Wednesday Night

Came home today and sat down to paint. Step by step we reach our goals, right? Added quite a bit, managed to leave a lot of white areas where there would be flowers and realize deep in my heart that dark colors are really something I need to get comfortable with. Very odd since in fabric I’m all about the darks.

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans. Aim high in hope and work. Remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die. — Daniel H Burnham

Vincent. For these times

Just seek light and freedom and don’t delve too deeply into the mire of the world. — Vincent Van Gogh 

I think it’s important to remember what you’re fighting for. I don’t need to delve. I do need to recognize and resist. And I do need to keep leading my own good life because it shows it can be done and because it makes a difference for me and for others.

Doing The Work, The Learning Process

Tuesday when I went over the hills to the east, I did two paintings at the Clark. The first was smaller, 5×7″, and my intention was to try sketching, color and value while trying out the plein air “thing”. My paper and board tried to blow away, my water tried to blow over, my brushes fell into the bottom of their travel bag. You know. Juggling in the wind. Meanwhile I was sitting on the cold ground with my little beach backrest hoping it wouldn’t suddenly dump rain on me.

The second I did I moved to my 8×12″ sheet of arches and started from the covered but still breezy Crystal. Man those colors did not want to cooperate. I saw pinky orange, bright yellow-green and dark trees and well. Part of it I know was impatience. I know I should let things dry before adding more color, filling in darkness but for whatever reason it wasn’t happening and so it didn’t work out all that well.

[Note to self- this is why you should bring a thermos and a snack – to divert yourself while letting things DRY!]

This really bugged me so I decided yesterday I would NOT do a scene but work on hot press paper which isn’t my favorite just on trying to get those colors. I didn’t tape down the paper – just stuck it with water to my table. I stopped before I got fiddling with things. Like the bluish color of the main distant hill better. Like the trees more but… meh still not quite it. Will try a different approach next.

On to the next!

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

and keeping on keeping on!

From the Quote Box – LotR

[Arwen] took a white gem like a star that lay upon her breast hanging on a silver chain, and she set the chain about Frodo’s neck. “When the memory of the fear and the darkness troubles you,” she said, “this will bring you aid.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

NaPoWriMo, Day Eleven

Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo was to write a Bop: “The invention of poet Afaa Michael Weaver, the Bop is a kind of combination sonnet + song. Like a Shakespearan sonnet, it introduces, discusses, and then solves (or fails to solve) a problem. Like a song, it relies on refrains and repetition. In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain. Here’s an example of a Bop poem written by Weaver, and here’s another by the poet Ravi Shankar.”

I have to say that it was a beautiful day. I fixed two plumbing issues. I stripped the bed and did laundry. I finished a landscape which was sort of meh, and did a quick little still life of my favorite brushes. I looked at two watercolor-related books. I shook my head over the news. I watched the daffodils start to yellow up. I opened the bedroom window. But the words… been a hard few days.

A Reminder of Ideas, Just in Case

Before the month started I wrote down this:
A reminder of ideas, just in case –
For those days when words didn’t flow from me
When there’s fresh laundry that needs my folding
and everything looks better than the page.
the list of ideas that might be useful.

Oh spirit of writing, where have you gone?

Practice, perseverance, daily commute
The work of dailyness, the clouds and sky
sonnets and haiku and some limericks
Taking time to look, A box full of paint
No ideas but in things. Just do the work.
Beauty. Coming home. Walls full of paintings.
A wall full of my paintings. Hold to joy.
The color of a lake. The length of days.

Oh spirit of writing, where have you gone?

Tonight this list is a whole universe
tonight the words are somewhere in between
Today I painted, I’d say with success
a still life of my brushes. And I fixed
the washer so it works. I folded sheets.
I reviewed the reminder of ideas.

So many books

not enough awake time…

Mid-December, where’ve you been MB?

I have realized that I haven’t been posting here since my return from Wales. I think this happened after my NZ trip too. It seems to take e me time to recover from the jet lag (and after NZ, the bronchitis), settle back into the routine and this time, throw myself into the madness that is holiday in retail. Yeah.

The trip was marvelous. I’m still looking through the photos and thinking about the things I saw and did. It was my first solo trip planning and doing and it certainly taught me a lot. It also taught me that things can and will go wrong and there are always ways to fix or get through it… as long as you don’t keep spinning your wheels about what went wrong. For example – I could not find a place to drop off my car in Cardiff. I missed my first train connection and then had to give up on the rescheduled one but my choice was to keep trying to find a place to bring the car and then how to get to manchester OR drive to my next scheduled bed near the airport and call it a super-long day. Arrived at the B&B very late but that was better than no sleep at all and I was within range of the airport WITH a drop off.

Landscapes were great everywhere. Rolling hills, stone walls and sheep. Just enough autumn color, mostly from poplar and oak. Old there is much older than what is considered ancient at home. In the UK there is a legal right to walk from point A to B, even across privatete land. These paths are marked and mapped and often involved stiles across stone fences or revolving stiles through wire fences or gates that you have to open and close securely behind you to keep the sheep and or cattle where they should be. Sheep poo on your boots, no extra charge. Went to an exhibit at a castle and had money out for entrance fee and the man at the ticket booth looked a little surprised – there’s no charge ma’am!

So many days of wonderful skies. I saw so many rainbows! Rain was often very localized so it might be raining just over there and sunny behind you – the perfect makings of a colorful moment. It poured down rain only a few times. One day, when I chose St. David’s Cathedral as my “good day for an indoor activity” place, it was so windy that it literally blew the water out of the road puddles. I got wet but I didn’t fall over!

Local folks were always ready and enthusiastic in telling you all about their local church or historic fort or whatever. There were enough people standing by to tell you stuff that it made me a little embarrassed on how little I probably know about my own historic stuff.

Had meaningful and considered conversations with folks, everyone from the car rental person to a fellow-hostel-guest about current events. This always started with “so we had this big surprise here (in the UK) recently about the Brexit vote and now you…” and once I’d nodded or given the appropriate sign of dismay, they’d tell me all their fears and worries about the newly elected president and ask all kinds of good questions about our election system and why people don’t vote and … well yeah. All those questions.

I did do a little painting while I was there – darn it I brought all these supplies and I’m going to use them or else! – and you might have noticed that I took quite a few photos.

So will I go back? Yes. And I won’t worry about seeing everything – maybe I’ll spend more time in just one place. Maybe I’ll do Scotland or Ireland too!