Let’s start with home. Somehow, I actually succeeded in establishing successional flowering, so the garden is always filled with insect and bird life. Fewer honeybees but lots of solitary bees. Even if I can’t spot the orioles and the red bellied woodpeckers, their calls announce their presence. It’s worth your life to wander past the bird feeder, which whistles with arrivals and departures. Jon’s tweak on outsmarting Einstein, our young raccoon neighbour, has met with some success and the feeder now belongs again to those with wings. Only one old tree has fallen down this year so cautious optimism prevails. The butternut towers over all, resplendent again with a full crown of leaves this year. Phew.
Not that much time is sacrificed to gardening. We are more likely to be hiking or paddling, now that the extreme heat wave has passed. Theodore trucks along beside us, festooned with water weeds or bringing home samples of all soil types. Even though I trimmed his underbody, the clearance is still only a few inches, and thus his tendency to street-sweep wherever we go. Maybe we should rent him to the city in the spring.
Summer this year has also brought the opportunity to see friends, after a winter of work projects and interior chaos. Everything seems less rushed when the sun sets late and we linger around the table.
So what’s missing in this "picture"? You’re right. Days go by without a moment even to prep some canvases or panels, let alone begin a painting. So it was a small but significant step forward this week to finish the grisaille on a 16 x 16 botanical. The background will be just suggested, and the flower heads explored in detail.
Of course, summer means that drying time is A LOT SLOWER. (Contrary wise, as Alice would say, a humid summer day is the only time we oil painters can manage in acrylic because drying time (well, you know).
Today, when Jon returns from cycling with the guys, we plan to explore a new river.. Can't do that in February. But maybe tomorrow, if the grisaille is dry I can also start the colour foundation....