I am now hosting a salon. Of sorts.
I'm so sorry not to have pictures, because I do think you would like this one. I should have my camera back next week. Here are a few old "before" pictures.
I finally converted the Grey Cottage Studio into a studio (it really was a little guest house.) Out behind our house, there is a 300 square foot building. It has a full bath with a horrible flourescent light, a vintage combination sink, stove, refrigerator, oven (seriously), a dutch door and a wall of windows. Little by little I have moved my stash of things out there. It's nothing fancy: a few cast-off bookcases, a dead-heavy sofabed with no other home, a table made from a hollow door and two thrift store night stands and a funky IKEA chandelier. And finally, finally, I lugged my old double bed -- mine from my teenage years, first three apartments, first married years -- I lugged both mattresses to the curb and took the frame to the Salvation Army. I searched for some great old wooden tables with mismatched chairs, but finding nothing that would fit, I headed to IKEA for two tables and a few chairs. And voila, the grey cottage studio really lives.
The Salon started as a painting group. I missed the company of my lovely Dutch ex-pat friends with whom shared a painting class on Wednesday mornings for three years. Our host, and teacher, moved back to Amsterdam, and our group had splintered. And so, I opened the studio for painting one morning a week with a marvelous, charming group of friends.
Meet them: Leonie, who is moving back to Amsterdam in two months, brings her oil painting of a young woman crossing Park Avenue in peak springtime. She was inspired by a spread in Italian Vogue. Liz, Dutch-born, globetrotting childhood -- think France, Australia, Switzerland, Canada -- and settled here, married to exactly the sort of guy she'd thought she'd never go for: a 6'5" American. Liz is working on an Andy Warhol-inspired portrait of her mother. My friend Alex, who is half-way through her chemo treatments, started painting as part of her therapy during this battle with cancer. She just finished her first painting, an amazing portrait of her daughter. And her accountant self, has found a new passion. This time last year, she was furiously studying for her CPA. And now, she just feels blessed to have time to paint. And finally my dear friend and neighbor Sheila, who said, "I hear your having a Salon. Can I come?" She brings her knitting and her wit and joins us.
I write this post because I have always done my creative projects alone. It's a stretch for me to invite people over rather than just working alone. I still really enjoy working alone, but I'm finding it's good for me to put myself out there. I'm skipping the errand-running I usually do during those three precious pre-school afternoons, and feeding my soul.
Thanks for listening.