Monday, February 11, 2013

Three Months of Downsizing = One Journal Page

Our family has been downsizing for at least three months in preparation for the sale of our home. I knew we had a lot of stuff, and I have been really, really stressed about it. The Kelly Clarkson song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” keeps running through my head. The hard part wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t getting rid of old clothes, books and toys. It wasn’t the packing and unpacking and cleaning. It wasn’t the dumpsters and the storage pod. It wasn’t the hours and hours I spent sorting, tossing, and donating.

The hard part was a combination of the heartbreaking local regulations—most of them enacted after we purchased our little ranch house—on what you are required to do BEFORE you can sell, and the fact that our realtor did NOT inform us. It took months to reopen permits for work that was done 17 years ago, arrange to get additional work done to bring the house up to code, thousands of dollars to get it done, not to mention the anxiety of trying to find an available certified carpenter, electrician, and handyman.

The sale finally went through on Thursday, and we have moved into modest quarters, and are surrounded by boxes, boxes and more boxes. The dog is confused but finding his way around. I am sleeping well for the first time in months, and we have all vowed to keep our lives simple and streamlined from now on.

24 hours after we closed, the big blizzard hit Long Island. We were moving boxes in the snow, driving through slush, filling the pod and dumpster as the blizzard picked up intensity. On Saturday afternoon while I was snowed in, I rummaged through boxes and found some meager art supplies, and made my first journal page of 2013 in my new studio space.
I used the supplies I could find—inexpensive multipurpose paper, water soluble oil pastels, cheap markers, commercial and handcarved stamps. The piece was random and unplanned, and simply meant to be therapeutic and document the moment. I did not intend to make great art, I only wanted to express myself and do some art again.
I started with the stamps, then added words and color. I realized that I didn't have any watercolor brushes, but finally found a package of unopened oil brushes that did the trick. The numbers represent the day we closed (7), the day the blizzard hit (9), our old house number (36) and the new house number (8). I didn't intend for the face and butterfly stamp to represent anything, they were just what I had in my box that appealed to me. However, the butterflies DO represent my daughter, whose middle name is Kamama, which means butterfly in Cherokee. The partial face stamp probably subconsiously represents me and my anxiety about the whole experience.


sonja said...

glad you got your pc from me,in record time.
wishng you a simpler year, with more time for art ! aloha, sonja

Janet Ghio said...

Glad you are finally in your new home and able to make some colorful, meaningful art!!

Judy Warner said...

Welcome back to your art!

Chris said...

Hi Linda, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris