Sunday, March 29, 2020

Awkward Rider 2018

I have memories of always owning and riding horses, having traded my bottle(when I was four)for a pair of cowgirl boots so I could take riding lessons. We owned horses throughout my childhood, and I always had a special horse that was mine, progressing to better horses as I got older.  I rode mostly bareback, treating my horses much as other kids did their bicycles, and having those horses in my life is probably what most helped me arrive at adulthood (more or less) in one piece,.  However, when I started riding again, now a much older person, I was shocked to find that, although I still had all that muscle memory, things were different.  When I went to get on, the horses' back seemed miles away, and the ground seemed just as far once I did manage to get up. Where I could once throw my leg over a bareback horse and spring on, I now stood futilely by his side, tossing my leg up only to slam into his side with it, again and again. A ride meant that I would be sore for days after, and I found that I was nervous being around the horses on the ground--they just seemed so big and unpredictable.

But now, I'm finding that once again, being around horses is helping me get through the stress and worry of this tough time of Covid19.  It's very hard to think about all the things that are going wrong when you might find yourself being dragged through the dirt, or being stepped on, or run away with. So, in many ways I find I'm back to my 14 year old self, escaping the world through the wonderful portal of being with a horse.  The ride is a little different now, but I'm getting the two things I most need--a different focus and a connection to something that isn't dark and scary.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coyote at the Door(Five Trees) 2019

the wolf is at the/(one's) door

Some danger, threat, or calamity imminent or at hand.

Since I don't have photographs of wolves, but only of coyotes, I used a coyote for my canine in Coyote at the Door(Five Trees). The two faces in the windows of the house are my husband and I, but it could be, of course, anyone.  When I made this painting, and two others that are similar, all having to do with canines at the door, I was dealing with friends recently diagnosed with cancer, the ever present threat of climate change, the decline and eventual death of my parents, and political leadership that was(is)terrifying just to name the most obvious.  But little did I know that all of that would become secondary to what seemed like not a big deal at the time--out of China--a flu like illness called Covid 19, or, the Corona Virus. Currently, this is all my friends and family can talk about, and we watch the news and read the internet obsessively to find out the latest.  A week ago, most of us were still taking it lightly, but now, when I go out to shop, I use hand sanitizer after every entrance in and out of a store, and once I get home I wash my hands for 20 seconds with soap and water singing "Happy Birthday to Me" twice.  As well most of us are trying hard not to touch our faces and practicing some form of social isolation(not so hard for an introvert). Shelves are bare of strange things like toilet paper, bottled water and dog food.  All of our plans for travel for the spring have been cancelled, including an opening reception in Tucson at  Etherton Gallery  for a show called Go Figure. The stock market has tanked, and people are becoming more and more frightened as the weeks go by and the numbers of victims goes up.  Who knew that things could get so much worse when they already seemed so bad?