Recently I have been taking another online class with Nancy Hillis
and I am really learning so much about simplifying my color palette.
For example this is a one color palette with a few different reds plus
the addition of black and white. The small studies were made using this
palette. I find it very freeing to use only a few colors. Sometimes too
many colors become confusing for me and the work suffers.
This is a little study of a flower I call "Ghost Flower" It is done in a
limited palette of blues with the addition of black and white. I love
that juicy navy blue on the bottom.
So fall is upon us. I have to be careful not to get too depressed. Painting is not going well this week.
The painting above was done two weeks ago. I am totally blocked right now. I am not sure why. Oh yes, well, I am sort of sure why. Winter is coming as they say on Game of Thrones.
Also, I knew senior year was going to be stress filled but it is even worse than I thought it would be. At a PTO meeting the other night they handed out a laundry list of deadline dates for all things college related. And believe me, all things are college related at this school.
It is mind boggling. I am so ill prepared. When I graduated from high school in 1967, there were two tracks. College or not college. There were plenty of kids who did not go to college. They took typing, home economics, shop etc. Many went off to fight in Vietnam. It was a different time.
At Brookline High School we are suppose to let our student follow the process and guide them along. To see him not doing it though or not taking any interest in it is so stressful for me. There really is no other option for these kids at our school. Everything this year is about this that and the other thing for college. The statistics from last year's class (over 500 students) 96% of the kids went to college. 36% did not need financial aid. We live in a really wealthy town, even though we are not. Last year 1% did not go to college and 1% went into the military.
I just don't know what will happen to my grandson if he doesn't go to college. Even if he just goes to a two year college. Something. Anything.
I don't know, I really don't and it is really upsetting. Hard to focus.
This has been a hard week for me. Seeing what has happened to the beautiful Florida Keys. I am heartbroken to see the devastation of my old home. Seeing the pictures coming out is so heartbreaking. There are so many
people who are now homeless. Where will they go? What will they do? It
is very sad.
If you look in my profile you will see where I mention how I once lived in the tropics. Well those tropics I speak of were the Florida Keys.
In the mid 1970's we moved down to Key West. We were tired of winters in upstate NY and wanted to be warm. A friend told us we should go to Key West. So we did. Just. Like. That.
It was an amazing place in those days. And so cheap. Our first apartment cost $60 a month. We met so many people who were there for a variety of reasons. Mostly to be warm and have a laid back life.
During the day we would go to the beach. Our kids would play with all the other kids. It was idyllic. It really was, At night we would go down to the pier and watch the sunset. Some of us would bring our artwork down to sell to the tourists. After sunset we would often go to someones house for a feast. We all brought food and there was music and feasting. No one had a car. We rode our bikes everywhere.
Many of the friends I made back then I am still in contact with today largely due to Facebook. I also have a few friends who either never left or have gone back there to retire. As you can imagine I have been very worried about a few of them who did not evacuate. As it turns out they are OK but without power, water and the basic necessities.
It appears that Key West did not suffer too much damage. Mostly downed trees and some flooding, The Upper Keys are a very different story. Especially Big Pine Key. It looks like a bomb went off in multiple places. Tornados hit many of the upper keys.
In the early 80's we moved from Key West up to Big Pine. In those days there wasn't even a grocery store. It was very isolated, very hot, and very buggy. We built a house there but we had no electricity as there were no electric poles out where we lived. So the house was built entirely with hand tools. We had a lovely garden where I grew papayas, coconuts, mangoes and bananas. We never really liked Big Pine as much as Key West as we were so isolated and so it wasn't long before we moved on. Up north as they say down there.
The thing about Key West, for me anyway, is that although you can leave the keys, the keys never really leave you. And so all these years I have carried it with me like a lost lover. And even though I have found a new place to live/love, my love of the Keys will always be in my heart. My sorrow is overwhelming.
No, I am not really in a gallery. I just thought it would be fun to see how these look all together! And since I don't have the wall space here at home for all my paintings, and since they just get piled on top of one another, I never know how they will look together. Fun anyway!
So yes, we are back from Tucson. Of course I am freezing. It is nearly 40 degrees colder here than out there when we left. I truly hate the cold. But soon now. I just have to get through One. More. Winter. I am not sure how I will do that but do it I must. The first thing I will do is toss out my boots and winter coat.
Ethan started senior year yesterday. Whoopee. Hard to believe. I am happy about it. Very happy. Can you tell? Also, my husband gave his official retirement notice this week. He is really happy about that!
Anyway, even though I do not like being back I am glad to have all my art supplies again. It is hard to be without every little thing, from brayers, to dot making tools, color wheels etc. I have been doing a 30 day challenge with Amira Rahim called Passion, Color, Joy 30 in 30. On Instagram of course!
Today is our last day here in the enveloping warmth that is Tucson in the summer. I tell people that being here in summer is like being wrapped in a warm blanket. It feels good to me since I am always cold back east.
It has been truly lovely to actually spend extra time here and get to really live in our house. When we are here for only a week, it is hard to buy food or cook or anything like that. This time we shopped for food twice, we cooked some lovely meals and ate out as well. I still don't have the proper pans here though. I need to bring my All Clad set with me since they are now twice the price they were when I bought them. It will be cheaper to ship them.
The best part was going to the art supply store and setting up a real painting space here. I managed to complete a couple of pieces and that was exciting. Normally I can only sketch or work in pens and markers. This time I was able to work in acrylics as well. I can't post them since the scanner I bought for out here is horrible. It is one of those printer/scanner things and the color control is awful. I will have to bring my real dedicated Epson scanner out in June.
When we go back to Boston tomorrow we will seriously begin to downsize, give away, toss etc.
I am sad to always have to leave here. But the good news is that we are down to 9 more months of living in Boston. I am going to try and stay focused on the move and getting ready for the move even though I know that there are going to be multiple stressful issues to deal with when I get back that do not include the move.