Starting something new today

Lately, I've been slacking on the old illustration portfolio. Moving out west directly after planning our wedding last year took a lot out of me. But with the new year starting, everything feels a little more settled. I was sitting at my kitchen table in East Bay this morning, thinking about Pemaquid Point in Maine. My family and I used to vacation there in the summers when my sister and I were kids. We used to walk the dog, Barley, a gentle and funny half golden mutt, through the woods from the cabin to the shore. Up there, my family felt free and relaxed, I felt free and relaxed, the dog felt free and relaxed. Plus, when I first started dating Joe, the only place I could get reception on my cell phone was way out on the tip of a rock during low tide. Some of my happiest memories are in those woods.

You know in that movie Garden State, when Zach Braff says maybe you can never go home again? That's a little how I was feeling at the kitchen table this morning... a bit nostalgic and longing for a walk in the forest. One of the most decadent benefits of being an artist is that if you decide to paint a memory like this, however stylized it may be, is that you can bask in the feeling of that memory for as long as there's a brush in your hand and paint on your palette. It fills you up.

I think I might take an extra long time on this illustration, just because when I paint my old dog, she's right there. When I paint the trees, I can hear them creaking in the salty air.