Last year at this time …


I was framing up the paintings from the Reclamation Series .

Sailing Camp Shadows

There was a catalog to get to the printers, a flurry to ship a piece or two up to the Museum for their annual fundraiser, and, as I recall…a general air of that flurry, nay panic, about getting everything done in time to make our ferry reservations.

This year…I somehow went from being a month behind schedule in May…to being waaay ahead of that same schedule here in the month of June.

The watch 2014

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in search of things to fill this time. There are small craft warning options, and bags of tools, and tempting books, in piles in every single room in both studio and log cabin. But for the first time in a decade I am, shall we say, relaxing into these early summer days.

Entire pots of coffee are slowly consumed in the morning sky chair. Weeds, which are historically allowed to cycle into full tilt trees, are being yanked in their youth. Many small, and a couple of large, projects have been crossed off the home improvement list. Parts of the studio can actually be called cleaned up. Ok small parts but hey.

And I have spent hours at a time, with tiny needle in hand, in a different corner of the studio, peacefully quilting.

My working theory is the brutal winter. It shifted something. Hard to the left. Can’t even write about it except to say that warm sun and blue skies are to be bathed in.

So, finding myself with this breath of extra time I am actually going back to the easel. The large panel, which was the last ptg finished for the Granary show, had to remain on the easel until it was time to varnish and then haul up to the photographers. We hooked up the trailer and I took it up to John Corcoran yesterday so it feels like a dance hall in here.

John recently confessed that he, like myself and so many other artists, is often anxious after a hiatus from the work. The ever present doubts that we’ve still “got it” sometimes make it hard to pick up a brush, or camera in his case, and crawl out on that creative limb again. The break which happens every year at this time, between pre and post MV show, always throws me that curve ball.

But today, in my newly granted, and oh so profoundly appreciated, stay of anxiety…I’ve got an idea for a teacup composition that has been teasing the muses and I’m going to squeeze out some fresh paint and open the windows and let the solstice inspired breezes play with the brushes.

How fun is that.




Sailing Camp Shadows

Sailing Camp Shadows – 26″ x 36″

Sailing Camp Shadows

By the time I started this painting I was deep into the zone.
I had found the essence of the story I wanted to tell with this series
and was deeply committed to telling it honestly.
I had learned how the light could change the color of the walls in every room.
How the quality of that same light could alter the temperature of the shadows.
Yet I was still finding little surprises along the way.
Like how, in this room, on this October morning,
that light could tease itself in an obscure angle
in front of and behind the open door
and cast a theatrical raking light right back up the wall.
I wanted to play with that so I added the oar.
It lives here in my studio but the painting needed some middle ground
and so did the story being told.
It is meant to represent the Sailing Camp Days
and the now empty former hospital rooms
had few traces of happily playing children.
But the rainbows
filtering in at the edges
seem to echo their voices.

So too, would that oar return to play a roll in the final painting in this series,
but you’ll have to wait a bit longer for that reveal…