Journal After Italy (Part 3)

“I longed to set up my easel and paint…”

—my diary, November 2017

Statues in the Boboli Garden during    my visit to Florence   .

Statues in the Boboli Garden during my visit to Florence.

Lately, I’ve been reading over my old journals since my Italy adventure. This particular section of my journal comes after Parts One and Two. It’s funny how I now think of my life in those terms, Before and After Italy…

“Strawberries at Mom’s house” oil on linen mounted on board, 6x6 inches

“Strawberries at Mom’s house” oil on linen mounted on board, 6x6 inches

Nov. 9th 2017

Really, my path here is to look within, to work alone, and to pursue the kind of work I want to make.

The quiet morning, the cup of coffee, this peaceful time to reflect. It is so precious and healing.

Nov. 12th 2017

Tomorrow the week begins afresh. I long for empty spaces of solitude. I need time to reflect, to read and ponder, to journal, to be.

This is something I can surely have in my life. I just need to be clear about it with myself.

I have been making my studio time a daily practice, almost a spiritual one. I think I would like to begin my time there with a prayer or meditation. It is a good part of my day. I don’t need to work all that hard, just consistently.

Nov. 13th 2017

This Monday is off to a good start! I had a pretty good morning with the kids, more love than tension, although getting ready for the bus can be aggravating: shoes, jackets, mittens, etc.

I went for a lovely rainy walk with my friend Berry and then she bought me a hot coffee. Yum!

Then: four hours in the studio! I played around with a palette knife again, mixing colors, scraping, laying it on…having fun! I feel good about my day…

It feels good to allow myself the space and time to grow and explore and figure things out. I’m also really happy to be alone in my studio, to have my own company, and shake loose of my desire to please others.

Nov. 14th 2017

Today has been spent with the kind of busyness I try to pretend doesn’t exist, or isn’t important. Instead of going to the studio, I spent 3 hours tidying up the downstairs and sorting through my papers: correspondence, checks, emails, and just a whole mess of to-do lists and the like that was forming a real monster on the living room floor.

Then I felt so keyed up by that (and maybe so much coffee and listening to the news) that I couldn’t focus, my spirit was agitated. So I sat at the piano and played my Tchaikovsky several times until I was able to forget all about myself and fully enter the music…

“My Kitty” (sketchbook)

“My Kitty” (sketchbook)

Nov. 15th, 2017

Oh my goodness, my emotions are so strong! It’s hard to believe they don’t totally control me. Walking home from my studio, I saw many beautiful colors—tree shapes against others— and I longed to set up my easel and paint.

Today I had fun working on a still life painting with a palette knife: very messy, very enjoyable: a pear, some art-cards… but now I’m wondering, was that all just meaningless work?

No. Meaningful. Full. of. meaning.

“A Traveller in Italy” oil on board, 10x8 inches

“A Traveller in Italy” oil on board, 10x8 inches