The Final Bucket List…

I have one more bucket list item that I want to tackle in 2022. Well, I actually have a few others, but those are so much in the pipe dream category as not to count. The bucket list item that is left is that I want to be more artsy.

This is something that has been on my list for years now. After I left the corporate world in 2000 I opened up a cabinet making business that somewhat satisfied my creativity bug. I designed, fabricated and sold dozens of different pieces of furniture and even branched out into wooden toys. But, like so many other things of this nature, after seven years I became bored with it. I had made so many cabinets that the challenges weren’t there anymore.

(Here are some examples of my creations during those years)

After those years, I vowed to do something else, but that just never happened. Before I go any further, I want to do some explaining. When I talk about getting bored with things after a while, that certainly doesn’t include my journaling and blogging. Yes, I did start up the predecessor to RJsCorner about then and that opened up a world to me that I totally enjoy today. It is extremely rewarding to know that you guys read my daily words and enjoy most of what I say. I will never tire of that.

What I am talking about here is the “get your hands dirty” type of creativity. Something to do with ink, paint, stains, and such. When I visited Bob and Betty Lowry a while back and saw all the things that Betty has created, it restarted the bug once again to become artsy as she certainly is. Over the years I have tried to do that. I’ve bought colored pencils and pens by the dozens, but for the most part, they remained unused. But, I have never thrown any away. When I downsized from a 2500 sq ft abode to an 800 sq ft apartment I brought all of those things with me.

It’s been fifteen years that I have attempted to become at least a little proficient at this art venue. I intend to do so more seriously going forward. For the foreseeable future I am going to reserve Saturdays for telling you about my progress in this new project. I don’t yet know the specific challenge. Pencil and pen on paper will likely be the first attempt. But, then since I am a techie, I will likely include some digital creations along the way. And, my recent fascination with Avant Garde will likely turn me in that direction.

God only knows where this new challenge will take me, but I am excited to find that out about myself. If you have any suggestions on the path I might take, I certainly would welcome them.

To track my progress on this bucket list item, I am putting it into the “special projects” category on the header above entitled “Artsy Fartsy”.

10 thoughts on “The Final Bucket List…

  1. I am not real talented at art, but I love to do it anyways.I AM pretty good at paper crafts,making greeting cards and collage art and art journals but I love painting ,too. Even though I remain a true amateur.. A couple of years ago, I signed up for a 12 week watercolor class in Chandler,Az (where Betty and Bob live!) through our community center,which publishes a brochure called “Breaktime” every 6 months, with all kinds of community classes,from bird watching to rock climbing ,dance,art,etc. I learned soo much and opened up a part of me that had never been explored..I have a watercolor sketch book now and I do small watercolors a couple of times a week… maybe you have a similar community program you could check into?

    I have also taken some online classes from a company called “DOMESTIKA”— they are inexpensive and fun..all KINDS of artsy classes available and the instruction is good!

    Will be following to see what you do get into.

    Your woodworking, by the way, is stunning!!!


    1. Thanks for the thoughts Madeline. I guess I’m like Bob, I hate to be a beginner at almost anything. But we all have to start out in that mode don’t we. As a pre-teen I dabbled with drawing sketches, but really haven’t since. I think it is just a matter of doing it and getting those first awful ones out of the way. I think that line sketches will be my first attempt to becoming more “artsy”.

      Our arts and crafts room here at my retirement community is going through a serious remodel to expand it, I think I will get involved, or at least try to when it opens again later this month. Learning from others is a new thing for me, I have always been self-taught. I am still not very active here, so it’s time to get off my butt and just do it. Thanks for the nudge in that direction.

      Thanks for the compliments on my woodworking. The pictures were just a small sample that I quickly put together for this post.


  2. As you know, my art is at a very different level than Betty’s. It took me quite awhile to get over my dislike of being a beginner. Now, I paint because I enjoy the process. If I end up with something that doesn’t please me I am quick to paint over it with white gesso and try something else. The old cliche if it being about the journey and not the destination applies.

    Have fun and sketch away. And, your woodworking was absolutely top notch. I would buy one in a heartbeat.


    1. I hope getting over being a beginner is something I too can accomplish, Bob. Betty’s artwork definitely pushed me in the right direction. I took a couple of semesters of drafting while in college and learned about drawing in perspective. I need to drag that stuff out and maybe study a “Drawing for Idiots” book if one is available. But, like you, I really want to do it because I think I would really enjoy creating things with pencil lines and not just words and photographs.


  3. First of all RJ, I LOVE your heading name, “Artsy Fartsy!!!” Just saying…🤪❤️😜 Secondly, but more importantly, your woodworking is incredible! I have never, and will never be a professional like you! Thirdly, I am envious of your assortment of saws! I assume you had to get rid of them before your last move. My question is how? Did you give them away or sell them? Our next move in a few years will be somewhere very small and without a garage. I keep looking around this house and wondering that there’s so much to get rid of! Have you written a blog post about getting rid of stuff both emotionally and physically? If not, please do! Again, “Artsy Fartsy… Brilliant! 😂💖


    1. Yeah, I guess I did have a lot of saws. There were five in the picture and that didn’t include all the handsaws. 😎 When I shut the business down in 2008 I sold much of the equipment to another shop that asked about them. Of course I kept quite a few to just maintain the homestead. Last year, I gave most of those final things to a friend.

      But, I still have a “workshop” in my 800SF apartment. It used to be called the coat closet near the front door. I set up pegboards and a small workbench along with shelves for some tools. Just couldn’t part with all of them. 🤓

      I don’t remember writing a post about getting rid of things, but I might have? Like you say, I had used that eqpt so frequently during those seven years that they became like friends. The ones I hated to part with the most were the tools that Dad gave me. That included a drill press and a jointer/planer that were made in the 1920s.


      1. I LOVE your idea of pegboards in the back of closets!!! Never would have thought of that! I too have a great number of handmade tools from my father and grandfather. It was my grandfather who did the tinkering in the house. I can’t get how well made everything was. Those and my jigsaw and sander I will try and keep, and all my father’s jewelry tools. He was into Lapidary in those final years and has the best deformed needle nosed plyers and picks! Can’t do large artwork anymore so it’s back to brushes, and pen and pencils and maybe paperwork like Madeline!


        1. Glad to help, Betty. I generally don’t fall in love with “stuff”, so I let a lot of it go too easily this time around. I am finding that I am replacing several things that I didn’t think I needed. I still got lots of room in my closet workshop for more (just not the big stuff) 😏. You have spurred a post for me at RetComLife about this topic. I will show you some pictures when I write that post.


  4. Your cabinets were gorgeous.

    My husband has a big container of his father’s tools that he never uses but keeps through every move. My inherited tool is my father’s fabulous slide rule, one that I used, too, through high school and then my first year or so of university studying physics, before calculators became ubiquitous.

    Good luck with your next endeavor.


    1. Thanks for the comments, Linda. My dad died in 2000, and I used his tools for twenty-two years before handing them off to a good friend. That was kinda hard, but I’m really not much of a hoarder.

      I am trying to take make a serious effort at sketching, but don’t want to force it. Thinking I HAVE to do something just spoils it to me. I want to enjoy this new talent if I can develop it. But, still, I need to push it to make it happen 🥴


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