Well it's a far cry from a year ago, let me tell you. 365 days ago I was sitting under a banyan tree bawling my eyes out, about to go into the Matrimandir in Auroville. It was a very strange/poignant/hellish/beautiful day. My couchsurfing host family tickled my toes until I woke up to the still-cool(ish) Indian summer morning and gave me home made gifts, utterly charming. They made me dinner and I invited a german fellow who I met on one of those dusty red roads leading to a whimsical guest house. There have been many days in between then and now spent bawling and braying, heaving and praying (at the risk of sounding histrionic). I expect there will be many more. I just don't feel quite as hysterical as I did a year ago, and let me tell you what, that is one huge mo'fo' relief.
This morning I woke up to sunshine, which was completely NOT forecasted and it was the first of many pleasant birthday surprises. That I woke up early(ish) feeling pretty alert and happy was a huge bonus (despite some really intense dreams last night where I was....oh yeah, I was bawling my eyes out! it must've purged a good something!). I did my usual morning exercises, and listened to NPR where I heard about the devastating earthquake in Chile as well as a very moving conversation between a young man and his father, who was only 16 at the son's birth.
Before riding off to the UofO's open figure drawing studio at 10, there was time enough to sit and do some art (post a pic when I'm done with it). What a wonderful early morning......rockin'! Oh yeah, Ozzie Osbourne was featured on NPR today too. Whoah! How liberal!
I was hoping for a male model this morning, since we've drawn three females in a row there. As it turned out, young Michael announced his 21st birthday........and we gave each other big high fives and hugs. Is that not the coolest?? Ha ha! Funny, I'm very nearly twice his age (WHAT?!!!). Michael was fun to draw, great poses, dynamic, interactive. Cute. Cocky, in a 21 year old way. Said he was out last night at the bars as soon as the clock struck midnight. With more partying tonight. He was great -- and he gave me some good pointers on my drawing, was appreciative of my efforts, and I signed one of the pieces and gave it to him which was really fun.
One of the guys next to me drawing announced a Sketchcrawl at 5th St. Public Market in the afternoon -- it's a nationwide event where folks gather in groups or singly (gather? singly?) and hit the city, draw, and post to a website. After figure drawing I rode over to cook for Tracy and Family (awwwwwwww she gave me a bottle of kombucha and some extra dough for my birthday! BEST EVER!) for a couple hours, and then I swung by the Market and sat with Jay (instigator of Eugene's Sketchcrawl, by virtue of just deciding to do it). It was so nice, the sun was still shining, and at four in the afternoon, it was still light and it was warm. We sat by the fountain and sketched and talked. Nice. People threw pennies in the pool, occasionally missing and landing by our feet instead. Jay is a sculptor who has been through school and is returning to drawing as a discipline to strengthen his sculpture, and for the enjoyment of it. He said he'd still be in school and going for yet another degree....but his practical wife said he needed to pay off the loans from the first two degrees first :)
It is so awesome to be talking with other artists. God! Woo!
Bike ride along the river........and the moon so full and HUGE, with the sun not yet skimming the western rim but tucked behind a cloud. I was hungry so I treated myself to dinner at Laughing Planet. Burrito! Jamaican Me Hungry with jicama, sweet potato, spinach OH YEAH. And, as has been a sort of tradition on my birthday, I ran into someone I hadn't seen for months and months and we yakked and she invited me to see her place of work a few doors down. She's a clothing designer/costumer/entertainer and the store is the Redoux Parlour - clothing resale/local design/alterations. What an amazing place. Aesthetically fun, swank, tasteful, inspiring. A LOT going on in there. I'm going to take some art in for sale, and I hope to gather a body of work together, I could book a show I'm sure. It was great fun poking around the store and seeing what local artists are up to. Wicked Hook makes knitted hats of all shapes and colors....bird clocks made from repurposed items...blank page journals from old book covers, very smart......a raised dais near the door for clothing display in the window and an old tyme piano. It just went on and on. And, one saturday a month you can bring in your clothes for free alterations and repairs. How cool is that?! There's a big studio at the back of the store with sewing machines (of the old-fashioned variety) and seamstresses, cloth and warp and weft galore. Amazing.
Stopped by and saw Jackie on my way home, it's great that we live in the same neighborhood now and are becoming friends. Really like her. She gave me some chocolate (we dipped into her stash for next week's party.....it's HER birthday next sunday! whoopee!), and a really nice art book that I only paid a token fee for and she gifted the rest (she worked at a local book store and is able to continue ordering books at a nominal cost). We laughed our heads off, agreed to meet tomorrow for a nice sweet treat, and she sent me on my way with a posie of daffodils, hyacinth and...one other sweet flower.
It's so great that flowers start blooming so early in the spring here.
Coming home, I saw a bag was hung on my doorknob - from three other girlfriends with some goodies inside. That's sweet!
So I'm rounding out the day with a blogpost, sending you all good cheer.
Here are a few pictures of the sketchies from this morning's figure drawing, and I bid you adieu!