This weekend was San Diego Pride, which is basically a huge holiday in San Diego. This year our local marines, soldiers, and sailors got to wear their uniforms in the parade if they were so inclined, which was a big deal. I didn't get a good picture of that historic happening, but I did manage to get a few pictures of the parade--including Matt marching with the Red Cross. It was a pretty balanced weekend--bike riding, a long day at the Pride parade, grocery shopping, and a little beer tasting. Also naps! Well balanced, sunny and breezy, basically SD Perfect.
I meant to talk about this last week, but time got away from me. I am taking the Bloom True e-course with Flora Bowley. It is an on-line version of the in-person workshops she has been teaching around the world, and this is the first ever run of the e-course.
I first learned of Flora when Beth Nicholls announced the course in her newsletter. I had just finished another online painting course around Thanksgiving, which was a mistake. The course was good, I just should have known that November would be about the worst time for me to try to do a class. Except possibly December, which was the time the class remained open for catch-up. *sigh* Anyway, after that mostly-failure, I was hesitant to spend money on another possible failure.
But I signed up immediately anyway.
I just started painting a little over a year ago, and I find it very intimidating. I know I have to actually paint and practice to get better at it, but it's so intimidating that I don't do it as often as I should. Flora's idea of "intuitive" painting and creativity as a joyful process just spoke to me so loudly, I couldn't resist signing up.
Above is my little painting nook in the office as it has been for the past year-ish. You can see from the fading and discoloration of this photo that this is clearly out-dated (hahaha--filters for maximum symbolism)! I love having little cozy spaces in my home. We lucked out with this basic white-box apartment, in that to accomodate the balconies (extra lucky) there are nooks in the livingroom and office. In the livingroom it is just wide enough to accomodate two tall book cases, and with the addition of a lamp, table, and chair it is a cozy reading nook. And a basic white table in the office gives me a nice little creative space.
But Bloom True uses larger canvases and requires free movement, so I needed to change it up. I was cautious about moving furniture, as I still need the room to function as an office. The downside of balconies in every room? Sliding glass doors that limit furniture arrangement possibilities in every room. So I decided to pretend the door was a window and put the table in front of it anyway!
So far it is working great. I put a tarp and old table cloth on the floor. Unfortunately I didn't think of taping newsprint to the walls until after I splattered them a little. Whoops! But I really like the new set up. So does Hamilton, unfortunately. It's more inspirational than sitting in the cramped little corner. Now I can dance around as I lay down the fun, free-form foundation layers in the Bloom True class. And I do.
Those were just the first 2 layers of one of my canvases. There are several on top of it now, and I'm just having to trust this new process and enjoy the mere act of making marks with paint. And I am.
I love having a little solitude. A little room to experiment and be creative and unselfconscious. And as a reward for signing up for this inaugural e-course right away, I will be receiving a copy of Flora's book when it is released in May. That should keep me inspired and enjoying my art nook as the year unfolds. This may not be the most elegant or attractive set-up of all time, but it's working for me, and it's one of my favorite places to be.
Or don't. No pressure. But Happy Valentine's Day! I know this is a sort of fraught, overwrought, "Hallmark" holiday, and while I'm not really into the fauxmance part of it (I love that word, "fauxmance"), I still love the happy-hearts-and-candy side of the day.
How is it that we went from cards and conversation hearts for everyone in the class to the stress of an expensive and forced romantic encounter? I remember my second Valentine's Day in college, my mom sent me candy and a yellow raincoat and conversation heart printed pajama shorts. Amazing! So fun! So cheerful! So much better than the forced romantic gestures of the previous couple years. I realized then that I wanted to keep Valentine's Day a fun day--the kind of day when my mom is my Valentine and I drink wine and eat candy with friends and never, ever do the whole prix fixe V-Day menu and generic jewelry thing if I did have a dude in my life.
Of course now I'm married.
So I don't spend Valentine's Day at the bar with all my friends anymore, taking turns telling stories about bad dates and worse breakups and cracking each other up. But prix fixe menus and high pressure haven't reared their heads in my life either. Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple we hosted a small party, which is definitely my favorite way to celebrate. When V day falls on a weekend (or later than Wednesday) again, I want to throw another one. So fun.
We don't really do official Valentines Day stuff. There is no obligation for gifts or special romantic plans (I think the full extent of our plans tomorrow is to pop into Blind Lady for Valentine themed beer flights). But Matt usually gets me something around this time of year anyway. But since we don't officially celebrate Valentines Day, he doesn't wait for the day to roll around to present it to me. I'm the luckiest!
So last week Matt gave me this copy of Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics. We both love comics and graphic novels, and I'm particularly interested in the history of comics geared towards girls, and I love getting kind of irate and indignant over the melodramatic morality stories. Does my man know me or what?
Fortunately, by the same rules that make early presents not really early, because we technically don't celebrate Valentine's Day; my present for him isn't really late, because we don't technically celebrate Valentine's Day! Yess! Victory!
Anyway, whether you love it or loathe it, I hope you have a good day. And if you're able, call your mom and ask her to be your Valentine.