The Winged Energy of Delight

bird artwork


As once the winged energy of delight

carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,

now beyond your own life build the great

arch of unimagined bridges.


Rainer Maria Rilke

(from “Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke”, translated by Stephen Mitchell)


Lately, I have been feeling the strong urge to CREATE… poetry, art, music, textiles… something!

But, again, the perfectionist tendencies that I have always struggled with loom large over the path I’d like to walk. I have to keep reminding myself that how good something is doesn’t really matter. (What does “good” mean anyway?) It is the daily process of creating that I am craving… not fame, fortune or approval. (OK… if I’m being totally honest, I probably am still craving approval a little… but, I’m trying to get past that one.)

So, I’ve been attempting to move forward by going backward. I’ve been looking at all the things I created as a child. Hoping to rediscover that freedom of expression that seems to elude me these days. I know there was a certain self-confidence I possessed then… an assuredness that whatever streamed forth from my mind and from my hand was as it was meant to be.

I hope to not only start creating again in earnest, but to share much of it here. For now, I’ve posted this painting which was done many, many years ago. (I’m not sure how old I was, but I suspect that I was younger than 13.) I love the flowing lines and open space. The primary colors. The organic sky and oddly geometric bird. Mostly I love the place it came from… a place I’m hoping to reconnect with.

Harsi / May 20, 2011 / artwork, birds, quotations / 2 Comments


imagination poemI’m guessing that I wrote and illustrated this around 3rd or 4th grade. It makes me smile to remember how I thought about things at that age…

If you can’t get outside today to be some place beautiful… remember, you can always go somewhere “behind your face”!

Harsi / May 12, 2011 / artwork, poetry / 4 Comments

Musing on Marah

marah & pine artwork

When I first looked up at this tall, dark pine and saw the vivid green vine of Wild Cucumber (Marah macrocarpus) reaching and spiraling upwards, it seemed like something truly magical. A verdant staircase of sorts that I wished I could somehow climb. The above image was the result of a bit of tinkering in Photoshop, but I think it’s a fair representation of how my mind first interpreted this beautiful scene. I must have spent a good 20 or 30 minutes circling the tree and appreciating the colors, trying to capture the details I loved most. Here are a few of my favorites…


marah & pine

marah & pine

marah & pine

marah & pine


If you live in this area, be sure to keep an eye out for this beautiful native which is currently blooming everywhere right now! Look for the attractive vine and leaves shown here… with the added bonus of sweet little clusters of white blossoms, which I will undoubtedly feature in future posts. (For more information, check out this Calflora page. An excellent resource for all things growing within the state of California!)

Harsi / February 21, 2011 / artwork, plants / 2 Comments

Bubo in Black-and-White

great horned owl on pine tree


There is a resident breeding pair of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) living right near our cabin. Over the years, this has afforded me wonderful opportunities to observe them up close and the unsurpassed thrill of watching them raise their chicks. Their hooting calls are often the last thing I hear as I drift off to sleep… “gratitude” doesn’t seem like a big enough word to express how I feel in those moments.

I wanted to share these special birds, so I selected some of my favorite photos and created this series by applying the Stamp filter in Photoshop. The finished product is simplistic, but hopefully effective in conveying their endearing personalities.


great horned owl on eucalyptus

Roosting on a eucalyptus branch.
(Many of the trees in the area were burned by wildfire which gives them a bare, but interesting artistic quality.)

juvenile great horned owl

This is one of the newly fledged juveniles — notice the almost non-existent ear tufts! (Their coloration and general shape at this age reminds me of toasted marshmallows. *grin*)


great horned owl on cypress

Perched on a burned cypress…
(I loved this tree, and so did the owls. Even though it had long ceased to be a living tree and was leaning at a rakish angle, it provided a good look-out spot for many birds and squirrels. I was sad when some high winds finally toppled it.


Harsi / February 11, 2011 / artwork, birds / 6 Comments