pencil, Melisa, for JKPP
It's working into the time of year I like least - the cold time. The dark time. The time with no flowers outside. The time of incessant media clamoring about buying stuff. It does no good to worry or whine about it, so this is all I'm going to vent about it.
Ive been distracting myself by working on planning a little fund raiser for next spring, to help finance the restoration of an old gothic chapel at Oak Hill cemetery. The city thinks the old stone building has deteriorated too much to sink any cash into restoring, and a "friends of" group formed to try and raise the needed funds. I'm planning some guided walks, little hikes, for next spring that feature some of the early settlers of Janesville, some of the movers and shakers, and some monuments from ordinary folks that are interesting for one reason or another. There are a couple that look like upright, full-sized trees! The hope is that people might enjoy strolling through the old public cemetery, with all its hill, trees, and funky monuments, and might contribute a couple dollars to the fund to restore the chapel. I'm enjoying hiking around and learning about my adopted hometown's history, though it is rapidly getting too cold to be up there among the tombstones for very long.
I also did a costumed presentation about a local woman, Nellie Tallman, the daughter-in-law of a wealthy early settler in Janesville. I've done the talk before earlier this spring, and I've portrayed her in cemetery walks for the local historical society. But I'd never done the talk in nursing homes. The first one went really well, but primarily because the people who attended could all hear well and seemed healthy. They were fun, all smiles and nods and "stump the presenter" questions. The other gig was more challenging. The audience members were all in wheelchairs, and half slept through the presentation. One lady at the back talked to herself the entire time. But there were a handful who seemed engaged, had comments and questions. I am telling myself that if I entertained them, I should feel OK about the day.
But I haven't been doing much art. I have a painting that I started in October and abandoned for no good reason other than the urge to work on it just evaporated one day. I should start working on getting papers ready for a collage demonstration, but I keep procrastinating. So I decided today to just do something quick. That's where this drawing came from - a little portrait for on online group on Flickr and Facebook - Julia Kay's Portrait party. Sometimes all it takes to get going again is to just sit down and start drawing. And it certainly is warmer here than up in Oak Hill. SOmething to be thankful for.