A few hiccups, but I'm back.
Exactly two weeks ago, my youngest daughter declared that it felt like Fall. I agreed, and started thinking about Things To Do with the change of season. Screens to be removed from windows, wood to be stacked. You get the idea.
Today it's 86 degrees, and even my shrubs are understandably confused. The maple leaves aren't really dropping, and although there are pumpkins waiting at the farm stands, who cares? No one really goes apple-picking in this weather, do they? (Except for my friend Ella, who is out there picking away for the rest of us).
I decided to paint this Vermont farm, hoping that it will get me in the right frame of mind. I'm hoping, too, that next weekend will be cool (although I prefer downright cold) with lots of morning mist coming off the mountains.
The way it should be in October in New England.
Ah, back to the theme of the month, guilt.
I started this study with the intention of pulling off a compositional coup, but I didn't quite get there. I feel badly about calling it a night without getting to where I thought I was going, but sometimes you just have to put the brush down and come back another day. Or night.
I can't promise that I'll go back to this one tonight. Time will tell.
Just when I thought things were settling down... a cab in NYC turned things upside down again.
Everything's fine, or will be in a few weeks, I'm told.
But today let's leave it at this: I'm very grateful that I painted this early in the day!
Sometimes you just need to get back into a routine, do something that makes you feel "normal"; no drama, no urgency. Acknowledging that my September theme is "guilt", the only thing I can say about that is that I have none.
I wanted to paint the trees, so I did.
After a week of recuperation I was more than ready to tackle these four again. Once I started, time fell away and the painting took over. If you can't be in the woods, you can paint them, and the experience is equally valuable. Maybe more so.
I've decided to go back out and keep at this stand of birches. Their colors change throughout the day, and I have a hankering to get to know them better before the season turns and they drop their leaves. When they do turn, that will be my signal to start a whole new series of studies.
I painted this last night, knowing that today I might not be up to par.
I'm in need of distraction; I have a few things to take care of and it's probably a good idea to concentrate on color and brush strokes.
Speaking of distractions, I would love your thoughts on these three Maine birches. I tried to stay loose and easy, but had to fight my impulse is to start drawing in details.
Here's hoping I will get to the easel tonight, refocused and ready for Day 9.
Last night I was about as far away from this field as I could ever imagine.
My NYC dwelling son turned 30, and his beautiful bride decided to throw him a birthday bash. She was thoughtful enough to invite my husband and I, and beforehand we joked about how we would be the oldest people there. It was no joke- we clearly were.
After a great dinner and great margaritas, we went into a great bar to fete Oliver. Note: Times have changed.
Music has gotten much louder, bars have gotten much darker, and our hearing ain't what it used to be. However a party is a party and I'm more that a little proud to say that I've hung out in a hip bar on the Bowery. By 11:00pm, we said our goodbyes and headed back to our hotel.
The antidote to all of this was to return home to paint one of my favorite places in Deerfield, Mass. After last night, I needed a dose of silence and lots of fresh air. As I painted I finally had the quiet time to appreciate the contrast of city vs country. Each makes the other more vibrant by comparison.
Rather like red and green, if you know what I mean.
I've sketched this scene hundreds of times... in the early morning, late afternoon, and days like this one when it poured buckets and then suddenly the skies cleared, as if nothing had ever happened.
Chances are I won't be back there again. I should have painted in more, but that's always the way, isn't it? We don't know when things are about to change- only that they will.
The good news is that now there are other beaches with new paths to wander. To paint!
In July my family and I spent some time on Nantucket.
I can't tell you it was a good time to go- for a number of reasons (mostly work related) it was probably the worst time to go.
But coordinating the schedules of the family was challenging, and let's face it, these things are decided months ahead of time.
So on July 4th, I found myself lying on the beach and loving it.
I may have felt a tiny bit of guilt, but it passed quickly.
And I'd do it again, given half a chance.
I know the rules; a daylily is best left in the garden to enjoy.
They don't last long when you cut them, and those pesky stamen drop and you find pollen on everything.
But sometimes they are just so pretty.
So yes, I cut this creamy yellow beauty... and I'm sort of regretful, but not completely. The bloom faded quickly under the lights in my studio, but this morning one of the unopened buds was there, fresh and lovely.
I can't promise I won't do it again...
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