that has nothing at all to do with shopping or cookie-baking. It has to do with a cleansing of our environment....both Rick and I become obsessed with pounding in those errant nails that we have lived with the entire year, ridding the shower curtain of that mildew smell and checking out the size of the dust bunnies behind the refrigerator. I used to think it was because his parents came to visit. Now I think of it more as a creating of more negative space in which to dwell in peace. AND SO CAME THE CLEANING OF THE STUDIO. For years I had been meaning to paint the antique jelly cupboard that houses my supplies. The brown wood was depressing. The paint job took several days, as I chose to do it in three colors (but of course!) and the cupboard is happier. I am happier. Then the cupboard led to cleaning out the files......there are always surprises involved. For the most part, I find that earlier work is better than I remember....almost fresher when I knew less, perhaps relied more on instinct. "Filling In" is such a work. When our model did not show up one evening, a newcomer instantly declared her willingness to shed clothing and fill in. None of us knew much about this girl. She had no art supplies and painted with eye makeup on paper. At the end of the session her husband came into the studio to pick her up. I never knew her name. We never saw her again. It was a bit of a Santa Claus experience and I was the benefactor. I have always loved this painting and was surprised, in my reorganization, at its honesty.