"We Three"

"We Three"

Saturday, December 31, 2011

And now for something completely precious...

I have spent my life the object of ridicule for my over the moon emotions. I cry over TV commercials, you know, "We bring good things to life", wah. Strangely enough, as I have become more and more sober, 22 years now, that has simmered down a lot. I didn't cry, for instance, at my darling daughter's wedding, though I carried insurance with me in the form of a tiny silver bag filled with Kleenex. But a tear or two escaped at Christmas when the adorable couple gifted me with this album. Their photographers, Paco and Betty, are sooooo creative. This is the most dear album of wedding pictures ever put together, I am sure. Of course, it helps that the happy couple are beautiful young people, and happy as bears at a picnic, after waiting 11 years, finishing educations, embarking on careers, and standing up for dozens of their friends who walked this path before them. It gave darling daughter much to contemplate as she designed their day. The 13 months spent planning paid off handsomely, as it was just a delightful, thoughtful, precious event. I am lugging this album everywhere to show off the gorgeous couple, and my new kid. Just blessed here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Birds in boxes...

Please, no applause, but I framed four paintings today! Okay, they are little ones, and the frames are mega simple and not very expensive. Yet, they do look all dressed up, my little bird doodles, in their pristine mats under glass. I have mats and frames galore coming in the mail any minute now, and should have a nice selection of framed paintings to hang on a wall soon. Somewhere. I am trusting that the proper venue will appear. Of course, I am putting it out to the universe. And so far, the universe has not dropped me on my head. At this particular moment, I am looking at my new lyre easel, still folded up inside its box, waiting for me to begin assembling it. I think I will wait for the new year. No hurry. Much framing to do before painting can begin again, and that will keep things moving, because I WANT TO PAINT! New pastels coming too. A box of 80 of those suckers. It is going to be a framing frenzy, for sure.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is it art time yet?

What with all this holiday frivolity, and the amazingly clean and orderly house I have been luxuriating in lately, with all the pretty flowers here and there, I have been loathe to get out my messy art stuff and begin doing stuff again. This morning, I was looking at this lovely new how-to book, Expressive Figure Drawing, that my daughter and son-in-law gifted me with, and thinking, gee, it would be great to do some of that. Then I got out a portfolio of drawings and found that, once upon a time, I did! Okay, I probably would not write a book about my figure drawings. And it took most of the semester to get this one, done fairly quickly, in ink with a wash, which strangely gave me license to do just about anything I wanted because, heck, you can't erase the stuff anyway, so who cares what happens, anyway. Nevertheless, I had something going when I did this. Have given up believing it can never happen again. This, or something even more delightful, will happen, once in every twenty or so tries. Andre Gide said that to find new lands, one must lose sight of the shore for a long, long time. Setting out on that kind of voyage here in the little yellow house. One never knows what one will discover.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Now that all is said and done...

...all the pretty wrappings now reside in a garbage bag, sigh. Strange how that happens. The day itself, Christmas Day, I spent ignoring the holiday, as usual. I spoke at the meditation meeting this morning, then had a latte and a (usually forbidden and totally self-indulgent) cinnamon walnut croissant at the Cafe on my way to meet friends for the matinee of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. All of us were just up to our earballs with the fluffy, frothy Santaish fare being spoon fed over the last couple of weeks. We were itching for some blood and guts and vicarious violence, and this movie came through admirably. Plus one of the most riveting films I saw this year, and one of the best performances from the newcomer who portrayed Lisbeth, admittedly one of the most provocative literary characters in decades. Daniel Craig was not all that hard to look at, either. We felt satisfied leaving the theater, then headed for our sweet diner that is conveniently open on the holiday, for super wonderful hamburgers. Yes, it was one for the books, this year's forgotten holiday. Now waiting for the electronic sewer that is television to catch up and give me something worth sinking my jaded teeth into, too. Happy, happy.

Christmas in the little yellow house...

Our celebration is over, thank you, HP. The house is all jollied up with red and white flowers, candles, crisp white tablecloth, little touches of red everywhere. The wreath was a gift from my son, and it is artificial, which is wonderful because I can use it over and over, and it is such a good one I will love having it on my door year after year. Our dinner was fine. One moment of OMG happened when I was trying to crisp up the ciabata bread and my daughter unlocked the mystery of the broiler, which has not seen the light of day lo these seven years, and was festooned with dog hair on the lid. And I thought I got the last of that when I dusted the ceiling fan. Best laid plans, busted again. My favorite gift was the wedding album the kids gave me. They had one made for all the parents, sweet kids. Beautiful. Wondrous. Precious. And then there are the Uggs, the real thing, all cozy and fuzzy and warm. Money from my parents means some shopping is coming up next week. Feeling really abundant. Then I went to the annual candle lighting service at the Center for Spiritual Living, where Rev. Edward told the Christmas story the way I believe it is meant to be understood, as a parable for the return of the light in the depth of darkness. It is, after all, winter solstice, when the days grow longer and the shadows shorter. We all filed up, very orderly, in the dim light, to light our candles and place them in the trays filled with salt, dedicating each to each person's innermost thoughts and yearnings. Mine was for my darling Boo, and for my father, though still physically present, really losing ground in being present in this world. Just a couple more days, like today and tomorrow, which is my 22nd sobriety birthday, and life can return to its normal, humdrum self in the little yellow house. Special gift to have it all cleaned to within an inch of its life and smelling so sweet, too. Many blessings in this weird little life I am leading here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dressing up for the holiday...

Little yellow house is getting a good cleaning and some little dashes of color, nothing over the top, we are not Martha Stewart here. I love this red crystal heart I found while I strolled through the Village, on my way to get a two pound box of See's for my mother to give to my father. Also picked up red towels, so festive. Red has been my accent here from the very beginning. Such an alive color, so sweet to have a room tinted all rosy from the red embellishments. Hurrying to get this stuff done, so I can do some ART. Delaying gratification has never been my strong suit, though Scott Peck assures me it will expand me spiritually. Counting on that as I keep slogging along.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Drawing on Monday, a new ritual...

My Artist's Way pals and I met this morning to fiddle around with our sketchbooks. Gee, this is just wonderful for the cowwoman. It is difficult for me to focus very long these days when on my own. One thing leads me to another and, at the end of the day, nothing is finished. But send me a couple of sweet gals, and we all settle around the table, tongues between teeth, and peck away, aiming for yet more experience and knowledge on our artistic journeys. Kind of precious, you know. We are all retired, over-the-proverbial-hill, coasting down the other side. Keeping our brains young and flexible is the ticket. Learn new things! Keep learning! It makes my heart sing, these moments with friends, pencil in hand, eraser in the other hand, trying to remember what I learned in school. Never a bad idea, to remember what I learned. Anyway, I feel happy that we did this, happy to be alive on this sweet day. And I have not felt like that for a while. Dreaded infection is gone, now doing lots of stuff to get into shape and not get another one. Yes, it is good to feel good. Good to keep drawing. Good, good, good.

Expectations and I...

My mother never calls me. Well, sometimes she does, and that usually is bad news. Someone died. But, wait, even then, she doesn't always call me. Until, recently, when it became apparent that I have a car, a driver's license, and live in the bigger town that has all the fun stores, like See's Candies and Trader Joe's. Gee, lucky me. For many years, I thought that my mother had to change for me to be happy. Then I got sober, and that job fell on ME. Yes, I was the one who had to change, to let go of needing this very difficult woman to love me the way I think I SHOULD be loved. Placing an expectation on my mother is like throwing a grain of rice at a starving person. Just isn't going to do any good at all. If, by chance, she does give me a compliment, I could get all gooey and begin to think, wow, she's changed! Now we can get all touchy feely blissful together! And, yes, I still have those thoughts. Then I remember, oh, it's my MOTHER I am talking about here. That is so not going to happen. So, this morning, she called. I was dozing and didn't pick up. My chirpy little telephone told me it was HER. After I ate my French toast and sipped my Sumatra, I steeled myself and called her back, expecting calamity, like Dad died or little brother had another stroke. Instead, she wants me to pick up a 2 lb. box of See's soft centers for Dad. Okay, I can do that. I let go of needing her to thank me for this. That wasn't happening, either. All this angst left lines in the cowwoman's face, and a steely strength in her heart. It forced me to learn to love the one that is most important in this equation, ME. And now, I don't need HER to love me in that way. I can accept that she probably does love me. In her way. Never going to change. Doesn't have to any more.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lots of stuff on my mind today...

Well, not this little painting. He is finito. Didn't come out badly at all. Always a dilemma how finished to get with these images. And the answer is just enough to get the drift. Here's hoping that eventually, I will know exactly when that is. So, my trip through cyberspace today yielded a few little gems. After feeding my virtual hamster, Balthazar, I learned that, wonder of wonders, the New York Times chose a Stephen King novel as one of the top ten of the year. Yes, I know his genre is a little low from most of the highbrows out there. Personally, I love his stuff. Never a dull read, that's for sure. And, as writer's go, he is a damned good one. His stories, bizarre as they are, always are driven by his thoughtfully render characters, often, as in Salem's Lot, a whole townful of them. And, unlike more literary authors, his writing is dynamic, never over-written like Jane Hamilton, or to emphatic, as in italics-lover John Irving, not too many sentence fragments, as Joyce Carol Oates is so enamored with, more colorful than my Trumanesque mentor, Ann Tyler. And he wrote a splendid book on writing, called, strangely enough, On Writing. Dear man. Let me end with a comment on the passing of Christopher Hitchens, wondering if he got undone once he left this earthly plane. I am sure God believed in him, after all. How arrogant to believe that the world begins and ends in one's tiny mind. Think about it. Every seven years, every cell in our bodies is replaced. What are we remembering with? It seems SOMETHING has organized this pretty amazing universe so that we can rise out of the primordial ooze to become folks who think they did that all by themselves. Whatever.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reputation? I don't need no stinking reputation!

After I flush and brush and brew and sip, I turn on my nifty Dell and peruse my emails (little brother is wondering whether to buy a suit, as our father is failing rapidly, sigh), then head for Facebook where all my friends, many of whom I know (and if I don't, they seem to know ME) for my dose of Jesus stuff from one, pictures of others on exotic trips, baby pictures, invites to open studios, and a plethora of interesting YouTube wisdom. Today, I saw an article about George Tenet via a Sean Penn late night visit, took a trip through the Universe, which led me to a diatribe on how to use the brain to better effect (actually, by getting out of the way once one is clear, to let the superconscious do the work), all kinds of valuable stuff there. And my little gray cells began perking. I remember why I love Jane Austin. And how did I get to that from the aforementioned stew of stuff, you ask? Well, the other day I saw this saying "Don't worry about your reputation, it is just what others think of you. Worry about your character. It is what you are." That seems to be Jane's message, that your life is about your character. Elizabeth Bennet had sterling character. George Wickham did not. Nor did Lydia Bennet, who wound up married to George. Life is better when we worry about our character. I came from a family that was concerned with its reputation big-time. Underneath it all seethed the pain and wounds of prior relations, that could never be healed because that would mean admitting weakness. Now, I am happy to say that I have examined all that crap in my life, and can have compassion for my family, at least. Gee, if we were all willing to look into our own darkness, how healthy we could all become. Of course, though I shine a light in the world, it only shines outward. I need another person to help me by shining her light into my darkness. And it takes character to allow that to happen. I always thought a character was a comic, sort of a Red Skelton creation, like Clem Kadiddlehopper. Now I know, I am one, too. And continually working to be the best one I can be. Kindness. Tolerance. Service. Yeah.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It is what it is, damn it...

Have just returned from the memorial service of an exemplary human being, who was stabbed to death in his own kitchen by his own, mentally ill son. Tragic loss for the family, and for the world. This was the most gentle, most loving man. So I have been hovering over my latest not diddy done done piece. And hovering is a good word. I heard it this morning in the share of a delightful man, who sees himself doing that in his own life a lot. Another devotee of my friend Eckhart, the NOW guy, and I understand exactly what he is talking about. It is that "isn't this interesting" thing, watching me do me in the world. And when I do THIS, when I let go and watch the art come up off the paper, it is ever so much more fun and the result is also so surprising. So, little puffed up guy, I hope I am doing you justice. Wondrous creatures in our amazing little world. I know God is taking care of my friend, and my sweet angel Boo, too. How can I deny that when I look into the eyes of my own creation? I could swear he winked at me just a moment ago.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Life sucks, and other deep thoughts...

You kow, both my parents are still alive, and married to each other. They are 90 and 91 years old. Dad has exceeded his expiration date, and, after a hospitalization for an inflamed pancreas, courtesy of his many, many medications, Mom threw him into a nursing home. They threw him out, ferried him back to the hospital, after chasing him up and down the halls and wrestling with him. Seems they could not medicate him there. The hospital could only keep him for observation and were pressuring Mom to get him the hell out of there, too. So. Mom called me. This in itself is a monumental moment in the cowwoman's tiny life. Mom did not feel it necessary to call when Dad was hospitalized. However, cowwoman is a good daughter, after all. She called the Elderlink folks, got lots of great ideas. Off to my hometown to consult with the doctor, who said best that he come home. Mom was not having any of that. No way. Well, I suppose she felt after 69 years, she had paid all the dues. Now it was time for some relief. Next, I called the first number on the resource list given to my mother by the hospital's social worker, a facility counselor, and we got an interview with a residence here in my town. Just a stone's throw away, actually. Very nicely appointed, social model dealing with dementia. Perfect. Expensive, but, hey, they have it. Next morning, we met at the hospital with their nurse to get Dad evaluated, and, joy of joys, he qualified. Still needed the physician's statement. And, what a guy, he called us to tell us he had filled out the discharge papers. And I said we can't move him till YOU get your act together. I found out how assertiveness training really benefits, let me tell you. After a lot of logistical maneuverings, a mountain of paperwork, he was delivered to the new facility that evening. Yay. Except, now, he is back in the hospital with a kidney infection, from the catheter they put in him during his last stay. Honestly, what a nightmare. And what a learning experience. I found I really liked telling my mother what to do. And she was happy to have someone to do that, I think. Really, there is something to be said for dying young. Oh, did I mention that between the first nursing home and the hospital, his meds got lost? And his clothes were not sent with him, either? And, owing to the fact that we thought we were transporting him, he had no clothes at the hospital and had to come to his new home in his hospital gown? Nightmare, folks.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Live and learn, and learn, and learn...

What a day. It began with cowwoman escorting visiting dog outside, broom in hand, to shoo him back in should he get all barky. Then a big piece of coconut cream pie for breakfast. The bed got made, this is always a good thing. Then Mother called, and things had gone from awful to disaster with Dad. I drove over there with a prayer on my lips, and hope in my heart. The nursing home he entered after his hopitalization kicked him out as he was too agitated. Gee, I thought they would know how to handle dementia, what's wrong with this pickture? He is back in the hospital, and they want him gone, like yesterday. We met with his doctor, who recommended he go home. Mother is not having any of that. So, we started from scratch, and, just like eating an elephant, we are doing it one bite at a time. I called a facilitator recommended by the hospital, we met with her at a local facility that specializes in his problems, toured it, and set up an evaluation tomorrow at 11 AM. It is looking like this is doable, and this facility offers respite stays, so we can see if he can regain some of his self-care and come home again. Hey, anything is possible here. He may be 91, but he has managed up till now. I think he is just confused being in strange surroundings. However, Mom mentioned he shot a gun off in the house recently. Gee, think she should have told the doctor that? Maybe his recommendation would have been different. I want to go back to my old routine of watching my soap opera and diddling up prosaic little pastels like this from my Trader Joe's arrangement. I didn't get to check my Facebook page till 6 PM tonight. I need to know which is cuter, Ryan Gosling or a puppy. I need my update from RMF Classic, in Polish. Learning different things at the moment.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Wonders, this world is full of them...

Yes, the fish is really colored thus. Oh, I may have gotten a little carried away. But. then, in my process, that is not a bad thing. Taking my mind off stuff by working at the pastels. Good things happening here, too. My daughter's dear mother-in-law loves the pastel I did of her dinner table, so we will be meeting up soon for a little lunch to present it to her. I had mats cut to the proportions of the painting. She wants to frame it herself. All is good. The refrigerator got cleaned, yay. Ideas abound for the Christmas list, which is decidedly more frugal than usual, which makes me go to my gray cells (and online catalogs) for inspiration, never a bad thing. Visiting dog, Beany, is becoming more willing to come in from the backyard, which he guards zealously. Little sucker has no off button. Barkety bark bark. And he is getting the idea that, just because he saw him leave, his master is not on the other side of the front door. It helps that he has spent a few lonely moments on the porch. If the rice and chicken diet cures the Pickle, and the Cipro cures the cowwoman, we may be back up to snuff in the little yellow house soon!

Sick puppy here...

Little Pickle has the runs. And since little Pickle has a very fluffy butt, this means many trips to the sink for sudsy moments with much rinsing. Very humbling, washing the Pickle's butt. Here she languishes on the bed while the tower heater wafts over her. I have been online and looked at all the possible ailments of which this could be a symptom, but none apply. She doesn't have distended abdomen or lack of appetite or any of a dozen horrible things going on. In light of the recent loss of Boo, I am a little frazzled and frightened whenever things don't just perk along normally with my Pickle. She is only three years old. I expect her to be around at least ten more years, longer if she dodges the mitral valve defect that took Boo so suddenly. And she is precious, my Pickle. Glamorous, too.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Things that are not a good idea...

Well, the Artist's Way says that to become an artist is to be willing to make bad art. If I want to do big scenes, more better to do them on big paper, too. Crammed this onto my small pastel pad, and now ready to say UNCLE. Lumpy cows, on cotton candy field. Save me! Oh, and pretty little fluffy-butt Pickle has diarrhea, occasioning many sessions with her hind legs in the sink, shampooing her little pooper shooter. She is on a rice and chicken diet for the duration. Also not a good idea to close the access to the back yard for very long. Well, I suppose that is why God made Resolve.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Stress and I...

You would think from looking at the surface of things that life in the little yellow house would be serene, if just a little cluttered. The clutter, actually, is books and music and art and dog toys and the usual pile of shoes by the bed. All good things, yes? And yet, last night, my head exploded seven time. Yes, I am one of those rare humans who had exploding head syndrome (a very real thing, Google it if you don't believe me). I had thought it was through with me. The Sleep Association says it is entirely stress related, they think. What could be causing all this subterranean stress, the cowwoman wonders. Perhaps it is because it is freaking December and she has not bought a single Christmas gift? Could it be the massive avalanche of leaves in the front yard, as well as in the gutters? Could it be the sinful refrigerator, happily growing wonder drugs on long forgotten produce? Could it be the fourth round of mega-antibiotics that have her limp as an overcooked noodle and as ambitious as a rock? Could it be her father languishing in the hospital, weak as a newborn? I am just so glad that I don't have to stress that this is temporal lobe seizures, since I had an EEG last year that showed, wonder of wonders, my brain is NORMAL! You could have fooled me about that. I am just going to keep swimming, here. Maybe tackle the fridge today. One thing at a time. Get out the easy Christmas carols and noodle at the piano for a while. Start a new pastel. Take a bath. Help someone else this afternoon. Warm milk tonight before sleep. Calm down the earthquake within. Yes. Oh, and pray.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A shoe kind of day...

It is time to do a little something every day. And spend some time recouping as I am still under the friggin' weather here, fighting an infection, feeling like something the cat dragged in. Not into doing anything very complicated, though, so I did this. Catalogs make wonderful references, you know. I would love to be able to afford all these adorable ballet flats, yes I would. Since that is not happening, I can immortalize them and gaze lovingly at them every so often. And thus begins the rudiments of a new opus, of shoes. Oh, wait. I did a shoe retrospective back when, and it is framed an on the wall over my shoulder. However, those were MY shoes. These are my shoe WISHLIST. There, this is the shoe wishlist opus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

It's been a hellish four months here in the little yellow house, and I am hoping that the turn of the year will bring some goodness into my life. Been sick, over and over and over again. Four visits to the doctor, four to the lab, one to the hospital for an uncomfortable, invasive ultrasound find me still with an infection on my fourth antibiotic. And did I mention MAJOR dental work, occasioning MAJOR debt, and my dog died. Gee, HP. Tired of being broke, sick, and heartbroken here. I want to feel good, soon. Thanks. The only thing that has kept me sane, and hopeful, has been painting. I am ready to frame a bunch of the feather and fin and flower opus, maybe have a show? Sell some? Sure would be swell if that could happen. Send prayers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday in the little yellow house...

I thought I was meeting a friend at the 11:30 service this morning at the Center for Spiritual Living, and she did not show up. So I ran into another old friend I had not seen in six years, and she came over for coffee and a catch-up session, how sweet it is. She made me ashamed of the piles of work that now languish in the studio, and I really am resolved to get butt out to shop for frames, mats, and venues to show the work. Part of that ennui has been ill health, but a whole big bunch is ego stuff that keeps telling me to get over myself, the work stinks, blah, blah, blah. Whatever, this is my gift. I have sold a lot of paintings, all by accident it seems. Why not sell a lot on purpose? Now, there's an idea! And I worked on this piece, a tribute to darling daughter's mother-in-law who hosted Thanksgiving this year at her gracious Sausalito home. This was part of the centerpiece, from a photo I took. I hope to frame it and gift her with it, in appreciation of the rare and wondrous holiday I got to spend with my two babies and my new baby-in-law. Precious, just precious. And I like that this is coming up so beautifully loose and fun. This could be the influence of the art I saw, again, yesterday at Jack Leissering's studio here in town. Amazing collection of amazing art. You can google him and get a virtual tour online. I don't think he is an artist himself, rather a local doctor who amassed an eclectic collection of local art, and some pretty famous stuff, too, like some of Goya's prints. I am aware that I don't have to smooth everything out. Let people guess what these orange objects are. Hint: persimmons, some of the most lovely of HP's creations. Grace, that's what our morning's service seemed to be saying. Even in the midst of all my turmoil, there are moments of absolute grace. Coffee with an old friend. Magical stuff coming up off the paper. Oh, it's not done. But it's close, very close.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The season of loss is upon us.

I think it is always there, that inevitability, change. At this particular time, it is up close and personal. A friend's son was badly burned doing bad things, and his life is changed forever because of it. Another friend lost his life, stabbed to death by his emotionally ill son. He did not want to call the police. He was afraid they would shoot his son. Huge loss to our community. This man was a blessing to the world. And, my father is in his end days, in the hospital and headed for a rest home, totally incoherent, bless his soul. This is actually an improvement. Before, he was just angry: at the loss of his driver's license, the loss of his balance, the loss of his vitality. There is something to be said about dying young. So, cowwoman is in a kind of purple mood, as you can see. It would be nice if things would settle down for a while, just kind of bounce along. Probably that will not happen. Probably I am the one that will have to bounce. Luckily, I have had a lot of practice doing that in my 67 years on the planet. I can do that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Here's what I diddled up today on my kitchen counter...

Have risen from my bed of pain. Actually, with my tower heater, 3 inch memory foam topper, Egyptian cotton mattress topper, 400 thread count sheets, thermal blanket, 5 quilts, and 4 pillows, one all downy, it was a sweet little warm nest for the last four days as I tried to shake off this lousy cold. Just couldn't do it any more, and must be a little better, because I took a bath, got dressed, and went out for a little while, too. Still not operating on all cylinders, but delighted to be vertical nonetheless. And while I was upright, I took a few moments to do this portrait of some koi. Fish are ideal subjects for pastels since I tend to leave things rough around the edges, and not smooth much out, and the paper emulates the scales! I did some smoothing with the water, then went back in and roughed it up, too. Very satisfied with this rendering. Great value contrasts, dynamic hues, painterly, not too coy or sweet. Just right. Thank you, HP.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am happy to report that I still feel like crap...

So, this rotten cold that reared its ugly head on Wednesday freakin' night is still whipping my butt, on freakin' Sunday, which means that instead of sitting ever so elegantly in my seat at the local performing arts center, preparing to be immersed in Mahler and Brahms, I am sitting in bed with Pickle on my lap hogging the thin stream of heat emanating from the tower heater and poking her flat nose into my book. I pride myself on an immune system of steel, fortified as it is with vitamins and selected supplements. Certainly the recent infusion of pumpkin pie hasn't compromised it? You think? Well, if I felt decent, I would fix myself something healthful, like broccoli. Anyway, if I had cancelled my date with a very sweet man yesterday only to wake up all healthy today, I would have been mega-angry. So, happy to still be hacking up phlegm and popping cold pills like M&Ms, in my sweats, with a Pickle on my lap.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Could it be that we are all turkeys after all?

Here are this year's flock. Actually, there seem to be two pods of gobblers, and one has only two toms in it. This is the larger of the two, with seven members. They should be getting smarter, as natural selection kills off the dunces who wander out of the neighborhood onto College Avenue, where traffic is seldom anywhere near the speed limit or inclined to slow down for a big stupid bird. And on that subject of stupidity, the cowwoman watched one of those mind-bending PBS programs last night on the nature of the Universe. Not a new thing for the cowwoman, who has read The Dancing Wu-Li Masters and The Tao of Physics, after all. And tittered up her sleeve at the scientists who think they can figure it all out. I was reminded of the true meaning of "quantum leap", which is the movement of the electrons when excited to another orbit around the nucleus of the atom, not really a journey but a blinking out of and back into existence. Gee, that's pretty amazing! Anyhoo, some smart hearts have come up with the Unifying Theory (theories are not facts, just the best possible explanation for observed phenomena, I remember that from geology class). Apparently the itsy bitsy world does not behave with the same rules as the hella-big one. The G force (gravity), the S force (strong force that holds things together), the W force, (weak force that allows atomic decay) and the EM force (electromagnetism) need some way to all be in the same equation, and that's what string theory says it has done. Holy Moley, Batman! However, string theory cannot be observed, and thus, cannot be proven other that mathematically, and that is not enough, guys! As if that were not frustrating enough, IF string theory is indeed the nature of our Universe, it allows the existence of more dimensions and alternative universes. The scientists are currently divided into pro and con string theory, and scratching their heads. In the end, both camps admit this is all very MYSTERIOUS. Gee, could it be that this is Universal Mind at work? Could it be that the Universe is smarter than these little carbon units crawling around on a tiny dirtball on the fringe of an insignificant galaxy somewhere out in Universal podunkville? Yep. Turkeys.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A good hard look at things...

So, I was sitting at the women's meeting this noon, listening to this quirky, funny woman share her experience, strength and hope, and she was talking about getting noticed, how she was always in this LOOK AT ME mode, because, like so many of us, she felt herself to be without any redeeming worth, and I looked down at my new faux fur vest, very soft and also very showy, gee, maybe that goes on for me? You think? I have always been a clothes horse. In high school, I was named best dressed, and I set some of the trends, like pleated skirts and knee socks, not a new look, but one that had not made it to northern California yet, for sure. I asked my sponsor once if she thought I was vain, and her reply was that there is nothing wrong with putting your best face and foot out in the world. And, gee, I got my new vest at TJMaxx, very reasonable. And I feel great in it. That is the wonderful part of it all, feeling great. And if I feel great, I think I look great, and then, whether I do or not, I am free to put my attention on others, like YOU. So I took all my elan and wonder and put it into this quick little study of koi. Kind of showy, themselves, you know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My work is cut out for me here...

The computer desk is out of control, again. You see, I get all this interesting stuff in the mail, stuff I never have time to peruse before it gets buried alive under new, even more interesting stuff. Luckily, the Kleenex box manages to float above all this flotsam and jetsam, because nose leaks like a faucet in this cold weather. But I digress. Time to divest myself of all this stuff, make room for new stuff sure to arrive today. So, goodbye Trader Joe's Food Pilgrimager, Land's End catalog, Anthem Insurance offer for upgraded Medicare supplemental, JJill holiday dressing event (15% 0ff!) catalog, Publisher's Clearing House announcement of impending millions (yes, I entered, what could it hurt), and assorted rags and mags. Somewhere in this mess is my seller's permit and coupons from the local craft store that promise 40% off those frames I have been coveting lo these many months. Almost ready to do that. So far today, I have done nothing. Well, I got up, brushed, flushed, made coffee, made pancakes, ate pancakes, drank coffee, took a bath, toweled and blew dry, exfoliated, did a cryptogram with the Pickle at my side, read my Thought for the Day (brighten the corner where you are message today), checked my Facebook page and email, had a second cup of coffee, and looked at the box I threw on the floor a week or so ago with the thought of cleaning out the bills in the filing cabinet to make room for the pile of them on the computer desk, keeping only the last year's for possible write offs on this year's tax returns. Okay, maybe that will happen today. Oh, and here's the reference photo I printed for a possible pastel painting. That could happen, too. Oh, it is all a mystery, you know, what will or will not happen today. Cannot wait to see.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Life lessons

Well, it's been a rollercoaster ride of feelings all week long. It began with Monday angst, lots of noise (garbage trucks, rolling garbage cans, lots of barking, repeat 5 times), and usually, it rolls off me. Except this time. And I was pissed. Later, I was just sad, missing the Boo. Funny how that happens. I kind of roll along here, doing what I do, and suddenly, I get the pit of the stomach feeling that something is wrong. and then I realize, no Boo. Well, it is still fresh, and will probably be this way for a while to come. After all, we shared 13 years together, day in and day out. I am up and out of most of the funk, especially because I have begun to work again at the pastels, which make me so very joyous in the way they express my process on the paper. I did this on black paper, about 45 minutes of stroking away. Didn't need too much more, the idea just kind of did itself, and I love that when it happens. Now off to watch dumb movies and read a trashy novel, and eat my nut bar. And maybe begin another painting. Lord, I love being retired.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Okay, don't just sit there, DO something...

Have been somewhat slothful. Definitely, sloth is the sin of the week in the little yellow house. So I started this pastel, on black paper, which makes it ever so much easier. And am now wondering if it is done diddy done done, or am I just kind of whipped by the gray day and weeks of grief and inertia. Hell, I don't know. Just glad to have a pastel stick in hand again. Haven't even dipped into the NEW set yet. Somehow, it looks so sweet, all cuddled up in its foam pockets, I just don't want to disturb it yet. This is a little thing, not really needing big work done on it. Spraying it with fixative. Maybe a little clarifying around the edges? More coffee. That's the ticket.

Travel agent for mind trips, checking in here...

On my recent roadtrip to the Oz that is Berkeley, through the marvelous country that is the north and east bay, I had one of those surreal moments when, sitting on my cushy seat, suspended in the metal cage on wheels that is my automobile, riding on the air in my tires on the macadam and over the bridge suspended over the water, I thought what an interesting existence this is. All those other beings around me, all enveloped in their cars as I was, do they thing about stuff like I do? Or are they just taking it all for granted, like this is all there is, their Escalade or Mercedes, their Civic or VW? Recently, PBS has been doing a program on the nature of our Universe, and, again, looking at it as a holographic projection. I read The Holographic Universe many moons ago, and the idea is not new by any means. One wonders - a projection of what? I like to think it is Universal Mind, the Great Spirit, or just plain old God, who has the Plan. Whatever, as I sat in my Focus, hurling myself forward, ever forward, I felt ever so at home here. This is a new thought process for the cowwoman, who often has felt alien in her own world. And, watching all the other beings swirling about on the freeways, I got ever so grateful to get home with my self and my vehicle all in one piece. Lately, I have run into all kinds of misery out there, in the big bad world. A hairy accident occasioned a feeding frenzy of emergency vehicles as I wended my way to the wilds of west county on Wednesday. PG&E had my route blocked off because of felled trees bisecting their power lines. An ambulance blasted by me later. Yesterday, police cars were all aglow beside the road to Costco. Lots of awful stuff happening out there. So, not complaining about how cold it is in the little yellow house today. And wondering, still.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What am I doing here, anyway?

I have been seriously remiss in doing my Artist's Way exercises. I think I am just rebellious, angry that HP took my dog away, it is cold here, I need more money, and on top of that, THE HOLIDAZE ARE COMING - AGAIN! Oh, good to get that all out. So, a week late, I did the visioning collage that my two fellow travelers had already accomplished, except I did it as a sort of trip through my years of painting. The tiny image of the flowers in the blue and white vase in the center is the oldest work, and ironically, the largest in real life. It is hanging in the studio, unfinished. I have major issues about it, since my mentor, the wild man artist, had me change it a couple of times to suit his vision. Have changed it back to suit mine in one fit of pique, and now don't know where the hell to go with it. Definitely, it deserves to be finished! Six of these images are now gone. I sold four of them, and that is why I included them on this board. I want to realize that someone recognized them as artful and wanted to hang them on their wall. And only one was sold to a friend! Three went to complete strangers! Included here are oils, acrylics, watercolors and a pastel. Hey, I never knew how versatile I could be until I did this. I am not unhappy about any of these pieces, even the older ones. I see that I am doing just fine on this path I have chosen. And I remember all the fun I had creating just this little bit of my work. More fun on its way, soon. Yes!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Ooooooh! New stuff!

The cowwoman braved the wilds of the east bay yesterday, traveling down the 101 corridor and across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. First stop was in Pt. Richmond, for lunch at Little Louie's Deli with my big kiddo, my son, who works there managing a section 8 housing development of 158 units. We had a sweet time together, and he took me on a tour of both sides of the freeway, which in this town is equivalent to both sides of the tracks. There was a huge lot full of new cars, newly offloaded from their trip across the Pacific from Japan. Great big oil storage tanks crown the hills, even above the up-scale subdivision. The refining is done on the north side, where the drug dealers loiter around trying to look busy. Beautiful parks and sweet beaches, too. Interesting, schizophrenic place. Then on to Berkeley and the Blick Art Supply, for these sweet half pastels, the ones I have been lusting for lo these last two months. Now, I got a great price. They are normally $80. I got them for $30, after I used the last $20 of my gift card. However, when you add is 3 gallons of gas, lunch for two, bridge toll, well, you get the idea. Still, an hour with my big guy, precious beyond words. Now to get trucking, make some art!

Monday, November 07, 2011

And then I did THIS...

So, to illustrate what practice does, I did this quick sketch in Conte crayon, which is ever so much more dramatic than graphite because it gives such more satisfying value contrasts. This I did freehand, without any little cross to hang the pear on, and I did it in about five minutes, instead of the hour we spent on the first picky pear. And I like this image ever so much more, because it is rough, my process is hanging out all over the place, it is ME, this little fruit. Must find my Pink Pearl erasers, though. I know I have four or five, somewhere. Those little suckers will erase anything. Almost.

Drawing lessons...

I have so much fun giving drawing lessons to friends. Little do they know they are my guinea pigs for proposed PAID lessons to folks I really don't know at all. Someday, it would be nice to pick up some extra cash doing this really fun stuff. This was the drawing I did along with my sweet friend Peggy. It started by sketching in the square of paper I put under the pear, then deciding where in space the pear was sitting. We drew a line noting the highest part, and a horizontal line through it showing the widest, noting that the pear is not equidistant, not by a long shot. Then we drew the contour of the pear around our little cross, in straight lines, between all the little angles. We drew over and over until we had a satisfying outline, then erased back. That eraser was always in the other hand. With some little hatching and cross hatching, we explored the interior of the pear, noting that there are light patches even in the shadowy side, and on the bottom, where the pear reflects the paper. We drew the shadow in contour, then did the hatching and cross-hatching there, seeing that the shadow is deepest under the object. We erased back to lighten the weight of the line where the pear was in the light, and darkened the shadow side. We used a stomp to blend the hatching, and put in all the sweet blemishes. My friend had a wonderful time, got a pretty fair rendering for her first effort, and left feeling like she had learned something. I did, too. I remembered the process and had a wonderful time doing my own drawing, something I have not done for a while. Actually, this whole lesson encompassed about two months of drawing class. I remember doing contour after contour, yearning for the good stuff like shading and modeling to come. That is why my lessons go where they do. Practice then becomes more fun and more rewarding. Back to practice.

Art of another artist, or two...

Our community harbors a plethora of artists, all plodding away, doing their own thing. I visited an open studio yesterday at the Barracks, an old building left behind by a long extinct Air Force base we once had here. It is ideal for artist studios, and there were about a dozen or so displaying their art so bravely. My Thought for the Day was about doing what I would have others do, so I got to talk with many of the artists, ask about their path, ask their advice about my path. I left every one with a smile, and I hope my presence graced their day. Theirs certainly did. I noted that every one of them has developed and changed over the years. One in particular, she is a nurse by profession and only works at her art on Sundays, was all over the place in her process, from representational art to abstract, from tight to loose, all kinds of subject matter (though she seemed to like food a lot, judging from the watermelon and the cupcake and the wasabi bowl and the sushi). She admitted she just let the spirit move her, and that is what comes out on the canvas. I signed up for a workshop with an acrylic abstract artist, because that felt like a fun thing to do. She, too, is working on paper! I came home with my head swimming with ideas. Since the big mucking out of the studio, all my media is sitting obediently in it's own little cubby, patiently waiting for my next opus to commence. Today, I am giving a drawing lesson to my most timid friend. It will be my job to keep her from panicking. I am giving her a pear to draw. Big challenge. Ah, but I know some tricks! Learn and grow. And never stop.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Next logical step...

...an inventory of pieces by size, to determine how many frames and mats I will need to display the work produced in my grief-stricken frenetic opus. Answer: more than 80, of varying sizes! Well, I sometimes did 2 or 3 a day. Sort of like Vincent, right? And gee, he was maligned in his lifetime, poor guy. Ready to be maligned here. Just put me up on a wall somewhere.

Meanwhile, it is raining, real driving rain. Good time to have an extra hour of snoozing. And how happy is the cowwoman to have her blasted hour back? Not happy enough to let go of the original resentment, but pretty glad. Tiny smile in there somewhere. Let's face it. This has been a mega-difficult few months here in the little yellow house. As if things weren't bad enough, the cowwoman was subjected to an invasive and really uncomfortable ultrasound test yesterday. Now walking funny, and saddle sore. I guess it beats the old diagnostic of a biopsy. And I will give odds that there is NOTHING WRONG. Just thyroid hormones and stress working together to produce odd symptoms. Let us pray this is the end of all the life on life's terms white water on my river of life. Could use some smooth sailing. Oh, wait. Holidays loom. AAAAAARRRRGGGGH!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Exemplary me...

The studio has been seriously tossed and organized. I decided no more new art supplies until I inventoried what I actually own. Here you see shelves categorized - used sketchbooks and reference photos, pastels, reference books, acrylics on the bottom. On top, a whole stack of brand new sketchbooks, drawing pads, watercolor pads, colored paper, you name it. The cowwoman is lousy with paper of all sorts. School work is put away in portfolios. Complete pastels are neatly stored between sheets of waxed paper. The big table is open and ready to supply working space for framing, the next project, and there is $$$ in the bank to do that. Oh, and did I mention, I got my resale license, now called a seller's permit, yesterday. I am officially professional here. Scared out of my tiny mind, again. How will I ever know if I can succeed if I don't put myself out there? After all, I have taken lots of flyers that took me WAY out of my comfort zone in the last few years, like getting on an airplane and flying to Rome, Italy, on January 1, 2000, or going back to college at 61 years of age. That all worked out just fine in the end, didn't it? Yes, I hung my diploma on the wall of my studio, too. I hear that the IRS is sure to audit me the minute I begin writing off all this expense, but I am ready to give them a tour of my home studio any time they want to drop by the little yellow house. Bring 'em on!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hope spring eternal...

I buy candy every Halloween, even though, in my six years here in the little yellow house, there has not be a single trick-or-treater at my door. None. Nada. Zipididoodah. And I always buy not one, but TWO bags, because, gee, it would be awful to run out, now wouldn't it? Well, that way, I can have two pieces a day till Christmas, when a box of See's usually wings it way to me, and lasts till epiphany, which is January 6, for those not in the know, the 12th day of Christmas, actually. At least this year I did not torture myself with my very favorites, like Mounds or Almond Joy or Baby Ruth bars. And I suppose I could take the candy, bowl and all, to my women's meeting tomorrow? Well, some of it. Whatever, I always have a happy Halloween. And my assignment from my thought for the day is to laugh a lot. Chocolate helps.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sometimes, I'm the windshield, sometimes, I'm the bug...

Kind of a mixed up day today. Woke up with a headache right out of a complicated dream where I had lost not only my car, but someone else's yellow vintage Chevy, too, carrying a dog that was not mine, and very worried. I guess it is all about loss, when I think about it. Took a gratuitous bath that I really didn't need except to warm my core, because the little yellow house gets very chilly these nights. Frost is definitely on the pumpkins here. Finished the last of my pumpkin cheesecake for breakfast, and thank HP THAT'S over. Got dressed and headed for the Conference our area hosted for all those sweet AA folks from Northern California (the GOOD half of our state). And heard a famous Hollywood type of guy give an amazing share about his life and times, ripping and roaring. Same generation, same length of sobriety as the cowwoman. He bugged out before I could thank him for one of his performances, so I Googled him and sent him an email. Yes, I can do that now. No shame, that's me. And notice that I framed one of the WTF opus. Put a mat and a frame on ANYTHING, and people will think it is art. Well, not everything. I actually saw one pastel on the wall at Art for Life that I would die of shame over if it were mine. But hey, there's something out there for every (tasteless) body, right? Rest of my day should be fine. Aspirin will help. And hey, I know where my car is. How sweet it is.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm not weird. I'm just a limited edition!

I read that on my Facebook page this morning. When they are not posting spiritual bon mots, my FB friends find all the lol graphics, videos, and nutso sayings. It is a plethora of humaness, my FB page. Was all excited to be within 99 friends of my son, then he got three more. That is the new status symbol for the Nerd Herd, you know. I have 222 friends currently. Two of them are dead, but I'm keeping 'em anyway! Really, I disgust myself sometimes. Now looking at my fridge and thinking I could probably divest myself of some of this stuff. Obviously, the skinny model picture is not keeping me from delving into the innards of it for things like pumpkin cheesecake (remnant of last night's potluck, and hey, I ate it solo for breakfast - eggs, cheese, sounds healthy to ME) of lemon triple gingersnap ice cream, what a wonderful world it is that makes lemon triple gingersnap ice cream! Ever since Boo left the planet, I have been indulging every appetite that had been happy to deprivate before. One of my refrigerator mottos seems to have gotten lost, but it said "This too shall pass", and yes I am looking forward to the day when I can take my wobbly bits, now on steroids, back to the gym and once again feel like sugar-free Jello is a worthy dessert. Meanwhile, it is verging on 11 AM, I am still in my full jammies and robe, bedhead all over the place, and pondering whether to get dressed or take an extra bath, since that would warm me up and I could turn off the heater. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Newness is a good thing...

When Boo went to the big dog park in the sky, I put away his sweet dog bowls. Somehow, I could not look at them or pass them on to the Pickle. Then I noticed that, being the second child, Pickle had plain old WalMart plastic bowls, and that did not seem right as she is now top dog. So, on a trip to Marshall's in search of the perfect soap dish (after the bathroom got scrubbed to within an inch of its life after toilet erupted like Vesuvius, and I organized everything), I saw these designer dog dishes. They were so cheerful and bright, and only $3.99 each, and they say that Pickle is special, too. Joy for $8.00 plus tax. What can I say, I am easily amused and delighted. Notice that I already filled the food dish, and here, at 12:30 PM, Pickle has already eaten her meal of the day. My kind of gal. Instant gratification, what a concept.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I am tired. It has been a nasty, brutal couple of months. Dog died. Allergic reaction to drug that was supposed to cure infection. Plumbing exploded. Tooth got infected. Tortuous time in the dentist's chair that has my mouth still wounded. Gym took money they were not supposed to take, then said they gave it back, but didn't. Must make still another trip there to try to straighten that out. It occurs to me that folks have gotten more and more dim witted as I have grown older. No one even apologized to me about taking my money away from me. How sad is that? Pretty lame world, HP. Time to pony up, and take care of the poor old gal just trying to matter here. Okay, did my victim thing. Now on to the next mess, which couldn't get lamer than this one. It was a great idea, trust me. I got a lot of benefit by just dabbing at it for a couple of hours. Nuts.

Monday, October 24, 2011

And this is the other one...

Painting #3 for the day, odd little ditty to add to the WTF opus. Just not interested in the final product. Doing is so much more fun.

What to do with the last of the paint...

Just couldn't stop today. This is actually the third painting I diddled up. Really, there is a lot of other things I could do here - laundry, grocery shopping, raking leaves, vacuum up the fuzzbomb's leavings all over the rug I vacuumed yesterday, change the bed, on and on ad infinitum. However, I believe she who dies with a clean house has lived a wasted life. Off to make an enchilada for dinner, then to Intergroup, the political arm of AA, my last night of service for my meeting. I endured a whole year there. Wow.

Never say it can't get any worse, because, of course it can!

Let's see. In the last two months, darling Boo died, I got a rash from the medication that was supposed to make me feel better, a tooth got infected and I had to borrow $10,000 to get my mouth redecorated, my microwave died and my plumbing exploded. Today, I took my head out of my butt and examined my bank statement, and found that the gym screwed up and never cancelled the automatic withdrawal, so that the last two months that were supposed to be free weren't. I set out this morning with steam coming out my ears, praying not to be too stern with them, stopping by for the blood test I was supposed to get three weeks ago. The lab didn't have the order, and I didn't have the number of the clinic on my cell. I have to go back later today. Sigh. And I have not checked, but the gym swears they have it right now. Wouldn't that be peachy? I know the Universe does not have it in for me. I think. Whatever, I did not paint all last week because my mouth hurt so much. Now back to doing something. Doing something is better than languishing in my victim mode. Good stuff has happened, too. And will continue to happen, I am sure. Now would be nice.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sparkles, what a joy!

I went to Penney's the other day to get a new battery in an old watch, because my current one had a floppy latch, and I was tired of it, you know how it is, day in, day out, same old face. And the battery guy was on a break, and I got tired of standing there waiting for him, so I mosied up to the counter, and I bought this one. I do not wear jewelry very much, just earrings (three, because I have two holes on one ear, there's a story there), my little charm on a gold chain around my neck, the triangle in the circle, the AA symbol (it is my secret handshake in the world- only other recovering folks know what it is), and my watch. Wish I didn't have to wear a watch, but the whole world seems to revolve around the face of the clock, even when one is retired and not expected to show up on time, anywhere. Don't know why I chose this one. It was kind of a reward for paying off a big debt, and, at the time, I thought I had money. That turned out to be a fallacy after a trip to the dentist, which occasioned a trip to the bank to borrow more to pay for a lot of necessary dental work, so I guess I am glad I got this pretty watch when I did. And it was not expensive, not by a longshot, and it was on sale, too, and every time I look at it, I feel rich. Strange, and wonderful. Such a small thing gives me so much joy. Simple pleasures are the best, you know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Living in the mystery here...

Remember that old saw about it's always darkest before the dawn? Take it from this chronic insomniac, this is too true. And now, in this time of OMG, what could possibly happen next, blessings are flowing my way. Dear wild man artist is on a high roll and slipped me a couple of Benjamin Franklin's to tide me over through the financial doldrums in which I now find myself mired. Another darling friend sent me home with a cooler of soup and yogurt, perfect for a sore mouth and returning appetite. And, yesterday, a friend dropped by with a microwave oven she said Target was throwing away. I said REALLY? Well, she said, they threw it into her car. You know, I love doing things like that for others. My situation does not allow gestures quite that grand, but I try to show up, be present when others are hurting or needing, and I know how good that makes me feel. So I became my sweet friend's good deed, and now I have this adorable little microwave to heat up her barrista coffee when she comes to visit me. Ever so much better than the teensy sauce pan I was using. Life is so very interesting that way. Meanwhile, trip to the dentist shows healing is happening, loan came through from the credit union, so it is all paid for, payments are affordable, and I have teeth! Who could ask for anything more?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I amuse myself on a Tuesday morning, coming down...

Well, my mouth is still sore from hell-on-wheels dental appointment last Friday, and as if that weren't enough, I got a sore throat and runny nose, too. I wandered around the little yellow house this morning, kicking and yelling at some really noisy people out front, don't they know I am SUFFERING here? Pickle just looked at me with that just-get-over-yourself expression she is so good at, so I made a pot of coffee and had lemon cream pie for breakfast because I was too lazy to make pancakes or French toast, then sat down to read my email, and when my DSL connected me, instead of my iGoogle homepage, I got the Don't Quit Poem, which promptly endeavored to inspire me. I took this as a hint from HP that I truly did need to get over myself. A trip to my Facebook page quickly had me laughing loudly (Quote: The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is difficult to know if they are genuine. Abraham Lincoln). Then I watched a 50s video on Control Your Emotions, more hilarity. I am now a member of the Nerd Herd, how sweet it is. Next I saw a video of a kayaker's encounter with a blue whale. Okay, that was totally radical and wondrous. Hard to kick things, now. Still, I am laid back here, not inspired to do much more than lay around. Maybe take a bath later? Maybe paint something, like the grapes I got yesterday at Trader Joe's? Cuddle a Pickle? Empty the dishwasher? Call a friend? Hell, anything could happen, and often does. God bless the simple, retired life.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Other artists and I...

It is Art Trails, the first weekend, and so far I have visited four artists in their studios. I suspect they have been seriously cleaned-up studios. Very different kinds of artists. Number one is an oil landscape painter, very impasto, dramatic use of values. Love his work. I think it is seriously underpriced. Wonder why it isn't flying off the walls, it is so wondrous. Next artist paints in acrylics due to a toxicity problem, abstracts, very big canvases, lots of primary colors, layers and layers on layers and layers. Interesting, not my style, but worth looking into. Next came this amazon of a woman, actually taller than the cowwoman, and that does not happen all that ofter. She works in acrylics on paper! Some big, some little, mostly of her dogs lounging or frolicking about in their habitat. Wonderful work. I noticed she outlines, something I have stayed away from like anathema. May have to look in to that. Impressive, expressive, joyous work that has me going Hmmmmmm a lot. And today, on my way home from Safeway, where I bought myself a lemon cream pie since I am on a soft diet after having a tooth pulled Friday, and what could be softer than lemon cream, I stopped just down the street to check out a watercolor artist. She was the only one who would not let me take a photo of her studio. Very zealous in guarding her images, which, of course, I would never steal. Just wanted the inspiration. Maybe I will stop by there next weekend and buy one of her greeting cards. Just wanted to get home and into my lemon cream pie. All this sojourning in other folks studios has taught me that my work is okay, and definitely different than these folks, so maybe, just maybe, I have a style! Now, that's exciting. Meanwhile, mouth is hurting, again, so headed for bed early, a good book, Desperate Housewives later tonight, and Tylenol PM for a happy night's sleep before getting up and trying new things. Maybe even getting out the watercolors, I feel so stoked about the work I saw today.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back to kindergarten...

A friend who buys abandoned storage units gave me a huge box full of "art supplies". Actually, there were some student grade watercolors, lots of paper, a few brushes, and I gave all those to my partners in crime who are working the Artist's Way with me, as they are just beginning that experimental stage, and it couldn't hurt to have a few doodads to begin. But one of the things in the great big box were a couple of sets of oil pastels. Now, I have avoided them like anathema, as they just seemed too rough and too loose, strange but true. Could not tighten those suckers up if I tried. Strangely enough, these are water-soluable, so a wet brush will spread the pigment into all those annoying holidays, if I were to decide to do that. And gee, I like having lots of options - to fix stuff once I go "eeeeeuwww" and walk away in disgust. Here is my first attempt at these suckers, on watercolor paper with lots of tooth, scribble, scribble. It made me happy, actually, and came out with a certain elan of it's own, that would not be there if I were working in soft pastels or acrylics. Messy is not bad, I think. Every day, I get an artist du jour on my homepage. They do all kinds of stuff, much of it really ugly, full of social commentary. I like art to be 1) expressive, 2) full of color, 3) interesting to look at day after day, 4) enlightening. Mostly, I like MY art to say ME in it. This little ditty did that. Will report back later, after more experimenting. So many media, so little time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Slaphappy me...

And here is the latest I-don't-give-a-crap-what-happens-I'm-just-needing-to-paint ditty from the current WTF opus. Still pissed off at losing my dog. Good that the browser is loading pictures much faster than it was (used to be able to play 5 0r 6 games of Freecell while waiting). Bad that the microwave is deceased. Third one since I moved here 7 years ago. Life on life's terms. Thinking dirty words at the moment. Also have no $$$ after recent vet bill, wedding, and upcoming dental stuff. HP has great things in store, I'm sure. Yes, I think I will stay positive. I haven't been dumped on my head yet. And, if I was, well, I have Medicare.