Liz and Caroling in the morning Liz and Caroling

Pelican standing with wings raised. Photo by Caroling Pelican

Ink painting of 'Dry Wing' by Liz Ink painting of pelican by Liz

Dry Wing

Liz 2018

This summer my daughter Liz came from NJ to see me in FL. She had pledged to come on my morning walk. It was one of those weathery days when the surf was up and it might rain any minute. Downpours seen to the west over the Gulf. There were unusual birds: a dozen black skimmers and a least tern. Pelicans usually fly or rest on the water. This one was doing something I had never seen before. It had its wings raised like I had seen anhingas doing to dry their wings. It might have been a holding pattern or demonstrating how big it was. It did not want to move so we walked in a semicircle way around it. Liz wondered if it were injured and if we should report it. On the way back the bird was gone.

When we got home the day was open. I'm not sure exactly how the plan evolved. On my TO DO list was an idea to teach her skills that she missed as a child. One of these was Zen Ink Painting. To my delight she chose it.

Zen painting was where I had found myself as an artist in the late 1950s.I had done it during the 1960s, the 10 years before she was born. As a child she saw me as I moved on, doing oil painting, drawing, making models, and stained glass. However, recently I had given a presentation to the Emerald Coast Meditation Society so I had refreshed the materials and methods. I had rice paper and a Chinese brush painting kit.

We both felt our subject was the pelican. We reviewed the technique of grinding the black ink stick on the stone until water became black ink. About focusing. Of silent meditation until becoming one with the subject of your concentration. Of doing the art all at once, lest the creative insight of the moment is lost. Liz did her painting without hestitation or doubt. Lingering only to reinforce the rigor of the stance.

I love her painting. It shows how the pelican felt to her, not the way it looked through my camera. It is strong, intent and flowing. Her signature is calligraphic. The seal esthetically placed.

Seeing it was a peak moment of synergy for me. I was so glad she got the art that I loved so. Understood the purpose and was able to do it. She valued and connected with nature. It connected different aspects of our personalities, time, and places.

What Liz Wrote

Facebook post of story of the day by Liz Liz posted on Facebook

Mama and I are so happy to see each other ... today we walked on her local beach and saw an awesome pelican drying his wings in the wind while staring off into the sea. Later we painted about him using Chinese Sumi brushes and grinding the ink on a stone.

Tearing sheets of rice paper from a scroll. Pelican paintings and ink painting tools.   Ink painting tools, top to bottom: paperweight, brush stand, three paint brushes, ink stone and stick  


I'm creating the Lifetime Satisfaction Tapestry award for the specific purpose of awarding it to this person for this event on this time in this place. To achieve this award, an event must have deep ties to past events. It must have threads tied to activities and interests. It must resonate. The first decision is where to put the page receiving the award. Should it be under Elizabeth, receiving the award for the event? Should it be under Trips/Travel/Florida/ where the event took place? Should it be under Trips/Art/... several locations because the activity is artistic? Should it be under Caroling/ because it is so personal?

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© 2018 Caroling All rights reserved. Date created: 2018-08-22. Last modified: 2018-08-22