Violet, Sienna and Gray: 2012-08-19

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A new start, a new story, a new day in the mountains! 
I feel sure you have been missing me! I have been out of the studio and have begun a new journey; and as many of you know, this entire past year has been a whole new journey for me! But, each year brings so many changes for all of us. I think of my students this past year, and the changes in their lives---announcements of new grand-babies, new jobs for their children (and spouses), exciting trips to exotic places, health issues, the loss of a parent, a college acceptance letter, and all of these things that bring about a change in our lives.

Sabbatical – gap, break, respite. Vacation. Ahhh, it’s good for the soul! I am out of  the studio for a two-week break from routine, before the "school year" starts and my classes resume. I will be in three separate locations, and I want to share a little about each unique place with you.

The first leg of my journey brings me to Warm Springs, Virginia. We are staying with some friends who have a home located adjacent to the historic Homestead Resort. 

The days have been filled with fresh mountain air, and slightly ambitious hikes followed by cheeseburgers and fries at the local greasy spoon! Mostly, the days and evenings are filled with laughter, as my husband and I are reunited with four of his college buddies and their wives.

Coffee and cocktails on the veranda… relaxing……and at this moment I am tucked under the eaves of the veranda, writing this and listening to the sound of pouring rain falling on the dense mountain foliage. It's almost deafening! Yet, absolutely lovely.

Yesterday, we made a visit to a delightful Art Gallery, and left with a new friend. Barbara, the gallery owner, was passionate about her work, and it showed. We had a long visit with her and listened to her talk with enthusiasm, about the artists that she represents. The gallery was very well put together, and she represents some very talented artists. My friend bought a delicious painting, by a pastel artist, Sydney McGinley. Sydney works quite lavishly in pastels, truly creating paintings more than drawings in chalk. "Figuratives" are her main genre and I'm including an example here. The Warm Springs Gallery link is

The gallery trip was followed by a long afternoon soaking, and floating, in one of the historic Jefferson pools. They have been a tourist attraction for two hundred years! The water is 98 degrees and the pools are housed in beautifully designed rotundas. The warm mineral water is believed to have healing properties. Thomas Jefferson frequented them often. The architecture was wonderful, as was the warm water.

A sabbatical, a vacation, is for recharging, and I have decided it is also a time for taking new steps!

 I recently saw a magazine ad for a cruise ship and it said, “start a new story”. It struck me, that we can think of each day as the start of a new story!  As I take this break, I’m going to tune in and be open to the wonderful new things my little journey will teach me.
For example, at the mineral pools, I tried something I have never done before. I descended a small dark stairwell, into a small dark space filled with rushing water! Why would I do that? Well, the warm springs rush through the space, flooding over you in a warm embracing massage! So, the moral of the story, trying something new, even if it looks a little scary-- it just might bring you unexpected JOY!

In a few hours I am off to my next location! I can't wait to see what is in store for me!