Sunday, February 21, 2010

Connecting in Mendocino

The days are flying by, sometimes slowly, but most times quickly - I have already been her for 4 weeks today! New paintings are emerging - I have finished quite a few painted mostly from previous sketches from the Camino - and once in a while I paint something completely different, to keep it fresh!
I have spent a lot of time on the computer, working on flyers, postcards, applications, teaching materials and all that stuff that keeps me from painting! Today I just set up shop online at Another project that took many hours. However, it has to get done, and I have to accept it is part of being a working artist.
I am in the process of putting my Camino presentation on iDVD, a whole new process so I have to learn as I go - as with so many things it takes a lot of time! Once it's done, I look very much forward to the first presentation on March 20th at the Mendocino Rec Center. I am also working on finding Camino artists to collaborate with for an art exhibit, and I am beginning to have some success.
I just finished 2 dot paintings that are going to be exhibited at Racines in Fort Bragg, where I will give a "Story Painting" workshop next Saturday - I have a few signed up already, and hope to get a few more.
Monday I start with my Arts and Crafts class for the kids in the After School program at the Mendocino Rec Center - I am looking forward to meeting the kids, and plan on starting them out with some dot paintings and story telling about Dream Time. If it is a hit, I have found the creation stories of some of the Native American tribes, and I think it can be a lot fun painting and creating from these wonderful legends.
I am spending a lot of time in my own head, so to speak, as I am working alone in the studio, and in my apartment most days, and it has given me lots of time to think and put down ideas that come to me on paper, so I don't forget.
I even wrote a poem of sorts, that came to me one early morning:

"Dancing with the Muses"

The Muses are dancing on long sleepless nights,
when the mind wanders aimlessly between past, present and future,
searching for answers.
From hidden treasures deep in the soul,
answers are whispered from divine places.
Faint melodies reach you,
soon you are dancing with the Muses
to the tones of imagination.

The weather has been pretty grey, with a few sunny days, but I have yet to put my kayak in the water -I promised myself to go paddling next time we have a nice, sunny day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mendocino Revisited

I have taken a break from writing my blog since I finished my Camino in October 2009. Now it's time to update you on what I am doing now that I am back in Mendocino after a couple of wonderful months in the snow-covered mountains around Truckee.
I returned from Spain on the tails of the first major snow storm, and I left for Mendocino in a small window between snowstorms 2 weeks ago. Albeit 5 days later than planned, but winter is king in the mountains, and you got to adjust. Something I have definitely become better at since walking the Camino.
I enjoyed the winter and snow, and it helped me keep the pace down, and stay focused on taking one day at a time.
I will admit the last few weeks before I left for Mendocino, I did "fall off the wagon" a bit, but the extra 5 days king winter dictated actually saved the day! And I left feeling ready, and was pleased with having most of my paintings exhibited somewhere! Anywhere is better than in storage, and at the US Bank in Truckee and Tahoe City, River Gallery in Reno, North Tahoe Arts in Tahoe City, Squaw Valley and Northstar are all great venues to be in - and I am in! Well, my paintings are in. It was a big push, but I got it done!
Driving to Mendocino was a white-knuckle drive over the mountains - it had started snowing before I left the house in Glenshire, but I took it slow, and got here safe - enjoying beautiful rainbows as I drove through the coastal mountains. I took that as a good omen for my stay here. There is supposed to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right?
It stayed dry while I unloaded my car with the help of Carol, who had also brought a homemade salad and soup, I had the wine, and we had a great evening catching up. We are sharing a studio here this time, and my little studio apartment is cosy, I do a lot of my painting here, and have all my mat cutting and framing equipment in the art studio.
I have been out for a couple of good long walks at Russian Gulch SP, and around the Headlands, enjoying the crashing waves, and the fresh sea breeze. It's rainy and windy on and off, but the sun does come out and brighten everything up now and again. I don't mind the rain, I brought my rain gear from the Camino.
I am beginning to get into a good "zone" for painting, and I have made some good contacts this week, so I am scheduled to teach art classes at the Mendocino Rec center, next week I am going to Fort Bragg to teach a couple of art classes at an elementary school, paid! Not much, but it helps!