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a Bittersweet story

Eileen A Art Bittersweet picture fire night
The night of the fire

It took a bit for me to share this bittersweet story with my readers because I'm always looking forward to find the positive, happy, lovely side of life even when going through adversity. This story of my life inspired me with the 2021 Catrina. Here it goes...

2021: January started the year as usual, a month when self employed artist recuperated from the busy holiday season. In February I took the opportunity to have fun and create, resulting in "A Painting for Myself" , quite literally.

In March, I kept working on my art and a second gig that I'm grateful I had through the pandemic.

April and May, I worked in the garden, focused on staying healthy and eating well, focused on my daily life ,went on creating beautiful art to share with my audience.

"Memories, even bittersweet ones, are better than nothing". -Jennifer Armentrout

Then June came as a hurricane we were given a 45 day notice that my family had to leave my rental that we lived and paid on time for 5 years, just because the land lord needed to sell immediately in the Hot house Market. As the 45 period was coming to an end; the life as we knew it went into disconcert, having to put all my art and belongings in a storage unit, and not knowing when we were going to provide a safe roof for my family. With a bittersweet smile, we went on the road to Sanford, Fl to the only hotel available because summer had most of the close by hotels at full capacity; where I found more families that the landlord did the same thing to them.

"People loose their sense of humanity for money". -Eileen A Art

On the positive side, I got accepted at the Eola farmers market! A market in which I was on a waiting list for 4 years; a steady market that I can sell my art every week to the locals and tourists. And my husband got his new job during this pandemonium in our life.

online chat with my kids
Long distance love

Thankful for the opportunities that came up, but a hard decision befall, we had to separate our kids first time in my life. A bittersweet feeling ran through my back knowing that we wont see them, or be able to kiss them or hug them for a few months but, knowing that sending them away with family was the right decision, they would live comfortably for the next few months while waiting in a list for an apartment until December .

September events that kept me busy; went to Ormond Beach, FL for the first time; we had such a blast. In the first week of October, as I was watching a pirate story "Black Sails" on TV, inspiration hit like a slap on the face and I started sketching the Catrina of 2021 for my yearly Catrina painting and, at that moment, I knew she was going to be called Bittersweet, immortalizing my bittersweet experience of the year. Even in the middle of all this madness that life had brought, I found the strength in my art to keep me focused and to want to keep going.

Painting on paper with acrylic by Eileen A Art
"Bittersweet "Catrina 2021

Eileen A Art Selfie with paint brush

I can not leave outside this bittersweet story the night of the fire. While waiting for my husband to get back to the hotel from work, I was taking selfies of me and my new painting, working and all of a sudden the fire alarm startled me. I left in a rush, the chair falling on the floor along with the paint, I didn't know where the paintbrushes went. Like a flash I grabbed my purse, car keys, my coat and computer and, as I was walking out the door, guess where the fire was? It was next to my room! With all the smoke and people walking in pajamas through the lobby, I was trembling with fear. Just what we needed to end my bittersweet story; loosing little we had. As I sat in my car, the firetruck came. I could not stop shaking, whether of fear or because it was 39 degrees (yes 39 degrees in Florida is so freaking cold) out there. I realized that life is as bitter or sweet as you want it to be and collected my self and my thoughts focused on the sweet part that had yet to come.

Excited for the month ahead, another set of good news arrived! The next day, while at the farmers market, I got invited to join the Winter Gardens farmers market. And I was also anxiously waiting for the first of December when I'll be reunited with two pieces of my soul.

And even in the middle of all this craziness that life sent my way, I found the strength in my art to keep me focused and to want to improve for the better.


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