Thursday, October 25, 2012

Almost Here (or Almost There)

Today is another lovely day in State College, PA.  Possibly as lovely as yesterday.  October in my neck of the woods can be quite lovely.  It is coming to an end very soon.  In a few days, the high temperature here will be in the 30s.  Then the long, long winter begins.

This year, however, I get to experience an abbreviated Pennsylvania winter.  After the first of the year, I will be residing in Charleston, SC.  Jeez, I can't believe I just wrote that.  Just eight months ago, I had never set foot in Charleston.  Early this past April we went there on vacation.  By the end of our fairly brief visit, I knew that this was where I wanted to live.

And so, there we are in front of our home in downtown Charleston.  Contractors all over the city are dancing with joy.  Just look at the smiles on the faces of those suckers.  At least the toilets flush (for now).

Now there are two months of packing and planning ahead of us.  What to take.  What needs to be left behind for renters. 

We will be meeting lots of new people:  contractors, painters, electricians, plumbers.

I can't wait.

We're almost there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Returning from Something Almost Completely Different

Tools at the Ready

Yes, it was an inspirational week at Art & Soul in Portland, OR.

I arrived early afternoon the Saturday before last.  Coffee, register for classes, empty the suitcases.  Less than an hour later I am heading for the train to take me to downtown Portland.

Eat.  Explore.  Coffee.  Wine.  Beer.  Powell's Books.

And the adventure of getting on the wrong train.  How was I to know that a new train line would be added last month?  Certainly was not on my old map.  But an hour spent going and returning in unknown parts of the city reminded me of my love for bridges and trains and my need to move on every now and then.

Monday and Tuesday, I attended a class taught by Jesse Reno. Wow! What I thought could be an extremely intimidating class taught by a pretentious ass turned out to be the experience of a lifetime. Have you ever mixed paint colors in the palm of your hand by splurting gobs of paint from gallon-sized jugs of paint topped with pump dispensers? I have and it feels damn good. And then to smear it across a clean surface, or a recently painted surface that you are just not happy with? Jesse is an enthusiastic and engaging artist.  I was way wrong to assume he would be a pretentious ass.   Wednesday and Thursday, I did an about face and took a class thought by Donna Watson. Time to slow down, plan ahead, and restrict the color palette. Restraining yet freeing. Calming. Until my precious, painted rice papers get yanked up into the brayer. I learned much, but didn't learn how to be patient. Perhaps that is better achieved in her 5-day course.

 A similarity between classes: in both I can learn from and even use my mistakes. This works well for me.

 Now, to translate what I've learned into my own art. A little difficult right now. We will be closing on our 'new' home in Charleston, SC, very soon and packing and organizing must begin. I've carved out a little time to create, but mostly what I've done so far is organize a few tools for the photo above.