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How Many Art Supplies Does One Woman Need?

August 25, 2016 7 Comments

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#flora #tucson #art

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As I go through my possessions in order to eliminate the items no longer useful to my life, I have discovered the “art supply” hoarder in me. I knew that I was a jacket and costume freak, and own way too many pieces of dress up clothing. I have discovered that I am equally attached to a whole bunch of stuff I can’t bring myself to eliminate. The largest category, other than books, is art supplies. In each and every room and cranny of my home I find items I have stashed because I believe I will someday make art with them. Some of this stuff has been here for a decade without being moved.  The list is ridiculous and much longer than I imagined.

I own:

  • all manner of crayon, watercolor, pencil, pen, chalk, etc.
  • enough fancy journals of special paper to choke a horse
  • pads of every kind of paper, graph, watercolor, drawing, and handmade
  • enough fabric and sewing gear to open my own fashion house
  • specialty buttons I purchased in exotic places around the world
  • vintage and modern sewing patterns
  • two sewing machines (you know, in case one breaks down)
  • two iPads
  • two iPods
  • three laptops
  • two kindles
  • one working 35 mm camera, and a bunch of dead ones
  • tons of unfinished art projects

That is not even taking into consideration all the crazy fancy exotic groceries I collect because I believe I am a culinary artist all the time.  I own some spices and tea I hauled home from Europe years ago…this is not something to hoard..it is intended to be consumed. My big issue is just to go ahead and use it. It must be done.

I can tell this as gotten completely out of hand and I must take some action.  I need to discard some stuff, but more to the point, I need to use it.  I have found a class that is offered at the Tucson JCC, where I enjoy my Silver Sneakers membership, in drawing and painting.  It is held twice a week on a drop in basis.  One buys a punch card and uses it at one’s own pace.  The best part of this class is that you bring your own supplies.  Hallelujah!!! I will take supplies for my own work, and perhaps be able to share (read unload) some of my excess with my fellow art students.  I think this will help me come to terms with my artist archetype.  Am I an artist or a hoarder with artistic illusions?  We soon shall see, gentle readers.  Do you have attachments to things you keep for making art?

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#tucson #art

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Hidden Weakness and Undiscovered Strength

December 22, 2014 1 Comment

Our new bed

Our new bed, Truth

Testing boundaries and applying discipline will lead to mastery of any skill we choose to practice.  We generally rely on what we consider to be our strengths to solve most of our problems in life.  Most of us hide our weaknesses, primarily from ourselves, since others can clearly see them. While I am on a big push to clean and clear out my home I notice similarities between my mental state and the state of all my various projects.  While digging out all the clothing that is heading for new closets in other people’s houses I discover very cool things I had forgotten in the back of the closet. I have both stupid stuff I have barely worn and the most brilliant, well crafted wardrobe imaginable.  The problem has been mixing them all together and overstuffing the space.  Nothing is appealing when it is disheveled and jumbled.  The same thing applies to my sewing supplies, my office desk, my kitchen cabinets, and, (dare I say it?), my mind.  In each one of these cases I go looking for one thing and find 100s of useless items just hanging around for no reason, and a few real treasures I never see or use because they are in a sorry state of order.  This clearing must continue until everything I own gives me joy. This must apply to all things, mental as well as physical, digital as well as analog.  At the end of the month, which is the end of the year, our brand new bed will arrive.  The mattress is named Truth.  The truth is that I have a lot of cleaning to do before it arrives:

What needs to go?

  • duplicate photos, bad photos, meaningless photos
  • paper files of all kinds
  • clothing and accessories
  • bed and bedding
  • decorative items not in use
  • dust and dust bunnies
  • books not in use

What are the mental steps to take to assure I maintain my unobstructed new life?

  • open and deal with paper mail daily
  • immediately discard paper when it becomes useless
  • set goals for maintaining all spaces clutter free
  • deep clean my office and bedroom monthly on new moon
  • create special (clean) area for my dream diary next to my bed
  • menu planning and good freezer management
  • eliminate all junk drawers, closets, boxes, and cubbies
  • find a place to put everything away without cramming

I am looking forward to exposing this entire phenomena.  Often it is said that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness.  I think we all keep a lot of junk out of sight.  I maintain a clean and orderly home (to the naked eye), but stuffed into all available nooks and crannies are things I do not need or want.  I believe my talents and spiritual life are similar to those overstuffed cabinets.  Not only do I have way more than I can use, but I have some trouble distinguishing one thing from another because the agony is all wrapped around the ecstasy at this point.  I don’t embrace resolutions.  I do want to find myself at the end of 2015 owning fewer things and liking them more.  How do you fight the clutter bug, Gentle Reader?  Who will win in 2015?  I am planning a victory!

 

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