“It is the same!—For, be it joy or sorrow,
    The path of its departure still is free;
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
    Nought may endure but Mutability.” Percy Bysshe Shelley
I’m not sure if others keep interesting words or stanzas of poetry in their heads for decades, but I do. I don’t imagine they do, in all honesty, it’s just one of my quirks. This is the last verse from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem entitled “Mutability”. It’s a concept that has stayed in my head since high school literature class; the number of decades that would be I will leave to your imagination. The only real constant in life is change. Without getting too philosophical, I am in complete agreement and have found it to be quite true. 

In May of 2012, I was in Florida on a little vacation with my cousin. On one of the days we took a drive down the coast. Along the way we stopped in the town of Gulfport. I loved it. There were cool and funky shops down Beach Boulevard, the main drag with lots of color. Just as alluring was the foliage, big old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.  I took lots of pictures trying to capture the spirit of the town. I had been to Florida several times and even lived there for a year back in 1980. This was different from any other parts of Florida I’d ever been to, it was old Florida and it was lovely.
Speed ahead a few years and you’ll find me at my gallery in New Hampshire painting a scene from one of those photographs of Gulfport, the Historic Peninsula Inn. I thought it could be one of my Painting Main Street series. With even more time passing since that trip I was sitting on the beach in New Hampshire, enjoying the sun but thinking, there’s no way I’m going in that water – it’s just too cold. That’s when Gulfport once again crept into my thoughts. Another brutal winter would be just around the corner and even summer on the beach didn’t fill my need for warmth. With that thought, I was reaching a nexus. There really was nothing stopping me from moving to Gulfport. Fearing another onslaught from “old man winter” was just the incentive I needed to start packing my bags.
So here I am sitting in Gulfport celebrating a little breakthrough of sorts. With most of my time the last year having been spent on the combination of moving and getting the new house all set I’ve had little time for painting or marketing myself. It was just yesterday when I was reading updates on the neighborhood web site when someone posted a question about the Historic Peninsula Inn for an article she’s writing. I posted my painting of the Inn as a response. The next day I got a message that the owner of the Inn loves the painting. Today it’s hanging in the lobby and a little partnership with Veronica, the owner is forming. It never occurred to me when I had done the painting that I would one day be living here, let alone have my painting hanging in the lobby – mutability is my friend.
As an aside, we’ve eaten at the Peninsula Inn a couple of times and really enjoyed it. There’s a lovely large porch that wraps around the front, which is a great way to spend an evening. The food is wonderful, with enough tempting choices that makes return visits a must. 
I’m also moving towards participating in a few local art shows as well as the monthly art walks here. Things are very gradually falling into place. My inventory of paintings is very much New England based, so I do have much work to do in getting an inventory of Florida paintings together so once again mutability comes into play. There will be more exploring of the area for those places which grab me, but there are also places right in the neighborhood that are drawing me in. In particular there are a variety of birds that I’m interested in painting that I see every morning and evening while walking my dog. We’ll just have to see where my brushes take me.

2 Replies to “Mutability”

  1. Barbara:
    Your Maine ocean painting is beautiful. So good to get an update. Sounds like you’re thriving in Florida. We’re doing well. The neighbors are expecting baby number four this spring. Nice family. How is Tigger doing?

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