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Down Darby Lane

Birthday Non-Blog from an Arts Elder

Above - 90-year-old Czech woman started painting murals when she retired from farming and has never stopped. she is my role model .

So, it's my birthday and the blog is taking the day off - except to say that reaching the age of 76, being 100 percent healthy, strong, able to walk, run, lift and joyfully work on art every day is a fabulous gift. I will spare you (for now) my usual rant about how elders in our Western society are shamefully demeaned and how we could use some lessons from other cultures where the attributes of aging are respected and honored. (Okay, that's a bit of a lecture. I lied).

Here are some birthday images from me to you:

My best friend - Murphy

My amazing husband Randall helping me get ready to make a mold of a Native American firefighter and forest manager for the Caldor Tribute. This kind of work requires a crazy range of skills beyond sculpting

Our Pups Murphy and Ruby ready to become a small bronze ... Ruby, on the right is an elder at 14 years old.

An old Tuff Shed remodeled and repurposed to make my happiest place on Earth - under 120-foot cedar trees, amid the quiet of the mountain, surrounded by the gifts of nature and about 100 pounds of clay.

After posting this birthday brief I will be heading out to the Art Shed and spending the day immersed in some music (maybe flamenco accompanied by dancing?). And then back to the comforting and gentle sounds of Mother Nature as I play with clay - as happy as my Czech role model making art forever!


Thanks for being with me - for your emails and your time. Contact me at I read and respond to each and every message.

If you are able and inclined, you can contribute to the biggest (okay, overwhelming) art project of my life - the monumental bronze Tribute to the Heroes of the Caldor Fire HERE.


Friends and Readers,

A note about most of us, for better and worse, in the Arts. I think we long to share our thoughts and creations - and without you, we are lonely. Imagine, you wrote a beautiful piece of music and no one but you (and perhaps your cat) ever got to hear it. Or painted a picture that no one else but you ever saw, or wrote a story that no one but you read. Sharing is everything for people in the arts and your support is fundamental to the continued creativity of all artists. So, Thank you! 

Hey! Check out this awesome article by popular columnist Ed Goldman - it's about moi! Also subscribe to his clever, witty and smart blog!  

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My Mountain Mystery

My book has gotten fab reviews on Amazon! I am so excited readers like the characters, the setting, the plot - minus lots of graphic violence. 

If you are fond of 'cozy' mysteries please read The Song of Jackass Creek. Check out Reviews HERE.

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Short Story Collection 

Twisted is - twisted! And Gypsy's Wedding - well, you just have to be there!  Click on the books to see more ... 

To Your Inbox:
Reports and reflections to add color, amusement, & thoughts to your day. Let's be connected!

Thanks for submitting!

Sample Amazon Reviews

This is an excellent writer!

Darby Patterson is truly a talented writer. She describes this little town sweetly without boring the reader with unimportant detail, and her descriptions are vivid. She also develops her characters fully through conversation and action so the reader becomes acquainted with the main players and can form pictures of them early in the book. Her characters' thoughts, interactions, and past activities combine to portray the culture of Redbud throughout the story, and the story itself is creative and holds surprises along the way. I too hope Ms Patterson continues to share her talents with us!

Sondra Jensen

Awaiting the next installment

An invitation to linger in this vanishing part of California which has so much history is writ on every page of this book. I've visited places like Redbud with a creek burbling in the background as gentle breezes sough through the pines and cedars. I've found them quaint and rich with fascinating local lore and history. Jesse, as publisher of the local weekly is very nicely sketched, the authors background as a journalist comes through clean and clear in developing him. This small California mining and logging town scrabbling to hang on, I liked very much as a setting. I wouldn't mind sitting down with Jesse and having a beer and help him solve his next mystery. The test of a good book is whether you'd be willing to read it again, later. This book passes that test and I can't wait for the next installment.

Jack Howard


Please let this be the first of a series!

Wonderful book; adult without being ‘R’ rated, complex story and well developed characters. The people of ‘Redbud’ ring true and, as a native Californian, the lumber, real estate and politics are spot on. I hope this is the beginning of a series because the author has created characters you want to know better.

D. Holmes

My other passion
Sculpting for bronze - See more HERE
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