back to basics

Getting ready to be away a couple of weeks, being away, getting settled back at home has pretty much eaten a month of studio time. Ugh. So much for a dedicated schedule! Yesterday as the rain fell heavily and it became abundantly clear the number of tasks I have to do around this old house and bursting at the seams gardens will not get done quickly before I return to ‘normal’.  They will not get done at all because like most of life it is a cycle and as one thing ends another begins.

When I left I had a couple bits and pieces to finish on some of the work I had done through late winter and early spring. I had wanted to tidy it all up before leaving but time was limited so I set things aside.

I get restless when I am not connecting with my painting self. I feel it like a bear you are trying not to wake. I hear it rumbling as I slip quietly about doing other things. I started the morning yesterday by squeezing fresh paint onto glass and that very act soothes the restless bear. I keep paints separate until I am finished a painting, the silver tray belongs to the dancer portrait. Meanwhile, I knew I wasn’t ready to go there. A prepped canvas fresh on the easel, the ground work for the cliche garden poppy, a walk in the rain, a bit more paint, I feel more like myself today.

IMGP7279There is an interesting thing that I have heard artist  friends acknowledge, painting is not quite like riding a bike in as much as coming back after time away is awkward. It is as though a part of you forgets what you know, even momentarily and some stretches must happen before you flow. Maybe it is like riding a bike if you aren’t athletic! You find your way back through muscle memory, but not without a few scrapes and weird balancing acts on the way.

It is raining still, day three of much needed moisture in the forest and in the garden though the dropping peonies and iris stalks look as though they have had their fill. Later I will step into rain gear and stomp out with string and stakes but for now, it is coffee in pajamas and a studio morning. Back to the basics, next week back to focused work!


3 thoughts on “back to basics

  1. too funny, i know the subject is well done by many but thought i just need to push some paint! besides, all of our poppies are uniquely our own, or our experience even if they look like one garden! I am in oil what are you using?


  2. now i am reading this it is sounding not how i intended. LIke when I was in an group listening to a painter say something about the old truck in the field painting, how boring, how many of those, blah blah blah. I of course had just finished an old truck in a field painting, one that was dear to my heart from a photo taken at my uncles farmstead. I could hear the owls calling the morning I took the photograph, I felt grounded to my family when painting it. The poppies well loved and lovingly painted by icons like Georgia O’keefe call to a vibrant explosion of abundance in colour, of celebration and spring time. Their elegant grace, their paper thin veil of petals allowing light to dance, this is not to be dismissed as cliche or if so the kind that become such by being a truth retold. If something hits a chord for many is it any less a gift? Forgive my earlier poorly stated words. I think I am still finding my footing on that bicycle ride back!


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