Making Time for Art

“Mmm…I see you have a little arts and crafts corner.  Must be nice.”  Brother observed.

I’d been crocheting  granny squares while watching television in the living room.  Yarn, hooks and a growing afghan had engulfed my writing desk and were spilling over onto the coffee table.  I frowned at the mess in the living room – embarrassed and annoyed at my brother’s quip.

My Small Art Studio

Then I thought “Maybe he’s right.  Maybe I do have an “arts and crafts corner.” I’ve miss making art.  Especially drawing and painting.  The years of museum work, teaching and caregiving left very little time for me to do studio work.  Now I have an opportunity to return to my roots as a trained artist.  I embrace Brother’s quirky comment.

Yet I questioned the practicality of such a set up.  Until I read this post by Lori McNee – Creating Art in Small Studios.  Sorting though various art supplies I had on hand – ink, paints, pencils, charcoal, pastels, paper and small canvases – to stock a small studio in my living room.

If you’ve been following ArtReach at Home for sometime, you know that it was truly a personal blog that explored Southernisms.  As described in my old About page “Some stories are funny, others sad and some so crazy that you just can’t make this stuff up.”  I often wrote about family and my struggles to adjust to being a traditional housewife.

Please continue following this blog. I still have a quirky family and I’m still adjusting.  At times you’ll see posts about Claire the Cat, gardening or a fond family memory.  However the focus is now on art.  Its long overdue.

What is the passion you have put aside?  Are you ready to take it up again?

GARDENING · Southernisms

A Memory Garden

Dear Mr. Garden Guy,

Do you remember the day I had to hide Momma’s yard tools?

A few years earlier we had finally convinced my then 84 year old mother to stop cutting her own grass. “Convinced” is a nice way of saying my brother took her push mower away for servicing and never brought it back.  Over the next couple of years, I took over her yardwork.   Momma, not satisfied with my loose interpretation of hedge trimming would redo her bushes wielding the most dangerous looking pair of clippers you ever want to see in the hands of an unsteady octogenarian.

Thoughts of a horrid implement haunted family, friends and neighbors.

fi-clippers clippers

So I hid her tools.  An assortment of handheld clippers, hoes and rakes made their way to my house.  I told you about it Mr. Garden Guy.  We both felt sad that an avid gardener could no longer enjoy her work.

Then one day her neighbor pulled me to the side:

“Yo momma been outside cuttin’ them bushes again.”  She said in a concerned whisper.

“What?!  Bbbut I..I… took all her tools!”  I stammered in disbelief.

“Well she was.  An’ she had a pair of long, rusty lookin’ clippers.  I think they must have been yo daddy’s.”  The neighbor’s testimony rang true.

My stepdad had been dead for decades.  It never occurred to me that some of

fi-nate-brelsford Brelsford

Richard’s tools may still be around.  Momma never threw away anything.

It took me a while but finally – on the backporch, under the chaise, in a crate, inside a wooden box – a plethora of ancient handtools.  Found and removed.

Miss. Daisy was not pleased.

Today, age is beginning to slow me down.  One day someone will take away my tools.  And Mr. Garden Guy I’ll miss growing my veggies, canning my pears and cutting my grass.

Foreseeing such a time,  I’ve begun a “memory garden” afghan.

Rows of simple granny squares echo my gardening process.  Starting with brown and black squares symbolizing the composted soil. Then seed.  More colorful squares – reds, yellows, greens and even purples- flowering and fruiting.

The afghan’s rows repeat like the rhythm of the seasons. Its an ongoing project.  Finished only when it is big enough, warm enough to hold all my cherished gardening memories.

Vegetables Credit: & Christa Richert