Aphrodite is my 1984 Toyota Sunrader, a mini RV. She’s a longtime dream come true. For years I’ve wanted a mobile studio to draw in when it’s too cold,windy, or rainy to draw outside. I had imagined refitting a light weight stepvan, but had no luck purchasing one. Something would always go wrong for a sale.But a little over a year ago I found this Toyota RV in the want ads online. Everything proceeded from there so smoothly, from finding someone hours away in Salt Lake City to check the vehicle out for me the very next day to the owner offering to drive the Toyota three hours south to my mechanic, who needed to repair just a few things.
She looks kind of like a large shelled turtle, but beautiful to me, and the name Aphrodite just popped into my head. I had a large picture window installed and a solar panel put on top. The solar panel enables me to have lights and the furnace on without worrying on overnight trips. Her gas mileage is great and I can even do three point (well six maybe) turns on many a country road. Not only do I have a furnace, but also a propane cookstove and two swivel chairs. And I can take a break from drawing, lying on the couch with a cup of tea. Unheard of luxuries that I hadn’t imagined. I painted the thin dark plywood walls white, the cupboards a blue that reminds me of Greece, and the kitchen back wall a bright yellow. My father, who adored the whole idea, contributed the vanity license which spells XAPA, which in Greek means joy.
Aphrodite has given me a great deal of joy and still makes me grin when I’m cozily warm drawing on a cold winter’s day or when I turn on the warm yellow lights at night and feel I’m in a snug cocoon. I’ve extended the front passenger seat and made a comfy bed for my dog Sophy, which she happily dozes on while I’m at the easel.
We’ve already had many adventures together. This morning I thought I was sitting down to write about drawing in Long Canyon from my wonderful picture window, but Aphrodite needed to be introduced first, so the glories of Long Canyon will have to wait.