Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've got the neat freak blues

We are two weeks in to this attic renovation at home and the house is a freaking shambles. Which means my obsessive-compulsive tendencies toward neatness are stretched pretty tight right now. But light gleams at the end of the tunnel, as the third floor takes shape. We have insulation, walls, subfloor, lights, outlets, and heat. Flooring, trim, another window, and paint are still to come. Perhaps another week and it will be finished. First, I think I will sleep for a week. (Why am I this tired, even though I'm not the one doing all the work?) And next, dust everything off and move in.

A painter I admire once said that painting is not a spectator sport and I quite agree, so it will be very fine to have this private place to work, hidden at the top of the house. The finished room will be thirty feet long, by about twelve feet wide, with a good high ceiling. Big storage closets built in under the eaves, a picture window for light, a dormer window for the view, a little place for a desk and chair, but mostly just open space, so I can set up my easel and table, and actually get far enough away from my paintings, as I make them. It's not an art myth, painters do really work on their paintings for a while, then walk far away from them and take a look, then go in close again to get back to work. This one does, anyway. And for years I've never had the space (except when I'm painting outside) to really back up far enough to get that good long look. Soon I'll have thirty feet. In just another week or so.

I'm trying to decide if I want to take any books up there at all. On the whole, I think not. Because once you let a few in the door, others inevitably follow. This I know.

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