January 09, 2016  •  2 Comments


 De-cluttering life and  art with minimalism 


I am always tempted to start over on January first. This year I think it better to de-clutter some of my 76 years of accumulation. Not just of ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ but of art rules, bad solutions, cluttered work and irresponsible habits. 


When I paint I can simplify, leave space for the eye to rest, and use implied line, space, pattern - all these goals are part of the theme. The mind is happy when it gets to make its own boundaries - if any.


When I house-sat in Taos, New Mexico years ago, I met Agnes Martin, the famous minimalist painter. I sat before one of her paintings in her exhibit and watched its blue space be busy and calming inside me. There were no boundaries on how it could be interpreted. Its space and simplicity have stayed with me.


On-line I found an interesting accumulation of minimalism. One  site I recommend is . They have a podcast, books, and lots of information on de-cluttering. Not just getting rid of stuff, but by doing so making room for a better life-style. My two favorite hints were on what to do with old photos, and the minimalist game. I have no competition but am playing  the game by myself, for now. Maybe February will be a good time to start for a month long competition. The game is to get rid of, throw away, donate, or sell, one item on day one, two on day two, three on day three and so on. I am saving canning jars for the 15th day. The one who makes it the farthest is the winner. It might be hard about that 29th day. This isn’t the only suggestion. The Minimalists are a sweet spot on the internet. Check them out.


another site is I particularly liked the poem and the concepts of MA. All this makes me aware of my breath. very nice.


And art. Doing a minimalist piece is refreshing. It might just seep into a lot of my work. Want to play the minimalist game? The winner gets dinner out? Nothing? That’s how it works? Right?




Gerry Murano(non-registered)
Well, moving to a smaller and yet smaller place does help, but then there's that annoying habit of accumulating more stuff because it's there, or the hunt is so much fun, or it's free, or it's a two-for-one deal, so how can we pass that up? I like the minimalist game idea, so I'll start counting, as I am in the process of weeding out paper ephemera, which is my weak spot. Still, I tend to think accumulating is something we're born with or is deeply ingrained for one reason or another, so if that's the case, what is the midline between hoarding and minimalism? That's what I'm shooting for.
Cheryl Roberts Lee(non-registered)
Sitting in a room in Canberra, Australia, waiting to meet up with old Ridgway friend at noon. I so relate to the minimalist approach to life as I realize I had packed for trip with too much intention and filled up every space of suitcase and will probably wear the same sweater and pants each day!!! The challenge for me would be to go back to the states with less than I came to Australia with...... We'll see. Thanks for your wonderful invites and sharing on your blog!
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