Tomorrow i must pack. On Friday I leave for Monhegan Island, a wonderful Mecca for artists off the Maine coast. I came back from there last fall miraculously still in one piece and with a sketchbook of watercolors and drawings. This in spite of having totaled my car the day before I was to leave for the island. There were moments when the air below the cliffs drew me in but I painted them instead of giving in. This time I’ll have a body guard in the form of one very caring husband and my only concern is will I be able to paint at all? For my connection to that life force which gives happiness to endeavor waxes and wanes and often falters entirely. I’ll stay back from the edge.
I am blessed by having found three other artists who will be coming out with me. They and their spouses will share the cottage with us for the week. It should be fun. Particularly since one of the men has volunteered to be chief cook which removes a big concern of mine. Each couple or individual has their own bedroom. Now all we have to do is find a rhythm for using the bathrooms and other common spaces to meet every one’s needs. We’ll be 7 altogether. Best of all it looks as though we may get pretty decent weather. Let’s hope so! Watercolor in the rain isn’t much fun. And, I am planning to head out to those cliffs again and also into the woods or maybe the village itself. There is so much there to explore and paint to. Who knows what will ignite a fire?
I’m gathering what the four winds may scatter to live my life between then and now. Nothing-and Everything-matters. I am embracing the New Day and turning toward the morning. I want to find that confidence I lost and with it the happiness I know can be. There is a light within me. If I can find a way to embrace it with my heart i can let it shine out.
Perhaps if I really try I’ll be able to shut down my conscious mind and hear my truest voice. Most of all let me concentrate on painting and then painting some more.
Photos from my week on the isles of shoals off Portsmouth NH:
I have tried to include some of the buildings so you might get a sense of the island culture. I actually had a tendency to photograph seaweed and rocks and grasses. In fact I took very few photos as my flash card was nearly full when I arrived; I had only expected to shoot a few documentary shots. I had not intended to work with photography; my original goal for being on island was to paint. After my easel broke in mid stroke I decided to go with the flow and just enjoy the camaraderie of wonderful fellow conferees and the chance to learn in new areas of interest including singing and learning about my camera!
Tonight I am exhausted but glad. I was able to take my Mother out for lunch. This entailed 6 hours of driving (3 out and 3 back) and 4 of visiting plus enlisting my sister and a helper to get mom in and out of the car and into the restaurant safely (she is plucky but 98 is getting on). We did it successfully and it made a very special day for her and for all of us.
i also brought along some of the Holling Clancy Holling books and she enjoyed looking at those again and making up stories to go with them (she is wonderfully inventive). So I didn’t paint today but never-the-less had a very fulfilling day. And it is heart warming to see that she enjoys having my paintings hung in her room.
Here is one from Hanna’s blog of her hiking in Norway. I wish she were closer by. I would take her to White Memorial Woods and to Sessions Woods. These photos presumably from her walk in Norway could be from those beautiful New England landscapes where there are so many trails just waiting for the explorer/artist in me.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
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.
Come back, Come home. I’m gathering the crumbs and stones. Been traveling faster than my soul can go….I can’t seem to get grounded but its time to move on, to work on something different. Oh it’s exciting and fun but just now i feel like Carrie Newcomer in her song, “The Speed of Soul”-
One subject line, one click away,
But at the end of day,
i couldn’t even say,
The things that i had done.
So i spent the morning sweeping floors,
i don’t want much more,
Then to do just one thing at a time,
And call it mine.
Come back, Come home. I’m gathering the crumbs and stones. Been traveling faster than my soul can go.
i am still trying to practice YES (Yoga, exercise, and sketching)These are from yesterday though and tomorrow takes us up to Vermont so…Who knows maybe i can carry YES within me?
Today has been a day of clouds and silver-tipped trees outlined against the sky.
My travels take me outwards from the center like the travel lines on a spider web. Some of the roads are dirt and some are paved state highways. One heads north and anchors me to the mountains and another east to connect me with the ocean. The one which reaches out to the western hills is closed to me now but, one heads south and connects me to cities and art and performance. I’ll take that tonight to resume the figure drawing I’d let go. Ghosts haunt all of them and make travel difficult; yet if I don’t travel off the hill will there be a new day?