Oil on panel
I just had another child graduate and I am feeling the pangs of "what will I do when they grow up?". I have been a stay at home mom for most of their lives. When they start to pack their things, they start to pack up what my life has been about for the last 18 years. I think most stay at home moms must feel this. I have 4 more to go and if the pattern holds true, I get to feel this every two to three years.
I am moving my art stuff to make a studio in the garage. To celebrate, I pulled the first interesting thing off the wall and put it on the shelf to paint. Setting up a space of my own is one of the first steps in taking myself a little more seriously. I am embracing my gradual independence.
I am going to like having a studio out there. The door faces East, so its not the optimum North Facing set up, but I can block out all light if I need to because there are no windows. I have enough space to have lots of storage. It will be so nice not to have to hunt in the closet, basement, bookshelf or in the pantry for art supplies I have tucked away. During the day, I can open that big garage door and pull my easel outside to paint if I like. From about noon on, the light is fairly consistent enough to use natural lighting. When it gets a bit cold, I have a kerosene heater I can set up. I have my CD player out there with mixes of my favorite music. The best part is that once I get things set up, there will be no need to tear everything down daily. There is nothing more de-motivating than having to move my set up so we can eat dinner. The family is really going to miss me if I decide to move a coffee pot out there.
Yesterday when I painted with the door open, my neighbor wandered over to see what I was painting. I am horrible about not being able to talk and draw/paint. I warned him about that when he first came over and he said he didn't mind. He just wanted to see me paint. He sat silently watching me while I stood silently painting at my easel. It was an interesting silence. It was not at all as awkward as I imagined it would be. Maybe it is because he reminds me of my dad.
This isn't a great painting because I did such a wonderful job. This is a great painting because it is the first "garage" painting. It is a great painting because I took myself serious enough to make a space to paint. It is a great painting because I knew I could leave it set up if I wanted. It is a great painting because I truly felt like an artist.
In hindsight, it is fitting that I painted a lantern to "light the way". I wasn't thinking that when I pulled it off the wall. I was just looking for something interesting to paint. To feed my need for habitual metaphor, I will go with this.
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