Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yesterday while driving to my next appointment (with a few missed turns), I happened to look in my sideview mirror and saw this:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Who needs a smart phone when you have a Bear?

Doing apartment searches in Providence today and I wanted to go to Federal Hill neighborhood for wifi and food. I called Dan M in Seattle and asked if he could google for me. He found me a perfect place. Thanks Dan!!! ♥

About ten minutes later I was settled in at Julian's (Dan's suggestion) on Broadway for a couple hours to eat and do more apartment searches. I enjoyed a pint of Sangria and a falafel plate. Walking into the bathroom at Julian's I heard Yvonne Elliman singing "Everything's Alright" from "jesus christ superstar". Puzzled I looked up and saw a little tv with the film playing. And next to it, a big display of Pez. In the bathroom! Who woulda thunk? And by the way, imho, Superstar was the best thing that Lloyd Webber did. He went downhill from there.

Julian's is a funky little restaurant/bar with a great vibe.

I now have a potential apt that is a 15 minute walk from my studio in Pawtucket. It's just over the line from Providence. Clean, quiet, safe neighborhood. And very inexpensive. I can deal for one year while I look for job and get to know area. So there is a good chance I'll take it unless I find something in this, the Federal Hill neighborhood. I'm in Providence for the weekend and plan on having an apartment by Monday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There's a sweet little clam joint next to the hotel I was staying in while in Middletown RI and so decided to eat there on Sunday evening.

It's a no frills place with a full bar and nice view on the top floor. Checking out the menu I saw all the kudos on the last page.

Inside, was a history. Talk about tenacity. You can't keep Flo down!

I ordered what became some of the best fish 'n' chips I've ever had. I thought I was going to have lobster but changed my mind at the last minute. So the only lobster I enjoyed was #14, this red plastic one they hand you. It buzzes and flashes when your order is ready. Enjoying my G&T and the quiet ambience, the lobster scared me as it told me my food was ready. I want one of these for an alarm clock.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I am so damned tired.
And overwhelmed.
And anxious.
And hungry.

I'm sitting in a TGIFriday's in Seekonk MA where I was able to get a motel room for $45. It's about 5 miles from Providence so I can return tomorrow. I barely ate today because I had to hustle from Middletown RI to Providence for an appt. and then set up and go on three apartment look/sees.

So I'm enjoying a hearty red, a small steak and some broccoli to bolster my spirits while I finally type out an update. It's a good thing they don't have wifi otherwise I wouldn't be taking the time to write. Instead, I'd be surfing for apartments and making lists of who to call for tomorrow.

In spite of the stressful day, I had a restful and much needed 36 hours on the beach which assisted with providing energy for today's apartment search. The anxiety comes from the difficulty of finding an apartment and the knowledge that I then have to find a job.

It seems the bulk of apartments will be available June 1st. That's what I get for moving to a major college town in the spring. I'm considering renting a furnished room until June although a big part of me just wants to begin my life here. Settle down.

I'm trying to have plans, for some direction, and at the same time go with the flow even if the path differs from what I envisioned.

On the really, really good news front:

Tomorrow I'm signing a lease for a painting studio. I saw a place on Friday evening, and two more on Saturday. The Saturday places were from a wonderful company that specializes in working and live/work studios. Both on Saturday were really great but I realized that I didn't want a live/work if it meant I was living away from a vital neighborhood where I could go for walks, pop into a coffee shop…and have that energy that I've come to love from my Seattle neighborhood. The property manager I've been dealing with called me and then showed me a work studio today. It's in Pawtucket but this time, just over the city line from Providence and a super easy bus ride from the neighborhood I want to live in on the east side of town…or a 5 minute car ride.

This old mill building has yoga studios, massage therapists, computer web folks and many artists. They hold open studios twice a year. The owner of the building is committed to the arts and therefore hasn't sold out to developers. There are two mill buildings for work spaces near each other (same owner) and once a year, in August, he throws a large barbecue for his tenants in the parking lot of our building.

As I was being shown around by Len (the property manager who is becoming my guardian angel), he'd tell about about each of the artists as we'd walk past their doors. There was a sense of pride in his voice. I think he's like the dad. Many Rhode Island School of Design faculty have studios in this building, including the department head of sculpture. There's also an artist who was commissioned recently to do a big job in Dubai. And there's a painter who works with two galleries in NYC and makes enough to pay his mortgage and put his 3 children through college.

It seems to be a community of artists who are pretty established in their practice.

In addition to having a really good vibe, here is the miraculous part - The space is over 1200 sq. ft….a massive room, a private bathroom and a large storage area/closet. And, it's only $675 a month, including heat and hot water. Seriously! I just need to pay for electricity.

Now, because it's more than my former studio in the 619, WS DOT will pay the difference for two years as part of the relocation expenses. So I will be paying $432/m for this massive space. I also need to keep track of expenses and time incurred in the studio search because they will reimburse me for that as well.

When the prop. manager took me in the space, he immediately said that he'd repaint the walls to white because he knows I need white walls in the studio. And he's replacing the little bathroom sink with a slop sink.

He's also been sending me leads about apartments.

I've been meeting some really down to earth good people, all going out of their way to assist me without any prompting or asking.
Genuine kindness from strangers.

Now…want to see the space?

(I'm such a sap. As I'm pulling up the photos on my desktop, tears sprang to my eyes. I may not have a job or a place to live…but dammit, I have my studio. It's private and it's huge. And there's good juju.)

Here is a little slideshow of my new studio.

and here is one shot of the space...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

from today's long walk...

Some photos from the beach, taken yesterday...before and after a trip into Providence to look at studio space.

I knew it was going to be a good day when I could drink my coffee while looking out at this...

A guy out for an early morning run...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I've been going nonstop until this afternoon. Not only am I settled in Middletown, near Newport RI, but I extended my stay until Monday. I'm giving myself a 48 hour ocean vacation with only a little break from it to try to make appointments for Monday afternoon in Providence before returning to western MA.

After an early dinner I walked along the cliffs. In the top photo my hotel is on the horizon...on the far right. I took the photo just as I was going to turn back, sad because I still wanted to keep walking but knew I should get back before it got dark. It was an hour and a half walking by the water, feeling the wind whip my skin, smelling the salt and the seaweed and finally slowing down to reground myself...and breathe.

As I was wondering what to post this evening, I noticed the jpeg of this painting and it reminded me of my photo from today. It's a painting I did in '96 or '97, on location at Fort Foster in Kittery ME. I had forgotten all about it until a good friend sent me the photo. I had given it to her before moving to Seattle.

I am so an ocean baby.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'll be periodically posting photos taken in my final two weeks in Seattle. Most (not all) were taken while riding in friends' cars. Tomorrow I'm headed to Providence. I'll be staying in a hotel on the beach about 30 minutes away because I need a mini vacation. But all day Friday and Saturday morning will be spent looking at live/work spaces as well as a few furnished rooms.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Look! My car arrived yesterday on a pair of salmon. It took 15 days to swim 3000 miles.

Been super busy as well as catching up on sleep. Today I spent the day researching and making appointments for this weekend to see furnished rooms as well as live/work spaces in Providence. I'll catch up on emails and contacts in the next few days.

Also took a couple relaxing hours and went to see "The Artist" with my mom. It was her second time and my first. Pretty amazing film.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Waiting at Seatac to board my flight for DC and then on to Hartford. I had a wonderful day with Craig, and then a lovely dinner with Craig, his Bear, Roger and David. Poignant.

It is very tough to leave. And my heart hurts. And excited for my new adventure. And a little bit scared.

photo taken late this afternoon with C.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Craig and Travis were brilliant and managed to not only get all my studio and apartment stuff into one pod, but the bulk of the studio stuff is on the left. Photo was taken before the comforters and blankets went in to pad everything.
(photo taken yesterday)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I have a few minutes before getting back to packing/organizing and here's a photo I shot yesterday, from the back seat, on my way to a last supper with some very dear coworkers.

While I'm thinking about it, here are a few links from the Vermillion show in Feb.

This is a little slide show I created.

And, we had the wonderful opportunity of having the exhibit photographed in 360 degree VR by the talented Brad Bohonus.

It's in two separate links and because of where the camera was situated, there were a few installations that didn't make it in the shoot. You can zoom in and travel around the space with these links.

First link

Second link

Friday, March 16, 2012

The move was pretty real when I watched my car get loaded on a truck two weeks ago. But it's super real now that I have two moving pods positioned near my gate.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This morning was my final session in the office with my beloved therapist. Almost ten years of hard work, of building trust, of letting him see my dorkiness, my insecurities, my most painful wounds, celebrating in my joys, and walking into my deepest shadows.

We will be doing a few Skype sessions...and then see how that feels. But I know it won't be the same as sharing the same space.

This poster was at my bus stop this morning as I was returning from my therapy session.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Last night I delved into the hall closet. It was quite the experience. There were boxes I hadn't opened in almost ten years, filled with so many memories. I found photos of my car trip from New Hampshire to Seattle. In addition I found the daily newsletters I sent to family and friends on each day of that move from east to west. During the day my friend and I would make notes. I even had little sections such as "the kindness of strangers", "today's favorite songs on the radio", "wildlife scene", "today's fun experience", etc. Each evening, when we arrived at our hotel, I'd compile all the notes and email about 50 people. It was a blast sending the newsletters, and from emails received everyone would look forward to reading about our adventures each day.

I thought I had lost all those papers and so there was something heartwarming about the discovery. My Seattle time is coming full circle.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Something I've been dreading is finally complete. Thanks to my bunny, we tackled the boxing of all my large paintings. The pieces 28" to 60" are safely packed. Yesterday I boxed all the small pieces. The only art work left to pack are the 18"x24" and 12"x18" ptgs.

Tonight, I'm focusing on the scary closet. I figure I might as well get the things I dread doing done in the same day.

And...I'm already exhausted.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I now officially have a Providence RI mailing address and so just completed the USPS mail forwarding request. A small act that was quite bittersweet. Here's another Seattle photo captured yesterday while riding in the backseat of Phil's car.

This evening was my very first evening in almost two weeks where I could stop, breathe and rest. The only thing I had scheduled for tonight was time for me.

Street permits acquired and paid for (with a sizable dose of sticker shock), car shipped, accounts closed, confirmed moving pods, began process for getting a mailbox in Providence which included getting paperwork notarized, cancelled Comcast, purchased boxes and moving supplies, organized paintings between large ones in storage and small ones in my living room, packed about ten boxes of books, cleaned cupboards, drawers and fridge...and finalized details for an exhibit in May at a new gallery...which means I will return to Seattle for the opening or the closing reception.

This coming week is mostly all about the packing.

I took this photo today while riding in the back seat of Phil's car as we returned from a delish brunch at the Alki Cafe.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I've had no extra creative capacity and have not taken any photos since Sunday evening. This photo was taken two Saturdays ago while Sarah and I were enjoying the peninsula. Today was the first day in a week that I had more than 2 hours to myself...and I crashed.

Not only is this move far more complex than my move here 13 years ago because of the art supplies and the quantity of paintings I'm shipping home, but because of the life I've made here in Seattle.

Every day is booked with dinners and get togethers. There are a few days with three dates - breakfast, lunch and an attempt to see everyone one last time. And...oh yeah, I need to deal with the logistics of moving in between the dates. This isn't a complaint but is an awareness of how rich my life is in Seattle.

Last night I had organized a dinner for a group of friends. The impact of what I'd done didn't hit me until we all sat down together. Six people, who have seen each other at various times, in various groups over the years, but it was the very first time in ten years that we were all together in the same place. The last time we had gathered as one, was before my mentor's stroke. We were all a part of that family and therefore share the same grief. It feels like a lifetime ago. And...a very different life.

It was a wonderful evening with much love and laughs. And there was some pain as we acknowledged the changes that had happened since.

Although the goodbyes have been heart wrenching, this was the toughest yet.

Today, as has happened each day, I needed to tweak my schedule. A gallery owner is now coming by on Saturday to talk about the show in May. It looks like I will be flying back at some point that point for the exhibit.

I am so excited for my new life adventure and at the same time, kind of wrecked at what I am leaving. If nothing else, it reaffirms how rich and complex life is.

Monday, March 05, 2012


How about a little update?

I haven't stopped moving since I left my job. Although I have a calendar and everything is booked and written down, each day has brought forth surprises, including daily painting sales. People have been coming by my little apartment to purchase work and although very wonderful, and needed...I've yet to pack a box.

My car left today. I'll see it in New England in two weeks.

This evening I filed my taxes. This is the fifth year I'm filing the long form (because of art sales and expenses) and this is the first year my art business is not running at a loss. Great news except it meant no refund for me this year. I had to pay.

I've discovered I have an abundance of energy. More than I've had in the last six years. And I'm finally sleeping until 7 or 8 in the morning, which I haven't done in the last five years. That change began the morning after my last day of work. Although I loved my job and knew it was mentally and emotionally taxing, I had no idea how much until I let go of the responsibility. My friends have been telling me I'm more relaxed than they've seen me in a very long time. I feel happy inside.

Tomorrow morning, I need to get to Wells Fargo to pay off my credit line and fully close my account. Set up the cancellation with Comcast. Get a mail box in Providence. Call the City of Seattle for parking permit for my two moving pods. Pick up a cashier's check from BECU for the car and fedex it to my nephew so he can retrieve my car if it arrives before I do. Make a couple dinner reservations. See my dentist because he wants to peek at my two new implants. Make an appointment with a gallery owner here in town who wants to give me a show in May and has been patiently waiting for me to contact him. Pack some boxes. Yeah...this is a part of my "to do" list for tomorrow. And a sample of what my days have been like.

I am blessed.

Friday, March 02, 2012

As of today, almost every single day between now and March 19 when I leave Seattle, is booked. Picked up moving boxes this morning and thought I would pack and ship out a box of art supplies to my mom, so they'd be waiting for me when I arrive but ended up spending the afternoon on the phone and emails finalizing various details. I take down the Vermillion show tomorrow evening. Sunday I have to clean out my office and do taxes. Monday my car gets shipped to the east coast. And then it's two weeks of packing and cleaning and packing and many more goodbyes.