After a long visit with Dad (2 1/2 weeks) I forgot how much I love Eastern Oregon. I haven't been back "home" in so long it felt like I was in a familiar foreign land. Not much changes about Pendleton, Or. It still has the "wild west" appeal. I truly enjoyed seeing mountains in the distance and driving up and down the hills.
I got to have hours and hours of time to just sit and chat with my father. He has to go to Dialysis 3 times a week for 3 1/2 hours each visit. I don't think Dad and I have ever talked that much in my whole life. I enjoyed stories of his childhood, stories of my childhood and discussions about how the world has changed over his 85 year lifespan. We talked about the kids, food, gardening and weather. It was amazing how fast the 4 hours came and went while we sat there discussing everything and nothing important.
In his round about way, Dad gave me a new perspective on what is important in life. I came back understanding a lot more about my inner need to make things with my own hands after listening to him talk about his "homemade life". In another world, he might have been an engineer or an inventor. Even though he claims he made things because he couldn't afford to buy them, I could see the look in his eye as he described the things he built. There was no regret about a lack of money when he explained how he put things together and made things work.
Outliers: The Story of Success
On the way home, I picked up Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. I am about half way into this book and it is fascinating. Interestingly enough, it touched base on some of the very things Dad and I had just been talking about. I love how Gladwell has broken down so many of the old ideas on success. I might give a more detailed book report after I finish.
I came home feeling quite inspired. I gained a "Can-do" attitude somewhere between the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Indiana. It was good for my soul to reflect on where I came from and where I want to go.
I returned home to a large box from Dick Blick that contained 20 6x6 canvases and other assorted supplies for my birthday. I also received a dozen roses in assorted colors. I haven't painted in months. So I thought I would do a few practice paintings to get warmed up.
I have become a fan of Strathmore 5x7 Canvas Cards! They hold up well to gesso and have minimal warping. I was very surprised at how well they held up to the abuse I dealt them. At a little over 35 cents per card, they are an economical way to do small paintings. In my case, they are a very nice media to warm up on.
Strathmore 5x7 Canvas Cards
Strathmore 5x7 Canvas Cards
I have had requests for some charcoal drawings. Yikes. I really did not do as well with this one as I wanted to. It started going south and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I will have to do this one again.
Charcoal on Paper
Success has so many faces, but almost all of them have that same kind of glow. If I wasn't in the right place at the right time, then I wouldn't be here. Maybe one day, I will be an 85 year old woman and have the same glow in my eyes when I talk about how I made things with my own two hands. Being rich or famous doesn't interest me nearly as much as the idea that I can accomplish good things.
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