Art Imitates Life

It’s been a while, more than 6 months, since our last blog post – too long. We came back to Colorado in May; since then we have bought a house in Denver, bought a car, started a business (more on that later), and got a job. Rather the lengthy list.

Transitioning back to real life has been challenging. I’m not looking for sympathy here – hard to do given that we just took two years off to travel – but the transition wasn’t as easy as we expected. After 21 months of traveling, we had our routines down. To then suddenly have no routines, no jobs, no “real” house (we stayed at our ski house until we found a place in Denver), was confusing and somewhat disconcerting. Most of the transition is behind us now, and we’re close to being settled.

After we bought our house in Denver, we went on an art walk where we ran across Ansley Young of Spark It Studios. On of the paintings Ansley was showing was a multi-media, collage, naive, piece of a bicycle. Very bright and fun.

Ansley Young's BicycleAs we were walking from Ansley’s studios, we thought: “If Ansley can paint a bicycle collage piece, perhaps she can do a Casa collage piece”. Lo and behold she could, and she was interested. So, we commissioned a painting (how often can you say that sentence?). We gave Ansley misc mementos from our trip – receipts, book marks, brochures, maps, an old favorite shirt of mine – together with some pictures of the Casa and asked her to create something, let’s call it a scrap-book painting, for the wall next to our kitchen table.

Below are a few pictures which show Ansley’s process:

A decent sunset as a background to our grilled shrimp dinner

A decent sunset as a background to our grilled shrimp dinner

Ansley chose to start with this picture to provide the structure of the painting.

Canvas painted yellow

Canvas painted yellow

Mementos being laid out

Mementos being laid out

Starting to take shape

Starting to take shape

The shirt on the left hand side, and lower right hand corner, of the painting was along for the whole trip – time had come for it to go.

Almost finished

Almost finished

The master-piece...

The master-piece…


On, or at times in, the painting are scrap book items from the US, Mexico, and S America. While Vermeer may have produced a better painting, this one puts a smile on my face every day.


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