Wednesday, March 31, 2010



My husband and I moved to Las Vegas January 31st of this year to help on a project near and dear to my heart. Since then, I’ve been working about 80-90 hours a week- 30 or so to earn a living and 50 or so to fulfill my dream of helping my church and several non-profits forward their goals and purposes. Since then, I’ve found that life has been lived in about 10-30 minute increments of compressed and concentrated units of time.

People have asked me, “Why are you doing this?” “It’s nuts, you’ll wear yourself out!” And, “ What about your art?, What about your family and friends?”, “How can you leave where you were living and just change directions like that?.... What about your BLOGS!!??”

Well.., yes the blogs, shops and forums and groups have been a bit neglected, and the brushes and paints are still for the most part unpacked. My daily art fix right now consists mostly of viewing and sharing the wide array of beautiful art that my dear, dear art friends on facebook display each day. Have I told them how much I appreciate their work? Not enough. I love my fellow artists, so that is another a service I can help do for now.

I have never been a conservative, middle class girl. I came from a large family grounded in community service and willing to take the show on the road. The kids are grown now and I am able to serve. So this ocean and tropical loving “girl” asked her husband of 33 years to pack up the house, leave my beloved California and move it all to the desert- Sin City Central in fact- Las Vegas, Nevada. I joined a movement that specifically focuses on helping artists of all mediums, music, film, paint, photography etc. There are people here to help and for the moment that is enough.

A group of us from around the country converged on Vegas in fact. All with a common purpose to help this project and get it off the ground. I have found old friends and new, all working every bit as hard as I am. My daily routine at the moment would make most people cringe to say the least- and sometimes it makes ME cry! Up at 7, eat, dress, and then 35 minute drive to the office, work through lunch, 35 minute drive back to the house, eat a very quick meal for a few minutes, 35 minute drive again and work till 11 PM., and oh- did I say that I work 15-16 hours a day on the week-ends? Okay, so I take the odd day off like today once in awhile to wash clothes, pay the bills and write to all of you. My new blackberry phone for the most part is command central for emails, calls, and texts.

But I have some wonderful 10 minute increments all the time. 10 minutes admiring a beautiful painting or photograph here and there. 10 minutes listening to the happiness of a parishioner who just finished a service. 10 minutes of listening to some new music performed by an auditioning musician, 10 minutes of laughing with a co-worker while washing the dishes after an event, 10 minutes of helping someone do better, 10 minutes of listening to an 11 year old soloist who knocked my socks off, 10 minutes of sharing a meal with someone I really love, 10 minutes of listening to the story of someone who helped someone else handle a lifelong situation and do better……. Oh yes, there are a lot of 10 minute increments that are wonderfully compressed in with the 10 minute increments of- “Oh my! I haven’t eaten all day!” or “OMG, I really need a pedicure- who has time for such things!” or “Oops, I better pay the electric bill- Geesh!”

The car is dusty and cluttered, the dishes aren’t washed and would someone please put the whites in the dryer so I can have some clean underwear!! Oh, right, too much information.

Well, I still stop and turn the car around when the sunset or the mountains are looking particularly spectacular- and yes, I might take 10 minutes just to sit and admire it. I still squint to see the large shapes in the landscape (careful not to crash the car) and ponder and decide how best to paint them. I still walk outside and look at the colors of the clouds and the different way the light is here in the desert- the full moons are particularly wonderful. I still stand and figure out how best to mix my palette for a particular color scheme and I still rush to snap a shot of a particularly interesting or beautiful face. My camera is always near to hand and I shoot happily gathering content for the paintings I know I will still do.

Okay, so life in 10 minute increments can be pretty darned crazy- but when you have a purpose and worthwhile work, it is not only doable but full of wonderful instances of human and spiritual, artistic contact and upliftment. It certainly is an adventure! So….. I’ll try to keep you posted on how it’s all coming along, and maybe soon, I’ll work my way up to more frequent 20 minute increments!

Love you all-
Michele Ross

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