My studio palette
This past week I spent some time getting one of my pastel pochade boxes cleaned, modified, and organized for the upcoming plein air season. I have two pochade boxes; one is for the studio (this decent little box shown here, but not apt for outdoors) and the other is my die hard Open Box M. A while back I picked up Richard McKinley's book 'Pastel Pointers' and in it he had a photo and explanation of how he lays out his plein air box. So I thought I'd rearrange my pastels, one by one, and put them back just as he recommends. It's sort of a meditation of sorts, quietly placing and rearranging them like a mosaic. Originally, my box was arranged from l-r: reds, yellows, warm greens, cool greens, blues, purples. I shifted the pattern in my box as Richard illustrated and also added an area on the far right for neutrals. While my pastels were all out of the box, I decided to clean the pastels and washed the memory foam that lines my box. I also put a sturdier clip to secure my box from opening while carrying...if I ever take this one out of the studio. All it needs now is a tripod adaptor.
This week also was a trying one for me health wise.
I had 4 doctor appointments and no time for exercise (which I love doing, really) and a full day of driving art round trip to Tacoma and back that left me with no time to paint. My doc diagnosed me with Celiacs Disease after having a 'fun' endoscopy (that's when they put a camera down into your small intestines). This means I have to become clean of any gluten products, an element found in wheat, rye and barley. Did you know that wheat, rye and barley is in nearly almost all processed foods, the backbone of the American diet? It's even in some chocolates! No more tabouli, soups made with boullion, beer, fish and chips, as well as food that gets traces of gluten from sharing the same cooking utensils, etc. I am about to become a picky eater... Augh! The good news is that I have never craved breads and pastas, and I can still enjoy wine....whew! After taking in this news, I went into the grieving process of denial (I have no symptoms, how could I even have this celiacs thing?), anger (why me?), sadness (yes, I wept on the proceedure table) and then onto acceptance (a good attitude helps with this last one). After researching and reading more, I am finding that it won't be too bad and am actually looking forward to the many benefits of being gluten-free. I'm hoping to have more energy (imagine that), sharper memory, no achy arms while I sleep and a slew of other benefits ... to be ready to rock when the sun comes out and celebrate that at least I am alive and blessed to paint and create! I raise my glass to celebrate another great plein air season!