Sunday, May 26, 2019

April Newsletter

What’s on Robin’s Easel?


My poor laptop is in the hospital, and I’m attempting to do this from the app on my phone, so please forgive if this month’s instalment of What’s On Robin’s Easel is a bit wonky!

The Lambeth Art Association Show is in full swing, it runs today Saturday May 4th,10 am to 4pm at Lambeth United Church. I have several pieces in it, and will be leaving shortly to work at the show. It would be lovely to see you there. 

I’m also working on several pieces for the Westland Gallery’s Square Foot Show, and the Port Stanley Artists’ Guild Show. Both are fast approaching and
I’ll give you more info on these once I’m back on my ‘real’ computer, where I know how to insert image and text blocks. 
There is probably a way to change the layout on this app, I just can’t find it lol. 

The image above shows on the extreme left, the Magnolia tree project we’re working on in my dementia care art programs this week, centre on the easel (why does autocorrect keep insisting on changing that to eagle????) is #5 of the 10-15 pieces I need for my solo show at the St Thomas Public Art Centre which opens a year from right now! I have other smaller pieces I could fill in with, but I DON’T want to do that. I’d rather go with 10 larger works. Hopefully soon this interminable winter will end and I can get into my summer studio in the sunroom, which is set up for working large!
To the right is one of the square foot paintings destined for Westland’s Show. 
And of course there’s a cute puppy in the foreground, my constant companion and the source of all the dog hair in my paint, the Mighty Oak.   


The above is a very poor pic of my submissions to the Lambeth Show. I’ll have the stories for you next month when I’m back on my laptop. 

Until then I leave you with words from the immortal Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves are triumph  or defeat. “ 

Oh Dear...

I did something foolish, and paid the price....
If you know me you know I have a big beautiful rescue dog. He was largely untrained when we got him, a bit on the wild side, but smart, and eager the please.
Oak quickly became my Velcro dog, and with lots of patience and firm loving leadership has become a wonderful boy.
We firmly believe that a well exercised dog is a good dog, so we walk, a lot, and fast, almost to a jog.
Bare with me I'm setting the stage here.
He no longer pulls on the lead, or reacts to everything with fur, feathers or wheels, but that doesn't mean he's not aware of his surroundings, unlike his dog mom, who on the day in question was totally oblivious to the world around her. Instead I was obsessing about everything I had to do in the month of May, my schedule for painting for my up coming solo show, elder care, teaching etc etc.
Oak stopped to look at a rabbit.
 It was like hitting a brick wall at high speed, I fell right over top of him, landed on my face, smashed my glasses, broke my collarbone and knocked myself silly.
Three weeks in I'm just beginning to get back to work.
I've never had to deal with a concussion before, It's unbelievably frustrating, in fact I'm typing while looking out the window, because doing more than glancing at the screen is impossible still.
Miss Dakin the typing teacher would be so proud lol.
I tried going back into my studio last week, and made such a mess of that painting that I've had to start over again, not to worry I'll be able to salvage parts of the original. The beauty of working on terraskin is that I can chop it up.
Having nothing to do for three weeks has an upside. I set a bunch of paintings that just hadn't lived up to their potential, up to look at, and eventually found a fix for each of them. I also realized that there were things I wanted to change in my current direction, and developed ideas to implement those changes.
So thank you rabbit, I maybe even further behind, but in many ways it's put me ahead!

UPDATE 4 months in.
I've been forced to learn how to say no, something I've always had trouble with, and I've had to learn also how to slow down, stop, think, and re think. I've learned-the hard way-to review every move, concentrate on each step, go through the check lists I devised for my students on composition and colour relationships. In someways all of this learning and relearning is making me a better artist, refocusing on basics while still experimenting with my technique.
The physical symptoms of concussion, or more properly post concussion syndrome, are slowly abating, some of them may always be with me. This is my new reality. The vertigo sucks, as do days when my eyes decide to work independently of each other, but I will never give up. I just go slower and more carefully. The muses must have thought I needed to refocus, no doubt they know best LOL.

UPDATE 1 year later
it's taken this long to be able to truthfully say that I'm back to some sort of normal.  My collar bone has healed, it only aches occasionally, the head and vision are mostly normal, or at lest normal for me lol. 
It's taken some time to implement some of those changes I was talking about, growth though sometimes slow, happens.  Covid-19 has changed the way a lot of us do things, and I find I really like the much slower less hectic life the pandemic has brought us.  It's that slower pace that has let me develop some of those ideas. 

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