Art and Joy

It’s been an exhausting year for many of us. Steve and I discovered that renovating a house was like having a part-time job that interferes with the other work we needed to do. But we are seeing daylight now and it’s no longer through holes in the roof. We feel blessed.

Some of the most expensive parts of the renovation are invisible to most people. We replaced the roof and the HVAC units. (The HVAC work is still ongoing since it’s not quite complete.) We re-routed ducts and had to have electrical work done.

The visible work is stunning! We cut off a portion of the back of the house and added new walls and doors to create an office and a meditation room. Then we added a laundry room by taking part of the garage and re-routing the plumbing and electrical. We created two areas from one large one by installing a moon gate. Seeing it each morning gives me a shiver of joy along my spine.

Our designer hung up our art, but we still have lots of room for more art. Fortuitiously some of the most beautiful art arrived yesterday from Echo Chernik, one of our favorite artists. She is engaged in a project illustrating Richard Adams’ novel, Maia and I’m a patron through her Patreon account.

I am thrilled to announce that I have the great honor and task to illustrate my favorite fantasy novel of all time. I am known for both my renderings of beautiful women and my high art nouveau style. This project will be the epitome of the blending of both, containing strong, beautiful women in an art nouveau and erotic style; decorative elements and all of the fine details that I am known for; as well as the symbolism and foreshadowing that I’m so very fond of.

Echo Chernik

We are so excited to have such lush art in our hands. We spent quite a bit of time discussing whether we should sprinkle the art through the house or research a wall for Echo’s art. Because I’m a patron, I’ll be getting more art,. Whatever we do needs to be expandable. We have several ideas.

Right now our bedroom has only three sedate pieces of art drawn by Amanda Makepeace. They illustrate the progress of love showing only the hands of the lovers. We love these sketches. They are so evocative and so quiet. We don’t want the lush art nouveau style to take focus off those lovely pieces. Alternatively we can set up our Eva Chernik wall of art near Steve’s office. Or in the hallway near mine. So many delicious choices!

Writing News

We are working on several fiction pieces and a couple of game supplements, one of which is for Call of Cthulhu’s new Regency Cthulhu game. I’m doing the art and some of the writing. Here’s one of my favorites that will illustrate a non-player character in the game, a Jewish seamstress who escaped to London during the late days of the Terror.

Art by Carolyn Ivy Stein showing a non-player character in an upcoming game. It is a black and white sketch showing a seamstress sewing a flowered cloth. There is a mannikin next to her.

Art by Carolyn Ivy Stein

Personal Update

Steve and I have started our yearly planning sessions. We see next year as a good opportunity to focus in on health. We won’t be traveling nearly as much and we expect to have a break from renovations for a while. Right now we are considering what to remove from our list so that we can focus more intently on the rest. Joanna Penn recently reminded me that successful people are good at quitting the things that need to be quit and focusing on those things that matter more. So we are examining our lives.

I’m writing more here. One of my friends reminded me that I loved writing this blog when I was doing it frequently and it helped everything else in my life. So expect to see more posts by me for a while.

I hope you are all finding good things in your lives and that the bad things are bearable. May your life be filled with art and joy.

Be well friends!

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