Falling Down the Rabbit Hole: Or how does one make art and keep up with real life?

It started with a discussion around the campfire in July. My husband, Greg, said, “I’m thinking of moving.” “Really?” I thought. Just when was he going to mention this to me?!

Many discussions later we agreed that this is a good time for us to buy a new house. We love our current house but our yard is small, my studio is small, and we have no downstairs bedrooms to offer our parents if they need it. And so we fell, or jumped, down the rabbit hole.

For two months we spent every weekend looking at houses. New houses, old houses, oh-my-gosh we’d have to tear out everything houses. Our criteria – studio space, a yard with some distance from our neighbors (who are very nice people, but when you can reach out and touch them…), and enough downstairs bedrooms to accommodate both sets of our parents if we ever needed to.

In between talking to realtors, pouring over online listings and wandering through more houses than I can count, I managed to continue to make art. I worked on my quilt book, I worked on editions of books, I found time to think about new art. And then we bought a house.

Our discussions transitioned from how many bedrooms to what kind of cabinets, from how much square footage to whether or not we wanted a glaze on those cabinets, and from what size yard to where I wanted the studio in the yard…

Yup! A studio. A lovely, separate, four-times-as-big as my current bedroom/studio, space to make art. The only problem… no time to make art. No time to think about art and a dozen blog posts in my head that never made it through the keyboard and into the web. For the past month I’ve spent every spare moment planning the new house, planning how to sell our current house, and almost no moments in the studio. (Thankfully I was teaching a class and enjoying the art made by some very creative students!)

So, first, an apology. I ask you to read my blog and then I flake on you. I am deeply sorry. I missed writing and I missed hearing from you.

And a deep sigh of relief. Today I have five minutes to hold still, to think about art and to write to you. Today I am going back to a book arts group that patiently endured my excuses and we’re going to look at artists’ books and talk about art and I’m going to ask for some of their ideas for how to turn a single book that doesn’t quite work, in to an edition that shines.

The challenge for the next three months will be to pack, get our current house ready to sell, and make time for art. I look at my studio and think about packing it up and then close the door. How do I pack up a studio without spending the next day unpacking a box because I put the exact material I needed in said box?

Have you moved your studio? What was your strategy? What worked and what didn’t? What would you do differently if you had to do it again?

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com

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