Masks and Flasks

My new masks arrived today. They have three protective layers, don’t fog up my glasses, are hand washable, and are a very flattering shade of grey. I think they’ll be excellent for our trip to New Orleans next week for John’s birthday. To complete the 1920 look, my friend and I decided to wear my mother’s furs as well. We will be so very glamorous. And the furs will come in handy since we’re afraid of the virus and intent on staying outside. No indoor dining for us. We shall enjoy long walks with masks and flasks, lots of photo opps (we’re even bringing our own photographer!), and many meals shared safely in the little house we’re renting. We think it will be fun, chic, and safe. And hopefully soon, very soon, we can all get vaccinated and life can resume.

Back to the Bayou

First day of the year. Sleepy and cold. I decided I needed to get back to writing. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pick up where I left off. My current manuscript is a sequel to The Adventures of Miss Vulpe. I hadn’t touched it in a few months. But words came so easy they surprised me. I’m writing from the perspective of Marga, Ana’s sister, and she keeps having a recurring nightmare of alligators and egrets in the Bayou. The kind of dream that’s meant to guide her.

I feel better now that I got some writing done. I’d missed it, missed all the fun I had while writing Glory Days. So perhaps this is a good way to start the new year. We’ll see what happens. In life and in the book.

Goodbye 2020!!!

Goodbye 2020, my last painting of the year, created live on my Facebook show and sold immediately during live auction after a fierce bidding war!

I wasn’t going to do a live painting show today, but then this crazy year deserved a proper goodbye. I had words swirling through my head all day, things I’ve been meaning to say, but now I can’t think of anything. I’ll leave you with this video I’ve made – the highlights of this crazy year in paintings and pictures. A lot of it has been hard and exhausting, and yet there’s much to be grateful for. We made it through and we will be stronger and shine brighter.

Here’s my video. Thank you for being here and may the next year be much much better.

Small Seascape

Today I painted this small seascape that I’m quite happy with. I might do a few more of these. I also got my dog a new harness, which she hated at first but seems to tolerate actually, and which might improve our experience on walks.

And a friend came by and brought us flowers.

These are some of the good things about today. The bad things seemed overwhelming at times throughout the day – feeling lonely and lost, out of patience with the pandemic and just about everything else – but I think I managed to dispel them. Painting always helps. And tomorrow is another day. Soon it’ll be another year.

In some ways I’m in such a different place than I was last year – literally. I mean I’m in my new little house in the Heights now. I also have a brand new book I hadn’t even begun to dream up last year. And my business has grown a little, despite the pandemic. But… There are many ways in which I was hoping to advance this past year, both professionally and personally, that just didn’t happen. And it’s ok, obviously. I suppose soon enough, as soon as I can get the vaccine, more things will be possible. And life will resume. And some old problems will resurface just like old friends. And maybe I’ll be happy to have them back.

What Do Giraffes Want?

A fun day containing an author interview for a podcast, a very special gallery visit, and a short Skype chat with my old lizard, perhaps a bit one-sided since she can’t hear me, but she did get to see me and say a few things. She said she could see that I’m taking care of myself, and that she knows it’s expensive, but that it’s very important. Which was a funny, lizard-like thing to say. I wish I could go there so she could tell me more stuff in person. Or maybe I just want to travel into the past, when our conversations made more sense and were easier.

Starlit Sky

This small painting is fun and magical! It’s just something I felt like playing with today. It’s been a mostly quiet day: ordering copies of The Glory Days of Aimée Bonnard for backers, influencers, and top readers, walking around outside to take advantage of the nice weather, cooking a little bit, doing a little yoga, trying a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies. These are usually my favorite kind of days.

Fennel

Today I bought myself something real pretty: fennel! I’ve always thought this was a beautiful vegetable, and it’s actually not my first time painting it.

I had a really nice day in other ways as well. The weather was lovely, and a very good friend, whom I haven’t seen in months, came by for a socially distant visit and a very long walk. We might or might not have drank some bubbly John left in my fridge during our walk. It was really good catching up and laughing.

At night I made soup including, among other things, the fennel. John came by to drink a cocktail with my dog and make fun of my art.

Later I lit candles and some incense and actually got back to my yoga practice. It felt good to look at the waterlilies in the warm glow of Christmas lights and candles. Some of the lighter brushstrokes shine in the dark. I’m finally at peace with this painting, finally loving it. Perhaps it took yoga, or just some different light to bond with it, but it’s becoming one of my favorites.

Complete

After weeks of working on them, the water lilies are finally complete. There were a lot of other nice things about today too – a quiet Christmas Eve with oranges and only the one explosion of noise when John paid me an unexpected visit. He’s not the only one who does that, though. One of my accomplishments today was getting into Nancy and Bobby’s house – with Bobby. Nancy refused to join us and looked at me like I was insane.