Playing this Summer

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Summer is moving along at a brisk pace. I am trying to spend more time painting, but the playing seems to be getting in the way.

We spent a week at the beach celebrating a family wedding, this upcoming weekend we will be celebrating our birthdays. Soon up is a weekend away with family, add some overnights with friends and hopefully some pool days with family, lunch with friends and the summer will be played away.

Yesterday I was able to seriously return to the studio and did the above small painting as a precursor and warm up to a commission I was sketching out. It, too felt like play as I used spray bottles filled with watercolor, some stencils and some new (to me) water solvable graphite.

It’s a physically small piece (approximately 6″ x 7″), but a big reminder of the fact that my work is my play, and I am grateful.

Wishing you a summer where you, too, discover the bliss that is playful work.

Schlepping to the Shore

Those of us in the state of New Jersey go down the shore. We are, of course, referring to the Jersey Beaches. A family wedding and get together have brought us to charming Cape May for the week. With our gorgeous weather, we are spending much time on the beach.

My sketch book is busy. Normally when at the beach, I work on my people drawings. Adults sit quietly in pretty much the same position allowing plenty of time to sketch. Children on the other hand move quickly. Forcing you to either memorize the movement or find a repeated gesture so you can gather more info each time the gesture is presented.

But this week I was fascinated with the amount of stuff we are bringing to the beach. Chairs, boogie boards, umbrellas, tents, play pens, wading pools in addition to the old standbys of sunscreen and towels. In order to get these necessities to the beach, some people have purchased what I describe as a beach wheelbarrow.

Not only is there a well area to carry stuff, people attach their chairs, umbrellas and all sorts of stuff to the outside of these carts. The result is heavy and despite the large wheels, pulling this mass through the deep sand . Some pull backwards, some determinedly push and cajole the cart forward. All result in bent body positions and straining muscles reminiscent of photos of farm laborers.

It also results in some interesting drawing opportunities. You get an extended view if they’re coming towards you and then again as they pass. Then they’re gone. Inviting quick gesture drawings, as seen above. When I review these, I notice there are hardly any feet. Mostly, I think, because they are buried so deep in the sand in their efforts to schlepp to the shore.

“Did You Art Today” ™

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