Sunday, December 30, 2018

Loose Ends, New Beginnings

From the book, I Hope You Dance, by
Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers.
It's that funny time between Christmas and the New Year. Today, against all odds in northern Ohio, the sun is brilliant in the sky; even though I slept in, it's the kind of sunshine that makes you want to jump out of bed on a winters' day and greet the world. It makes you want to dance.

I haven't put the Christmas tree ornaments away yet. In fact, I just finished clearing off the dining room table yesterday, finally removing the soiled tablecloth and taking it outside for a good shake before putting it in the laundry pile. I haven't done much in the way of "necessary" work this week: laundry, grocery shopping and the like. I'm on vacation.

Thanksgiving builds its' crescendo to Christmas Eve dinner, the big day at our house, I rise to the occasion, making plans, decorating, preparing pies and special dishes, shopping in local boutiques, trying to find just the right gift at the right price. After the family dinner on Christmas Eve, everyone opens their sleigh gift, and the night dissolves into family stories over dessert, talks, conversations in the corner, and mellow holiday punch. After that, my vacation begins.

I used the time this past week to tie up loose ends. This gets me ready for the new year. I like to start out with a clean slate, or at least a good start on one. I worked on my genealogy piles, scanning pictures and documents, following up on correspondences that have winked at me for weeks when I was too busy to form a reply. I got a good start on thank you notes, returned phone calls, organized my recipe books, returning the loose pages pulled out for the holidays. I gathered stacks of cardboard boxes for the next recycling truck, made a bag of donations, scanned my pile of new books into Goodreads to add to my "want to read" list. I even started reading one of my new books, Michelle Obama's "Becoming."

May Queen, a collage in progress by
Gayle Pritchard
There are plenty of loose ends in my studio, as well. Because my attic access is through the closet in that room, it gets piled up with Christmas boxes, wrapping paper, gift bags and the like. When I'm not working, the table gets covered with piles of collage papers I haven't put away yet, mending projects, and large pieces of artwork that have been moved to make room for a visiting guest or two. I didn't get the table cleared off completely, but I did pull out a few things to finish up.

This collage, I call it May Queen, was started back in July in a play-day with my art group. I made several pieces that day, but I really liked this one. I pulled it out this week and finished gluing the three dimensional elements in place. I plan to darken the blue botanical drawing in the bottom right corner, and maybe add a line of nice blue oil pastel, melted to a lip-sticky consistency, along the curve of the woman's back on the left. I think that will do it. The collage was created on stretched canvas, so I will either frame it with found wood pieces, or find a box or frame to pop it into.

As the new year approaches, I wish you peace and happiness. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. I plan to. Happy New Year.

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