TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For 16 years, a midtown house tucked away near Glenn and County Club has been more than a home, it's been an unlikely canvas.
"A lot of effort, a lot of emotion, and a lot of feeling went into it," said Mary Howard.
Howard is the artist responsible for the home. She's lived there all that time. Howard painted each and every corner of the house into hand-crafted murals. All of it, her own work.
"I really put my stamp on this house," she said.
But tough economic times have cast a dark shadow over the colorful collage. Howard lost her job and fell thousands of dollars behind on her mortgage. Now the beauty she created all around her house will be replaced with a homely plain as it gets painted over when she moves out and someone new moves in.
"This is what I did," Howard says as she struggles to hold back the tears.
Her artwork is her home. Her home is her artwork. She can't take it with her when the bank finally kicks her out.
"We're out of options," she said. "It's not going to happen anymore."
And that's a tough reality for Howard to accept as every corner brings a memory.
"I love my house," she said.
Her children's portraits line the front wall. The benches she constructed by hand beg you to take a seat. Mosaic tiles lead you all the way up to the front door, where inside, the art continues all around.
"I did it without money, I didn't have money but I had talent," Howard said.
But now money's the problem. And the lack of it, will force her to do something she never thought she'd do: leave behind her home.
"Learn to love what you have when you have it, while it's there," she said.
Howard tells 9OYS she has to be out of her home by the end of the month. She will move in with her son until she can get back on her feet.
Web Producer: Laura Kittell