Well, it's been awhile since I wrote....I could almost post a picture of my Turkish Panel painting, but I just don't want to until it is entirely finished. It's soooo close to being done. And yet I keep needing to add more to it, the most complex bit is going to be the patterned border and some final layers with oil paint glazing medium...I also need to get some art materials in town...the glaze, some new fine tip brushes, and turpentine. It has been taking me SO long working on the one piece that K was moved to speak up and suggest I just set it aside so I could start another couple of less "strenuous" efforts. Discovering oils has slowed me down! I take forever to mix colours and the detailed attention to the work is like a vortex, it is a more demanding medium and yet for this reason I feel at home with it (I'm Scottish, we prefer the long and arduous road). Here I am still hiding my effort from you in the very early stages:
Winter this year on the island was a long haul of socked in grey, endless days of rain and intermittent wind storms, the odd power outage, waking up to a cold house and constantly stacking firewood into the wood stove to keep cozy.....then one day I peered down out of the studio window to see, forcing their way through all the weeds, little cutie bluebell-like flowers in my garden (I have no idea what their botanical name is, I need my horticultural sis to tell me). And ornamental plum blossoms in the yard! And each day a bit more sun. Now all I want to do is plant wildflower seeds everywhere!
It took the sun to remind me how dismal we've been having it. Somehow we've pulled out of the blur...thanks to good friends and family who care and everyone in our household sticking to personal goals, even if we had to take the painstaking labyrinth route to get there...K's youngest daughter who lives with us is learning the ukulele and taking on knitting like a pro, I'm painting as much as I can between looking for work and K has got his green light to go forward with his own project. It's been emotional and difficult at times, but we've all grown. I suffer from periodic bouts of depression and so today I decided to start a symbolic portrait of myself riding free of worry. My own form of art therapy! It's a very small canvas (12" x 16") and I'm using oils again. This is just the sketch-like under painting for now, and I need to find some very fine brushes to keep it polished as I go along.
The other week K made a huge vat of his famous seafood chowder and we fed several friends all at once, some in our home, and to others we delivered a bowl of soup....we want to be able do this more often. I love filling our living room with people, it is gorgeously warm and inviting and full of old chairs and sofas and pillows (always room for another guest)....and being able to feed others is a wonderful triumph, especially when it happens to be whoever you manage to bump into during the day and ask over spontaneously, like a single neighbour or a grateful pal who is down on his luck. Then after everyone leaves, you can sit quietly with a glass of plonky wine and read another good art book.
I'll shortly write more about the book I'm currently reading ...it's a biography of that pesky bull-headed exile Gauguin, who went to Tahiti only to discover the ravages of colonialism and nearly got discouraged. I feel an affinity for his roguish escapism, it seems some of us will always wish we could find a place a few years ahead of the mad urban crowd and live like the natives who got it right in the first place. Easier said than done.