“That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. Everything is in process.” (Pema Chodron) From The Painter’s Keys
That’s what I wrote on my blackboard that I just gave new life to in my cellar studio – project continues. I’m set up enough to do some work but still have so much to do that I have little time for art yet. I’ve done a little stitching on one of the ink paintings I did but not much. And there’s deepened meaning to the slow stitching I’ve been adding to some small pieces. Tonight I put a quick and dirty coat of whitewash on an old chest that’s drying now just to clean it up for it’s new home. I go upstairs to collect things I want to bring downstairs and find things I forgot I had, but then when I look for something I had or saw recently, I can’t find what I did with it. Ah, but it’s all part of the process (grrrrinning)! Looking forward to seeing the women in our critique group tomorrow – I need to get out of the house!
Things change. Change is probably the most consistent factor of my life. Since my partner, Bill, had a stroke a few months ago, it left him with symptoms that have made it difficult for him to live his life as usual. Without his physical help I’ve been left to my own devices to manage all of the tasks required to maintain my outdoor studio. My plans to build a roof over the structure to keep rain and snow off of it and to protect it from falling branches went down the tubes and it’s been deteriorating for months. So, until and unless I can afford to deal with it properly, I’ve been immersed in making the cellar into a new workspace that will suit my needs for now.
It was a disaster down there – years of “stuff” collected in a space that had been neglected. I’ll spare you the details but I’ve been attacking it by the square foot, clearing out the debris, vacuuming every cobweb and all the accumulated cat hair and bleaching all the mold, Many large green trash bags of yuk are gone! Lots of family treasured china have been put through the dishwasher and re-boxed and stored until I can get them to an auctioneer or something.
I’ve torn apart and reconstructed a few dilapidated pieces of furniture that housed some of this paraphernalia and put the circular saw to other pieces that were too far gone but too heavy for me to carry outside and lugged them out in pieces. Part of the problem was that it flooded down there years ago and was pretty much left in that state. So, I’m attempting to set things up to survive any future flooding that could occur by putting things up off the floor on cement block or whatever I can scrounge to use as a platform. A lot will have to wait until I get to it but everything is being placed in plastic bins meanwhile. Although it’s never flooded in the 8 years I’ve been here, you never know!
I couldn’t deal with taking pictures of the “before” scene, and it still isn’t a pretty picture, but here are some pics of the current state of the project.
Well, actually this may be good for 5 or 6 months of the year – we’ll see! I’ll tell you, though, it’s a lot of lugging up and down stairs to set up so I’m hoping this structure makes it through this New England winter! I still have a little tweaking to do. Bill just went to get me a hollow core door to use on top of the folding table. I’ll elevate the door about 4 inches to lift it up to a height that’s easier on my back and at the same time gives me some valuable under table storage. What you see there is a sheet of insulation board covered with eco-felt, plastic sheeting and some polyester on top of that. This will be used primarily for dye painting and printing on fabric.
In the far back is an old hand made wallpaper table converted to another fabric printing table with a plywood base and some formica on top of that further padded for it’s purpose.
I also have a small art dedicated bar fridge I may bring out or I can put it in the garage which is nearby. Same with an art dedicated microwave.
So, almost finished and after I sweep up, I’ll be ready for the first playdate of the season. I’ll take pics next week when Diane Franklin is here. She’s an expert dyer but a newbie at eco-dyeing and printing so we’re planning on a fun day!
And yes, I plan on doing a little landscaping around it. Bill thought he was being so helpful when he chopped off the branches of the little juniper…sigh…I had pruned it so perfectly last Fall, and I actually love to use all the new growth (that’s strewn all over the ground) to print with…sigh…! Still, he’s a keeper! He did a lot of work setting the whole thing up! I’ll say thanks to him here but I’m pretty sure he never reads my blog.
If you, like me, can’t get to Oregon for a visit, pour yourself a cuppa whatever it is you swear by and watch this slideshow of the Concrete & Grasslands Exhibit, in Grass Valley, Oregon. It’s really good – diverse.
Thanks for stopping by! And bop on over to Nina Maries too! See you next week!