August 17, 2014

Suddenly, It's Almost Last Summer

Yes, there is a faculty meeting tomorrow. Life is over.

But before I bemoan the cold hard facts of summer's end, let’s get my previous camp and outdoor activity credentials out of the way.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll use tags.
#Kettle Moraine, #technical mountain biking, #Colorado, #kayak camping, #Lake Superior, #Lake Michigan #Apostle Islands, #Mono Lake, #Sierra National Forrest, #Yosemite, #Zion, #North Georgia, #Somewhere in the Cumberland Gap, #King’s Canyon, #Sequoia, #Somewhere in Kentucky, #GSMNP #Santa Rosa, #Lake Havasu (don’t ask) and according to a bittersweet image labeled “Bad Camping Trip, August 2008,” a late-night one nighter to see the Perseid meteor showers somewhere outside of LA. I’ve forgotten the names of a few places, and most of the digital files never made it to my hard drive, but as I’m writing this, I’ve impressed myself with my camp creds. Even so, it’s been a while and with only one exception, I wasn’t camping solo. Base camping stuff with day hikes and paddling. No hardcore backpacking. And to be brutally honest, I needed rewards, like a trip to Starbucks and a hot shower for every 3 nights in the wilderness.

But with all the paintings about home lately, and since being on the verge of completing the work for two upcoming shows (one 3-person, one solo) and since nearing the end of my 5-year plan without a plan, I suddenly had the urge to go camping. Something about getting away and emptying out. I’d thought about the camp thing before, but (a) it's almost like the above list and hence my experience was completely blocked out of my memory, wedged deep in a little crevice between pleasure and pain, (b) it meant replacing some gear and (c) I was a little nervous about camping with a 75 pound dog who eats everything in sight and is restless whenever I make a move. I couldn’t imagine us in a tent together. I figured he would either trample it to death or eat us out of house and home. I was so wrong. Ranger Mellow. It was fabulous. We're on.

Also, and more to the point, it’s the next body of work. It's hard work, but it’s great. Everyone has a pace with which they recognize their own insights and I don't know if I could have arrived  here without everything that led up to it— but I'm happy not to be dependent on a traditional studio anymore.

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