"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Sunday, January 17, 2010
If any of you have wondered why I have been away from this blog since the 3rd of January - making this only my second post of the year - there is a reason.
It's because I have only just thawed.
South Florida temperatures have finally eased their way up into the 70's and 80's. I can move again.
I know that it has probably been much, much colder where you are and may even still be. I know that if you have a blog, you have probably not missed one single post. You may even have ventured outside in 15 below weather to do fun stuff like paint in watercolors and see it freeze, or to dance or something.
This, of course, is impressive, but there are perfectly reasonable explanations for your ability to handle the frigid temperatures, and South Floridians' inability to handle merely cold weather.
Firstly, I have it on good authority, that South Florida's cold is different from your cold. I am quite sure that none of the hundreds of visitors to the University of Miami Beaux Art Festival this year were South Floridians, except my wife and I. We felt adventurous that day. But even visiting artists were chilled to the bone. Case in point: I met an artist couple from Vermont, Christopher Castelli and Christine Brenner. In my opinion their work was the best in the show. Their website is here. They do en plein air paintings.
Anyway, Christine Brenner said she could not wait to get inside because of the cold! Not one to mince words, although we had only just met, I taunted her, saying: "What?! You're from Vermont!" She said that she had been in 7 degree weather in Vermont that was more tolerable than our 20-plus degree weather. She blamed our humidity.
See? You can handle your cold, sure.
The other reason is that the people and all of the other creatures of South Florida are simply not made for temperatures that drop as low as the 20's. One person I know here in Miami said, before her hibernation, "I can't stand these extreme temperatures!"
During the record breaking cold-snap, the beautiful iguanas that hang out in trees here, froze in position and fell to the ground. Large turtles had to be rescued and laid out on blankets, their legs splayed in exhaustion. In Central Florida Manatees swam into shallow canals, 30 or 40 at a time to cuddle against one another. Here in Miami, they swam to the power plants' warmer water I am sure. In short, these temperatures turned South Florida residents into refugees. Our habitat was gone.
We are back now.
I have been getting somewhat acquainted with my new Winsor & Newton watercolors, and been trying to color neglected drawings in my Moleskine. I feel I need to get them out of the way before I can move on, you know? The above drawing was done in September, and colored a few days ago. This gentleman was in Einstein Bagels. I decided to put him on a train traveling cross-country through Arizona. I have no idea what the interior of such a train looks like, but he looks comfortable enough.
For Shadow Shot Sunday, I contribute an old warehouse and the setting sun:
A final note: I am so sorry for the terrible tragedy that has struck the people of Haiti, and extend my deep sympathy. One of the true reasons for part of the delay in posting on this blog was because I wanted to paint a special tribute to the Haitian people before continuing my usual frivolity. But I could not think of what to paint. I scrolled the web for ideas, exploring Haitian culture and landmarks and history. Nothing. If a picture paints a thousand words, for this event, there are no words. My sincere wishes and hope for the recovery and success of the Haitian people. If inspiration strikes, I will offer the small gift of a picture, for what it is worth.
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!