Downsizing

Keltie Ferris, ¡I! , 2010

Keltie Ferris, ¡I! , 2010

We rented a 14 cubic foot dumpster last weekend, in a grand quest to chuck almost every chuck-able thing in the garage and transform it into a studio. Yes, a studio to paint. Are we talented enough to do this – probably not. Are we trying to recapture some youthful joy of throwing color on paper and letting madness, gravity and some squirrel hair have its way, yes.

Obstacles loomed large. A garage crammed full of 15 years of life detritus. Crap from three houses, three children and rag- tag stacks of DIY furniture from my teens, twenties, thirties, etc. No space to walk to the beer fridge – an American tragedy.

The effort was riddled with cursing and tears. Stuff is hard to throw away. Stuff you will never use again clings to you when you see it. You feel some small comfort, the soft flannel nostalgia of your  former life revisits you. And you can’t throw that part of your life away can you? How ever will you remember?

Sorting through keepsake boxes, mumbling the odyssey of our lives. The aching journals of youth, rampant religious texts, cheap beads from dirty countries. Silk wedding flowers of people now parted. Goodwill got my fifth grade teddy bear collection.

One thing I refused to part with  –  my spray paint. The single most transformative tool – secret weapon of up-cyclers  and street artists everywhere.  I think Keltie Ferris applauded. Her pointer finger transformed the humble spray can into high art.

I love the energy of this painting, the way the spray strokes  fuzz and pop. Layering the sprays atop the other paint creates a plunging sense of depth. Purplenavy past below, present above (a bit amorphous of course but vibrating, full of movement). Downsizing’s gracious reward – the gold shimmer of beginning.


8 Comments on “Downsizing”

  1. America says:

    Yeah!! a studio do it ! May the muse be your favorite neighbor best America

  2. watsonblog1 says:

    You’re so talented in many ways! Love reading your blog. Miss y’all. – xo, Misty

  3. must have photos of said studio when it is ready~ I sent this along to a loved one who can relate but I bet she’d never part with those teddy bears!

  4. SigO says:

    I kept newspaper clippings and magazines from two events – 9/11 and the 2006 Rose Bowl. What does that say?

    we christened our temporary studio, our kitchen island last weekend with gestural strokes and experimentation, expect to move in to the garage studio in a few weeks! The best part, I don’t give a flip if I’m good enough, that’s not the point, the point for me is to paint with the emotional state of a first grader, do it because it feels great. outcomes are irrelevant, process is everything! Back to elementary school art class! Recess is next… whoo hooo!

    • heatherit says:

      Recess minus monkey bars please. I swallowed a dime and a nickel in fourth grade swinging upside down. (cause the money fell out of my pockets so I put it in my mouth for safekeeping) Needless to say I didn’t get to buy an ice cream for lunch that day.


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