Sunday, June 20, 2010

Painting in Hot Springs

June 19, 2010

It’s blazing hot in Hot Springs. So, it’s not just about hot water; it’s also about hot weather. I’m told that this near 100 degree heat is pretty typical during the summer. I can’t seem to get it right: when I was painting in France as Artist in Residence, it ended up being the rainiest June on record… and I work in watercolors! Ugh. I hope that the next time I travel or apply for a residency, I’ll find good, dependable weather that’s conducive for painting outdoors. Of course, regardless of conditions, I paint and find new ways to reach the goal….

I’ve completed four paintings this week: two for the park, and two for me. I have two more drawn, stretched and ready to go. I like to go on site and draw, recording the scene with photographs immediately. It’s too darn hot to sit outside for long. I tried to paint outdoors yesterday, and thought I’d pass out from heat stroke! So, it’s back to the studio for me.

Seeking free internet is a constant struggle. I finally went to the public library and thought that would be a breeze. I began filling out the papers to apply for a library card, so I could begin working my way through their books as well, but the process was so difficult and became intensely personal, so I finally gave up. In order to apply for a library card at the Hot Springs Library, a non resident like me must sign their life away: signature, multiple addresses and telephone numbers, references with personal phone numbers and addresses and FINALLY, my social security number. I politely refused this last request. After all, I only wanted to borrow books! They do, thankfully, have computers that non residents may use to catch up on the internet and that was sufficient for me except that when I want to update my blog, I really need to use my own computer and photographs that I’ve uploaded.

As soon as one ventures outdoors, glasses, camera lens and water bottle fog up. This glass of wine is on the picnic table in front of my little abode. Note the condensation. This is in honor of my good friends, the “Susans,” who are probably at a wonderful Virginia winery right now enjoying themselves.

So, I shall continue painting the National Park here in Hot Springs. In between sessions, I continue to seek free internet resources, the best fried chicken, the crunchiest catfish and the most delectable ribs so that body, mind and soul can remain in balance.

Chow, friends, and drink a glass for me! Happy painting!

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