Posts Tagged ‘Gregorian Chant’

Small Steps Back to the Winter Man Cave

September 14, 2014
Clearing Out Space to Work Again in the Man Cave

Clearing Out Space to Work Again in the Man Cave

Current wisdom, especially that propagated by the various schools of psychoanalysis, assumes that man is a social being who neeeds the companionship and affection of other human beings from cradle to grave.,  It is widely believed that interpersonal relationships of an intimate kind are the chief, if not the only, source of human happiness.  Yet the lives of creative idividuals often seem to run counter to this assumption.

Anthony Storr, Solitude: A Return to the Self

Texas weather brought quite the surprise in recent days, notwithstanding the news of the Canadian cold front pushing its way southward.  Friday after school, temperatures dropped to the lower sixties in the afternoon, and brisk north winds picked up to the point that I was forced to leave a Starbuck’s patio and go inside (the short-sleeved Tshirt wasn’t getting the job done).  By morning, temperatures were around 55 degrees and the world so much more beautiful outside than it had been in months.  A Texas garge is off-limits during the summer months of triple-digit temperatures, and so today with great delight I re-entered my garage and began reclaiming the “man cave” half that had been abandoned nearly two years ago.  So much stuff had accumulated that it took a couple of hours to hew out a good working space at my drafting table, sit on the sofa with coffee and an excellent book, grade papers, and listen to the Gregorian Chant playing on the garage stereo.  As the winter arrives, I have these aspirations to return to serious still life studies as I did two winters ago.   Throughout the interim, I have collected many, many antique objects to add to my studio collection, and I am more than ready to do some new studies.

My desire to resume the blog activity is increasing of late.  For several weeks the high school and university claimed the lion’s share of my daily attention, and I have found great satisfaction in the efforts there.  My memory has to go back a number of years to recall such a satisfying start as this.  At the time of this writing, I still have quite a stack of grading to complete before going to bed tonight, but none of the resentment that used to attach itself to such assignments as before.  Things are different now, and I’m pleased with the changes.

Recent watercolor attempts have been revolving around private lessons, and I indeed found much joy in those encounters as well.  I have a festival approaching in a couple of weeks, and trust that I’ll get my watercolor chops back by that time.  With great enthusiasm I am also anticipating the fall colors that should arrive soon, and I have pledged not to let the fall season escape without significant plein air study this time around.

This is good time of the year, and I look forward to sharing more of these delicious experiences on the blog.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

A Sacred Space

January 23, 2012

In the studio: a Sacred Space

Time constraints have made studio hours scarce lately.  But I have the opportunity to enter the studio (man cave!) this afternoon, it appears.  As you can see, I’m still hung up in the midst of this Fort Worth Flat Iron building located on the south side of downtown.

My imagination has drifted recently to the Cathedral of Chartres (we are studying it now in Advanced Placement Art History) and the whole notion of sacred space.  Having been brought up in a church  background, and studying theology on a graduate level, I have been intrigued throughout my life with sacred space, and have found such within the confines of  churches, libraries, outdoor settings, private studies, and even the driver’s seat of my Jeep.  Whenever I find myself in a state of perfect balance and calm, whenever my internal and external world seems in order, I feel that I have entered a sacred space.  Oftentimes, that sacred space is my garage, my man cave, my artist’s studio.  Whether the VCR plays my documentary of the Cathedral of Chartres with its sacred geometry, or my stereo plays the Gregorian Chant, or even if I’m listening to recordings of T. S. Eliot reading his poetry, my dusty garage quickly transforms into a sanctuary, a sacred space, as long as I am working on a watercolor (I could probably get just as high by reading a book, but I do that in my study, not in the garage!).

Creating watercolors in the garage works.  The light is spectacular when I raise the door.  I don’t have to worry about dripping water onto the concrete floor.  I have much space for walking around, moving things about, and stepping way back from the painting to view it from a distance and from different angles.  I have plenty of space to move the large watercolor papers from drafting table, to flat table, to easel, or even onto the floor.  And I’m generally alone and solitary.  When the cat comes out to visit, he isn’t intrusive; he generally requests only a  blanket for a bed, and is content to keep to himself.

If things go as planned, I’ll re-enter my sacred space after school today, and hopefully have a progress report to post this evening.

Thanks for reading.