Trinidad Residential Morning
Some classes I open a book to begin.
Today in philosophy I opened a vein.
Good afternoon. After days of weariness, I finally feel as though I have re-entered the world. I am coming off a four-day art festival that averaged 13-hour days sitting in a booth, then going home to catch four hours of sleep and return. That, coupled with the strenuous load-in and load-out of my booth, furniture and art work, left me physically devastated. The festival ran Thursday through Sunday night, and I had to rise at 6:00 Monday morning and resume teaching my high school classes. Frankly, I remember only fragments of Monday and Tuesday.
But today was a new and splendid day. I began with a Philosophy class at 7:35, where we reviewed our past research and findings in the Presocratic thinkers, then folded their ideas into the legacies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The ninety-minute class (to me) seemed only to last five minutes, and it was over. I was breathless. I went to my journal and penned the couplet that opens this blog (I would be horrified if I were to find out that the words were already used–they felt like my own, and still do). Next, I waited for the back-to-back ninety-minute Art History classes to arrive. The topic was Andy Warhol as the Genius of Pop Art. I had prepared an extensive powerpoint presentation, and used it as a springboard to open an energetic discussion on his “factory” approach to creating and marketing art, his mysterious persona, and the overall fun that springs from the creative process. We enjoyed contrasting the Pop Artists and their bare commercial images with their predecessors–the Abstract Expressionists along with their esoteric, brooding themes and academic theories. Again, the two classes felt as though they ran five minutes each, and then they were over. I was finished teaching. I just collapsed in my chair, thankful for a good day, a sublime day in an educational setting where students seemed genuinely hungry and enthused to learn, to explore new frontiers.
O.K., the painting posted above–I sketched out this watercolor on Thursday, the first of the four-day Grapefest held in Grapevine, Texas last week. For some reason, the Wi-Fi access was spotty (unlike last year, when I blogged daily from my booth). I could not get my photos uploaded, and the Internet access was flowing like molasses. So, I gave up, deciding to post the stuff on the following week. At any rate, Thursday was a very slow day for sales, and not very many patrons were flowing through the festival, especially from 10:00-5:00. So, I brought with me my watercolor supplies and an 8 x 10″ enlarged photo of some residences I photographed in Trinidad, Colorado during one of my past vacations in that “colorful” state. As I recall, it was in the morning when I captured this, the mountain atmosphere and golden sun rays were bathing the facades of the neighborhood houses, and I could hear that oft-quoted line of Edward Hopper: “I have been a stranger to humanity. All I wanted to do was paint the sunlight on the side of the wall.” I was always smitten at the sight of his painting Second Story Sunlight, wishing myself to paint one day the steep-pitched roofs and gable ends of frame houses bathed in the morning sun. I found my opportunity at last while sitting in my art booth, looking at a splendid photo composition of a Colorado mountain morning.
The same kind of sun that flooded that Colorado morning had a way of flooding my soul during my classes this morning at Martin High School. I’m grateful to look back now on such a day. It is now 5:49 p.m., and I’m feeling a substantial measure of satisfaction.
Thanks for reading.