Sometimes you just know when it’s time to give up your day job and move on to other things. My trusty wheelbarrow is a perfect example. A few weeks ago, the axle broke, rendering it useless as a garden machine. Despite what you naysayers might think, this old friend was often put to good use — to haul bags of mulch and to move logs around in the garden — but now it’s been replaced by a new, more industrial model.

Sadly, the newer model is quite unsightly, at least to me. All shiny metal and bulbous red handles, and of course no rust. But happily for the old wheelbarrow, it’s still my first choice as a model, both in summer and especially in winter.

49 Comments on “Retired”

  1. tylaraduncan says:

    The nice thing about watercolour over photography is you can paint your own reality. This wheelbarrow can be in all your new paintings even if it isn’t carrying a load anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally Fox says:

    Awww, that’s very sweet. I agree about the shiny new wheelbarrow. Love the painting of the old one and glad you can keep on enjoying it, even though it’s wheeling days are done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bev says:

    We certainly do grow attached to our old things, don’t we! I love your blog and hearing about your life. Carry on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. TonyU says:

    So pleased there’s a happy ending … I was fearing the worst half way through!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear friend Shari,

    Very beautiful. I am too retired exactly 13 years back.
    But fortunately my children are still making use of me.

    I really don’t know, I saw life in that wheelbarrow, telling his story, touching my Heart.
    We find life in everything, depending on the way we look.

    Extremely beautiful painting.

    God bless you coupled with my blessings.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Judy Sopher says:

    It’s amazing that a wheelbarrow can evoke such emotions in us. I too was becoming sad thinking you had tossed it. Sometimes we have to hold on to old things. That’s why I keep my old wood wheelbarrow I used to muck stalls, even tho we haven’t had horses for years. And, BTW, very nice painting. The shed and the wheelbarrow complement each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. toddpop1 says:

    An apt metaphor for many things in life… Functionally- retired. Aesthetically- immortal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lee Kline says:

    Your red wheel barrow is beautiful. Here is what American poet William Carlos Williams had to say about a red Wheel barrow…

    So much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with rain

    beside the white

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol says:

    and your painting makes it even more special. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jo says:

    There’s alway orange spray paint!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Linda Murray says:

    Nice one Shari! So glad you kept the old wheelbarrow. Love all those paintings with the “old model” 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jane Hannah says:

    This painting is majestic Shari — I love it! Congratulations on your retirement too -)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bernadette says:

    Great watercolor rendition and story. Thanks for all the background tid bits that accompany your work. I appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bernadette says:

    Wow, retirements! I am very happy for you. Now you can juggle through your many passions of painting, travel and teaching small groups. I find that I am even more busy than when I worked but following my dreams more frequently. God bless you.


    • Yes, retired from my college teaching job, and excited to have more time to paint and teach and of course travel. It took me a long time to make the decision to do this, but I am so happy I did. Thanks for your good wishes.


  15. Bart van Kempen says:

    You have inspired me Shari. Thank You.
    I saw one of your pieces in Urban Sketchers online magazine. A street scene painted from your car I believe with a church in the background. I so liked your colours and shading.
    Reading your thoughts on ‘limited palettes’ I purchased Nita Leland book ‘Confident Color’ which has just arrived. Definitely a must read book….(cannot wait to start my exercises and play with my colours)
    I also have your new book on my wish-list. I have to stop myself sometimes from going into too many directions at once.
    I am a 70 year old Australian man who discovered painting/sketching late in life and am so glad I did. I started playing with oils and acrylics and have only started using watercolours in the last two years. It has become my favorite medium along with watercolour pencils and ink.
    I enjoyed your video classes teaching me where to start…photos/thumbnails/value sketches etc.. I needed that insight. Thanks again. Your post has inspired me to do a painting of my backyard fence. Ha..ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Bart, Thanks so much for giving me a little insight into your art background. It sounds like you are doing quite a bit of exploration and reading. That’s the best way to learn. I have shelves and shelves of art books that I cherish, and I’m constantly on the lookout for out-of-print books on watercolour by artists that I love. So glad that you found my site, and I hope that you continue to find useful things here. Hope you painted that fence!


  16. elaine says:

    Agree. I am beginning to hate when older things start to wear out – new just isn’t the same and most of the time not near as good. Love your painting of your old wheelbarrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Denise says:

    Hi Shari! You work so much magic-with your paintbrush, and your words, too. Such a beautiful story to go along with the equally lovely painting. You touch so many of us followers of yours with your work. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Barbara Lindsey says:

    I’m so glad your wheelbarrow lives on. Your work is very inspiring and make me realise I need to practice more. These simple domestic scenes really speak to my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Theresa Lee says:

    I plan on turning my little old red wheel barrow into a planter , just need to put a few drainage holes and fill with potting soil and flowers . It’s nice to be able to move it around .
    Hi Shari , I’ve been following you almost since you began your blog and I must say I have enjoyed your blog so much . I’m going to miss your old red wheel barrow , I was inspired by you to paint mine a couple of times as well .

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Soni says:

    Good for you !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ross says:

    Hello old friend (don’t get excited, I am talking to the wheelbarrow, whom I have know for years).
    I know just how you feel… I retired almost three years ago and, after all those years of enjoyable work, I like leaning up against the shed so much more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Ross! It was so nice to read your comment. Glad to hear that you’ve retired too. It’s only been a few weeks for me so I haven’t really had time to figure out my daily routine, but you seem pretty relaxed. Happy to hear that retirement is treating you well.


  22. monique says:

    I love old things and I think we can all say we all loved your trusty wheelbarrow!!But keep art prop ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. monique says:

    You retired too? You will LOVE IT.LOVE IT.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. joantav says:

    The old wheelbarrow is definitely a keeper…even if it isn’t perfect. lol It is such a great subject in so many of your paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

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