The summer is in full swing. Our little orchard on Saturna Island has already given us plums and its first crop of figs. The earliest veggies are up from the garden -- not the tomatoes, yet. And the sailboats are out on the sunshiny water, with ferry boats travel loaded with tourists.
I'm home ... but I still seem to be living in two places at once. Part of me remains in Umbria where a local cultural Festa is delighting residents and visitors (click to see). It's in Acqualoreto, a hub of a town within walking distance of the one I'd lived in. The festa is a tribute to and celebration of the abundance of this lovely region -- visual art, music, poetry, food, wine, and more. The visual art, for example, includes an international roster of famous and emergent artists associated with this region (me happily included), as you can see.
The part of me that isn't in Umbria is here, on Saturna Island, where we've just finished our local Art Saturna Artists' Studios Tour weekend. It was fun too, on a different scale. Though my Saturna Island studio is off the beaten path, I had some very enjoyable time with interested visitors, and some paintings found themselves new homes. For example, here's a threesome that took off:
|paintings by Janet Strayer|
I returned to Canada just in time to set up my lovely studio here after 10 months of life and art in Europe. I had to hit the ground running to get the grounds cleared and the studio in shape to store the art I'd brought back, hang the paintings to show, and ready the space for visitors. It was a bit harrowing to get it together by the deadline, given all the other tasks needing to get done despite my struggling though the disorientation of travelling through time and space. Mornings still leave me foggy with questions like: Which country am I in? and Where's the bathroom from here?"
I think of my paintings having lives of their own. Remembering some that sold in Europe, I wonder for each of them what their new surroundings are like, what's being said around them, and in what languages How would it be different for them here? I do believe it makes a difference who buys a painting and how it is treated. Oddly animistic, I know, but I think dimly of paintings bought for investment only, isolated in vaults where their state is preserved -- a state of suspended animation -- and few, if any, enjoy interacting with them.
Not even half the things on my "must do right away" list have been done. Time works differently for lists than reality. Have you noticed? So my lists go through multiple iterations of repeated items, and "right away" becomes a movable moment in time.
I tell myself life will get back to normal soon, whatever normal is. Routines will take hold, I will get on track rather than continue ambling en route. But each new day upsets my to-do list and I really don't know when "soon" is.