Saturday, April 04, 2009

In the Green

Back to work at the greenhouse: my 7th year??



I feel pretty fortunate to have a job where I get to be around plants and soil all day. It's April, the landscape here is still covered in snow despite the sunny days. It was only +6 at my house this morning. In the greenhouse, it's +70, I wear summer clothes and get to dig around in the dirt. All good.

Work creates a good schedule for me. Suddenly, my free time is very, very precious! Any and all free time this month is spent in the studio working on paintings for my next show, "Search and Secret" at the Alaska House Gallery opening on May 1st. Just a few weeks away! I'm making quite a few small paintings, 12"x12" and 12"x18" for this exhibit. The gallery is small and, well, bigger paintings take a lot longer to complete. So....

These paintings are all oriented around very carefully drawn plant images. I took a botanical illustration class last year and realized that much of my art had already been heading in that direction. This series of work is exploring ideas of incremental change: small movements making up larger transitions. I am fascinated by how smaller parts make a whole, whether physical, emotional, events, personalities....

Most of the paintings have gold leaf and all of them feature repetitive images: nails, seedheads, branches, roots, etc. One painting I did last week rocks my world. I was surprised by this when I finished it----a pretty good idea turned into a rockin' little painting! Let's just hope for more of those in the next 3 weeks!

I have uninterupted time to concentrate on art this weekend. Oblio died two months ago now, and my husband has moved out temporarily.... so my little family of three is just down to me. Me and the paintings and the orchids. Funny (or honestly, NOT so funny) that the orchids and art don't give much back these days. It's interesting times. So many things are changing that it's hard to know where to put my emotional energy. For instance, my step-Dad died just a couple of weeks ago and my parents got back together....after being divorced since 1979! Talk about strange....

Did I forget to mention that I got accepted to graduate school? I start this July in a low-residency program in Vermont----I just bought my surrealistically expensive plane ticket today. Holy moly. (Thank goodness it'll be tax deductible at some point.) Anyway, yeah----graduate school. I've been thinking about getting my Masters of Fine Arts for about.....8 years now. Seriously! I remember thinking about it when we lived at our first rental cabin in 2000/2001. Scary how long it takes me to make a decision, sometimes. I sent off my application for this school on my birthday this year, Feb. 6th. Since I sent my last student loan payment off on that exact day two years ago, I figured it was a good benchmark.

Life is taking a lot of new directions right now. I just have to try and keep up.