The temperature has taken a definite turn downward the last couple days. It is always more of a concern and challenge to care for the critters outside when this happens but so far so good. Adding to the cold temps my hay supplier ended up in the hospital this past week. I have never been in this position before- of needing to scramble for hay on short notice in the middle of winter! On our large farm we grew our own hay and baled 5,000-6,000 bales a year. We sold it too of course but a hay shortage was never a problem. We are on smaller acreage and not farming so I have been loyal to my hay supplier because he has been very dependable and reliable. He was trying to get hay to me in spite of being sick which was not necessary -- I wanted him to take care of himself! Fortunately I did get some hay to tide me over but running out of hay the week of Christmas just as the temps drop drastically is NOT what I want to do ever again! I am glad to say my hay supplier is out of the hospital and doing okay but not sure when he will be up to delivering hay. I was worried about him so I am glad he is on the mend.
My plans for the next few days are of course to concentrate on family things. After the holidays I will begin working on a special portrait of my daughter when she was 5. I am doing this for two reasons. I have been wanting to incorportate more people portraits and figurative work in my art in addition to pet portraits and equine art. More horse and rider portraits I think are a natural extension of what I am doing already.
On a more personal level if all goes as planned this new painting will be entered into a contest and fund raiser for domestic violence prevention. There is a story that goes along with this portrait that I will share on another day but I will preface it to say I grew up in a home with severe domestic violence. Thankfully domestic violence has never been a part of my own marriage but the after effects of growing up with it is long lasting and a struggle in my life. The theme of the contest is on hope and healing which is what my art and my children are to me.
I am excited to get started on this but I am learning too that the 'down' cycle of the creative process when I am not painting helps to build momentum even if I am not actively putting paint to canvas. I am missing not painting right now but it is okay to do other things and let this idea brew until it is time to sit down and paint.