Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Have I Mentioned the Garage?
I've just recently become acquainted with the paintings of Mississippi folk artist Theora Hamblett, and now I'm smitten.

The garage is the attic's cousin. Its temperament is sweeter than the attic's, its condition less grave. Also, you're less likely to collapse from heat exhaustion if you spend a summer's morning trying to impose some semblance of order upon a garage. The attic is no-man's-land after 9 a.m.

Still, the garage needs some work. A few years ago it was in relatively good shape. We even had room for a ping pong table so that I could school my children in the sport of kings. But then we sold our little house in the mountains and carried its contents back to Durham, where they have sat scowling in a corner ever since. In my experience, stuff attracts stuff, and junk attracts junk, and over the last two years the garage has become a sorry site indeed.
This morning I spent a very sweaty hour in the garage moving things around in order to move things around. We're going to need to hire a dump truck to haul junk to the dump and another kind of truck to haul stuff to the Goodwill. I'll also be making use of Jack and the minivan.

I believe that once the attic hears about what's going on in the garage, it's going to want to get in on the action. 
Travis, my good pup, has taken to sleeping on the foot of my and the Man's bed. He is getting old (as are we all) and can't tolerate being on his own at night any more. This is all fine and dandy, except that he's started waking me up around 6 a.m. It's like having a one-year-old again. Little Jack in particular was fond of getting up at sunrise. Me, less so. I will say that in the summer it's very nice to be up while the air is still cool, and so I usually let Travis convince me to go downstairs by 6:30.
Theora Hamblett was born in 1895 in Paris, Mississippi. Her paintings often depict scenes from her childhood. I learned about her from reading a book called Local Color: A Sense of Place in Folk Art by the folklorist William Ferris, who teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill. I didn't know when I ordered it that the book would primarily be comprised of oral histories by Mississippi folk artists. I was so delighted by Theora Hamblett in every way; not just her paintings, but her story. She grew up on a farm, became a teacher, and eventually became a painter (she took a correspondence course).You can learn more about her and three other women artists (including a wonderful quilter named Percolia Warner) in a short documentary film found here:  Theora Hamblett starts talking around minute 16:20, but it's all good stuff.


Tracy said...

They really are very sweet pictures!

We neither have an attic, nor a garage. We have a dungeon. Under the house, across the width of the back where it's full height, it has been built in with a concrete floor and a wall separating that space from the rest of the under-the-house darkness. It's lovely and cool down there in summer! The girls think we should build it in properly and make it into a granny flat for them. Except I want encourage them to move out rather than stay forever. Twenty and 21 year old's need to get their heads into being independent, I think. In any case, our dungeon is full of who-know-what from who-knows-how-long-ago. But since I never have to go down there I never have to deal with it :)

Everyday Life On A Shoestring said...

We have a garage but it's not my domain, so the clutter there is not so bothersome. Plus it's out of sight - you can lock the door on it. I run in and out to fetch my bike and don't look too closely. LOVE the pictures.

Gumbo Lily said...

It is so freeing to clean the garage and do away with so much stuff that you didn't even know you had. Good for you! I like the Hamblett art. You are an artist yourself, aren't you?