Monday, October 7, 2019

A new chapter

Not much to tell in the way of art news at the moment because the big news is that, after 42 years in our home in Somers, we have moved from NY to MA. It's been a long and utterly exhausting process that won't be over until everything has a new (perhaps temporary) resting place.

And I won't feel settled in until I'm back at my easel.

Might take awhile. That's the studio four days ago.

We're looking forward to this new adventure. The main reason for the move was to be closer to family so we are in Andover - near enough to the kids and close to art opportunities from Cape Cod to Boston and Newburyport. I've already joined the Whistler House Museum Art Center, entering their annual show, and am looking forward to exploring the local art world. 

The original part of our new - old - house was built in the early 1700s and has the historic character I love, along with modern amenities like... bathrooms. There is also a beautiful white marble kitchen! But studio space was a priority and the new(ish) lower-level room with three full-length windows, plus French doors, will be perfect.

This weekend I took a break from unpacking to paint the studio walls a mid-tone grey and set up bookshelves for my painting props. It's beginning to look like my space. I had planned to fix up a little corner, ignore the boxes for a bit and get to work on a small painting. But first... I'll have to find the paint! Needless to say, there is more unpacking do. 

Early in the move-planning I did carve out time for these sweet vintage shaving brushes. A great exercise in distinguishing subtle, neutral color in the brush hairs.

Vintage shaving brushes, original oil painting, barber, antique brushes
Family Resemblance ©2019 Dorothy Lorenze 6x9"

Somewhere between accepting an offer and preparing for our closing I gave in to my painting urge to work on this pair of barber brushes. It was meant to be a simple continuation of neutral brush color exploration. But then I added a fabric background reminiscent of 1900s wallpaper for a little interest... and a lot of detail. Obviously I was missing painting and I love how it ended up.

1900s brush, antique barber supply, vintage brush, original oil painting
Vintage Barber Brushes ©2019 Dorothy Lorenze, 8x10"

Initially I had felt bad (aka lazy) about not working during the move prep. But it's not that I was too tired, unmotivated, or didn't feel the muse. I pretty much always want to paint. The real problem was all the thinking! Nothing is routine and your mind is on overload. 

I've written about the decision making aspect of painting before. Each stroke is either lighter or darker, warmer or cooler, vibrant or neutral. I can honestly say that my time away from painting was not due to being physically worn out, but about being mentally exhausted. 

Decision overload is a real thing. Basically, having fewer decisions to puzzle over leads to better decisions-making. Figuring out the move was where my mental energy needed to be and painting without being able to make good decisions just isn't worth it. 

So, it's been a frustratingly "dry" time but I don't feel disappointed with myself. Other priorities really had to take precedence. We are beginning to settle in and each day turns a page in our new chapter.

This photo of the studio was taken just a few days after the first one. It's getting there! (Full disclosure: the large pile of unopened boxes is still to the right).

And just for fun, below is a pile of drop cloth that made me smile. It reminds me of a giant version of Sadie Valeri's vapor-like still life compositions. Seriously, check out her paintings rendering diffused light through semi-transparent waxed paper and you'll see what I mean.

So, I'm thinking about painting canvasses while painting walls. Good mental prep! I look forward to sharing new paintings very soon.

If you enjoy reading my artsy newsletter, please share with anyone you think might find it of interest. Thanks for joining me on my art journey. 

Greetings from Andover, MA

1 comment:

  1. This is a blog to watch for sure. I think you have a really awesome writing style by the way. Very easy to read. Your blog design is so clean too! Thank you all the hard work!

    Landscape Oil Painters


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