Sweat Dec

 

So about that radio silence last week, between the blood moon eclipse, Mercury in retrograde, Jared’s birthday, and getting a call for set work it’s been a crazy week to say the least.  We threw a little party to celebrate on the 21st, and it has been nonstop chaos since. 

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My Life: Purses and Cardigans, Boots and Tool Belts

Wednesday I got a call for some set dec (set decoration) work, the first union job prospect I’ve had since January. I immediately went into panic mode rushing to get all my tools together in my kit and prepped for the intense day ahead. 

Set dressing is a great way to make some major money quickly, but you definitely earn it. It’s usually 12 hour days loading furniture items (or anything from appliances to tires, even coffins) and transporting them to and from each location which invariably will be out in the sun or a musty unair-conditioned space. Its rough work especially in the  Georgia summer heat, but if you get on a good crew it makes it a little more bearable. I can’t go into detail about what I’ve been doing for the last three days on set (signed a non-disclosure agreement) but I can promise you I’ve been sweating and wishing I had gotten more done in my studio when I had the chance.

Sometimes when I’m riding in the 5 ton box truck (if I’m not grabbing a quick nap) I try to write plans for what I’m going to do in the studio next. I managed to jot down a few things Thursday but quickly lost the brain power to do anything but schlep set dressing.

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American made Chippewa 8″ waterproof steel-toe logger boot

 My first day off Sunday I had to push back the studio time too because I absolutely had to get better work clothes and some new insoles for my boots. My feet have not been happy even in my awesome work boots, and ibuprofen was not helping me get through the day. I probably just blew through the money I just earned, but no regrets here because anything that makes working in 90+ degree weather slightly easier is definitely worth it.

That’s my life update, now I’m gonna try to go bust out some art in the studio while I still have time off!

 

Upon Further Inspection

It’s been nearly a month and I have finally started a drawing. I have also cleaned the entire house we rent.

The Den of Leaves

Dining Room Overview

I know I’ve discussed my tendency to use home maintenance as a distraction from my art problems but in this case it was a necessary priority as our leasing company set up a mandatory house inspection. Per the memo, we were to have the property cleaned up, “like you were inviting people for a barbecue ,” so in less than a week we decorated, cleaned, organized, shoved stuff into boxes, and shoved those boxes into closets. All of this literally just in time for the inspection, which turned out to be maybe 15 minutes of someone walking around taking pictures of the property.

Then we threw a party.

The Den of Leaves 2018

DJ Bambi

This has been our first year of cohabitation and we’ve never quite felt settled since our move but now, thanks to surprise inspection, we were finally ready to have our first house warming party. It was a low key get together with a mix of our friends from different parts of our life all of whom seemed to have a pretty great time. I loved making tasty dishes and showing off the space we’ve curated for ourselves.

Den of Leaves

Our den, with a view of our salon style wall of art.

Decorating and arranging are definitely my favorite forms of self expression and it’s always nice to find a way to exercise that creative energy. I’m not 100% certain how it fits in with my art/career but I feel strongly that it will one day. It’s telling that when I’m faced with less than a week to put our entire home in order my approach is to start by decorating: framing and hanging art that has been sitting around forever and tackling several improvement/furniture building projects. Only after that will I finally get around to shoving the rest of our stuff into boxes and then shoving those boxes into closets. It’s not the most practical method – certainly not the most logical – but everything came together beautifully.

Den of Leaves

Mantle detail close up.

I am still figuring out how and what I want to create as an artist. Oddly enough, cleaning house has actually started something for me (and my mental well being) and my studio is one of the rooms that most benefited from the overhaul. I switched up the layout and finally got around to cleaning my palettes and brushes. Now there are fewer hurdles  between me and actually getting started on a piece (not just figurative, but the literal piles of stuff we were trying to sidestep). Being able to spend time in my studio has affected the way I think about making; now I can concentrate on ideas instead of what tasks I must accomplish to get set up. I’m still continuing to tweak bits in the studio but I’m also working on sketches and planning (art) projects. I finally taken the next step and it feels great to be moving forward.

Den of Leaves

View from the den into my studio space.