Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Everything is right on schedule. All but the very last minute things are packed. I got packages shipped out yesterday. The cost was a bit of a shocker, but everything to go was chosen carefully so no regrets.
I placed a few last minute things on craigslist but if there are no takers my favorite thrift shop will be here tomorrow to pick up everything for donation.
Today I'll pick up things from my Drs. office and then have lunch with my old friend Wanda. After that I'm going go look at a restaurant in a town just south of me (a new franchise). I was contacted about possibly doing some artwork on canvas for someone who's considering opening two or three of them.......work I can do from NY and ship.
Most of the heavy cleaning (stove/oven, frig, tub etc) is done, today I'll spackle holes I made hanging all my pictures and canvases.......its only fair, the walls look as though they were used as a pin cushion.
Leaving for Atlanta on Saturday morning for a quick visit with my son/family and then on to Philly before landing in NY.
Here's a closer look at the home I'll be working and living in.....

Time To Regroup and Boxes, I Need Boxes

How things can change in just a couple of weeks. RV dream put on indefinite hold. On July 17th I placed an ad on BedandBeakfast.com . I had finally realized that I had taken my 'want' to be a successful artist as far as I could, and I'm defining successful here as having the ability to support myself with my work. I took it all the way to the point where I had pretty much nothing left, including the ability to pay for a roof over my head.
Oddly enough I don't feel defeated. I see now that I had to take it as far as I could, not as far as friends thought I should take it, as far as I had to take it.......and that makes moving on feel right.
So, back to the bed and breakfast ad......I needed work, and I needed a place to live. I started writing a resume.
From age 16 until I began painting 15 yrs ago all of my work experiences had been service related. And for those wondering..... my not having any formal art training/education (right or wrong) keeps me from feeling confident or qualified (right or wrong) to pursue any sort of position in the art world....and feeling confident is going to make all the difference in finding a job......concentrating on my prior work experiences is what I decided to focus on and finding a live-in position would take care of both of my needs, work and a place to live.
For BedandBreakfast.com rather than posting a formal resume I summarized my work experience and what I was looking for and posted the ad on 7/17. I received a response on 8/21.
The response however was not from a B&B, it was from a private homeowner with a 10,000 sq ft home on 70 acres in NY state. WOW!
I sent her my phone #, we spoke and did a skype interview and a day later I was offered the position of live-in housekeeper, cook, and property manager with accommodations and salary. I accepted the offer.

MY NEXT ADVENTURE.
This is one photo of the home sent to me by the owners......
This position could not be more tailor made. The owner and I got along right away on the phone and during the skype interview. And when she initially wrote me she mentioned my having time to do painting and that maybe some of her friends would even be interested in my artwork. I felt very good about her being supportive of my art.
And can you believe it, the homeowners are away for six months of the year which is where wearing the hat of 'property manager' and having time to paint kicks in. This is an amazing opportunity.

This next week will be my last days in Florida. My 'favorite thrift shop' will be picking up the last of my furniture on Thursday and I will start heading north making a stop or two along the way.
I still have lots to do to get ready and of course that includes packing......so I'd better get back to it.




OK........I forgot there is no such thing as perfect. I spoke to the owner of the RV I mentioned in the previous post and it turned out that the RV needed work that wasn't mentioned in the ad, and I wouldn't have been able to afford to fix.....so that one is off the list.
I re-listed my ad this morning and have gotten one response so far, but alas, this person is 3 and 1/2 hours away on the west coast of Florida and apparently unable to email pictures of his RV or willing to email further information about the RV (preferring (actually insisting)to speak on the phone). A conversation won't help me because I won't drive 3 and 1/2 hours if I can't see it in advance or even be told if its the size I'm looking for.......so that one's off the list as well.
I got an email about a potential job (yah!) and I'm waiting to hear if my bid was accepted.....fingers crossed.
I found a listing on Craigslist this morning that would be perfect! An RV very similar to Gladys but a couple of years older, Gladys was a '91 and this is an '89....still, it looks in good shape and only has 55,000 miles on it. Price?.....$3000. I've written inquiring about a possible trade using my car and/or also offering to sell the car to purchase the RV. I'm guessing at that price though he'll find a cash buyer before I'm able to sell the car........and I'd need a promise he'd hold it while I tried.....don't want to end up with no wheels at all. I've put an ad up to test the waters...see if I can even get $3000 for the car..........so far?.........no takers.

I forgot to take a finished photo of the bathroom wall below, but I'll probably be going back sometime in the next couple of weeks cause they have to remove a large mirror and old light fixture so I can paint behind them....I'll take a pic then (if I remember).
Today I decided with no new work in my future to go big, what the hell.....I listed the large 55"x 60" beach chair painting on ebay at $750. and the pelican painting 36"x 29" at $450. You all remember the pelican painting yes?
Tomorrow I will start on a dog portrait for a friend of mine.
I've been spending my day online looking at and dreaming about RV's. Most of you may remember that I had one a few years ago and though things didn't go the way I hoped, I really loved that RV......you all remember Gladys..........
When I had that one it was for the dream of being able to travel and paint my way across the country......well, that didn't work out very well......I was totally unprepared and had only lined up work as far as Georgia, plus I was relying solely on my experience as a mural painter to secure jobs along the way, and going through little tiny towns that were struggling to survive.....well, there weren't many people interested in fancy, schmancy murals I can tell you!
This time though the interest in a RV is for different reasons. I did learn while out on the road before that its pretty darn cheap to stay in some camp grounds on a monthly basis....way less than apartment rent plus utilities....and the people you meet are so real and grounded. Every month I worry about rent and bills and that's all I think about all the time and I've had enough.....I can't do this anymore, its literally making me sick.
This time I hope to be better prepared, there are lots of options out there. There are several sites that list jobs at campgrounds for RV owners, workamper is one of them....and there's caretakerjobs and BedandBreakfast , coolworks ........lots of stuff. And.......there are tons of websites for craft show/fair listings all around the country making it possible to plot a course and do some craft shows.
I've written to a guy who had an ad on craigslist looking to barter his small rv for other means of transportation, included in that was 'small car'.....I've asked him a few questions and am hoping for a response.
Yesterday and today I'm working off the advance I got to do this bathroom that paid my last (way too late) rent. I had to darken the picture so the design would show up, its actually very subtle. This is an apple (maybe more lime) green wall with just a paler shade of it used for this first layer of tropical foliage.
Over this will go more foliage (different types) in two shades of turquoise........the turquoise is used on the guest room walls that this bathroom is attached to. The client was inspired by a print seen on a wall covering.

Yesterday was a successful craigslist day. I had a podium/lectern that I used to use to hold my portfolio listed on craigslist along with a few other things and someone finally called about it.......a teacher who will use it in her classroom. While she was here she was admiring my large drop leaf dining table and I mentioned as she was about to leave that if she knew anyone.......it was also on craigslist...........she bought it too :-) Last night someone texted me about a chest of drawers I have listed and they're coming tomorrow to look at it. Since there's still is no new work in the future I'm squirreling this away to help cover the next rent coming up in just two weeks....ugh.
Tomorrow I'm going to start working on some new paintings :-)
My son thinks my work needs to be more edgy to sell. How's this?......lol
Now that I'm trying to segue into smaller works on canvas away from murals, I'm finding its a whole other world. It really is like starting over, there's lots to learn and I found a great article on wetcanvas.com that talks all about prints, working with shops, pricing, subject matter, online selling tips, matting, framing, cropping etc etc.....just tons of info.
I was up early today, headed out the door on my way to a job about an hour from here, got out to the car and ............nothing. I waited for my neighbor to wake and find my note I stuck to his door asking him to give my car a jump.........again! I left the car lights on this time....duh. In Florida its the law, you have to turn your lights on when its raining, yesterday it did. I love my car but the problem is she's 20 yrs old and doesn't have all the warning bells and whistles that newer cars have, so if you forget to turn something off........well........chances are you'll need a jump in the morning. I'll stay here today and finish up this chair painting and head up to the job tomorrow morning (I like an early start)...the clients are away so I'm not inconveniencing anyone.
Just about finished I think. Forgot to change the reflection on the glass and I think I'll put some disturbance in the sand...especially in front of the chair.