16"x20", oil on cradled panel. These cityscapes feel forced to me compared with the florals. But I want to give myself a chance to find a playful attitude with the cityscapes which might mean putting up with some discomfort for the time being. But if the discomfort keeps me out of the studio, as it has for the last several days, then maybe its not such a good idea? Ahh, well...
night I dreamt that fist-fulls of plants came out of my hair; pulling easily from my scalp in the way last year's flowers pull out of the earth. In the dream I had woken up and gone into the bathroom where I saw unsightly whitish, papery blossoms in the mirror. At first there seemed to be only a few
but then I noticed them everywhere, "Oh dear, this looks terrible, I can’t
go out there like this”. I was pleased that the plants pulled away so easily
but distressed that this dead stuff (though still green) was coming out of my
head. I kept stuffing it in a plastic grocery bag to take to my doctor,
surprised by how much there was.
like a dream of impotency. I do have a lot of projects going on that I am
making inadequate headway with. Class notes unwritten, galleries waiting for
paintings, bills unpaid and dishes in the sink. I am very glad to have a full
life but there doesn’t seem time to do the work. Even dropping paintings off
across town has been a logistical impossibility this week.
the other had the important stuff does get done: there is time for wonderful walks to school with my son,
family dinners, French class, Harry Potter and even a bit of
painting on most days. Right now students are pulling in for painting class and the toilet seriously needs cleaning.
I just realized that a client has been waiting patiently for a print order she placed a month ago. Whoops. She ordered this one of Providence from Prospect Park so I thought I'd make another Providence sketch to send along with it for her good behavior. From the intersection of Washington St. as it turns into Waterman St. and North Main in downtown Providence.
Whistler I am not but I do give myself credit for trying something that feels impossible to pull off. I'll keep working at some sort of harmonie du soir of my own. 24"x24", oil on canvas. A smaller scale would help but for some reason I yearn to make large night paintings right this minute. (I often work backwards going from big to small rather than the other way around.) Marrakech.
Today I diligently and completely avoided 4 (four!) commissions. You will be glad to know that I did, however, tidy up the studio, clean out files, test the new mini printer Elizabeth and I got for Moroccan Sketchbook, work on the 2013 PDF, double check the international carry on luggage standards, pack my swimsuit! (well, I was wandering around down there in the basement with the suitcase and the summer clothes handy so why not?), set up new studio lights, wash all the dishes, do another sketch of the Jardin Majorelle, and etc. But I didnt do the work that has been on the top of my list for several weeks. (I heard the term multi shirking from Martha Beck.) Tomorrow is another day. Maybe I will clean the fridge.
Some times it is very difficult to settle and work on something; my eyes move from one project to another in the studio and in a moment I have a clear picture of all that I want to do but only the tiniest fraction of time it would take to do it all in. Then I am flooded with disappointment in all that I can't accomplish and my work time is up. I battle furiously to get past the visions of what I would like to achieve in a particular hour (and a notion of magic time in which that hour might last a month) and just paint something. This clementine mercifully delivered me from those other perseverations last night.
A charming woman (who happens to have the most inspiring handwriting I have ever seen) asked me to memorialize this fine hound a few weeks ago. Yesterday, finally!, I discovered that the angry spirits whove been guarding my easle had moved on to fret over something else. whew. (They seemed to have moved on to block my ability to ship packages.)
Our practice is to meet life exactly as it is and to notice whatever fear, anger, or doubt gets in the way of direct,intimate contact with this moment, bringing attention to that as well. Rather than changing something or seeking to get somewhere we imagine we should be, practice is about seeing clearly exactly how things really are and how we relate to them. Practice thus becomes an increasing intimacy with life just as it is, and there is nothing-including the idea that we should be getting something or somewhere-that is unworthy of the clear, nonjudgmental attention we call mindfulness.