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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pink Magnolia

Pink Magnolia
This is only the third painting that I have completed since landing here in Massachusetts.  That is three paintings in three years.
A depressing fact.
I cringe every time that someone asks me if I am painting still.  I know that they are asking me out of a desire to check in with me as a whole person, or as encouragement.  Some days it feels like nagging.  I highly doubt that it is.  Finding the space in my life to paint has become increasingly harder. 
Not only that I find that I am low on inspiration.  Coming from Colorado I was driven to paint all the landscapes that I was looking at every day.  Mountain peaks that beckoned not only to he climbed but also to be painted.  Aspen groves that whistled softly and gave me painting after painting.  The deepest blue skies that were so easily wrought.

I eagerly moved to the East Coast because my husband found a job in his field (after a year of less than ideal employment) and we were living in a rural town.  I just really can't hack country living.  I know, it's beautiful, see all the inspiration above.  I just didn't grow up with it.  I didn't like having to drive 2 hours for a Target.  Or a movie theatre (not that we ever go to the movies anyway), or a Panera.  (I really, really like Panera.)

I also knew that our time in rural Colorado was a furlough, we just couldn't seem to find jobs that fit us and we were living with Scott's parents.  Whom I love dearly, but they know that at some point we needed our own space.

So we got here, and I looked around.  I liked it.  I saw all the lovely trees.  But then not much happened in my little inspirational pathways.  Maybe because everytime we went somewhere pretty I was chasing children.  Or maybe because I was still adjusting from the mountain vistas I was used to.  I began to wonder if I was all dried up.  If there was no more inspiration left for me.

One thing that Massachusetts does have is four seasons.  Four exact, lined up with the calendar, seasons.

We spun through our first summer, working, adjusting to a new job, finding an apartment.  I was so excited to experience my first New England fall, I hear it's kind of a big deal.  Then I got pregnant and for some reason all the fall flavors made my stomach churn.  Anything pumpkin pie spice, or butternut squash sent me reeling.  Really that whole season I was reeling.  I didn't get much painting done.  Mostly because I was lying down.
I hate winter.  I don't want to talk about it.
Then spring comes.  Spring is cruel.  Spring is amazing.
Cruel because you so desperately want it to be warm, and one day it is.  Then the next it is decidedly not.  You get to shuck your winter coat.  But you still have to wear some kind of outerwear.
Amazing because while you are still freezing all these little plants start popping up from the ground.
I remember standing in my gym staring out the window, sometime in April, the tree outside had developed that nubbly appearance on its limbs.  I stood staring between my sets, eyeballing the tree, because I was pretty sure that I saw a bud appearing at the vertex of one of those nubs.
And flowering trees.  I love flowering trees.  I am almost (but not quite) sad when it turns to summer and those go away.  For those few weeks of color dotted trees I am enamored.

This third painting was of course inspired by those trees.  Last year I took pictures of pink magnolias as I walked by them, stopping on sidewalks in front of houses, hoping owners would not mind the lady with the stroller and the camera phone snapping pictures of their magnolia tree. Of course I didn't use any of those pictures.  This year my neighbor across the street provided a tree that produced plentifully.  I had an excuse too, if presented with an angry owner I could introduce myself say I lived at '34' and hoped they didn't mind.

So, a year in the making, we have a painting.

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