I’ve been back from Ireland for a little over a week now, enough time to recover from jet lag and to host a big Thanksgiving gathering. Also enough time to pin up my paintings on paper from the residency in the studio and to make progress on a large new panel as the smaller paintings hover in the corner of my vision. I notice that my interest in visual texture seems to go up a few notches with every exposure to the Irish landscape. The often misty atmosphere there adds such beautiful intensity to the rich, rugged surfaces and textures. Rocks, lichens, dry grasses, fields, clouds and sea--all of the paintings I did during my time at Cill Rialaig were textural studies in response to what I saw around me. In terms of color, I was especially struck this time by the contrasts of gray (rocks, sky, water, bare trees) with the golds and subtle greens of late autumn.
Although I feel a strong pull to the studio, re-entry into regular life after a long trip has its own demands. I have a huge to-do list of computer work, including finalizing my schedule for 2013 classes, and editing and fine-tuning a new website devoted to painting with cold wax medium that will go live sometime in December. After weeks in Ireland when I used my laptop only for photos and sporadic Facebook and blog posts (during trips to the outside world) it’s once again my constant companion. (I have to say I enjoyed that drastic reduction in computer time.) As is true for most artists trying to make a living, the challenge once again is balancing studio time with the rest of what it takes to run a career and keep things somewhat organized and moving ahead. I’m finding it hard to get back into this busy, efficient mode though after my idyllic and restful time in Ireland. Maybe a few more days of down time will help…
I actually have a few months now before teaching and the accompanying travel begins. This is a time during the winter that I try to set aside each year for my studio and for workshop preparation. Starting in February though, I have a full schedule.
I’d like to mention a couple of my Oil and Wax Workshops (both are intro level) that are coming up fairly soon, and are now open for registration. The first class of the year will be February 15-17 in Florida, at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts
. This is a lovely facility, and it is perfect timing for a winter escape to what promises to be a warm, charming Florida city. My workshop is part of a new program for the art center that features top level visiting artist/instructors. Click on the link above for more information if you’re interested in joining me there.
A few weeks later, I am scheduled to teach a four day workshop at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta (March 9-12) and from then on, my schedule is fully booked with workshops and residencies. (Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not yet on my mailing list and you’d like to receive my 2013 schedule when it is ready in early January. Also please email me for more information about the Atlanta class, or to register.)
For now, though, I’m enjoying the pleasures of home after weeks away, the lingering post-Thanksgiving glow from visiting with family and friends, and the memories of Ireland that accompany me in the studio. It’s a time to pause and feel grateful, and to know that somehow, everything that needs to get done, will.