Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Brain on Vacation

Hi again everyone. We are back from a wonderful two week vacation back East, visiting family and friends. (A new friend appears above.) I managed to squeeze in a quick morning visit to the Metropolitan Museum, an overwhelming source of inspiration everywhere you turn. I am constantly distracted as I supposedly make a straight path through various rooms to get to my destination. I was completely lost in a beautiful Spanish courtyard, hundreds of years old, for 30 minutes, looking at the intricate carvings and trying to imagine how in the world someone could have actually brought this courtyard back to the U.S. and installed it in their HOUSE, before it finally came to the Met.

I spent some time at a special exhibit on a 20th century artist named Murandi, but found his paint application and the actual still lifes became more and more unpleasant to me as I stayed there (hence, no pix!) so I went off to a wonderful exhibit of British prints from before, during and after WWI and was totally satisfied except for, sigh, a lack of time, time, time. (Does this ever change in life?) I gobbled a pastry and ran across Central Park (regretting that I didn’t have my camera to photograph the beautiful carvings along the way) to meet a dear friend in our series of many, many meeting and eating dates.

I was able to meet our two lovely editors from the Wind Dancers series and discovered that the Flat Iron Building is somewhat more charming on the outside than in the cramped offices inside. However, their new office has gently rounded glass windows at the triangle point and a beautiful city view down below. After traveling 3000 miles, I almost didn’t make to my appointment as the guard absolutely refused to let me up unless he could call the person I was visiting—only Barb’s name just happened to NOT be in his book; and he refused to let me use his phone to call her. Fortunately I kept the cell phone that day and could call up to get her extension number. Then the guard had to call her on his phone and have some five minute long discussion before Jo was finally allowed UP. I met lots of people whose names have been on emails and who work behind the scenes producing these lovely little books. And Barb and Susan took me out for a delicious Thai lunch –I had a great time!

For Thanksgiving, we went to the Jersey Shore –there is no place like it!—to my brother’s. Danny and I took a long morning walk on the Ocean City boardwalk, which is kind of sweet and tacky-nice out of season. It was a glorious morning.

While I took some photos of things that inspired me and made me want to paint, especially still life material, I had a lot of trouble making myself do the actual work that I had brought with me. I guess we all need a clean break occasionally. So, there were a few hours here and there, and some sketching on the plane, but otherwise I was a sloth, I must admit.

It was truly wonderful to catch up with old friends whom we see far too little, and the holiday with my family was precious, as it is rare that all of us are together, being so spread out across the country. But now, I am sliding back into the swing of work, work, work. I think I feel refreshed—I had a great time, but real life has a way of bearing down immediately when you get back with all of its imperative shoulds and musts.

However, I find myself very happy to be drawing and painting horses again, although I am already thinking about how I want to use my precious time in between sets of books, thinking carefully about what I might really want to paint during that period.

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