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Friday, December 28, 2018

Time at the Studio

It is Christmas break and I am spending a few days at the studio. I have begun an extensive project to paint a sailboat using pointillism as a method. It will be a series of pixillated dots to create an image and it will take a great deal of time. It is relaxing and it will be exciting (and anxiety-producing) to see if the image comes to life.

This is my third consecutive day in the studio and I was excited to get started today. I sat with another artist and we each drank a cup of coffee and then I returned to work. I started to think about putting dots on the canvas and for some reason I painted a square image of white blossoms against a blue background. I was stymied as to the reason I did not put those dots on the canvas but I became excited about painting a summer time image. The model for my painting was an image I took of a tree with white blossoms in Chatham, Cape Cod this summer. I liked the stark contrast of the white against the vibrant blue. Anyways, I went back to stippling after a while but it was with a slightly darker blue tone so the average person would not see that the color I applied was any different.

I have been using this week as prayer time. Typically, the week after Christmas I pray for those people who sent me Christmas cards and then I follow it up on Epiphany to end the season. Christmas cards are among my favorite part of Christmas, and this years I received a surprise card on Christmas Eve that was very special. I was taken aback and it was as if the whole significance of Christmas descending upon my prayer and I just gave thanks.

This week has been restful. The artists that I am meeting are quite friendly and attentive. They like that there is a priest among them and they like that I am among them. They are kind people and I like kind, happy people. They like me too. Even for those who say faith has nothing to offer them, they still like something I offer them and they hav many questions about God and the meaning of life. Something is working.

I am amazed at the range of people who pass through the SoWa (South of Washington) studios. Yesterday, my first two guests were from Norway and Orange County, respectively. Many of those who are visiting this week are from out-of-town. It is astonishing that people from the hotels and from across the country know about this place better than many Bostonians. I enjoy these interactions.

One guy yesterday asked of large portrait that I painted years ago, “Is that you? The nose is different but the eyes and the smile are warm, just like you.”

I had a nice Christmas. The parish is a lot of fun and I met some nice people. It is fun to see a packed church. My sister hosted dinner for Christmas Day and it was quite fun with tasty food and a relaxed atmosphere. My niece visited with her family as well. I enjoyed the day.

As I was returning home, I passed through the center of Worcester to see their Christmas lights. I saw about 16 young adults on the Common and we started chatting. They were Iraqi students who were studying at college in Worcester. We sang some Arabic songs and they were delighted. They could not believe an American would know those songs.

I still have a lot to do with the studio. I have to set up a website and get some business cards and posters. Simple stuff, but time consuming. I’m just enjoying painting and all these dots are giving me an opportunity to speak on the phone with friends and family and to call to mind all those people who are suffering in some way. 

Well, all these dots are keeping me focused. I’ve done about 5,000 and I probably have another 295,000 to go. I hope the person who gets this painting realizes the amount of time and attention that it took to create this. I think the person will very much appreciate it.

Anyways, back to those dots.

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