Christmas card workspace
It’s hard to find quality time to paint when school is in session. Nevertheless, I retreated to my Man Cave (dirty garage!) immediately after school today to resume work on Christmas card #2. Tonight, with the help of a dear friend, I plan to resume work on my “store” opening soon at cafepress.com. So, during this brief interlude between school and technical support, I find joy in painting once again.
Once this card is finished, I’ll post a tighter image of it and discuss what I’ve discovered in the process of rendering it. As for now, all I can say is “Hurray for Prismacolor watercolor pencils”! They are making the task go very quickly and efficiently. It would be wonderful if I could finish this tonight, but I have my doubts. Tomorrow my Philosophy class begins work on Nietzsche, and I still have plenty of prep work to do on him tonight after I finish work on Cafe Press.
What I am about to write may appear to have nothing to do with my painting, but I know in my heart that it does. Yesterday I resumed my interior dialogue with some great minds that I had abandoned months ago. The demands of my daily schedule, and certain priorities I had established simply pushed them out. And to them I have now happily returned.
Since the 1980’s I have been absorbed with the history of ideas, and that particular discipline (I hope) has been able to rescue me from becoming too pedantic in the courses I teach. I must say, with regret, that the abandonment of this fruitful dialogue more recently turned my high school courses into catalog summaries of the essential elements assigned to each discipline. Since yesterday, I have worked to find my way back to the multidisciplinary path I once knew, and have come to miss.
My reading has been primarily in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” and “The Waste Land”. But thanks to The Teaching Company, I have had the enriching experience of listening to VHS tapes and DVDs on Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition as well as An Introduction to Greek Philosophy. I have been filled with lectures on the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle as well as Erasmus, Descartes and Spinoza. Though I cannot describe how the fellowship of these thinkers has seeped into my painting, I can at least testify that they have soothed my mind and put me in a proper space for painting. Hours pass by that feel like minutes. I’m glad to be back once again in the company of these magnificent minds.
Thanks for reading.