in- + spirare

Inspire comes from the Latin:  in- + spirare – to breathe.

So I breathe. I take deep lungfuls of clean forrest air, fragrant with bay laurel and dry brush. I am quiet so I can hear bird feathers beating against the breeze. I am still to gaze at the deer who freeze and gaze back at me before bounding away. I look for the lizards fleeing from my shadow. I take in every hue and texture and form of the dormant thickets that lace the woods. I take sensory notes and digital photographs. All of this will inhabit my paintings one day, some of it already has.

Picchetti Clouds - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Clear blue sky and raking clouds.

Picchetti Birds in the Persimmons - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Birds feasting in the persimmon tree.

Picchetti Pear trees- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Old pear orchard flaming red and gold.

Picchetti bounder - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Deer bounding through the silvered grasses.

Picchetti Dormant Forrest - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Dormant forrest rich with texture and subtle color.

Picchetti - Blue and Emerald Dormant Forrest- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in emerald and blue…

Picchetti - Green curtain over Lavander- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in a green cascade over lavender…

Picchetti - Gray Tangle Dormant Forrest- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in a gray tangle…

Picchetti - Golden Tunnel Dormant Forrest- photo Marie Cameron 2014

Here in a tunnel that leads to golden sunlight…

Picchetti - Desiccated Leaf - photo Marie Cameron 2014        Picchetti - Seeds Taking Wing - photo Marie Cameron 2014        Picchetti - Poison Oak - photo Marie Cameron 2014       Picchetti  Dried Thistle - photo Marie Cameron 2014

And here in the details of a desiccated leaf, seeds about to fly and the warning of poison oak and a dried thistle.

Picchetti me in a tree - photo OP 2014

Live oak lounger.

Picchetti Walker - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Walking through light and shadow.

Picchetti Clouds - wet leaves Marie Cameron 2014

Soft and hairy leaves still clinging to water droplets.

Picchetti deer in the green forrest - photo Marie Cameron 2014

Quiet visit.

Ripe Persimmons

Persimmon Tree - Picchetti photo Marie Cameron 2012

Picchettti persimmon tree ornamented with ripe fruit, photo Marie Cameron 2012.

The storms have past, stripping persimmon trees of all their leaves, leaving their fruit dangling naked and ripe for all to see. This tree at Picchetti tempts hiking visitors to wade through poison oak and blackberry brambles to see it they can pocket a few. Picking wild fruit is a primal urge my mother and father-in-law and son couldn’t pass up while on a family hike over Thanksgiving. While they didn’t harvest many (two actually) they were all the sweeter for the effort!

Persimmons are not only decorating trees all over the valley but hanging on gallery walls too! Here are two great works currently on exhibit at the Los Gatos Museums Gallery by member artists, Susan Elwart Hall ( and Betty Turrentine McGuire.

Stages of Life oil painting by Susan Elwart Hall - photo Marie Cameron 2012

Stages of Life oil painting by Susan Elwart Hall – Los Gatos Museums Gallery

Persimmons oil painting by Betty Turrentine McGuire photo by Marie Cameron 2012

Persimmons oil painting by Betty Turrentine McGuire – Los Gatos Museums Gallery

So, what to do with this abundance of persimmons?  The Fuyu (above) can be eaten like an apple but with the softer Hachiya I like to make persimmon chutney which is especially delicious with duck!

  • Persimmon Chutney:
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 6 peeled ripe Hachiya persimmons
  • Reduce all ingredients over medium heat adding persimmons at the end.