I'd like you to meet a giant painting I did many many moons ago, before 9 years of marriage, 3 babies, and 5 different houses came into my life. It's really big - as big as a door, in fact. Wait - it IS a door!
Yes, it's painted on a hollow-core door available at your local home improvement store. Much less expensive than the art-specific wooden panels available for the equivalent of an arm and half a leg, and it serves the same purpose.
This painting is hanging in my sister's house. Tricia, my sister, owns more of my art than I do at this point...how funny is that? She and her husband were very generous sponsors of my work when I was playing Starving Artist.
Before my 3 precious little kiddos came along, I was selling my work at a few galleries in Oregon. I managed to produce a fair amount of artwork up until Eliza was about a year old. When we made the big move across the ocean blue (Steve was stationed in Hawaii for 5 1/2 years, and we decided to come along), I either sold or gave away most of my inventory.
Reality had sunken in at that point, and I knew I'd have to put my artwork on the back burner for the next decade or so. Besides, shipping a highly embellished door from Hawaii was likely to cost more than the artwork itself! Okay, not really, but you get my drift.
So anyway, when the kids and I were in Oregon I got to reaquaint myself with some of my pieces at my sister's house, my brother's house, and my parent's house. That's the benefit of family members collecting your work - you get to stop and say hello once in awhile. I don't really know how else to explain it but to say that it feels like I'm meeting up with an old friend again. After spending so much thought, time, and energy into a piece of artwork, it can be hard to see them off. Which is why I love it when my pieces are passed on to family and friends.
This piece includes collaged elements from my etchings and monotypes, plus little details like hand-stitching (yes, that's real thread holding those paper squares together) and cool old postage stamps. The turquoise ribbon is painted on...what a time-consuming effort that was, but I loved the results so much I usually incorporated the ribbon into most of my painted works. Ah, the memories this piece brings back! Those were good times. Back when I would work 12 to 16 hours a day on my artwork, without a single other obligation.
But how can I begrudge those days when I now have 3 sweet little monsters who make life so incredibly exciting and meaningful? And almost overwhelmingly challenging, but we won't bring that up right now.
Look at my darling little man, learning how to dance under the charming tutelage of his effervescent and imaginative cousin, who occasionally moonlights as Cinderella.
Nothing can compare to that. Except maybe a good night's sleep, which I'm definitely not going to be getting tonight ... I mean this morning.
I'm so excited to show you all the fun things we did and saw on our vacation, but processing and documenting about 400 photos is a lot of work!
Besides, I have a new, BIG reason it's taking me so long....
No, I'm not pregnant. (phew!)
The day after I got back from our trip, we signed papers for the house we just bought. So instead of unpacking and doing laundry (can't say I'm incredibly disappointed about that, although it's coming back to bite me now) we were finalizing what was an unbelievably smooth and quick short sale purchase.
I didn't dare say anything about it sooner, because everyone told us that about 3% of short sales actually make it to closing. Since we slipped into the contract when a previous buyer-to-be backed out, however, it all happened relatively fast and easily. Now I'm trying to figure out how to manage packing and fixing up the "new" house while summer vacation is in full swing. The kitchen and baths are in desperate need of remodelling, and the whole house needs painting inside. Then there's the question of what on earth to do with a gigantic fish tank left by the sellers, full of water and so much slimy growth inside (nary a live fish in sight) that it makes me cringe just thinking about cleaning that thing out enough to try and sell it on Craigslist. Aquatic slime farm, anyone? I'll throw in the stagnant koi pond and poor dead turtle and tadpoles outside too, if you'd like. Anyway, there's lots and lots of work to do, but we're grateful for the opportunity to buy a (relatively) affordable home in a great location, and the place really does have a lot of potential. Give me a few months, and I'll start sharing the transformation with ya'll. For now, though, I really do need to get to bed. Good night!