I am blessed with some time off this holiday season and now that the bulk of the celebrations and obligations have been taken care of, I am starting to immerse myself in making art. In the studio first while the weather is typical Victoria winter (RAIN) and then hopefully en plein air as the sun appears, slightly. I don’t feel I have much to say about this but at the same time, plenty. So I will leave you a just-finished studio painting and a plein air location to cover for that contradiction.
Frosty roofs and thin crystalline ice on the ponds tell me winter has arrived here on the wet coast. As I walk through the woods to work I think to myself that I should be stopping to paint here where the mist is rising off tall golden grasses or take reference photos of the red shards of light from the low-sitting sun reflecting on tall, bare trees.
Our lives are finally finding a routine, a pattern, as we work our way out of the funk which the late spring brought. Friday morning sessions with the Al Frescoes plein air painters is one sure way to anchor that pattern to our passion for art. Another is my morning mediation routine which provides my brain and body a chance to let go and float into a more peaceful day.
My plein air work is still a fight. I’m working my way towards more abstract work. It’s taking more time and effort than I ever imagined. Though I am not complaining when it involves being outside in such beautiful surroundings.
At those moments when I am struggling with a painting, I often comment to my artist husband that painting is hard. In the big scheme of life, however, painting is pure pleasure even when it is not working out.
At those moments when I am struggling with all the small (and a few big) challenges thrown at my family and me this year, I note to myself that you never know what’s going on in a person’s life and we all need to be kind. In the big scheme of life, however, I am happy to be alive and this too shall pass. And this. And this.
Even when we chuck that painting in the bin or personal struggles trip us up, the living is good and painting is still hard!
Evidence from the summer of 2018: