Our security cameras went out midweek, and T was convinced of the worst (thieves, vandals, fire!). But it turned out that our internet was cut because someone, who will be unnamed, lost his credit cards and forgot to update the account with the new number. Anyway, it was a relief that all remains tight in our little disaster of a property.
Five degrees cooler makes it almost bearable in 29, so I spent two days madly working. I repainted the office wall beige (pink did NOT work), I cleaned up from the bathroom construction, I realized at 4am that the bathroom configuration we had decided on was in fact TERRIBLE, and we reversed course. I met our handyguy at Home Depot and spent a fortune (tariffs at work), and I laid out the tile for the shower all over the living room floor. I got the last of the strange garden structure in the front yard removed, using the wheelbarrow. Manual labor is what I wanted in my life, and I got it.
Looking forward to my first event in the desert as an artist, next weekend! I will be showing our Hill&Stump series--we've painted new desert plants specifically for this show. I may also throw in a few new experiments I'm starting with materials found on the Dairy.
Just a little worried about setting up the tent and walls in this place that can be so windy. Not to mention the heat... hoping for under 100 next weekend.
Below are the paintings already up in the Dairy, under the new orange wall.
I realize my last post was very bitchy. Sorry about that!
"Cooler" weather has continued in Socal, so we spent part of Labor Day weekend out here, painting walls and raking trash our of the sand. Our handy guy came out and fixed one of our incorrectly constructed graywater drains. This week he'll begin to remodel our bathroom shower, taking out the original cast iron tub (which is leaking). We can only shower outside for so long, because cold weather is coming.
Ted and I feel a bit conflicted investing in such a wreck when we don't have the skills or energy to do most of the work. We have to contract professionals. When we can get our hand dirty (and our bodies drenched with sweat), we are happy. Now that the bulk of the trash is removed, fine sifting will be a part of our lives for years. We rake through the sand, pulling up metal, wood, paper, and the dreaded plastic. Also tons of broken ceramic and glass. Bag and haul it out. We have decided out ruined cottage yard will be for sculptors, and are organizing the metal, wood and other interesting finds to be used in assemblage. It would be fun to have a game in which artists might create from what they find in a small area.
At the end of the day we got invited to a BBQ in Yucca Valley, to a lovely house with a pool. The other guests assured us that the heat is almost done, and we made a good decision to buy out here because the tourist hoards are about to arrive again, and everyone wants a piece of this beautiful, harsh land.
At dusk I saw dozens of giant vultures gliding south, bats flapping around, and an owl.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.