Rear Window

My husband and I moved to our current home after a couple of years living in a patio home in a resort community. It was our vacation property. On the first day, I remember sitting on my back patio facing the beautifully landscaped golf course thinking this is iperfect . That view was what many people who retire seek. It was a wonderful “vacation” property, but it was not the right fit for an artist. 

 At the front of my house the street was a social thoroughfare. Retired couples walked the neighborhood with their dogs. People waved to each other. In the evening there were chatty people on patios with friends. It reminded me of living in a college apartment.

The atmosphere was reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock classic film “Rear Window”

In “Rear Window” the central character is a photographer sitting at home held captive by a severely broken leg in a full cast. He spends his day gazing out the window which looks over a central courtyard of four crowded apartment buildings . With nothing to do, he spends his days being a “harmless” voyeur.

He uses nicknames for the neighbors since he has made no social connection with them prior to his accident. “Miss Torso” “Miss Lonelyhearts” “The salesman” live their lives with the windows open during the hot weather. It’s like tuning into different TV channels.

Like the main character, my husband nicknamed some of our neighbors. He referred to the couple directly across the street as “busy” and “the bod”. Busy referred to the wife who never failed to know everyone’s business and to share that information freely. Her husband was the “bod” – short for body. He was a tall man with a large belly. His claim to fame was being the captain of his high school football team which went undefeated 3 years in a row. This seemed to be his last accomplishment.

I nicknamed that property “the fishbowl”. There was no place outside the house where I could just sit and be alone with my thoughts. Even reading on the patio risked a well intentioned call from a neighbor or comment from a golfer.

 To be consistently creative, I need a space to create and a space to dream up what to create next. For me that space is outside my well planted walled garden. I sit on my patio and have breakfast. There is a cart with my sketchbook supplies at hand. I draw on my ipad, scroll through inspiring images on Instagram, and research new techniques on YouTube. Every evening I curl up on the loveseat in the screened portion of the patio to look at the fountain, solar lights, listen for the wind chime, and enjoy beautiful the planting. It’s my dream time.

My creative process takes equal parts action and reflection. For me, reflection is a daily activity. Every creative soul should have their own place to dream. 

What’s yours?

Until the next time…..