Sunday, December 23, 2012

Surviving Gray Days

Port Angles in December from Ediz Hook, snow-capped Olympics

I love my adopted home, the Pacific Northwest, but an inherited chemical
imbalance, tending me toward depression, makes surviving the 
limited December Daylight in the Northern Hemisphere a challenge.

There are mitigating factors to my home, like being able to drive out
to Ediz Hook, in the salt water of the
Strait of Juan de Fuca on a December
day and look back at the snow-topped
Olympics, framing my home by the sea.

Taste, the restaurant at Seattle Art Museum
 Throughout my many moves (at least 23) I have mostly chosen town below 30,000 population, where I have a strong sense of comfort, and yes, the ability to be a big fish in a small pond...or at least swim with the Big Fishes, in exhibiting at our local Fine Arts Center and being on the League of Women Voters' committee on Health Care Reform and to talk directly to the politicians involved in formatting WA state health policy...more about that as 2013 and the Affordable Care Act Progress.

Hanging out at Westlake Center...Lots of visual Stimulation!

I am lucky in being able to also enjoy some of the best of Big City Life, with 
Seattle only 75 miles and a ferry ride 
away. With three of my beloved brothers
living there, and Hugh, an actor sharing
wonderful theatrical perks. I spent a 
Deep Immersion City Day this month, parking for "only" $9 a day in Bainbridge
and taking the ferry for free across to the Emerald City. I started with the Seattle
Art Museum, using my membership to
see ELLES, a show of female artists 
from the Pompidou Center in Paris, plus
a show from Seattle's collection of 
female artists...too bad that as 51% of
the population we still have to have a special show...but that's another story. 

I really enjoyed seeing one of Niki de Saint Phalle's pieces in person and buying yet one more Art Book about her monumental work--look her up online. Maybe some day I'll coat the BiG Doll in marine varnish and put her outside in my yard. I have a love/hate relationship with working large and the patience (and space)  necessary to complete a piece. Maybe when I retire, I can investigate Eric Swangstu's suggestion that I design hot air balloons.

BIG, now living in my garage
I treated myself to brunch at Taste at SAM...I LOVE that restaurant, and the visual/architectural image of the bar, with a lonely bar tender and the crowd seen in the mirror. Tiny gnocchi with roasted veggies and a poached egg...EXQUISITE!!! I Highly Recommend the tomato soup with grilled cheese, but every time I go the menu is different, so I try something new.

It has taken me a number of years (7.5) to start learning to walk around downtown Seattle. I asked a waiter at Taste to point me toward Westlake Center, and recognized it as soon as I saw it. I used to buy cool socks there each time I came to visit Seattle from the East, in the days when socks were the only clothes I could afford. I attended a Seattle Men's Chorus concert there on the first anniversary of 911. We were on the car, on the way to the Seattle Airport on 09/11/01 and had some bonus days in the West.

Monorail, woman with pink hair on right

Hugh suggested I take the monorail from
downtown to Seattle Center. It was easy!
One benefit of being OLD is decreased 
fare...only $1. There is Definitely something to be said for all the visual and
mental stimulation offered by Metropolitan life. 

Every Day Off from Work-for-Money, my imagination takes flight with All the Possibilities...if only I could afford to retire, I would have the time to follow up on all--or at least some of my ideas. Trouble is, then
I would not have the money for necessary materials and travel....sigh

Seattle Center, Space Needle, Culture Day (gray)

Luckily, my brothers are kind about extending invitations for me to visit and share in cultural activities, so I had a ticket waiting for me at the Children's Theater box office to see Hugh in The WIZARD OF OZ, which I highly recommend, playing til January 6th.

After the show I met Hugh in the lobby and we drove over to the Opera House for Seattle Ballet's production of The Nutcracker with the magical Maurice Sendak sets. Thanks, Connie, for giving me your ticket! It was really Wonderful, and I spent more time studying the sets and figures than I did listening to the music and watching the dancing. I was surprised that the toe shoes make such loud tapping  noises on the floor, and nobody has ever figured out how to fix that. Hugh drove me to the ferry in time to ride across the water, pick up my car, and get home and to bed in time for work Monday morning.

Getting Outside Myself is a good cure for the winter blues. I discovered yesterday that we've already passed our shortest day, which was December 18th, when on Ediz Hook, the sun rose at 7:46am and set at 4:07pm

Rainbow...shows up better against gray clouds, from frt porch
I also Remind myself that winter allows
me more time in the studio, to give life to all the ideas I've been generating: more
portraits, back to sculptures, graphic novels, and on and on.

Yesterday there was actually an hour of
sun, no wind, 51 degrees, when I worked
in a sliver of sunlight along the east side of
my house to pick up leaves and place rocks in my yard, which is an even bigger work of art than the BiG doll.

My Art Yard on a sunnier day, much filled in now, more is better!

Make your Dark Days Bright by
Making ART!


Fight your own Dark Days by joining me for an online class/experience: Hot Flash Women, starting 1/1/13, 6 sessions, with lots of patterns, discussion, and cloth and paper projects to share.


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