August 9

"Let it go..."

I have often heard over the years…."How do you do it all? You have 3 kids, 2 cats, a beast of a house, a husband that runs a company, family health issues and yet you still paint…"

 

Well, in the words of a famous Disney song, I have learned to "let it go". There is only so much time in a day. So I thought I would share some of the biggest things that I have "let go" in order to get back to my easel as quickly as possible….

 

When I was first married, we lived next door to a family that had 3 young children and they seemed to have it all together- very tidy yard, very clean house. I heard the vacuum cleaner going nearly every day. She would even take the hose from the vacuum and suck off any dog hair on her kids before they went to school.

 

I didn’t have kids then, but I promised myself that I wanted something on my tombstone other than “she always had a clean house.”

 

 

Things I have let go…..

 

1. Drawers

 

So this is how my kitchen towel drawer looks right now…..I have let go of folding things as much as possible. Especially kitchen towels, they just get used up so fast anyway, so who cares if they are a bit wrinkled? That is the nice thing about being an artist. If neighbors come over, I know they just think….ooh! She is an artist…she must be slightly crazy, so we have to give her some slack….

After I was first married, my husband's grandmother came over from England, (a right proper Englishwoman who only wore dresses, never pants and always wore pearls. ) She was exasperated with me because I didn’t iron my sheets and towels. Iron the sheets? Sorry, I have a bit of a wrinkly soul.

 

I assure you the underwear, sock and pajama drawers in our house look like this too! And I have never ironed sheets. :)

2. Framing

 

I don’t do my own framing. Yes, it is more expensive, but I just can’t make time for it anymore. I have crawled around on the floor trying to frame big pieces and wasted lots of money over the years messing up mats, so, I have let go of control of that and only use my gallery now.

3. Shampoo

 

Well, I haven’t stopped washing my hair, but dry shampoo is my friend, especially when I am on the run to school events, doctor appointments, etc…. When in the studio I am not working up a sweat anyway (well, maybe mentally…..)

4. Website

This is my website designer…isn’t she cute? I spent the last 4 years saying I was going to get a new website and blog going – never happened. So I had to let go of total control of the site (very tough for me) and now I rely on her. Straight out of college I was always looking for freelance work, so now I am giving work to her. I write the blogs and she formats and publishes them. I used to fuss with every square inch of my site. So time-consuming. I think the site is a nice collaboration of both of us. Working with her has kept me on track every week and given her real-world experience working for a fussy client….and she is looking for new ones…..

5. Sharpening

 

I don't sharpen my pencils to a point. I use a lot of pastel pencils, but I never understood the obsession in keeping them sharp.  I know artists that go crazy sharpening pastel pencils and trying to get and keep a point.  I don’t bother.  If am trying to make marks that small, then I am being too careful and detailed anyway.  I usually hack at the pencils with a straight-edged blade, which gives them a blocky point.  I would rather stand back and almost gesture with them in an area anyway. A blocky point gives a more beautiful line.  Plus, my close vision is starting to go, so it is better for me to stand away from my work and gesture.  (#no bifocals)

6. TV

 

I watch very little tv. Even the news. It is so crazy out there…...

7. Weed Garden

 

There is this patch of ground at the end of our driveway that I labored over every spring. Planted flowers, weeded and watered. The last 2 years it didn’t happen. Weeds have encroached and now it is all but impossible to make it look cultivated. But, it actually looks kinda nice in a wild way. There is too much else to do, so I have let it go. Hope the neighbors don’t mind too much….

So there you have it…..maybe this will give a few ideas on where to cut back so the focus can be more on what you want to do…….and I promise not to peek into your kitchen towel drawer…..

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