Winter in the North lets me do things that I only read about when I was young. Here we walk on water in the winter, listening to the creaking and cracking of ice shifting under our feet. Last week my family went for a climb in the woods (made possible by cleats attached to our boots). The view from a mountain, climbed during a Maine winter, is spectacular. On our way home we stopped so I could get some photos of fishing shacks for a future painting. The ice was thick on the lake, and people had driven their trucks across it to deliver fishing shacks to the far shore. So, we stepped out. It was terrifying, and exciting. We ignored the frightening sounds - for a while. And then, because we did not know this particular lake well, we edged back to the safety of shore. Just in case.
Sometimes painting is like that, when I edge out past where I feel safe. My inner critic will often make frightening sounds that urge me back toward safer shores. Like an unknown lake, skating out to discover new things in one's imagination can be exhilarating, scary, and satisfying - or I may crash through, shake myself off, and pick up my brush again. Each time on the "ice" makes me a little more experienced and a little braver.
Next week I will start a two-month show in our local coffee shop: Black Cat. Friends Jenny and Keith, who own the shop, have invited me to hang my work. And so, if you are anywhere near Portland, Maine, in February or March, come on by the shop. It's in the Deering neighborhood. The coffee is great, and the shop is the heart of our neighborhood. If you're there on Saturday, February 4, we'll have hot apple cider and munchies to celebrate the show from 3 to 5 pm. See you there!