Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ending of a Month ~ Beginning of an Adventure

Ok, here's another awkward post ... but, we're aiming at honesty here, so here we go ...

It's been peculating probably for a year, this episode in my life. At first I was startled by it, resistant, then, realizing that it truly was a dream of my husband's, I've now begun chewing on accepting it. This episode (are you ready?) is, the possibility of moving to Mexico. Yep, waaaaaaaaaaay down south, out-of-the-country Mexico. He's been sampling homes, cities, villages, health insurance etc. for over a year. Together we've begun talking about our needs/wants and now have taken steps to go spend some length of time down where we'd both consider possible.

The first step was getting a vehicle that got better mileage (yeah, I was ALL behind that, good for the planet). So over a period of weeks, we stumblingly (is that a word?) acquired a new red (I'd gone for a more earthy color, but buying used ...) PT Cruiser. It's mileage is around 28mpg as compared with the 11mpg of Roland's truck and it functions better for me to carry paintings/art necessities than the sedan we'd first considered. Now, I'm finding this zippy lil' PT kinda fun ... and ... she will be a vehicle we can tow. Yes, tow (are you ready again?) behind our newly acquired [gulp] 28 foot RV.

There, I've said "it". I've never been one for the ostentatious, nor a "giant" carbon footprint, nor what feels like extreme extravagance but, here she is. After considering value for re-sale and storage and quality, this was the best option. I still waver between embarrassment and acceptance when I walk out in our yard and see her. But my husband has always been so very attentive to our "nest" and requiring quality in our home, I'm settling into this. Just the other night we enjoyed our first dinner and movie in "Tiffy" (yes, we've named her). And it was a pleasure ... warm, cozy, even romantic.

We plan to test her out on a couple local camping expeditions this Spring/Summer, followed by a Winter trek to Mexico. There we'll sample the reality of this dream for both of us. I've spoken to many artists/friends and am finding there is a huge ex-pat number who do and have done just this. One of my students worked in a Mexican bank, another artist's friend found much more success after moving to Mexico and other's have told me of the numerous possibilities of teaching classes. So I'm chewing, I'm chewing.

Love to hear any and all of your input ... I have learned, my opinion/perspective may not be the only or best one in existence. So "The Travels & Learnings in the Life of an Artist & Spiritual Seeker" continue ... appreciate your traveling along by my side :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

To Pay Homage to My Beloved

I'd planned to sit down on Valentine's Day for this post . . . but as you can see, I'm a tad late. HEY, but none the less sincere. One of the songs I love the most is "Wind Beneath My Wings" and this post I hope will send a similar message.

My Beloved, my dear husband Roland, has and is such an intense support behind me being an artist. When we first met he encouraged me to continue following my professional career in Fine Art (I'd graduated with my BS in Illustrative Graphic Design and had illustrated for a brief while). Over the years he has always been there helping me sit up my panels and tents, assisting with my mat cutting and framing and a morale steadfast when I was stuck in a creative logjam.

Now that he is more or less retired and I continue at my continual dedicated, driven pace, he is none the less my anchor. Over the past few months he has begun to exhibit some of his "workings in wood" much to satisfy my frugality and requisites for studio displays and projects.

First, he was the total foundation for my "Birdhouse Project". Together we researched finch birdhouses online and we chose one he would build for me. He did a lovely job although he nearly had to stand on his head to get his band saw to cut the angle necessary for the roof pieces to meet. With his continual drive for animals, he even created an angled hole for the finch entry which creates privacy and protection for the youngsters. To finish off his end of the aviary home, he primed and painted the lil' wood abode. From there ... it was all mine to complete ... and I was really pleased with the outcome of our mutual project.

Again, he came to my rescue when, in an attempt to downsize my print rack for my studio, he designed and built me a beautiful oak print rack. It was more compact and just peeked out from under my tall drafting desk. With a more narrow cradle, I double stacked my smaller prints and it presents nice and airy, while professional. He was, again, a God-send.

And just recently, when I moved into my new Studio Space (I believe we are going to number my studio "Studio 13" which has some historically lucky references: In the Great Seal of the United States there are 13 olive leaves (with 13 olives), 13 arrows, and 13 stars. These form a triangle over the eagle with the number 13 on each point. On the reverse the pyramid has 13 levels. And some equally interesting international references: It is an honored number in many countries throughout the world. There are 13 occurrences of the quantity 13 in the design of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh in Egypt, the largest stone edifice ever built. In the Indian Pantheon there are 13 Buddhas. The mystical discs that surmount Indian and Chinese pagodas are 13 in number. Enshrined in the Temple of Atsuta in Japan is a sacred sword with 13 objects of mystery forming its hilt. And 13 was the sacred number of the ancient Mexicans – they had 13 snake gods.) Oh my, sorry about that aside ... but, in my new studio I needed a very shallow, tall display table with two shelves. And who came to my rescue? Once again my sweet hubby. With tape measure in hand, and caring hands at work ... he proceeded to craft a lovely Oak Display Table for me. Without knowing it he had provided a shallow back support perfect for me to attach a clap-on lamp to spotlight my tiles.

How does he know to do these functional details that end up satisfying needs I'm not even aware of? Is he Divinely guided? Are we psychically connected? I could venture to answer those questions ... but what I can declare without any inkling of doubt, is that he is the wind beneath my wings. And I can never totally express how indebted my heart is to how he loves and supports who I am. Amongst so many blessing, my Beloved is one of the greatest. Thank you Universe, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spring Thaw - or - Spring Tease

I know it's only early February . . . but I've been noticing occurrences outside. Not only have we been having one of the most mild winters since I've been here (this is my 5th), but Spring flowers are coming up way early. The earliest I've seen my crocus up was February 14th ... this years new record is February 4th. And they were probably there before that, only I'd not been even looking for the until I was Downtown Jacksonville for a meeting and noticed several happy yellow heads bobbling in the sunshine! As soon as I got home I saw my sweet lil' buds all up, just awaiting to open.

It's taken me many days to get them in my journal but, here they are with my take on the blooms.

And once I was aware that things were poking their heads up in ready-ment for Spring I began looking everywhere. We have a herd of SnowDrops that have been ripening outside my studio window since mid-January and now they are in their full prime. These are adorable poisonous plants that were in existence when we moved here and each year they provide the very first hope of Spring to come. The surely make me smile each time I peer out my home studio windows.

So you see, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause" ~ and ~ Spring is really going to come. Not to rain on this cabin-fevered parade, but this could and probably is our usual, what we call February Tease, that starts us drooling, planting Summer flowers and wearing shorts (I'll admit, I even found myself sitting in the warm sun for awhile yesterday). Then, shortly after this, Winter returns, laughingly almost with her freezing temperatures and grey skies. But for now ... I'm smiling and wigglin' my toes in the cool, sun lite grass.