What to leave out – art, packing, and moving to France

“It is difficult to stop in time because one gets carried away. But I have that strength; it is the only strength I have.” Claude Monet

Monet was talking about when a painting is finished – many good pieces of art have been turned into a not-so-good piece of art because knowing when to stop is art just as much as the colors and lines.

Writers struggle as well, Mark Twain advised, “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out.”

I learned long ago about cooking salmon, or any fish and most meats, when you think it needs 30 seconds more, resist it – get it off the heat now or it will be over cooked.

If you are a follower of this blog you know that my guideline for travel packing is, “If you are taking it because you might need it, leave it home.” That applies to the clothes I take and the art supplies I carry. For an afternoon out I don’t need to take three sizes of sketchbooks and paper, there just isn’t that much time in the day. Thankfully all colors are derived from the three primaries so I don’t need to carry six different greens, I do carry two. I use one brush 80+% of the time, so there is no reason to take five along – they help for studio work but not travelsketching. Packing lighter makes travel so much easier, and unless you are heading for the remote parts of the world there are probably stores around if you find you just can’t live without something.

AND this certainly DOES apply to selling a house along with most of your possessions then moving to another country – we are doing a lot of sorting, selling, and disposing of stuff.

Yesterday I worked on cleaning out my “artists hovel,” a small 4×8 area under the stairs. I found three boxes filled with “I might want its” that I put there five and one-half years ago when we moved in here. For five and one-half years they have remained unopened, almost all of it went in the giveaway bag, some in the recycling or garbage. I did keep a stack of birthday cards people have sent me.

Thankfully most of our furniture has been claimed by friends and family, we do have a nice king size bedroom set that we bought when we moved in, with a one year old mattress, if you know anyone who could use it contact me, the price is free if they come and get it, it will be available the end of February.

French visa paperwork is coming along, so far it is not nearly as challenging as most people say it is. We have researched things like mobile phone service, banks, etc. so are doing quite well there. So for now it is getting the condo ready to go on the market at the end of January – sorting, selling, disposing.

Yet one does not live by le travail alone so I always find time to sketch, here are a few from the last week.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Walt Samples says:

    Slow but sure….Hang in there. Merry Christmas to all. Will the cat travel with you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Walt, yes, Neville will be moving to France too. I’m not looking forward to the plane ride with him!


  2. That’s so true … when we travel and start packing( and the words “just in case” comes up), we leave it at home! When we walked the Camino in Spain, we realised you need far less than what you think! Sorting out and giving away is a very satisfying feeling for me.
    Love your sketches!

    Liked by 2 people

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