Author Archives: inkpaintwords

About inkpaintwords

A feminist writer and artist with a penchant for all things French, living in Washington DC. My love of language led me, indirectly, to my pleasure in gardening, drawing and watercolor. It began with a book, a collection of New Yorker garden columns by Katherine White, wife of its founding editor E.B.White. Her enthusiastic appraisal of the literary merit of various garden catalogs led me to collect and keep her favorites as well as to hoard with them some more recently-emerged seed, bulb and seed catalogs. The beautiful catalogs inspired me to little by little turn our entire front lawn (our home had a wooded ravine close behind) into a garden. That grew into a lovely site with two simple arches, a gliding bench on a little sitting patio and modest slate paths winding through beds of shade lovers and whatever plants supposedly in need of full sun that I could manage to coax into colorful healthy bloom. A curiosity about color and color theory emerged as I became keenly interested in impressionist painters; that interest merged in some way with my urge to garden. I acquired more than one book about Monet’s garden and gardens of other impressionist painters, both French and American. One day I picked up a magazine for painters, and found inside an article about a painter I’d known. Among examples of her splendid watercolor paintings was her watercolor of her garden at that time. Suddenly I could think of nothing more exciting than painting my garden. I enrolled in her watercolor class in The Art League in Alexandria, VA. The influence that the collection of Katherine White’s columns about the literary merits of certain garden catalogs has had on my life has come full now. Ink, Paint & Words combines what has become an obsession with drawing and watercolor with my passion for language. Yes, I still garden. A table full of blooming potted plants sits on my apartment patio, backed by an ivy covered fence with park trees behind. My patio, and my larger environment of Washington DC, together provides wonderful vistas for drawing and painting. For a number of years annual trips to France gave me and my companions extravagantly colorful panoramas and charming tableaux for brush and pen. And yes, now I’ve painted in Monet’s gardens several times. But that, as they say, is another story.

Attention, Extraterrestrial Visitors!

Notice: Our spacecraft are not weaponized. But our young men are armed–against each other. Therefore, do not wear our disguise. That would have side effects. Which is a side effect, life, or death? Bring answers. You will leave with doubts. … Continue reading

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Hotel Aston, Paris

My trip sketchbooks are a simple record of what my surroundings look like. Last June, I enjoyed Hotel Aston in Paris, a boutique hotel in the Cite’ Bergere, a charming somewhat hidden location. The hotel is one among several on … Continue reading

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Doors to Old Copper Studios

The doors to old copper studios in Durfort in southwestern France are weathered, colorful and heavy. On some you’ll find a doorknocker shaped like a hand rapping,  or the name of one of the town’s original coppersmiths engraved on a … Continue reading

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The Salt Mine of Memory

Memory flavors each day. Abundant memory preserves us during lean times. Too much memory raises blood pressure. Memory is salt. Don’t forget me. Memory–essential for life. Mining salt harshly–a sentence meted out as punishment. Mining memory—retribution, penalty, or insight, boon, … Continue reading

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The Stations of the Year

“Till summer folds her miracle…when sacrament is done” Emily Dickinson, Poem #342 Chalice after chalice opened day after day Until autumn crocus filled and faded. That holy season closed with their benediction. Blessed be the smaller celebrations of winter camellia … Continue reading

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Hard Hat Woman and Construction Signs

DC has an abundant distribution of construction signs and workers wearing hard hats.  Few of DCs hard hats are worn by women, but on occasion, when  two-way traffic is reduced to using  the same one lane, the sign is reversed … Continue reading

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Artist’s Retreat in Durfort, France

This is the door to La Cascade.  Last May I was one of a small group of American artists studying and working at this artists’ retreat in the medieval village of Durfort in the Midi-Pyrenees region of the south of … Continue reading

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