Summer Intermission

My children are on summer break, which for me means that they are my constant companions until school resumes in August. My romanticized version of summer break is that we all settle into our daily routine which involves being happy and productive. What actually happens is that there is an acclimation period where my kids don't quite know what to do with themselves after the crazy busy schedule of the school year. They sometimes bicker, they want to bury themselves in electronics, they look to me to find something for us all to do, and as a result I have to become a more active parent.
We jump-started our summer break with a long-overdue trip to the East Coast. It was a two week whirlwind tour of visiting family and friends. Starting in Vermont and working our way down the coast, we ended up in Virginia where friends made a strong case for moving back there. Beginning our trip in Vermont was perfect. My mother does not have internet access, and there is no cell phone coverage where she lives in the mountains. My children and I relaxed. We read books, explored the back roads, went fishing, caught fireflies and had s'mores over our nightly bonfires.

My daughter, who seems to be growing crazy fast, in Vermont.

Vermont: The Green Mountain State

Lake Monticello, Virginia

Rope Swing at Lake Monticello


Back to school, back to work

Beginning of a Redwood Grove painting

Miss S. giving Spot a snack

My youngest, amongst the Redwoods

The calendar says September 1st, which for me and a lot of people means back to school and back to work. Summer flew by as we were busy with back to back house guests. All together we had over 30 days of visitors. I got to the studio when I could, but mostly I embraced summer for what it was... time to be with my kids and enjoy playing tourist with our company.
So last week, the kids began their school year, and I've been getting reacquainted with my studio work. September for me is officially the New Year. This is the time of year where I make plans and resolutions. My deadline is next June, when the kids get out for the next summer break and havoc resumes. I've picked up where I left off, and I have my list of goals and plans. I'm working on a painting which will be offered for auction at the local school's fundraising Gala. The 20"x20" sized canvases will continue, and I'll start a new batch of small scale work priced for holidays & tight budgets. There is also a large canvas in my studio that I'm stalking.
Hopefully I'll be back to my previous blog posting schedule.

Summertime, and the living's crazy

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of an upheaval around here. Just to recap:

*my children are home from school. Full time. I have not signed them up for any camps, programs, lessons or anything structured, mainly because they haven't really expressed a desire to go do these things. Instead we'll have the pool, fireflies, field trips, farmer's markets, library, playgrounds and playdates.
*Immediately after Miss S. finished her last day of kindergarten, we took off to the Outer Banks for the week. Now we're home and trying to find some semblance of a routine. The beach was great, by the way. We took the boat of course.

* my studio, which is on a 2nd floor loft in our sunroom, gets amazingly hot by noon. Hot enough to melt crayons. Hot enough to make me cranky while painting and lose my focus enough to ruin a good morning's work. Hot enough that I finally just set up a table downstairs, where it is at least 15 degrees cooler.

The dog seems to like my new studio location.

But, still, I'm managing to carve out painting time. Negotiating with D. so that he can get writing time, I can paint. This morning he's taking the kids on an excursion to Chuck E. Cheese, which is my own personal hell, so I'm grateful that he's taking the hit.

Through the mayhem of summer, I'm painting.