I have mentioned here more than once that I am part of a magical weekly painter’s group. We meet on Thursday, we work with Ashland artist Suzanne Etienne. In February, we are doing a small group show at a local bedding store. The show is called “The Flock” as we are all contributing sheep and lamb and over the years, we have become a flock of sort to this wonderful teacher and to our commitment to each other. 
I love working alone, it suits me. It’s necessary as painter and writer and small business owner. But there is that fine line between being alone and productive and being alone and isolated and this group is that perfect touchstone of community. This group also stretches me. It’s a human calendar marking important dates, checking in, what have you done, where are you going, look what you did, look where you are now. I need that. It’s so easy to be on the low side of the hill looking up the mountain thinking how much further to go. But when you’re checking in weekly, monthly even, you see the progress in others and you think, wow, if they are moving forward in this current of life, I must be too.
And sheep! It’s not a subject I’ve ever approached but an afternoon of painting wooly sheep  with women jacked up on coffee and chocolate proved to be pretty entertaining. (Hint: little lambs are both ridiculously easy to paint and infuriatingly difficult. Who knew? But the in-between progress was pretty hilarious…sheep in clothing, cross-eyed sheep, angry sheep, old man sheep, too baby room sheep, startled sheep, tired sheep, flying sheep, are you on drugs sheep, you get the picture.)
If you are in Ashland, OR on February 3, please join us for The Flock at Shepherd’s Dream, 629 A Street. First Friday Artwalk, good people, refreshments and I’m sure a few wooly stories. xo
“Baa Baa” 11×17″