m is for…

m is for…

mindful. minimal, maternal, middle-aged, menopausal, moral, memorable, mischievous, modern, mediterranean, moored, married, middlemost, mary jo.

bittersweet vine

  • carol says:

    You forgot to put the word “Marvelous” just in from of Mary jo

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  • carol says:

    grrr ‘front” not “from”

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  • John Forsman says:

    I thought, perhaps, you were dreaming of May.

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so what will it be?

so what will it be?

as most of you know, minimalism is where my heart lies. this leaf, all by itself, on white, is sort of my happy place. but then i do a lot of assemblages, and i am a little bit intrigued by that high-contrast full-sun hard-shadow los angeles look right now. and i sometimes miss the depth and mystery of my black backgrounds. and i could do repeating patterns all afternoon long. so what’ll it be? what brings you back here every day? i know what i like. i’d love to know what you like.

dried eucalyptus leaf

  • Ginny says:

    I love the simply stated natural beauty your art represents. I love clutter and cozy, so your work feeds my alter ego. PS, only .5% of me is missing those black backgrounds. And I love the anticipation – what is MJ going to make me “see” next?! Your consistency and simple beauty is SO needed in our current insane climate in this country (and I don’t just mean weather). Your blog helps ground me. Thank you!

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  • Nancy Bergstrom says:

    I never want clutter – so the simplicity and beauty of nature feeds my soul each day. I wait with anticipation the next offering and think of it throughout the day. I also learn from your comments. I was delighted to find the white return. I hope your mentor suggested prints, calendars, notecards and/or some ways we can have more of your work. I smile at my Thistle pillow (from Target) often!

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  • Susan Stein says:

    I love the white background with anything and everything you choose to show. I guess the assemblages are my very favorites and your narrative is fascinating.

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  • Kimbersew says:

    I love your love for grapevine tendrils (my sweetie flipped one for me to look just like my signature), for the things I live with and have overlooked, for the things I’ve never seen (those barnacles that look like turtle slippers). I see things (the light coming through a cabbage leaf, worn-out feathers still on my chickens) with appreciation because of your appreciation. [Can appreciation mean the opposite of depreciation?] Thank you. Surprise me.

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  • Dede says:

    Mary Jo-I want it all! I love the repeating patterns, arranged displays, single leaves, and crushed fruits! It is like my horoscope; I never know what I will find, but your works of art are always intriguing. Your muses and thoughts- whether it is about the weather or where the subject of your art was found-I start my day with your art and I am so thankful. I too am hoping that your coach has encouraged you to write a book, create stationary, a planner, or a journal would be helpful and then I could buy 50 of them and start to create my own beauty. After all I have an excellent mentor!

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  • Brigitte says:

    I have followed you since the Martha Stewart magazine layout. Hard to say what I like best. I do miss the black background but love the white. I would like more fruits and veggie photos. What about your local wildlife that isn’t dead! Anyway I like all you do and worry that you will stop the blog. Thanks

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happy tax day

happy tax day

today is the last day to file tax returns for us americans. for most people it’s just a sort of vaguely dread-filled deadline, like a final exam or a corporate presentation that you have known was coming for a long time. for me it is a happy day, because it means i get my absentee tax-preparer husband back as a spouse, a dad, a consultant, a cook, a sommelier, a chauffeur, and a yawn-free conversational partner at the other end of the couch at night. happy tax day indeed. yay.

anthurium

 

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snugglepot and cuddlepie

snugglepot and cuddlepie

i got my masters degree in aerospace engineering from stanford university, and there, still in my 20s, i met angus from australia. angus was one of those spiky geniuses who tend to find their way to stanford, but he was, unlike many of those spiky geniuses, very people-smart. over the years, though we are separated by most of the pacific ocean, he has given me three of the most thoughtful and valuable gifts i have ever received from anyone. he once sent me a hunk of raw opal from his native land that still sits on one of my shelves. he once sent steve and me a bottle of penfolds grange hermitage wine that was the backdrop to one of the most memorable meals of my life. and while i was pregnant with our firstborn daughter, he sent me a series of australian children’s stories that steve and i ended up reading to both of our children and which have entered the mythology of our family. there was the muddle-headed wombat. and there were snugglepot and cuddlepie, two eucalyptus gumnut babies, who look like slightly hairy versions of today’s photo. here’s to snugglepot and cuddlepie, and to author mary gibbs, and to the land of oz, and to great children’s stories, and to friendship that spans cultures and decades and oceans.

eucalyptus gumnuts

 

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flamingo flower

flamingo flower

a late spring blizzard that has blanketed us in 10 inches of freshly fallen snow has me reaching for household plants to photograph. it’s a funny thing about household plants, that we live with them but never really learn about them. have you ever googled “english ivy” or “spider plant”? see what i mean? we assume we know these members of our household, because they are with us every day. but we don’t know them at all. case in point, i just googled anthurium. and i learned that the air purifying qualities of anthurium have an effect on formaldehyde, ammonia and volatile organic gases. several anthuriums in a room reduce the harmful substances in buildings by more than 50% in 24 hours. it’s like discovering that your son, who spends all day on the couch at home watching youtube, has also discovered the cure for cancer in his spare time.

anthurium

 

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