So I am back home from the Sonoma Plein Air Festival and have had one night of sleep. What an event. Almost five days of non-stop painting — from dawn to dusk — with one 19 hour day of painting on Thursday, extended into night to get the extra time required to prep works for the Saturday public showing. Was trying to get as many paintings out as possible before the Gala Dinner and Silent auction on Friday. Painted twelve, showed eleven. Sold three. I pretty much met my own expectations for my first time out.
We’ll get to those paintings in a later post, but right now I wanted to show you a couple of videos my sister took of me when she and her husband Bill drove out from Santa Rosa to watch me paint one evening. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she used her cell phone to shoot some video of me working, and the clips clearly explains why I often get serious neck and back pain after painting for an extended session. Assuming the video clip will play for you, can you guess why?
Hint: It’s not the head bobbing that is my problem. That’s just me trying to alleviate the pain and discomfort that is already there. That head bob is me trying to pop a vertebrae back into alignment. The correct answer is I must either change my body posture or dump the French easel I just bought and see if an an Open M or Easy-L system might be better. Both of those easels raise the palette up high and the painting support closer to the head. Apparently, I’ve been holding my upper torso cantilevered out over my working area for years and the strain has been taking its toll. It hurts and I’m so focussed I don’t know it.
I went to a chiropractor today for confirmation and got it. The symptoms are classic. So I will first try to stand differently, more straight and in-line, and if that won’t work start looking for a new easel. Clearly I can’t paint this way anymore.
Ouch! . . .