Notes From My Residency Journal
I finally made it back to beloved Fair Oaks today. I've been busy with family obligations or it has been raining for several weeks. I was thrilled to be greeted by my dear friend Mark, back from Europe after a year of travel around the world. I am delighted that he is home again and at Fair Oaks. Mark was the estate manager before going to Europe to complete his masters degree. He plans to stay in the Evinston/ Cross Creek area, so I am thrilled. Mark is like a son to me. His mother kindly shares him with all of us who treasure him. His fiancé Anna is so sweet and cute. She will be back from South Florida soon.
I headed out to the fields in my favorite blue golf cart. It was swell to see the farm looking so good. The fields are green and fresh from the summer rains. When I got to the woods, they were overgrown with weeds. I couldn't find the path anymore so I made my own. Field three was a glorious tangle of tall weeds and texture. I have begged the staff not to mow that field because it gets so beautiful in the winter. I love painting there November through February.
After my safari I headed upstairs to the air conditioned studio to paint from the images I took out in the fields. Today was the hottest day so far this summer, so I avoided the heat and bugs to paint in comfort. I always enjoy listening to Bob Edwards on NPR while I paint upstairs. I confiscated the Bose Radio from the room next door, so I have the perfect studio to work in now.
The lunch bell rang so I headed for the cottage. We had a fantastic southern meal of friend chicken, potato salad, Mac and cheese, cole slaw, fresh fruit and the legendary Fair Oaks sweet tea. I so enjoyed time with Euan who has just returned from his summer internship, Scotty, Mark and Rick. What fun to lunch with these fine gentlemen!
I finished my painting in the studio and headed for home with another happy memory of a swell day at Fair Oaks. As always, I hate to leave this lovely and magical place.