Too hot for a crocodile

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, fine art, household surrealism, mental health, public art, sketchbook, Sustainable creativity, visual story

June 25 through the 28th we had an intense heatwave here in the Pacific Northwest. It was hot enough to melt cables on the streetcar. It was hotter than the Mojave desert. My spouse and I stayed in the room of our house with the ceiling fan and the portable air conditioning unit. We drank water like it was a career. We ate salty snacks to help stay hydrated. We hugged ice packs to help cool our cores.

Most homes in the Pacific Northwest don’t have A/C because normal summer temperatures average in the mid 70’s to low 80’s. Very rarely are the temps higher than 90 degrees. A strategy of opening windows and doors in the cool of morning and at night then closing them just before the temperature gets to the 70’s is usually enough to keep a house comfortable all day.

Allegedly the recent heatwave was a once in a thousand year heat dome exacerbated by the climate crisis. Whatever you want to call it – it was very hot. And it took me most of a week to recover. 118 degrees outside and 93 degrees inside even with the air conditioning running full blast feels hotter than you can imagine. Hugging an ice pack like a teddy bear really helped.

During the heat wave I did a lot of reading and by habit I continued my daily drawing in my sketchbook. But my new crocodile project (prior post) is spread out in my studio where it was far too hot to stay more than a few minutes. So the only progress on my crocodile was an email discussion with the folks at Storyberries about formats. Still some forward motion and I’m glad of that!

Anyway, here’s some random sketchbook pages created under the ceiling fan next to the A/C. And yes, besides water we did drink our morning coffee.

What do you eat for meals when it’s record-breaking hot? Milkshakes, salads and sandwiches. Here’s the relevant pages from our Favorites So Far kitchen sketchbook. I was glad I had made a book of our favorite foods to pull from because it was too hot to think properly much less be creative in the kitchen.

Favorites So Far –

The process of dealing with the heat was something of a learning curve. Did I mention that heat is not normal for the cool rainy Pacific Northwest?! Here in case it’s needed – which I hope it won’t be – is an article about being safe in extreme heat.

Then later, July 2nd, there were my art openings at Burnt Bridge Cellars and at the Aurora Gallery! Fortunately I felt enough better by then to do social media to share about them.

Below is part of what Burnt Bridge Cellars shared.

Here below is what the Aurora Gallery shared of part of the Gallery exhibit. My “Bear, Matt” original art and a few of the prints can be seen in the lower left corner.

My original “Bear, Matt” painting was done on a beermat coaster I’d gotten on a trip to Buoy Beer. (details in an earlier post)  So the back of the original art shows the brewpub logo. You can see both sides below.

In case you missed it here’s a blog post about my “Bear, Matt” project. The photo below shows a few of the prints. You know it’s a print because the back is plain except for my studio logos.

It was a treat this week, a real bright spot, to hear from my favorite college art history professor! She wrote of her delight in having gotten a copy of my new childrens book On Looking At Odditorium and her pleasure at still having one of my paintings in her dining room! Wow!! How nice is that?!

Back when her children were young I had the thrill of having her children as two of my “favorite fans” – one of her girls had even specifically picked out artwork of mine to buy for their very own collection! Oh, that ranks high in my list of happy memories!

Now this week my professor added to my happiness by sending me this photo!! In the top left corner you can see one of my artworks circa 20 years ago give or take. I remember being so excited back then when my painting found a home with this professor!

Also this week I got to sign some of my green dragon bookplates for another dear friend’s two grandkids!! That was another high point!!

It was also an uplift, during the heatwave itself, to post here the conversation I’d had earlier before the heatwave began with Mrs Perry, the guest art teacher I featured, and then to follow the readers comments!!

I just love doing the work I do and I would do it even if there wasn’t anybody around to notice. But I really like creating my artwork as part of an ongoing conversation with friends. And it certainly helped my own spirits this week to hear from friends that my artwork brings them joy!

So note to self: go ahead and write that fan letter, send that card, type that text and tell someone something kind. You might make a really big difference in someone’s week and help them get through a rough spell.

Stay cool and hydrated this week and know that I appreciate it that you follow my blog. See you next Monday.

15 thoughts on “Too hot for a crocodile

  1. Thankful to ice and all things cold, which helped you through the heatwave. Thank you for the wonderful inspirational pictures, your shared thoughts and your recipes. I wish you a good (and cooler) week.

    1. Thank you!!! And thank you again for letting me share my creative life with you!!! So far this week is much much better! Will tell details next blog post πŸ€— Hope your week is a comfortable one too!

  2. I’m very glad that you and your wife made it through the heat wave with no ill effects! We had a similar heat wave in New England, although not nearly as bad as yours. I survived by eating ice cream cones and dripping all over my shirt. Are you able to get back in your studio to work?

    1. Oh I’m very glad to hear you survived your heatwave too!!! Three cheers for ice cream!!! Yes, I am back in my studio now happily working away!! Details in next Monday’s post 😘

  3. You were really busy in spite of the heat! Admirable! I tend to want to sleep when it is that hot inside. My art studio is in the basement where it is always cool and where I have to heat the room in the winter because I find it too cool. But it really is nice for working in the summer.

    We have also had very hot and humid days and are now having a bit of a reprieve in eastern Ontario.

    Keep creating Sue! It is an effective remedy against the extremes of temperature.

    1. Making art and reading books are the best ways I know of to make difficult times pass as pleasantly as possible. Sorry to hear you’ve had some hot days too and am relieved you’re having a reprieve now!! Glad your basement studio is cool in summer! My mantra for too-cold times is “I can always put on a sweater” and I have one I wear during winter in my studio! I much prefer cold to heat. And I hope you’ll keep creating too!!! ❀ Thanks for your comment!!

  4. You coped admirably – and sensibly – with that extreme heat and I admire the fact that you still felt able to create with such oppressive and exhausting temperatures.

    1. Thank you!!! Having a daily drawing habit really helped me to get started during the hot days. I’d start my doodling almost before I realized I was drawing… and I realized again how much art making and reading help take my mind off of discomfort. So I felt lucky and thanked the universe that I already had a small portable drawing-in-a-sketchbook kit when the heatwave happened.

  5. Terrible weather! Bad enough to have temps that high in places where most people have AC. Glad your art openings were able to take place! Love of your art certainly shows through in the wonderful pieces you produce!

    1. Yes, thankfully the heatwave had broken up by the time the openings happened. I’m very glad to hear that my love shines through! Love is what makes living sweet!! ❀

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!