Isa’s Journal

Seriously, Why Watercolor?

Watercolor is underrated. It’s a medium linked to hobbyists, children, Prince Charles, and retirees. And me. I used to paint in oils until I developed a bizarre allergy that delivered hives. At times my arms looked like they’d been attacked by a mammoth, angry insect. So I moved on to water-based mediums like acrylic, but…

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A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.Tennessee Williams April brings back my sister Heather. She arrived on April 7th, 1959, and left on October 17th, 2014. We were born six years and one month apart to the day and for me, April…

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From the Ground Up

Spring in Woody Creek. In the right season, I sink to my knees. Something is always churning at ground level and I might catch a good floor show. Gardening may be a sanctioned hobby, sustained by a million garden centers, buoyed by as many blog sites and adjacent social media chatter, but a gardener who…

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Showing Up

A spotlight on a Colorado non-profit that shows up: Valley Settlement Kids on El Busesito is one of many amazing Valley Settlement programs. We are surrounded by invitations to be present, to be mindful, and to pay it forward. Which is a good thing. That said, sometimes I feel paralyzed by all these invocations to…

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Funny Valentine

My husband and Rose It was easy to fall for my husband. First off, he’s kind —a real eye smiler. He has a razor sharp wit. And his eyes are green. But I’m getting ahead of myself.   Daniel and I met, ironically, on my least favorite “holiday” — Valentine’s Day — 23 years ago.…

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Magical Thinking in 2022

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”Joan Didion Around my home. Every year I pen our kids a New Year’s Letter, but frankly, it’s also a primer for myself. So here’s the 2022 edition: My DEAR ones: Another year means another annual letter.…

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Come Together Right Now

Isa with a Giraffe. Giraffe Magic I lay the kibble in the palm of my hand and waited for the 14-foot Rothschild giraffe to amble over. On a long-delayed family trip, we were at Giraffe Manor on the first stop of our Kenyan tour. We were now vaccinated and more than able and willing to…

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Chronicle of Philanthropy

Isa at her work table. My parents gave me a great deal — love, stewardship, security — all of which I took for granted until I sauntered out of their immediate care. But more importantly, they impressed upon all of their children the importance of paying it forward, of passing along good fortune to others.…

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Market Report

Love seeing old friends Cindy and Luis Urrea! This summer, the studio joined a new community. We cannot afford a classic brick-and-mortar pop-up in Aspen, so our studio director Jennifer convinced me that the studio needed to join the ranks of the Aspen Farmer’s Market. So we applied, made the cut, and hustled to get…

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