I am back from my trip I took to Italy with my family. We had an amazing two weeks, surrounded by beautiful art, food, wine, hospitality and spirit. We put many miles on our feet and barely wasted a minute of our time in that beautiful country.
Now that I am back and recharged, I am ready to take my book to the next phase. I had scheduled this next month to focus on getting my illustrations exactly as I want them. But while I was gone, something happened. We moved into summer.
I live in Oregon, where months of gray skies and rain reward us with the most magical, idyllic summers. Locals know summer doesn’t really start until July 5th, but these are the days I live for. While the rest of the country has been sweltering, here, all is perfect. The air is warm, but not too hot, usually somewhere in the low to mid 80’s. We have no humidity and there is little rain. Abundant winter rainfall and mountain snowpack ensures a minute chance of drought. Right now wheat fields are a gorgeous warm, golden yellow, but grasses are still green. The trees are also lush and full of leaves that can be heard rustling in the slight breeze. Pink, yellow and white blooming wildflowers have been scattered over meadows that stretch out under blue azure skies. Oregon is the only place I want to be in the summertime.
And yesterday while breathing in the life of this bountiful season, I had a moment of quick consternation. All my illustrations (which take place in the summertime), were drawn and painted in the dead of an Oregon winter! Thus, I think my task now is to somehow filter my illustrations back through my eyes and mind, with my blood now pumping with the essence of summer.
In this next month, I had scheduled to put my nose to the grindstone working on my illustrations. Now seeing what is around me, I will allow myself to walk a fine balance of hard work at my desk, with interruptions of time to myself in the outdoors, to continue to breathe, observe and feel it’s space so I can attempt what seems like the impossible, to represent the vitality of summer on a two-dimensional, silent, still, and odorless piece of paper with not so many words.