You have probably heard it said that inside each fat person is a thin one screaming to be set free.
I am the converse of that statement.
Don’t think that I think I am thin; I’m not, but I’m certainly not obese.(or “obeast” as I heard an acquaintance once pronounce it. I’m guessing she isn’t much of a reader.)
However, each day as I march out the door to take a power walk (4-8 miles at a 15 minute mile pace), I am leaving coffee, a comfortable armchair, the woodstove in the winter, knitting, my Bible, a library book or two, my cats, and many other lovely sedentary preoccupations.
Each day as I resolutely march out to my studio to paint, draw, plan, return phone calls or any other task necessary to keeping my business going, I pass numerous Adirondack chairs strategically placed around my yard for the purpose of taunting me.
They call out, they whisper, they cajole, they plead.
What are they saying? “Sit and knit!
Enjoy life from a stationary viewpoint!
One time I finally sat down and this is what happened to the chair. A girl could get a fat complex. . .
Here is a commercial: http://www.sequoiavillageinn.com/home This is the most attractive, inviting and homey set of cottages and chalets to rent I have ever seen. Granted, I haven’t been many places. . . but I know beautiful when I see beautiful. My oil paintings are now hanging inside Dogwood, Eagle, Falcon, and Forest. I have a very long list of pieces to create for these little (and not so little) abodes, and there are six more places that I haven’t even checked out yet! That is why I am painting this one:
Bet you can guess where it will be going. . .!
Finally back in the studio to paint! The business of art prevents the execution of art at times, but it is all necessary (and no, I don’t have people for that). Today I finished 2 poppy paintings. These will be for a special show on Yokohl Valley sometime in the summer at Arts Visalia. What I want to know is why these paintings took hours and hours and hours. . .
Since finishing the mural and losing Sequoia Gifts & Souvenirs, there is much work to be done. It has come to my attention that I have really lost control of the location of some of my inventory! There are lists, but if they aren’t all updated regularly, they are useless. The scariest thing is that a piece could be sold somewhere, I don’t know about it, and someone else buys it off my website. That is not a desirable situation, and I know this from personal experience. (Do all lessons have to be learned the hard way??) In addition to finding the pieces on all my lists, it is important to find places to sell those pieces. They are more likely to be sold if they are seen by the public than if just hanging in my studio. On the other hand, someone could visit my studio and there would be nothing for them to see or buy! Like most of life, this is a balancing act and a guessing game. (oh for a crystal ball. . . but then I recall my Oh-So-Wise Grandmother saying “If you knew what was going to happen, you wouldn’t need faith!”) Further, I have to recall all those conversations during the mural when people said, “When you are finished. . .” and then follow up with phone calls! It is prudent for me to remember that until money exchanges hands, it is simply conversation, not a job. (Hard Lesson #31) Crescent Meadow – oil on wrapped canvas – 8×10″ – $85 available here: http://www.cabinart.net/oils_new.shtml
When the mural was happening, each day was predictable to some degree. There was no confusion as to the day’s task – paint from left to right, top to bottom, back to front. Now that I am back in my studio, each day there are a multitude of tasks to be prioritized. Draw or paint? Paint this or that? Finish a painting or get started on a new one so it has time to dry? Return phone calls or update the website? Then someone comes along and says “Let’s have lunch!” Or “looks like you need to sweep your front step!” And each time I return to the house to use the facilities or to check for an incoming email, either the studio phone rings as I am leaving, or I get caught up in chores inside the house and forget I am supposed to be working! It is no mystery to me why people rent studio space apart from their homes. And although the commute got old fast, it was simpler to just be gone each day with one task to be completed. My Oh-so-wise Dad used to say, “Life is a series of decisions and choices”. You can see that I am continuing on this trail painting – I love trail scenes.This is the beginning of a new painting for a show focused on Yokohl Valley. THANK YOU to all my students who helped me choose which scene to paint!
Remember all that talk about “the state of the economy”? It has arrived in my life with the sad news that my favorite little store www.sequoiagifts.com in Three Rivers is closing. (Okay, my favorite to do business with in terms of my art – my favorite for personal shopping is Creekside Yarns www.creeksideyarns.com – oh-oh, is it my fault that he is closing???) Scott is the most professional retailer I have encountered for a long time, and if he can’t make it, perhaps “it” can’t be made in the gift industry here in Three Rivers. Rather than become lachrymose, I’ll just stick to the facts. Now I have to find another outlet for my artwork here in town. Think think think. Never mind, just paint. Today I began these 3 new pieces: Obviously (“obviously??? Maybe not, given the rough state of these embryonic paintings!) I am focusing on local subjects! Why? Because the only way to remain self-employed is to be an optimist and I KNOW I will find another place to show and sell my work in town!
There are people who write books for artists on how to jump start, boost or enhance creativity. Almost all of them say it is important to get away from the studio, have a change of scenery, try new things, go outside. Mineral King isn’t a new experience for me, but it certainly is a change from everyday life over the past 6 months. Most people don’t get the opportunity to see it this early in the season, so I will just show you some photos instead of yapping on and on, like some horrid Ankle-biter.
Today I painted. It is quiet here except for the raucous birds and an occasional weedeater. Cars don’t pass by too often, and I was really pleased to see the FedEx driver so there was human interaction! This is so different from painting the mural, not bad, just different. See what I finished?
to Adalaide, who won the contest! Today during drawing lessons, she wheedled and begged and tried her best to manipulate me into giving her a clue or two. All I would tell her is that there are 12 items, and assure her that she can trust me to keep secrets! When she left her class, she and her mom drove to the mural. Within 15 minutes she called me and told me eleven items. I was very impressed and said the last one would be impossible. 1 minute later she was back on the phone to tell me the twelfth item! The girl is brilliant, simply brilliant! I should have known that Adalaide would find all twelve, because she is a real go-getter at drawing, a self-starter who has figured out how to design and draw a collage on her own, often completes difficult drawings on her own at home, and works exclusively from her own very unique photos! Way to go, Adalaide! (home-schoolers are amazing people!) Here are five of the twelve items that she found: She called this one a “basket”, but it is a fishing creel. The bear and the deer were “gimme” items. Adalaide referred to the lantern as an oil lamp, but it is a kerosene lantern. Those little boo-boos were not a problem – by her description I knew that she was looking at hidden items! Now you know what some of them look like, but they still might be a chore to find. Have fun!