Leaving 'Renters Mentality' Behind

Laser, the mountain goat cat, explores the drawing table at its new location.

Happy Thursday! I haven't posted in a few days due to a hand injury that prevented me from using a keyboard effectively. I'm pleased to report it is healing nicely and I am back at work.

I've been a renter all my life and it wasn't until I retired 4 years ago that I became a full-fledged home owner. But the reality that I actually own this house really did not fully occur me until last week.

After a lifetime of renting, I had developed a generalized, vague paranoia about making any major changes to my home space. After all, "What if the the landlord comes over?"

I am, by nature, a very private person. Living with the ever constant threat of unwanted intrusion just became a way of life that I begrudgingly accepted for over 45 years, so much so, that it became ingrained into my subconscious. "Don't hang too many pictures. Don't make any structural changes. Don't furnish in such a way that might seem strange, eccentric or socially unacceptable - for fear of eviction."

But a couple of weeks ago after I turned my kitchen table into a monotype print workspace and no one came barging-in to evict me for the misappropriation of a kitchen, it finally dawned on me - I can do whatever I want with my own home!

With the expansion of ideas and proliferation of new projects over the past 4 years my main studio had progressively grown more and more cramped. So, I decided to move my drawing table out of the studio and into the area of my home I call "the great room" - basically it is just a little space between my living room and kitchen where the high vaulted ceiling opens up a feeling of 'airiness'. But the feeling of spaciousness allowing the free flow of energy there is very palpable to me.

It was a lifechanging decision.

Falling in Love with Small Format Art Making

The first successful of run of monotype print backgrounds for my Artist Trading Cards

In retrospect, I think my graphic work has been slowly heading in this direction all along. Increasingly smaller formats. I noticed it in my sketchbooks too. Last year I began to add "frames" to my drawings on the pages, shrinking them down smaller and smaller. I can't really explain what it is I like about this format. But I am drawn (no pun intended) to it. It just feels really good to me and rather than resist it or deny it, I've chosen to explore it.

This past month has been really incredible for me creatively and personally. By quieting down and slowing down my life I've discovered whole new chambers within my heart and imagination to explore. By having the courage to enter alone into silent spaces I have found a whole new voice.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

Henry David Thoreau

Until next time ... Here is one of my favorite contemporary composers, Joe Hisaishi, with "One Summer's Day" -


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