Painting is an indoor sport, best saved for cold weather. My response to Evelyn's comment yesterday set a light bulb off in my head: I just do not feel like confining myself to the studio.
I don't want to miss a minute of the glorious days of Spring and Summer. Rain or shine, it's time to be OUT in the yard, down by the lake, cycling the neighborhood, pinching back flowers, pulling weeds and on the alert for slugs, black spot, aphids and other junk a rainy Spring might bring into my garden. This is the time to be out-of-doors. And this week, I'm out there planting. Painting is not my whole life, just part of it. I can finally relax and stop whipping myself over a slump I've been having. I'm just not into it these days when:
THE PANSIES LOOK LIKE THEY'VE HAD IT. A cooler spot must be found if I'm going to carry them through till Fall when they'll come back into their own.
THE CLEMATIS ARE COMING INTO THEIR OWN FINALLY I've got my fingers crossed; they're looking better than they have since I've put them in several years ago. I was going to tear them out, but they're too vigorous to destroy.
THE IRIS TOO. This Fall I really will dig them up and divide them; I'm way past due. Painting can be overly distracting.
AND THE ROSES ARE SETTING UP BUDS THAT WILL BLOOM ALL SUMMER LONG. I did put my brush down in early March to brave the cold, cut them back and fertilize--also took care of the Spirea and Hydrangea. I'm counting on the Hydrangea to give me mammoth clusters to dry for winter's floral arrangements. The Yarrow look like a sure thing.
As winter faded, I moved away from painting and just didn't know it. It's not my only love. I have many and I've been neglecting them. I did have the piano tuned, but my fingers have grown weak from lack of practice. I haven't poked around with different recipes in the kitchen for months AND I NEED A NEW CAMERA WITH MANY MORE PIXELS! Summer time is camera time, a time to be gathering material for painting when the temperatures fall in the fall. Such a silly goose I've been thinking slump when I was just turning a corner.
We do whip ourselves over painting slumps and make ourselves feel rotten that we're not producing. How silly we are. A slump says something's going on--most likely a growth period--a time off we need to take to gather new information and refill our souls. We think of a slump as a negative space when, as painters, we know there are no such things. All spaces in a composition are positive. All spaces are connective passages that shape the subject and sharpen our focus. So if any of you are lambasting yourselves as I was over not wanting to draw or paint anything. Give it up. Dig in the dirt. Play Chernzy till those fingers are strong and quick again. Turn the corner. Before you know it, you'll have rounded the block.