Monday, May 2, 2011

Just a Little Pressure

As soon as the page on the calendar flipped from April to May, it hit me - I am leaving in 3 weeks! In that time I must finish the composition in the last 1/3 of the painting, go back and correct mistakes in the first 2/3s, add some details I have been holding off on, and solve a problem or two to try to make the whole thing work. I have to do all that, actually, in less than 3 weeks because I have to deliver the painting to my friends at Fast Signs on Michigan Road to put in all the grommets prior to my departure. I have work to do!

Last week, one evening when I was feeling tired and not too interested in much of anything, I sat down with a small brush and some paint to clean up some edges and transitional areas. I ended up with white paint remaining on my palette after I thought I was finished. Well, not being one to waste anything, I decided to use the white paint and paint in the snow on the Evanston shops. Voila! A snow scene appeared in one evening without even thinking much about it.

I spent a good 3-4 hours painting on Sunday. Zeke is safely back from Colorado and is as relaxed as I have seen him in a long time. Nothing like a week of the mountain wilderness with a good friend, good scotch and infrequent showers. Sounds like a ball. But he's happy. We spent the day together doing "stuff," and even though I visited with the canvas at various times throughout the day for painting sessions, we were still together.

I worked on the purple background around the John Hancock building. That allowed me to add the towers this evening.

I also painted in the street in the foreground. To me, this represents where we live now. The street is a dominant feature separating us from the beach. Chips used to walk very pleasantly on her leash until we rounded the corner and then she saw the street. At that point it was every man for himself as she lunged and tried to dash across that boundary between society and nature. More likely, it was the freedom of the open space and the preponderance of goose poop that were the main attractions.

Yesterday afternoon Zeke did something that even exceded himself. As wonderful, sensitive and supportive a life partner that he is - unfailingly - he took my breath away this time. For no reason at all he handed me a note that said he thinks he has an understanding of how important this trip is, and he wants me to have something for it. Inside a small box was a silver chain with a beautiful shiny cylinder pendant dangling from it. It almost looked like a mezzuzah. But no, that's not what it is. At the bottom of the pendant is a small screw that opens the tube so one can pour a tiny amount of ashes into it. This beautiful pendant will allow me to take Chipper to Israel with me...and then to leave those precious ashes behind at the Mediterranean Sea when I find a few quiet moments to spend there with her and my thoughts. The last time I cried this hard is when she was dying on the emergency room table.

Tonight I worked on problem solving. I trimmed the width of the orange tree (still need to lay in some of the umber color), reduced the weight of the green bushy mass to the left of the Hancock building, repainted the yellow ground around the tree, and removed the circle at the base of the tree and added some roots. Now, instead of levitating, the tree looks like it is standing on its tip toes. I'm laughing at myself, but honestly, I am perplexed as to what to do with this tree. I'll sleep on it.

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