Monday, December 28, 2009

Check out foreign comments . . .

2009 was a great year for my book, Improv Wisdom. Publishers in both Germany and Korea bought the book and had it translated. Here are the two covers. I'm eager to find someone who reads Korean to see how the title is translated. Recently there was a comment posted on this blog written in Kanji. I wasn't sure if it was Japanese or Chinese, but I was happy to have a foreign reader comment on the blog. So, before I translated it I "allowed the comment". Just now I took advantage of Google's translation service only to discover that the comments appeared to be a string of sexually explicit words and images. Looks like someone "pulled one over on me." I have deleted the post with its comments so I'll spare any of you. The Internet allows for such creativity, don't you think?
I'm wishing everyone a blessed, safe and healthy new year. All the best in 2010.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Alena Jean's Flower Shop in Half Moon Bay

I belong to a Coastside Plein Air painting group that meets on Wednesday mornings to paint together. We assemble at locations along the Coastside to paint local landmarks and scenes of natural beauty. For the past two weeks we have been the guests of a charming shop in Half Moon Bay, CA: Alena Jean's Flower Shop at 340 Purissima St. The gardens attached to her small, but well stocked shop are magical. For all garden lovers I urge you to spend an hour absorbing the wonder of this place.In July this group will have an art show of our works at La Di Da, a local cafe. Stay tuned for news about this event.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Loaves and Fishes by David Whyte

A charming purple house in Pescadero that I painted last week.

Loaves and Fishes

This is not

the age of information.

This is not

the age of information.

Forget the news,

and the radio,

and the blurred screen.

This is the time

of loaves

and fishes.

People are hungry

and one good word is bread

for a thousand.

-- David Whyte

from The House of Belonging

©1996 Many Rivers Press

Obamasize yourself . . .

Today's distraction from doing useful things is to Obamasize your own photo.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In praise of real work . . .

The Sunday NYT Magazine has a thought provoking article this week on the value of physical work. In it a poem by Marge Piercy is referenced. I found the poem and love it. I can't help thinking of my wonderful husband, Ron. He is a champion of doing all things that are real and physical. There is nothing that I've found he cannot do. Here is the wonderful poem.

To be of use

by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best

jump into work head first

without dallying in the shallows

and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element,

the black sleek heads of seals

bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,

who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,

who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,

who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge

in the task, who go into the fields to harvest

and work in a row and pass the bags along,

who stand in the line and haul in their places,

who are not parlor generals and field deserters

but move in a common rhythm

when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.

But the thing worth doing well done

has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,

Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums

but you know they were made to be used.

The pitcher cries for water to carry

and a person for work that is real.

"To be of use" by Marge Piercy © 1973, 1982.

From CIRCLES ON THE WATER © 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Middlemarsh, Inc.

First published in Lunch magazine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

This photo was taken to accompany a feature article in the Richmond News Leader in 1959. It shows my mother, Virginia Louise Pittman Ryan and me (standing in a party dress) having a "typical family meal". Mother always wore an evening dress to dinner, of course. I think the main thing this tells us is something about the year 1959. In the bottom of the photo is my brother Michael and sister, Kathleen.

My mother was a beauty beyond compare. She was a high fashion model for a decade, wearing the couture of Oleg Casini, among others. But, as we wrote on her stone in the memorial rose garden: "More than her beauty, which was like the rose, was her goodness."

On Mother's Day I give thanks for the world's greatest mom. We were truly blessed. She died on Christmas day, 1998. Love to you, Mama.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Dragon's Gift - The Art of Bhutan

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is one of the nation's treasure houses of great art. This week an exceptional exhibition closes after a three month run here. Brought together by a team of Bhutan specialists, curators, monks and government officials this exhibit assembles 100 pieces that can only be described as breathtaking. The exhibit catalog, which also contains a DVD of the sacred dances of Bhutan (Cham)is stunning in its collection of photographs and articles about Bhutanese art and culture.

Ron and I went back one more time to bask in the energy of this collection on Friday. Tibetan monks roam the gallery chanting blessings twice a day.

Here is Ron in one of the masks used for sacred dance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Perranporth Beach

This is my painting of the famous rocks at Perranporth Beach on the western coast of England in Cornwall. We spent a day here doing plein air painting with the Judi Whitton course.

Coming soon is a montage of our gourmet dinners.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New ART Montage

This painting is of our local Methodist Church in Half Moon Bay, CA.

With the help of "One True" I have had the fun of making another short montage of my artwork. This piece includes a painting by Dalla Brown and also one by my sister, Kathleen Ryan. Enjoy Montage II below.

Tomorrow I fly to London and then on to Cornwall to paint with Judi Whitton.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cornwall . . . HO!

Packing now for two weeks in England with a week studying with my favorite teacher, Judi Whitton.  Her work in this image shows a vibrant, spontaneous style that I admire. The workshop is being held at the lovely Crantock Bay Hotel in Cornwall.  Then on to London to spend three days browsing museum. the food courts at Harrod's and seeing some great theater.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

Parenting: the Ultimate Improvisation

When we improvise we step up to the moment with eyes wide open and with a mind/heart ready to make sense out of whateever is going on, and do something constructive.  I continue to be delighted and amazed at the applications people have been making for the maxims of improvisation.  I have heard from ministers who have used the prinicples to write a sermon, Lesbians who are using the maxims as wisdom for dating, health care workers using it to train Alzheime's caregivers, entrepreuneurs who are applying it to business challenges and most recently I've read a wonderful blog which uses improv wisdom in Parenting a teen.  Dr. Nancy L. Brown, a specialist in adolescent health has written a delightful blog on this topic. 

Or, of course parenting and grandparenting are the ultimate improvisation.  Nothing really prepares us for the surprises that children and teens bring to our lives.

I love this photo of my brother, Michael and his grandson Ryan.  It won't be too long before Ryan will be teaching his grandpa things about the computer.  

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Bigger Voice Interview with Carol Ross

Wisdom Entrepreneurship is a wonderful idea. Carol Ross has been providing help and inspiration on her exciting blog, A Bigger Voice. She interviewed me a few weeks ago and recently posted part I of a talk with me about the origins of my book Improv Wisdom. Thanks, Carol. If you go to listen take some time to explore her blog as it is chocked full of great ideas.
Today, March 11, 2009 Carol Ross posted Part II of my interview. In this section I talk about how Improv Wisdom has been used by those coaching Alzheimer's caregivers and by a women who woke up from a coma. She discovered that all she could do was improvise! And now, Part III of my interview. Moving into action is the theme. I would like to thank Carol for her initiative in making this interview happen. Clearly SHE is one of the new "wisdom entrepreneurs." I salute you, Carol!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Art of Patricia Ryan Madson 2009

With the help of I have created a montage of recent art work. It is a pleasure to share this.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Orange Cattleya

This week I'm working indoors and I've painted a beautiful orange Cattleya. I'm still trying to get the hang of the Whitton style of loose watercolor. Note the messy blobs and splatters.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Listening to A BIGGER VOICE -Interview with Carol Ross

I was recently interviewed by Carol Ross, a talented change maker.  Her blog "A Bigger Voice" is in the business of promoting the idea of "Wisdom Entrepreuners" and assisting them to get their message to a larger community. Her edited version of the interview in three parts will soon be posted on her website. Stay tuned.  Our lively conversation has helped kickstart me to return to this blog and get involved in spreading my thoughts to readers.  

As a place holder I'll publish several of my recent watercolors.  I've joined a local plein air painting group who meet on Wednesday mornings to paint and help each other.

This weekend I'm welcoming 14 Madson relatives to our home for the first ever Madson family reunion 2009.