I’ve written and re-written this blog entry many times. I want to share with you some big changes, but it’s hard to know what to say and what to leave out. So I'm just going to focus on the who, what, where and when.
"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies" ~ Author Unknown
Drawing Deep 30" x 30" mixed media on wood
Back to My Future
I am moving to the East Coast this spring after having spent the last 20 years in Seattle. I have leased a studio - 1100 square feet, with lots of wall space on which to work. The studio is at 19 South Third Street in the borough of Oxford, PA, which is my hometown.
Lights on inside - and that's my brother installing more lighting
Photo courtesy Nikki Hale
Third Street in Oxford was once known as the Nanticoke Trail. This was the route used by the Nanticoke Indians for north-south travel from the Poconos to the Chesapeake Bay. Today it is the main street in an optimistic little town, located half-way between NYC and Washington, D.C., with a rich history and some enthusiastic business owners and citizens. The town’s First Friday Art Stroll closes Third Street to traffic and welcomes hundreds of townsfolk on foot who enjoy stopping in at the local winery or pub, or the Arts Alliance gallery, or other shops.
Amish buggies are frequently seen passing by during the day, and I almost always run into someone I know. Last time I walked through town, I heard someone shouting, “Suzy is that you???!” I haven’t seen my cousin in over 30 years, and I got a great big hug when he parked and jumped out of his car. Later, when I needed to call the borough office to ask some questions about zoning, I realized that the telephone number was the same one I dialed as a kid when my dad worked there as the borough manager. This kind of thing happens regularly. It is familiar, but different. As a kid I couldn’t wait to leave, and honestly, it didn’t seem like such a promising place then. But there is a renewed energy in the town, and coupled with the comfort of the familiar, it feels good to me. In addition, I can more easily afford to live here than in Seattle, which has become ridiculously expensive. That said, it’s not going to be an easy transition, I’m sure. In fact its quite scary. But I don’t believe I was put on this earth to live a comfortable life filled with well laid plans.
The Plan For Now
My plan is to make this my working studio. I will paint and teach here. I love the quiet time in my studio when I'm painting, but I'm looking forward to having visitors and being just a few steps from a coffee shop. Working from home has always been a challenge for this little extrovert. As plans go, this one is loose, and allows for change. I say this, because I know better than to believe I am in complete control. Ha!
I don’t have a place to live just yet, but there is a little house owned by a dear friend that I hope to rent in a couple of months when it becomes available. It’s 200 years old and built of stone…it feels like a warm embrace. In the meantime, I will be parked in my mother’s basement with a few of my belongings (including an 85 pound Golden Retriever). I’ll spend most of my time in the new studio, to which I can walk from her house. I look forward to seeing old friends and making new relationships, to lightening bugs, sandy beaches and boardwalks, steamed crabs, family reunions, gritty old cities, learning how to make it on my own, and doing my best work.
"Change is inevitable...except from a vending machine" ~ Robert C. Gallagher