Yesterday Lisa and I gave ourselves a version of Art Day even though Judy is in Hawaii and couldn't host us. We worked here and I took a vacation from portrait painting to get back to Epping Road again. This is another Fall picture, though not as dramatic as the last one. Lisa worked on a still life that she had started quite some time ago. I hadn't actually looked at it for awhile so took time to do so just before she left. I was actually amazed at how much her painting of still life has changed since I last noticed. She used to be my student, so I still have a certain teacherly interest in what she does despite our equal status as artists. I examined her brushwork and edges with growing enthusiam. The more I looked, the more excited I felt over the things that make painting worth looking at--the subtlety of brush marks and edges, the shorthand of paint that translates the world of objects into something far more beautiful than reality because of their selection, juxtaposition, and context, not to mention the unique language used to describe them. Still life is such a wonderful subject because the artist has to do all the work, or at least most of it. The subject matter can't really carry the painting by itself.
Anyway, my work is that of subject matter at the moment, but I think I am describing it in a way that has some originality and conveys my own view of a place and my relationship with it.
David has left for Florida and will not return until December, for the Christmas Holiday. How quickly the time goes. The seasons fly past. I consider bringing my chickens into the cellar for the winter. How can I make them stay out in that tiny cold house with nothing to break up their days but a minute-long visit from me, bearing food? They love to go outside, and I could at least give them a bigger area to explore in the cellar. I'm not convinced it is a good idea, because of the dark. How does one provide a chicken with the best quality of life? What makes a chicken happy?