You Should Read This

Welcome to my studio of colorful words. It is (as always) my hope that the scribbles you find here will keep you entertained and enlightened. Take a risk and see if you have it in you to keep reading until the end!

I’ve been painting for a while.   It may be why you are reading this. I’m outside a lot, painting, hiking, photographing wildlife and attempting to grow things. I make paintings and crazy flower arrangements out of random stuff.   Lately, folks have been telling me I need to share all of this. I find that remarkable. But why not. I talk to myself all the time anyway. I have lengthy conversations with my paintings and the trees and the animals scampering around in my world. Might as well write it all down. You are reading this right now and no one is making you, right

I admit, this doesn’t sound like much. You may be thinking that you are bored right now and want to go do something else, like start your laundry or check your inbox. But hang on for a few more lines. I think it might get better. “Hope it gets better” might be more accurate.

Speaking of words…I love the thesaurus. Okay, that is mundane. And I love dictionaries. Well, let’s just get it all out, I love paper, books, words and reading and writing. Why else would I be torturing you right now with this? It’s all just paper, right? But what is paper? It’s trees! My favorite friends. Trees are incredible at listening, protect pale skin from sunburn, have a versatile wardrobe, and recycle. They turn into mulch to protect the wildflowers, and breathe in bad breath plus stinky exhaust, exhaling clean fresh oxygen. And they can be made into silky smooth paper.

Books = yum. The silky feel of turning a page, the earthy scent rising from the glue, thread and cardboard holding the layers of pages, words embedded inside, pressed together in a deliciously flaky croissant for the imagination. I just love that.

Clearly I am a creature of the 20th century – love trees and books, etc. But being a fairly clever human, I can still evolve. Slowly, but “not dead yet” I tap, tap, tap on a keyboard to make this missive. The complex conveniences of this 21st century are settling in on me some, I admit. I mean, you are reading a blog. I’m tapping out a blog while smelling paper. Hmmm. So the modern mash up of writing exists in the words. Okay. Letters like twinkle lights, ink dark on white surfaces that human eyes convert to stories filled with full color drama and the knowledge of the ages. I can play with that.

Playing in words will always bring visceral memories of hold-in-your-hands bound books. That will not go away. And thank-the-Lord-and-pass-the-peas for the technological gift of spellcheck. With special thanks to real life editors who tidy up the language sandbox in all these scribbly messes today and in the future.

So back to why you are still reading this. I ran into a colorful word that made me squint and smile the other day. To chivvy or chivy (both spellings are correct) is an old English word that I believe should be resurrected for the shear fun of saying, writing and reading it. Come on, you see it too. I found it on one of those crazy searches with the thesaurus where you put a word in and then a list of synonyms pops ups up. So you pick one of those and it leads you to another list with an interesting word then another and then after a couple hours you notice you are hunched over stiff backed and need to go to the bathroom and you have no idea what you were thinking about originally. Oh, and you probably didn’t breathe but maybe twice during the whole search.

So after one of those scavenger hunts, I kept coming back to this word chivvy. It hardly ever came up on my word rambling but when it did, it kept catching my attention. Poor forgotten thing. The actual definition of chivvy was hard to follow and since I am no etymologist, I will share what my artist mind remembers. Warning: this will be more of a tramp through the woods suitable for cocktail conversation than appropriate for academic referencing. I’d hate for you to be embarrassed quoting me.

To chivvy (a verb that rhythms with ivy) means to tease or play sometimes in an annoying way. It comes from chevy as in Chevy Chase. A game of Chevy Chase was apparently an old English low-brow game that sounds a little like Hide and Seek or Kick the Can, where players change sides during the game. Isn’t that charming? If you ignore the annoying part, it is. So when was the last time you were chivvied? Did the word pop into your brain from your personal dictionary? It sounds like a really fun tickle to me. So I say we snatch this clever word and start using it. I’ll go first.

Welcome to my blog, You are now officially invited to come join and play. Words, paintings, pictures of crazy floral arrangements or other interesting moments in nature. Make sure to enter your email address on my blog to sign up for updates, or go to my website and check the blog page while enjoying the artwork later when you are done with your laundry. May we all have some messy, fun there.


“Fresh Air Painting on the Mountain”

July 08 - July 12, 2024
Monteagle, Tennessee

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