Back To Center

“To Paint is to Love Again.”  ~Henry Miller

We are home from Maine, landlocked once again to Ohio.

Ohio is not without its beauty to be sure.  There have been errands to run, adjustments to be made, momentous birthdays to acknowledge and celebrate.

Suddenly I realize it has been a coon’s age since I had my paints out mixing and dancing their way around the palette.  I must dive back in.

August breezes, when they blow, are humid and hot.  I figure this weather is a strange combination of the dooming of climate-change and good old-fashioned late August in the mid-west.  How are we to know?

Storms do break up the monotony of late summer.  They make for dramatic skies and monumental cloud forms.

From the West, always, the clouds gather.

Perhaps it’s a symptom of age that clouds and birdsong catch my attention now more than ever.   I seek to paint them in between the expectations of a busy, modern life.

This past weekend there were tunes, on tunes, on tunes.  Again I remember – this makes for intense happiness in my heart – I recommit.  The painting and the music are inextricably linked.  I may not be very good at either, comparatively speaking.  But each makes my small heart sing.  And surely this is a measure of something in the world.

Something. –  in the epoch of our own humanity.  We are but a blip in the matrix of the Universe as we know it, and yet we seek these bits of joy and meaning like spiritual breadcrumbs of a sort.

There are more tunes slated for this evening when a few of us gather to choose the autumnal soundtrack for the Riley School of Irish Music.  Tomorrow is a road trip to settle one of the smalls (newly returned from western adventures) into his next adventure in grad school.  It is good to have him near at hand once again.

Travel beckons again soon.  I find myself already getting organized for a weekend trip to Sheboygan in September and a longer journey back to Ireland in October.  Some day if I truly settle in one place, it will be a strange day indeed.  I embrace this traveling side of myself and am grateful for those loved ones who keep the dogs fed and the home fires burning when I am away.  It does not escape me that I am truly fortunate.

When I travel, I travel lightly.  I do not plan to take the oils to Ireland this go round as I’ll be on the go more often than not.  But I have ordered a new sketchbook and I have extra watercolorey books to pack as well.

The goldening, autumnal season will see me diving back into a world of words each morning once again to find my way through the dark of winter.  There is nothing quite like pouring a cup of coffee, lighting a candle and putting pen to paper.  This might keep me sane in the dark months to come.  But so will hitting the road, discovering and re-discovering new places and new tunes.

What plans do you have this late-summer/early-autumn to feed your soul?  How do you survive winters in general?  What have you drawn or painted lately?  As always, I’d love to know.


Comments (4)

  • Annie Lynn August 21, 2019 - 3 years ago

    Amy, I really enjoyed your post, your enthusiasm, pragmatism, and how you share your joy. I wish more Artists would realize how much music can benefit not just their souls while creating, but that finding a musician who believes and loves your work as much as you do theirs, can be the magic combination that produces something that wouldn’t have been as exciting without collaboration. My entire business changed once a i started hiring illustrators to make my music videos. They elevated already award winning songs to make them magically wonderful. I owe Artists a huge debt of gratitude for their inspirational creations that give me ideas for music, that I wouldn’t have received otherwise. I enjoy your style, Amy. Best wishes for continued success . I will keep my eyes on you. Peace, Annie😊✌🏼💁🏼🎶🎨📚

    • amy August 22, 2019 - 3 years ago

      Annie!!!! Thank you for your feedback!! Yes, I am learning to trust that relationship between the music and the art and to realize that artistic silos serve no one. The more I let music feed me – through playing, learning, occasionally performing and teaching the basics even! – the more the art seems to come alive. The music serves as a safety net for the art making. And the work I have done over the years for fellow musicians is some of my favorite! Because music strikes so closely to the heart. <3

  • Julie Adams August 25, 2019 - 3 years ago

    Hi Amy, lovely thoughts! I’ve been thinking about your question about surviving winter because I too dread and feel low during those dark cold rainy days and longer nights. I go to work and return home in darkness which makes me just want to crawl under a blanket and hide. The time change sends me into a panic. Playing and listening to music is a big part of my therapy! But here are a few other tricks I’m learning. I live in a heavily forested neighborhood with almost total shade in summer. So in recent years I’ve realized that once the trees lose their leaves I actually get more sunlight in my yard during the winter. I can see more of the sky and stars at night during the winter through the bare tree branches. I try to concentrate on that. I used to mourn the leaves falling from the trees, but now I think the trees truly feel better to shed that dead leaf weight and go into readying for their new ones in a few months. And I watch for the returning birds that winter here and get excited to see and hear the kinglets, woodpeckers, juncos, nuthatches, and usually a hermit thrush. There are sandhill cranes that return to the neighboring riverside. I’ll be looking for that solstice and longing for longer days, of course…. Stay snug and safe this winter! Julie

    • amy August 25, 2019 - 3 years ago

      I actually love the return to regular time and adore fall and winter. But the gray does get me down. Even with all the time I spend outside. But yes, watching birds and collecting forestey things is indeed good medicine along the way. <3 Here's to more and more tunes in the darkening months!!


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