I find this time of year so inspiring (mid/late spring, beginning of summer), and I’m not sure if it has to do with the long-instilled sense of excitement that comes with the end of a school year and the beginning of another summer with its accompanying vacations; or perhaps it’s just the beautiful weather, temperate climes and the promise of many sunny afternoons spent with a cold drink in-hand. Whatever it is (probably a combination of both my youthful anticipations and now-adult enjoyments), I love this season. Perhaps even more so this year because we had an unusually early, and warm, spring here in Chicago, and I’ve been soaking it up. We enjoyed not only an early spring, but a mild winter and I’m beginning to wonder if the apocalypse is near (just kidding… mostly).

Whatever the cause, I’ve been trying to make the most of these beautiful days. DH and I started a back-porch garden (photos to come) and are eagerly awaiting our first crop of homegrown cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and jalapenos. We are already enjoying the fruits of our basil and mint plantings.

I’ve also been enjoying some good books and good music. Most recently completed was Infelice by the incomparable Augusta Jane (Evans) Wilson, the most recent addition to my list of favorite authors (recent as in the last 2 years, joining the ranks of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis). The image cover below is a passable rendering, but the descriptive powers of AJE’s writing really deserve much better, leading to my consideration of an illustration project based on her novels. I’m afraid the audience for this type of writing is sadly limited, but one of these days I may find enough time (and the right models) to bring these stories to life on canvas. It is easy for me to call images to mind as I’m reading, but I’ll admit that I enjoy illustrations as well — especially when similar to my own imaginings.

That being said, I aim this summer to really put as much time as possible into creative efforts. Whether it be side design projects (which already take up a fair amount of my time), or painting and drawing. A fresh bouquet like this would make quite a nice little still life… Does anybody know what kind of flowers these are (they grow on a very tall bush outside our apartment)?

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