Living with My Brother, Part 1: Living with an Artist

My brother is an artist. He is passionate and driven to create. He does all sorts of things, but I love his glass mosaics.  You should check out his facebook page.


Now, appreciating art and living with an artist are two very different things, or so I have been discovering.  Let’s talk about some of the things that I have learned about living with one:

1) Sometimes he’s not going to talk to you.

I get home from work and park my car next to his. I gather my things and walk inside. The house feels empty but I know he’s  here somewhere.  Walking farther into the house, I can hear moody music coming from my brother’s studio. “Ah,” I think, “still working.” Now this is the chancey part. Do I go up there? If it’s been a good day for art, I’ll walk past the studio and he’ll invite me in and show me what he’s done and we’ll chat. But if it hasn’t… Well, I have to walk past to get to my bedroom to drop off my shoes anyway. With trepidation, I climb the staircase. The door is open, I hear Radiohead and smell grout. “Hey, I’m home,” I say as I just barely peek my head inside his studio space. “Hey,” he grunts, and then he immediately begins singing along with the dulcet, tortured tones of Thom Yorke, head bent over the glass grinder. I shrug and move to my 3rd story bedroom. It’s going to be a solitary night.

2) Most of the time he’s not going to listen to you.

Me: “Right, so the landlord is coming to mow the lawn on Monday; we need to make sure the lawn is dog poo free. Mom wants you to go over on Tuesday and clean out her bathroom fan.  Tonight I’m not going to be home because I’m going out to dinner with Meg, so don’t save any dinner for me.”

Him: “Sure, Ok. Fine. I’m posting some new pieces on the facebook page, you should check them out!”

Me: “Great, I will!  See you later then.”

Him: “Ok. Hey! Wait!  Is the landlord coming to mow the lawn soon?”

Me: …

3) Sometimes you just have to pretend to know what he’s talking about.

Me: “Wow, that’s a great piece. I really love the colors.”

Him: “Thanks! I thought it was a moving ethereal statement on the pathos of inner space and the way life hunches on its axis to to bring solitude. I wanted it to evoke a meaning that doesn’t really mean, you know. It just wants to be something.”

Me: “Yes, it’s perfect.”

4) Don’t get attached to the placement of anything in your house.

I have discovered that when my brother gets bored he rearranges things. Now, I’m not saying he doesn’t have the touch. He’s one of those people that can group seemingly unrelated objects into something you just want to sit and look at. And the house looks better than it did when it was just me living in it, no doubt. There is art and eclectic knick-knacks everywhere. There are actually more than 2 forks in the house too, but that’s another post.

The thing is, you just can’t get used to anything. Once I walked in the door from work and dropped my purse on the table in the mudroom. Only, I heard a thud and looked down to see my purse on the floor. No table. Table was in the living room, looking fabulous, with an arrangement of family photos and a vase of hydrangeas.

Or there was the time that I left the living room for an hour, came back and none of the stuff on the walls was where it had been. So instead of looking in the mirror I was looking at a lovely drawing of a bird…which didn’t help me to see if I had anything between my teeth.

I”m still looking for knives in the wrong drawer, and he re-arranged the kitchen months ago.

But hey, life is supposed to be an adventure, right?

We’ve only been sharing a house since April, so I’m sure there will be more to add.

Are you an artist? Do you live with an artist? What has been your experience with sharing living space in general?


3 Responses to “Living with My Brother, Part 1: Living with an Artist”

  1. 1 Emry June 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I loved this post. I’m not an artist, nor do I live with one, but this made me laugh. Please keep us posted on your future furniture arrangements.

  2. 2 cycleofsong June 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Emry, I’ve seen your photos. You’re an artist.

  3. 3 babydollsbloggie June 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    This is so brilliant. I wouldn’t describe myself as artistic, but I would say I’m creatively inclined. My brother-in-law is an artist. He works with metal frequently, and once had one of his sculptures wrapped in urine-soaked towels to speed up the patina. Um…eeew!

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A blog about my life and other stuff.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)


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