Musings and Doodlings While Sick with Swine Flu

Well, this really is a nasty bug, and it has knocked me down for a spell. I’m on the mend now, though, and getting up for brief periods of mild activity in the house in between rest times on the couch. I’ve canceled nearly everything on my calendar and I’m focusing on getting a few things done that I can do quietly at home. I’ve also had lots of time to read, which is always a treat.

I’m taking an online artist journaling class, which has especially been a boon while I’ve been under the weather. The class is fun, inspiring, and freeing. Cathy Johnson, the instructor, is very encouraging and inspiring. She opens the door to possibility, something that is so important to art, and she’s showing us how to use journaling to explore possibilities, ideas, and daily life. My journal is becoming a place to record memories, to explore ideas and thoughts, and to hone my skills, all without pressure. A pretty ideal companion for an artist, and one that makes what could otherwise be humdrum hours and days full of interest.

Here are some of the pages I’ve done in the past few days:

Despite being sick, I also got a bunch of paintings together for two exhibits that both opened last Saturday. One is at White Birch Fine Art Gallery in NH and is an exhibit of just ACEO’s (Artist Cards, Editions and Originals. ACEO’s are little paintings that are always 2.3 by 3.5 inches and can be any medium.

I painted some as ACEO’s and others I cut from larger paintings. I loved doing these and hope to do many more. I’ve always tended to paint small, and it’s thrilling for me to find there’s a place for small art works. These are the ACEO’s I sent in:

I also have two paintings and a pen & ink drawing in the Holiday Boutique at Duck Pond Gallery. I didn’t think I’d be able to get them there, but a friend drove an hour each way to pick them up and deliver them for me. Thank you! I’m excited about exhibiting in this gallery because I’m also going to have my first solo exhibition there sometime in 2011.

It’s very encouraging to me to have these paintings in exhibitions and has certainly lifted my spirits while I haven’t been feeling well. It also gets me thinking and planning for more paintings that I want to do. One of the things I love about painting is the freedom to do what I want with it. I can dream and pursue my dreams. If they work out the way I like, that’s great. If not, it’s just paper.

A side benefit of this flu has been the ways I’ve been reminded of how many people really care about me. People have written encouraging notes, prayed for me, offered to help in many ways, called to cheer me up and make me laugh, brought me soup (delicious soup!), and generally been wonderful. Stephen has been great; driving me to the doctor, making tea, keeping a cheerful, crackling fire going in the fireplace, and so much more. I truly am blessed with wonderful friends and family.

I’ve had plenty of quiet time to reflect in the past two weeks, and I have to say, I love my life as a wife, mother, friend, dog trainer, writer, and artist. There is nothing I would rather be doing than living the life I now live.

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6

5 Replies to “Musings and Doodlings While Sick with Swine Flu”

  1. Melissa, we are so glad to hear you are on the mend. A pat on the back to Steve for keeping the fire going!
    (PS- your drawings are breathtaking!)

  2. Melissa, When I opened up your blog page I was tickled to see that one of your ACEO's was of my late baby girl Cody. What made this even more special was that November 29th was 2 years since we had to put her to sleep and just reading that you had chosen a picture of her was so heartwarming. She was a special girl that captured everyone's heart. Thank you. Andrea Bean

  3. Thank you, Susan!

    Andrea, this made tears come to my eyes. I love everything you've told me about your connection with Cody. This was one of my practice paintings of her, and I was very happy with how it turned out. The photos you sent me showed that she was so full of personality. It was a privilege to paint her. You must really miss her…


  4. I'm glad you are feeling better. You are certainly much more motivated than me. When I'm sick all I want to do is sleep.

    I love all your sketches!