Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Muse Sometimes Screams

I spent most of Saturday doing chores. 9 am killates, followed by breakfast,  the farmer's market,  dry cleaners,  drug store,  art supply store. By 2 pm I was done. Done from the running around, done from the 96 degree heat.

At my last stop my cell phone rings. It is my friend telling me she is at my house and can I meet her  at Michaels. Seems she bought 150.00 worth of canvases, LARGE ONES, at 60% off, and decided that she did not need them.  They were holding them for her there and she needed to either sell them to me, or else return them. Did I want them? HOW BIG?

The convertible would not hold the canvases, so I used the CRV, Larry's car, the one WITHOUT A/C (and it isn't that we don't have the money to fix it, it is just that he never has bothered to get it fixed...) and crankily headed over to Michaels, an arts/crafts "box store" that I try to avoid.

In the end, it was well worth it.  Six 24" x 36", and two 36" x 48" heavy duty canvas/stretchers, with the nice wide edges. Canvases that won't warp. Solid.  BIG. Average price for each- 20.00.  Can't beat it.

I used to paint on Sunday mornings. It was a time that I  celebrated being one with my higher power through the paint.  It had been a long time since I had done that, and decided to spend the entire day in the studio.  I immediately unwrapped one of the canvases and placed it upon the beautiful easel that Larry bought me last Christmas which I had not used yet.  I kept getting drawn to its largeness and the bright white blank surface. I had other things to do, but I broke out the green gesso and threw down a coat. Once the white of the canvas is gone, it's all fair game.

I did some framing for an upcoming show, and when the gesso was dry, started sketching out a landscape.  I was driven, and for the next few hours worked up an underpainting shown here. The moody sullen dreamy green landscape. I love to do monochromatic landscapes;  it is something I have periodically explored since my teen  years, locked away in my bedroom with Judy Collins or Joni Mitchell playing on my Sony Stereo. 

I can't explain the process, save for an invisible force guided my hand, drove me to complete the first layer, and pushed me to my limit that day. 

It came again yesterday when I went back to look at the painting with the distance of a day behind me. I looked at the areas that need work, and I started to decide how I am going to approach it on the second round.  The paint was still wet, and best left to dry while I am gone.  Again driven, I had to start another one, this time a small one, as I only had an hour or so to throw down my first layer of oil. I decided to do a mid day rendering of the fields to change my color palette.

I am afraid to go in there again today.  I am afraid that I am going to have to start working on another painting, and I won't get the things I need to get done for my trip.  But there was something wonderful that went on the past few days, something exciting, something encouraging. Was it    a glimpse of my future, or what I have dreamed my future to be? Is it a sign of encouragment? What DOES my future hold?

Scarey. Exciting.

The muse pushed me, encouraged me, held me, challenged me, and smiled upon me.  I think she found me the Facebook Art groups which have challenged and fueled my creativity. 

I think she knew what I needed. And I won't ignore her.

Sunday, July 01, 2012


I felt like I was giving birth, digging up the garlic with my little spade this morning before the heat of the day hit.  I pushed away the fall leaves, dug carefully around the head, making sure I did not dig into the head. I then lifted under the roots, breaking them up a bit,  and lifted the entire head out of the ground, gently knocking excess dirt off, without disturbing the head.

The garlic is of the hard neck variety, and is called "Music". Planted late last fall, this was my first garlic crop.  The cloves came courtesy of a good friend - Woodstock Occupy Congress Ross -  who had the cloves and  nowhere to plant them..so they he made a special ride up from NJ to  plant them in one of my raised beds while the light was fading one cold autumn day.

He left them to my care, and I felt like a mother hen, mulching them for the long cold winter, and then fretting in the spring when the greens were up and we had multiple frosts.  Somehow it all worked out, and according to the leaves on the plant, this was the weekend to harvest.

All 13 cloves are laying on paper bags in my back porch, and will be tied up tomorrow to hang and dry for a month.

Of course, I could not wait to dry all of them, and opened up one to cook with, and the head had giant sweet smelling garlic cloves......which I chopped up and made a huge veggie stir fry for the week. 

I also noticed that I have baby zucchinis on my plants, as well as little tomatoes. Everything is a good 2-4 weeks ahead due to the warm spring....which means I can eek out a longer growing season!  When I return from Spain I will be coming home to my first zucchinis... YAY.

Photo taken in my garden, my foot included so you could see the size of the garlic!