Depression can take a terrible tole on one’s life and on ones loved ones too. The last post i made included a painting of a nuthatch in our red-bud. I actually had begun this painting almost 2 years ago and was only recently able to return to it and finish it by painting in the tree branches. For over a year i have struggled to return to the intense happiness that painting used to bring. i don’t know yet where my story will end but i can say that it is so important to have people who care and believe in you. If you know of someone suffering from depression don’t give up on them.
For me a turning point surely occurred when I discovered this early photo of me on the breakfast table a few weeks ago.
It was snapped while I was out sketching on the hillside behind the trailer we used to live in up in Vermont. With the photo was just a little note in my husbands hand,”I’d like this person back.” It makes all the difference to know someone cares. He loves the artist in me, and knowing that is so important to me.
I am working on finding and reconstructing her. it may take a while but I’ll do my best. If I post less frequently its because I only want to post solid accomplishments: paintings i feel good about. In the mean time I continue to avidly read your posts and deeply appreciate your comments. Keep up the good camaraderie and enjoy your work! And, please don’t forget to look for mine rare though it may be!
I shall repeat this poem of Rumi’s from my last post. For me it speaks volumes.
I think my friends learn to accept my idiosyncrasies such as today when I lay down on the stiffly frozen grass to photograph the ice and then just stayed there admiring the trees. Actually the grass was comfortable. It worked like coiled bed springs trapping air so the ground did not feel a bit cold even though the air temperature was barely above the single digits Fahrenheit.
We stayed for quite a long time listening to the ice which besides reflecting the trees in its usual beautiful milky way was also “talking”; it chortled and burped and gurgled. Once it even gave off a series of explosions sounding like a fourth of July fireworks. I suppose it was expanding and responding to the warmth as the sun gradually rose above the trees. But, I don’t really know. My friend said it sounded like the mud baths at Yellowstone National Park.
Often when I experience something beautiful or fascinating I am aware of a deep loss. Only today an idea clicked: in my sensation of loss the one missing becomes present and is, for that moment, here with me, a comforting feeling. And so “up” gets very soft and full of memories:
Home from our walk i worked on painting number two of the ocean, then headed into class where I sketched people at yoga practice-a great place to do figure drawing if you keep it simple and quick. The challenge for this week is to sketch or draw a 100 people by the end of the week.
Really I am too tired to do any thing creative tonight except say “HI”
My trip is safely accomplished with a fulfilling visit to my Mom and more than enough emotion to fill a day and more.
I loved coming home to some new poems and plein-air sketches-thank you Shari and Owen. I do think the Mass pike ought to be renamed the Massacre pike. Every time I travel it it gets worse, even on a Sunday. But I played some great CDs to keep me company:
“All the Roadrunning”-Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, from home to Westfield and
“Passion”-Judy Handler and Mark Levesque, from Westfield through Worchester (which gave me the advantage of a comforting virtual co pilot on the way out) and then-
“Kindred Spirits”-Carrrie Newcomer, and “New Day”-Kings Singers, on the way home (all good companions).
My mind does not achieve neutral very easily.
I wonder though if I could still do one little w/c study???
“There were many nice moments today…”(Feb.17th, 2016)
and again today in 2017
One of which was making these four little watercolor sketches.
Just 6”x8” they were done on a cheap page of Canson w/c paper which I chopped up. I choose Daniel Smith Prussian blue, Raw Sienna, and Quinacridone gold, and Holbein Vermilion Hue, plus Greenish yellow for no reason that I can think of except i love meadow colors.
Looking at these uploads i realize all the photos are out of focus but I’ve no time to correct that now. Anyway they give the idea and that’s enough.
I had fun with the colors and the wet surfaces playing with my Chinese brushes. I am wicked grateful for all the wonderful inspiration and support I’ve been getting-thank you all dear readers!!!
Now I’m off to bed as tomorrow I’ll be on the road to visit my Mother (98yrs old) in assisted living. I hope I can keep my mind steady for 5 plus hours of driving by myself. And that I can bring a cheerful me to her giving her a fulfilling but not overwhelming visit and a bit of happiness. It is a lot of driving for a very short visit but short is all she can manage now.
A friend with whom I had been working in ceramics but who knew my love of watercolor recently loaned me “Sketching in Nature” by Cathy Johnson. One of the suggestions in Cathy’s book is to do (attempt!) quick sketches from the car while riding as a passenger.
Wanting to try this I asked my husband to drive the leg from Burlington to White River on our way home from Vermont today. Here are a few of the ones I tried.
I had my point and shoot camera with me but left it firmly in my bag and took out a little spiral 5.5 x 8.5 canson sketch book and an Ebony design pencil.
Sketching from the car on the highway is fun, and a wicked challenge, because in a wink what you saw is gone.
Add to that the magnificent and constantly changing weather over the mountains (we had snow showers all afternoon) and …
I’ve a long way to go to learn to abstract and simplify my compositions and a longer way to go to gain a bit of confidence and skill at sketching. Still I’m done with point and shoot at least when i don’t have to be at the wheel!
Here is a sketch I made yesterday following a walk with a friend and before driving home. It was cold and grey with a light drizzle so I worked from inside my car.
Only in painting is there peace and in that only if I can get a painting going. My winter scene platter cracked during Bisque firing (really not an uncommon occurrence for a piece that big especially when drying time has to be hurried which happened in this case). Anyway we hang in there.
hand built porcelain-stoneware ~14″x22″with carved design in colored slips. i shall just have to try again! Of course the inspiration will be different and there-in lies the loss. Experience, itself, is a welcome teacher.