Thursday, May 8, 2008

. . . couldn't stay inside

but I did manage to start this painting. . . this is a very preliminary picture. I still need to fine-tune it some more. The last picture-taking excursion I took resulted in so many good pictures of inspiration. But I find I am spending most of my time outdoors in the garden.

I find that weeding the garden, especially after a rain, is sort of a form of meditation. I'm not talking about dandelions and those other tough weeds that need to be dug up; I'm talking about the little seeds and shoots that sprout up while almost while you're watching. . . the stuff that comes up between the cracks in the brick patios. There is something so calming about picking out these little invaders. . . you don't have to think too much about what you're doing, so your mind can wander. I find myself talking to myself and problem-solving. And there is a bit of instant gratification . . . at least for the short term.

I started gardening about 15 years ago, about the time my daughter left home for college. I didn't really know much about it beyond the usual planting of daffodils in spring and geraniums in the summer. My garden area at the time was in full to dappled shade. So I read and made mistakes and discovered shade-loving plants. I have had a continuing obsession with hostas since then . . . I buy a few new ones every year. When we moved to this house about seven years ago, I inherited a putting green and sand trap in the yard that I turned into a sun garden and patio area, and the bare bones of a shade garden. Since then I have had obsessions with roses, peonies, and hardy geraniums.

I'm thinking about assembling a portable studio and setting it up on my back porch. That way I can stay outside and still paint. I know that soon it will be unbearably hot again, and I'll take cover in the cool basement studio, so I don't want to miss one minute of wonderful spring weather.

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