Back in June I rented a small home and studio in Wellfleet for the month of November. “The Plan” was to spend half of each day visiting with my parents, and especially with mom whose health was declining, and the other half painting. And as I should have remembered the universe has its own plan as sadly mom passed in late August. Then not two weeks after returning from her funeral my father fell and then needed surgery and things went downhill quickly for him. So back to the Cape I went.
I was on Cape for 7 weeks, the last five weeks were spent in the Wellfleet rental which had no TV, no internet yet a very large studio. At the time I made the decision I thought it was just what I needed. I was wrong. I spent most of my time in the hospital, at the rehab center and to help keep me centered I signed up for two artist workshops in Provincetown, one girls weekend and finally began to paint again. My dad, I am happy to report, is doing well and will be moving back to his apartment soon. Here I share some of my experiences, thoughts and learnings. - cs
Thursday November 1: Notebook Entry #4
Inside the Painter's Studio
Inside the Painter's Studio
The studio of James Lechay holds much of his materials and most of the original furnishings. Jim’s original easels are there, his many brushes and various mediums and a blender. Some of the more interesting items were those tacked to the walls. Some old exhibition posters. A few newspaper articles that were of interest to him including a comic or two. And a photograph of Mick Jagger from many years ago. I sat there looking around and just wondered about all the years he spent here, the stories that could be told and the ones still hanging in the air. A few laughs I’m sure as well as a few tears.
There about the shelves hold a few sculpture pieces and a few objects like a red pitcher and a white flower vase that were possibly props he used in a still life or two. The furniture includes a nice comfortable couch, a full size futon on the floor and a very cool old table and retro chairs. The best piece to me was the tall wooden stool with paint all over it. That in itself was a piece of art. I’m told Jim would go to the studio in the morning and then lie down for his nap about noon. Not a bad schedule and with the screen door and a few windows all open I’m sure it was the perfect place to work and nap in the warmer months.
The best part is that one entire wall is windows. And yes, they face North. There is also a small deck outside the doorway and in summer a small bbq. I brought drop cloths and my own folding table so as not to get paint on anything, turned on the stereo and found a rock station out of Boston and began to unpack and set up. I stopped painting pretty much after my first solo show ended back in May when I learned of my two herniated discs and that my mother was critically ill. I had been traveling back and forth, then there was the funeral and now my dad was critically ill. I had to get back to painting and knew that to do so I not only had to brush the dust off of my supplies but also from within. The next day I came in with my coffee and started putting paint to canvas. Just to play. Just to feel it. It wasn’t easy at first. I was getting angry that what was once second nature needed to be practiced once again. But then I stood back and looked around and out the window, turned up the music and felt the blood rushing through my veins once again. I knew it was going to take time, and I was okay with that.