Me, the week I learned to paint, 1998.
New Boston, New Hampshire Summer, 2021
When I first learned to paint on a vacation in Mexico, I was forty-two, had just had my fourth child, and was married to a man with two of his own. Aprils to Decembers, seven days a week, I ran a small garden center in a rural town in New Hampshire. I didn't have a lot of time to paint, but I was obsessed, and as soon as the garden center closed for the year, I'd set my paints and easel up in our kitchen and paint all winter. My husband and kids were very supportive. Generally they were proud of me and as tolerant of my mess as I was of theirs.
Fast forward eight years and the garden center was sold, the older kids went to college, and we started to spend more of the year in Morelia, a city in central Mexico. My husband was offered a university job there, our young daughter went to school, and I painted up a storm and attended art classes. In the summers we divided our time between New Hampshire and Matinicus Island, Maine where we have two summer rental properties. So each year, I'd paint in three different locations.
Fast forward again to recent years, and our older children have homes, partners, and kids of their own. We spend considerable time with all of them, my paints taking over space in a kitchen, guest room, porch, or basement. Not always ideal, but always doable.
And then COIVD. For the first time in the twenty-two years I've been painting, I painted for a whole year in one place. Because many people were suffering, it was hard to be blissful. On the other hand, I took full advantage of the opportunity, painting the better part of every day, and for the first time doing it in a studio -- my own newly-built studio on our Mexican rooftop. Wow.
But thanks to vaccines, since April, I'm back to seeing family, and I've painted in San Diego, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and on Matinicus. I'll spend August painting in Colorado. And although I miss my studio, I'm also embracing what all the moves bring to my art. Each time I change locations there's a shift, a new idea. Having to make do with limited supplies and space provokes my creativity.
Although I can't find his exact quote, I credit the late artist Robert Genn with saying, "fall in love with your process." After twenty -some years, I understand mine and know how to live joyfully with it. I can come to any paper, canvas, or board wherever I land and make art with what I packed or what's on hand.
My biggest challenge is having my paintings in two different countries. For this reason, what's shown on this site is the artwork I can ship now. When I return to Mexico in October, this site will have the work I can ship from there.
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