This week I prepared for the Creative Pinellas site visit: I spruced up my garden, home/gallery and studio. I also laid a path of paving stones from my studio door to the outdoor faucet so my students and I can get water and wash our paint brushes without standing in a mud puddle. The site visit lasted about an hour-and-a-half and went well, I thought.
During the week I continued to plan a trip to India in December and a painting retreat in New Mexico next summer. I also fulfilled my teaching obligations, teaching painting at the Morean Arts Center and at my St Pete studio, as well as at St Anthony's Hospital and All Children's Hospital. This was a sad week in this regard as the funding has run out on Creative Care, Creative Clay's arts in healthcare program. It was with a heavy heart that I bade farewell to children and their parents as well as the nurses and Child Life staff. I started working with Creative Care shortly after the program was established in 2009 and I have grown to know and love several of the patients who come regularly to the Out-Patient Infusion room for monthly treatments that last many hours. Their eyes would light up when they saw me coming knowing that for a short while, at least, the tedium of sitting still with an IV attached to their body would be broken by art-making. Quite often a nurse would come up to me to let me know that a patient was eagerly awaiting me. Often the art-making distracted them during a painful procedure. I learned how quickly a child can switch from tears to laughter with the right distraction at the right time. I will sorely miss those brave youngsters!
Tomorrow, instead of heading to All Children's Hospital as I normally do on Friday mornings, I will head to Eckerd College to borrow a slide scanner and, throughout the weekend, I'll be scanning slides and storing the digital images on my computer. I anticipate a long and arduous task as I go through my stacks of slides. But I'm anticipating that I'll also make some interesting discoveries-- finding images of works that have sold over the years, or finding documentation of works in earlier phases of their existence because I often take months to complete my works, adding layer after layer. A fitting metaphor for my life.