on the line

Hooray hooray, it's the first of May; the first of the backyard fires n' drinks with friends begins today!

The Bearded Dude has been outside most of his day off cleaning up the front yard and fixing the broken laundry line that is supposed to connect from our backdoor to the garage. I broke it the summer I moved in. I hung my duvet on it to air it out. Apparently that was too heavy for it or the screws that held it up were loose. There were loose screws to some effect the summer I moved in here. It was a very sad summer. For those of you that don't know the story, I was engaged to someone else, and it ended a month before the wedding. The studious little flat was supposed to be our new place. Instead it became just mine. Just me and my golden retriever and a very broken heart. I set up my studio, but I couldn't paint for 2 months. I just couldn't concentrate. When I finally did, I started the girl-in-the-hymnal-dress series. It was just supposed to be 2 paintings. It's morphed into 13 paintings (as of this post). The girl is kind of me and kind of not. The paintings are based on things I feel or have gone through. Or thought.

Break-up summer was also a summer of heavy travel which included my first trip to Toronto to visit my Aunt. I love staying in her little apartment. She has amazing neighbors and has lived there so long she's basically a celebrity in the neighborhood. She knows everyone and now they know me when I come to visit. I'm the 'artist-neice'. There is just no shortage of love I feel for that place. The guest bedroom is very cozy. There is a large bookshelf that takes up the entire wall opposite the bed.

(this is a sketch I did from my bed on my 2nd night ever staying there)

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Her apartment was the first place I started having a good sleep again after the break up. Maybe because it was a new place with no memories. I felt safe and welcome there.

Travel is always a bit of a daunting thing for me. I love traveling, but I also love being home. My studio is here. My books. It's my space. I can relax and think here. You're at the mercy of hours of operation or other people's schedules when you travel, which isn't a bad thing. Sometimes it makes me anxious. Am I taking too long with this sketch? What if I just want to sit here and have another espresso and watch people instead of moving on right now? If I don't feel like saying anything, will the person I'm with think I'm dreadful company?

I'm getting a bit anxious about this summer. It's going to be fun no doubt, but there are some big trips where there are some expectations of me....and it's always in the back of my mind. I'm up for the challenge. New things are scary, but bravery is doing things when you are scared anyway. With that, and my aunt's constant question via facebook; 'when are you coming to visit?!?' this painting is starting to happen:

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I'm calling it 'comforts of home'. There is nothing I love more than being wrapped up in a blanket, sipping tea, reading a book, emailing a friend.....whatever. Patchwork quilts are also my favorite. It's like a life. The pieces don't always match, but they just somehow fit together.

I working hard to visit my Aunt in October this year. Toronto is so very lovely in the fall. First I will concentrate on enjoying the little bit of summer we get in this part of Canada, beginning tonight with a backyard fire. Happiness.