Thursday, August 22, 2013

Building a Foundation

This reinvention of self is taking a lot of work. AND TIME.

Have I already posted that?

I have been spending the week doing mock ups for my web designer, and getting ready to set up files in Drop Box. In order to do that, I have to clean up my Drop-box files -    delete some files to make more room, and then in order to find the files I need, I have to organize my desktop and hard drive into folders that make sense.  And once a day I have to take a break from the Drop Box ordeal to clean out the Cat Box.  I just wish I could clean the cat box with an "empty" button!

In between those hours of sorting/filing/organizing, I pay some online bills, research hotels, make online reservations, search for work/shows, and play the occasional Candy Crush game. (I am embarrassed to say I play it...but I blame it all on my daughter!) Before I know it --- it is time to check what is ready to pick in the garden, and make dinner.  And then Larry comes home, and asks me "what did you do today" and I give him a litany of what I have accomplished, as well as update him on my fight with the city to fix the end of my driveway.  

Included in the past week has been a visit to another one of my yearly doc appointments, where I  say a quick prayer and do some deep breathing before I enter the world of needles, stethoscopes, speculums, and forms to fill out and sign.  So far so good.

All is a day's work.

Soon. Soon I hope to be in the studio.  Some things need to be done first, and set up, so that when the art gets made, there is a venue to show and sell it.  Build it and they will buy is my motto and my focus. Patience dear Patti,  patience.

Back to my box...which I hope is not "dropping".

Patti O

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Staying the Course: Art on the Cape.....


 The Strange Moon Like Landscape of the Golf Course

A sweet little bungalow on the Course

    At Wellfleet Harbor
   The Salt Marsh at the Eastham Visitor Cente

I am on vacation on Cape Cod. 

Over the years I have come to know and love the Cape, with its oceans, bays, salt marshes, restaurants. The only thing I DON'T like about the Cape is the 4.5 hour ride which usually turns to a 6 hour ride due to traffic.

Over the past several years we have been finding places of our own to stay, rather than staying with friends. We can come and go, and not worry that we are cluttering up their house with our photography and art equipment, or estate/junking finds.

Renting sight unseen on the Cape is sometimes risky,  especially if you wait till the last minute. One year we shared a house which was large and grand and on the edge of the Marsh in So. Wellfleet. Then the following year we got a deal;  it was too small to share and  very cluttered and messy.  I have enough of clutter in my life, so when I go somewhere, I like it to be NEAT.  It was on an Island, which was cool, but our lives were completely ruled by the tides getting on and off the Island.

Last year we went alone, booked on short notice, and got lucky to stay at the Crook Jaw Inn  in So. Yarmouth, a Sea Captain's house built in the 1600-1700's. Brian, the Inn Keeper, is a gem and great breakfast cook. 

This year we rented a condo that a friend owns, in a gated community in Brewster.  It is lovely, quiet, and on 400 acres of golf course, replete with beautiful rolling hills, organically shaped sand traps, and paths, lots of them. 

I don't play golf, and I have not used any of the facilities here, as I am very happy with all of the other activities that the Cape has to offer. But I am entranced by some of the scenery, the textures, shapes and landscaping here on the course.  I bought my watercolors, as oils are too much of a pain to haul.  Besides, I have lots of painting to do to get ready for a solo show in October, so little sketches in watercolor are a relaxed loose way to document my days here.

A few things, however, I have learned while living on a golf course. You are not supposed to be taking your morning walk on the course, even if it is paved paths for the carts, and no matter how beautiful the sights are and how moon like the sand traps appear.   And, when someone is hitting a ball, you are not supposed to be jabbering on about how beautiful the course is, and how the last time you played golf, you hit the ball into a fence, where it got stuck.

Some of my favorite places on the Cape...Great Island, Lieutenant Island, Rock Harbor, Grey's Beach, which are all freebies if you know where they are and are willing to do a bit of hiking to get to some of them. The Eastham Nature Center/Salt Marsh, The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, The Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Edward Gorey House/Musuem, the Provincetown Art Association/Museum, Mac's Shack (food), The Yarmouth Inn (food) ,Moby Dick's (food) (as of this afternoon, Moby Dick has been removed from the list) , The Chocolate Sparrow, any of the ocean beaches after 3, Atlantic Spice Company.  The bike trails, salt march trails....

And then there are the Estate sales, which get their own new paragraph.  Here on the Cape is a mix of salt of the Earth, and wealth.  The estate sales for the wealthy are handled by companies that run the sales in the house of the deceased or those who are moving/selling.  They are often entire contents, ranging from Belleek china, to art, tools...etc.  This round of junking netted me hundreds of dollars worth of frames, for a mere 20.00.  If you go on the last day of the sale, deals are to be had! Oh, and did I mention the free shop that is by the Waste Management center? I got some really nice stuff there!

Well, off to today's adventures. Only one day of rain out of 8, and the temps in the mid 70's. Perfect for hiking and maybe a swim.

Oh and BTW. I've been told seals/sharks are not on the sound side.  Wrong. In the sound when the tide was coming in were a bunch of seals. Where there are seals, there are sharks.  Needless to say, I don't go in very far, and I watch the behavior of the seals. I go where others are swimming, I don't wear black, I don't splash around like a wounded seal, I don't bleed or pee in the water. The only bite marks I bear are from the sand flies.

Till the next report.....

Patti O Sand....

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Plein Air

I've been painting.  Happily painting.

In fields.

In my studio.

In the car.

In my head.

This is life as it should be. Spending every moment of your life doing what you love.

My recent works are jubilant with vitality and color. GREEN. VERDANT GREEN.
Get it while-you-can green.

It's great to be alive again. Fully alive.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Reinvention of Self- The Early Stages

My mentor reminded me that this reinvention of my life is not going to take 2 weeks, or 2 months - more likely 2 years!  It gives me permission to be easy on myself, take some time to recover from 21 years of a very stressful job,  and not put so much pressure on myself to immediately get to work.

"All will work out" is what others tell me,  and what has become my mantra.

So day by day I do things to help align the stars for my success. I put out feelers, I am building my Internet presence. I am developing relationships with shops that are carrying my cards. I have one private student, and am nearly finished with a bevy of paperwork to teach autistic adults for 1.5 hours once a week.  I held my first mentorship/art meeting with fellow artists. I have spend some time outside traveling and painting plein air, and photographing the landscape.  I have a solo show in October, and the gallery owner is coming tomorrow to see what I have so that I can figure out which direction to go.
I am doing some "junking" so that I have papers to make cards with and some things to resell to make money.

Not shabby for my first month of freedom.

I also have a pile of books and magazines on the subject of making art one's career, and finally hope to get to read all of them. I have finished a few, and each book had solid suggestions and points that helped me focus. Two that I read are The War of Art, and Living the Artist's Life. Both excellent reads, and come highly recommended. I must be careful to do more than read about it however- I must act.

Tonight's photo is of a painting I just finished.  Snowy fields in Rhinebeck that I had been dying to paint. My plein air paintings need a bit more work before I post, but they are coming along.  Finally I am painting several times a week, not several times a year.

I am happy. Really happy working my dream... no regrets. For sure.