Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Makes a Home?

My little family are currently in search of a new home.  We finally sold our house and have been looking for our next.  As luck would have it, we've found a house we're considering, but of course, it's beyond our budget, so there is some thinking and soul-searching to do.  This house we are looking at is a simple little cottage in a lovely area.  It's not perfect, it's older, but when I walked in I immediately felt like I had come home.

I never know what it is that draws us to a home and I'm not allowing myself to become emotionally attached at this point, there is still quite the process to go through.  But it's an older home, probably about 50-60 years old and the thing that amazed me is that it has had only one owner.  That's right, the couple who currently own it have lived in it since new.  It is beautifully well kept, bright, covered in cottage like wallpaper, and has that delicious feel of a home that has been loved.

As I wondered through it again last night it occurred me...this home has seen a family grow up.  The walls are covered with photos and memorabilia of  many lifetimes.  It has been witness to all the trials, tribulations, joys, triumphs, and love a family can possess.  The children of this home knew the security of having only one childhood home, they learnt to walk in that home, they pondered their first loves in that home, they cried out their heartbreaks under the security of that roof, and they exited that front door to set out in the world, knowing that their home would always be there to come back to.

The couple who are selling are old now.  Their children are all grown up with children of their own.  They're moving into an assisted living facility.  Although this couple are moving onto their next phase in life, it makes me sad to think they they are leaving behind the one home they ever truly knew as a family.  How will they feel?  Will they be sad? Will they miss it? Will they take their memories with them? I wonder if it was the obvious beauty and happiness of the family that lived there that captured my heart?

After I left, I wanted to go back, knock on their door and say, "Although we can't afford to pay what you are asking, we can assure you that your home will be loved by us. We will honor your memories, nurture your garden, and give this house a new family to shelter. We will fill our children's hearts with the same security you gave yours. We will fill this home with same authentic, simple, love filled memories that you first placed here."

Sadly, I can't tell them these things, I don't know who they are, and I'm not supposed to approach them directly.  So I guess we'll see.  In the meantime, it had me thinking about my own childhood home, and although we moved a couple of times, my mother still had that uncanny ability to make every stop a blaze of memories, laughter, music, and gardens.  In her golden years she's moved to a beautiful little sea-side town and has made a wonderful home there. 

On our recent trip to Australia, I was astounded at how quickly her garden has grown since our last visit, but I was more astounded at how quickly my children planted memories in her house, making it a home for us all. While I was there I took a lot of photos of her garden and have been splashing away in my sketchbook since my return home.  This page is some foliage from her garden.  It is done in flat watercolor with highlights in Silks Acrylic Glaze.  The subtlety of these beautiful glazes is perfect for simple highlights and flourishes over mixed media. 

Just to remind you, I am running an upcoming class through Luminarte called A Taste of Silks which starts in a few weeks.  In this 2-week mini class I teach you all about these beautiful new acrylic paints and show you lots amazing way you can use them.  From fabric to wood, to art-journals and mixed media, their vibrancy and versatility is astounding.  If you'd like to know more about this class, please click here.

Wish us luck with the house, and thanks for checking in. xx