I was busy hanging a show of my own new works. It was a mixed bag—some expressive pastels, but an over-reliance on black and a few things that weren’t framed, which is my bête noire. Then the alarm clock rang and flung me back into reality. No new show, no new works, only the staleness of returning to work after a long hiatus.
Picking up ones’ brushes after a long lay-off is daunting. I’ll start by ‘playing scales’ with a small study. That’s what the still lives here were done for, but I’m more likely to paint the snow-covered branches outside my window today. From there, I’ll move to something more significant. I may be borrowing trouble by anticipating rustiness, but that’s the usual outcome of too long away.
That’s if I can navigate the mess my studio became over Christmas. It’s an inviting, open space in an otherwise small house. People have a way of stashing unfinished projects in there.
Last week was the first week of Christmastide. My house rang with joy, particularly after my grandson discovered the sounds a good piano can make.
The prior week, however, was my semiannual week of medical tourism in Rochester. This leads to my only New Year’s resolution, which is that we must find doctors in mid-coast Maine. On-the-road colonoscopy prep may make for a good story, but it eats up time and energy.
Today is also the official opening day of income tax season. Having just resolved my last tax question right before Christmas, I’m not in any hurry to play again. If I add to that the 903 emails that came in while my laptop was stashed under my bed last week, I might almost feel gloomy.
Luckily, the sky is blooming into another beautiful day. There is an interesting boat in dry-dock at the North End Shipyard, which Captain John Foss tells me is the Jacob Pike, built in Thomaston in 1949 as a sardine carrier, now in service as a lobster smack. Since I have to go out later this morning, I’ll stop and look at her more carefully.
I went downstairs and turned on the Christmas tree lights and immediately felt better. In modern America, we’ve moved the season of Christmas forward to start on Thanksgiving and end on Christmas Day. Among us old-timers, the lights remain on, stubbornly, until Epiphany.