My flagging energy has been at war with the calendar. Two weeks from tomorrow I fly to Scotland for a wedding. That pretty much marks the end of my working summer, although I do have one event after that. That doesn’t mean I stop painting or that the crowds mysteriously evaporate, but the crush of people lets up a bit after Labor Day.
I stopped by to see a friend on my way home on Saturday. “I’m tired, hot and cranky,” I told her.
“Like you’ve been the last three times I saw you,” she replied.
I can see it in my work. I painted three things over the weekend in Camden. The best of these, a little study of an anchor, didn’t get finished. The one with the greatest promise—a tiny tender sheltering under the bow of the Mercantile—didn’t work. I should have known when I sketched it five times without a good composition that I was on the wrong track. Instead, I tried to force it to happen on the canvas. Without the Mercantile looming over it, it was just another dinghy.
Can I fix that in the studio? Possibly; I’ll try today. In fact, I need some serious time to finish up all the half-done work that’s waiting for me.
Most of us work long days during painting events. I also blog about them, which usually adds an hour or two to my working day. There are some dead giveaways that I need a rest:
- The bottom of my backpack starts looking like the bottom of my purse, a collection of flotsam and jetsam that has escaped its proper places;
- My ‘filter’ gets jarred loose and I say things I usually keep to myself;
- I gain weight;
- My composition is uninspired;
- I fight a dehydration headache and am too dumb to fix it with water;
- My house and car get ratty.
I’ve said many times that people should take at least a day off every week. Rest is a great gift. “The Sabbath was made for mankind, and not mankind for the Sabbath,” Jesus said. Do I follow that advice? Only fitfully, I’m afraid. Today I have a sore throat and headache, and I think it’s just my body telling me to drop the pace down a notch.
I’m not the only person getting tired. I can hear it in the slow but steady increase in beeping horns as I walk to the Rockport post office at midday. Our tolerance for others is fraying, ever so slightly.
People ask me why I blog when it adds more work to my day. The nicest part of the weekend was a visit by reader Fay Terry of Pinehurst, NC. On Friday, she joined Renee Lammers and me on the docks to paint. Yes, social media has its downside, but its ability to connect like-minded people is invaluable.