Artist in Yemen

I will be in Sana'a, Yemen, May 27-July 10 2006. I'll be working on my Arabic language skills and painting every day, walking around asking questions about food and gardens and perfume and incense. I'll be studying and living at the Center for Arabic Language and Eastern Studies(CALES)in the Old City of Sana'a. Although I usually paint in reverse on glass, in Sana'a I'll be working in watercolor and mixed media on paper.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I'm down to the last week or so, working on the list of things to do, things not to forget. As soon as I cross something off the top of the list I find myself adding something new at the bottom. I'm reminded of Pee Wee Herman, who said "I feel like I'm unraveling a HUGE sweater, that someone keeps knitting, and knitting, and knitting!"

Starting May 3 I'm looking forward to some family time in California, and then on May 8 my mom is taking my sister Lizzy and me to Paris and the south of France for two weeks. We're looking forward to smelling perfume and gawking at gardens, and hiking the city streets and rural footpaths.

It's nearly the end of spring in Tucson, The fragrant season is winding down. It started with the sweet acacias back in February, then the pink jasmine, followed by a long heady few weeks of citrus blossom. Now it's the star jasmine and the goaty-sweet smell of honeysuckle, with clouds of brilliant but odorless paloverde trees, and temperatures in the 90s. In order to prepare myself for the mountainous landscape of Yemen, I've been climbing Tumamoc hill nearly every day, three miles of nearly 800 feet of elevation gain. The top is a mix of prehistoric Hohokam ruins and petroglyphs, and postapocalyptic looking devices for communicating with space, in the enduring desert landscape.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Welcome! I'll be using this blog to keep up with family and friends while I'm in Yemen this summer. I'll do my best to check in here every few days. Remember, I love to hear from you, so please email me once in awhile. This blog will start on May 29, after I have arrived in Sana'a and gotten my bearings.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep. -Jelaluddin Rumi