Monday, August 10, 2015

Best summer. Ever!

It's done. It's over. Summer vacation is gone. But it was a really, really good one. From the moment the kids got out of school until yesterday. It was good. Well, except for the jaw surgery I had in the beginning of June. So, other than that excruciating pain for weeks and the inability to eat solid food for 6 weeks, it was a really good summer. 

Please note that although I did not paint much at all this summer I did paint. While recovering from surgery to overcome the boredom of daytime television and constant liquid pain medication and smoothies, I sat in a chair in front of my easel and painted. I took my time, too. Had to. And I enjoyed those moments.

But this summer was really good. My husband was home all summer with us (one time deal with work), my kids were more independent, they actually got along really well on all the trips we took no matter where we went. We spent more time together as a family over a longer period of time than ever before and it was priceless. 

And lucky me, I got to go to Austin, Texas for a sectionals swim meet in the middle of all of this. I spent four days in that cool city. Ate some good food and visited some nice galleries. Plus, I was lucky enough to see the work of Robin Cheers in person. Love her work. Also, got to see a Saliha Staib (Baton Rouge artist- originally from France) painting in person as well. Gorgeous. Got to meet cool gallery owners and managers and chat about the artists and their work. What a rush for me. I'm glad my daughter is a fast swimmer!

We did the college tour thing, too, and went to 6 colleges in four days. Thank goodness, we ended up in North Carolina at gorgeous Lake Gaston. I realized while there that my sister has more of my artwork in her house than I do. Actually framed and hanging on the walls in her house. Kind of weird and fun to see my work on display like that. Loved it. 

One of the fun, short-lived, experiences was leaving the Biltmore estate properties and seeing fields and fields of sunflowers and two plein air painters out there enjoying every minute of it. I wanted to pull over and talk to them and pull out my own easel but there was a resounding "no" from the three others in the car. I believe they were hungry or something. I just know how lucky those guys were out there painting in low humidity, under the shade of big trees, gazing across this beautiful field of sunflowers and painting. Is my jealously showing?

So, from St. John, US Virgin Islands to jaw surgery, through Austin, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and back to Baton Rouge, I painted, but very little. I was able to secure, however, one new commission (a secret) and one not-so-secret commission plus a sale. 

But this week, I've been back. Back to painting and it feels good. It feels better because I spent a lot of time with my family. I did a lot of thinking and reflecting and figuring out this painting thing. We did cooking and canning and cleaning and traveling and garage wall painting. But now, I'm back at it. I'm back at the easel each day and I'm more grateful for it.

So this time I'm posting a bunch of non-paint related photos of my summer. You know you want to see them! And then I'm going back to painting.

My new summer home. Well, not really, it's the Biltmore.
But they should rented it out to me for a small fee.

Selfies never work out like I think they will. That's me on left. Child on right.

Sugar Mill in St. John. Rum mill sounds better.
No selfies have been taken by me because teenagers think I can't see straight.
Doesn't matter that they're right. (see glasses on my head)

Beautiful Leinster Bay, St. John - Has a coral reef trail that we swam.
Saw an octopus!! "Look, a starfish!"

Canning figs into preserves and "strawberry" jelly! YUM!

Cool graffiti tunnel at NC State. "Don't stop, Mom. Keep moving with the tour."

Most mornings post surgery. Cold packs for a few days and then warm packs.

Me taking a selfie. Told you it never works out.

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