Phil and Steve installing Z-Bars...

Phil and Steve installing Z-Bars...

So…at long last, after twice sending the mural panels back to Seattle for problems with the lamination, they were declared finished and shipped back to Tampa, scheduled to arrive today.  So we had prepared to install, had installed the ‘Z Bars’ for hanging the 48″ X 88″ steel panels, had the frame finished and delivered, and the decks clear to begin installation tomorrow, saturday, morning. BUT…tracking the shipment this morning I found it was still enroute to ATLANTA…and will be here monday or tuesday. The result being, as both I and Phil are leaving for California early next week, means that the piece will not be installed until June 26th or so.

Really the project from hell in terms of schedule; it was originally planned to be installed last November. The city had delays, and then we discovered the lamination problems. Such a huge difference workong with industrial process, and depending on the expertise and commitments of others. Almost all of my projects over the years have been paintings; large, done in my studio, then delivered and hung. I’ve never missed a deadline, and I have often recruited a friend or family member to drive with me to deliver the piece in a rented truck. The canvases have more than occasionally been wet, but they get there on time.

It’s academic right now….there are no projects on the horizon with the economy down. So I have a lot of time to follow my nose to the onsite projects and problems I’m pursuing. But; it’s odd about the way the details of installation this week become such a distraction, and how they seem to sap my energy and motivation.

I know that my best times recently, in terms of painting, have come from the week long trips centered on a place and on painting. The great luxury of being somwhere with no appointments or meetings or chores….to get up in the morning, have coffee, and get onto the problem of where to paint that morning. It’s best when I’m alone, no obligations beyond the panel on the easel. So…I look forward to many and more frequent trips.

I do have one possible studio project, for a friend who is just finishing a superb small house, and who pointed out a wall there to me today, with a suggestion for a piece. I might do a view through a thicket of bamboo….not nearly as corny as it sounds.

Going to our family re-union next week just south of Monterrey, at Asilomar. It is a conference center designed by Julia Morgan in 1913; she was the architect for W.R. Hearst’s San Simeon Palace….think Rosebud… The reunion should be memorable…my 4 sibs and myself in our  60’s and 70’s, telling stories and inflated memories to the kids and grandkids. It’s so sobering to have kids almost 50!!  My daughter is editing some home movies from the late 40’s and 50’s….which are beautiful in and of themselves, with the erratic exposure, faded color, and ‘firehose’ camera moves…they are behind a dense veil which is such an apt analog for the passage of the 50 or so years. It’s odd, and also a pleasure, to see and recognize that long lost child, yourself.