Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back to the Studio Progress

On June 29, 2007 I faced an agonizing reappraisal about studio progress and posted the following blog. I would also later discover the contractor was ripping me off by making me pay for materials not used on my job. He was doing his own addition and working another hard dollar contract.

Not an End to Progress

Yesterday was a day of agonizing reappraisal. It began with an outlandish estimate for the exterior stucco on the studio. I knew it was insanely high. I knew I could find a cheaper bid. I even knew I could do cedar instead of stucco. But just figuring all those options made me realize I really did not have enough money to finish it completely and not dip into my prudent reserve.

Since I first committed to this job prices on construction materials have skyrocketed here in the United States. Can you say Iraqi war. Or rising gas prices. Or just profit taking by greedy companies. Who really knows. But it certainly hits the construction industry where it hurts and ergo the new housing starts and remodeling projects such as mine.

Today following the let’s get down to brass tacks talk with my contractor I dove into getting some paintings done for my up coming fair in two weeks. I kept expecting to be upset about calling a halt to the project but found myself actually feeling lighter. I have enough money to finish the interior which I was originally doing myself once the sheet rock and trim is done. What I don’t have enough money to do is the exterior finish and the deck and the hot tub. But I will get temporary steps to the outside entrance and the house weather wrapped to prevent deterioration.

And stopping here gives me time. I did not want to rush to the cheapest conclusion just to finish it. I do not want to compromise. I want what I want. Pausing now (I prefer to see it as pause and not stop) greatly reduces the stress. If I have a good art season I will be able to do at least part of what remains before winter. And I definitely will be able to use my studio for what it was intended.

I find myself grateful that I did not know it would be this expensive because if I had I might not have started it. I am glad I got this far. And most of what remains I can do cheaper myself and save labor costs. It will just take me longer. But then I will have that sense of having really contributed in a way other than monetary on this dream of mine.

So there is relief and a sort of surreal joy. It will be mine to do with what I can afford and in my time. I won’t feel rushed to the conclusion.

Somehow this seems a perfect place to be on this eve of the Full Strawberry Moon. It is a time of culmination of so many things in my life. I know I am on the right path.

Art Sunday but not Art Sunday - July 1, 2007

I look at photos of Picasso in his studio and get tummy aches I am so envious of the space and the openness. I am not Picasso but just maybe I could be with the right studio. Us artists always have a reason we cannot work. But seldom give credit when we produce despite our surroundings.

And so was born the dream of the studio. Yesterday the crew working on instructions as to what I wanted t
hem to finish before leaving the rest to me opened the window in my living room.

To become a door.

The Darkness went immediately in to investigate the new space.

Last night I invited my neighbor Jan over and in this corner beyond the construction tools we set up a table and a couple camp chairs and had tea while watching the lightning surrounding us just outside the windows. It was like being in a magical space ship traveling between universes.

There is a magic time and place but it is often of your own making. I think it was rather artistic of me to design this wonderful addition. Stay tuned for the progress on the finishing touches.

No comments: