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A lamp on the beach,
tarnished brass, gritty with sand,
so weighty, it took all my mustering

to lug it home,
I worked through the night
polishing, rubbing,
evicting crabs, sea shells,
what seemed like memories.

a vigorous final rub
I step back and
a being appears
bedraggled, dirty,
with weary, drooping shoulders

we gaze into each others eyes
with curiosity and awe

after an eternity
i spit on my polishing cloth,
rub a smudge from her forehead


my dear, what is your wish?

Genie Lamp on a beach watercolor painting

~ Poetry by Susan J Schmickle @ September 27, 2019
~ Painting by Spencer Riddile

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most days seem ordinary
or even dull, tarnished 
with the mundane which 
hangs like a dense fog
over the landscape of my life

and then
while making a cup
of tea
I notice
a tiny spider making
its way across
the immense
landscape of my
counter top
it seems
to danger

hell bent
on the journey
of it’s spidery-ness

and it’s as if
the lighthouse keeper
woke up and pointed a beam
of enchantment,
what is real
in the world–
a being
unquestionably engaged
in the life it
came here to live

and in so doing
reveals mine.

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse Watercolor Painting
Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse Watercolor Painting

~ Poetry by Susan J Schmickle @ Dec. 2, 2019
~ Painting by Spencer Riddile

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The Passion of Stones


absorb the
sun and stars
reflect moonlight
allow the rain
to roll off their backs
and water the earth

snakes curl up
in their warmth
and in the cool
lee of their
underbellies they
shelter beyond measure
the unsung heroes
of the earth

the days of their
youth are long
and they wear
away with the ages
awaiting the
weight of your
on their
broad, strong
so that they may
kiss your feet
with their passionate
and eternal

Stack of stones watercolor painting
Random stones watercolor painting

~ Poetry by Susan J Schmickle
~ Paintings by Spencer Riddile

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Art Show at Lotus Kitchen, February 26, 2016

A friend of mine who manages a local cafe (Lotus Cafe/Kitchen) located on the island in Solomons, MD asked if I would be interested in doing an art show displaying some the things I’ve painted at the cafe.  I was excited that she asked me and thought it sounded like a fun idea and a fairly casual way of doing my first art show.  So I agreed!  I hope that you can attend!  Following are some details including one of the painting & audio pairs that I’ll be presenting.

Lotus Cafe dressed up for Christmas

When: Friday, February 26 at 5 PM – 10 PM
Where: Lotus Kitchen featuring Kim’s Keylime Pies
14618 Solomons Island Rd S, Solomons, MD 20688
Phone: (410) 326-8469
Facebook invitation:
Description: I will be hanging some watercolor paintings in Lotus Cafe.  I am pairing audio clips with some of the paintings and you will be able to access them via the web.  So if you are interested in hearing the audio clips please bring a smartphone or computer and some headphones.

Below is an example of a painting and audio pairing.  I’m excited to share more of these at the show.  Please let me know what you think!

Unhindered Weasel #2
Unhindered Weasel #2


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Respired Flight

Respired Flight

Sitting by a crackling fire, we accompanied each other while we shared some of our experiences of the previous year and aspirations we had for the new year.  During the year that we were reviewing, my friend shared a significant and challenging transition she had experienced.  Her and her husband’s life paths were diverging resulting in a separation in their relationship.  During that year she had put a lot of attention on self inquiry and recovering her wholeness and freedom from a traumatic childhood.  She used images to describe to me what it was like for her to be liberated from life limiting beliefs that had been frozen in her nervous system.

Respired Flight is my attempt to paint what she shared with me that evening.

Respire: recover hope, courage, or strength after a time of difficulty.

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I’ve decided to delve more deeply and fully into my self expression through watercolor painting by starting this blog.  As my artistic expression and this blog emerge and evolve, I am eager to find “my voice”, an over arching theme that captures my passion and paintings.  I am beginning with a theme of “connecting with life through art”.
Read more about me and my art . .