Christmas Vacation, Quiet Reflection, an Evolving Man Cave and Plans for a New Watercolor

The Reflective Side of the Man Cave

The Reflective Side of the Man Cave

Merry Christmas early, to anyone reading this.  Yesterday began my Christmas vacation from teaching school.  Very little got accomplished, I’m sad to say, but I did manage to roll up my sleeves during some down time and re-arrange my Man Cave while the temperatures were still mild in the garage.  I brought home five more vintage doors from my school classroom and re-installed them in the Cave, to close it off as a room separate from my Jeep.  All the steamer trunks and suitcases filled with watercolors, cards and prints are safely back home as well, where they belong.

Pictured above is my new seating area for reading, writing, thinking–something I have just gotten underway during this break.  Those moments can only get better as the days progress and I get used to the reality of not rising for classes every weekday morning in the pre-dawn.  I am ready to spend more time in Hemingway, Pound and Eliot.

Setting Up the Next Still Life

Setting Up the Next Still Life

Pictured above is the opposite side of my Man Cave.  This I also began yesterday, and am still tinkering with the arrangement and lighting today.  “No Ideas But in Things,” wrote William Carlos Williams.   These things are charged with personal history for me, and I plan on spending much quality time re-visiting and absorbing those ideas.  I am inspired to attempt a full-size watercolor sheet (22 x 28″) for this composition.  I have been too afraid for years to go after something of this magnitude, but as any recent blog readers will know, I have spent some time whittling away at still life objects in watercolor on a smaller scale, and I think it’s time to graduate to something larger and more focused.  Below I am posting the 22 x 28″ Andrew Wyeth watercolor that has fueled my imagination since I first saw the illustration as a freshman in high school, in Art I.  I will always be indebted to Mr. Scucchi, my Art I teacher, who believed in me enough to lay his massive Houghton-Mifflin Andrew Wyeth volume in front of me to peruse one day.  This particular watercolor of the interior of the house better known from Wyeth’s Chistina’s World was painted after the deaths of Christina and her brother, when this property was put up for sale, and Wyeth knew he was taking his last look at it.

The still life I have set up is an attempt to portray the belongings of one recently deceased as well, the residual property recording the decades of his life and the ideas/things enclosing his daily domestic domain.

Andrew Wyeth, Alvaro and Christina, watercolor 1968

Thanks for reading.

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