Today I went with my art club to the Botanic Gardens for my first plein air painting session. Our group spread out through the gardens and painted and/or sketched for as long as we wanted. I did one watercolor of blue/purple irises that I like and need to just add finishing touches. I began another and ran out of steam before I could finish but I can do that at home later. I actually only took three photos--during a short break--a record low for me. For me the process is more important than the product and painting for three hours was just the stress reliever I needed as we count down to the busiest part of our summer. The roller-coaster ride begins a week from tomorrow and won't let up until the last week in July. The art club plans to meet at a different location each Thursday during the summer. Some of the locations sound really interesting.
Not only am I on a news fast but I'm on a partial blog fast as well. GWB is adding up political and governmental catastrophes faster than I can mitigate my frustration, disappointment, embarrassment and anger. Many of my favorite bloggers write about Bush's follies--some humorous, most tragic--so for the sake of personal equilibrium, I'm putting my head in the sand for a little while. I am frantically chasing any scenic or esthetic sedative available to me. In 8 days I'll be in a campground in Capitol Reef National Park walking among sandstone monoliths and granite domes. Though our motorhome has a built-in TV, we have probably only watched it 4 or 5 times in the six years we've owned our little rolling house--and those times were Rockies baseball games. We take books, CD's and audio tapes for entertainment and check internet about once a week, so we can purposely drop out of the news loop. I call this trip each year my time to slow down and feel small by immersing myself in the natural grandeur of the canyonlands of Utah, the basin and range topography of Nevada and the mountains around Lake Tahoe--one of our country's most spectacular scenic wonders.