Dance with a Vase

Day 6: Foundations

Tom is getting ready to start a new job tomorrow.

He’s determined to take full advantage of all that this opportunity has to offer. In the past few weeks, he has gone to great lengths to prepare himself mentally, physically, logistically, to succeed at this job.

I offered a list of ways that I thought I could help him prepare. The one he took me up on was making a meal plan and doing food prep for dinners of his first week.

So on Friday I came up with the list of meals for his approval, and yesterday I bought all the groceries and started the prep work. This morning I finished the prep and typing up the instructions.

It made me happy to think of him eating yummy, healthy, whole foods, and with no sugar, dairy or wheat.

Food is the foundation of everything else in health. If you eat badly, it’s like putting the wrong fuel in your car – it might chug along but eventually you’ll kill the engine.

Content that I had helped set the stage for a productive first week for Tom, I went to see an art teacher. He’d suggested we meet and talk before I signed up for his classes and see whether it was a good fit for me.

We had a great conversation, for more than an hour, about art and the teaching of art.

I liked his emphasis on the fundamentals, the classical approaches to drawing. I think I really need that discipline and that structure. He teaches classical drawing techniques, at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

He does amazing portraits in pastels – they look like oil paintings, so rich and detailed. He told me that when he first picked up pastels it was easy – because he knew how to draw. “If you really know how to draw, you can pick up any medium easily,” he said.

That’s what I want. A foundation. To build my art upon.

I have dabbled in almost every medium, but I always get lost and can’t finish anything because I run into problems I can’t solve – because I don’t have a solid foundation.

This painting, “Dance with a Vase,” has haunted me since I started it. I have painted it over and over but can’t seem to finish it:

Dance with a Vase, version 1
Dance with a Vase, version 1

I started oil painting classes in 2010, the year that Dad died, so that will be today’s penny – precious because I only have one from my penny rolls so far.

Day 6 2010 4558

I will place today’s penny at the center, and I will build on it.