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Gypsies & Carnies

April 6, 2014

Houston, Texas (Pearland)

Leaving Drifters Resort, Rockport, TX April 2014

Leaving Drifters Resort, Rockport, TX April 2014

For almost two and a half years, we have been gypsies… vagabonds… will-o-the-wisp wanderers. Yes, we have sat still for several months at a time, but we’ve lived a lifestyle different from most people. Our coach is much more modern than one of those horse-drawn Romany wagons, but we do have a fascination for those colorful rounded caravans. We have decided to make a change, but, true to our flexible natures, we have decided to make it a gradual change. As we considered our future over the past few weeks, our initial plan was to park the motorhome until we could find an apartment, then sell the motorhome and buy a smaller one with the proceeds. We intended to do that over the course of a month or two. We relocated from Rockport, Texas to Pearland, Texas (on the outskirts of Houston), and started driving around Houston, checking out apartments and their surroundings. After two days of driving and looking, we began to question the wisdom of moving so quickly. We do have a habit of talking things over, making decisions, and then moving forward fairly quickly. But we are also capable of stopping, stepping back, and re-evaluating what we’re doing. And that is what we’ve done.

With the exception of bitter cold winters, we are comfortable living in the motorhome. Yes, we could have studio space if we moved into an apartment, but I have produced a ton of paintings over the past two years, all while living and working in the motorhome. Winter is over. We have air conditioning when we need it (and we will need it here in Houston). For now, we have decided to stay in the motorhome, at least through January. We do intend to keep it parked for the next few months. We can save a lot of money by staying at a nice RV park and avoiding the fuel costs of traveling in the coach. We can still travel in the car and stay at motels and see the country a little at a time. We do intend to eventually find an apartment and get a smaller motorhome. But for now, practicality must rule our decisions. So… the gypsies will park the wagon and live in it for a while longer. Of course, we do reserve the right to change our mind if circumstances allow it. We presume that anyone who knows us understands that that’s the way we live our lives.

But being parked and having a base opens up other opportunities, even if the base is a motorhome at an RV park.   This past Saturday, we visited the First Saturday Arts Market in the Houston Heights. It was great to see and say hello to some friends and acquaintances, artists and artisans. We walked the aisles and looked at displays at our leisure, which always gives a different perspective than making quick passes through the venue and hurrying back to your own booth. And we realized again that we missed it. With all its boring hours of slow crowds and people uninterested in art, and all those people who stop and look and visit and then leave with a promise to “be back”, but never return… we miss it. We miss the passing parade and the interaction with other people who paint things and draw things and print things and make things with their hands.   And we realized on the drive home that we had become “carnies”. The show is in our blood. IMG_0277edited We don’t handle the cold and the heat as well as we once did, and we’ve had to make some major changes in the way we set up a booth, but we want to get back in the game. So we asked Mitch Cohen, the driving force behind the First Saturday Arts Market, to put us back on the “active” list. And we’ve started talking again about other venues, and ways to generate revenue and still be flexible enough to take off for a few days or a couple of weeks and travel when the urge strikes. .I didn’t sleep well last night. For a change, it was for a good reason. I got up in the middle of the night and spent an hour or so scrolling through the event listings on And thinking about at least three paintings that I want to get started on.

So here we are: gypsies and carnies. Trying to find a way to balance it all out.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2014 5:50 pm

    For the last few years of our RV life, we lived parked in a vary expansive “park Model” in a very nice park and used our rv to drive around. My husband was uncomfortable driving it and I could not because I could not reach the pedals while seating (height deficiency) so we traded and bought a small 5th wheeler for those trips we still wanted to take. I loved it and I could drive the truck because it had electric seats and pedals and with bu mirrors I could even back the trailer. I still miss that set up. But good luck with what ever decision you make. It will be the right one for you.

  2. April 6, 2014 6:04 pm

    I wish you every success Ralph whatever you settle on.


  3. April 6, 2014 8:34 pm

    Kind of like “The call of the wild” You guys will be just fine and staying in the the MH for a while longer will work out just fine as well. People ask me if I miss Rv-ing and I say “only when I think of it. The ask how often do you think of it and my answer is “Always!!”

    One foot in front of the other!


    J. R. Secor – Acrylic Painter * * **

  4. April 6, 2014 8:36 pm

    Kind of like “The call of the wild” You guys will be just fine and staying in the the MH for a while longer will work out just fine as well.
    People ask me if I miss Rv-ing and I say “only when I think of it. They ask how often do you think of it and my answer is “Always!!”

    One foot in front of the other!


  5. Linda Hardy permalink
    April 9, 2014 2:16 pm

    So happy for you! .DaVinci gallery in Tomball is a co-op ran gallery and are looking for members. $100 a month and one working day a month. Thete are other fees but minimal. If you are interested google them and tell them I sent you. It might be a nice alternative or addition to your reg shows. Welcome back and best of luck. I dont have Pro Panels but we have lots of black grids and accessories if you dont want to put out all that money at once.

    • April 13, 2014 12:03 am

      Thanks, Linda! I appreciate the recommendation and the offer. We’re slowly getting settled and looking around.

  6. April 17, 2014 11:29 pm

    Hi Ralph, I will be following you and your blog, left facebook for awhile. But happy to stay connected with the both of you on this site. Best of luck to the both of you. I did sell some of my note cards at the Brush Barn Show last weekend. But there weren’t many people because of the Palm Sunday and I think the start of Passover. Thank you again Ralph for the tips on gouache painting and note card printing. Glad that you and Nell are getting settled and still able to do you traveling as well.

    • April 21, 2014 2:47 am

      Hi Joan. Since you got off facebook, be sure to read the newest blog post. Our life has hit a bump in the road.

  7. April 23, 2014 11:11 am

    Hi Ralph, I will keep following yours and Nell’s adventures, Sorry to hear about the bump in the road. Do hope it’s just a little one. I will check your blog’s recent post. All the best to both of you.

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