October 30, 2021
Seeing the late afternoon sun shining gave me weather anxiety - I felt that I must take this chance to be out. Sunlight is something I don’t take for granted in Sweden, and having a warm late fall felt like a bonus. Realizing that this “little painting project” was actually turning into something also made me want to capture any days with decent weather. I packed my backpack, including my new portable easel, and headed back out. (For me, the joy of being in my late forties is not caring what I look like as I walk around with my portable art studio on my back. 😂) Soon I was back to the sunflowers where I stood just two days earlier.
I had the two paintings with me that I had started two days earlier. I set up and started painting again. My phone rang. For some reason it felt funny for my phone to ring, as if there shouldn’t be coverage out there in the middle of a sunflower field. I answered and it was my neighbor - they apologized for disturbing me but wondered if I was home as they were locked inside their apartment as the door lock had malfunctioned(!) I wasn’t home, but my boyfriend was able to help them - they dropped their key out the window and my boyfriend was able to then open their door from the outside. I couldn’t help but reflect on the irony of my project being about outside, and my neighbor randomly calling to say they were locked inside (something that had never happened before) and that ultimately, the key only worked from the outside.
The late afternoon sun was quickly setting, and I was reminded of the days becoming shorter. In order to be close to the sunflowers I stood a bit away from the walking path, but occasionally people would wave hello. One couple asked if they could come see what I was doing, and I said of course. The man was on crutches, and yet he and his wife made their way across the uneven earth to see my painting in progress, and I told them about the project. They asked the question everyone seems to ask artists - Are you going to be part of the Easter art exhibit (Konstrundan) in Österlen? I had looked into this years before, and in order to be part of it you either need to be in a gallery, be part of the artist organization that has criteria I didn’t meet (a number of juried shows or formal art education), or have a place to display on your own in that area. I didn’t have any of these. But then it hit me - in theory I could paint outside. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do this, but it was a nice thought. :)
I continued to paint the sunflower field as it darkened in contrast to the light of the setting sun. Soon it was time to pack up again, and I felt satisfied I had captured this late October day.
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Copyright Kristy Lund