For a Michigander, summer seems to last forever in the Southern Maryland. Of course, I’ve been preoccupied with the Big Move, but today, a fortnight past Equinox and I’m marveling: suddenly the forest has been glazed with transparent yellow. Leaves are floating to earth on the steady breeze off the river like a shower of golden coins.
My new abode is in the same neighborhood, but a world away. As someone who craves wilderness and loves the river I’m in heaven. From my former home I could walk to the bank, library and grocery, and often heard the highway sounds, despite my wooded setting. Now, I hear only the wind (boats and planes too, occasionally).
My former house was a grand home, a generously proportioned and welcoming space. I adored it and enjoyed it to the hilt. As a single woman I managed to create a family home: a place of gathering, shelter and community. I built the most wonderful art workspace I’ve ever had, and I shared my hearth with many beloved friends and fascinating strangers. The house earned many names: Clearwell, School of Witchcraft & Artistry, Home for Wayward Girls, Pet Cemetery and finally, the name that stuck: The Holy Unpredictable Manor.
Alas, in recent years the Holy Unpredictable Manor came to be more of burden than I wanted to carry. More time, more money were needed to keep up the property, and I was changing, moving toward something new, where my efforts and direction were not based so much in the material world. I see it in my creative life as well. Having just purged and relocated my studio, joyfully selling and giving art to many people and places, I’m struck by the physical load of my painters life.
Writing is occupying more of my attention, as is digital art, and these are so much more portable than the crates of supplies and stacks of canvases I just relocated.
I’m not abandoning my painting. My love of that 15th century technology goes on, there are landscapes I long to dwell in on canvas. And I have students now, a new generation curious about the Old Ways. But I see a bigger picture, and a smaller footprint, for my life going forward.