Old friends. Today I had lunch with an almost old friend (only friends for 12 years). Gord is a soon-to-retire-Mountie, and it was nice to see him and see the reflection of my passing years in him. But for my real 'old friends' there are deeper, closer thoughts. These are the handful of friends who are as tight as family (sometimes tighter) and who hold up the world for me when I struggle, whether it is from a bad sleep, a family death, or other sundry disasters. By the same token, these are the same people who hold up the mirror to remind me when I am at my best and cannot see it. Like I said, a small handful of precious love, that's what these friends are. I don't collect many friends, but lord knows that I hang on to those I have and love and cherish them. Do you? Friends and family...n
Or is that "yikes, does time ever fly!"? I was making an appointment today and was taken aback when I realized it is the last week of January. I feel like I just took my Christmas lights down (oh...I DID just take my Christmas lights down...). Yes, the illusion of time does appear to 'fly'. I have become one of the multitudes of 'retired' persons who wonders how I ever found time to go to work every day for thirty-plus years. Life just happened, and I feel I neglected being engaged in enough of it...too damned busy or too damned tired. The mantra of the worker-bee-cum-artist/wife/ex-wife/aunt/sister/daughter/daughter-in-law/ex-daughter-in-law/employee/manager/teacher/coach...you get the picture. Actually, it may even BE your picture. If it is, listen-up! This life is truly not a dress-rehersal. Live as big as you can. Bigger, even. Be loving, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, considerate, creative, generous, and at least 50% selfish. Be all of those things to yourself as well as to others. If you do not love yourself and find yourself worthy, how will anyone else? And, please, don't litter. Okay, Ceci...get off the soap-box for tonight. Goodnight, Gracie.
For hundreds of years artists have used tools to help them with composition, perspective, relationships, and simply getting the image onto the surface. Whether by graphing, using a variety of 'view-finders', a camera obscura, or a modern digital SLR, the goal is the same - get the work going. Today I hear so many different opinions (i.e. judgements) on the merits or sins of using supplementary tools. According to some, using anything beyond a pencil is comparable to selling your artist soul to the devil (a figure of speech, of course). Myself, I have one more to throw into the fray....and I find it to be the handiest 'tool' for anyone who paints from photographs...the iPAD! I have all my subject photos loaded into my iPAD, where I can call them up and, with a few pinches on the screen, enlarge areas of interest to view details, subtle lighting effects, eye colour(!). I have used my laptop in the past but the size of the iPAD, the portability, and convenience of the touch-screen has won me over...try it - you'll love it.
The new year is already well on its' way, amazingly enough. New opportunities for all kinds of exploration - artistic, spiritual, travel...unlimited. The very act of going to an outside studio is a ringing reminder that the creative process does not just unfold and reveal itself for many of us. While I will not exactly call it 'work', I will acknowledge the effort and focus it requires from me. I think it used to come easier, in the past. when I could turn out fanciful creations, make unique designs, and simply 'produce'. I remember going to the Filberg Festival and literally having two hundred dolls for sale, most one-of-a-kind. Now, to make a painting, I think, and think, and think. New ground and always challenging. But that's what is so intriguing, isn't it?
At last! After talk-talk-talking for two years about creating some sort of a web-site, Weebly to the rescue and it was up and active yesterday, my birthday (oh, and New Years Eve). It needs some polishing, which it will get, but the big work is done. The funny thing is that it was really no work at all. Still not sure if I can link to others, but I'll figure it all out. The year holds some changes for me. It will be my first full year of retirement (yay!), and I have just sub-let studio space in Vancouver so for the first time I will be painting away from my home studio. My goal, as always is to seek and share beauty and harmony, and grow as an artist. There is ALWAYS room for that...and for polishing my writing skills.
I describe myself as a seeker. I try to always be growing and learning, and to be making contributions - to give back. I believe strongly in the 'pay it forward' approach to life. Every smile, every kind act, is a ripple that carries forward and affects others. If nothing else, be kind.