The household reorganization continues, and it brings many joys. Marie Kondo in her book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” recommends that you begin the big toss by starting with the easy things — starting first with clothes. I did that earlier this week, and it was marvelous to get rid of old items. I’ve trimmed down to essentials. Many things are going to the dumpster and many to the thrift store.
But I have also rediscovered many wonderful old things. Kondo, who is a great appreciator of art, has directed her book toward the non-artist public so she doesn’t address the whole still life question. Clearly artists face a more than ordinary temptation to hoard stuff. So I take her basic principles and merely apply them to this other category of things. But going through the clothes, a few things have now transferred from “clothes” to “still life cloth.” Some of those transfers are quite just because these are things that truly do “spark joy.” Now the future joy will no longer be in the wearing but in the spectacle of seeing the colors and patterns behind various still life objects.
Nonetheless, the clutter gradually and steadily recedes. New spaces and opportunities appear. These are joyful days. I reencounter many memories. I discover new possibilities.
I seem to discard things and get ideas in their stead. I become rich in ideas. And I love ideas! So I am indeed quite rich now. Isn’t it marvelous?
[At the top of the post, one of the early paintings I encountered again. I also retrieved the mustard colored cloth (actually a satchel) that appears in it. The cloth will be making new appearances in the days ahead.]
Of the pictures I posted of my studio, I find that I love this one the most. So I come back to it. While I am reorganizing the house, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. There’s much work to do — in all the rooms, and I have so many chores indoors and outdoors. It’s spring. Plants outdoors are growing like mad. Of course I’d like to be focused exclusively on drawing and painting.
I am often wishing my work were done, but wishing doesn’t walk the dog. However wishing is not without effect. I have gone through various phases of wishing, and I have imagined the rooms being completed each a certain way. The sensation of entering each imagined room has a poignancy that real action lacks. I walk into dream rooms. The visual thoughts associated with the dream rooms give me ideas for actual things. But an imaginary completed room takes different forms inside different moments of wishfulness. It’s never just one way. The actual room will at last have furniture arranged in one pattern and not another. The dream rooms are more flexible.
I want to see the finished product, but the episodes of imagining the task one way verses another are fairly interesting. I pause to consider them.
The whole house has become the motif and I arrange it like a still life table.
I change my mind periodically. I am wondering what do I want? And when will it be complete?
The picture above has something in it that I love. I strive to tease out that something. Just looking at the picture brings a glad feeling I cannot quite describe. Something about the light, the colors. I see freedom of motion in it. A room is not just a room, it’s a puzzle. It’s a message in code. It’s telling me something about directions I might take. I’m deciphering it.
Indeed, I may get the project finished faster than I think but decoding and reading the message may take much longer. Deciphering is a very complex task.
Actually I will have two windows! This one has stuff (not pictured) in front of it now. But I will have a window that I can sit in front of — that I can look through — windows for dreaming — windows for drawing — windows for arranging the light in still life.
Ah! I will have a room with a view.
This side of the room will stay the same — but it will be much less cluttered — except for the still life table — I love that clutter!! There’s a book cabinet not pictured that has to be relocated. It is ginormous. Ai yi yi. Will deal with that in time … all in good time.
Eventually I will have nails in the wall above to hold the still life drapery. Goodness, this wall needs painting. (Will think about that later too.)
You can see the little owl peeking out from under the table. He’ll have a starring role in an upcoming picture. So that’s some glad news.
I become the little choo choo that could, I’m “thinking I can” all along the way ….
If you started reading a couple days ago you know that I’m reorganizing my studio. More than that I’m reorganizing my whole house — perhaps my whole life. I started reading Marie Kondo’s book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” because I knew I could use some help motivating myself to do this rather large and necessary task. I have become a real self-help book aficionado.
We live in marvelous times. No matter what the challenge, someone has probably written a book about doing it.
Live blogging the thoughts I have as I go through these changes helps me dream about where I want to be when the task is complete — not just where the stuff will be — where I want me to be. Mentally, physically, spiritually.
I find ideas and dreams along the way. Pictures that were behind other pictures in the stack see the light again. They suggest innovations. It’s a wonderful, wonderful process, house-cleaning is. But it’s a lot of work too and sometimes the destination seems so far off. It’s important to stay motivated. All this stuff pictured above has to be moved!
Along the way the rest of life needs attention. Dishes must still be washed, dogs must be hugged, groceries purchased, lawns mowed ….