Monday, March 12, 2018

Art, Dogs, & Good People

(paintings: Bonnie Joy Bardos)

"It isn't more light we need, it's putting into practice what light we already have. When we do that, wonderful things will happen within our lives and within our world." ~ Peace Pilgrim

Spring's coming, despite the long hold of winter's icy clutches here in the mountains. I'm back from a road trip to Florida with River Dog and art supplies. A friend offered their charming vintage Fernandina Beach bungalow and all I had to worry about was getting there. Which took a bit of wrangling through rental car sites and such. The further south toward the coast we got, the warmer the air became between each rest stop. Shucking my winter jacket felt good. On the Florida state line, the phone died, so I had to rely on old-fashioned wits and road signs to navigate the final miles to Amelia Island and Fernandina. Artists tend to do that anyway, rely on drawing their own lines and following the nose. Here, no here. Wait, that looks right! Yes, we finally pulled into the cottage's driveway and piled out, road-weary and grateful for landing safely.

The evening called for a glass of crisp vino and a veggie pizza from a nearby local pizzeria. Ah. Life is good when you have a good dog, good pizza, a cool place to hang your hat, art supplies and a glass of wine in hand.

While on the island, I painted every afternoon: sitting in a weathered rocking chair, blue easel set up on the front porch. Azaleas, camellias, roses, palm fronds, blue sky and sea breezes. Lots of dogs and nice folks walking by. River enjoyed daily walks along the historic district too, and I set out to explore downtown, art galleries, and interesting points of view. Plus, a stroll on the beach barefoot of course. At night, I found myself hanging with a couple of home folks who'd bought a house on the island: they hauled me to the Salty Pelican and the Palace--the oldest bar in Florida with glowing old woodwork to tell those tales. And, every afternoon, I painted. Just bright 'out-of-mind' paintings that bloomed like the azaleas nearby. It does a body good to get away to a warm beautiful place in winter, especially fueled by kindness and love from others that made it all happen. A circle of color and love that goes round and round in a world starving for love and beauty. Let there be art. And people who love art, artists, dogs, and have good hearts.

The day I packed up to leave, scrubbed Wade's sweet little vintage cottage clean with gratitude to my generous host, I made a new friend, who'd gotten back to Fernandina from LA just in the nick of time to catch me before I left. Rhonda ended up buying one of the paintings and loved it so: it was meant to be. Such good energy! I left the island feeling renewed and full of color again.

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