A few miles from here in a UPS store, there sits in a long skinny box a rolled up canvas I did 10 years ago in an orchard in Canada. It is an Italian landscape full of vineyards and old trees and houses tucked here and there. I dream of going there someday. On the hill in the distance sits a “castle” (as the boys called it) with a simple steeple. Ryan and I would make up stories of how I lived there. I told him perhaps someday. When I went to Canada to paint, I had left my 4 month old son, Alex at home. It was gut wrenching but at the same time a tremendous gift to myself. I got lost on that canvas, the colors, the textures, the dreams of it. I realized I absolutely love to paint. And, that I have so much to learn. I have made time now and then to get to the canvas but how I yearn for another stretch of time like that to be immersed in paint for days without having to take care of others for just a little bit. The canvas has hung in three different homes and now will go to the forever home of a very special life long friend. It belongs there. She has returned to “her castle” on a beautiful hill. Where out her window are hayfields, rolling hills covered in vines for her new canvas of winemaking. I am so happy it will hang in a house full of love, dreams made and be a part of the history there. I must admit it was hard to let this piece go when it came down to the moment. But I got in my car and realize by letting it go it has opened up the opportunity to paint a new landscape. Something I have been talking about doing for 10 years but haven’t. It feels really good to send it off with love and gratitude to a friend who has supported me and my family with so much love. I was a bit giddy actually. And it feels good to know in my heart and soul that I now must paint another.