After three years of living in the 1950’s I needed a break. I felt the need to creep my way back into the modern world. I did not know how to do that.
It began with leaving the house and taking a cafe job three days a week. I needed to talk to random strangers, have a focused easy task each of those days (I still say working out of the home is easier than being a Homemaker, though not as much fun). During that time I met some wonderful new people. This lead me back to Art.
Art has always played a role in my life. Rather I was drawing or painting, it was happening. My years as a 1950’s Homemaker also drew upon those artists skills. The kitchen was my studio and my home and dinner table my canvas. The constant need to make things stand out, be lovely, or simply more wonderful and special was very much the life of an Artist. I still stand by my ideal that Homemakers of yore were artists in their own right. And some day, maybe when I am in my dotage, I shall pen that Art History Tome on the “Homemaker’s Art Milieu”.
During this voyage back to the Present I tried to manage my blog. I toyed with hopping about time periods and just found I really needed a clean break. I am, at heart, a introvert. I am also, I find, quite happy to be a hermit. I can spend days without needing to speak to anyone and just occupy and amuse myself. This made it far too easy for me to simply walk away from the computer and never even think of my blog. It was true I thought of my readers often, but it was as if they were truly people who had dwelt in the past with me and I could not take them with me back to the present.
To return to my role as Artist. In the Summer of 2012 I was asked to be one of two resident artists in our main town’s Art Building. I occupied a wonderful little barn with an artist friend and returned to working on my art. I set up a small studio with printmaking and silkscreen my main medium. With no surprise, my work focused on women and history. I ended the Summer with a show, sold rather well, made some friends and then, again, hid away.
This past Summer I spent completely alone. We rent our home on the Cape out to Summer guests and I had finished my barn building enough to move into it whilst renting out the main house. It was not quite habitable for Hubby and he was able to stay with a friend of ours. I was originally meant to stay with him, but my two little dogs would not get along with their large dog which had just attacked a neighbors small dog. Long story short, Hubby stayed in town close to work and I camped out in my barn whilst managing our rental property. It was a good experience. As previously stated, I am an introvert and a hermit. I spent my days playing with art ideas, sketching, playing in my little growing garden, and returning to a lost love of mine: Walking.
Though it was hard to be apart from Hubby, we were both so busy that we made ‘date nights’ to see one another and actually had more fun together time this Summer because of it. When we weren’t together he was busy working and I was busy playing at art and quietly enjoying my seaside walks and my growing passion for wild flora and fauna.
After Summer and the return of Hubby and I to our little house on the Cape, a series of off events with family members left us in possession of a seaside retreat. My hubby’s grandfather’s home where we had once lived on the property in the boat house, was now to be at our disposal. I had also accepted the opportunity to be the featured artist in our town hall for the month of December and had to create an entire body of work. So,driving daily to the new place I set up a studio of sorts and in between hiring dump men, carpet cleaners, and chimney sweeps, I made art. I found my new path I wish my work to move in and managed, though Christmas was looming, to get our house set up enough to get Hubby and I in two days before the New Year.
It is from this locale and this place in my life that I am returning to my blog. I am a solitary artist with the luck of an empty house on Buzzards Bay to take a look at the new direction of my life. That life will include writing for my blog. The blog, however, will not only time travel. However, my love of the past and history will always play a role in my day to day and so will therefore play a significant role in my writings and artwork.
As an example of the past and present having a happy marriage, hubby and I spent last night ringing in the new year at our new/old seaside shack scanning old family negatives from the early 1900’s. These will feature in my artwork but also remind us of those who have gone before us here. I hope my random passions and musings on my life now by the sea, doing art, increased love of garden with smatterings of historical domestic time travel trips will amuse enough of you to stick around. If not, I believe this return to blogging is more a way for me, the self-proclaimed hermit, to reach out to the world in my own way.
The added humour to our current home is that it was built in 1950 in a very modern style. There are wood paneled walls, flat roofs and a bathroom resplendent in robin’s egg blue laminate walls and matching lav, bowl, and tub. There is even a makeup station with built in mirrored and chrome niches for “mi’ladies” cosmetics and perfume. It seems Mid Century will always play a role in my life in some way.
I shall end this post with some photo snippets of my new surroundings. I will surely share more in the future. I also want to connect up my various bits and bobs. My very new website is www.donnadavisart.com . facebook page link is Donna Davis Art and my Facebook Fanpage is Donna Davis Art. I have not done twitter in some time, but I shall do. One has so much to keep up with today but one must be of one’s time I suppose.
One of my latest pieces. I work on board. I build up layers of painting, screenprinting, assemblage, and poured acrylic for a dreamy view of the past.
Here is the view from our back windows of the new place.
Here is the view from my Studio Window. I plan to trim up the tree and clear some of the area, install bird feeders and plant a robust perennial and annual garden here.
The very 1950’s teak Eames wall unit in the living room with a view of the beach stone fireplace. The stones were collected from the beach out front to make this when it was designed and built in 1950. We are still in transition so the shelves are a disarray of old books and things to be put away. The clock was this year’s birthday gift from hubby. A 1930’s clock with the Westminster Chimes he repaired himself. It sounds lovely in the house.
Well, that is enough for me today on this fresh new January day of a new year. I look forward to returning to the blogosphere and I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.
I lived as a 1950s housewife for three years. Click below to see that project.
Donna Davis is a painter and printmaker living by the sea. Her work deals with women, history, the seashore, and moments in time. Follow along to see the process behind the product.