An artist's journal.
Here you'll find my paintings and musings, where the featured subjects could likely cover just about anything.
The last 4+ years I've been caring for my best buddy B during his courageous fight to live through cancer and it's complications. I'm tickled to report, he's getting better and I'm finding small bits of painting time again.

Looking forward to a daily celebration of life's gifts by using the brightest, happiest colors in the box!

Visitors looking for 'B's Journey', click here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, December 29, 2008

"In my waking wrestling match with gravity, I am continually pinned, yet sometimes, in my dreams, I can fly! ... I know I am lucky, as this privilege, is not shared by all. ...Feeling almost weightless, I swoop and soar.....laughing in wonderment at the trees and seas below" ~Jenna Millward Corkill

Every now and then, i have dreams in which i am flying... so real i can almost feel the wind on my face as i soar... i am thankful for the gift of these dreams, they are magical and fun!... i don't know the catalyst for these flying dreams, and that's probably a good thing because if i did, i would probably be sleeping too much!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

click image for larger view

About this painting........early in my career, realism was the style of most of my paintings…many looked almost photographic…now I find myself working more and more in a softer abstract style…in ‘DRAGONFLY' , I have blended these two styles…I love the contrast of the realistic beads of water over the soft, subtle dragonfly tiles in the background...this is a tranquil painting.

After a quick glance on my website at my AVAILABLE PAINTINGS or my SOLD gallery, you'll see many different types of paintings, so different in fact, many people can't believe the same person paints them all.
My 'TALL TREE' series is the closest I've come to recognizable and it's become a favorite for collectors. It's a style I like to visit from time to time, but I can't be pigeonholed or tied to any one style...I tease I have multiple personalities, but teasing aside, there's actually quite a bit of truth in that statement.

I'm never really sure who'll show up at the easel, but I do know it'll be an adventure.... a search for the magic...colorful and bright... or dark and moody.... realistic or abstracted... EBAY is a wonderful outlet for these sometimes introspective, sometimes playful paintings!

Cropped detail of "DRAGONFLY"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The snowflake wish

The snowflake wishjenna millward corkill 2007©

You've heard it many times before,
though try as hard as you might,
out of a trillion, billion, gazillion,
you will not find two alike.

So imagine our amazement
while searching the winter sky,
we happened to see, oh could it be?!
twin snowflakes floating by!

We ran after them a shouting,
as we couldn't believe our eyes.
They turned around and smiled,
delighted with our surprise.

"Make a wish, hurry!" they laughed
"like you do on a shooting star!"
for seeing us is a special treat
and much more rare, by far!

So we closed our eyes and made our wish
of all good things for you.
Have a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year too!

To all our friends and family, far and near, Brian and I wish you a joyous, peaceful Christmas.

These are all photos of actual snowflakes taken with a photomicroscope.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Treasure Hunt

When the kids were young adults, before their own families got larger, they would come to our house Christmas day... Along with a little gift, we would also give them a little $... to make that present really exciting, we started having Christmas treasure hunts to find the gift... the last treasure hunt was in 2002, after which the kids started staying at their own homes Christmas day, establishing their own family traditions with their kids... so no more Christmas at mom's, no more treasure hunts.

This year, Chip and Lisa and their kids are here in Tucson for the holidays... so along with Casey and Jason and their kids we had our Christmas dinner for everyone this last Sunday, the 21st..... we decided to surprise them with a treasure hunt for the grandkids.... Chip and Casey were overwhelmed with emotion as the grandkids found in their one giftbox to all, the envelope containing...

The 10 clues of Christmas~2008

T’was four nights before Christmas, at our grandparents house
Something magic was stirring, and it wasn’t a mouse
Clues had been hidden, for the grandkids with care
All the grownups could feel, excitement in air

Moms and dads smiled, when they heard these words read
Visions of treasure hunts past, danced through their heads
But this year is different, so parents, take a nap
Because this year it’s the grandkids, who will hunt for the map

So merry Christmas grandchildren, let’s have some fun
A new treasure hunt tradition, has just begun
Your parents will now watch you, with faces of glee
While you kids find the clues, that will lead to the key

There are nine of you grandkids, each has a clue all your own
And these clues will be hidden, throughout rooms in our home
Each child will be searching, for their very own clue
While the other’s all watch, to see what you do

Finding treasure hunt clues, might be hard for the little ones
But let them try for themselves 'cause watching them search will be fun
Big kids, can give hints, when the clues aren’t quite clear
For it’s true helping others, fills our hearts with good cheer

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all
The first clue can be found in a closet, in the hall

Found in the hall closet for~ Rimona (age 1)
Hey Miss Rimona, we bet you are glad
That you have the help, of some moms and some dads
Cause you’re not very tall, heck, you just started walking
And for you it’d be hard, to reach the red stocking

Found in a red Christmas stocking for~ Lennon- (age 3)
It’s your turn now Lenny, it’s all up to you
Frosty the snowman is hiding your clue
Under the Christmas tree is where he is at
And the clue that you seek is under his hat

Found in Frosty’s hat for~ Gianna- (age 5)
Now Miss Gianna, this clue’s for you
We’ll all be watching to see what you do
Will Santa ride in a car on Christmas day?
No, he’ll be riding in a GREEN Christmas sleigh!

Found in the green sleigh for~ Trevor- (age 5)
This next clue’s for someone and Trevor’s his name
The clue that he seeks hides in a fun X-box game.

Found in an x-box game for~ Kamea- (age 7)
It’s time for Kamea to find the next clue
We know you can do it, it’s all up to you
Sometimes we cough, sometimes we sneeze
And if our nose runs, we need one of these

Found under a tissue box for~ Aubrey- (age 8)
It’s your turn now Aubrey, to find the next clue
And it’s hidden inside a duck that is blue
He quacks as he sings, but that’s not all he does
He hides the next clue inside all that fuzz

Found in the blue fuzzy duck for~ Brina- (age 11)
Brina all treasure hunts past have had this one clue
And this year finding it, will be up to you
Is it up, is it down, is it here, is it there?
The clue that you seek is under a chair

Found under a chair for~ Lauren- (age 13)
This clue is for you, miss Lauren Jane
Ho ho ho’s what he says, hiding clues is his game
This may sound too easy, but it’s not all that
Just like frosty did earlier, he used his hat

Found in a Santa Claus hat for~ Emma- (age 14)
Emma, hooray! It’s now up to you
It’s finally your turn to find the next clue
Hanging somewhere that’s really not too hard to see
In a box you will find the map and the key

Found in a small box ornament on the hall tree garland for everyone~
Map and key to treasure chest!!!

We put little 'NO, NOT HERE' notes under most the chairs, also in every Santa hat, red stocking and box style ornament...except of course, for the correct chair, hat, stocking, box, which held the real was so much fun when they'd find a note thinking it was their CLUE only to see 'NO, NOT HERE'.

The Treasure chest was hidden in the same closet as the first clue, so they went full circle...when the grandkids found it they were screaming with delight! They carried it back to the living room, and all 9 of them crowded around it as they used the key to open the lock and find their Christmas was truly a magical moment when they lifted the lid and saw their gifts and beautiful scrolls, one for each of them with $$ at the bottom!

Hooray! Wow, you did it!
You found your own scroll.
With your prize at the bottom,
when it’s completely unrolled.

We hope that this gift,
will help you acquire.
A present you want,
a thing you’ve desired.

We’ve had a fun time!
You kids all did great!
You’ve all found the treasure
of Christmas 2008!

oh yes, i almost forgot.... even though my pace was slower, i got the house and tree trimmed with time to spare... i used the mantra 'less is more' and was quite pleased with the results.

Friday, December 12, 2008

"BRINA" 12/2003
acrylic on canvas

This is a portrait of our granddaughter Brina... She was 6 years old at the time i painted this portrait during Christmas time 2003.... She is the third of our nine grandchildren, now 11 years old with a wonderful sense of humor, cracking one liners a lot like her grandfather Fred... she's amazingly easygoing and has a strong sense of wanting to help the world and others less fortunate than her... for the past two years in a row she has donated her beautiful long hair to the cancer society to make wigs for kids with cancer... she is truly a special child and we are very proud of her.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"There is more to life than increasing it's speed."~ Mahatma Gandhi

Blink and your children are grown... blink again and you have 9 grandchildren.Since i've retired, my pace has slowed considerably.... it's not a physical necessity, it's a conscious choice to take a more relaxed pace doing daily tasks.... when i was working and time challenged, these same tasks took a fraction of the time it takes me now....because now i stop and take the time to enjoy the simple things that come along throughout the day... a sort of ' stop and smell the roses' approach...i tell Casey i live a still life, and i love it's stillness....(not to be confused with boring, no, definitely not boring).... in comparing notes on retirement with Melanie, one of my best friends who retired 5 weeks earlier than me, we simply can't believe how much more time we take doing tasks we were once able to get done quickly.... because now, we allow ourselves to be sidetracked by all the nonessential wonderful things we once had no time for.

I am finding though, that i may be taking this slow paced thing a bit too far this Christmas and if i'm not careful, THE DAY will arrive and i will be totally unprepared... for us, THE DAY this year will be Sunday, the 21st...all the kids and grandkids are coming to Christmas dinner at our house and i'm not sure they will understand all this slow paced stuff if it doesn't look a little bit like Christmas' when they arrive.... i haven't done a single thing about Christmas yet except put lights on the shopping, no presents, no cards, no baking, heck, the tree's been up for over a week with just it's lights and the rest of the house is undecorated as well...totally uncharacteristic for me...i'm usually done with 90% of holiday preparations by now.

Me: we really need to get the ornaments on the tree soon and finish decorating the house

My brain: what's the hurry...we have time

Me: well, last week we may have had the time, but time is running out quickly, we've got visitors arriving next week, we haven't even started shopping or baking or....or......or.....

My brain: ok, ok, i guess we do need to get the tree done today, but first i think i'll... update my blog...or...(do just about anything else but decorate the tree or house)

Now don't get me wrong....i love Christmas and all the trimmings so i'm still not completely in touch with why i'm dragging my feet this year with this tree/house trimming stuff.... i think it feels a bit like work and being a retired florist has a lot to do with that....all the years spent decorating and trimming my shop and displays, getting the holiday centerpiece orders filled, keeping the fresh display cooler full of Christmas arrangements, etc..etc...etc.....i just think i'm a little burnt out on all that decorating and trimming stuff... it's just another task.... the first few years that i wasn't a working florist during the holiday season, it was fun turning all my attention to trimming our was novelty to have the time to spend on home decorating and i loved it... but now, i want to simplify.... slow down....everything..... including Christmas.

All those active florists out there right now know the holidays are a wonderfully crazy time of year...heck, in my shop just watering the poinsettias took hours ( we had hundreds of poinsettias) ....and hundreds more of living pine trees in many shapes and sizes....and you can't just randomly give each plant the same drink or you'll drown some and deprive others...these are living plants and absorb water at their own pace... and a drowning plant presents with the same symptoms as a parched plant, so adding water could be the final blow... at the holidays, a florist's work is never finished, you literally run all day and you have to convince yourself to go home at the end of the long day, finished or not, or you would never sleep.

Definitely not a slow pace... definitely not still...which is why i savor this slow, still life i now lead... i guess i'll just have to accept that Christmas time will always be a bit hectic, but at least, for me, the retired florist, i can now look forward to valentines day, easter, and mother's day being happily taken at my new slower pace.

Well, i guess i've stalled long enough with this extra long post... it's time to get to the tree trimming... wish me luck.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Making progress on 'venetian pool'.... the water, the long brick steps that all the little kids would sit on while we listened to our swim teachers, the pergola with it's allamanda vines, the loggia.... there will be many little points of interest in this painting because the actual 'VENETIAN POOL' is just like that... full of beautiful little surprises... the coral walls that have fern growing right out of them, the old carved stone benches , the beautiful old doors now painted periwinkle blue, the archways, wonderful stairways, the waterfalls, the fountains, the sandy beach... they are all just begging to be stars of their own in future paintings... for those of us who grew up with this historic pool as a daily part of our childhood, these paintings will have added meaning...

These detail shots show progress on the background sky and palm trees.

I think this is one of my current favorites to work on... let me know along the way if you like it too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Venetian Pool~a work in progress

Here's a view of the whole 24" x 36" canvas of my current work in progress 'Venetian Pool'... this is a view of the shallow pool where i learned to swim in the late 1950's.

Friday, December 5, 2008

venetian pool, a work in progress

As i've mentioned in previous posts, i always have multiple works in progress... this is cropped detail of "venetian pool", a current work in progress featuring the historic Coral Gables landmark where i learned to swim as a toddler many many many many, ok, maybe not that many, years ago... the painting will measure 24" x 36" when completed and this little detail only reveals a small portion of the overall painting... this will be a fun one to follow.

i was born in Coral Gables and Venetian Pool was one of my favorite places to visit... it's been around since the 1920's and was once a coral rock quarry pit that was turned into this magnificent pool... it's history is wonderful... it's 820,000 gallons of water are emptied and refilled every night from cool underground springs... and it looked remarkably the same as i remembered it from the '60's when i went home for a visit in 1997... i took a bunch of pictures and this painting is one of many i want to do from that visit home.
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"There are days when I feel I could've painted the Sistine Chapel and, then, there are the days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between these days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill