Friday, October 19, 2012

When the Leaves Fall

My Summer was a good one.  May was beautiful and unseasonably warm.  I got my garden in early and then June came, colder than normal with too much rain.  The July weather was more like June normally is and the garden got off to a slow start.
   July was when I woke up. My cancer was officially "gone" and after a three year hiatus I decided to participate in a Summer Art Show so I was pretty busy making steel creations for that event.  It was pretty successful and meeting new clients with new commissions kept me busy for the rest of July, all of August and September and until about a week ago.  The Eugene area went 118 days without rain, a "World Record" for this area and I finally got some pretty nice tomatoes!
   Now the rains have started, almost a full month late, late October becomes the weather of late September.  It is colder too and all of the green turns to Earth tones, the deep orange, amber and yellow of Fall, an ever changing pallet with the seasons.
   Traditionally this is my slow season for metal work.  I am busy with new construction and major house renovations, the creation of gardens or open areas that need a focal point.   That work slows down this time of year.  It is dark in the morning and dark in the early evening.
   I read more this time of year, during the Winter months and until I can plant saved seeds in my greenhouse in the early Spring.  I hunt for books.  I am a hunter of books and I have bagged a few good ones in my time.  Yes, I read cheap dime novels which cost me a buck at a local thrift store and I love them.  I can on kicks though or tangents and for a while will read a bunch of books on particular subjects.  Last year it was Art History, my attempt at understanding the transitional art world and this year it seems to be American History, an attempt in discovering why we are where we are!
   I paint in the winter.  Retirement is different from working all of the time.  Money doesn't come in like it used to, obligations are smaller and there are more hours in the day.  I made my shop smaller and created a "studio", 10' x 20' next to my office.  Clean and heated, like a mini-gallery.
   I feel like that guy on television, "I am not a painter but I stayed in a Holiday Inn last night"!  I know nothing and am comfortable with my lack of knowledge. I made some lucky garage sales finds: a bucket of paint brushes, over 200 of them for $40. Two giant rolls of canvas, one 5' x 200' and the other 3' x 100' for less than $100.  and a bucket full of tubes of paint for $20.
   I made steel easels, selling most of them but keeping three for myself and I made steel painting stations that I keep near the easels.  I frame my own canvas with steel.  I can't have wood in my metal shop!
   So all of the "stuff" is outside my office door and calls me:  "come and play with me"!  Sometimes I do.