Saturday, January 22, 2011
Two Below, Honey
A couple of weeks ago, I packed up my french easel and did a painting "on location" in my bedroom. I had a lot of fun doing the project, but I looked forward to going back to my studio and normal routine. So, bright and early this past Monday morning I headed out to the studio and stumbled upon a cold hard truth: Winter had arrived in Maine. Dark and glowering skies, frigid winds howling from the north and mountains of snow piling and drifting up. My studio is an out building about fifty yards away from the back step of the house in the summertime, but in the winter, it seems like it's a mile away.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my remodeled chicken coop of a studio, it's set up to suit my needs exactly as I want. The problem is that while it's insulated, it's not heated. The inside temperature is about two degrees warmer than outside. Even though I've got a pretty hefty kerosene heater and a small electric heater, and four good sized windows on the south side to add some thermal heat, the temperature inside the building that morning stood at four degrees. On a good sunny winter day, it takes about three hours to heat the place up to a workable fifty degrees, or so. By noon, the temperature is usually up to sixty-five or even seventy. But when it's a cloudy day, I can't get it warm enough to take off my winter coat. So I decided this week I'd do another painting from inside the house.
One would think that I would enjoy working "at home" as it were, but the funny thing is-- I don't. I mean, I don't have to go out and freeze, I have a bathroom, I have my usual music playing. Heck, I've never even had a studio before we moved into this place last year. But you know what I miss? Going to work. Since I started painting full time, I have always gotten up, got dressed and went to wherever I had my stuff set up to work. I suppose that's just the habit I've acquired from punching the clock for all these years. I've never been one to hang around in my jammies and slippers while I paint. So, I really get the feeling of "going to work" when I head out to my studio. I feel like a slacker or something when all I have to do when I'm here in the house is drag out my easel to get going.
But I guess I'm going to have to feel this way for a little while longer. The weather folks are calling for some of the coldest weather of the winter to hit us this week. Night time lows are going to be in the ten to twenty below zero range, while daytime highs will only be about ten degrees. So, in the house I'll stay. But still-- absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I think my studio is sweet even at two below, honey.