Monday, June 17, 2013


Ok, here goes. My ACL is indeed torn and I have some micro-fractures on top of that. The surgeon looked at me and said, "well, you knew it was torn". Yes, I did. The micro-fractures means more recovery time. So, I'm about to embark on a new chapter. I wonder about making art and how I will adapt. I know I will adapt and am actually curious about how that will take shape. The way I work now is pretty physical, so will I quiet down, be more inward with the work, work smaller or slower??

How will this change manifest in the work? I start tomorrow!! I'm actually not afraid or that sad. I'm sad I won't be dancing with my buddies, but know how wonderfully joyful it will be when I get to rejoin them!! I'm not afraid of the pain or the hard work ahead. My main concern is that I will undoubtedly have to rely on the help of friends and family. This is the hardest for me, but I will have to learn to be better at this too.

I'm sure the lessons will be many...humility, compassion, self-care, patience all come to mind. I will soon learn of many more I'm sure.

Now I do some physical therapy and strengthening to get ready for surgery. I have about four weeks to wait and one workshop trip to make beforehand. Then I have a good ten weeks to rehab before my next trip and probably six to nine months before I'm back to regular routines.

But tomorrow, I paint.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Smooth Until the Last Moment

Well, I may have a new chapter in art making coming up. I may have to channel Freida Kahlo for a little bit. When our flight finally arrived in Portland after a delay, (no big deal), I turned my knee awkwardly while lugging my pastels and a heavy bag. I heard a sickening "pop" and then came the searing pain. Adrenaline is what got me off the plane and into the terminal.

I'm so lucky my mom was with me on the trip, because she got me water and made sure I could make it through the concourse. Miraculously we made it to baggage claim, not sure how. Once we where there, I'd convinced myself that my knee was OK, that is until I tried to lift one of my heavy bags off the carousel and crumpled once again to the floor. Damn. With the kindness of strangers, we gathered all our bags and headed out to get a tram to the parking lot. Not so fast. Something was happening at PDX. Emergency vehicles were formed to prevent traffic from entering the arrival area. Nobody in to pick up passengers. There were hundreds of people lined up for the trams to the outlying parking lots! Just as we made our way into the fray, I happened to see one tram down at the far end of the terminal and also saw one guy that was rolling his luggage in the empty street rather than through the now crowded sidewalk. On instinct, I turned our bloated luggage cart around 180 degrees, called to my mom to follow and headed to the last tram. Later, we found out that someone had left a backpack outside of the terminal and that they'd called in the bomb squad to clear it.

Only another miracle got us on that tram with all our stuff and me almost crawling on!! YIkes. I don't really know how we did it!!

So apparently, the sickening pop was most likely my ACL, so says the orthopedic surgeon. If you've followed my blog, you know that I'm also a dancer and need that ACL, just like I need my pastels. Dancing keeps me sane, so it's not even a question whether or not to repair it or to repair it in a way that doesn't allow for full use. So, MRI tomorrow morning, then juggling of schedules and then lots of mindfulness and surrender!! Maybe it won't be the ACL!!

So, note to self: Don't lug too much stuff, especially when you are tired.

Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


What a fantastic week!! Pastelists are so lucky to have this society! It was such a wonderful deal to rub shoulders with all the pastel luminaries; meeting folks whom you've long admired on the elevator and sharing plein air stories on the porch in a rocking chair. I LOVE that.

From start to finish it was a joy! I loved pulling into the hotel and having it be familiar to me; pulling our luggage and gear across the cool tile floors and anticipating the days ahead. I brought my mom with me this time and was happy she got to share in the festivities, have a better look into a big part of my world. She got to see all of us pastelists with our boxes and "stuff". We both visited with old friends and made some new ones.

For me, the convention kicked off with the Paint-Around where several pieces were worked on by four different artists. These were then auctioned off during the banquet.  Kim Lordier, Stan Sperlak, Desmond O'hagan and Deborah Stewart all worked together to create four unique pieces. Pretty fun!
Kim Lordier at the easel for the paint-around

Sunset from our room

On the Porch

Morning light
At the banquet
The banquet was Saturday nite and included a keynote speech from Jason of Xanadu Galleries. His talk was fresh, fun and informative. I loved hearing his personal story and his positive attitude.  Twenty three Master Circle recipients received their beautiful medallions and a moving tribute to Maggie Price concluded the evenings festivities.

I did two demonstrations, one first thing Friday morning after having arrived Thursday afternoon. I was nervous!! I'd prepared and prepared, but you just don't know how things will go for you until you are up there and doing your thing. Turns out, once I got going, I was pretty relaxed! The second was at the end of the conference after some down time. I was more even more nervous for this one for some reason, but got into a groove and was pleased with the results of the demo.

Getting set up

I had a lot of fun sharing about painting. What more can you want than getting to do something you absolutely love and then getting PAID to share it with folks!! Shhhhh!!!!, don't tell, but I would have done it for free!

Pastel on terracotta Colorfix paper

My mom and I took an extra day and headed to Santa Fe. We checked out galleries, and relaxed at bit. We are on our way home to Portland, but I'm already looking forward to 2015 when IAPS will convene in Albuquerque again!

Happy Painting!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Another Lovely Day!

I'm trying hard to stay busy. I'm getting pretty nervous about presenting at IAPS, so I packed up my painting gear and headed to Elk Rock Island again, yesterday afternoon. I might have to do that again today too! I found a great spot in open shade where I was really comfortable. I wasn't in direct sun, my painting surface and my palette had the same kind of light, making it very easy to see the color correctly. I decided to paint the water and reflections and chose a view that I wouldn't usually gravitate towards. For some reason it was calling me, so I listened. Lots and lots of green to deal with. I think it's one of the hardest things to paint, so I just didn't paint with much green. I did a warm under-painting with lots of red and blue. Then when I started with my pastels, I tried to substitute brown for green. At the end, I added some bits of green here and there. I think it worked nicely.

After reevaluating the reference photo, I can think of several other ways to have approached this scene. It will be fun to try it again in another way!

Watercolor under-painting

Plein air sketch