What a whirlwind my life has been for the past month or so. In my “day-job,” I own and manage a service business which supports the local tourist industry. Here in Northwest Florida, that translates to being incredibly busy for the 5 weeks of high school and college spring breaks, when families vacation here, and then from late May to mid-August, again coinciding with school summer vacations. Many companies here begin hiring for the season in February, and as everyone gears up for the onslaught of tourists, seasonal high-wage jobs attract employees away from the more moderately paid year-round jobs such as my company offers. Consequently, even though I guarantee 40 hours a week through-out the whole winter season, I sometimes lose employees to higher-paying jobs in the spring. So far this year I’ve lost 2, which is 15% of my staff. Losing even one employee is unsettling, with the rest of the staff making up the difference in the workload while a new employee is being trained. I’ve been busier than usual with other activities as well. My efforts at maintaining inner peace by meditation, working out, and a healthy lifestyle, are taxed by stress, and I think my art reflects that.
All that is introduction to my confession that I wasn’t as focused at the most recent session of figure drawing at Studio b. as I would like to have been. The group of artists was energized, and there was a lot of activity downstairs below our drawing studio, as Colleen Duffley, owner of Studio b., coordinated the packing for transport to the new location. Even with all of that going on, she came upstairs to serve us whatever we wanted to drink. So the environment was supportive, but nevertheless, I struggled with my drawings.
We ran through the usual warm-up gestures and worked our way up to 20- or 30-minute poses by the end of the 2½ hours. Following are some of my efforts.
Most of my images are available for purchase. Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot