Thursday, October 26, 2017


Abstract Landscape
The downsizing is coming along nicely. Still purging books, emptying out drawers filled with more junk than can be imagined. It is amazing how much useless stuff one can keep in spite of trying to keep up with things.

Still bringing books to the book store. I took all my family photos out of their frames and will just keep the photos. Shipping boxes out to Arizona is very expensive. Around $50 per box.  I am hoping to keep it down to under 25 boxes. Not that easy but I am really going to try. I am using boxes that are 14" x 14". That should suffice for most things except the larger pieces of art. I am still not sure what to do about that. I have tossed out a lot of old art but there are some paintings I really don't want to throw away. I think every artist wonders what to do with all the art sitting/hanging around all over the house! I also have many paintings done by artist friends and I really want to keep those.

I am still doing some painting. All the downsizing and schlepping is quite exhausting and stressful and keeping my art practice going is vital for my sanity.

I have been working with palette knives instead of brushes lately. I really enjoy using them. There are no brush strokes and the paint color seems brighter. Clearer. I do clean my brushes after each color but somehow the color seems much brighter using the knives. Besides, trying something new in my art is always enlightening and leads to new ideas and techniques.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Golden Scale
The downsizing is moving along in full throttle now! I am getting serious and trying to do something every day. Today I schlepped 2 carts full of books to the local used bookstore. I always email them first with a list of titles to be sure they want them. I made the mistake once of going over there without doing that first and ended up bringing half of them back.

They take books on Wednesday-Saturday so I am going to try and go each day that they take books and get rid of as many as I can. Whatever they don't take I will donate to the library.

It is funny. I thought I could never part with my books. I have many wonderful art books that I have been carting around for years. Why? I rarely look at them after the initial perusal. There are of course a few I cannot part with as I do look at them often since they inspire my own work. But the rest I will let someone else look at for a while.

The realtor has told me I need to get rid of half of my with that in mind I am working hard at it. I would like to get as much done as possible before the snow flies since then it won't be so easy to get around.

And, now this is big.......drum roll please........ when my husband and I go out to Tucson for Christmas, I will be staying for the entire month of January. By.  Myself.  Yes, you heard me. I am leaving them for an entire month to fend for themselves. I really need it. There is no way I can make it through this last winter without a break of some kind. And I really need a break from all my responsibilities. My grandson will be 18 by then and so the court order I am under will be null and void. I will be somewhat of a free bird......this is big.

We can't both leave at the same time since one of us has to be here to make sure my grandson gets off to school and to his job.  Plus my husband is having some dental work done and so he has to stick around for a bit.

Today I ordered boxes so I will ship stuff out to Arizona while I am there. Just shipping most of my art supplies and artwork out there should get rid of at least half my stuff here! Ha!

I am feeling more optimistic than I have in a very long time. The wheels for the move are beginning to turn. I feel like we have waited far too long since we first made the decision to move 3 years ago.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Clouds of Blossoms
I have been working on a new series lately. One where I am layering the background using a palette knife and then adding the flowers and small details with a tiny brush. I enjoy the combination of the two distinct ways of applying the paint. I try to remember all the design elements as well, including large/small, light/dark etc.

One other thing that I am doing is sketching on cheap copy paper instead of a sketchbook. I must have 100's of sketchbooks. And lets face it, not everything in them is all that great. The books are not cheap either. I find them to be rather inhibiting frankly. After I accumulate a huge pile of paper, I go through them and toss the ones that have no future. It is a great way to warm up before painting as well. I still have a ream of copy paper from Staples when it was on sale. So I better use it up!

I had a really great consultation with a professional college counselor this week and it was really helpful. He was kind enough to speak with me at no cost since he knew my situation from the email I sent him.  Essentially, he didn't think my grandson was ready or wanted to go to college. He was right. I needed to hear that. We will be lucky at this point if he graduates from high school. Seriously, what was I thinking?

He suggested a job or Americorps or something called Dynamy. So that is the direction we are taking. He just got a part time job after school at Trader Joe's so perhaps after high school he can work there full time. They pay pretty well and have health insurance.

I am sorry that he won't be going to college right now but I am also relieved that I no longer have to feel the pressure that the school is doling out in massive doses to everyone. Perhaps at some point in the future he will decide to further his education. Right now he is just not ready.

I can look forward to my move now without all the college stress which is a huge relief for me. We just have to figure out where he will live when we leave. Not a small thing but doable.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Evening Coolness
It has been a while since I posted on my blog. I haven't been making much art lately. Probably about one painting a week rather than the daily paintings I had been doing for a while. That will have to be OK since I have so many other things going on right now.

I have been trying to downsize a little each day for the move next summer. Luckily I live in a building with 25 other units and so when I bring my downsized stuff down to the trashroom, it disappears almost immediately! People love free stuff! Especially when they are drawers, shelving and bins! So nothing is going to the landfill and that is always a good thing.

The other thing that is taking up so much time and energy is the college thing or lack thereof. We still don't know what my grandson will do post college and post move. If I weren't moving it wouldn't be such a big deal but I am and so time is of the essence for him. He needs to decide what he is going to do. I can't just leave him on the curb. It is stressful because I want him to be some place where he can thrive. But he still takes no interest in his future and I can't force him. Although I continue to try and I am becoming a real nag. I just want some answers. Instead I am trying to figure it out for him which I know is a bad idea. And everyone tells me so as well. But what am I to do?

I am looking at technical schools and so far have found a couple. One is called Pennsylvania College of Technology and the other is Vermont Technical College. I think those might be good places to start since he says he is interested in construction. (Does he even know what that means since he has never done it).....Argh.

I also thought of a gap year doing something like Americorps.

I think it is very different when you are the grandparent. You tend to feel more protective of them. Grandparent love is different than parent love and somewhat more smothering.

Anyway, I keep trying. I would really like to see him in a dorm situation somewhere with other young people his own age doing something to secure his future, whatever that may be.

I will try and go back to my regular posting because I always get good advice from my readers and this is one of those times I could use some. If you have any other ideas I would love to hear them.