Sunday, November 10, 2013


My busy time began last week and it seems I haven't caught up yet.  Wednesday, we had our regular watercolor meeting.  I always arrive early to help the program person set up.  It was a great program with Taft Museum of Art curator, Tamera Lenz Muente, giving the talk and PowerPoint show on Winslow Homer's Adirondack watercolors.  Everyone was very complimentary about her program.  

Homer painted hundreds of watercolors, many of them from his years spent in the Adirondack area.  The paintings are of hunters, fishermen, and nature around the area before it became a place for tourists (which meant more roads and buildings and more people).  

 If you are interested in seeing some of the paintings Tammy showed us, just go to where you will see the complete works of this fabulous artist who painted in oils and watercolor.  He had a real respect for watercolor, considering his watercolors to be finished works, not just studies or preparations for oils.  While I do like the Adirondack watercolors and realize he is painting a way of life, my favorites are the ones he painted in Bermuda and the Bahamas - I think because of the light in those.

After the program, we had a Leadership Team meeting.  Deb and I only had about 1/2 hour or less to attend that to share in the discussion about the new team members coming in March 2014 and what we are going to do without a Program Chair (since no one wants to take it on for 2 years).  

Then we had to jump in our cars and drive to Mariemont for our first drawing class in the Russian tradition - from Natasha Kinnari from Stalingrad.  

Oh, my!  One would think it would be easy to draw boxes.  But it was not!!  We were all sent home with homework - although some students got "stars" in class for their in-class work, I did not.  I sure hope I'm not going to be the slow kid in class - or have to wear a dunce cap (and if I do, I hope it's a colorful one in cobalt blue with crows on it!).

I am seriously spatially challenged.  When Natasha would come to my easel and stand and look at what I was drawing - and then make changes to the angles of the lines I'd drawn, I couldn't see that the changes were correct and I was wrong.  What's up with that?  I never could put those bits together to form shapes in school tests, either.  I just don't "see" it.

So...I was up at 5 am Friday morning, rummaging around for boxes around the house.  I got my drawing materials together, set up my box on a table, and tried my hand at drawing a box.  A simple box.  Sweetie even tried to help me when he got up much later - which he did, to an extent but he wants me to use a ruler and a compass and a protractor and Natasha says that is "technical drawing" which is not what she wants us doing.  Oh, dear.  I have to "train my eyes to see" correctly.  So far, I'm going to need a lot of training!

What else has kept me busy?  
Getting a lesson ready for my students coming Tuesday.  (I was so busy last week, I had to cancel last week's class because I didn't have a lesson plan ready or materials for the students.  Turns out 2 students couldn't attend anyway, so that wasn't too bad.)  I am ready for this week and am going to let them try out Tyvek paper.

Oh, and I've begun taking Pilates.  Yep, I finally decided I am not going to get in shape by wishing I was in shape.  This studio makes you take 4 introductory sessions with an instructor - one on one - before going into classes.  And I've had 4 one-hour sessions on the Reformer (that Pilates machine that is the foundation of studio Pilates classes) already and signed up for 5 more + 5 classes.  I like the attention to detail I get with the instructor (Kelli, who is great!) so I'm doing the exercises on the Pilates Reformer correctly and getting in tune with my core - making my center stronger should help my back and shoulder issues - plus it just makes me feel better; like I'm doing something besides sitting around gaining weight in all the wrong places.

So that was my week.   I have my first Pilates in a class situation this morning.  I'm not sure early morning is the time my body wants to work out, but there are only 5 spaces available when using the Reformers, and you have to take the time that has openings. So Sunday morning, it is.  

And I will try drawing boxes again today (hopefully, with less hair pulling and gnashing of teeth this time).   I have to figure out how to measure, how to get the angles right, and how to lessen the tension I feel whenever I pick up a pencil in a drawing class - and get over myself and just do it!  (That's after I clean the house to get ready for Tuesday's class.)

This may not seem like a lot to most of you, but for me, it's a lot of things keeping me busy - and trying to keep track of when I can schedule things and when I cannot.  Whew!!!  I think I may need to get a day planner! ha ha


Vandy said...

You certainly have been busy, Rhona. Thank for sharing the link to the Winslow Homer website - what a wonderful collection.

Good luck with your pilates classes. I did Pilates for many years until life got too busy - perhaps I should start again. You've got me thinking.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Wow--this seems like a months' worth of activities to me. I could not imagine going from one meeting to another, then attending a class. I have always moved slowly, but I do work out at the Y a couple of times a week. ( I always laugh when I park close to the entrance so I can go in and walk on the treadmill.)

CrimsonLeaves said...

You sure ARE busy!! Love that you shared a couple of Homer paintings too. Sometimes I haven't been able to see much art anywhere and online is almost as good as in person. I just never find the time to browse online. I so wish I didn't have to work.

RH Carpenter said...

I love looking at art online and probably spend too much time doing so, Vandy :) I think you are probably more productive than I am. I like Pilates so far - hope it can help me get more in shape and help with arthritis issues.

Hallie, yes, it was an extremely busy week for me. I think we all park close even when visiting a gym - human nature! ha ha

The Homer paintings are wonderful, Sherry. There is a whole catalog of John Singer Sargent paintings online, too. said...

Yikes! You are very busy! Thanks for the Homer link, I enjoyed looking at his paintings.

I laughed at your description of the class with Natasha. Most of the time in any class I feel the same way you described.

And good for you for taking pilates. I'm still at the stage where I wish I was in shape, but am not doing anything about it.

RH Carpenter said...

Carol, glad you enjoyed the Homer link. Sargent is still my all time favorite but Homer is a close second :) I was sitting around, putting on a few pounds here and there and thinking I needed to watch it. Tried dieting and cutting back calories and no weight lost - so time to do something about it. I'm enjoying it so far but I have to be careful because I tense up in my neck and shoulders when exercising and then hurt myself and have to stop - slow and steady wins the race! ha ha Loved your last post!!!