Yesterday morning we got up early, packed up the kids and headed for Eastern Michigan University.  I went to class and gave my midterm, then met Jeff and the kids at the clay studio to load some pots in the bisque. We went out to breakfast at “The Bomber” with Patrick, then got on a plane in Detroit, and by suppertime we were in Englewood, Florida with my mom and dad.

The first thing to hit me was not the sun, or the warmth — though I have spent the winter, like my fellow midwesterners, clenched against the cold and zipped into a parka, skating across icy sidewalks and parking lots.

It was the SMELLS that grabbed my attention. Ohio and Michigan are frozen, outside, and dessicated by dry forced air heat inside.  There is no humidity and we have the sniffles most of the winter.

So to wake up under an open window with orange, lemon and grapefruit blossoms wafting in…  such luxury!  Fat pink roses and bouganvilia climb across the doorway, and rosemary and basil grow like shrubs. I poked around the neighbor’s garden, spotting lizards and checking out his beehives, but mostly just SNIFFING things.

Stepping off the plane didn’t exactly shift me into vacation mode, though.  This morning I went to the store and got white gator board, gridded off in half inch squares, and started a project.

Using a printout of the floor plan and dimensions of the Ford gallery where my MFA show will be, I cut out the floor, walls and odd cubbyholes of the gallery and put them together with T-pins and tape. My edges are wobbly – especially the pedestals, which I built to scale and put together with a glue gun — but it gives me an idea where everything might go. I even made a little person-figure to get a sense for where  “eye level” should be.

Then I found the kids’ box of art supplies and mixed together modeling clay until I got a nice clay brown.  Tomorrow I will start making scale minis of the pots I have already made for my show, and putting them in the gallery to arrange and rearrange like a little doll house.

I did manage to get to the beach with the kids, and tomorrow the library will be open and we’ll make our annual trek for books. I hope to find something on the art critic I have to cover for my grad seminar class.

It’s lovely to have a break, though I was unsure about how I could leave home with so much needing to be done now, now, now.

Anyway here are pix of my gallery model!