I've changed my profile back to myself - N is back in school and too busy to blog, and after 2500 miles of driving in three weeks, I am finally into a routine that allows me to blog again. First, the only mandala I managed all summer:
It is canvas, 24x24. It gave me great pleasure in the creation, and now both this and my original painted mandala are hanging in the front hall. I'd hoped for many more this summer, obviously, but only made this one, plus a couple of small paper ones that I did manage to mail out to people I hadn't contacted in a couple of years. I broke a lot of conventions I had felt constrained by when I made this particular mandala, so I was rather pleased with myself - it is freer and more open than most of my mandalas have been in the past. Happy days!
I also have some of C's lovely artwork to show this morning, from his theater classes. Here are some character sketches he did in marker. I'm sorry most of them are sideways, but I can't find a way to turn them. The first is, of course, loosely N, while the rest are fictional characters:
And then we have another of N's wonderful square mandalas:
And a beautiful mandala done first in pencil on paper by my niece S, and then stunningly in paint on an 18" round canvas:
Nice, eh? I know they LOOK like they're the same size, but the canvas is much larger than the paper. Know that she is a 13-yr-old Goth, and that the outer portion is waves of blood, and you will have a clearer idea of the design elements.
It was a tough summer, and not nearly long enough. I spent the first six weeks or so of it sick, and the rest of it trying to catch up on everything I'd fallen behind on. We had some good visits with and from friends/family, but there was always something else going on at the same time, and let me tell you, I am tired of multiplexing.
At the end of the summer was a positive storm of activity: driving Z to Chatham in Pittsburgh (very emotional), then returning for N's synchronized swimming show, which was wonderful. Driving down to Newport News, VA with N & C for W's wedding (great fun and also very emotional), then returning for two and a half days of teaching and frantic packing. And finally, driving to Savannah, GA to take C to SCAD (again with the emotion!)
I felt all wrung out last week, but am finally settling down to peace and quiet now and an easy-going routine of having just three schedules in the house. N is thriving in her only-child status, and while I miss C & Z tremendously and cannot wait for Thanksgiving when I will see them again, I am enjoying the one-on-one time with N. She loves to sing, and has a lovely voice. She's already able to sing rounds and is learning to sing harmonies, which is highly gratifying! Her favorite songs are "American songs" (i.e. rousing patriotic anthems she can sing at the top of her lungs or slowly and lugubriously) and "Jewish songs" (i.e. sung in Yiddish or Hebrew so she can roll her r's lavishly). She learns them so fast that the other day she said, "Even though I wasn't born Jewish, I think I was meant to be, because I learn these so fast," and her comment gave me goosebumps because it was what I had just that moment been thinking: these songs come so naturally to her . . . .
R's back is in terrible shape from one end to the other. He goes for another MRI, this time of the top of the spine, later this week. He had another three injections of cortisone last week and while they helped almost immediately, they've already worn off. Not A Good Sign. We're not mentioning the S(urgery) word yet, but I do suspect it will come to that eventually. Later rather than sooner, I hope.
And that's the news for now. More artwork soon, I hope!