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Taking the next step…

June 3, 2011


We’ve got a realtor coming one night next week.

We’ve had visits from kids and grandkids two weekends in a row.  And we sent all of them home with their cars and trucks loaded with stuff.  The photo albums are safely in the care of our daughters.  My big electronic keyboard is in the possession of a grandson.  Maybe he or his sister will be able to produce better music than my pseudo-jazz improvisations.  The reading material now consists of Nell’s bag full of paperbacks from Half-Price Books and my art mini-library.  (I have narrowed it down to 15 books and am putting a lot of faith in the internet.)

Two ottomans are now in Kansas, and the freezer that was in the garage is now in Houston.  Another visit to WalMart a couple of weeks ago produced a few more items for the RV, things like wheel chocks, a water hose, a good tire guage, among other things.  The mattress from the guest room bed went to the RV, and the old RV mattress is now part of the guest room staging.  The christmas decorations have been divvied up (we kept some), and the remainder were delivered to the donation drop-off site for The Ark, a non-profit that raises money for animal rescue groups.  (I think Hemingway the Miniature Schnauzer approved.)


All of the framed art is stored in the 5×8 cargo trailer in the garage, along with the show booth stuff.  It may finally be time to start thinking again about doing a few shows in the last half of the year.

Empty frames are stored in large tubs in the garage.  After the last two weekends, the garage is starting to look pretty bare (I swept it out today), and will look even more so after we take a few more things to the RV tomorrow.  The upstairs studio is now a bare bones space, with an easel, a big TV cabinet that serves as a taboret, a small drawing table, and a work table.  There is a framed original painting on three otherwise empty, freshly painted walls.  Art supplies are stored in small tubs on shelves in the closet.  We’ll move a large easy chair and ottoman from the living room up to the studio this weekend.  That will give the studio a “reading corner”, and will also open up the living room space a bit.

The upstairs carpets were cleaned last week, and we’ll get the downstairs done during the next week.  The master bedroom and master bath are pretty much staged, as is the office space and guest room upstairs.  Painting has been done throughout the entire house.  A little tweaking here and there, and we should be ready to go.

Tomorrow, Saturday, we’ll try to get the Texas State Inspection done on the motorhome.  Fortunately, there’s an automotive shop that does inspections right next door to the storage facility.  We’ll be taking the RV out for a weekend in a couple of weeks.  Yep, it will be our first outing with it (hey, who’s had time?), and we’re meeting our daughter and her family at a state park north of here.  That will give us a chance to see what we’re missing, and my son-in-law can hold my hand through a few “firsts” in regard to hookups, etc.

As we continue to make preparations, I thought I’d do a little visual aid to explain what I hope to accomplish in the years ahead…

As we begin our wanderings, I intend to build a steady collection of reference photos.  Part of the ongoing practice in sketching and painting people has been preparation for recording a wide variety of street scenes as we pass through small towns and historic locations.  The result should be a constantly growing collection of little paintings like those above.

I’m also looking forward to a wide variety of landscape settings, with the intention of doing a lot more plein air (outdoor) work.  At other times, I’ll work from photos while sitting on the “porch” under the RV canopy.  And, I plan to make good use of the studio/workstation we’ll be building in the motorhome.  There will be a lot of small sketches, studies, and finished paintings that should provide pretty good inventory for those small local festivals we hope to seek out along the way.  They should also provide a lot of good images for the blogs.

As you can see, I put a lot of time into my art.  Once we hit the road, I’ll be able to combine that with our desire to take our time… to stop and see all those places we’ve passed through on the way to somewhere else, and places we’ve talked about and read about, but never took the time to visit.  Who knows… I might even learn how to take a nap in the middle of the day.

So now, after getting rid of an awful lot of “stuff”, it’s time to take the next step, and get the house on the market.

Fingers are crossed that the realtor will have the same positive attitude that we have.

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