A Magical Day

I had a magical day yesterday…  At least it seemed magical.

I was awakened very early–early enough that I could watch a movie I need to return to Netflix and get in the mail before the postman came.   Then, I took a shower and got my stuff together for my painting class with Robert Roark.  I am involved in a huge project at home and I wasn’t going to go.  I reasoned to go anyway, packing a checklist of ‘things to do’ on my way there and back again.  On my list was stopping at The Barn to see if they still had the toolbox I should have bought last Saturday.  It was gone; someone snapped it up.  No wonder–it was a great box.

Next stop, Cape Cod Museum of Art for my class.  It was a good class.  Mr. Roark spent some time looking over my painting, pointing out different things I should remember when I get to certain areas. I’m painting from one of his reference photos–a painting of eucalyptus in a handmade potter’s vase sitting on a wood table with light streaming across both.  I’m almost done with it.  Before leaving class I made sure to borrow a few more of his photos so I could start another painting or two this week.

I also went around the room to see my other artist-classmate’s paintings.  Everyone is working on different subjects and each artist is such a joy to talk to.  One woman, Cathy, is so amazed with my painting and I with hers.  She asks if I’ve been life-long painter!  No, I say.  I started tole painting in 1995 but got away from it a few years later.  I have only started back really painting in the last year.  I think Cathy has been painting regularly much longer than I.   She has a wonderful style.

I love what Cathy is painting in class.  She’s painting from photos of her grandchildren.  One, of her granddaughter she took this summer, painting at the easel in her, Cathy’s, home studio.  The painting is so beautiful.  She’s only using two colors, ultramarine blue and burnt umber, giving it an old-world feel.  It’s big, too!  Next class, I should ask if I can take a photo of it.  In the painting of her grandsons, the brothers of the granddaughter, the boys are playing at the water’s edge and their sister is swimming in the background.  What great keepsakes for the family!  I love seeing the progress of these paintings.

And, the progress of the others…  Norma is a first-time painter.  She’s painting a landscape scene from a photo taken on a trip.  It is marshland with rocks in the foreground and a body of water in the distance.  Tom is painting from a picture his wife took when they were in Aruba of a huge piece of driftwood on a beach.  My friend, Gail, is a rapid painter and she’s done several paintings.  She and another artist are the only ones so far painting from life.  Some of what Gail’s done is a still life of a bowl and pitcher; a rowboat anchored in the harbor on a densely foggy day, and other beach scenes.  The other three women of whom I have yet to commit their names to memory…  One is painting from a still life of a vase of bright orange and yellow flowers; another, a beautiful water scene on a stormy day with the sun peeking in through a break in the dark clouds; and the last, a close-up of large rocks onto which numbers will be stencilled and made to look like graffiti.  An interesting assortment of ideas, wouldn’t you say?

It was such a nice day when I got home, I decided to set my painting gear up outside on the patio and continue working on my painting.  I painted till a lone mosquito buzzed between my face and my palette, finally deciding to sit in the piles of paint.  It was too dark by then to see what colors I was actually making.  I didn’t want to mess up my “masterpiece”.  So, I brought everything in, washed up my brushes and palette and put my colors in the fridge.

My paint box was a mess!  The colors fell and mixed in the lid and on the palette from being transported to class and back again.  I thought I wiped down all the areas where the paint landed but when I put everything in its home and went to make supper, I had a band of yellow ochre across the palm of one hand.  That tells me there’s still paint either on a leg or the handle of my paint box.  I decided to try and find it tomorrow.

So, what made the day magical?  I think it was the combination of everything I did yesterday–the movie (an Orson Welles thriller), seeing the goodies at the barn sale (loads of beautiful wooden desks, tables and dressers), interacting with the artists at class and being inspired by their work, and then, finishing the day outside working on my painting in the fresh air.

It was a day when I was really present.  I guess I actually ‘lived’ each moment throughout the day.  That’s what art’s supposed to do for you.  Art did it for me yesterday.

Here’s hoping you had a good day…

Kate

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