Wednesday, December 18, 2013

North of Reno

I moved to Reno at the beginning of September.  The heat in Tucson was making me very ill.  Not having a clue where to go I just started scanning Craigslist.  I couldn't find anything I could afford, or even wanted, until I saw an ad (with photos) for a very large room in a house north of Reno. Never in a billion light years did I think I'd end up in Nevada.  After being here for a couple of months I started making trips back to California to empty out my storage unit.  It took me almost two months to do three 14 hour round trips and then unload and figure out where to put everything. Every trip I peeled off a layer of my art, going back in time.  Very interesting to see everything again.  Above, for the first time are all my "naked ladies" together.  The ladies are standing in the large landing/room outside my room that I use as my studio.

Above are the three paintings I've been working on, no where near done, but started anyway. They are part of a series I started working on in Tucson of children and animals.

This is the house I live in now, shot from the back yard.  You would never know we live in the middle of a desert with unending brown hills covered in sage.  The yard here is grass with large shade trees planted twenty years ago.  It also has a large garden and we are still eating the food from it (squash).  Bob, the owner and landlord, has built 19 other houses in the area.  The house is huge with seven giant bedrooms, three garages (used as storage by others), and a large communal kitchen.  My room is 12 ft by 25 ft. with a large closet and huge 20 x 25 foot deck of my very own.  I came here because Bob advertised for an artist and I was desperate for a large space so I could empty my storage unit.  I arrived here at the end of the Burning Man event and Bob works with the healing group that goes every year - they give free massages, Reiki and stuff like that.  I spent my first week doing a barter for rent by washing the 500 sheets that they had used for massages. I washed them, hung them out to dry, then folded and stacked them.  Never again, but it helped out with the rent when I needed it.  It was nice outside so it wasn't that much of a hardship, but it took a full week to do in my spare time.  I've since arranged for a barter with the local computer repair people I found.  They are quick and good and gave me virus protection for 29 years.

Above, the south facing end of my room, showing the doors to the deck.  Below is the northern end with my bed and a nice large desk with lots of room to work.  Besides the bed and desk, there are three dressers, three bookcases, three chairs, several tables, a sink with counter/wash-up area, and my easel. As you can see there is still lots of room for my yoga mat.  I have been starved for space and this place fulfills my needs. The room came totally furnished, including a tv on cable and plug-in/wifi provided.  I love my room.  There is even a large storage area (the door is behind my paintings on the left) where I'm able to keep a lot of stuff.  I even have stuff in tubs and covered in tarps and plastic in a corner of the deck.  This in the first time in over twenty years I've been reunited with all my possessions.  I've been slowly going through everything.  Best thing of all about my room is that it's heated in the winter and air-conditioned when hot.  I spent last winter freezing in Colorado where a wood fire (which always goes out at night) was the best they had to offer.  Won't do that again.

 I spend a lot of time at my desk.  It's been a long time since I've had a place with room to write.

Below is Maria, the woman who moved out of my room.  Maria was Miss America in 1962.  She's wearing one of the necklaces I made and bought several of them from me.  To meet people I've joined the local Rock and Mineral Society and the Sierra Writers Group.

Below, are a few of the photos I've taken of the sunrises I see from the window over my desk.

Below, Lake Tahoe from when I went hiking with Maria.  She used to live here and she took me to one of her favorite hiking spots - at 8,000 feet.  I don't breath very well at that altitude.

I've started meeting local artists, strangely, all metal artists.  Below is Carey, a friend of Bob's and below that are three videos I've made of other metal artists in Reno.  I find that making videos of artists is a great way to meet them.

Mostly I've been a hermit - reading, painting, unpacking, hiking the desert (until the cold blew in), totally weeding the garden below my deck (front and side yard for an hour a day for over a month) which was overgrown with sage, and working on my writing.  I haven't taken very many photos here - I don't find the desert to be a place of beauty - just brown, everything brown.  But, at 5,000 feet I find I can breath when I hike and this desert doesn't have any plants that hurt you, like the Sonoran desert.  I'm hoping to make this place my home base.  I'm tired of moving around looking for a home base.  Unless something changes I'm going to try and do it here.  At least I have lot of space that I can afford.




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