Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time to Pack up.

B and I are going to be moving back to Odessa, Saskatchewan in a few weeks. We call Odessa home for about 6 months in the spring and summer and then Brownsville, Texas is home for 6 months, November to April. That would make us Snowbirds, the offical name for all us Canadian wimps that take off for the south when the weather in Canada starts to get tough. Once we make the 4 day trip to Texas we move into our little place in a retirement park called Palm Resaca. We love it here and have made some wonderful friends. My life has taken many strange turns but I never thought I would be spending my winters in Brownsville, Texas in a retirement community for people over 55 especially since I'm still in my 40's, ok almost 50, but I am hanging on to 40 for another 11 months. Hanging on to being in my 40's with my teeth and what I have left of my finger nails. (they all broke off after a disastrous attempt at wearing acrylic nails this winter)

I'm going to have to start packing soon and that is always such a bitter sweet time. The weather had been less than perfect all winter but right now it is absolutely heavenly. The azaleas are finally starting to bloom, I planted a rose bush a few short weeks ago and already have my first blossom. There are little tiny green tomatoes on the plants that B planted in January. I miss all this green and flowers when we leave. It will be July before my gardens look decent at home in Saskatchewan.

Packing my paintings is going to take a while. The cold winter left me lots of time to be creative and I think I am taking home close to thirty paintings. Some are stacked around the room where I paint, others are actually hanging on the walls and my home is going to look really bare and lonely when I take them down to wrap and box up. There are still a few paintings that are not finished but they will have to wait now until I get my studio set up at home. While I'm waiting for spring to arrive in Saskatchewan I will be painting Texas beaches.

I'm pretty pleased with the paintings I got done this winter. The four or five I did of Red Eyed frogs all make me smile. Who would have thought frogs could have such cute facial expressions. I also tried something new and attempted to capture a misty rain forest and I painted Makaws after watching them at the Gladys Porter Zoo. Of course I did more paintings of the beach and surf at Boca Chica, my favorite subject while in Texas. I am anxious to show them all off at the Aurora Art Group Show in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in May.

The Aurora Group has invited me back for the second year as their guest artist. I was so pleased to get their invitation again. Prince Albert was my home town for over 40 years and it's so good to get back. I have family there and also get to see old friends. Hopefully they will come to the Art show and I can sell them a few paintings while catching up on the winter news.

When I get back to Canada I have to find a printer and discuss turning a few of my paintings into limited edition prints, something I have never done but maybe now is a good time. If any of you readers have done this I would love to hear how that went for you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time to paint again, but can I?

I put my paints away way back in February to make room in our little home for some company that was staying for 2 weeks, then when they left I didn't paint again sighting the reason that more company was arriving in 2 more weeks and I would just have to put it all away again. Well that company has now left and I have 16 days until my girl friend shows up and will need my studio space for her bedroom.

This blog is supposed to be about my painting and how my days are set up to encourage and inspire my creative journey. What happens when you can't find the time, or is finding the time not really the problem but not being disciplined more of the problem. I have read how an artist must paint every day, preferably at the same time and with no distractions. Visions of the solitary painter, surrounded by stacked canvas and dirty palettes and brushes, feverishly painting away and growling at everyone who comes to visit come to mind. Do I want to become like that, I don't think so, so how does one find a balance? How can you be creative everyday and still live in a social community, interact with friends, spend time with your spouse and be a part of the community?

I made up my mind yesterday to set out my supplies again and not to worry about having to put them all away in a few days but to just get started and not worry about stopping again. Then I had a terrible thought. What if I can't paint anymore? What if I sit down and have forgotten everything I have learned and just can't make it happen again. Restarting is so tough and I put myself through this agony way to often. I want to know how others handle this. I can't be the only one with this dilemma. Any advice?

It may take a few canvass to get back into the grove and I may have to toss out those canvass when I'm done but I think the thing to do is to just start. Putting it off isn't going to make it any easier. So here goes, I will squeeze out some color, go look for my favorite brushes because now they are all mixed up with my not so favorite ones and just see what happens.

I really hope that I can get my brushes to do what I want them to do. I want to disappear into a painting, let my music and the paint flow through me onto the canvas and reappear some hours later with a nearly finished picture. My coffee will be cold, I will be stiff from sitting so still for to long but the part of me that needs to be creative will be happy again.