If you subscribe to life as a series of micro-adventures that begin the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning, then I have been very busy indeed. I have to stop and think about all I’ve been doing these last few weeks since returning from France…there hasn’t really been many days when I wasn’t on the road heading somewhere. It’s all good.
I’ve been doing a lot of painting, which means heading out to various locations to stand in the shade of a tree (hopefully) and try to wrap my head around what I am seeing – at least enough to translate the image onto a canvas before me. I meet with various levels of success, but am getting generally happier with the work I am producing. I’ve also been doing responsible things, like attending events and baseball games – life is full.
I had an incredible couple of days painting outside of St. Michael’s, Maryland at Wade’s Point…more properly in McDaniel, Maryland. (www.wadespoint.com) where I met a wonderful group of artists who have been getting together for over 20 years to travel to one place or another to spend a week with a license to paint…I was honored to be asked to join them for a couple of days, and next year for the week…it is thrilling really. The group is a flexible number of maybe 15 or so in total who gather from many places to enjoy an eddy of time where they can paint and create and be friends together. There are communal dinners and an evening critique of the day’s output which is altogether helpful and instructive and warm. I loved every minute of it and am looking forward to next year setting the week aside.
But I have been painting locally also. The plein air group tries to meet every Wednesday – but weather often interrupts those plans. When it rains, we cannot paint. When it is over 100 degrees, no one wants to paint. But we have been enjoying some pretty amazing venues on the days when it works out, and the sheer exercise of painting so often is exhilarating.
There have been day trips as well. I know, I am making up for my laziness in not posting weekly, but it seems to be little enough time for sleeping, let alone editing photos and writing.
I spent a day at the Jersey Shore where a friend has purchased a nifty post modern beach house that she is restoring or perhaps the better word is “refreshing.” She doesn’t want to change the essence of this early 60’s house – it is up on pilings with a wonderful ocean view and has a just slightly Jetsons feel about it. Like me, she was raised with this kind of architecture, and it seems that only recently have we come to appreciate the kind of funky cool of those simple lines.
I spent another day at the ocean – all of this being somewhat alien to my Washington State nature – after all, when I grew up, it was possible to be wet and cold at home, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of reason to add sand to the mix by going to the beach. This time, I went to Ocean City, Maryland which is a place I have been exactly once before in all the time I’ve lived in Maryland. And I’d never spent the night there – ok, the truth is that I can burn to a crisp at home without adding sand to the mix…and I don’t know if it was the fact that I went with a friend and her young daughters, or the generous and quite wonderful staff at the Paradise Plaza Inn (www.paradiseplazainn.com) or, to quote Joni Mitchell, maybe it was just the time of year…but I had a really good time in what is essentially a foreign environment. I don’t usually find myself surrounded by sand and surf and hawkers of henna tattoos and teeshirts and funnel cakes and french fries. It was fun to sort of let go and see this through the eyes of the nine and ten year olds. These kids really know this place and every character on the boardwalk. It was fun to see what they found interesting and funny.
Wow. I started this post months ago – six months ago almost exactly. I ended with the world through the eyes of 10 year olds.
Last Friday in Newtown, CT, it was another story. I thought I’d finish this post. I think I have.