Saturday, August 24, 2013

Turtle Times and firsts, lasts, and surprises!

A closer look~Day 49
In Quiet Silence~Day 50

Sassy~Day 51

Taking you in~Day 52

Taco's Release~Day 53
This has been a summer of firsts, lasts, and lots of surprises!
This is the first Summer without my mother to call when things are good or bad. I still have  supernatural peace about her passing away so suddenly, but I still want to call her up and share the happenings here at the Raccon Retreat Studio in Fairhope. This is the first Summer (at least part of it) without My youngest daughter, Christina. She moved to India for a teaching position at an International School. This season of firsts brought me to a couple of bucket list checkmarks as well. I joined and participated in the"Share the Beach" program watching for turtle nests along our beaches. I observed and played a small part in the hatching and boil of 107 baby loggerhead turtles just this past week. Participation included a flying trip to the beach at 8:30 at night, donning gloves and turning baby turtles around as they headed for the Condos rising above us with their brilliant lights. The turtles also were herded with a beach towel and rode in a "turtle taxi".
 This is also the first Summer that we have anticipated the arrival of a grandchild. Our Grandson was born in the middle of August and has already had his first professional photo shoot at the tender age of 9 days. This is my first summer of major commissions and short timelines. This was also my first art camp conceived, executed and run my myself. (With much assistance by my partner in art, Chris Chavez) This was Chris's first experience of an all day, almost no holds barred, we can do it all art submersion. He survived with an ease I never expected. That being said there were several helpers that also contributed their talents for many hours and art camp would not have been the same without them. I also joined in a study of the chapter of James that was enlightening indeed! I have been led to start a married couples small group in the Fall as well as continue the  Scripts & Strokes on Mondays.
The firsts have been wonderful,but sometimes difficult and I have grown so much because of them.
This has also been a summer of lasts. The last time to say goodbye to Christina as she left for the flights that took her so far away. Not to say we will not see her again, but this move did seem so final with her getting rid of childhood toys and collections. (It brought back memories of my own childhood, getting rid of precious "things" before we made another military move)Watching my adult child have near meltdowns from the stress of moving to a foreign country, watching her sell her memories, and helping her pack the 8 bags it took to move. The bags contained only part of her wardrobe, shoes, purses, makeup, art supplies, lesson plans, artworks to decorate her new place, and just stuff in general. It was a last, but also a first for her with a sense of finality in chasing her dreams. I am so proud of her for all she has accomplished so far and I know she will go much further before she is done with this first contract. We also had a last at the house in Mobile where Christina called home. This house was our family place before everyone grew up and grew away. We are currently packing the leftovers from the house and handing the keys over to my brother who will be renting it soon with intentions to buy it! (A first for him, he is so excited to finally be able to own something rather than rent!)
The surprises have also been a part of the heat here on the coast. The first surprise was the reception of the work Visa Christina needed to make her final plans for India. It gave us only 6 weeks to do everything needed to complete her passage!The second surprise being that my brother wanted to attempt to purchase the house in Mobile. He said it shyly at first, but is rapidly taking ownership by adding crown molding, an electric stove, and plans to move the front door to the end of the porch! The surprises continued with commissions out of the blue, major art purchases by clients new and old, murals at our church, and the arrival of our grandchild a week early!
I am happy with the fact that God carries me through all these happenings. (There was much more than I can put here, it would put you to sleep and you would stop reading the blog I am afraid!) My relationship with God, my husband, my family, and my church has continued to grow and blossom, giving me strength to do things I never thought I could. I have spent many times this summer working harder than I ever thought possible and have found the willpower to move on and still make art!
The art continues despite 'life' getting in the way.
I am so pleased that you have come to visit and hope you have plans to return soon!
These 5 pieces catch me up on days 49~53 of the 100 days ~100 paintings with many more to come! I cannot believe that the Festival season is almost upon me with acceptance into no less than 4 shows along the coast that we call home.More on these later!

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