Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Memories

It's still Monday, so I haven't missed my deadline for posting!

I've spent the past week working on the house, and NOT in my studio. My husband took the week off and we used it to get the house ready for the market (or to just get things cleaned out, even if we end up not moving.) The first part of the week was spent in my crawl space. It started like this:
My delusional hubby, thinking this wasn't as big a job as it ended up being.
And ended like this:
All cleaned out! You didn't think it went that far back, did you?

We sorted into piles of Keep, Sell/Donate, and EEEK! GET IT OUT OF HERE! There were multiple trips to the dump to get rid of the bad stuff, and now the rest of my basement is full of the sell/donate stuff that we'll have a garage sale with in a couple weeks. So, really? My basement looks worse than when we started. I know there was progress, but it doesn't feel like it right now.

In the middle of cleaning, there were a few good gems like these...

1942, hardback book. 
I inherited a ton of books from my grandmother on art. She was a teacher for most of her life (not sure what ages or whatnot, but maybe junior high? And I think she taught reading?) She wanted to be an artist, or it was her hobby anyway later in life. The problem was that she was never very good at it. Going through all these boxes of books and seeing her notes, I actually figured out why.

My grandmother approached art like you would a clock, if you were taking it apart to see how it would work. She had tools. She had diagrams. She had notebooks full of written instructions. But it wasn't enough. It was all technical details and no heart. I kind of wish she was alive now, and could sit with me and I could teach her a bit. I don't know if I could have provided the missing link to make the technique and the art come together, but I think perhaps...

My great-grandmother had the heart, I think. There are a few of her paintings around, and it's there. She had it. I believe it was my grandmother's mother, and it would explain maybe one reason why my grandmother chased art later on.

The one with the red x is one of my great-grandmothers. I'm not certain which one, but I think it was the painter. This was her class picture, from what I understand. Check the bow-ties out! I actually heard a story that this was art school, but I'm not actually certain that is true. 
This is my senior class picture, the "silly" take - almost 100 years difference. Zoomed in, my class was about three times larger than this, but I'm in the middle in white next to the guy wearing a green streamer tied around his head.

I thought it was interesting to compare the two class pictures. About a century in between, but similar in age and point in life. What a contrast, huh? I rather wish they had done "silly" takes back then. It'd sure be fun to see that, wouldn't it?

Oh, and this is my grandfather's parents' wedding photo. 1909. Wild, huh?

I also found things like a walkman with a mix-tape, and these!
My boom box, an actual record, and my books from when I was around 8 years old!

I then found this painting I did for my mom when I was about 15. The original intent was what you would see laying in the grass on a lovely summer day, with my mom's favorite flowers (pansies) around her. What the outcome was for many is summed up by one person asking "So, um, is this like the view from your grave?" *sigh* Anyway, this sucker is about 25 years old now, how's that for a throwback to learning how to paint!?

We also spent a lot of time working on the yard. It's amazing how much better mulch can make something look. We kept finding nests built in the worst spots, usually by the same type of bird:
Aren't these eggs gorgeous? I wish the bird was a little smarter in his nesting spots though.
Then, finally, I was able to paint a bit more again last night. I have deadlines and such piling up, but since I reorganized my business I really want to get working in my chosen directions. So, I pulled my queen out and started working on her again:

I also finished a few mini-misfits. These three mini-misfits are available in my Whimsical Misfit Store:

"Cole" 2x2 inches acrylic on stretched Canvas
"Lewis" 2x2 inches acrylic on stretched canvas

"Arnold" 2x2 inches acrylic on stretched canvas

I'm hoping this week will bring with it a return to being productive in my studio again. Unfortunately, my website still needs work (and it won't load right now, for some mysterious reason.) My plan is to save that for when it's too hot to paint. I figure that's a good strategy! Of course, I'm still trying to squeeze everything in between summer commitments, (read that as; everything I don't have to do while the kids are in school, but now am suddenly expected to drop everything to get done.)

I hope everyone else had a great week, and a good one coming!


Carmen said...

Oh I loved the Ramona books too! :D

What a lot of work! And that space is huuuuuge!

Really loved this post - the old photos compared with yours... the birds nests and seeing your Queen again. Hope you get more time in the studio soon! x x x

Almost Precious said...

Kyra you have been busy, the crawl space looks amazing and huge ! It will definitely be a big plus for those looking to purchase a home.

I enjoyed your thoughts on the past . . . those memories that sifting through boxes long forgotten bring to the surface. Photos of people from a different era, memorabilia from days gone by and memories from one's youth. It's always lovely to reminisce. :)
Glad to see you've brought out the Queen of Hearts in order to continue working on her. She will be gorgeous when completed, yes she may be crazy and wicked but she will be wickedly beautiful. ;)

Magic Love Crow said...

I love this post!
That crawl space is massive! Wow! You could put a car under there! LOL!
You found some really cool items!
Loved all the pictures ;o) Photos are fantastic! They tell such a story ;o)
I can't believe you did that painting at 15? You were born an artist ;o)
Those eggs are gorgeous!
Your Queen is looking amazing!
Love your little misfits ;o)
I just finished my part in the traveling journal ;o) Your painting was breath taking ;o)
Take Care ;o)