Scot's Secret Garden, Buffalo, NY

June 13: I tried to do a painting that would capture some of the charm they find in the "secret garden" behind the garage, but it's hard even to move a brush at this point. This is too bad, since Scot says there are also good views of downtown Buffalo from the top of their office building. Maybe I can come back soon...

My folksinger cousin planted the thought, a few years ago, which grew into the Itinerant Artist Project: When I announced I was going back into art, she said, "you might have to stay with a lot of people." I think she was suggesting that the generosity of friends could help me get by, but I started thinking about how the folk-singer model might translate into the life of a painter. So, anyway, I wanted to make Buffalo my last stop, to acknowledge that initial inspiration for this project.

It was fun showing some of the paintings I've done to Ani and her band, exchanging stories about different parts of the country. Everyone seemed impressed that I'd been out on the road for so long. We shared strategies for feeling at home while going from place to place. Objects and rituals...The painting practice itself could be seen as a ritual that gave me a sense of continuity and security wherever I went, but it was also a way of grounding myself quickly and directly in the reality of a new place and engaging the present. I tried to belong wherever I happened to be. Sometimes it was easier than others.

June 14: It's a hot, hazy day as I leave Buffalo, driving off through familiar territory, back to Rochester. I'm more than ready to end the trip but not sure how to go home.

and the time of day. It suggested a little tone poem. I had my own reasons to want to paint it.