The joy of retirement

Summer 2017 was full of opportunities to do the things that I’ve been longing to do for decades. Retirement is a wonderful thing!  As of July 1, 2017, I can get up and get moving at my own pace and take care of things that come up as they come up. I can arrange my time to do the things I want or need to do, in the order I see fit to do them.

Gardening is a joy for me, and many days this summer were spent entirely in the yard and garden. The flowers blooming all summer were a wonderland to the senses. Along with vegetable gardening comes harvesting and cooking with the fresh garden herbs and veggies, which were plentiful this season. And the blueberries, strawberries, and plums!  There was time this year to use and preserve these wonderful commodities when they were at their peak. 

Painting is naturally high on my list of things to do, and now I am able to paint as I feel inspired. 

In September, I had a retrospective show of my watercolor paintings. It was a spur of the moment opportunity but I was able to put it together in a days’ notice. 

Minto Brown Island series

Minto Brown Island series - 2

Minto Brown Island series

I started going on twice-weekly walks at Minto Brown Island Park with a friend, to get exercise and enjoy the good weather. I took many photographs of the scenery while we walked, and from those I decided to paint a series of Minto Brown Island landscape paintings. I first did thumbnail sketches of the scenes I wanted to paint and decided that I would paint from the sketches rather than the photos, working on several paintings simultaneously and quickly to avoid getting hung up on the small details. I wanted to focus on the composition of colors and open spaces created by the land, trees, and sky. I ended up doing eight acrylic paintings over the course of only 2 weeks, all on the same size gallery wrap canvases that I ordered online in bulk quantity. These paintings went into a show at Roy John Designer Goldsmith for October-November, and they have been well received. (Three samples of this series are shown above) 

A Taste of Provence, Oil on canvas, Triptych

A Taste of Provence, Oil on canvas, Triptych

I also finished the large triptych oil painting that has been looming over me the past two years, since it was first commissioned. I totally enjoyed working on it, but with two broken wrists in one year, and the many other family obligations that took place, along with working full time, the project was limping along at a very slow pace. I wasn’t sure if the person who asked me to paint it would still want it after so long. Once I retired in July, I was able to create time for finishing the project. I decided to show it at my October-November art show. At the October opening, the couple who commissioned the work came to see it and both agreed that they still wanted to have it.  I replaced the triptych with three other paintings and delivered and hanged the commissioned triptych in the new owners living room. It’s nice to have sold this piece and know that they will have this painting to enjoy for years to come. 

During the summer months I also participated in the annual Paint the Town event, plein air painting at various locations in the vicinity, and I finished and submitted two oil paintings into the group show at the Elsinore Gallery and Framing shop, held during the month of October.  

A third art show in October was the Westminster Fine Art Festival, where I showed eight paintings. This show was a four day event and this was their 30th anniversary show. It was well attended and many wonderful works of art. 

I’m looking forward now to going to Hawaii for a vacation with my husband and visiting my son and granddaughter who live there. Hopefully I will have the time to do some painting while we are there. More on that, when I return.

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