Little Canvases

Last night I was avoiding cleaning my studio.

It’s been a cluttered mess lately and while a bit of untidiness may be the sign of a creative mind (or something like that), it does reach a point where enough is enough.

One avoidance technique was browsing through my entire blog history to see whether I was actually making any positive progress as I’ve professed to be attempting.

And I stumbled upon this picture and post from September of 2015.

little canvases


I’ve had these little canvases for a while.  I bought them for another project that hasn’t happened yet.  They were just sitting on my shelf and looked lonely.  I’ve started just painting them – and then repainting them – and then layering some more paint.  Now I’ve started sticking on the dried paint scrapings from my desk.  They are becoming quite heavy and textural.

Why?  I don’t know yet.  I suppose they’ll let me know when it is time…

 But sometimes, I’m not sure that I’m an artist at all.  But my middle daughter says that I am an artist and she should know.  She will be graduating with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in December.  That makes her for sure a “real artist”.

She tells me to make what I enjoy.  To do what I like to do and not to worry about it all so much.

I worry nonetheless.

And I procrastinate.

Guess what is now sitting on my desk again?


Somehow (of their own accord) they hid themselves in a box on a shelf in the studio only to reappear as I contemplated a Spring decluttering session for the month of April.

I have made a decision.

It is time – whether those canvases are ready or not.

They shall be turned into some semblance of a creative project that may  even resemble art by the end of the weekend or they shall be gone from this house.


And just maybe, I will then dedicate the rest of April working on the rest of the half-started or half-finished projects (depending on how you look at it) hiding themselves in the dusty dark corners of the studio.

And that’s a definitive maybe.

But I really do believe it is time.





Day’s End

This Sunday is coming to a close.

We had breakfast:  bacon, sausage, biscuits (from scratch, not that I’m bragging), eggs, and grits.  I didn’t do the dishes or clear the table for that matter because…

daughter is home from college and had art homework to do so…

being the supportive mother that I am, I made art with her.

There is; therefore, no amazing “after” photo of the cleaned studio.  No apologies.  I stand by my decision.  Art first.  Dishes later.

I did manage to declutter my five for today:

IMAG1065A storage tote that used to hold something that I don’t have anymore.  I’ve been saving it and moving it from pile to stack just in case I could use it to organize something that I probably don’t need to keep.  Donate.

A pair of scissors that used to belong to a math teacher friend.  She gave them to me at least 13 years ago.  I’ve used them for art classes since then.  They are bent and cut on a curve.  I don’t need a pair of scissors that cut a curve.  Any art students I have don’t need them either.  Why did I keep them?  Just in case I didn’t have enough scissors one day?  Trash.

An almost empty and almost dried up can of paint in a shade of yellow that nobody could love.  Even me, and I love yellow.  Why was I keeping it?  I guess just in case I wanted to do a partial, bad paint job in a color that I don’t like so that I could make something I would end up hating and have to throw away.  Or not throw away because I might be able to fix it.  On the deck to finish drying out and then into the trash.

And a bowl that my oldest daughter found and bought last weekend.  It was beautiful and she was going to use it in her trailer/home as a wash basin. It came home from the thrift store and was carefully placed on the kitchen counter – with a package of hot dog buns in it.  CRASH!  Our master thief and acrobatic basset hound who loves bread in any shape or form knocked it off the counter and made off with the buns.   I saved the pieces in hopes that I could put it back together in some creative way and fix the damage.  In reality, all we would end up with is a patched together broken bowl and a memory of what could have been.  Letting it go.

IMAG1058And number 5:  a door that used to separate what is now the studio/classroom from the rest of the house.  We installed it when the oldest girls used it as a bedroom when they first started school and were living at home.  That was at least three years ago.  We cut it in half because I thought that it might be neat to make a…I don’t know…a cut-in-half-door that didn’t actually close off a room that we didn’t need to close off anyway.  That was almost nine months ago.  Out of here and on the burn pile.


The Lights Went Out and a Light Dawns

We had a pretty awesome storm last night.  The works:  rain, LOUD thunder, and lightning.

The lights went out.

Remember the pathways through the stuff I’ve been telling you about?  Try navigating those in the dark while trying to find the candles and matches.  Those cluttered counters?  Not helpful in the dark.  Stuff falls off onto the floor (and your toes) while you are fumbling around looking for a match.  Also, there’s no clear and safe spot to set a candle.

If kicking a box (or five) didn’t break my toe, the can of tomatoes did when it fell off the counter.

I just went to bed.

This morning, while getting out of the shower, this is what I saw. IMAG0592

It’s looked like this all week.  I’ve been “going to clean it off” as soon as I had time to clean the bathroom properly.  “Going to’s” just aren’t a good way to get things done.

I timed it.  It took only 5 minutes, 40 seconds; including the time it took to take things to their proper home and to use that Soft Scrub to actually clean the counter. Those steps count on my fitbit – I’m still trying to achieve 10,000 steps on a regular daily basis.IMAG0594

Double win!  Clear and clean counter, more steps.

The rest of the bathroom isn’t done, but progress has been made.

A light dawns.  Maybe my list of things “to do” should be broken down into smaller jobs.

Not, clean the bathroom, BUT clear the counter, take the dirty laundry to the laundry room, empty the trash, etc.  I don’t have the time to get it all done, BUT I can get something done.

Hmmmm? Maybe I should actually write down a list.  I’m always going to, but never actually do. There’s that “going to” phrase again.

I know that writing things down gets it out of my head.  It actually clears some of the mental clutter.  There’s also the satisfaction of crossing things off of the list.

The list would have to be realistic and specific.  Not clean and de-clutter the entire house by this evening.

I’m going to do it.  I mean really do it.  Right here.  Right now.

To Do Today

  1. Clear off and clean master bath counters
  2. Gather dirty laundry and take to laundry room
  3. Clear and dust surfaces in the living room
  4. Clear and clean hall bath counters.
  5. Clear and wipe down hall counter
  6. Clear desk top
  7. Stack all boxes of paper that needs to be shredded in one spot (by shredder)
  8. Put all of daughter’s boxes in one location
  9. Gather all empty boxes in on place to await use or recycling
  10. Take shredded paper to recycling and donations to thrift store
  11. Do 2 loads of laundry – wash, dry, and put away
  12. Maintain fridge and pantry
  13. Wash dishes
  14. Find quote for new art card and print out
  15. Stare at canvas for a little while
  16. Make daughter deal with two boxes of stuff today
  17. Don’t forget to pick up youngest daughter from her friend’s house
  18. Enter expenditures in budget and reconcile account
  19. Run errand for husband
  20. Be kind to myself if I don’t complete this list because sometimes life happens – remember that sometimes the interruptions are the work that needs to be done.

This is the new plan.  The new and improved plan.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.

Please be forgiving as I’m not going to spend a lot of time proofing this.  I just realized that it’s almost noon and I just publicly wrote a list of things to do.  The perfectionist in me doesn’t want to fail.

Gotta go!

Finish or die trying.

I believe that today will be project assessment day.  The studio is in the other half of the room we have been pulling carpet up in.  I did a massive overhaul and organization of it about a year ago.

That was before I totally realized that “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF STUFF”.  Sorry, didn’t mean to yell.

There is a lot of stuff in there and most of it is necessary.  Really.  A mixed media artist can’t do mixed media without stuff.

The problem is…the projects.  Projects are like stuff for me.  If I like it, I want it.  I want to possess it and enjoy it, or in the case of projects, I want to create it.

There’s the problem.  I do have other responsibilities:  homeschooling my kids, cleaning house (or at least keeping it to a standard that will not involve the health department), chauffer, chef, Mom, wife, friend, sister.  You know…life.

There are a lot of projects in that studio.  Today, I’m going to sort them out.  Do I still want to work on it?  Will the end result be a “thing” that I have to decide whether to declutter or not?  Does it matter?  Do I have what I need to complete it if it makes the cut?

And then – I’m going to get them done or get rid of them.  To be clear, I’m not going to try to finish them all today.  Just prioritize and organize.

Unfinished projects are like little voices in my head whispering, “You’re behind, you can’t keep up, what’s wrong with you?” – I have had enough of those voices in my head.

And (sigh) I’m going to deal with those art journals today.  No more piles of postponed decisions in my life.

To work!