Retail Therapy

In which I run around like a headless chicken all day feeling stressed and overwhelmed and finally end up in Saks Fifth Avenue, while my car’s at Firestone getting its state inspection, and buy a blue dress. Anyway, as hard as this day was, let’s take stock of the good: Aside from the blue dress, which is lovely, I also did two new paintings (which puts me at 39 out of 40 completed!), mailed two of the watercolor commissions (properly wrapped, of course), bought D-rings and wire for my 40 paintings, got the state inspection done on my vehicle, found a nice little Thai place with great lunch specials, and overall just hung in there, doubts, exhaustion, sadness and all. I’ve two more days to go until hanging the 40 paintings. There are a few large canvases to stretch too, but that might or might not happen. I wish it was the kind of thing I could do by myself, but it’s not. And asking for help doesn’t always work, and a guy who does it professionally gave me an outrageous quote, and… Well, I’m sick of even thinking about it, frankly. Maybe some day I’ll have someone I trust to do this for me for either love or money. Or maybe I’ll just stick to painting on pre-stretched canvases and ready-made panels. Maybe it’s not important at all. Maybe the real test in all this is learning how to be ok with how very little help I have. Maybe it’s also about learning my limits. Maybe it’s about learning that I don’t have to do this at all – I don’t have to be a professional artist. Maybe it’s simply not a career for skinny women with virtually no support system (except for my unofficial party planner who is pretty much my support system in all this). Just a thought. A recurring one, lately. I also find myself again wanting to run away. After all, if part of what I’m learning is that I’m so very alone here, why stick around? Maybe I’d be happier in Malaga. Maybe I’d meet people I like. Maybe even someone to stretch the occasional canvas.


  1. Whoa! Step back and b-r-e-a-t-h-e, Elena. It’s all just pre-opening jitters! Is the blue dress for the opening? It looks delightful 😊
    And don’t go running off to Magala (not that I couldn’t follow your blog from there, heh heh).
    And you’re capable, just learn how to stretch canvas yourself.
    Now go eat a profiterole or two. You’ll feel better!

    1. Thank you! Blue dress is for an event happening before the opening called the Monarch Society. These are people who support the Escapist Program and they get to see the show and have a chance to talk about it with the artist before the opening. I’ve a dress from Barcelona for the opening itself.
      I’m a little better today. Don’t know about stretching the canvases myself. I’m really not handy. And it involves sawing wood. Maybe I can get Home Depot to cut the wood into the sizes I need? I’ll call and ask.

  2. You should be able to buy wooden canvas stretchers already cut at art supply stores. They come in different lengths and dovetail together. No need to cut wood. So if your doing a painting 30″ x 40″, you buy two 30s and two 40s – and presto, you stretch your canvas on it.

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