Sunday, April 17, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

Now that it is getting warmer, I am all about the prep.  Prepare the flower beds for new plants to come and mulch to keep them tidy.  Clean the deck furniture and put it out so I can sit and enjoy the sun.  Sweep the spider bodies out of the studio, wash the floors and open the windows to air it out. Restore the easel and paints to their proper home.

As I move from one thing to another, the soft music of the wind in the trees does its thing as it always does and when I find a sample canvas board from the trade show in January, I rub my fingers across its smooth surface and imagine what would be nice to paint on it.

It has been a long time since I picked up my oil paints.  Working mostly in acrylics for some time, the mysteries and quirks of a different medium seemed like extra work.  But it is such a nice small board - only 6" x 6".  Not big, not daunting at all.  I loved oil painting once and perhaps this spring was the perfect time to experiment. After all, it is just about the prep.

My hand led the way and my experiment became an experience.  Everything I loved about oil painting came back with every stroke.  The flexibility of blending, the fluidity of motion - they all conspired to draw me in and I loved every minute of it.

Rocky Cove by Donna Saiia

Monday, April 4, 2011

Under the Eaves

In all homes, there are hidey-holes where the treasures of our lives reside.  Mine have several homes, the most notable is under the eaves where boxes (plural) of photos and mementos lie in wait.  Albums fill most of a bookcase beside my desk chronicling special events, trips and the growth of our family's history.  What is not yet in the albums is under the eaves. And there is a lot of it.

Saturday was the perfect day for me to sort thru the mementos and see what should be kept and what should go.  The pictures are wonderful reminders of happy times but do I really need ticket stubs and playbills?  I don't think my decendents need quite that much detail of my everyday life!

Café Florian
Caffe Florian, Venice
I found treasures and photos of some events which would have slipped my mind forever without the visual jog.  In the bottom of one box I found a packet of sugar from the Caffe Florian in Venice where Bob and I swooned as we listened to the musicians play.  Not something I consciously saved but something which slipped to the bottom of the box unnoticed until I found it the other day and I could hear the music once again and feel the vast darkness of Piazza San Marco surround us like a velvet cape. I remember the soft coo and rustling feathers of pigeons settling in for the night knowing that another feast will await them in the morning when the tourists wake up and explore.

Moments in time - my time - sometimes shared with others, sometimes experienced alone.  Savored.  I think I will make a cup of tea now and sprinkle some sugar slowly over the brew.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day Snowstorm

'Only that day dawns to which we are awake'  Thoreau, Walden
It started snowing last evening and continued thru the night leaving us with a magnificent white world in the morning.  Heavy, wet snow blanketed everything - bowing branches to the ground and clinging to the ice still frozen on the lake creating a sinuous path around the point.

I want to stay home with a cup of tea and just sit by the front window and watch the snow cascade down the pine branches like little avalanches.  My job awaits, though, and I settle for what I know will be a beautiful drive into work.  As always, I am enthralled by this brief encounter with nature, knowing the day will bring changes and what I see now will not be there later.  I am a little sad that my responsibilities keep me from enjoying it to fullness.