Thursday, October 06, 2016

So, About a Month Later, and Poetry

Well, it's been awhile.  Yesterday I drove to Bangor and the Airline Road was bursting with colorful trees.  Had I not been worried about being late to my appointment, I could have enjoyed the drive more, but the more relaxed way back was glorious.  It seems like just the other day I was extolling the beauty of Spring.  Now Fall brings a different beauty with other emotional overtones.  I guess it is like late middle life when you compare it with a human life-span.  There is beauty without anticipation of more to come........an almost hysterical beauty brought on by knowledge of the looming Winter.  I've wondered if people experience the seasons as we do in other climates.  The changes are more subtle as you move away from the equator.  When I visited the southwest, I thought I understood why "manana" was such a pervasive idea.  With the days so much the same, there is really no reason to hurry.  What can be done today can easily be done tomorrow.  Of course my perceptions of life in hot climates is based on the very superficial observations of a perspiring tourist who couldn't believe anybody would chose to live there.

The top picture is the view from my window, magnified by the zoom of my camera.  In summer there are sailboat races in the bay, bringing gentility.  The rest of the year I see fishing boats and cargo ships in their place, working.  The bottom............a slice of Eastport life in warm weather.  There is a group of men who walk their dogs past my house almost every day.  Sometimes the group is bigger.  It is such a happy group of guys, most of them who are here only in the summer.  I asked them if I could take their picture, and then I did this painting of them.  It made me happy every time I worked on it, and now it makes me happy hanging on my kitchen wall.

As I got ready to sit down and drink my coffee this morning, I came across a book that came with a set of CD's I have of poetry being read.  The book talks about the authors of the poems, who wrote between 1888 and 2006.  It appeared among some forgotten books I was moving to a different spot.  As I thumbed through it, I wished that I was inclined to read more, and a bigger variety.  As it is I spend only about an hour and a half every day on the couch with a book.  I read mostly novels, but there was a time when I listened to tapes, and later CD's, of poems being read by their authors while I painted.  What a sad thing that I stopped doing that.  Poetry ads a whole new dimension to life.  It puts you in another place where things are contemplated and beautifully stated.  The words themselves are the same as what we hear coming out of our mouths every day, yet they are arranged in such a way as to elevate the language, and therefore our thoughts and feelings.

I really must get back to that.





























Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Two New Paintings

I have been busy with visitors again....you'd think I was a gregarious soul, but I am not.  Not only that, but I have another guest coming in a week, my friend Josie from Milwaukee.  Nevertheless, I've painted these two paintings.  The first is the last gasp of the series of the neighborhood around my house.  It started as  a drawing that was going to rival anything in DRAWING magazine.  I got out my pencil, erasers, and a good piece of drawing paper........also a ruler.  I should have known that anything requiring a ruler is not my forte, but I proceeded to sketch on the composition.  That was the end of that.  Despite the fact that I very much admire detailed architectural drawings, I realized that I wasn't up to the task.  I was already bored.  So, I got out my pastels and did this.  It's the house next door, with the corner of my roof in the upper left corner.

The bottom is a pastel of the cactus that sits on the floor beside my desk.  It is about four feet tall, having inched its way imperceptibly from a six inch baby that I bought in 1998.  The painting is looking down from above, but it's only the bottom half.  The two branches at the top keep on going.  I worked hard on this, to make it look the way I had envisioned.  I tend not to get a good value range with pastels until I've first driven myself crazy.  This took me two days,  It's about 12 x 16.  The top one is only about 8x10, since I had planned to work hard on every little detail.  So much for that.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Carrie's Birthday



Carrie, as is her custom, came to visit for a few days over her birthday.  The pictured delicacy is the birthday cheesecake I made in honor of the occasion.  The other picture is of Great Wass Island, which is off the coast of Jonesport and Beal's Island.  When the kids were little, we used to spend time in the rented cabin in the center of the grouping. Artist friends rented the other cabins, and we spent our time painting and socializing.  Somewhere I have a picture of Jesse, about age seven, flying a kite with Richard Meredith, the husband if one of the other painters, on the lawn.  Carrie and I hoped we would be able to find the place, and when we did no one was there.  We got out of the car and walked around where we had walked 35 years ago.  It hadn't changed much from the day when John Beal, owner of the cabins, took us for a ride in his boat.  When we were out away from the shore, he cut the engine and we floated silently.  Pretty soon first one seal and then more and more started poking their heads up out of the water to look at us.  We must have stayed there for over a half hour, the seals surrounding us, as interested in us as we were them.

On the same drive we stopped at Rogue Bluff, which is a state park near Machias that I have never visited before.  What a treat it was.  I had no idea that there was a real sand beach anywhere near here.  The coast is usually rocky cliffs, but this place looked like it belonged in a far more temperate place.  We were able to take off our shoes and wade in the water.  There were some people actually swimming.  The ocean water of Maine is usually hovering in the mid thirties.  I guess this was warmer because it is unusually shallow.  Normally if you step off a rock here you are already over your head.

It was a very nice visit.  It's hard to imagine that I have a daughter who is 44 years old, and she is still as delightful as she was as a little girl.







Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Best Cat, Update

There's no cuter kitty than Leah.  Obviously I had to give up on the bird -cat problem.  Eventually the birds got used to her looming presence and she spends a lot of time sleeping on top of the cage. I have learned that it's impossible to keep her out of anything.  She is incredibly athletic and can climb like a monkey.  She makes herself comfortable everywhere.

I don't know how I got so lucky.  I love her.