Blog Archive

Monday, May 15, 2017

FREEDOM GALLERY: Moving up in the world!

New steps went in two weeks ago, and now it is possible, quite literally, to move up in the World! Up to the second floor of the barn... starting at the top and working down, with a plan, rehabbing/repurposing continues (And provides a metaphor for living!) 

Storage: Half of the second floor.

Of course I'm using part of the second floor for storage...old frames (cheaper to get them at flea markets and garage sales than at a frame shop), canvas panels, wrapping materials for the gallery, etc.
 And this is New Hampshire...winter sports equipment has to go somewhere from March to December. And that large piece of fitness equipment that fits nowhere else conveniently. 

This Great White Barn, however, has larger than storage purposes.

Art Gallery! Yoga classes! Art and "other" workshops! The Dream has its requirements.

Strapping across the beams to hold the plastic!
The barn space has to be heated in the winter. In NH, there are really three seasons that require warmth, and even summer nights can be cool. Wooden barn walls are not enough. In this case, insulation is crucial, from the top down.

First step, vertical posts and poles to extend the depth of the walls, supported space for the insulation, downstairs and upstairs. Then "strapping" across the ceiling beams to hold the plastic which will ultimately hold the attic insulation.

Getting ready for insulation
I'm thinking about this barn rehabbing/repurposing process. The steps are a simple metaphor for any change we might want to make in our lives! Times have changed and I can not, nor would I want to, rehab the barn to its former glory of housing animals or being a carriage house, but that doesn't mean it's time to let it fall into disarray. And how many of us have rehabbed a house, refurbished a room, a piece of furniture or our wardrobe?  What about rehabbing a career, even our and society have changed...Not all of what went before is appropriate now. 
Installing the plastic...

My own passion for yoga and fitness leads me to think of rehabbing our bodies. We all have bodies, but with time and age, our bodies change, but have we "let ourself go"? Or maybe not been attentive to possibilities in the beginning? How many people do I have tell me they can't take yoga because they have never been  flexible? It is possible to rehab/improve our bodies just as it is possible to rehab a barn. 
Our body is a structure that requires renewal, that responds to rejuvenation, just as a house, a garden, a barn does. And, like a house, a garden, a barn, the renewal/rejuvenation/rehabing, is not going to happen quickly, and won't happen without purposeful planning. But yes, muscles can be made stronger again, (including heart and lungs), body AND mind parts can be stretched and made more flexible. 

So take on the challenge. Make a plan, figure out and build in the steps necessary,  and move up in the world!  Remember, whatever you take on is a process, not a happening. Time is NOT your enemy unless you expect it done tomorrow! May as well start today! and enjoy the process even over the next few years if that's what it takes!

(also check my website, and artist blog 

Friday, May 5, 2017

FREEDOM GALLERY: Starting Up, Yet Again

Starting up, AGAIN? YES, AGAIN
Carpenters on the scene!

How many times do you get an idea, an aim, all energy to go with it, and then....
You lose your focus? You get discouraged? 
Think of your New Year resolutions...or how many times you decided to lose weight.
Maybe instead, you decided to exercise on a regular basis, and it lasted a while before getting lost in the morass of living.
What happened? Why did you lose momentum? That analysis is another subject, worth the effort but a distraction from real time problem. 
If the aim/project/ idea is in your heart, the real time solution is to start up, YET AGAIN!
Think of these starts, not as false starts, but as learning starts. 

Just so with MY GREAT WHITE BARN! All energy when I moved to 8 Elm, Freedom, two exhibits within a year, but the barn needed to be winterized and that took major capital I wouldn't get until I sold my other house (still not sold, but soon!)

Money was there to winterize a small section of the studio/workplace...DONE! but an obligation to keep my other studio operating took the fun from what I could do in that barn across my lawn. 

Discouragement! Expect it to happen on any project, but DON'T EVER GIVE UP! (Sign on my studio door.
Take a rest.
Review your plans.  Are you trying too much at once?
Break it into smaller bits and pieces! 
I love the book, Write It Down, Make It Happen, by Henriette Anne Klauser.
It works...write out some details. 
Then choose one piece to work on.
Big plans still have little pieces.
For me with my barn, call the contractor and discuss what piece he could do NOW!

Voila! Safe stairs meaning reasonable access to the second floor. (Sorry I didn't photo what had been there...9 inch risers, narrow and some split treads) In addition, the bones of a wall, the means to add appropriate insulation and the means to separate first from second floor for more efficient heating.
What more can I now do with the second floor easily accessible? 

Wheeeee! Feels good to do a bit and a piece, to see and feel progress! 
And, that makes my studio more inviting. I can walk past the progress being made, see my sign, and think of the next small steps. 

Try it, something small every day! 

(Check out my art blog, and my website,


The Connection Continues Ashton Ingram  Artist of the Month,  September, Freedom Elementary student, 3rd grade Stop by...