“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo PicassoToday everything is HARD. Focusing on tasks that need to be completed–HARD. Anticipating tasks that need to be started–HARD. Tearing myself away from daily news about our nation’s upended political climate–EXTREMELY HARD. Right now all that’s keeping me somewhat sane is making art. It isn’t required to be good, it doesn’t need to be finished – it just needs to be made. Embracing a new medium – cold wax and oil paint – has been a lifesaver. When I’m immersed in the process “the dust of everyday life” settles and all that matters is the board, the paint, the palette knife, the color, the lines, the smell…the silence of the studio. I can breathe–anger and fear are momentarily replaced with happiness and wonder. It’s only temporary, but it’s enough – a brief pause to recharge my soul before I’m once again covered and ready to deal with life’s dust. Engaging in my life-long practice of embroidery, by creating original samplers is soothing and joyful as well.
Hibernating has been my modus operandi for the last eight days as we weathered eleven-plus inches of snow here in the Rose City. It was both a blessing and a curse. My knitting skills have greatly improved thanks to the weather – with 11 “pussyhats” completed and soon-to-be on friend’s and family’s noggins for this Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington in D.C., San Francisco, Boston, NYC, Eugene and here in Portland. Unfortunately my studio time has been almost nonexistant – reading, drinking tea, walks in the neighborhood, going to movies and general lolling about have occupied my days. Yesterday I walked to Collage – supporting local small businesses is especially important when inclament weather strikes – and purchased gouache and some brushes. This sketchbook piece had been started at the beach, during a break in the Portland Open Studios board retreat, using this recently purchased book – Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art . Van Gogh’s painting, La Berceuse (Woman Rocking a Cradle; Augustine-Alix Pellicot Roulin) was inspiring. Playing around with colored pencils and gouache today was too much fun and I’m looking forward to more experimentation!Speaking of Portland Open Studios – the Call to Artists is now open. Here’s the postcard I designed, along with the new logo. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow board members this year – this organization’s 19th – to create a wonderful event for participating artists and the public!