. I was living in Salt Lake City then, and had forgotten the moist silkiness of the air of Coastal California.

One thing I admired so much about the San Anselmo neighborhoods surrounding the seminary was the way even the most modest little plots of garden burst with flowers and flowering vines at this time of year, nurtured by the temperate climate and the gentle way the air holds just the right amount of water vapor to keep flower petals velvety and succulent. Heavier than Utah's arid high desert air, but not soggy like the humid Southeast or Gulf Coast states.

Now I live with an arbor of jasmine in the back garden, under which we gather, visit, grill, and eat on these soft spring evenings. Moving through the flowers, the breezes tickles us with fragrant fingers and remind us that California's season's are subtle, and we need to pause and attend to them or they may elude us entirely, as in dreams.

California dreaming, so light and elusive. As optimistic as Spring itself.


Here's a wonderful third line for a haiku, based on yesterday's lush air and fragrance:

...for spring dreams lightly.

Now I am going to be bugged all day for the first two lines. Any ideas?