The past couple of weeks have kept me busy, with no real time to immerse myself in painting, except for last Friday morning and this morning, painting with The Independent Painters from a model. Otherwise my time has been consumed bythe planning I do for classes I teach, the actual teaching of each class, putting some images of my paintings on CD's to use for projects in the future, rewriting documents that are often required when submittingwork to various venues, etc. Beyond that, I had my birthday, 29 again and holding, which is enjoyably still continuing this weekend, and the next week or two, with friends and family taking me out to dinner to celebrate the occassion. Presents are a usual part of that scenario, also. Otherwise, the only ones I usually get are the ones I order from the internet that show up mysteriously at the front doorstep. I love that too, but It's so special when friends bring or send them to me, with great thoughtfulness about what I would like to receive. In addition, I had a day when I woke up coughing, which persisted through the day, causing me to cancel both classes I had scheduled to teach that day. It was a non-productive day in which I slept a great deal, ate sporadically, and did a little reading.
When I was growing up, traditionally I would acquire a very bad cough, so bad that it was embarassing to sit through classes at school. My mother treated it with cough medicine, and more cough medicine. Finally after weeks of this, it would finally disappear. In my adult life I relized that there was a pattern. What I was afflicted by, annually was bronchitis. It's just what I am prone to get. It's treatable with an antibiotic, which invariably cures it. I can recognize the symptoms early in its development, I get it treated, and thus I no longer spend counter-productive weeks with this ailment. Some people get the flu. I don't. It's forever bronchitis. I tell you this because that is why I stayed home from work. I didn't think I could speak two sentences running without coughing profusely, and, since I am getting older (29 is really ancient!) I feel like I need to guard against getting a severe attack of this that could lead to pneumonia. No need for that, if I can help it, I've decided.
So now I'm sure you're glad you tuned in to read this blog. Fantastic! you are saying to yourself. So now the good part. I went to the Independent Painter's session today to continue painting from the model whose portrait I began last Friday morning. I completed it today. That's the painting I've posted at the top of this column today. No, we didn't actually have sheep in the studio today. I've added them in to complete my idea. The model was holding a long staff to help maintain his balance while he was poised on a stool. That's what led me to make him into a shepherd, an acrylic painting entitled "Tending His Flock". You can click on it to see a larger version of the painting.