Kortum Trail

From my house, heading east, this week you’ll need sunglasses, not just because of the sunny days but because nature is yelling  Yellow! at the top of its lungs. Yellow against the black vines; yellow against the violet mountain backdrop, yellow yellow yellow! Mustard, oxalis, acacia, daffodils. . .like it’s been saving up for this season’s festival of yellows.

And if you travel instead west from here you run into the beach. That’s where Andrew and I were last week for a rare break from. . .well, I’ll get to that in a minute. We walked along the bluff above Shell beach and found this lovely spot which we had to ourselves for an hour of sketching and picnicking. There was less yellow and more blue!

Andrew on his perch above the ocean!

We were taking a break from the gardening and house painting and clearing out of things for the important project of getting our house ready to put on the market this spring. The plan is to move north to the Puget Sound area in Washington. Leaving our beautiful home and art studios and nature refuge after 21 years is a big deal, as you can imagine.

Through this pandemic I have realized that distance is not an insurmountable obstacle to friendship. It is no obstacle to reading a blog, and I plan to continue art-ing and blogging indefinitely. There may be longer gaps in my posting frequency at times when I’m actually “on the move”, but not for long. So I plan to take you with me, through the excitement and uncertainty, and the impossible goodbyes to a place I have come to love passionately for its people, nature and (for the most part!) climate.   I hope you’ll hang in there with me!


  1. Wow! I can’t believe you are moving! May I ask what triggered the move? My husband and I are considering moving out of state due to the fires and smoke. I started my drawing life with you and continue to follow your sketches, etc. Safe travels……..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cathy! Nice to know you’re still sketching and staying in touch. Can’t remember where you moved a while back? We need a climate change and along with that a downsize, but also so bittersweet about leaving beloved Sonoma Co.


      1. Yes, we moved to Chico, down the hill from Paradise. Downsizing is wonderful! I heartily recommend it! Tina Koyama lives in Tacoma, I believe. She’s a wonderful Urban Sketcher (Fueled by Clouds & Coffee). I look forward to your posts from your new life.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. While I’m sorry to see you go, I’m very excited you’ve chosen Puget Sound area. My family lives on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands. Might you be going somewhere near? Please let me know. I envy you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Susan!
    I am so excited for you!
    I will treasure the times my Mom & I took art classes and came to your home! ( my Mom is doing beautiful daily drawing/ sketching & with Danny G!
    You will be so close to Maria C Martin!
    Yes, please please keep your blog going. It’s so motivating beyond words. Much love Ann Peters

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry to hear that you are leaving the area. You are the second group I know moving to that area. My other friends are moving to Port Townsend. Good luck with selling your house and the move. It is a lot of work, especially when you have been rooted in place for 21 years. Maybe you have been better than me in not accumulating stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I accumulated a lot in 21 years but lately I’ve been pretty cuthroat in getting rid of excess. I’ve heard Port Townsend is gorgeous. Might be a bit too far off the beaten track for us though. Take care and hopefully the urban sketchers will be out again soon.


  5. Hi Susan
    Wow! That’s a big exciting move! I’ve enjoyed watching you and yours thrive up there in Sebastopol, enjoyed your blog & paintings.

    The little page in our history with Ben and Melina I will always treasure.

    Love, Joyce


  6. Ok now I know. Guess I missed this blog. We have a daughter and I have a brother up in Carnation, WA and Gig Harbor. We love the area. I hope you will too! What I will miss is that so sweet little place you’ve created on this good earth, the presence with which the two (four) of you inhabited it. I have lots of good memories of sharing painting time with you and others in and around the Studio. What I learned from you hasn’t been forgotten. Thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So lovely to hear from you Marilee! And I echo back your feelings about our shared time in art and life here and locally. It has been my great pleasure to know you, and I would definitely like to stay in touch. When we have an address, maybe Gig Harbor if we’re lucky! I’ll share it and hope to see you up there. XO!

      Liked by 1 person

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