Misconceptions About Working Out of Your Home

I was outside gardening this morning — getting rid of weeds that have been choking out a Rose of Sharon bush for longer than I can remember, when my neighbor, Mrs. “L” asked me once again: “So, you have another day off?”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my neighbor. She is wonderful 80-something woman who has never spoken a cross word to me since I’ve live here, but it irritated me. I wouldn’t exactly call today a “day off”.

For the most part I’m self employed and work out of my house. And while yes, my truck is often in the drive way and I’m “home”, I’m generally working my ass off.



It’s interesting how people choose to not understand a lifestyle they are unfamiliar with. Mrs. “L” isn’t the only neighbor who has commented on my “days off”. I laugh as I realize these are are same neighbors who see me, year after year, hauling art supplies into my house and then hauling them out again as finished products. They watch me overload my truck before an art show. They wander through my “cast offs” at our yearly yard sale and say “You didn’t really MAKE this, did you?” But for some reason they choose to see me as a lady of leisure.


When it comes right down to it, it usually doesn’t bother me.  I live in a neighborhood of plumbers, factory workers and lawn guys. I have no concept of what their day to day work lives entail either — but for some reason it got under my skin today. Maybe it was because I was wilting under the “too hot for May” sun, or the fact that my lawn mower kept trying to stall out as I cut the grass, or  that I’m pretty much going to work non-stop until my first big outdoor art show in two weeks.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad to say I’m over it. It’s officially blogged away. The next time someone asks me if I have yet another day off I’m going to smile and say “Yes, another very, very productive vacation day” 🙂

You can find my originals and prints in my Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop



There is NEVER enough space!


Is it time to rent studio space? 

I’ve never been accused of being the most organized or tidy person, but as my work grows in size I find my actual living space to be on the verge of extinction. There are paint brushes in my bathroom sink, half finished canvases stacked in my living room, and don’t even get me started on my computer/polymer clay/shipping room.

So when should I say enough is enough? Is rented studio space in my near future?

This isn’t the first time I’ve considered it. In fact, I’ve sat down on several occasions and written out the pros and cons of having a space dedicated to art production. The PRO list is quite long. It includes the implied structure having a separate “work place” would give to my work schedule, being able to turn my house into a home rather than a work space, and oh so much less cat hair imbedded in my work.

Number one on the CON List is cost. Do I really need to add monthly rent to my list of expenses? Would I move only my paints and clay offsite but keep my computer work and shipping at home? Would I forever being traveling back and forth between home and studio to pick up forgotten items?

It’s all food for thought but, as summer art season grows closer, it will be put on the back burner once more. So — if you fall in love with a piece of my work at a show this summer season please excuse the stray cat hair or two. It comes from my models and only serves to increase the value of the work 🙂

You can see a selection of my work at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio

Accepting Limitations and Learning to Say No

Is February 13th too late to make a New year’s resolution? I don’t care if it is! I resolve to accept my limitations and say NO to requests for work that  I’m just not good at!

If you know anything about my work you know I make a LOT of animals. Animal paintings, animal ornaments, standing 3D animals, animal magnets ….. For the most part, I’m pretty good at it. I have a recognizable style: bright, fun and most importantly, not too connected to reality.  There’s a reason for that. A while back I faced my limitations as an artist and accepted that my abilities stopped short of producing realistic work. In fact, my realistic work stunk! I’m OK with that. Accepting my limitations gave me the permission to explore and expand upon what I COULD do  — and I can do a LOT!

So where am I headed with this self exploration psycho babble? 

Foolishly,  I accepted a commission for a pet portrait from the purchaser of the one and only “realistic” painting I’ve ever sold. Why? Because I’m an idiot! I’ll add in “…..it’s a slow time of year ….and she’s a nice person….. and my painting has improved….” but mostly, I’m an idiot! So here I sit, writing this blog entry instead of finishing the painting. But on the count of three I’m going to get up and do what I can to make it something I’m willing to sign my name to. 



Two and half……

Hmm…. I suppose I could play a few rounds of online Scrabble first………..

You can find prints of my work in my Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop

Thankfully, the music remains…

I was sipping a glass of wine at a good friend’s house last night when a text came through that Whitney Houston had died. Neither of us had been big fans, nor could we immediately recall the titles of any of her hit songs, but a sadness set in nonetheless. That sadness returned again this morning after reading a front page article in The Buffalo News about her death. The article briefly stated the limited known facts surrounding her death, went on to the highlights of her career, and then delved into the darker side of her known drug abuse, her troubled marriage and the decline of her career. How difficult it must be to live such a public life! To have a spot light shine on your darkest days. 

The music world has lost more than one imperfect Diva in the recent past: Amy Winehouse in July 2011, Etta James this January — and now Whitney Houston.  Regardless of the inner demons these women wrestled with thankfully one thing will remain: music ……..beautiful, beautiful music.

I was listening to Etta James’ CDs when I painted this last month. You can find prints of this image along with others in my Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop