Echo XXIII

It always feels good when I’ve gotten past the halfway point in a painting.  My painting speed definitely picks up when I’m more finished, than not, and increases exponentially until it’s complete.  It’s funny, my paintings used to go so fast, and now it seems that my style and my methods have taught me to have a lot more patience.  It’s odd that I’ve even allowed myself to slow down on my work like this.  I’m such an impatient person, in general.  This patience thing, if I do say so myself, has all been for the better.

Echo XXIIIoil on panel

48″x48″

I’ve been toying with the idea of painting on canvas or linen.  Toying so much that I’m removing a window in my studio to extend a wall so I can set up my canvas there.  Why am I doing this?  Well, I LOVE my panels, I mean LOVE.  Painting on wood was a love I discovered one day when I was working in my studio in Baton Rouge.  I haven’t put a brush to canvas since maybe the late 90’s.  My hopes in moving back to a fabric surface is that this will help to alleviate the risk of damage and also make shipping a lot easier.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the surface will lend itself to my style and we will work well together.

The Long and Winding Road Back Home

Up to Thursday, September 16th of last week my friend George and I had been working tirelessly on a grant to help rebuild our little non-profit cultural education organization, Frederick l’Ecole des Arts.  George delivered the package to FedEx to be delivered overnight and in their hands on Friday morning.  We are now holding our breath to see if our organization makes it to the next round.  So, for the rest of Thursday, I kind of felt like someone had let all the air out of my tires.  It was weird, it was like all that crazy, frenetic, 5 hour long phone conferences, staying up till one the morning stuff, though it exhausted me, gave me a sense of purpose.  When all of it was over, I felt kind of sad.  But then Friday morning came, the sun was shining, I put on my music and picked up my brush, and got back to work on my poor, neglected Echo XXIII, YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so this weekend my family and I headed to Wheeling, West Virginia to visit with my mom and dad.  It’s a kind of difficult thing to do because, well, my dad is getting really old.  He’s only 73, but he’s been suffering with all kinds of problems.  He recently had surgery on his spine.  He’d been having a great deal of pain couldn’t walk because of stenosis.  At least now the pain is pretty much gone, but he’s struggling so hard to regain his strength.  His muscles had atrophied so much.  On top of his physical problems, he is also having signs of memory loss and other related issues with the mind.  My dad was a very powerful attorney in his day.  A really smart man with quick wit and incredibly handsome.  He looks so much like George Clooney that when I see George Clooney in a movie, it’s like watching my dad.

So we spent hours talking to my dad, engaging him in conversations and watching old home movies.  In the movies I watched as my sisters and I used to spend hours doing handstands against the wall, turning cartwheels, playing in the snow, swimming and just goofing around.  Looking back at my mom and dad in their youth.  It was great to reminisce about the past, and I really enjoyed seeing us dressed in the styles of the 70’s and early 80’s.  Oh man did we kill a lot of plaid!

The one lesson I am taking from this weekend is that I don’t want to wait until I retire to do the things I want to do, travel, live in exotic places, learn new languages, etc…  My dad never got to enjoy his retirement.  He worked up until he couldn’t anymore, and now he is old and struggling to maintain some type of quality of life.  My husband’s father had a similar experience, dying in his sixties as a result of radiation treatment he had received in his thirties for cancer.  He too never retired, worked up until the day he had his heart surgery.  Unfortunately, the damage and calcification was too great.  He was never able to fully recover and passed four months after the operation, never being able to leave a medical facility because of his fragility.  Life is precious and short.  I know my days are numbered and I want to be able to look back and know that I have done it all.

Go West!

I received some good news yesterday.  A call came in from Melissa Morgan of Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert, California.  She discussed her interest in representing me at her gallery.  Now, I had been thinking for a long time about representation in California. Los Angeles was an obvious choice of cities, for me, as I have a friend out there I can visit and it’s such a hopping metropolis.  But I hadn’t really done any research into the gallery scene there, so it was still just an idea floating around in my head.

Then I received an email about a week and a half ago from Melissa asking if I might be interested in showing in her gallery.  At that point I got on the computer and started checking things out.  The gallery looks beautiful and Ms. Morgan really seems to be a “go getter” type of person.  I was pretty impressed, so, taking the proverbial “leap of faith,” I accepted her offer and am getting to work on six new paintings to ship out to her.  I will keep you posted as to when those paintings will be shipping out.

You can find out more about Melissa Morgan Fine Art at www.melissamorganfineart.com

DC, Annapolis, and My Kids

This past Sunday the weather here in Maryland was simply divine so we headed down to Washington DC early to walk around a bit and enjoy the sights before heading to Siroc on 15th for dinner with friends.  Okay, maybe I should not have worn my black boots for walking, but hey, I wanted to feel pretty.  You know, in all the years I have lived here, I don’t think I had been down to DC on a Sunday.  That place is absolutely dead, it was almost impossible to find a parking garage that was open.  I was completely blown away when all the coffee shops had closed by 6.  We eventually found a little hole in the wall kind of place that served instant coffee.  Not my idea of a great coffee experience, but it supplied the needed caffeine.

At 7:30 we (husband and I) strolled over to Siroc and met our friend Javier who was visiting from Chicago.  As a surprise he had also invited a mutual friend Coqui.  My husband Phil had met Javier and Coqui when he worked on the school newspaper at SMU.  Conversation topics at the table ranged from politics (of course, we are in DC), to marriage, to fabulous NYU law seminars (including dinners at fancy NY restaurants) my husband enjoyed during his year there, to Latin America and the drug problems in Mexico, to thoughts of where we would wish to retire some day, and finally to our adventures in parenting.  We were the last table to leave and had spent about 4 hours talking, it was just wonderful 🙂

On Monday Javier’s flight wasn’t leaving till about 7PM so we decided to take a jaunt out to Annapolis and enjoy steamed crabs at Cantler’s.  Another divine day of low humidity drew us to sitting outside by the water.  After lunch we headed into downtown Annapolis walked around and enjoyed the remnants of our weekend, sans children.  Before leaving town to head over to my sister’s house (she had brought our boys back from their visit with Nana and Boompah) I bought them some fake “gold teeth” that they could wear with pride.  Just a little something to welcome them home.  It was perfect.

La Fête Cultural and New-Nu’s is Better than No-Nu’s

Last week I took a trip down to Louisiana for two events, La Fête Cultural in New Orleans and New-Nu’s is Better than No-Nu’s in Lafayette.  Both events were fundraisers, the first for The Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation and the second for the rebuilding of Frederick l’Ecole des Arts (the organization for which I am president).

I had donated a painting, “Yellow Apples and White Orchid” to be auctioned in La Fête and was happy that it sold.

 

Yellow Apples and White Orchid36″ x 18″