This was the setting of where I painted from 10am – 5pm Saturday. It was the backyard of a 1920’s 2 acre estate (originally 6 acres) that was restored to it’s former glory. It was the official meeting place for the Croquet Society of Avondale Estates. Very, very beautiful. I felt like Monet getting to paint all day in a garden. This photo does not come close to capturing the many gardens, adorable potting shed, 1 bedroom cottage, coy pond, nesting owl and fig trees I painted near. Oh my! The owners did absolutely everything themselves and it truly took your breath away. I got to meet so many fabulous people and painted a garden scene which I will put online as soon as the finishing touches are done. An unbelievable day. One I was truly grateful to have had the honor of being a part of.
Not a new style, but a new format!
Ok, so my family (as in kids and hubbie) left Thursday morning for El Paso to visit. Yes, I have been ALONE since then. My husband does not get back for a week and the kids won’t return for almost 4 weeks. Heh, heh, heh….I can hear all you mom’s out there being jealous. No really, I can! For those of you without kids, you might not be able to imagine the blissful peace I have been experiencing. You all know I adore my family, but people, everyone needs some alone time now and again. I cleaned house the first morning just so that I could enjoy seeing it STAY clean hour after hour. Oh the joy!! Then I went and bought groceries JUST FOR ME. No pop tarts, no hot dogs, no mac and cheese! Then, imagine this mothers, I went to Borders! I walked leisurely through the store. I sat, read magazines, perused books. I finally bought the book on writing and illustrating for children I have wanted. I then drove home when I wanted to, not when the complaining about being bored got too annoying. More joy!
I got in 3 freelance jobs as well that day and one is doing a logo for a Frisbee Dog company. So fun! So Friday was spent working at home and onsite, then I had a painting to finish for a client today. But later that night I worked on another painting. See, I have challenged myself to try new things with this freetime. Try new styles, and imagine this, new subject matter! So each day I will try something new, hopefully somehting that gets me out of my comfort zone. Trust me, posting this gets me out of my comfort zone! I can show anyone my dogs all day long, but something else? Very scary. Not sure what I will try next, but I will let you know.
Meanwhile I simply must get back to drinking my tea and sitting on my front porch with the dogs. I am going to a friend’s garage sale later and to a festival to buy something for my dad for Father’s Day. Tonite I am painting at the restaurant. All this freedom and permission…I hardly know what to do with myself!
Sophie collects things. Rocks, pinecones, sticks that fit her criteria for being a treasure. No matter where we go, or what walk we take, she finds treasures. Most of the time at the end of our walks I am holding about 10 different kinds of leaves. Ever since it got warm out I have loved being able to take these walks with Sophie. She reminds me of my summer days as a child. Where the evening seemed to last forever and my sisters and I ended each night catching fireflies. Last night I sat on the porch and watched Noah and Sophie catch them. We have a catch and release policy. (just in case there is a firefly needing to get home to his mommy)
I live for these perfect moments where you realize what is most important to you in life. Where you are filled to the tip of your soul with a knowing that life is good and sometimes you just have to look at it from a different angle some days.
1. Playing in the community pool with Kevin, Noah and Sophie today.
2. Feeling the sun warm on my face as I lay and listen to the sounds of laughing, joyous kids. The sound of ‘school’s out!’ is so, so sweet.
3. The picture Sophie’s teacher sent her in the mail of her in her birthday tiara from her school party in today’s mail.
4. The little red bird painting I want to buy from Lori Joy Smith. (I already emailed her about it!)
5. Rufus laying at my feet right now because he has to be in whatever room I am.
6. The full moon outside the window right now.
7. The feeling of hope and peace that has returned to my soul and realizing everything is just cyclical.
8. Knowing that God has a plan for me, even if I can’t figure out what the heck it is.
Oh, how I wish I could have written the words of Miss Andrea or Miss Keri today, but how amazing that I read them. When such amazing people share such amazing wisdom, I could cry that I am so lucky to be living at a time information is so increadibly accessible. But even with all this technology, it still takes the generosity of beautiful people like them to make it all possible. Thank you, thank you for words I so needed to hear lately. And in case anyone who reads my blog might have missed their’s today, you MUST go read them.
Here is the door I painted for the Decatur Arts Festival. All doors got auctioned off the last day to raise money for the festival. Sophie and I walked up to the squre to watch the auction and enjoy the last hours of the way too hot day of the festival. It can be really nice to go see other artists instead of be one of them every once in a while. the change in perspective is nice.
In other news I am kind of enjoying the lack of pressure with my painting. It feels weird not to be thinking of it every second of the day. Commissions are still coming in and I still have festivals to go to the rest of the summer, but I am not stressing about it. I paint at Tu Tu Tango Saturday nights and really, really enjoy that. I began a new painting last Saturday that I am really excited about. It is not a commission, it is just for me, and I had lots of people come up and ask about it. It felt really nice to not be painting for the purpose of selling. I applied for a few jobs last week, contacted 2 creative temp agencies and am seeing if any of that has some interesting possiblities. I have a feeling that this summer will be about change. And change brings growth, right? I am feeling much more my optimistic self these past few days after a huge pity party I threw for myself on Saturday. But really, a good cry is like a great thunderstorm. You feel all fresh and renewed afterward. Life is an adventure, and I guess you just have to be willing to go with it all the hills and valleys that come with it.