Just picked up a couple of new books, courtesy of the generosity of friends. The folks whose computer I resurrected surprised me with a Chapters gift certificate the other day and I treated myself to two new books. The first is The Art of Fabric Books, by Jan Bode Smiley which I've had my eye on for some time now and the second is The Art of Embroidered Flowers, by Gilda Baron. Both look fabulous. After I've had a day or two to digest them, i'll write something up. The timing was wonderful – just what I needed after everything that's gone on this week!
First, thanks to everyone who emailed, volunteered to bring food, sent virtual hugs and drove me around in snow storms to find my husband at the hospital. I sincerely appreciate it!
Despite the car wreck, sick child and aching husband, I seem to be back on track today. Yesterday afternoon the phone lines went down (just came back up this morning) and we were in the midst of a blizzard. John was at the hospital to see about his back and shoulders and I was trapped in the house with a child who would not sleep. Couldn't take her out. Couldn't check email. Couldn't phone anyone and John couldn't phone me and didn't know that the phone was out because all he got was incessant ringing.
Things are going better this morning. I did my exercises (situps, leg-lifts, stretches and pushups – I'm improving!) and might even be able to get some aerobic exercise by running up and down stairs. Drives the dogs mad, but that's not my problem.
Katherine is quiet, but not miserable. I think I may be making progress on the stones piece above. I overpainted it with fabric paints, which seem to make the sharp lines of the pastels blend a bit better. In fact, it almost appears that the dyes of the pastels bled a bit (good in this case), but that could be simply the similarity in hues of pastel and paint.
The upper piece is the over-painted version and the lower is the pastels sans paint.
Anyway, it's coming along nicely. My current plan is to work in borders that continue the picture, using hand-painted fabrics appliqued or stitiched to continue the development of the dominant foreground features. How well this will work remains to be seen!
I'm also working on a second piece depicting this same circle, facing east as the sun rises. It's going to have a completely different tone than the above piece. Must get this piece done so as to free up room for the next!
Yesterday John got walloped from behind by a Ford Ranger. When you're driving a Tercel (think small), getting hit by such an animal is a bit of a jolt to the system. John was feeling okay yesterday, but is now becoming progressively more sore. Our car couldn't get much sorer:
To make matter even more fun, they're claiming it'll take $6000 to repair the car. The car has a value of about $3500, give or take. The loan still outstanding on the car is for more than the valuation (but less than the damage).
Thus far, the fault seems to be all with the other side (unless they lie). The basic situation was that John was driving along the highway and drove into a snowdrift that was uncleared and in the middle of the lane. He didn't skid or spin, just stopped. The guy behind him hit him less than three seconds later and actually spun the car out into the other lane. The fellow driving didn't own the vehicle (it was his brother's). They exchanged info and John limped the car home, as it was drivable (gingerly).
So John has spent the morning running around getting cars appraised, loaners in place, statements made to police, adjusters contacted and doctors seen. None of this is actually helpful to a guy whose back and shoulders have just taken a helluva whack. Meanwhile I've been sitting here trying to figure out how the heck all this will play out. The money and John's health are my chief worries. I've been going through the motions of working, just to give my mind something to do, but it's not really having much effect.
I can't do the statements, doctor or even insurance stuff because I'm not John and they need to deal with him. I can't even go with him because our carseat was in the car during impact and, even if there's no kid in the seat, a carseat that has been in a car during an accident has to be replaced. So he's out there dealing with stuff and I'm sitting here, worrying.
"Rattled" is a good word.
One of the worst parts of being an artist is having to mentally shut stuff like this out so that you can work. At least in jobs where someone else dictates your schedule, you can go through the motions without thinking too much. I have to make up the motions as I go.
I just hope his shoulders and neck are okay in short order.
Must go paint some fabric. That's pleasant enough and physically preoccupying enough (you kinda have to finish it once you start) to occupy me until next I hear from him.
We all went out to Cape Spear on Sunday in the hopes that the sky would clear (it didn't) and it would become sunny and blue (it wasn't). Despite that, we managed to have a fun time. The swell on the ocean was tremendous. Apparently we're to get a pile of snow tonight (whose dumb idea was that??) and the waves arrived in advance of the storm.
So here are a few shots of a fun time, along with some cool waves.
I particularly like this next shot, as it shows the magnitude of the surf. We saw some tourists looking stunned by the awe-inspiring power of a storm-tossed sea. I'd look stunned by it too, if I were from inland Virginia, as they were, and found myself in Newfoundland in March.
Here's John, ensuring that Katherine will remain an only child:
Ï married a goofy man.
It was Wikket's turn for an outing (we rotate the dogs through so as not to go insane):
Katherine had fun and more fun. She even sat still for a picture and smiled. We're taking her to the doctor tomorrow to be checked over.
I'm still enamoured of the rocks at Cape Spear. Their contours and shaping are fabulous.
Looking towards the cape from Cantwell's Cove (near the "Passion Pit", as it is called by those who work at the Cape)
A wave curls into Cantwell's Cove (With St. John's and Robin Hood Bay in the background):
A weird leaping wave that looks for all the world like a sea monster breaking the surface:
There were some truly impressive waves rolling out there.
I quite like the last one – the lines of the wavesare interesting and the spray is neat.
John took photos, too. I've finally been captured on memory card (once we would have said "on film"). Arg.
I actually like spiders, or used to.
At the very least, I have nothing against them. Witness the one humongous critter still living in my kitchen window that started as a small itsy thing in that same spot last summer. (Not pictured at right. It turns out that I don’t actually have a photo of a spider…..)
I’m not so sure now.
I spent part of yesterday throwing out crap from the basement, stuffing things back into boxes, putting boxes on shelves and so forth. It seems that I must have disturbed something down there because we were treated to a rerun of past experiences at 5:30 this morning.
The smoke detectors in question are hard-wired into the electrical, so pulling the battery until morning is out.
I may be needlessly blaming spiders. It could have been simple dust. It could have been baby earwigs, but I don’t want it to be so it isn’t.
Whatever it is, it’s getting sucked out. Today I’m beginning The Vacuum War downstairs.
Run, spiders. Run!
In an attempt to get more sunlight, throw off my funk and get some exercise, Katherine, Wikket and I walked to Middle Cove Beach again this morning. The sun was warm enough that I was able to walk in my shirt sleeves, at least while we were moving and I was pushing the stroller.
Katherine found some rocks to climb and I found some ocean to stare at. There’s nothing like having a long, hard look at nature (both its beauty and strength) to put your own life in perspective.
A small shed on the road leading to the beach:
The water was tossing and turning….
A serendipitous rainbow, that I didn’t even know I’d shot until I got home.
Rocks, hanging on for dear life:
Slippery when wet:
Because I quoted “Sea Fever by Masefield last time, you’r going to get E.J. Pratt’s “Newfoundland” this time. Only the first verse, though (it’s a long poem).
Here the tides flow,
And here they ebb;
Not with that dull, unsinewed tread of waters
Held under bonds to move
Around unpeopled shores—
Moon-driven through a timeless circuit
Of invasion and retreat;
But with a lusty stroke of life
Pounding at stubborn gates,
That they might run
Within the sluices of men’s hearts,
Leap under throb of pulse and nerve,
And teach the sea’s strong voice
To learn the harmonies of new floods,
The peal of cataract,
And the soft wash of currents
Against resilient banks,
Or the broken rhythms from old chords
Along dark passages
That once were pathways of authentic fires.
I’ve been feeling vague as regards work for the last week or so and it has been a truly annoying experience. Actually, I’ve been feeling dissatisfied in general and it frustrates me which, in turn, doesn’t help.
It’s not helping that it feels like it should be Thursday, while in reality it’s only Tuesday. I’ve tried looking at this positively and telling myself, “Hey, you have an extra two days in the week in which you can get things done!” but it really doesn’t work.
I suspect my mood partially has something to do with not getting any time for the last few weekends to work by myself with no one around. It also seems that no matter how hard I try, SOMETHING interrupts my evening, whether it’s the phone ringing incessantly, John chatting at me or wanting to work in the same room as me, Katherine wanting something, household stuff needing doing, meetings, or whathaveyou. But those can’t be the whole thing, because when I’m in a groove, I can ignore the phone, skip the housework and lock people out of my studio. No, I’m mentally distracted and unable to focus.
I’ve still been working, mind you. There are always things to do that can be done without the gleam of inspiration. It’s not the same, though.
So I’m sitting here feeling frustrated and, frankly, bored with being frustrated. I’ve tried to work on a couple of different things that, normally, I’d be enthused about, but there’s no fire. Lots of damp, choking smoke, but no ignition.
I’m going to try blocking the next few evenings out for work and kicking everyone out of my studio. Hopefully that will provide some momentum to get things rolling again. For now, I’m going to plan out a project for tomorrow, have a hot bath and hit the sack. Three nights of five hours sleep a night is probably not helping.