Snapshot of “Chimney Rock”
June 2021. Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, ink on paper. 8 x 11 in.
It’s not news that we’re under another heat dome. It’s actually hotter than the last one (118 yesterday, briefly hitting 119) but perhaps won’t be as sustained. Once again hiding out in the house, shades drawn against the searing air.
But what IS news is that there is progress on getting cooling back in the studio! The unit finally arrived after ridiculous and foul delays, and my installer has begun work. However, the roaring temperatures are interfering with the next steps, notably laying a small concrete pad for the compressor; curing cement does not like these kinds of temperatures and will want to crack. As well, he has had to take out a window and will need to do some work on the outside wall before proceeding with the inside installation, and, frankly, it’s just too dangerous to be working long in these conditions. So, progress is hampered. But we persist.
Once confronted with the reality of the unit in 3-D we unfortunately had to change some of the plans. Instead of placing the inside unit above the west window, we’re now removing the small northwest window and putting it there. This window was the most expendable, being essentially the old original “bathroom” window, with the bottom half frosted and very leaky louvers that constantly sieved in drafts and dust. But, on the other hand, it was a good source of ventilation in the west part of the room, and I will miss that.
Plus – sigh – I love my old cabin, and it distresses me to change any part of its humble, original self. But the fact is, it’s suffered 60-plus years of desert brutalization and it needs upgrades to keep it standing and serving. For example, the old asphalt shingles have had every possible modification to keep them operative but they are simply disintegrating right off the walls, and in the next year or two I will have to come up with a replacement plan for the siding. Things have to change to survive, I guess.
So for now I’m trying to concentrate not on the losses but rather on how incredible it’s going to be to have modern, reliable cooling in there. And, of course, on getting back to work.
The image above is another snapshot of a recent work on paper, from the same group as “Drought, 115 Degrees” that I posted before. The palette again was just ultramarine blue, raw umber, black, and white. The photo is rather dingy but that’s just what we’ve got for the moment; I shot it on the floor with the phone under fluorescent light. I look forward to getting a proper shot of it when the studio’s back to rights; right now it’s all in an uproar, of course, and will remain so until the cooler work is done.
I rather like this painting, which recalls to me the backroads of Utah and the wildness of the rock and the weather. Younger days. It was all so very exciting.