Monthly Archives: October 2012

Which Way to the Beach?

“Montana Morning” 24″ x36″, oil on canvas

Trying to find time to paint while managing the remodeling of my new house is a challenge but I wanted to get to work on painting from some of the pictures I’d taken during my travels out west this past summer. I also want to have plenty of new paintings to hang once my gallery and studio are complete. Painting is also good for me, it takes me away from all the anxiety of preparing to move and all the decision making surrounding my new home on the seacoast. I’m not sure when I’ll get to my next painting, but I’m hoping it will be in my new studio. I think packing will take precedence over everything else very soon. That being the case I intend on doing my best to document the remodeling.

My new home.

Even though this has been a most trying year, the stars seem to finally be aligning in my favor. This house’s new occupants will arrive on November 10. I plan on moving out a few days before to allow for cleaning out what I do not bring with me and a thorough cleaning of the house. It feels as though I have spent every day of late making major life decisions. While it is somewhat wearing it is also exciting.  It reminds me of a quote I love from Helen Keller, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ”

So with all that’s going on, it’s hard to keep track of everything but I seem to be doing it. In a couple of weeks I will be moved and in my new home. Now the decisions are all around what to take and what to leave behind. Some things are easier to leave behind than others though.


It’s Gonna Get Worse, Before It Gets Better

Kitchen before demolition started

For the first time I can ever remember I wanted to get up out of bed at 5 a.m. Yes, cynical family members, you read that correctly. As I stated to wake up this morning and did my usual glance at the clock to see what time it was I saw 4:42. I started contemplating the day. I did need to get up around 6:30 this morning for my figure drawing group but that was an hour and a half away, certainly enough time to roll over and push away the dread of getting out of bed. If you’re not a morning person, getting out of bed is a sort of a daily fight with your subconscious.

And here we go….

This morning though, my mind was racing with problems and then possibilities. I was thinking about my new house.

Yesterday Mike (my son) and I went over there to start taking out the old kitchen cabinets to reuse in my new studio. Back to that idea of a coat of paint can solve any issue. Also in that trip to the house I had measurements for several pieces of furniture to see how, where, and if they would fit. I had also cut up paper in the dimensions of some pieces to lay on the floor to get a better sense of how they would fit. It’s one thing to use a tape measure, it’s another thing to actually see how much real estate something takes up and to have to walk around it. It proved to be a useful exercise.

Looks good to me.

I was also thinking, it’s a good thing this isn’t the first house I’ve remodeled or the sight of that wall sans cabinets might have sent me into a tailspin. Between the holes I put in the wall with the crowbar, the patch of paneling mixed in with the sheetrock behind one base cabinet and the lack of wall whatsoever behind the largest cabinet I felt a sense of accomplishment, understanding of course that Mike had done the real work and I was once again the gofor.   The one drawback was that pesky oven vent wired into the wall. That one was beyond our capabilities, so it’s now sitting on the last base cabinet left on that wall until an electrician can remove it.

Their new home


Bouncing back in forth in my head was what my next steps should be before the contractor is hired, what furniture will fit and what about the cool stuff in the architectural surplus store? I can’t imagine anyone not getting excited about great finds in a surplus store, but then again I’m sure they are out there, just not in the little world in my head. Brewing in there are visions of using one of the great old butler’s pantries I saw, instead of a row of cabinets in the new kitchen. I hadn’t brought my tape measure in there with me when we went looking, but I knew the dimensions were on their web site. Couple that with design ideas I’d gotten from HGTV and Pinterest, add the funky chandelier I had already ordered and bingo, time to get out of bed an see if it’s all really possible.

The thing that will always get me across the finish line is being able to imagine the finished product. That’s whether it’s a painting or remodeling a room or a whole house. But I do need little motivators along the way. Sometimes with a painting I come up with the title ahead of time and I want the painting to live up to the title. It’s a little different with remodeling but the same concept. I like to purchase some things that are part of the finished product as far as I envision it. I had this idea of having a cool chandelier hanging over the island in the kitchen instead of pendant lights to just add something a little different. I found this one online and reading the description the little pink droplets were Murano glass. Since Rick and I had gone to the Murano glass factory in Venice a couple of years ago, that pretty much sealed the deal for me and I placed my order. Hanging it will be one of the finishing touches and something to work my design and colors around.