We are livin the life here in Canyon, I planted two apple trees and a bunch of pepper and cherry tomato plants, beets, onions and whatnot, wiring everything against the marauding deer. I am scrounging soil from everywhere to build up terraces over the rocky subsoil. Art built a sawbuck and uses my chainsaw to make firewood (and sawdust) of the many redwood and bay branches and random long pieces of old lumber that are scattered everywhere. It’s great to be able to get so much done, without all the pesky distractions of public life.
Art and I joined an online video chat/party with some other folks, they gather often but we only attended once, for about an hour. Some people go on and on, some not speaking at all, devolving into the same talk of cures and illnesses and other distressing foolishness I prefer not to partake of. When I go to a party, I usually hang out in the garage with the stoners– a group of 12 people is too much.
Now and then I spend two or three days in Berkeley, where it is clean civilized and quiet, mostly (avoiding the front doorknob is a challenge)-Stuff to do there, too!
I do a little garden work, though with not much enthusiasm. I am enjoying being retired, cutting back but not eliminating.
I have been visiting back and forth with Joanie and working up more of her songs. Art injured his arm just as the lockdown happened, so he has barely played his accordions since, daily practicing electric guitar on youtube.
As I have the Capricorn stellium moving into my 12th house, I am setting up my retreat, practicing hermitage in my understory studio, befriending little black scorpions that live under every wooden structure here–plus moles? voles?
prompted to draw “from my window” for a Canyon Draws facebook site, here is the view from my chair by the woodstove.
Meanwhile, starting a sign to hang down the road, thanks to radio podcasts about the history of Canyon, and random people driving through to see the hippies.
This about sums it up.
What day is it? No one knows. Oh, my computer knows–4.12.20
The shelter in place has been extended, the Plough has a go-fund-me site, and raised $30,000 to keep from going under.
I secured a slightly-used sketchbook Art had as a travel journal while on tour with Those Darn Accordions, and then abandoned. The art stores are closed, and I have not ventured out to the one possible stationers that might be open, and I do not like to shop online if there are Options. So, drawing over partial pages, then writing, writing, writing.
Parks and beaches and campgrounds are also closed, so there goes my spring camping trip.
Trying not to get caught up in the madness, making polenta and stews on the woodstove, sitting for hours with a warm cat on my lap, reading.
Moving art supplies back and forth, I am getting an idea of where things work. I am firmly established in the Roofing House, since two incidents where it was made known to locals that it is my art studio–particularly the day the tree fell while I was there, and Ian happened by with a chainsaw and cut it all away.
Art and I ventured out to Joanie’s house in Richmond for music and food and an artichoke plant, and an avocado tree, seedlings from her childhood home in Hayward. We are working up some tunes of hers with me singing lead. We also stopped at Annie’s Annuals, I got two blueberry bushes, peppers, onions, to plant in Canyon.
The novelty has worn off–we would have been at the end of this strange confinement by now, which has been extended . . . The Plough is in danger of not reopening. Caffe Chiave- most small businesses and venues are closed indefinitely. Honestly, I am ambivalent, but like, YAY! I don’t ever need to go back to the Lost Hippy Hour, or some of these gardening jobs.. Schedules! I’m done! Shopping is disturbing, people are rattled, clerks feel endangered, the protocol is curious, confusing, changes daily, and from store to store.
Just before it all closed down, Art had suggested we go to a movie. The next day, I drove by the Shattuck Theater to see the marquee blank. We have taken to watching Youtube videos of black and white movies at night, usually with buttered popcorn. Life is good.
A week ago the world changed- we are on lockdown, or as it is called “social distancing” a speedy upgrade from the pre- St. Patrick’s Day weekend when it was suggested people “self isolate” and bars were asked to consider closing to stop the spread of a virus.
When I heard the news on March 16 that bars and restaurants were ordered closed, and all my gigs were cancelled until April, I grabbed two orders of corned beef and cabbage (and a last beer at the bar), withdrew $300 cash, filled my gas tank and drove straight to Canyon. Art and I since ventured out once, on March 21st, to get groceries. A minor ordeal with gloves, masks, strange new practices of standing six feet apart in lines to enter or check out at the grocery store. There was an early, insane run on toilet paper ??
I also ordered a replacement pair of Crave boots online, on sale because of the color, “brunette”. Gorgeous- and they match my kerchief- required anytime one goes out in public. Spending more time here in the redwoods, or braving the wilds of Moraga Safeway, I will need good, strong boots.
On the return trip from the music festival in Nebraska– I painted a glorious full moon over the Rockies. The best part- other than the train ride itself- was two days we extended our trip to visit people who turned out to be unavailable. We goofed off in Omaha, burgers, beer, $2 movies, thrift stores, antique malls, hikes around the lake. We returned home to the famous random N. Cal power shutdown fiasco.
So quiet here in Canyon this holiday with everybody mostly gone. Art and I played the Plough happy hour gig, then back for a nonexistent party.
I have been using two or three different brushes constantly this year, particularly a 1″ flat Princeton and a #4 round Raphael travel brush, with Winsor Newton, Sennelier and Pelikan watercolors.
Lettering and random brush strokes is a thing right now. Yes, two things can be a thing. A stained chair cover spontaneously updated with sume-i ink straight and diluted, and a first iteration of the “$1,000, FINE FOR LETTERING” sign are examples.
I went haywire with some house paint and the 1″ flat in the roofing house, painting a plywood wall panel and putting together a small matching panel and another newsprint-collage-on-tiny-stretched-canvas piece. Deeply meaningful transformative story of discovery I will not subject you to, about family and creativity and home and how I became an artist at a young age. I took some shots with my iPad of the interior and small paintings, I will post them later.
taken a day apart