I was reminded there is such a thing as the “academic calendar” upon spotting the occasional U-haul trucks loaded with belongings making an appearance in downtown streets.
I used to live by it, whether in tune with my daughter’s school activities and vacations, or dealing with my own academic life. Waiting for summer, so I would finally have more time for my own studio work. (Hah! you’d think that would be the case, but if you’re an academic mommy, it just means your own kids are out of school, so you are pulled differently away from your work, not necessarily less so.) I also remember the sinking feeling when department meetings started up again…..”no… not yet!””
All those years are far behind me now. And I tend to get more studio work accomplished during the fall/winter/spring months. Times when there are fewer outdoor distractions, when I don’t mind hunkering down in the basement under the lights.
Summer is a different story. After the studio tour wrapped up, 3 cubic yards of great top soil/compost was dumped in the driveway. We’ve been trying to cut down on lawn area and use more of the front yard for growing veggies and perennials and flowers. So, many shovels and wheelbarrow loads later, it’s all distributed and also stored in the garage in two trash cans. Then there’s the recent load of stripstone that I loaded into the back of my station wagon to edge the flagstone patio and the garden beds in back. I also enjoy the daily picking, dead-heading, occasional weed pulling, and watering.
There’s been time spent reading, gathering my thoughts, finishing up a few smaller paintings, weeding out things in the studio, swimming at the pool around the corner, bike rides, hikes….. and just enjoying sitting on the deck, watching the clouds and storms roll in, appreciating the birds and other critters that scamper through the hedge, and ….. well, you get the picture.
It’s not that I’m a total slacker though, there are a few shows coming up this fall that are getting contributions from me – “Aria” a small group exhibit at Artworks in Loveland, CO; “Contemporary Colorado” a juried show at the newly reopened Curfmann Gallery at Colorado State University; “Must Love Art” a combination exhibit/and marriage celebration of two friends.. and the on-going posting of new works on two art marketing websites.
I am also determined to finally get my hands into some solar plate print-making.
But this is also the time to sit. To look at the sky, to marvel at the lovely birds that come close by for a drink or meal, to read a good book in the shade. Simple stuff. Not resume builders or the kinds of things that prompt you to moan about how “busy” you are, when asked.
The real gift of summer.