Sunday, September 07, 2008

What is it with August?

"Still Waters"
Oil on Panel

Man, I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel of paintings to post here. This is one of the smaller paintings I did for the RMPAP plein air show last month and this photo is terrible - I don't think I've photographed any new paintings since then, which means I'm way behind and need to have a serious photography session this week!

Anyhow, I don't know what it is, but I always seem to be a little bit "off" with my art every August. Seems like every year, I have a few weeks in August when I'm really struggling with my paintings and having a hard time finding motivation. This year was no different, and I'm happy to say that after a few bad weeks in the studio, I'm starting to get my painting mojo back (good thing too, because I'm preparing for a few different shows and I need all the motivation I can get).Considering my creative drought last month, hopefully you'll bear with me if the following has nothing at all to do with art, and everything to do with life outside of art!

This week has been a roller coaster for Nate and I as we tried to decide what to do with building our house. We'd been originally planning to try and have it move-in ready by Thanksgiving at the latest, and extend our lease on the condo we're in until then. This week it dawned on us that we might as well just move into one of Nate's spec homes and take our time building our own house. The spec has been taking a while to sell due to the housing market problems, and it just seems silly to leave this beautiful house sitting empty while we live in a rental and rush to finish the other house, so it looks like we'll be moving at the end of this month. I'm still looking forward to eventually moving into the house we've designed on the lot we picked out, but in the meantime it'll be nice to be in a house again no matter what.

At this point, the foundation is in for "our" house on "our" lot, and all the plans are done and ready to go at the factory (Nate builds modular homes, so the bulk of the house is built offsite). Here's the view of how it looked a week ago - what you can't see very well here is the beautiful view we'll have of the pond and wetlands behind us:

But, it'll probably be next year before we have a house there. In the meantime, this is the house we're moving into (which was professionally photographed, btw - I'm not this skilled at photgraphing anything!):

Can you tell it's modular? I'm proud of Nate for building this house. It's really cute and has that mountain feel, and while it's a bit small (I'll be using the guest room for my studio), it's got a great floorplan and location. I really think he's found his calling in building houses. Here's a view of the divide from the front yard (I've painted a winter version of this view multiple times already):

So, that's where we'll be a month from now. A big change from where we were at a week ago, but I think a good one for now. In the meantime, we decided to get out this weekend and just enjoy living in the mountains. Some friends came up from Denver to visit, and we took the kiddos horseback riding at Nate's parents' house. Aspen is an old pro at riding Bandit now - check it out:

We also took a hike around Monarch Lake and threw rocks in the water. It's one of my favorite spots to paint, and also just hang out:

When we get all bogged down in the day to day details of running two businesses and working working working, it's always nice to take some time out and remember WHY we're living up here and doing all this!


  1. I think your temporary home looks like my dream home. The landscape in your neck of the woods looks very similar to what I experience living just east of the Rocky Mountains.

  2. no way that's a modular!!! kudos to nate, great looking home! shrug off august, it's been crazy for you moving around anyway, i'm still impressed you've even kept your painting up with moving and everything you have going on. aspen looks so adorable up on bandit! no reason to rush your new home if you don't have too, you'll be in it soon enough. take the time to do the details exactly the way you want them. when i get in bad painting funks, i put up a cheap canvas, some loud motivating music and just go abstract, painting fast and furious, not thinking or worrying about color, and i just keep going until i 'feel' as though things are flowing and i am confident in every brushstroke i am putting down. then i go back to painting.

  3. Veronica - yes, the "temporary" home is actually much nicer than anything we would normally buy. The only reason we can afford to live in it is because all we're paying is the construction cost!!

    Christine - I agree, sometimes the best way to get out of a funk is just to move some paint around with no expectations. I'll have to keep that in mind next time I'm stressing!

  4. Just beautiful!!! All of it...the painting, the house and the photos!

  5. I find that August always sucks. I'm not sure why. It's some kind of weird letdown after two months of summer, and you just want it to be Fall so you can move on...

  6. Some months are just slower than others.
    I really love the painting at the top of this post Stacey.

    Aspen looks right at home on that horse.

  7. oh, and no, it does not look like a modular home.