I was out at our house in the redwoods this week for a little respite and of course with home ownership come chores. There are some things that must be done and my ongoing battle with three fierce enemies is a summer ritual. My battle for dominance is akin to the Game of Thrones series. For those of you unfamiliar with Game of Thrones, there are multiple competing forces all vying to rule a fantasy world. I can’t really keep track of who’s who most of the time; and there really doesn’t seem to be a clear good guy, but there are clearly bad guys….any how, I took on my annual battle with the forces of nature like Khaleesi fighting the despicable slavery lords. My three opponents are these: One- the wily Poison Oak, clever at disguising itself – it can be a shrub, a vine and often likes to hide among other plants lying in wait to spread it’s itch inducing oils. Two- the spiny Blackberry, armed from leaf to root with thorns and able to amass a great, vast, impenetrable army of shrubbery to defend itself. Three- Scotch Broom, an invasive species that shoots up everywhere, really everywhere, like the Zombie White Walkers in the afore mentioned fantasy world; and left unchecked can take over a hillside in a year or two. So those are my enemies, and while the weapon of a hoe is honorable and effective, it is no match for these voracious foes. Don’t hate me for bringing out the big guns, Round Up and a two-gallon hand pump sprayer is my bazooka, or to keep the Game of Thrones metaphor going the Round Up is akin Daenerys Targaryen’s mighty flying dragons defending her territory from all comers. Fingers crossed I have kept my rivals at bay for another year, but never fear, season 12 is just one rainy winter and sunny spring away.
Last week the inaugural Drink & Draw get-together happened here in Healdsburg. It was a small gathering of three intrepid sketchers during the happy hour at Brava’s a local eatery and bar with a lovely patio. We all happened to be drawing on our iPads but we would have welcomed any and all mediums. It’s interesting to draw in public, you have to be open to the observer and the curious so the inner critic must be stilled, one must quiet the disapproving quiet commentary and share. It was funny that we were indeed able to drink and draw but we were all so intent on our work that we didn’t do much talking and drawing. Maybe next time we can loosen up a little more to drink, draw and talk. I figure any day my energies are lean towards creating and away from judging is a good day. So figure out how to spend more time making and why not try it with a beer and a friend or two!
In my last post I talked about a pleasant evening drawing alone- but today I did something I have not done in a long time – I went out and painted in public- and not only that I did it with a friend! Most of my pursuit of art is a solitary hunt sitting in my wee closet of a studio lingering and laboring on whatever project or problem I have going that day. I want to say right up front that my turtle time, as we call it in my house, in my studio is sacred, a much needed respite for this performing introvert, but today my sketching and chatting away the afternoon was more than lovely. My friend Diane and I have been threatening to get together and make art for ages and never getting to it but today we both made it a priority. We met at a lovely local hotel lobby and sat down with two pots of tea, Diane got out her watercolors and sketchbook and I got out my Ipad. We painted and talked about our lives and art and deep things and shallow things all the while sketching. We both agree that the word “sketching” holds less pressure than painting or drawing – we were just “sketching” – the waiter and few passers by peeked at our progress- and this public process required that we share and so we did, no precious master work to keep covered until perfected- we were just “sketching”. And so three hours passed, worries rested, and the niggling nagging to-do list waited patiently in the car while we sat and appreciated the curve of the cup and the polish of the teapot, observed the overflowing flowers and the overstuffed chairs – I am grateful for this little reminder of the extraordinary gift of ordinary things, and plan to get out of my closet more often!