It’s been a wild few days. Outward, ever outward. Shining toward others, ever deserving. Our oldest ‘small’ is returned to the midwest from Aspen‘s heights. He is beginning a master’s course of study in violin performance, settling into a house he’s rented from a family we know well. This gives me the hope that he is therefore surrounded by an extra layer of love as he embarks on this new chapter. I took a day this last week to make the drive out to his new hometown to purchase that first round of groceries (which always proves to be so costly when one is in one’s 20’s) and to have lunch with him and make sure he’s really and truly back from Colorado.
One never knows.
Turns out he’s properly returned. And feathering his new Indiana nest with joy and hope for the future.
Into the weekend we plummet. Another road trip to see an art show in Columbus with a couple of long time artful friends and the younger ‘small’ herself, also settling into early adulthood. It is a wonderful thing when one’s adult children begin to weave their way into our adult lives becoming yet another friend with whom to share experience and art and life. We walk her new dog, marveling at the blessings of *neighborhood* and *community* and the gifts they entail.
The show, In a New Light, Alice Schille and the American Watercolor Movement, is stunning and well worth the visit. The artist’s use of color is at once familiar and cosmic and I become that annoying art viewer with glasses on getting as close to the work as possible, studying brush strokes and color choices up close. I even purchase the catalog. The show is that great. My friends and I study Alice Schille’s life’s arc and timeline and decide she may have known our beloved Mabel. Would they have gotten along? Who could tell. Mabel was a tricky customer. But Alice was making her art. And this is commendable.
The weekend barrels on for myself and my family and while I so enjoy the celebrations and time together, I find myself twitchy today and though quite tired, get the paints out…..
Inspired as I have been by Alice’s work, the watercolors aren’t enough and I reach for the oil’s…..
And I knock out a couple of landscape paintings I am not entirely disappointed with. Not a bad afternoon’s work for one feeling torn in too many directions. One painting feels a bit like home here on the northern edges of Appalachia (culturally speaking at least, for you geographic purists). It is an expression of the days of late August, goldening on into September.
The other is more of a reaching out to the bog lands of Ireland where I will find myself in a matter of weeks. (Still considering taking a small set of oils. Thoughts, dear readers????)
A few of us once found our boots being pulled into the boggy depths of the peaty regions of dear old Ireland and I have fond memories of this day indeed.
Either way, regardless of where my heart is feeling tugged from one moment to the next, PAINT is always a player -at least in my mind if not in practice- and I am learning more and more (finally) to turn to it when I can, as well as to the trusty old drawn line. I find comfort in the art. I can settle into it. It’s become less something I avoid for *all the usual excuses* and more a place I run toward for solace.
I am thankful for days of celebrating family. And for friends who will travel to see a proper art show. I am thankful for women who made art in a time when it might not have been so fruitful or safe to do so. Have you seen the movie Packed In a Trunk? You should.
Tomorrow is a normal Monday. I have work at the shop to do. Household things to attend to in between attending to the *art mind and body* as it were. Life has to happen. How do you all balance the art making with the need for family time, as well as the solitude which feeds the work and self care?
How can we shut out the world for a bit enough to do our work while not ignoring the realities of the modern age? It’s a tricky business and I welcome any suggestions.