Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A BUSY PAINTER’s HIATUS

I really have trouble believing it has been 3 years since I have wet a paint brush!   


'English Garden'
18" x 24"
Oil on Canvas 

My husband and I have lived a beautiful, if complicated, life together for 39 years.  At this chapter in our journey, we decided to simplify our lives by downsizing.  I'm sure many of you that are my age can identify with our experience.

Having sold our homes easily in the past, I got busy packing away my messy art studio.  After all, it was clearly the biggest eye sore to any non-painting, potential home buyers. I packed away hundreds of paintings, many unfinished, along with all of my art essentials.  I felt such sadness when we had movers transport it all to a nice storage unit even though I knew it was only temporary. I just couldn't risk the chance that my oil paintings would have been sold for very little, or donated after an estate sale. .

 I then spent my days organizing, inventorying, packing, selling, donating, and throwing away items accumulated during our then 36 years of marriage.  We had 2 large garage sales, where I sold a lot of art equipment, like unused or outgrown easels, art backpacks, paints, brushes and the like, along with home furnishings, gifts never used, clothing never worn...well, you get the picture.  Our basement had been full to the ceiling, and it was almost 2,000 square feet!  It took nearly a year of cleaning our basement area up and out, before we felt even close to listing our home for sale.  We still had quite a bit around the walls, but felt  any potential buyers would expect to see things in one’s basement.

Our realtor gave us a price at which to list our home, and we laughed.  The recession is over, we thought.  We should get so much more than that for our custom, beautifully decorated home.  So we priced it higher, based on the comparable homes that had sold near us, with room to negotiate. We lowered our listing price several times, to no avail.  We staged our home twice to appeal to young modern buyers.  Each time, having to separate items to keep from items to sell, and hire movers to deliver more things to storage.  We eventually changed agents, and while it sold in the months to come, we looked back over the whole experience, and realized we had practically put our “normal” professional and social lives on hold for 3 long years!  Nevertheless, the entire time we had been extremely busy.  

Every day during the time our house was being shown seemed frantic, tidying up for a showing every couple of days, taking my Yorkshire Terrier off in the car while agents came through my home, searching out places to move after our home sold, deciding what favorite furnishing would fit into a new small space, cleaning out and selling our mountain cabin in Blue Ridge, GA, and finally, planning a remodel of our beach condo at Amelia Island Plantation, where we planned to eventually land, gazing out at the water and painting, for the final chapter of our retirement. So you see, there was not enough time in the day to create an oil painting.

We located an auction company to hold an Estate Sale following our move, to sell the items in our home that were no longer of use to us, only to find that “brown furniture” , antiques, and upholstered furniture do not sell.  First things to go were painted & farmhouse furniture, wall art, and costume jewelry.  Now, we had to figure out what to do with those leftover items!

My New Art Studio

I had thought the stress of moving from our beloved home and yard into a small condo would be tough, but I found that deciding what to keep from a home full of items, some for which we had scrimped and saved, gifts we loved dearly, things from our travels to other countries, and stuff passed on from generations past, proved to be the most stressful of our recent endeavors.

With all of that finally behind me, I can finally breathe.  It feels like I am completely starting over as an oil painter.  I plan to explore some new ways to express my passion of art.  I may attempt a painting a day, or paint some contemporary abstracts.  Whatever I try, I know I will find peace in getting my brush wet again!

2 comments:

  1. First of all, I'm so jealous you have all that downsizing behind you! It has taken me all month to purge and clean my studio so I can get some painting done! The painting you show looks like you are well on your way to picking up where you left off. Great read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Cathy ! It was hard, but I made it through it. We never anticipated it taking so long to sell our home. Happy Painting!

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