Now I could finally open the special package I found packed among my art supplies, marked “Do not open until Week 2 – March 18.” What could be in the box?
As soon as I realized that it was finally Saturday, March 18, I ripped open the shoebox marked as special, in the handwriting of my husband. This care package was well timed.
Inside was a printed photo card of my husband, Pete, and I at my solo show opening of Abstracted Rainy Moments at this time last year, with a mushy personal note handwritten on the inside of the card. Opening some paper-towel wrapping paper, I found an assortment of treats and inside jokes to bring a smile to my face. A can of ginger ale, a box of Girl Scouts Thin Mints (my favorite!), a can of chicken noodle soup and soda crackers, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup package, along with an assortment of small Dove chocolates peppered throughout the box. What cracked me up the most was the roll of Scott toilet paper, along with a small note.
After opening this wonderful package and readying for the day, I plunged in on checking in on my painting of the sunset. It had dripped quite a bit, but fortunately nothing was muddied too darkly in the process. I used my micro fan brush to again move the paint around in subtle ways that would help me achieve the visual result I was hoping for.
Then I touched up the winter snow scene just a bit, before moving it off its easel and over to hang on the wall — to make room for a new canvas and a new painting. After I moved it to the wall, I was overwhelmed with how I now had 5 paintings in process in just a few days! I am very pleased with the pacing of my painting productivity while on this residency.
Kara joined me on a short venture out to get lunch at The Purple Feather, on Commercial Street in Provincetown. About 7 years ago, my husband and I spent our first anniversary in Provincetown, and The Purple Feather was one place we had stopped and it made an impression on us. My husband recalls that the couple that owned the place mentioned that they had a son and daughter named Peter and Rachel. So I was determined to revisit this pleasant cafe to pay homage to that memory.
On our drive there, I stopped the vehicle a few times to take some photos of some marshy and coastline areas that we had passed almost each day, but without stopping to photograph it. I wanted to potentially use one of these photos as a composition for another rain painting. One one occasion, we took a side road that appeared that it would bring us to the dunes beyond. We followed it until we got to a sign that said SUVs only because it was a sandy road. I figured that my Rav4 could probably handle it, since it was an SUV. We went over the dune roads at a slow pace, but I could already feel the wheels spinning a bit, and the steering got a little precarious the more we continued down that road. Finally, once sense entered my head, we decided the best course of action would be to just back out of the road, so we did. We breathed a sigh of relief to just get out of that situation. We proceeded on to P-town without any more incident.
I should also mention that the weather was about 30*F with a very fast wind, so just stepping out or walking outside resulted in frozen faces and exposed hands. Once we entered the threshold of The Purple Feather, we thawed out and found table by the fireplace. The Purple Feather is an eclectic place, part coffeeshop, part chocolaterie, part deli, part sandwich shop, part bar. I ordered one of their “famous” hot chocolate martinis, which was pretty good. Kara and I both ordered the delicious baked mac’n’cheese. We took some desserts to go, but the choices of what to bring was difficult, especially with the broad range of deliciousness in the candy bar.
After lunch, we had a few quick errands to the art supply store, Stop & Shop, and the hardware store.
Upon our return to the studio, I was determined to have a productive afternoon, since we were out a bit longer than I had anticipated. I set up a new canvas, and I decided I was going to just do a canvas of blue sky and clouds, using all of the 5 blues that I had laid out on my palette from the previous paintings. I set up a 24×30 inch canvas and got to work. This painting was going to appear to be a bit more expressionist than my other ones, because in this one, I was going just for sky, no land, no water, no horizon. I had a lot of fun with this one, and it was nice to be able to let loose a little. Plus, I love the afternoon sun on that spot in the studio, and especially how it played on my canvas as I worked.
After the sun went down and I could no longer distract myself making shadow puppets, I went to work on smearing the painting into the rain effect. The cleaning of my brush between swipes was much easier, as everything was blue and easily able to blend. After spending some time on that, I retired for a bit to have a late dinner with fellow artists, Kara and Nan. We shared a dessert from The Purple Feather, their famous Mount Creme Puff. It was delicious, and perfect for sharing with others. After dinner, and while I waited for my laundry to wash, I returned to the studio briefly to see how much the painting had dripped after two hours, make a few touchups, and then I went to sleep. I plan to try to catch the sunrise in the morning.