When my physics prof at university started on the far left with e=mc2 and four blackboards later had derived one of Newton's laws of motion, I was so impressed that I couldn't sleep that night. Years later, when another professor, this time a Hassidic rabbi, lit up the lecture hall with an equally brilliant exploration of comparative theology, again, no sleep.
And here I sit now, practically vibrating from a day with the luminous Elizabeth Robbins, who painted not one but TWO superb oil still lifes today in a workshop, all the while wielding her brush with a light touch not unlike the effortless way Yoyo Ma holds his bow. The word "gob-smacked" must have been invented for just such an occasion. I was transfixed. In the afterglow, drunk with excitement, I stagger around the house, set up spotlights, transpose today's notes, edit the digitals, and google artists whom Elizabeth has recommended. I suspect there will be lots of time throughout the night to think and plan. Teeny bit overstimulated.
Day Two: Yes, sleep would have been preferable, but the long night did give me time to think through how I could set up a similar studio still life arrangement. After climbing onto the kitchen counter multiple times to fish out old but beautiful crockery from the top shelf and digging through the linen closet for interesting textiles, I rigged up a light/shadow box and started arranging flowers. Fifty-some shots later, the roses were totally ragged and so was I. But Step One is done.
What I really want to work towards is looser painting. I'm quite a "tight" painter, I admit. The only time my florals were completely "loose" was after eye surgery (I had to wait to have a new prescription before I could even order glasses), and I compounded the reduced control by choosing watercolour on yupo "paper." This is one of my favourites from that period, long gone in a charity auction.