Maybe I should take my blood pressure after painting...
Here I am with Louise (the paint brush) dreaming on the newly stretched Arches hot press. It's actually quite cool on my cheek, and so soothing with all the possibilities. I used to dread a blank page, but now I love it. I like to run my hand over it a few times, savoring it like taking a deep breath over a bowl of some comforting, delicious soup before you put your spoon in it for the first time.
Here are Louise and Abner. Louise painted my Dad yesterday. Today it's Abner's turn. Abner is older than Louise - perhaps you can tell. I brought Louise into the scene about six months ago, when Abner was having a little trouble with finer lines and corners. But he's a perfect pal for the kind of painting I'm planning today.
I went back through my photos of trees and woods, looking for one that would strike me. This one did, and I let it run through me and out the pencil. Fast. No thinking. Trees, light, the slope, rocks, moss, leaves, sun pricking through, branches in the way... No words, though, just the feelings of the things, and leaving out the things that I wish I could look past or around.
And then I painted it the same way. Fast, without fussing over it. The last hour was slow, looking at it and adding or subtracting. It's close to finished, I think. But I may tinker with it a little more once I get away from it and come back again.