I knew it had been a while since I posted on my blog but I was a bit surprised it has been almost 4 months! I seemed to have fallen down a rabbit hole. The big reason I have been absent so long is that we were finally able to buy a house! We have moved a whopping 1 and 1/2 miles to the south which puts us in the even smaller town of Nehalem, Oregon. The community we live in is a combination of three small villages clustered together. We have been living in Manzanita where the full-time population is around 750 people. Nehalem has a population of around 300 people. However, that hardly matters as we are all part of the same community. We have changed our home and neighbors but not our community. We take a lot of comfort in that!
The house is a 1973 fixer-upper with a need of a lot of fixer-upping. Buying the house was a journey and moving in has been quite a journey too. There was a lot that needed to be done in a short time for safety and comfort before moving in. I had to temporarily put down my paint brush and pick up my pipe wrench and wire strippers.
Yes, my tools. My mate has been busy with his business and bringing in an income so I took on the task of cleaning, painting, and repairing plumbing and electrical. I still have a ways to go but we are all moved in and chipping away at it. I do have a lovely room for a studio. I had to rip the carpeting out only to find the particle board subfloor is disintegrating and will need to be replaced. It is an old story that those who have bought fixer-uppers will be quite familiar with.
All of it has been challenging and fun (and sometimes not so fun) and will be continuing but, I need to get back to my work of painting. It doesn't take long to get out of practice! With this in mind, I am using Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge to get back into the swing of things. I am not totally crazy though! I am going to start small. My theme for this challenge will be 10.20.30. I want to work on certain skills, value being one of them so I will be taking an hour a day and painting a 10 minute painting, a 20 minute, and a 30 minute painting. The short painting time is to loosen me up and to sharpen my observational skills. I will be painting them in black and white or brown and white so I can focus on value or tone. If I have time that day, I will continue on to paint a full color version of my subject. As always, I will be painting from life.
The past four or five months have been spent making a couple of major life changes. These have taken all my energy and focus but I always knew I would be getting back into my painting. I will talk more on the new house and my last painting trip to Stehekin, WA over this next month. In the meantime, I have this wonderful challenge, and two painting trips this coming month!
Here is another view of the house, with the giant Monkey Puzzle tree in front:
Off to get my gear ready for tomorrow,