Best Laid Plans....by Yvonne Branchflower
Many of you have asked about our plans, and while the long term plan remains the same, the short term ones have gone through considerable change.
What stays the same: We will still move to Portland Oregon late this year.
What changed: Our home is back on the market and we are still in Cherry Valley, CA.
The Fairytale and the Bad Dream: Three weeks after listing our home the perfect family found it and requested a very short escrow, contingent on escrow shortly closing on their home. With a move-out date looming, we discarded, gave away, donated or sold what was not going with us. In furious, but organized, haste, we packed almost everything that would be in storage for over three months. Pleased to have accomplished so much in so little time, we were stunned to receive news that escrow was shakey, and then that it was comatose: The home our buyers were selling had fallen out of escrow.
How do you restage a home with very little furniture? How do you maintain gardens without tools? How do you entertain yourself for an indeterminate number of weeks or months with all the books, art supplies and sewing paraphernalia packed away? Well, don’t look under Grandma’s quilt or sit on the “guest bed” because it is merely a suggestive arrangement of boxes, some of which are partially unpacked.
Oddly, I kind of like the Spartan life. Except for the stress of trying to sell a home at the bottom of the market, serenity has crept back into our daily lives.
Awards Rain Coming (at right) received a Purchase Award at the 7th Annual Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center Art Exhibit. This is one of my favorite paintings, and I'm happy that other people found it to be their favorite in the exhibit, too. Many thanks to VMRC for their excellent work in hosting and promoting this event.
Featured Painting Newport Back Bay 8x10" ($485 framed on www.branchflower.net ) After the failure of escrow we needed to salve our wounds, so we spent a week on Newport Back Bay, a wonderland for joggers, bicyclers, bird watchers and plein air painters. For you non-painters, outdoor painting is very different from studio painting: At best, you have about two hours to get the entire painting done. The movement of the sun is the limiting factor, changing all the light and shadow patterns and colors that you so carefully identified.
While I laid out this painting the sky was overcast, color was limited, and the mood was quiet. Within thirty minutes the sun began burning through, just highlighting boulders and the mustard on the hills beyond the bay. It was gorgeous. I hadn’t been painting for an hour before the entire sky was brilliant blue, and the pickle weed in the bay was brightly lit. The cardinal rule when painting en pleinair is, “commit to one moment in time and don’t change it, no matter what the environment does.” I changed it, following the light, and lost the painting.
At home, in the studio, I did what I do best: Working from memory, I reclaimed that moment when a bit of sun struck the hillside just above the water. Painting saved. And lessons relearned.
Because the art history books are unattainable for now, I will suspend the art history topics in favor of more generalized subjects. Issue times of "The Palette Keeper" may be uneven until we are settled into new digs next fall or winter.
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