The end of year is come and gone and this past one has been filled with changes. Some of them pretty big and others not so much. The task of another blog entry was more enticing than filling out the late Christmas cards. So here comes my latest blog entry. Besides, baking is out of the question. That would have mean dishes and a wider butt.
I won a couple Best of Shows this year which was nice. I appreciate the vote of confidence from the judges, as any win is nice. And every show gives you another chance to tickle a judge's fancy, or not. But these wins are balanced by other life events that are beyond our control. I lost a friend this year, a close one, actually a family member. Which brought to mind everyone's time count down.
I thought what would I change? Not much. I'd definitely keep my husband of over 50 years. Each year with him is more precious than the last. Especially after his stroke and open heart surgery in the last quarter. Yes he is getting better, looking longingly at his motorcycle. I'd keep all my kids and grandkids, as they are turning out to be decent human beings, kind and good people. I treasure my friends and my health. Yeah there's not a lot I would change there. My list of reasons to be thankful seems to stretch every year.
But painting....ah painting. Here a lot would change. I have the feeling that I may not be able to stick around long enough to learn what I need to in order to paint worth a darn. I mean worth a real darn. I try to paint for myself and if others like it so much the better, but I really do paint for myself. For the moment. For the inspiration. To touch that moment where it flows and you are a conduit.
A lot of painting is cerebral. The scheduling, planning, the forethought. I think its the follow through that 's the thrilling part for me. Lately, I have held a tight rein on my choices as I paint, I guess thinking that I needed more control.
I taught a workshop last October. I only do one a year. One of my students (they all worked their tails off) reminded me of why I paint. For the happiness of the process. The delight in color. The feeling. The last three landscapes I painted were fall landscapes. Colors were muted and dulled by the oncoming cold. No snow, just browns, beiges, duns and burnt oranges. This one student, Ann, painted the most glorious small piece. Color was bursting from that piece. There was a happiness to be about the painting process that was mirrored in her color choices. Fodder for thought for sure.
I went back to my canyon today. I decided to paint how I feel about the canyon, not how quiet she looked. You see, to me, the canyon is very female. She has a varied wardrobe, and her garments change with the seasons. Her moods, well they are as changeable as the weather. But I needed to remember how delicious is life, how brightly colored it is. So I looked at my canyon through the eyes of how I loved her.
This is Glorious Canyon. Mysterious, vibrant, beckoning. No quiet wall flower here, in this wonderful canyon of ours. Now let me tell you, the muted palette was there. But not in my eyes today.
Was it Socrates who said the unexamined life is not worth living?
Thanks for the reminder Ann.