Yes, good people. It’s that time of year again. Summer has arrived, and with it has come my annual visit to Treasure Island. I don’t remember how old I was the first time I read Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, but I’m guessing I was probably around nine or ten. I’m now over seventy, have re-read the book each summer, so indeed, I’m quite familiar with Jim Hawkins, the Admiral Benbow Inn, Long John Silver, and all the rest of the people, pirates, and places that make up this beloved story.
Typically about this time of year I find myself making sketches of pirates, painting seascapes, doodling ships, and adding a bit of “piratese” to my use of the language. No, I don’t start swearing like a sailor, but I’m apt to throw in a few phrases like “shiver me timbers” or “ahoy there, matey”!
Today, I’m taking a little time to “batten down the hatches”, because yes, good people, it’s that time of year again. It’s summer, and that means occasional severe storms. It’s raining a bit now, and the forecast is that we’ll probably have a lot more of the wet stuff today and tomorrow. Having been through two floods in the studio in recent weeks, I’m taking precautions this time. I want to be sure I’m more than ready.
My husband has done a lot of work around that one window well where the water has rushed in before. In one sense, I’m eager for the rains to come just so we can check out the work he’s completed. At the same time, I’m not looking forward to any potential clean-up that may be needed — just in case his work hasn’t resolved the problems.
I spent a little time this morning double-checking my art supplies. Everything is picked up and put away. There’s nothing out that could get damaged if the water does come in. That makes me feel a bit more confident about whatever might come our way, yet it’s also a little frustrating to have the studio “too organized”. It’s not quite as easy or as much fun as it once was. Working on any art project at the moment involves taking out the supplies I need — not simply grabbing them from a nearby table. I need a bit more of a “creative mess” to make me feel comfortable, to encourage my wild and crazy explorations and experimentations, to feel that blissful sense of artistic freedom I’ve come to know recently.
I’m itching, too, to take to the seas with my art, to paint billowing ocean waves, to imagine myself sailing on the Hispaniola right along with Hawkins, the doctor, and Squire Trelawney. Maybe later, as the rain comes down, I’ll sit near the window and do a bit of drawing. Or maybe I’ll just curl up in my comfortable recliner and read another chapter in my favorite story.
Either way, I can feel confident that I’ve done my part. I’m as prepared as I can be for any storms that might come along. So, wish me well in the studio today and tomorrow.