This past weekend I had the opportunity to finally leave Long Island. I spent the weekend camping in the Hudson Valley region of New York and it was worth every precious moment I spent there. There were three different components to this weekend that I highly encourage everyone to partake in, whether you can leave your hometown or take it on from a new perspective.
The main event that sparked this camping weekend was my unfulfilled desire to visit the Sculpture/Earth Art Installation Opus 40 created by the artist Harvey Fite. These 6.5 acres of land and stone was a labyrinth that made us feel like we were going to find buried treasure or become one with the mountains in the background. The organic nature of it all juxtaposed with the sturdy material of stone had my mind and eyes meandering, at times speechless. The autumn foliage played a huge role in the scene. The gray slate stone against the orange, yellows, greens, and reds was a real treat. Everything to be seen was from this earth, but structured to depict human presence. I highly recommend visiting. You get to walk within and around the sculpture, as well as, all of the other walking trails the park designated. This experience helped me learn about an artist I have never researched and fascinate over their ability to see medium and design in ways I never could.
This weekend I was accompanied by my wonderful boyfriend and camping expert, Jacob. Having him around to explore, road trip, and discuss life with was essential to a weekend filled with with laughter, smiles, silly moments, and relief that maybe, just maybe, there are good things in this world right now. Despite the stress and unease of the current world, on top of my own concern that my O.C.D. may spiral a bit more than it already has, I was able to enjoy every moment. We both could not stop taking in the colour change, the mountain range, all of the differences that make this place feel beautifully unfamiliar. Recently, my thoughts have been getting the better of me, maybe due to my own personal situations, maybe because of all that is going on in the world, or maybe that is just life, an ebb and flow of finding balance. Despite adapting to our current situation, it all still feels surreal on some level; the social effects of COVID-19. While we did not laugh at the use of masks or the strict restaurant guidelines, we appreciated them and were able to laugh with each other, smile a little bigger knowing we were able to see part of this huge planet again.
Lastly, I was able to breathe. As much as I love creating my artwork and as much as it is intrinsic to who I am as a person, sometimes you need to break away from the everyday. Being an artist means at times, I never stop working. Creating and updating content does not stop just because it is a Saturday or a Sunday. There is part of me that loves this about being an oil painter, but there is a deeper part of me that needs to leave my familiar spaces and remind myself of the bigger picture. I need to reconnect with the earth, the ground, the natural flow of life. Frequently, I found myself craning my neck allll the way up to the sky to see the tops of the trees around our campsite and taking a deep belly breath in. I wanted to savor the quiet, the crisp, all the parts of this season that remind me, oh yes, I am alive. These moments breed inspiration, motivation, and a deep knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be.