painting

October, I love you

This is the best. I'm reclining on the couch next to our jubilantly flowering begonia tree (?) with a near-bottomless mug of tea and the late afternoon light is all golden and violet playing on the buildings down the street and illuminating the intense yellow of the birch leaves overhead. The rabbits are quietly nibbling hay, the husband is puttering in his workshop, and the cat is out of sight but almost certainly lounging on the doorstep like she owns this end of the neighbourhood.

I've had some time off, which may account for this good mood and this first blog post in five months (!). I suppose I could say we've been doing exciting things and visiting everyone we miss in the daily grind of working life. But mostly that wouldn't be true. It is such a relief to finally have time for ourselves. Things like Enough Sleep, baking, painting, cooking real food... these have been enough, so much enough that I want to wallow in them and never go back to the hectic busy life. It is so good to see the light move across the house and garden at different times of day. To mostly not wear a bra. To stay up until midnight painting ten paintings at once and listening to an audiobook because I squeezed too much paint onto the palate and because I could.

I don't have a recipe today, only a heartfelt recommendation of the quiet life, of stepping back and slowing down, of spending a day pulling weeds and listening to birdsong, and of walking in the rain under dripping trees and coming home to make chai and chilli and biscuits, or whatever is easy and fulfilling. Also, I get awkward about blogging when I let too much time elapse between posts, and had meant to write something quite different but here we are and it's good to be back.

grey sky and colour

I've been doing my best to learn from a disappointing experience. The art prints I was so excited about are here, and they're alright, but they don't look anything quite like the originals. Somewhere in the scanning the colours got blown out and greyed and the print shop declared watercolours too elusive to reproduce accurately. So I have these wonky prints (maybe I could sell them for cheap?) Has anyone else had a similar experience? What worked?  We've had overcast sky for much of this past week- some days soft like grey flannel, others overbearingly bright but not sunny. The garden has been rocketing along with little assistance from us, and providing tender salads and pockets of colour where before there was dry dirt. 

My patient husband made me take a painting break today. I'm so glad he did. Taking time for myself, especially time for doing art, is something I really need to work on. It's so easy to prioritize all the never ending house and garden tasks, imagining the beautiful peace I will have when it's all done, but the hours  just keep slipping by. 

       

Golden

I'm learning the tides on my walks to work, and also the short seasons of the flowering plants that inhabit the dry, rocky margins of the shore. Already the long grass has cured to deep gold and I haven't seen the otters frolicking in it for over a week; they drift lazy in the kelp beds instead. The camas and California poppies are almost done, giving way to stonecrop and Nootka rose.  We drove up island to Nanaimo for an evening road trip adventure this week, through shady maples, lush farmland and tall Douglas firs. Now, I know that Nanaimo has some ugly strip malls going on, but the winding streets of the old city centre are pretty charming, and a road trip (with some good pizza at Torta Luna along the way) was just what we needed. 

This has also been a good week for visits. My beautiful, talented friend LA came to the island for a brief visit from the mountains, and we walked and walked, and ate very well indeed. My dad came by my work this morning, and on Sunday we went over to Salt Spring Island to visit my family there. The day was hot and sunny, perfect for drinking coffee, walks down to the beach, and my stepdad M's homemade cider. The salmonberries and honeysuckle were ripe, so I snacked as we walked, leaving a trail of orange trumpet flowers along the roadside. 

I brought some of my watercolour paintings into our local print shop this afternoon. It's part of working towards my dream of having an etsy shop up and running, and selling art prints and mobiles and jewellery, and whatever else I'm drawn to create. Yay!

I hope everyone out there is having a rich and vibrant May. 

PS I'm changing the title of this post because whenever I look at it (just what we needed) I get that old song in my head, even though the words are a little different, and that is perhaps not what we needed.

       

all things considered

Well, I'm without a computer for a little while. My laptop had a flash encounter with a mug of hot peppermint-nettle tea and a rambunctious silver rabbit, which, all things considered, is not a bad way to go. Hopefully it's just the keyboard that's been affected and it'll be geeked back into working order over the next few days. I dug out my ancient MacBook G4 the night of the incident, but the internet seems to have left it in the dust.    

silver lining

Hi there! The sun has just come out here. This morning was almost dark, so thick were the clouds. Seven is doing okay. We're giving her pain medication and she seeks out her food-sludge and kale pesto on her own now. I've had the great fortune of being able to stay home with the rabbits these past few days, which has meant a lot of time on the sunset-striped blanket on the living room floor, monitoring and supervising and doing art. Not being able to clean the house or rearrange the kitchen (Zephyr would find something to destroy/remake- my yoga mat has been on her list of interesting objects for sampling) has been a surprisingly wonderful opportunity to sketch and paint and cut and glue and generally revel in a world of imagination and colour.

photo 3 photo 4