About a year ago my husband and I started building an art studio in our back yard. We live in a small California bungalow-style house built about 100 years ago, and although it is generally big enough for us (we’re small to average-sized people), it isn’t big enough for our respective avocations: musician/singer-songwriter (him) and artist/writer (me). Much of the front bedroom serves as an office and music storage room for my husband, and there is always plenty of music/sound equipment to trip over on one side of our living room. I have much of my art supplies stored against one wall in the front bedroom, but no real working/painting space. The stop-gap measure has been to set up an old computer table against the windowseat on the southern side of our dining room, with one small cart filled with art supplies, and whatever else can fit either under or on top of the table. This leaves precious little space for me to actually paint, and my paintings have been expanding in size as I have become more confident about what I’m doing (primarily abstract acrylics).
Once we got the studio framed, the building process seemed to slow down considerably. With an original hoped-for finish date of October or November 2013, I was feeling pretty glum when winter arrived and we still had many major steps to complete. Luckily, my husband is extremely mechanically-minded and good at building, and is also a stickler for details. With the exception of the plumbing inspection early on in 2013, everything has gone quite well. (He had to pull out some pipes he’d glued together and start over with new materials.) We passed the electrical inspection last week, and are doing insulation this weekend. Then there’s drywall, and all of the major construction is done. I still don’t think it’ll seem real for me until I can paint the walls and move my stuff in, but at the rate we’re going, that should be within the next month. Yippeeee!
I need the distraction of setting up the studio and feathering my creative nest. I have wearied of my work as a therapist, and don’t seem to have the mental and emotional energy I once did for it. Have to admit that I fantasize a lot about retirement, but the reality is that is still ten years away, barring an unexpected act of tremendous good fortune or–less fortuitously–serious illness or simply dropping dead. Nor do I have the money or motivation to try yet another career at this point. So onward I trundle.
Meanwhile, I continue to ponder mortality in general, mine specifically, and try to focus on living a mindful life by reminding myself to BE HERE NOW. And that includes when we go back out into the studio this evening and glove, goggle, and mask up once more to measure, cut, and fit strips of insulation. How fun is that?!