Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter paintings...

"In winter in the woods alone
  Against the trees I go. ..."
                          Robert Frost

On many levels there is a great deal of symbolism around the move to my new house and the work I've been doing which I'll explore further at another time.  I moved here in mid Fall, beautiful color, days were still nice and easy to be outside but now it's the coldest middle part of winter, we've had two bitter arctic blasts which makes it kind of funny to be excited about a 30 degree day.  Especially funny because for years I drove all my beloved friends crazy with wailing about how much I hate winter and here I am smack dab in the middle of it with no Caribbean trips on the horizon! And as I hunker down in winter with snowy inspiration all around there is a sense of hibernation/incubation.  I paint and look at all the seed packets I bought in anticipation of Spring waiting for that golden moment when I can start them and they will be safe from frost.  It is all quiet and tucked in during the winter but still very much alive.  In the city I really did hate winter, it was boring and incredibly ugly.  It's pretty here and I often go into the woods alone to be embraced by the magnificent silence of a snow-bound forest.  I wouldn't go so far as to say I love winter but I don't hate it like I used to and thankfully I can see it's beauty again.  That being said it would be nice to be in the Caribbean :)

On milder winter days (meaning anything above 20!)  I go out into the woods to hike or snow shoe and work is beginning to emerge from these jaunts.  It's been such a dramatic Fall and Winter with the move and losing my sister that at this point all I want to do is draw, experiment,  just paint fast and sketchy, not think and here's some of the work.  More to come, it would be great to hear what people think, so feel free to comment.  Enjoy!

No title #1, mixed media, 24 x 18"

No title #2, mixed media, 24 x 18"

No title #3, mixed media, 24 x 18"

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Celebrate Life!

Happy New Year...

It's been a while - a long while - since I've written a post so it was a very nice surprise to see people are still checking my blog out and searching for topics.  Thank you!  2013 got very busy, crazy and took all my attention away from pretty much everything.  Here's a quick recap of all that went on...

  • got laid off from my job (it was a good thing!)
  • started seriously reviewing the direction of my life (stay tuned)
  • went house hunting and found a real gem
  • sold my place, moved 
  • went from living in the city to living quietly in the country
  • have taken a big turn in my art (more on that later) 
  • worst and most painful of all - lost my sister to cancer (brutal)
It's been all big ticket things and painting has taken a back seat to all the things life can toss in ones way: getting on unemployment/social security, house hunting/buying/selling, throwing tons of stuff out, giving it away to packing with all it's little details, bought my first car in over 30 years to help me escape the city.  Loved living in Boston for a long while but it got on my nerves with all the development and expense.  So I asked myself "is it really worth it to struggle to stay?"  The answer came quicker than the question...I just couldn't stand it one more minute.  Now I have sunshine coming in all sides of my place all day, great views, lots of nature (which is more my style) and peace.  This is a place I can hunker down and get about the business of being a FULL TIME artist!  

Losing my sister at Christmas time and memorializing her on New Years Eve has been a fierce body blow so I want to tell you about her - she was brave, creative, kind, gentle.  My sister has been sick for a very long time, she never really told us how sick she was, we all got bits of information but never the whole story.  I'm quite certain Cheryl meant to not scare us with everything but when we saw her, especially towards the end her struggle and pain were obvious still she marshaled on telling us it was just one of her bad spells and all would be ok.  She and I share a passion for the natural world, we were/are happiest on a hike in the woods or on a beach.  I could write reams about her but the words above (Celebrate Life) will give you an idea of how amazing she was...she wrote those words (she couldn't speak) just before they took her breathing tube out, she passed away barely 3 hours later.   I hoped Cheryl was hovering above looking at us, loving us and having compassion for her poor broken body so that she might have the courage to let go and not be afraid, I hoped she was experiencing the beauty I read about in To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story...by Mary C. Neal M.D.  Most importantly she was surrounded by love and family.  We walked her to the door we must all go through, she made the rest of the journey hopefully surrounded by those we love who have gone before.

It has been a bumpy, drama-filled year in which many good things happened and I would only change one thing...I would keep my sister, find a cure for her so she could get on with her life and do fantastic things.