Friday, September 30, 2011
I went in for my annual eye exam this week. This is new behavior. I ignored my eyes for a long time (no insurance, and no prescription, just over the counter readers, tons of them, everywhere), and we all know how that backfired, when, last year, I was diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma and had to have surgery to save my eyesight. Scary stuff. Well, this time, better news. However, while I was sitting in the enclosed windowless area where they park you while the drops work (dilating drops are much less painful than the constricting ones they used before my surgeries, I can tell you), I got all involved with this one little fish in the aquarium in the middle of the room. He was a silver guy, actually bigger than the average goldfish, with two long feeler thingies that he whipped around like flags. He kept kissing the surface of the water or pushing against the plants. I got all worried that, not only was he lonely in there all by himself, but hungry, too. Geez, is anybody feeding this poor fish? Got all codependent about the damned fish. Then I gave the fish to HP, let go of my worry and went on to get examined. Got a clean bill from my nebbish of an eye doctor. Corneas relatively clear, pressure good, cornea thickness good, macula clear, optic nerve healthy, tiny adjustment to my progressives. Yay! And, when I got home, in honor of that dear fish who so amused me during the boring half hour with all the other geriatric patients, I did a little painting of fish. It's a strange world here in the little yellow house.
Our little burg has gotten all artsy fartsy, I noticed, on my way down Santa Rosa Avenue, our local hooker drag and auto row. There is an obelisk! Wow! How very sophisticated. Usually, one only sees obelisks in Egypt, or Washington DC, or in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Though I am not sure if this is the best artistic expression for this particular location. It appears that this obelisk is fashioned out of old auto parts. I guessed this from the Toyota emblem that was most evident as I passed by. Well, it is ingenius, I guess. Someone thought of something to do with all those bits of metal left over after the crushing machine has done its duty. And, one wonders if anyone in this world, like the Pope and his college of Cardinals, knows the real meaning of an obelisk. I do, because I took comparitive mythology in college, and that was only a couple of years ago, so I still remember what I learned there (shelf life of college classes tends to get staledated pretty fast when you are in your 7th decade of existence on the Big Blue Ball). In the Egyptian pantheon, the sky god was female, the earth god, male. So one can make a fair assumption of the true reason for an obelisk, right? I heard one guy had made the obelisk his Higher Power. Nothing new there.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Never have been into neatness, but it's getting a little out there these days, when I spend long hours being pretty pissed off, and just need an outlet to defray all that energy. Now also need a whole big bunch of paint, and gee, just got an email saying Riley Street, our friendly neighborhood art supply store, is still having their beginning of the semester sale, so, tomorrow, when the new credit union, the one that ate my old credit union, will finally post my pension income, which used to be posted today, one day before the last day of the month, I will head over there to get lots more acrylics, which I thought I would never like or use, and now am madly in love with. Things change. All the time, every day. It's not good or bad. Annoying, maybe.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sometimes, I just get really pissed off. I miss my Boo! I want my dog back! It feels like I have regressed to my two year old self. Not that I could act out then. Oh, nonono. But today, when there is no one in the little yellow house but me and the Pickle, well, who cares if I just stomp around and kick stuff. Those boxed that I threw in a corner were handy targets, but I actually broke them down and put them in the recycling container the other day. So I just did a big nothing with paint and paper, a spiral of grief, with a hot center. That's what it feels like, like I could fall into it and burn myself up. Makes me thirsty to look at it. Off to get a diet root beer. And more paint. Have burned through most of the pigments! I like doing these nothing paintings. No investment in anything, not the expense, not the outcome. Just about process. Perhaps that is always true. You think?
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Waiting for my Artist's Way group to arrive, check in and go forward with this week's tasks. Have been pretty vigilant, done my %#^*% morning pages most days, artist's date every week, and a selection of that week's tasks most of the time, too. Really think I have come along here, as I am producing several pieces a week, some good, some really kind of twitch like this one, not done yet, but gee, I see promise here, as well as some audacity. Just went online to check one of my mentor's websites, and wow, I can leave things just as sketchy as I like, yes! Actually, I am more and more excited by this process, and, perhaps, please HP, I will find my particular bent, the one that identifies ME in every painting or pastel. You think? Or, do I even need that? Ah, questions are good. Actually, better than answers in many ways, because there are so many ways one could go, and an answer is so very structured. Not my style, structure.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Sometimes, it's easy. I have been struggling with a recalcitrant mouse for month's now. Cleaned it with alcohol. Got it a new pad. Still, push, pull, drag, ACCCHH! New thing happened. Any screen that scolled leaped about like a whirling dervish. Could not get the cursor to settle on anything in iTunes, or (gulp) online. Oh, no. Looked like something awful (read EXPENSIVE) was wrong. Then it occurred to me, gee, could it be the mouse? Well, that's not difficult, is it. Just mosey over to Best Buy and pick one out of the myriad possibilities. Which I did today, praying all the way home that, smart little cookie that I am, I had hit the nail on the head and I could now read my blessed email. Actually, the only peripheral I ever installed that worked the first time has been the mouse. Super simple little dohickey. But, gee, it was still flickering. Then, I realized I still had the old one plugged in. Duh. Unplugged it, and now, wow, works slick as a whistle. Okay, have used up my daily quota of hackneyed cliches. Now off to do another of these wild little nothings.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Not my happiest day. Kinda sore around the edges. That's good, right? Gee, I hope so. I realize that I have been way off balance here for the last month. Take away one little 18 lb piece of my life, and the whole puzzle collapsed like a house of cards. Every day I get used to the difference a little more. And feelings, well, they are all over the place. I can feel happy and guilty for feeling happy and worried that I shouldn't be feeling happy all at the same time. Well, I have always been pretty bugnuts. That hasn't changed. And the old question is back. Am I all right here? Please, someone, validate me in my grief process. I actually thought I had that one down. Yes, dear girl, you are all right no matter what is happening or what you are feeling about what is happening, or what you might feel about what is happening, blah, blah, blah. Which is why I did this little messy ditty, called Garden, fast and furiously, without much thought or reason in the process, because I was not thinking at all during the doing, and that is such a blessing, because no think means no feel. Ah, a place to go away. A refuge from the grief. Grace.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Yes, my muffin tops, my saddle bags, and the new addition, my spare tire, all got worked out today. Hope this is the end of the self-indulgent sloth and awful apathy that came after Boo went to heaven. Grief, it sucks. And it is also wonderfully cathartic, and has reminded me that I am, after all, a spiritual being, one who is not afraid to love deeply. Lots of art came out of this period. It was the only thing that soothed me totally, took me to a sweet place of comfort and joy. Got tired of scraping pastels out from under my fingernails, and took a leaf from a new book. I saw an artist's work on greeting cards on my last artist's date, and realized she was using acrylics on PAPER! Oh, I remember doing that. And, languishing in my studio were a couple of pads of Bristol paper, that didn't work very well with watercolors or pastels, so, voila! Just slapping away merrily here, not worrying very much about anything of any consequence. A whole new series begins. Never a dull moment in the little yellow house.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Cannot decide what to do today. I have my artist's date with myself to accomplish before Tuesday morning, so I guess that is on the front burner. I am putting this little pastel away for a while, as I cannot walk past without putting another layer of color on it. I like the puppies, and now pronounce them DONE. Fresh off an art victory, as the little pig got a bid at the silent auction only an hour into the event, which saved me sore feet and much angst waiting to see if someone would love it. And, it was not the minimum bid, either, but $100 over! I could have hung around to see if it turned into a bidding war, and wound up selling for 150% of its value, the BUY IT NOW! price. That is my fantasy, of course, and when that happens, I will formally have arrived. Or not. Perhaps I am already there. It was evident yesterday that one can conceive of any little idea, render it, often sketchily and sometimes not very artfully, hang it on a wall, slap a price on it, and call it ART. I liked a lot of the pieces yesterday, more than I did last year's panoply, and a couple were pretty lame, in my modest opinion. But, hey! Chacun a son gout, folks. Everyone to their own taste. Just happy someone loved Willoughby enough to take him home, where they can look at him everyday on their wall.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
When in doubt, copy a master. I have been perusing pastel artist online, looking at all the ways folks use this very intriguing medium, and there is this one guy, whose name is forever lost in the sea of artists on that website, but he specializes in copies of the masters. Well, that is one person's vision. And, in many ways, I am free here, because I don't think I have a vision. I don't want to restrict myself to one subject, or even one technique. The only identifying mark on any of my works is my signature, and I don't always even do that. Sometimes I sign paintings on the back, along with the title and the year. So much more modest, you know. I will soon embark for Art for Life, and my wild man artist went to the preview last night, and tells me that Willoughby is prominently displayed, and generated a lot of buzz amongst the artists. My fondest wish is that he become the focus of a bidding war, make lots of artistic waves as well as some cash for Face to Face, the charity we are all artistically supporting, and lots of praise for MOI! Okay, not well yet, but the one thing we all crave, we terribly sensitive persons, is VALIDATION. Like, I am doing well at my chosen craft. Or he could bomb, I could bring him home and adore him in private. It's all good.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
A long time ago, I took a photo of this waterlily, really a fine image, except that the flower had little specks of dirt on a couple of the petals. Well, my tiny mind said, that is life. Kind of dirty around the edges, even when it looks so very peaceful and perfect. Still, never really liked the photo because of its itty bitty imperfections. Now have done this pastel of the image, and really love that I didn't have to include the flyspecks. I could make it anything I wanted it to be! It turned out fine, I think, and made me really happy and contented as I worked. Probably not serene, though. Not a place that is familiar in this sad time. Just glad that HP put art into my life, so I can spend my time happily slapping away on my kitchen counter, doing something so very interesting and surprising. Never know what is going to happen with it. Well, never know what is going to happen, EVER. Loving the mystery, though.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I drove Willoughby up the freeway today, to deliver him as my donation to the annual Art for Life silent auction. He rode shotgun, so I could admire him one last time in person. I hope. Surely some person will fall in love with him and snap him up, right? Hey, on our way in, I carried him picture out, mostly so people would not laugh at my duct tape method of framing (I use a staple gun, too, it works and is easy to change if someone wanted a different frame, as there is no accounting for taste, besides I am a woman, and it is my prerogative to be inventive), and one artist on his way out saw him and exclaimed many words of praise for my artful rendering of this sweet animal. Got some ooohs and ahhhs inside, too. Would be thrilled if they featured him up front and personal, as they did the cows last year. And if no one snaps him up, he is mine to travel back down the freeway afterward. Not many propositions in life that are more appealing than that. Not to mention, I get into the event, art patrons get to look at me (and the artists really are kind of zoo animals at this event) and I get to look at them (some of the most interesting fashion statements, proving that money cannot buy taste), eat really good finger foods, and see what my fellows are creating with their fertile little minds. Fun and frivolity for a Saturday afternoon. Hey, I get two free tickets. Those suckers are $75 each. It's a hell of a deal.
The only respite I get from the grief of losing my Boo has been in doing art. Okay, reading helps, too, and meeting with friends, but art is my saving grace. The pastels continue to amaze me in their brilliance, and this prosaic little ditty is amazing to me. I did it with a pastel teacher yesterday, my first work on sanded paper, which I had eschewed until now as just too picky. Man, this is the best thing since sliced bread! It picks up the pigment and HOLDS ONTO IT! Miracolo! Which is miracle in Italian for those of you who do not listen to opera. Now lusting after reams of the stuff. Also, I started this piece with a wet method, using alcohol. Gave it a wonderful ground from which to just sort of bloom on the paper. So, HP, SEND MONEY! I need lots of it to buy more pastels, more paper, FRAMES! Ready to display my work somewhere, hang it up for the very rude world to see.
Sunday, September 04, 2011
We are learning to soldier on here in the little yellow house without our Boo. His sweet soul resides here even though his presence is gone. Pickle has become an admirable sidekick. We have needed one another in this time and bonded in ways we did not before. Life on life's terms. Today's plan is a meeting at 2 PM under the oaks, where the Pickle is admired and cooed over a lot, then a trip to TJ's for some goodies. Sundays are not my favorite day, but I am working on that. Also Staples is on the list, to turn in all the used printer cartridges I have and look for a replacement so I can print business cards and reference photos and other terribly important things like that. Busy, busy. Honestly, retirement doesn't suck, folks.