Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…


Fall in love with your bathroom.

IMG_3348This time of year, back to school, summer fading, I always get a little melancholy.  Like the word itself, the feeling is hard to define.  I rather like it, even the hollowness, because it revives a need inside to begin… begin something, find something, fill that empty space.  And so I clean.  I shake the rugs and vacuum, and wipe the mirrors and light the candles and open the windows, and the sun says, “hang on,” and the breeze says, “look ahead.”  I embrace both and find comfort in the transition.  I find comfort in the here.  I fall in love with my bathroom.


I recently put my newest painting in my bathroom.  The blue warms my soul every time I enter.  She stands next to the beach footsteps of my husband, the photo of Lake Minnetonka, the necklace my dear friend made for me, a flower from our garden, all gathered in the lovely scent of the burning candle.

And it is more than a bathroom, it is a life, my life, and I love it.  I am truly living it.  

The world is changing, for sure.  These are difficult times.  But life is still precious.  Still beautiful.  Still simple.  Find the joy in the small things.  The world was meant to change.  The seasons have always taught us.  Hold on to what’s lovely.  Embrace the changes that come. Look around you.  There is beautyP1070108 (1) everywhere.  Open a window.  Light a candle.  Fall in love with your bathroom.  Life is forever good.  

Oh, and don‘t forget your kitchen! 

Maybe that’s what real love does…

makes you fall in love with your own life.



First I made a squaring table out of an old butcher block and two pieces of scrap wood.  I found a small piece of wood in the wood pile, just enough to make a small frame.  I cut the lengths, and squared tIMG_3272hem up in my new tool.  From an old, weathered outdoor table, that stood as long as it possibly could, and then gave out, I cut the inside flat frame that the canvas would eventually be mounted on.  This fit (squarely of course, because I used my new homemade tool) inside the frame.  I measured another piece of scrap wood, cut to size, to make the mounting frame for the canvas.  I cut an old piece of tarp and stretched it around the mounting frame.  I checked to make sure it fit inside the frame, then gessoed the canvas.  Then she arrived, first in my heart, then my head, then in my fingers, through the brushes, onto the canvas.  She was now something, someone.  Not a scrap, not a throw-away, but a life.  A beautiful life that lived in my heart, and now in the world.  I drilled holes in the once table and secured her to her new frame.  She deserved a frame.  This lovely soul was meant to be seen.  She came from nothing, (and don’t we all), (or is it everything?).  And here she is.  Leaving a hole of melancholy in my heart, like after a good book read, I know that space can only be filled by creating something else.  And so I begin. 

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No more abandonings.

“We cannot afford all these abandonings.”  Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Yesterday I wIMG_3136as looking for something in our pile of scrap metal and iron, (yes, we have one),and I found this piece and knew immediately that it had to be a frame.  It was beautiful, it just needed a cowboy (and who hasn’t said that at least twice in their lifetime).  Dominique cleaned it up with vinegar, and I painted a cowboy for this lovely frame.  
I want to see things, not for what they are – or were – but for what they could be.  Maybe if we could do that for each other, too…  No more waste.  It is, we are, not disposable.  Let’s find the beauty in everything.
No more abandonings.