Thursday, May 28, 2009
When Aldous Huxley died, he was high on LSD, and listening to music. I hope. That is what he wanted, according to his book, Doors of Perception (and I could be wrong about the title, it's been a lot of years since I perused it). In his honor, when I did my little experimentation (hey, it was the sixties), I listened to music through the whole experience (but did not die, obviously). Later, when I heard the same music, I could reconstruct the "trip", and see what garbage my mind was spewing. That was what it was about, you know, taking out the garbage. It wasn't a joyride, not by any stretch of the imagination. It was scary and thrilling and scary again. There were demons. Mostly, there was guilt. And I only did it twice. Really. And it was worth it. I looked into my own morass of self, and came back to tell about it. I heard some of the music lately, because of my project of recording my vinyl into ITunes. And some of that stuff was still there, in Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3. Sounds pretty innocuous, but Peter dear had an undercurrent of pathos that just oozes, especially in the waltz. I don't need a drug to sink into the music any more. Perhaps that is what maturity is all about? Or maybe just a lot of years under the bridge.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Little headache lurking behind left eyebrow this AM. And my eye is all red on that side, too. Really rude. Going to my noon meeting, anyway. Can't save my face when I'm trying to save my ass (old AA proverb, very wise). Summer is gearing up all around me. Much mowing still to do, as well as sweeping and chopping vegetation back to manageable levels. Watercolors waiting for attention. A walk, must do a walk. Baths for the fur people. Oh, the many responsibilities of the gratefully retired! Vacuum! Read mystery novel! Well, someone has to do it.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
And even if you don't, I'm going to say what I think. I think it is interesting that some people think they know better how other people should act and think. Gee, most of the time I'm not even sure about how I should act and think, much less deciding for you. But here in California, the land of Birkenstocked tree-hugging liberals, we can't let our gay folk marry one another. I am ashamed of my fellows here in lalaland. It seems to be that, if you are different from me, then you must be wrong, because, if you're not, then it could be me that's wrong, and that doesn't work for me. Never has, never will. Sigh. Really, can't we all just get along? Finally? After two world wars, a whole bunch of little ones, lots of dead folks (some of them gay, get over it), lots of sad mommys and kids and even a few sad daddies, you would think we could look back and see that our enemies are our future allies (Germany, Japan, remember them?). And gay folks are just another brand of human, with all the same things going on inside that I have going on: insecurities, worries, great loves, sweet thoughts, ugly thoughts, the whole gamut of humaness that is so precious and venal. So, people, get over yourselves, and realize you are one among many, and no one is wrong here!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Could this be the other day, the one I have been waiting for? You know, it will all be fine, another day? Well, I have decided that yes, this is indeed that day. Nothing particularly wondrous has happened. A friend who left her purse here dropped by to pick it up, with another friend, and the house was its usual disaster, and I was in the middle of mowing the front psuedo-lawn, and not at my most sartorially splendid, either. And none of that mattered. Because this is that other day! Now, I am on my way to Costco as we are perilously low on dog food, which makes the fur people surly, and we want everyone to be happy on this day of days. Pressing onward here.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Not every day can be full of sunshine, you know. Some days are just meant to be gray, like this May morning here on Wild Rose Drive. Gee, I remember summer mornings were always gray. We had swimming lessons at the city pool all summer (I was a beginner for a record four years in a row, scared out of my tiny mind of the water). The more advanced you were, the earlier lessons came. The sun never arrived before the beginner's classes at 11 AM. So, intermediate and swimmer's classes were always in the murk. Which was fine, if you never had to get out of the water, which, of course, you had to do, eventually. Then it was goosebump, shivery cold. Even in July. And when I got to lifesaving, at 7 AM, well, I froze my little fried-egg sized tits off. So a little fog in the morning is kind of sentimental for me, now. After all, it must be summer, school is out. And actually, it won't be here for another month. So, we will all just have to get over this gray morning thing. Well, yeah. Maybe tomorrow.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Lots of important dates coming up, real soon. My stopped-smoking date is June 2, and it is twenty years this year. That seems really ponderous. And on the 6th, Pickle and I will have our first anniversary of life together. Then comes the big 65 on the 8th. In recognition of all this frivolity, I have begun an eating plan and exercise program to shed the winter's fluffiness that seems to have creeped up around my middle. Again. So I made myself a little tribute to my austerity this morning. It was really fun to do, and looks like my insides are feeling about now. As long as I don't get tired of yogurt and fruit and broccoli slaw and walking, I will persevere. And wind up thinner, less like an Italian sausage in my jeans, and lighter. Lighter always lightens me up inside and out. School is over, time to jump around, create, and become.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sentimentality has been oozing from my every pore lately as I explore my vinyl after many a moon. I really love this old schmoozie music! Percy Faith, love of my life, where have you been lo these many years? And then there's Mantovani, even drippier, just sluices over you like warm syrup. Got so gooey, I ordered some on CD, too. It's still out there, so I must not be the only one. And yes, the title comes from the prologue to the Lone Ranger, which was fine on television, but ever so much more exciting on radio. And I remember both, that's how old I am. And happy about it, too!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The final in art history is, well, history. I sure hope God remembered the date Polykleitas carved the Doryphoros, because I sure didn't. I put one down, ballpark, of course, and it could even be right. Don't even want to open study guide to see, not after days of study, and fitful night of stuff like the Laocoon and the Flavian Amphitheatre running through my tiny mind. My plan is to decompress for a few days, then plan celebration of 20 years of not smoking, and 65 years of life, both coming up in next couple of weeks. Oh, and anniversary of Pickle's arrival, too! She was a stop-smoking gift to myself last year. About this composition, this is a photo I have always loved, and have actually framed for a wall in my house. I didn't do anything to it, not even cropping. It is as it came out of the camera. Sometimes all I have to do is look around, and there, right in front of me, is wonder.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Into every life some bad news must fall. And, tender little soul that I am, it always sends me to the painbody, that part of me that says I don't deserve goodness. Oh, hell, that's my mother talking! Let's put her back in her closet for a while. Like the rest of my life. It helps to have an outlet for that pain, when one of the scabs gets ripped open, again, and active bleeding begins. This is actually one of my favorite images so far. I found out a lot about styles doing this. Sometimes, color gets in the way, you know. Sometimes, things are just black and white.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Happy to report Boo is not throwing up or skewed like he was yesterday. The fur people spend a lot of time out in the backyard, which I am 99% certain does not contain anything toxic or dangerous. Nevertheless, once in a while, the Boo gets puny. I felt his nose right away of course. It was wet, and warm. That was strange. So he sat there, kind of crooked, like maybe a little stewed, until a dog walked by outside and he followed the yappy one out onto the porch to do his "woowoowoo" bark, and I decided he was on his way back to the land of the living. But it seems that whatever he had yesterday, I have today. No energy, just kind of blah, and feeling like I am not tracking well. So I messed around with Photoshop all morning, and made three new compositions for my teacher to peruse tomorrow in our final class. And updated my studyguide, printed all the dates in red, and began the arduous task of memorizing all this stuff for the final on Wednesday. So, forgive me if I am not eloquent today. At least I am not cleaning up Boo barf.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I was prepared to not like the new crew of the Starship Enterprize, NCC-1701 for you trekkie types out there, but one gander at the baby Spock and I was smitten. And then the embryonic James T. Kirk came along, with Bones and, later, Scottie, and I was a total goner. Now, there was a lot of shoot-em-up stuff, with appropriate special effects, which were pretty much lacking in the original series, but in the framework of this picture, they remembered the humor that permeated the series, the tribble kind of humor, Bones's propensity to hysterics, Spock's lifted eyebrow, Scottie's remarkable ability to find a last minute last ditch solution to the impossible situation. I remember the debut of the series 40 years ago (yikes!), it was so very inventive and different and we never missed an episode, never. We wrote letters when NBC threatened to cancel it and kept it alive a little longer. And then we watched all the reruns, over and over. My son's first words were "space, the final frontier". I burned out after TNG, because it lost that sweetness that was in the interaction of the characters, and became just another western in space, us against the rustlers. Happy to report, the spirit is alive, and back for another round. I fully expect several more movies with this crew. Soon, please.
Always wondered how to get black and white photos out of my digital, and here it is, easy as pie, well, pie isn't easy for me, but it was easy. Photoshop has all these dandy filters. Yes, I know I have been waxing eloquent over this program, but I have never had one that did all the wondrous stuff this one does. And there is something eloquent and elemental about black and white photography. Every nuance is enhanced, which is why there will be no B&W of my face anytime soon! But my hydrangea seems so elegant, speckled with afternoon light. Ah, creativity. It oozes from my very pores sometimes. Hope it is sweet and not just sweat. Oooh, that's bad. Mea culpa.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Once upon a writing class, we had to begin a piece with "there are two kinds of people in the world". I wrote about dog lovers, because I am one and cannot understand others who aren't. What's wrong with hair stuck to every square inch of your life? How hard is it to pick up a little poop, anyway? Well, now I know a better dissimilarity, people who put the TP roll on with the end over the top, and those who put it on with the end under. Now, I am an over-the-top person. I think that way the TP is sort of user-friendly, like it is just sitting there waiting for you to sit down next to it. Hi, it says, I've just been waiting for you to show up. Take as much of me as you want. But when it is coming at me from underneath, it is contrary, like,I'm hiding from you, just try to find the end of me, and when you do, I'm not going to let you have one more square than you need. Niggardly, you see. Okay, I am being a bit weird, anthropomorphizing the TP roll, but hey, it's a hot, slow Saturday, and this has been on my mind for a while. Oh, and the image has nothing to do with what I am talking about, except that I took a really long drive today, and this sort of popped out of my head. Feeling Dadaesque, I guess.
So, I was feeling blue and needy, and a friend told me about a dandy homeopathic mood elevator, so I spent $34 at the Community Market, the closest of that genre (watching my carbon footprint, you know). And actually, I walked there, having parked at the college down the street (getting the most of my $50 parking pass, and some needed exercise). I remarked once to my son that people in health food stores look remarkably unhealthy and he replied "Yeah, Mom, they look hungry", which I thought was wonderfully droll and funny, and true. At the checkout stand, the young stringy looking guy was just learning, and took a really long time, which was okay, I was, as usual, early for the meeting I was hoofing to just down that self-same street, and then, he didn't give me a bag, but no worry, I was wearing my cargo shorts, so the pills went into a convenient pocket. And then they fell out of that pocket during my AA meeting, not my most together moment. Having big bottles of pills at an AA meeting is not the best protocol. Whatever, I shrugged it off with an aside of "vitamins", so the newcomers didn't think I was half-measuring my sobriety. And after the meeting I schlepped on down to the college, but not until after three different people asked me if I needed a ride somewhere, yelling at me out of open car windows. I guess I could decide that I am well-loved, and don't look like I am limping or anything. Truly, usually when on foot, it means dire car problems. Happy to say not so this time. So here is a happy little composition that reflects the 60s, when pink and black were very soigne. Twiggy wore it, for sure.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Summer is about to blast off here in lalaland. And I am ready! I hit TJMaxx yesterday for some little things to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe, and cleaned up the backyard after major mowing and weeding. My plans include two pre-summer blockbusters this weekend, Angels and Demons tonight, and Star Trek on Sunday. Will have to wait till July for Harry Potter, and thinking IMax again, for the 3D thing, would be superfun. Planning on not growing up very soon, as you may have perceived. My (very mature and ohsosensible) mother is shaking her head, again. Why would I ever want to see something as juvenile as Harry Potter? Of course, she runs the world from her perch on the end of her (afghan covered) couch, with her fat dachschund at her side and crochet hook in hand. Reruns of Las Vegas (and how mature is that, anyway) are the most avant garde experience of her week, and she would never read a Potter tome, ohnonono. I am going to be a different old lady from her. It's reactionary, for sure. Well, if you can't be a good example, you'll have to be a horrible warning. It's good to have some of those warnings around, to point me in the opposite direction.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
In between bouts of wrestling a bucking lawnmower over the backyard savannah, I have been drinking copious amounts of water, while recording more of my vinyl into ITunes for future comsumption on the ubiquitous IPod, and noodling around with Photoshop, where I made this from an hommage to Cezanne I painted in my very first art class, design and composition. Lucky for me, the teacher was this delightful ditz who let us do copies of the masters for our final, and not yet another of those fretful design pieces that would tie my tiny mind in knots every time. This wasn't the final, I did Van Gogh for that (of course it was hella-difficult, because we were working in safe, non-toxic acryllics, and Van Gogh painted in those nasty oils, sometimes right out of the tube onto the canvas), but Cezanne was easier, because his hues were more subdued, and he never worried about things like horizon lines, which tended to jump around a lot. Anyhoo, I made this in class yesterday for wont of something to do after the lecture. I think it is rich, just love that green. And simple, after all the busyness I was into, plunking thing after thing into the frame. Less things, more content.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I put everything except the kitchen sink into this little ditty. Oh, wait, I think it's in there, too! Haven't learned some stuff, like how to get photos to be just an object instead of a little square, like my face in this montage. And how to get more than one photo into a piece without doing a contact sheet (you would have to know Photoshop to understand that). And how to get the background one solid color instead of a gradient of colors (it looks that way in some of my compositions, but I hid the other color behind stuff). And why would I want to know this stuff, anyway? Interestingly enough, I learned a lot about composition putting little marks and objects into the frame. I think this is what my painting teacher was trying to tell me when we did thumbnail sketches of our paintings before committing to the canvas. So this was a really valuable class, in a lot of ways. And it has provided many hours of amusement, with my tongue between my teeth, seeing what happens when I do this, and what is this mess all about, anyway.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
And now for something totally new and improved! Nifty filters let me render my photos in so many amazing ways. Here is a charcoal of my desktop, the real one, not the one on the monitor. Okay, it was a seriously cleaned-up version of my desktop, all spiffed up for its closeup. Most of these little compositions suggested themselves to me, often by the little objects in the pen tool (not enough of those suckers, not by a long shot). I looked at those scissors and paperclips and thought, aha! I add the text last, and find that the choice of font can really enhance a piece. I haven't gotten to the point where it makes the piece yet, still relying on images to do that, but I bet that could happen, too. Much, much easier to let an idea realize itself than to try to realize an idea. Maybe that's a clue for how to do my life? Like, let things reveal themselves instead of trying to make things happen? What a concept!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Every morning, I sit down with my steaming cup of Sumatra and fire up my big baby to read the e-mail, cyberlurk on my kids on Facebook (new status symbol, I found out, how many friends do you have), and noodle around with one of my little games as my mind settles into place for the day. And, every morning, the Real Message Center pops up with news of the day. News about pulchritudinous bimbettes, inebriated celebrities, and multi-racial studmuffins. Does it seem to anyone else that we are inundated with tripe? Everyone wants to be beautiful, and there are so many of them, it is like God has opened a Barbie and Ken factory of his own, so it no longer feels special and certainly, not unique. I can't keep track of the current crop at all. In my day, celebrities had to have talent. And they were remarkable, meaning, you could tell them apart. No on mistook Kirk Douglas for Tyrone Power. Errol Flynn could outdrink Paris Hilton, for sure. Humphrey Bogart was plain homely, but absolutely endearing, and mega-gifted, too. Time for a re-think. And another cuppa.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I painted this pear to impress my color theory teacher. Everyone else was doing an orange on blue background, complimentary hues, you see. So I did a red pear on green, also complimentary, and I was the only one who thought to do something different, which was different for me, to buck the system, albeit in a tiny way. And my pear is fully fleshed-out, as you can see. When I selected it to be immortalized in one of my little compositions, I realized that it is very subtle, and none of the very colorful gradients supplied by Photoshop would suffice for its backdrop. And I was tired of black, having rendered recently several Dadaesque montages. Then I found this honey color, and gave it a nice little glow, and practiced some unaccustomed restraint in the number of little doodads I so love to spread about, and got this rather dandy little homage, starring my self-aggrandizing pear. Tell me you love it.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Sorry, just couldn't stop myself. I found a neat filter that turned my little $3.99 Safeway bouquet into poster art, or that's what it said it was doing, and I thought that was just so sweet. I refuse to hate myself, though. I like sweet, after all, I listen to Mantovani and Barry Manilow, and I'm not ashamed to admit that, no, I'm not. Really. And the neat thing is the flowers are still sitting (sweetly) on my table, right where they were when I took this photo. How sweet it is!
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Once again, tiptoeing along the learning curve in Photoshop. Lots of effects that can be applied to photos, like this stained glass image of a shot I took last year, right up the street. I cropped it, then messed around till I found this dandy button to push. Just love color, you know, and here it is, in abundance. I might even print this one out and put it up on a wall somewhere. The thing is, what looks so fabulous in this moment might not in the next. Funny how that happens.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Well, into each life some angst must fall. I keep finding buttons to push in Photoshop, and voila! This little ditty suggested itself when I selected the frame, that just smacked of the wicked queen's magic mirror in Snow White, and the composition grew out of that. I take care of lying to myself by never looking at myself in the mirror with my glasses on. My eyes are so bad, all my wrinkles just smooth right out! And, hell, maybe that new Neutrogena Deep Wrinkle Creme will be just the ticket. Wouldn't that be swell? Otherwise, it will have to be a Life Style Lift.
Monday, May 04, 2009
April showers bled into May, and, alas, I could not go out and mow or trim anything green yesterday, so I sat here and created some more little images for my dear teacher. He will have quite a selection to review. This is perhaps the simplest, because the photograph is eloquent all by itself. It was a windy day along the coast, one of those superiorly clear days when the sea boiled beneath a perfect blue. I don't know why I included the sun, didn't even know I could do that, but the result was just stunning. God is a consummate artist, n'est-ce pas?
Saturday, May 02, 2009
It is easier to begin one of these little creations with no idea of where it is going and let that reveal itself than it is to begin with an idea and try to make that happen. I started with my portrait, then began searching through all the available stuff. And, shazam! I found the "all" button in objects, so I didn't have to go through menu after menu to find the ones I wanted for my expressions, but the styles sort of chose themselves. Not enough background choices, though. I need a lot of variety. Comes from being a Gemini, I suppose. Oh, Gemini! There should be a selection of astrological signs in there somewhere. You think?
Friday, May 01, 2009
I've had that "what's the use" feeling lately, don't know where it came from, nothing is different. Well, that's not true, every day is different, isn't it. I actually got into some self-pity, a little dance with Eckhart's painbody. And I noticed it (how conscious am I!), and moved out really fast. That's progress. And so I created this edgy little composite. Notice that I found some new stuff. Photoshop is bottomless in its design capabilities. And I haven't even gotten to Illustrator or Indesign yet! Planning on pushing many more of its buttons after I outline my study guide for next week's quiz on the Greeks. Exekias and Lysippos and Polykleitos, oh my!