The (Milk Carton) Studio Sessions – Change is in the air

Published: October 4, 2017

By Rhonda Beckman

I always have a combination of emotions around this time of year because it is a time of transition. With the leaves changing to brilliant reds, ochre, and rust, the weather warns us to winterize at the farm and get everything ready for blustery cold misery. As you saw a couple of articles ago, we have one big honkin’ wood pile ready so that we can have a toasty fire whenever we get a chance to slip away for a weekend outing. But there are vehicles to winterize and buildings to close up and it just makes me sad to say goodbye to the lush greenery of the farm until we can work our buns off again next year.

Then, as you read last week, my son’s birthday falls on the autumn equinox. I always take pause to reflect on the changes that have happened with Alexander at the start of this season and this year it’s a big change as he now has the ability to grab my car keys and go off on adventures of his own. Gulp. That’s a pretty big transition this season!

Then there’s the harvest. This good Ukrainian has been keeping a close eye on the vegetables. The beets are getting juicy and sweet right now as the weather turns colder and the carrots aren’t far behind. We spend our evenings checking the forecast hourly, ready to sprint out to the garden in the effort to keep the tomatoes on the vine for as long as possible before having to ripen them on the kitchen table like we end up doing every single year. The change in season brings a lot of kitchen work as we blanch and chop, and grate and wait for things to pickle. Pickles always seem to take so long to pickle and it’s not until we move into the winter season that we get to reap the rewards of our efforts.

But with this cool weather also comes a change in my job. I go from being artist market summer Rhonda to art teacher winter Rhonda. It means the students that come over for private lessons are back in the Milk Carton Studio and we’re already drumming up some fantastic ideas for visual art resumes, Nerf gun pointillism paintings, watercolour landscapes, and who knows what else that will come out of their brilliant, magical minds. And then there’s the children’s workshops too that always leave me howling in delight when children figure out how to connect their hands with the ideas in their minds, and extract knowledge on pieces of paper and sculptures in ways that can only be described as self-expression.

With the season comes painting parties and other adult workshops, Christmas markets and private commission pieces and the next thing I know, it’s December and my favourite season has whirled away like the leaves that fall off the trees with it. Such is life, and such is the way of a sole proprietor of a multi-faceted art business. Now that I have been running this business for a couple of years, it’s starting to become more routine with specific expectations for different times of year. Just like the inevitability of the change of the seasons, my profession is starting to naturally cycle through different periods, yet still open for surprise and change, just like a hail storm in August or a hot sunny day in March.



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