The Season of Moving

Summer is often the season for moving. Our family regularly moves to new adventures following my husband's job; friends move nearer or farther or to new places we will visit; neighbors move in and out, changing the dynamics of the neighborhood. Having had twelve different addresses since graduating from undergrad in 2000, moving is nothing new- a part of me looks forward to the adventure, and a part of me longs for the day we will finally settle-in, find a home and plant a garden and get to know our neighbors without having it all change again in a few years.

For now we must continue with our "goodbyes." Even when it is just "goodbye for now," it is still hard. And saying goodbye to the children of neighbors and friends is sometimes the most difficult. I've watched them grow in the time that our lives have overlapped. Our families have shared adventures. They have played with my son and taught him important lessons in friendship, sportsmanship, tree climbing, minecraft, and other aspects of life. Sure, our families will keep in touch, but they will change much more (and I will miss seeing it happen) than their parents. It is hard and a part of me grieves.

This year it seems like nearly everyone moved, ourselves included. So I used a little painting therapy to help me through. If I could have painted a picture of every child that I will miss seeing outside my window or playing in my living room, I would have. But moving means months of disruption and chaos and little or no time behind my easel. Fortunately, two very important paintings were finished this spring before I packed up my studio.

Climbing Trees is an acrylic on canvas painting of a very dear family that we had to say goodbye to this summer. The three Mitchell kids are picking apples - one of the many adventures we shared with them in Virginia over the past three years. I love these kids and saying goodbye was so difficult!

Climbing Trees is an acrylic on canvas painting of a very dear family that we had to say goodbye to this summer. The three Mitchell kids are picking apples - one of the many adventures we shared with them in Virginia over the past three years. I love these kids and saying goodbye was so difficult!

Climbing Trees is an acrylic on canvas painting of our wonderful neighbors, the Crooks, climbing the maple tree out front with my son, Calvin. These kids were outside with Calvin nearly every day, running and climbing (stone walls and trees), and were a big part of our lives - they opened their hearts and doors to us from the moment we moved in. They will bring warmth and friendship wherever they live.

Climbing Trees is an acrylic on canvas painting of our wonderful neighbors, the Crooks, climbing the maple tree out front with my son, Calvin. These kids were outside with Calvin nearly every day, running and climbing (stone walls and trees), and were a big part of our lives - they opened their hearts and doors to us from the moment we moved in. They will bring warmth and friendship wherever they live.

Moving season is winding down for us. We are settled into our new address in Herndon, VA, getting to know the area and slowing meeting neighbors and making new friends. My studio is mostly unpacked, though I have not yet found my way back in. I will soon enough, with new projects to work on.

Happy adventures to all who find themselves moving this summer. I wish you the best! 

H2O Waterworks: an artistic exploration of our relationship to water

The Del Ray Artisans have a show this month that is all about our relationship to water. This being one of the essential ingredients for life, I am drawn to it with both sides of my career (artistically I love painting water scenes, and scientifically I have worked to understand a small piece of the astrobiological puzzle describing water in our solar system). I will have three paintings hanging in the H2O Waterworks show at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery in Alexandria, VA. If you are local, take a moment this month and stop by Del Ray to enjoy some beautiful pieces of art - the show runs Nov 4-27 on Thursdays through Sundays, admission is free and handicap accessible, and all pieces of art are for sale.

If your schedule allows, join us this Friday, November 4, for the opening reception from 7-9pm. It will be a fun way to enjoy the artwork and mingle with the artists. The Del Ray Artisans Gallery is at 2704 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301.

I hope you see you there! 

Beacons in the Night by Monica Hokeilen, oil on canvas, 36x12 inches

Beacons in the Night by Monica Hokeilen, oil on canvas, 36x12 inches

Pirata Playa by Monica Hokeilen, oil on canvas, 36x12 inches

Pirata Playa by Monica Hokeilen, oil on canvas, 36x12 inches

Boys on the Beach by Monica Hokeilen, oil on canvas, 18x24 inches

Boys on the Beach by Monica Hokeilen, oil on canvas, 18x24 inches