It’s coming! That’s what I keep telling myself as I get sidetracked with all these things: the garden, the dogs, family, friends, attending art events, Youtubing (so much to say here), laundry (above), more gardening, grocery shopping, cooking, an odd moment of house cleaning and even more gardening! I think it has to do with that primal need to start new life and after all, it’s Spring!
Every year I start some kind of edible plant project, hoping to have a sustainable food source for the year. In reality, that usually consists of a good amount of tomatoes and cucumbers, but not much else. This year, I decided to grow some hardy greens and root veggies, along with a couple of large, cherry, tomato plants. I will plant sweet potatoes in May as I am growing the slips for this right now. I have a decent amount of herbs and other culinary delights, including spinach, vining spinach, celery, turnips, carrots, radishes, beets, taro, collards, kale, red leaf lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, broccoli, two pomegranate trees, two kinds of cauliflower, chives, cilantro, sage, oregano, mint, two kinds of rosemary, two kinds of thyme, two kinds of parsley, and three kinds of basil. I just felt the need to list them all, probably to boost my sense of accomplishment and remind myself why my studio felt left out.
Studio time does happen and painting has been the focus. Seems I am off in another direction after painfully interacting with one piece for a couple of weeks that never felt right. Why did I let that go so long? Seems I often find myself perplexed, but not enough to drop something, so I keep it going, certain I can solve the thing. But when I finally did put it aside, I simplified my approach. This usually means it’s time to just sketch what is in the room around me, which often opens up a whole new view, and tends to let in a little magic, if I just let it happen. This will likely be a new series of work and I will have more on this in another post.
Is it just me, or is Youtube the new form of entertainment? Maybe I am slow on this one. To say I watch way too much Youtube lately, is an understatement. It probably started a few years ago when I became infatuated with the tiny house movement, but more recently, it is about RV life. I started looking into camper trailers, as we thought it would be a good way to take our dogs with us for a trip to west Texas. I do so love west Texas. Also, it would be fun to go camping, maybe a short weekend getaway on occasion. I was curious about these small, so-called "egg campers" with their all-fiberglass shells. There are even some that are made in Texas – Casita is this maker, with a perfect compact size, functionality and sexy curves to go with it. They do come in a bit pricey, but they never lose their value as they are well-made and therefore, long lasting.
In this process of searching, I found an entire culture of people who not only travel in these various, mobile structures, they often live in them! Some even live in vans! And not what you would think of at first, or maybe you wouldn’t, but I remember the infamous Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley about “living in a van down by the river”… very funny, but not what I found.
Instead, it was all ages, all kinds of educational backgrounds, cultural diversity, some with money, some not so much, but always living on the wind and that questionable edge, often not knowing what’s next. And there lies the excitement, the adventure and the freedom from what most of us view as ordinary life. Life that often traps us into routine spending, brainwashed thinking and buying, a wasteful lifestyle, collecting all the latest stuff, paying a mortgage on a house full of even more stuff. Often, it is a big, expensive home with many rooms and all of that stuff and maybe one day, we stop and wonder if this is what we are here for? Is this really our dream of a good life?
These nomads spend much of their time connecting with nature, and on occasion, connecting with others who are somewhat, like-minded. The nature part gets my attention, but I wouldn’t want to always be on the road. I feel like I need a home base, and not necessarily where I am now. However, I do crave a mind melt with nature, and love the idea of a trip into the wild a few times a year. A nice reprieve from the city, from the fast pace, the noise, the pollution, and the horrendous, Houston traffic!
It does appear that the number of individuals joining this movement is rapidly growing. Part of this may be due to the cost of living in the cities. Even where I live there is a change happening as many people I know are being priced out of their own neighborhoods. I do wonder how this will all end up in a few years, and are there fewer younger people buying homes? At any rate, I am definitely attracted to downsizing and leaving behind a smaller footprint.
Others are about the basics of traveling or living in a camper of some kind. Some are more about their adventures and their interaction with others while enjoying what they find. Many talk about living for free while camping (dispersed camping) somewhere on public land, BLM land – Bureau of Land Management, or staying in a National Forest, National Parks and State Parks. The rules are quite different for all of them, especially if you have dogs. It is a fascinating subject to me, obviously, and felt the need to share it. At any rate, less Youtube and more studio time is ahead!