I’ve only seen one demo by Chris Cozen, but when I did my inner child had a very good time. Chris is a mixed media artist living in Southern California. She is fun to watch, and will get you thinking you need “more paints,” “more supplies!”
I kid you not, your inner child will squeal with joy!
You know I love to create in different ways, and I’m always up for a challenge. When I ran into this video, I thought it might be an interesting project in the near future. A friend of mine has been telling me about bleach pen art, and how she’d like to play around with the idea. I think it might be fun to try…….what about you?
Cats, dogs, flowers, houses, trees, what does one tackle next as a creative endeavor? We all want to do something different, but we’re probably subconsciously attracted to the thing that works the best. On the other hand, don’t we like the challenge? I do.
Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, and we all know perfect is not probable! I don’t even like perfection, that is for cameras, not artists! I uploaded a sketch of Daisy, our dog to work on, and with a little effort it could be just a little wonky. I love wonky, it makes me happy and creative. It takes me to a place I was never allowed to go as a child. So the wonkier the better…
There are other subjects I could paint, but while I’m finishing up the painting of my purse……
I’ll form a plan for Daisy.
The purse, well…after painting two, I’m getting over it. Purses no longer intrigue me, and I’ll be lucky to finish this. The cat has given me more trouble than I could imagine, as cats tend to do. Whiskers…no whiskers? Stripes, or no stripes? Polka dots, or not? Whatever I do seems to not be the way I had imagined it to look, consequently the cat has more layers of paint than my kitchen. It’s all good, and it’s all in the name of experimentation.
The end result of the purse is yet to come, so for good or bad, it will be finished!
But I had no idea I’d react this way….
Last week I helped a very good friend clean out the home of another very dear friend, and this is the end to the story!
My friend Barbara passed last September, she had been very ill, and unable to walk, dementia had set in and the worst part was that she realized she wasn’t thinking clearly. It was very sad, however we all realized her quality of life was not as it should have been, or as she wanted, so when she unexpectedly passed, it really was a blessing. Barbara had been a hiker, a writer, a world traveler, a teacher, and an artist among many other things. We were all devastated, but we knew it was best!
After about six months her home was put up for sale, her car was sold, and after a couple of weeks the house was sold as well. The new owners we excited to be starting the next chapter of their lives in a beautiful home. What was supposed to be a 45 day escrow, turned into a very short escrow with a last minute notice to move out, and a short week to pack all of the remains in the home, and leave.
Some times there are blessings in what one would think was a desaster.
The blessing came by way of not having time to think of all the beloved treasures remaining, or how Barbara traveled all over the world to collect these treasures, or even who could possably clear out a 3000 sq. ft. home in a week, not to mention the garage! But it was done and over with a few hours prior to the deadline, sadness left behind along with the gardens, the pond full of Koi, and a tree house that was never quite used enough.
It took many people, some literary working day and night, some as much as their bodies could handle to empty drawers, cupboards, all nooks, and all the crannies being emptied out. Many of us have boxes and boxes of things yet to be distributed to places like the Women’s Resource Center, or helping Young Artists Thrive. A few things were saved by each of us in Barbara’s memory, however only a small amount of treasures can find their place amongst us.
Barbara spent many years teaching children, she would be happy to know how much of her things will be going to help thriving student artists locally. Or, things that will help the homeless families get back to a much needed normal way of life.
Yes, I did keep a few things, maybe more than I needed, but not more than helped me feel closer to my friend. What it did for me in the process was to help me realize how we all have way too much “stuff!” I know for me after going through her studio, and kitchen, and finding so many multiples of the same thing, unopened, or unused, it helped me realize how privileged I am, and how much less I can do without. We have a little home, under 1000 sq ft, and yet every space is filled with things we no longer use, or are from our younger years and hold memories. Our kids will one day go through our home, just like we just went through Barbara’s home. I don’t want that to happen, and yet it probably will to a certain extent. That home was 3000 sq. ft., and ours is 923, and like Barbara, we have every space stuffed with treasures. I no longer can stand that, and in all fairness someone else might need it more than we do. All the clothes we save for a special occasion, or that have memories; all old photos that will fade and get tossed in the end; the art supplies that will be better served with struggling young artists that have very little. Most of it belongs with them, and it makes me feel good about donating it to them.
Barbara was in her eighties when she passed, and never expected to go before her mother did, who was well into her nineties. We can’t rely on those things, and not having anyone to leave all this to except a great-niece that lived in Wisconsin, that was a heavy load for anyone.
Yesterday, Friday the 15th was the deadline for the home to be emptied, and it was! The garage an entirely different story. It made me sick to go out there and even think of clearing out the garage. It was overwhelming for all of us. I helped a little, but whether it was exhaustion, or emotions, I hit the wall!
This is really a wake up call to myself and all of us working together in the past week, to tackle this problem way before it gets this far. In the garage there were old empty boxes lining the walls, old printers,, computers, or appliances that no longer worked on shelves. You would never have called my friend a hoarder, yet that is exactly what I would now call her. My home is neat and clean to look at also, but I think we hord, we don’t even realize it in that way, and I don’t like that…..not one little bit!
I’m going to take one room at a time, maybe a closet at a time, but I need less not more. Clutter makes us all feel confined and stressed and we don’t need that in our lives. I want to be a minimalist not a hoarder. I’m not going to wear that tight tee-shirt, short mini skirt, or those high heals ever again, and someone else might. I have many good clothes that I can’t wear, or never get that dressed up to wear…Off they go!
I want to live a peaceful, stress-free life and I think this is a good way to start the process. How do you feel about this…… are you saving things in boxes you don’t even remember, or clothes in a clothes bag or on a hanger you will never wear? I know I have expensive clothes that I can’t for various reasons even try wearing, or treasures I have already packed away for lack of room. (Think of all the “retail therapy you are missing out on by not having space to put it!)
I just want to keep my Teddy Bear, who was my very first and best friend, can I keep him please!
Place your hands in the soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun and connect to that power to feel your own immense power.”
Last year about this time, a man around the corner was flipping a home, and was getting rid of plants, pots, shells and just about everything that wasn’t nailed down. As I was walking Daisy, our dog, we stopped to talk to him, and he offered me the fountain in the front “jungle.” The yard was a mess, and I certainly understood why he was cleaning everything up inside and out! I didn’t dare look in the back yard, because I see possibilities in just about everything, and it’s a fine line to keep our own home uncluttered. I graciously accepted the fountain when he told me it had to be out of there by Sunday….this was Saturday.
I called my entire family when I returned home, and rallied both my sons, and one six-year-old grandson who supervised. Although as I looked back he did save a large sea shell to take home from demolition.
Early the next day everyone showed up about eight thirty to move the fountain. I was thrilled because I had been looking for one at a reasonable price, and they aren’t reasonable! It was stained, and chipped in a few places, but nothing that would compromise the integrity of the fountain…..and besides the plants will cover all that up when they grow down. Earlier this year a friend of my husband, and the man who helped level the fountain when we installed it, and was nice enough to drill some drain holes into the three tiers for drainage.
Before the storms started, I placed some of the pots in places where I thought I wanted the plants to go and planned on planting when I recovered enough from my surgery to plant. As the picture shows, I still haven’t planted the fountain as yet, but I’m thinking about it. It is very close now as I have started many succulents that I wanted to fill in with. Even the front slope is looking better, and will soon fill in… Not everything is in it’s designated place however it gives me an idea about how I need to place them. Some of these plants won’t even make it into the finals, but everything will have a home here, some will have their own little place in its own little pot. We love them all!
I would call this “Mixed Media,” what about you?