August 29, 2012

Summer Wrap Up

Emily Trespas, Hose, oil on linen,  8 x 10  ins.
(A plein air paint-sketch painted at Rosalie's Farm Stand, Peterborough, NH)

As I head off for my fall sabbatical, I am home taking inventory of my art supplies and deciding on painting supports. What to bring to my October art retreat at the Constance Saltonstall Arts Colony (Ithaca, New York) is a tough decision. I will pack my paints (oil, acrylic, and watercolor) and drawing materials (vine charcoal, pen & ink). Keeping it simple will create some level of consistency in what I create. 

I spent a lot of greenbacks on canvases from Utrecht's yesterday and want to feel good about working on a bigger scale. Painting larger (in oil/acrylic...and maybe watercolor) is one of my creative sabbatical goals. In July I started with the 20 x 20 inch canvas for the Sharon Arts Center "Paint Out" and really enjoyed the freedom it invited. In graduate school (Cornell Univeristy) I painted and drew on giant rolls of photo back drop paper and canvas. So this will be a nice return, not only to the area but to working grander. 

No matter what, I'll see what happens when I get there and am in the Ellis Hollow and gorges landscapes. I don't want to get too locked into scale choices when what is more important to me is exercising my use of color, and exploring the intersection and tangling of representation and abstraction.

some small sketch-style supports

Approaching the smaller surfaces as sketch prep will be a good start. I don' want to get too fussy with my paintings. I believe it happened in the Paint Out piece; I over-worked the details. But I usually feel this way. So I will continue to warm up with my 30-second to two-minute watercolor sketch thumbnails before setting to work at the easel. I purchased some Yupo paper to try out in addition to some 300 lb Hot/Cold pressed Arches.

A view from roof parking at Brigham and Women's, Boston, MA

A week's perspective has helped my outlook about my hip and still not being able to run. What a pity nonetheless, as I will be in the Finger Lakes region and planned my art retreat around a race out there that I can't run. Alas. There will always be races to run. If I make choices that align with who I am, my life is as it is meant to be. Happy and moving ahead!

August 21, 2012

Time Flies

I just returned from meeting with my hip doctor (the calm, cool and collected Dr. Scott Martin at Brigham and Women's). 

There is good news: I am getting better ......more flexibility in my hip and back—many thanks to PT and Ana's excellent work. The hip joint pain is not as strong as it was in May. I can step up with out excruciating pain and drive stick shift with out hobbling from the car to the house. There is hope. The best news is I do not need surgery. If I follow the doctor's advice......

There is not-so-good news: (well depends on one's point-of-view I suppose). "No impact sports. No running. ESPECIALLY NO RUNNING FOR 5 YEARS until your hip and related problems are free and clear." Bummer.

With my love of running as strong as it is, I will continue to be involved as I have been (while recovering & not running) by volunteering and designing for races and runners. Yes, there are a lot of other physical activities to which I can look forward!

August 08, 2012

Hip Check—Vermont

Candle Light Camping Dinner, Vermont
While camping in such a beautiful state it was hard to resist the lure of outdoor adventures. I tested my hip with a gentle climb up the fire-tower atop Mt. Olga, worked out my back paddling on Somerset, and loosened up tent-sleeping parts swimming in lakes. While my hip was not terribly resolved,  I am slowly on the mend...unless I do too much, too soon.  Last week, my PT scolded me for adding on 5 extra minutes to a 10 minute elliptical session. UGH!  BY "slow return," she means SLOWER-than-the-tortoise SLOW. 

Some areas are slower to mend than others

The 2011 water line on a building, Wilmington, Vermont

In contrast to my hip's healing stands Vermont's recovery after Hurricane Irene. While passing through only a sliver of "Irene's Wrath," I was both saddened for the loss as well as inspired by re/growth prompted by change. What impressed me most were how much communities had already rebuilt, reinforced and regrouped after the floods. From such mass destruction emerged rejuvenation. Still, there is tremendous work and healing to be achieved.
Once a small brook. Quiet before a spring melting.

The progress was obvious to me but seems to have slowed if my gut serves me. Is relief money flowing where it should?  I am amazed at how easily we forget the winds and rains from last August and our various brushes with inconvenience while families re-frame homes, find alternate routes and mourn.