baa baa black sheep



8:34 a.m.

By yesterday afternoon I had my studio pretty much the way I wanted it, and even started working on some new watercolors. It was a big job, setting it all up. I got rid of a bunch of stuff, went through things from six years ago. While working on it I felt motivated and happy and ambitious and terrified and crappy and had a few all out sitting-on-the-floor-and-hyperventilating-crazily panic attacks. Moving is hard, and having an amazing opportunity to just. be. an. artist. is overwhelming and crazy scary and exciting and hard. Getting my space set up and starting work yesterday was important and felt really really good. Scary, but good.

So it was hilarious last night when I went in drowsily to feed the cats at 9:30 (I'm cool and was totally going to go to bed at 9:32) and realized my studio was flooding and a stack of canvas worth between 200-400 bucks was sitting in a giant puddle. Also a finished painting. And my big studio rug was ruined.


It's been raining here for ages, as it has everywhere else. I like rain, and I had enjoyed a smug and cozy evening wrapped up in a quilt, drinking a beer and watching tv interspersed with tornado warnings and flash flood warnings, feeling all warm and safe and confident that none of that could touch me. I'm such a fool!

A miserable fool!

As I was sopping up the mess in my studio for the next two hours, in my pajamas and the only waterproof shoes I could find, my huge red astronaut-looking snow boots, (before I gave up, shoved several towels against the place where the seepage was occurring and crawled into bed) I cursed all the times in Wyoming I had craved rain, or just one thunderstorm. I mentally shook my fist at the times it would rain a little bit and I would think, "I wish we'd get a WEEK of this!" I also felt grateful that this was all we had, and felt super awful for all the people who have serious flooding to contend with. I filled two and a half buckets just from wringing out my small cheap kitchen mop, but didn't feel defeated. We were lucky that's all it was. Plus the canvas was okay, I got to it in time, and the painting just had a tiny bit of damage.

I felt sort of upbeat.

This morning while it was still dark I went downstairs to inspect a crash that woke us, and discovered the bitchy cat had knocked over her (pricey) (adorable) (purchased in Wyoming at my favorite local shop) cat dish and broken it, and all the towel wadding had mostly worked, but I now have several drenched towels and a soaked area rug and the mess I created when I moved everything to higher ground and just general soppiness and grossness and wet disorder. Everything feels drippy and dreary and it will rain more today and I feel a bit disheartened. Not so upbeat. Sort of just annoyed and sigh-y.

But it's okay. I'm gonna put on my snow boots again and take all the fans down there and some more towels and roll up the big wet rug and somehow get it up the stairs and into the garage, and I'm going to mop and mop and mop and it'll dry out and maybe by this afternoon I can be working again. Also, maybe the spiders got freaked out by the water and left. Maybe Coltrane the Bitchy Cat of the Stupid Century will float away on a little kitty raft and I will laugh.

That's not true.

But we also discovered yesterday she hasn't been letting the other cat eat, which is why even though we've been feeding them more he's gotten skinnier/anxious and she's gotten incredibly fat.


I love the cats,
black sheeped


Blogger Pixel Pi said...

Last March (6 months after moving into our New House) our sump pump broke and our entire basement flooded. So I sympathize. Truly. The more we mopped and emptied, the more came in. It's a long soppy story, so my heart goes out to you. Two words: Sump Pump or Shop Vac. My sister from CA who listened to my tales of flooding for at least an hour finally spoke up and said, "Pix, what's a sump pump?" It was my only laugh of the day. Welcome to the Heartland.

9:32 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger Black Sheeped said...

We have both! It's a new sump pump. Just not in the right spot for this particular flooding.

9:38 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger Mommy Daisy said...

Bad situation - funny post! We're lucky not to have flooding here. No more than 20-30 minutes from our house there are 2 towns completely under water. Yikes! We've very thankful. I hope you can get everything cleaned up and get the water stopped.

10:07 AM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous Swistle said...

Oh, NO! Did you cry and cry, and shake your fist and scream up at the heavens? I would have. That is terrible, really terrible. All that canvas! And your carpet! And right after you got everything set up!

I love your funny last line addressed to the cat.

10:31 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger Black Sheeped said...

I teared up a little bit this morning, but I didn't scream or cry. I was more "grim."

And the canvases are okay, I meant to say, fortunately I got to them in time. It was more of a heart attack moment than anything else. There's a bit of water damage on a finished painting, but it's fixable.

11:03 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger Shannon said...

UGH!!!! I would have been upset, too. I'm sorry.

If you need to replace the canvas, let me know. My DH works for an art supply company and I'm sure I could sneak you some out at his cost. After shipping though, I'm not sure you would be saving much.

11:19 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger Artemisia said...

NO! NO! I have been hoping like mad you guys were somehow miraculously exempt from the rain and flooding. But I was afraid if I said anything I'd jinx you right into some flooding. Dammit!

I am really glad the paintings and canvases can be saved. Jesus that can be a lot of money.

And I am even more glad THAT YOU ARE PAINTING. Jesus, I understand how scary that can be. It's been ages since I've painted (long, boring story) but I really want to again. BUT I AM TERRIFIED. What if I can't remember how to mix color? I used to be a freakin' genius at that, and what if it is gone now? Oh, God, how I'll cry...

So - KEEP PAINTING. Now matter what.

Ok - I am a Wyomingite. What is a sump pump?

11:21 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger desperate housewife said...

Oh, I laughed about the cat comments! Pets are really so much like children. I often feel SO irritated at our dog I could strangle him, but then when he does something sweet like cuddle with me because he can sense I feel sad, well... Then I think people who don't have pets are CRAZY.

1:50 PM, August 25, 2007  
Blogger Siobhan said...

Lovebug, I have not talked to you in forever, and that is deeply upsetting.

As deep as the flood.

I am going back to school tomorrow to (hopefully) make lots of art and you are starting to get things together for artmaking and both of these things are good for us being artfriends.


I am sending you drying thoughts.

1:29 PM, August 26, 2007  

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