The American Dream, as long as I can remember, was to own a house. Unfortunately, that dream has become unattainable for so many. For others, it has become their worst nightmare.
I absolutely love watching all of the tiny house shows on television, perusing the internet for tiny house designs, and imagining what it would be like to live in such a small space. I'm not sure a tiny house is for me, but there is something so addictive about the movement. I think it's the allure of being mortgage free. Being mortgage free is being free. For so many people, having a mortgage is like having a ball and chain around your ankle. It keeps us from jobs that make us happy, from traveling more, and a host of other pleasantries.
Several years ago, I created a little series of paintings that incorporated tiny enamel houses. Like so many, we were worried whether or not we would be able to keep our dream house - the one we built with our own four hands. The series was a reflection on the American Dream of owning a home. It was always our dream of building our own home. Once we achieved that goal, the economy started to unravel. My husband's job was severely affected, and so was our income. The American Dream was becoming our worst nightmare.
I went back to work as an optician to keep our home. It pays the mortgage, but that's it. I am thankful for it, but I look back on the days when my parents were young, when owning a home was so much more attainable. Will we ever achieve that balance again?
My little dream houses bring back memories for so many of the "good old days." Creating them helps me to stay positive during difficult times. I plan to continue this series, developing it over the next several months. I hope to help keep the memories alive and the dream within reach.