So, as it turns out, stripes take flippin forever! But, I am happy with how she turned out yet still excited to keep learning and practicing : ) Here’s my story behind this lady.
I call her The Housewife simply because I wanted to do a portrait of my experience of being just that. So, a little background.. I had a job as an Interior Designer that I quit with the full intention of seeking a new job. The day after I said goodbye to Chelsea Court and plunged into the lovely world of unemployment, Greg dropped to one knee and proposed. This meant that once we got married, we would be moving up to San Francisco which was still an hour (no traffic) away from where I was living at the time. This also made me wonder if I should look for work in San Jose or San Francisco and either commute for six months or quit after six months to look for new work. Plus, since Greg was traveling so much for his work, I seemed to be the only one in the available position to even think about planning a wedding in that amount of time. All that to say, we decided that since I had enough saved up to live without any income till we got married (then I was all his..muhahaha), he would rather me focus on my art cause ultimately that’s what I’ve always wanted to do anyways. He’s the best. SO on came five and a half months of intense wedding planning, then honeymoonin, getting our new and very grownup (if-I-do-say-so-myself) apartment set up and trying to figure out how to keep everything clean and orderly, cook nutritious and delicious meals, keep up with the laundry, grocery shop, continue to entertain on a weekly basis and still find time to lug out the paints and start to get inspired. When I was single (and much to my mothers horror), I would basically cook one thing and eat leftovers for two weeks. This not only saved money : D but lots of time too! Granted, it was disgusting. I could leave my room in a state of disrepair for weeks and weeks and ignore it until I found out someone was coming over and go into hyper cleaning mode. Although Greg says he would be fine with a gross house and eating leftovers for days, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to have that not be the case. However, ironically, while I was trying to get this painting done in time, our house got pretty grungy and we’ve been eating tortellini soup for days and days. I’ve noticed him trying to stifle his face of disgust when I come into the room as he tries to find a spot on the counter to place another dirty dish. Anyways, it’s very hard to work at home when you don’t have an office to shut yourself away in and you are forced to work in filth. Hence, why I found myself painting very little and focusing primarily on being a housewife. We both were very content and loved what we did. Greg loved to provide, I loved to keep a home, so it worked out nicely. The only problem is, that wonderful eye of the observant spectator. As much as you shouldn’t let other peoples opinions of you get to you too much, having every. single. person. you meet ask when you are planning on getting a real job, or give you that look of pity or disdain when they found out you don’t have a career to attach to your worth, well, it starts to get to you after a while. This is, by the way, the wrong time to suggest having kids so people stop looking down on you so.. Greg didn’t fall for that : ) Thus we began many many months of me struggling with the whole worth in life thing and if this was really enough etc, etc. I finally came to the conclusion that I was perfectly happy being “Greg’s wife” and proudly stated it to the next person that asked me what I do for a living. That person happened to be an elderly lady who looked at me rather shocked when I happily answered, “I’m his wife!” Then smiled and said, “Honey, if you do it right, that is a full time job!” Finally! The first person that didn’t look down on me but treated me with grace and respect. My insides were sufficiently warmed by such an answer ; )
Well, as you know, just as we were getting into our groove up in Sausalito, we (ahem I <– seriously, Greg’s got it good too) packed up our stuff and headed to Pasadena. This house, has let me have the wonderful experience of not caring so much if it gets a little gross and, as you know, I have a space to lock myself away and paint! So, that catches you up on how I became a housewife… and now onto the painting.
Greg had left for work one day and I was trying to muster up the courage to attack the endless dishes once again. I actually do love cleaning, but come on, it gets a bit mundane every now and then. So, I found myself as I often do, dreaming of making something of my life – getting that career that is so valuable to the world. I wouldn’t have to feel so vulnerable every time the subject of work comes up. I could be presentable to onlookers – brushed and dressed and ready to go and not in the “cleaning clothes” or half dressed state I often find myself in cause darnit if every nice shirt I have doesn’t have a hole in the front from rubbing against the counter! So that’s my lady – dreaming of that seemingly lovely world, but vulnerably giving her life to something that isn’t regarded highly by the society in which she is living. She remembers the dreams of past but willingly puts them aside to establish a peaceful home.
PLEASE NOTE: I do not in any way think that women who have full time jobs are not capable of peaceful homes! This is simply my personal experience that I wanted to try to portray : )
That’s all for now!
Oh that is so gorgeous. I am soooo proud of you Hilly! I love your new signature, and where you placed it! Don’ t forget to enter it by Monday! I will be PRAYING they choose it! Two things: I never looked down on you for being a housewife! I have been so proud of you for being a leader in this upsidedown world! I wish more wives delighted in “doing it well”, and caring for their stressed out husbands, and were more available to them. But alas, it seems like everyone is short on time for others. I think you did it RIGHT! AND, just for the record, I too eat the same thing for a week if Dad is not around- I was not horrified! Hehe. As always, getting your blog is the absolute bright spot of my week. :) I love you! mom
Ooops! I meant outside of my fambly : ) thank you mommy! I luff you!
Hillary, you must know that you are my “idol” wife – the one I hold to as the standard of trying to do the right things in the right order! I tell ALL the young women I meet about your “new” ideas (but really very old & biblically sound ) – what ALL new wives did for many generations past – on how to have a great start as a married wife. I’m so proud of you for having the courage to be upfront about the whole thing as well! Please, CONTINUE for as long as you can!
Love the painting!
Aw Cindy, you are too kind! Thanks for the encouragement : )