Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Angel Trumpet Lilies oil sketch and One.Trivial.Little.Acorn

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

So, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I would tell you what was on my answering machine the minute I came home from the airport.  It was a nurse, from Florida Hospital Altamonte; letting me know that my mom "had taken a tumble in the parking lot at the mall and had broken her hip".  Ugh!! No way....I spent the next 24 hours on the phone- with the hospital, the place she lives, her pastor at her church, security from the mall where her car was in the parking lot still, her surgeon, physical therapy, social worker for rehab....gee, the list goes on & on.  Finally, once I figured out what was going on I bought air fare to go back down there and make sure every thing was going to fall into place the way we hoped.   It took a lot of planning in a very short amount of time, but mom is doing quite well (for one who has gone through a MAJOR surgery! At this point she has been through weeks of physical therapy, and still has to use a walker for the time being. Luckily, she started out in good health. How did this happen? She stepped on an acorn in the parking lot when she got out of her car! One....trivial....little....acorn.

Friends reminded me to "take care of myself" and work some 'me' time into the equation so I wouldn't go crazy. So I did take one late afternoon and visit Leu Gardens, a beautiful botanical park close to where mom lives. Every season is lovely there, and I was determined to bring my little paint-box over there & get an oil sketch in during the last hour before they closed for the day.  These lovely lilies were in bloom, hanging down like bells! They used to grow in San Diego (where I used to live) and I had always hoped to be able to paint them one day. This was from a tiny little "thumb-box" pochade that I sometimes take on trips. I find it more difficult to work with, holding all that in one hand and using a brush or knife with the other. I really prefer using a box that I can attach to a tripod, so there's less stuff in my hands. It would have required more stuff to haul on the plane though, and I didn't really have time to plan for that.  

Well, the whole incident reminded me that we never know what is around the corner for us.  The week before we had gone to the beach, and really enjoyed such fun together.  I had brought my watercolor sketchbook to the beach, and had just enough time to get some really quick sketches in.  One page, just enjoying our surroundings and being amazed at the aqua color of the Gulf of Mexico, and the cleanest white sand at Clearwater Beach. 
The three of us (my mom, one of my daughters, and me) were enjoying the sunshine and warmth of a Florida February day. Sea gulls were stalking other beach goers that had brought a picnic lunch. 
 Little by little, other gulls joined in the lurking....and even though there were three people at this gathering, each had gotten up to do "something else", turning their backs on the gulls, and had stepped just far enough away ....ATTACK! The gulls made good on their opportunity.....another group of beach-goers ran over to try to rescue the lunch and scare off the gulls.  I felt immobile, with a lap full of book, paint, water and no place to lay it down to chase birds! My daughter was asleep on her beach towel, and mom was engrossed in a book with her back turned to the chaos.  Oh my, well at least the only beach drama of the day was due to sea gulls. And I did get a quick sketch of mom while she was reading.
  I think when she realized she was being sketched she wanted to get up and move around...so yes, it was very hurriedly done.  I had just begun to sketch my daughter asleep on her towel, when the bird chaos happened...at that point we were all hungry for lunch.
So I ended up using the page for some notes and a place to put my airline luggage stickers.  I didn't think much of the little sketches, barely scribbles, just for fun, not really much put into the planning of the page, etc.  Then.....within days of that beach trip, they became a precious memory of a very sweet day of fun- 3 generations of women enjoying a winter day at the beach, and each others company.  
Now I realize.....those little "inconsequential sketches" ....just like that dinky little acorn....happen to be very significant.

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Blogger Gretchen Borges said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mother's hip. A good friend is having her second hip surgery in 6 months tomorrow so I have been thinking about hips. A beautiful account of the poignant beach day. Thank you.

April 2, 2014 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger Gretchen Borges said...

A good friend is having her second hip surgery in 6 months (on the same hip!) tomorrow, so I have been thinking about hips lately. So sorry about your mother. Thank you for the poignant account of your day at the beach.

April 2, 2014 at 6:41 AM  
Blogger Roxanne Steed said...

Gretchen, so sorry your friend is going through this trouble! (especially a repeat surgery!!) My mom is doing well in recovery, though it is indeed work! Physical Therapy has made sure she had kept up all her efforts. She has another follow up with the surgeon this coming Monday...they'll determine if she's able to start driving again! (wow!). Best wishes to your friend...hope it goes better this time and that her recuperation is a smooth one!

April 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM  

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