Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Winter work

A fine midwinter day here in Maine, but it's cold and getting rapidly colder and another snowstorm is on the way tonight. I'm getting into a regular routine at home now, finally, after twenty years of up-and-out-the-door to go to work. Today, I did yoga in the morning, then worked on a small painting until I finished it, then took a long walk, saw a band of cedar waxwings pillaging frozen fruit off wild rosebushes, lugged in some wood from the woodpile, had a late lunch, and built up a fire in the woodstove. Hodge the cat napped throughout all of this activity. He's still napping, as a matter of fact.

My winter reading program still languishes. But I did finish Stendhal's Love a few days ago. Another note from his First Attempt at a Preface, which prickled my skin, it felt so much like he was speaking right to me:

"Poor disillusioned young woman, would you like once again to live through what engrossed you so much a few years ago, something you dared not mention to a soul, and which nearly cost you your honour? It is for you I have re-written this book and tried to make it clearer. When you have read it, never speak of it without a slight sneer, and thrust it into your lemon-wood bookcase behind the other books; I should even leave a few pages uncut, if I were you."

O that I had a lemon-wood bookcase. A wonderful book most useful for reminiscing about the old days, and whatever or whomever you loved to distraction. Books, a dangerously grand passion in my life, certainly. Otherwise, I'm not telling.

Now, I'm halfway through the collected Letters of Cézanne. The whole first section are letters from his friend Émile Zola, since his letters to Zola are now lost. A fascinating look at two incredible personalities when they were both young and dreaming of fame in their chosen professions.

Speaking of chosen professions, my new painting website is finally up. Hope you like it.

Some very nice paintings. And an absolutely beautiful photograph of the artist as a young girl.
Thanks - I come from an artistic/bookish family. They had me painting and reading early, thank goodness.
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