Leaving aside the understanding that, as trees go, I am probably post-mature, it is nonetheless reassuring to read about a creative giant who admitted to struggling at times. At the moment, the productive juices are flowing but I also know better than to assume that today’s flow won’t transform itself into tomorrow’s ebb. Carpe-ing the diem, I therefore set aside today to double down on the three good-sized paintings on the go. There were winter reflections on water to tweak, a little girl whose hat and hair needed reworking, and a four by three foot canvas which had fully a third of its surface untouched by final glazes. Jon would have to cook supper, I decided.
Because it’s good to allow oil paintings to harden somewhat along the way, I forced myself to be patient and abandoned the studio this weekend to garden instead. It may be the horticultural equivalent of banker’s hours but it is simply too damned hot and humid to garden during the summer any more. Attacking the jungle on the far side of the house would distract me, I reasoned.. Surrounded by eight-foot bur marigolds, I shortly realized that having become a two-season gardener was going to cost me now. Luckily, a few desirables had survived, in fact thrived, despite total neglect — to whit, the spineless blackberries, English ivy and climbing hydrangeas were all as lush as I had ever seen them although none admitted to ever having previously met me or even seen humans. And even though the creeping Charlie, (which is gargantuan and has buried the path) wants to be addressed as “Striding Charles,” its Achille’s heel is spreading by runner. One steady pull is all it takes!
Appropriately, today it has rained continually and a girl's fancy can turn back to art. Not that today was any less work than having to machete the side garden but again time passes when you are absorbed with work. When I looked away from the easel, six hours had passed and my back felt like a corduroy road. But the fruits of my patient labour now lie in state -- flat on the dining room floor, surrounded by guards in the guise of dining room chairs. The biggest baby is below. It was murder to get a decent look at it today, what with small spaces and a dark day. There will be lots to adjust on Wednesday, when light and space return.
In the meantime, all of us here are counting on the hope that it won't be sporting a footprint or a pawprint by tomorrow morning.
And now I have to say bye-for-now because it seems I'm cooking supper.