For the past five weeks, I’ve been on a painting marathon. That’s why I haven’t been making blog posts, and haven’t done much else, either. I’ve been working on a collection called Coffeetime at Wild Ozark. These are all smaller paintings on handmade paper I’d bought a couple of years ago. For whatever reason, I never used the papers but found them while doing a bit of cleaning in the office/studio and decided to do something with them.
The first painting in that collection is one I’d already painted earlier, though. I used it because it fit the theme of Coffee Time. So it’s not on the same paper. I’m undecided about whether I want to repaint a new one on the same paper, or keep the old one. I think I’ll repaint another one after the break. I have another post in draft to talk more about the paintings, but I’ll show them to you now.
Taking a Break after a Painting Marathon
A break, you say? Well, while I’ve been busy with art, other things have fallen by the wayside. So it’s not really a ‘break’, but it will be a change in focus, so it’s a break from making and marketing art. There are two fencing projects that just got moved up to the ‘urgent’ category on my task list. First is to fence in the garden so the chickens don’t destroy it once I get it planted. Second is for the horses.
It hasn’t *just* been painting that kept me preoccupied, but all the work that comes after a painting. For each one I took pictures, imported it to Photoshop, edited it for prints and notecards, and for posting on the website. I also edited it to become an NFT. That’s a little different than getting one ready for prints and notecards, because I usually use a heavier hand for those edits.
After the edits, I minted them, listed them, and promoted them. I haven’t done any of that for the in real life paintings yet because I’m planning to hold them until I get the new shop site built anyway. Plus, I will be doing a show in Fayetteville at the end of April and will need to get them framed for that.
Fencing for Breaktime
Fencing in a new area for the horses is going to take longer than the amount of time I have for a break. But at least I can get started. The cost of feed has gone up and it’s ridiculously expensive to feed them so much anymore. We have a lot of space, but not enough of it has fencing. Getting the garden fenced in will take a lot less time and is something I can get done in
a few days probably more than a week, but less still than the horse’s fence. So that’s first on the list.
So you can see the gate below. Now I can get onto the actual fence. The gate is like the eyes on my wildlife paintings… I had to do it first to know where everything else is going to go, lol. You can also probably tell, this is an old gate. I’m reusing old materials to make the fence. We are generally pretty good around here at recycling, reusing, and repurposing things that still have life left to them. Nevermind the cardboard on the ground in the background. I use that for weed control, and it works really well even if it’s not aesthetically pleasing. The earthworms love it too. I’ll cover it with woodchips or straw later.
This morning I put up the gate. That took more than an hour, haha. So I revised my ‘a few days’ based upon how much time I took with only the gate. The problem is, I want the garden to be pretty. So if I just throw up a fence, it’s going to look ugly. I may end up putting plastic easy fence until I can finish the real fence…
Rob is busy working on getting the solar array up, so the fencing project is something I’m doing on my own. I will probably also need to help him when he reaches a point where two hands and a tractor aren’t enough for the task, too. Getting our solar up and running is the top priority, but fences and things I can do without him are things I can do when he doesn’t need my help. It all adds toward our goal of a sustainable homestead. Last year, the deer ate parts of the garden, just as things were getting ripe. This year, we also have chickens that free range during the day. Since food is a valuable part of our homestead venture, the garden needs to be fenced. Because even if I fence in the chickens, it won’t fix the deer problem.
Admittedly, this is not the sort of thing a person thinks of when taking a break, right? Well, life out here isn’t an ordinary sort of life, so it’s not surprising to me that there are unusual ways to take breaks, too. While I enjoy doing these physical activities, and it’s really good for me to do them, I am going to miss the weeks of my painting marathon. Not to worry, another one will soon be underway!