You know the groove. It’s the place where things run smoothly, maybe even with a little hum, or rhythm that keeps you lifted up on your toes and snapping your fingers. It’s a great place to be.
But you already knew that.
Then there’s the rut. It’s deeper than a groove, and not as much fun. It’s messier, and harder work. Hardy souls that rode wooden-wheeled wagons from east to west a hundred years ago left ruts that vacationers can still see from their air-conditioned SUV’s today. Chin down, don’t stop to see how far you have yet to go.
A groove is a lovely flow, a sweet stream of goodness. A rut is a drudge.
And you already knew that.
Then there’s the Marianas Trench.
It’s an interesting place, fascinating really. If you're a dragonfish or some such thing the trench is a fine environment. But you don’t want to stay there too long. It’s pretty chilly, and there’s a lot of pressure there – literally.
So how do you get out of a trench to a rut, and finally back to a groove?
Relax. Quit fighting the current.
Let your natural buoyancy lift you back up to the surface where you can breathe easily. Or sit near a garden.
Study a couple of ridiculous young blue jays learn to be birds. Sit under an umbrella and watch zinnias earn their colors.
Watch for a couple of hummingbirds to show up and fight over a single flower among thousands. Count butterflies.
That’s how I spent my summer.
And you already knew that.
It’s been a quiet summer here at Scarborough Studios.
I’ve been studying diligently. It’s been hard work, and I’m nearly done.
What I’ve found is that:
A bunny hides under my butterfly bush.
A ground squirrel is willing to sneak across my occupied patio when necessary to reach fallen bird seed.
My bird feeder will hold up to a dozen sparrows.
Cicadas are flying bullets.
Squirrels are adept at picking each single solitary seed from the head of a sunflower while hanging upside down.
That same sunflower, whose empty head hangs over quite dramatically, holds about a half-gallon of rain water in its dried out basin. (While checking to see if there were any seeds left, I tipped the head, sending most of the water down my neck. Research can be surprising.)
Doves do not sound peaceful. They make a strangled gurgling sound when they fly.
Blue Jay babies are dorks of the bird world.
If the umbrella is moved just right, a person can stay out on the patio nearly the entire day.
Ice cubes melt fairly quickly in lemonade. And that’s okay.
Books are better when read outside. So are crossword puzzles.
I don’t want to bore you with pages of minute details. Plus, it’s time for more lemonade.
People in creative endeavors are often asked if they've always been artistic.
Years ago my 7th grade class was assigned the task of creating a painting, with the addition of a story or poem to round out the project. The details escape me; I was a determined out-the-window-starer and it was not unusual for me to miss the fine points.
Prang Oval 8’s appeared and I went to work. My only memory of the written half of the assignment was that the movement of pigment on paper inspired me to write something about “…watercolor skies…” I’m sure it was earnest and sappy. And then I promptly forgot about the whole thing, windows nearby grabbing my attention with interesting shapes and shadows.
Weeks later our teacher smiled and moved slowly to my desk, a packet in her hand. Not used to being singled out, my thoughts were something like “Why you lookin’ at me like that?” Excuses began to form quickly in the back of my panicked brain.
“Congratulations,” She said smoothly. “We’re proud of you!”
There in the packet was my painting, the poem, and a purple ribbon. Seeing the painting now, I have the feeling the poem carried the day.
On that day I became an artist. Eleventy-hundred years later I’m still painting. I’m still staring out windows, too. My poetry, on the other hand, has slipped by the wayside, having peaked in 7th grade.
This blog platform is brand spankin' new so it looks pretty spare. Patricia Scarborough Studio News is where you'll find the past 8 years of ponderings and wonderment. You're invited to poke the link and catch up on my musings. From today forward this is where you'll find me.
2016 Patricia Scarborough First Cut 9x12 Pastel
I've been sharing the odds and ends of my art life for the last 8 years.