Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2/7/18

Tucson Desert Flower

I have to be honest, I haven't really done any artwork since returning to Boston from Tucson.  I have been extremely busy packing and getting the condo ready to sell. We have a tentative date for the open house on the weekend of May 5th. The condo has to be ready for photos by April 23rd and since we are going to be out in Tucson for the week before that we will need to have it all ready before we leave. So the drop dead date is April 13th.

My husband leaves next Wednesday for 2 weeks in Tucson. I plan on shipping out another 12 or 13 boxes to him. That should take care of a lot of items. I have been packing about 2 boxes per day as it is quite exhausting and grueling work. Packing boxes was much easier when I was younger. I could do the whole thing in a matter of days. I hope I never have to pack and move again.

This morning I did some paint touch ups around the condo. There are still a few more places in need of touching up. Originally we had planned on painting the entire condo but we got an assessment for waterproofing the entire building at a cost of $4000 per owner. That pretty much killed the budget for the painting plan. It will look fine though, once we have gotten rid of some of our furniture.

My son is coming this weekend to take bookshelves and any other furniture that we can live without. the realtor told us we had to get rid of half our stuff. Including half of all my artwork on the walls.

I am on the fence about most of my older artwork. Why keep schlepping it around. I will try and give it away and what I can't give away, I will put downstairs in the trash room. Nothing lasts long down there as my neighbors are voracious scavengers!

Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

1/24/18

Sabino Canyon
Many years ago, before I lived in Key West, I spent some time in the southern island of Ibiza off the coast of Spain. It was a lovely place really. This was before it became a party playground for wealthy European young people.

We rented a finca (farmhouse) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I think it cost us some absurdly low rent like $50 a month. It was lovely. Everywhere you walked was the scent of Rosemary since it grew everywhere.

This morning when I went out to feed the birds, there was something familiar about the light or the smell. I am not sure what it was but it triggered a flood of memories about that time and place in my life. I guess there are many similarities. A warm, dry climate. Lots of sun. No ocean of course, but still.....the memories were somehow brought to mind.

I only have one week left here. I am feeling rather sad about that. But when I go back I will ready the condo for sale and hopefully it will sell quickly so that we can move shortly after graduation.

Yesterday my friend Bob and I walked 3 miles in Sabino Canyon. I think that is the farthest I have walked in a very long time. Maybe ever.  I hope to do more when I finally live here.

Soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1/14/18

Plant Growing in the Desert
I am halfway though my month in Tucson and I am still very much enjoying my time here. My house feels more like home every day rather than just a place I visit. I managed to make a small piece of art yesterday. You can see the effect that the desert colors are having already.

I have been reading, relaxing, meeting new people, riding my bike, napping, and doing lots of walking.

Last night I had the opportunity to look through a high powered telescope! That was something I had never done before. It was really enjoyable and I learned so much about space and the stars from a professional astronomer.

The best part about being here is that I am not waiting. Back east I am in a holding pattern where I am just waiting, waiting, waiting. That is no way to live. My art helps me keep the waiting at bay somewhat,  but mostly I am waiting when I am there. Waiting to be able to finish packing, waiting to sell the condo, waiting to finally make the last trip out here with no return flight needed. It is very hard for me as I am not a patient person and have already had to wait too long. Three years is a long time to live in a holding pattern and not a very healthy way to live either.

But it is hopefully coming soon.


Friday, January 5, 2018

1/5/18

Studio View
The end of my first week alone out here in Tucson and I do feel as though I have died and gone to heaven. Every day is my own to do with as I please. Hiking, biking, walking at dinner time. Every so often I need to pinch myself! Seriously!

The weather has been sublime. 70's every day. The birds are singing away!

My 13 boxes arrived pretty much unscathed. Although there were two containers of paint that spilled. It was my own fault really for not making sure the lids were on tight enough. I need to make sure I do that when I ship out the rest of my paints. But other than that, everything arrived safely via UPS. It is a really great way to move if you don't have furniture!

The only thing I find stressful is driving out here. It is not fun. And I am a Boston driver! But the roads are very wide and there is more room for accidents! I am not used to having that much space to make a left hand turn. There are not one but two lanes for left hand turns. It is pretty stressful. Some left turns have arrows before the green light and some after the green light. Some have no arrows at all and then it is a free for all. Up here in the foothills traffic is pretty light but past River Road it gets a little crazy!

Luckily I live very close to Whole Foods and Bashas but Trader Joe's is a little too far. I haven't driven there yet and probably won't. Whole Foods and Bashas will be good enough for me!

One thing I need to remember is to bring my shopping list with me whenever I go out since making multiple trips out for groceries as I do in Brookline, does not make sense here.

I have to admit that I have not done much painting since being here. I have however, hung a lot of my art on the walls and they really look wonderful! Some of my older collage works look fantastic. I had forgotten about those pieces as they were buried under all the other more recent art.

I always want to be outside walking, hiking, and biking. Being inside even to paint is not appealing right now. I will have plenty of time to paint when I have to leave here so I am focusing on getting much needed fresh air and exercise.

I am also eating mostly vegetarian here. I can't do that when I am cooking for my family as they don't eat vegetables. They would be looking for the "meat"........lol

Love, from sunny Arizona!


Sunday, December 24, 2017

12/24/17

Trilogy #7
In exactly 8 days it will be 2018. This will be the year that I finally get my life back. It seems so hard to believe after 18 years of anything but that.

I am out in Arizona now and I am staying for the month of January. I plan to use this time to recover, heal, make some new art and mostly just be. I will see what it is like to only have to care for myself. I will see what it is like to only have to cook for myself.  These are all things that many of my friends take for granted. I will never take these things for granted. Ever.

We both arrived Friday. We left a day early due to the big ice storm that hit Boston. We wanted to get out before it hit. We were glad we did even though it cost us so much extra to change the tickets. I will be so glad when I don't have to fly so much anymore. Especially in winter. The trip out here is becoming more and more difficult for me physically. In fact, my leg went numb for the entire day yesterday and I was quite worried that I had a clot or something. But it is much better today thankfully.

When I am finally living out here permanently in June, I will be sure to only visit the east coast during the summer months. I will never  have to travel on school vacation ever again.

I shipped out 13 boxes of art supplies before I left Boston. I paid an extra 30 dollars to have UPS come and pick them up as they were quite heavy. They are due to arrive on Friday, December 29th. So far so good. I am tracking their progress and they are currently in Illinois. I love being able to track packages and know exactly when they will be delivered.

My first few days whenever I arrive are always spent just absorbing my home. Walking around, touching things. Making sure they are real and that it is not a dream. When I am back in Boston I sometimes feel that this is just a dream. And that I will never get here. At my age you can't take anything for granted.

It is funny, but, many people do not understand why we love it here so much. My answer is, I don't really know. Yes, summer is unbearable. No, there isn't much rain. Yes, it is mostly brown with olive greens. Yes, there are scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, mountain lions, etc.

But love it I do. I hope to live out the rest of my life here.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

12/10/17

Trilogy #1

Trilogy #2
After so many years of painting (over 40 now), you would think that I had heard of most everything painting related. But that is not the case. I recently learned of a man named Anders Zorn (look him up). He developed a palette which has been named after him called the Zorn Palette.

What is the Zorn Palette you might ask? Well, it consists of only 4 colors. Well three really plus white. The colors are Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red light and Titanium White. I didn't have Ivory Black though. Apparently Golden Paints does on carry that color in their line. I will look around to see if another company makes it in acrylic. So I used Carbon Black instead. Unfortunately with other blacks you do not get the blue hue that you get from mixing Ivory Black with White. So I need to find that color.

Anders Zorn mostly painted portraits and his colors were very subdued due to the subject matter. I am quite interested in this palette for more abstracted works. The ones you see above were done entirely in the Zorn Palette. I love the way the colors all work together. They are both intense and subtle without being too colorful. I am feeling quite resistant lately to too much color. I am finding it confusing and I am not too sure what that is all about. I will follow it though since I an finding it interesting and inspiring.

On another note, it snowed here yesterday. I really am not happy when it snows. I find it difficult navigating the city sidewalks and I am always afraid of falling. So I don't go out as much as I should. Looking forward to Arizona where there is no snow.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

12/7/17

The Short Night
This week we hit a milestone. My grandson turned 18. Nothing much changes quite yet but it is still huge for me. It means I am no longer his legal guardian. I can now go back to being just a grandmother.  I can leave if I want to. I can move. Of course I won't until he graduates. But still. I am leaving for a month in January. That will be good for him. He needs to learn to live without me always being there and doing everything for him.

Yesterday we went to the bank and set him up with his own accounts. That was pretty huge. I will no longer have to be responsible for his money.

I will continue to keep him on my cell phone account and if he needs any financial help I can help a little. In other words, I am not just throwing him to the wind. I will have his back until he no longer needs my help.

I am looking forward to being out in Arizona for the entire month of January. It will make the winter not seem so relentless. I am going to see an old friend who is coming to visit me there. She retired many years ago to Colorado and we haven't seen each other in a very long time. I am looking forward to that!

Also, my aunt from CA and my cousin are coming out to see me as well. I expect to do some artwork, and continue setting up my studio out there.

It will be really nice to have that time all to myself. When you have a spouse and you are raising children or a grandchild, there isn't much time alone. As an artist I crave it. I have to steal the time to paint in between grocery shopping, meal prep, etc. I am always cooking but I don't always enjoy it. I would much rather be in my studio painting.