Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I go through times when I am sure I have lost my mind. Cannot concentrate on anything for very long. Banging on the stove to scare the bejesus out of that damned mouse. Watching the same movie, over and over and over. Well, to be honest, nothing has spun my beanie on the boob tube for a while, and this stupid little romantic comedy keeps showing, Something Borrowed. I just think that little Ginnifer What's-her-name is adorable, as well as the guy whose name I still don't know, and the cute kid from the office. Kate Hudson is looking a little overblown, though, and God, she is the KID of Goldie Hawn, who I think is younger than I! I read on my home page today that to get where you are going, you have to start where you are. Does that apply when where you are going is the funny farm? Sigh. So I painted something. I wonder if the painting is okay? I wonder about everything these days. I wonder if I can dedicate myself to eat the whole bag of spinach while staring at the produce section of TJ's. That particular pondering led to an incipient panic attack. Yep. Definitely around the bend here. What would help? Therapy? Thinking about it. Let's see what's up tomorrow. Too late to call anyone tonight, anyway. And too late to worry about everything that did not get done today. At least, something did. Now wondering if I have the energy to fold the laundry that has languished in the dryer for two days now. Hey, I could have forgotten it was even there. Could be worse.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I have that little sucker on the run. Did I mention I plugged up the hole he was using to get under the sink? With a wadded up plastic bag and a big bunch of duct tape. Yep. And that drove him out into the open today, when I saw him dart from the bathroom into the laundry room. That guy can motor! Then, just when I was hoping he continued on out the dog door, I saw him duck into one of the burners of the stove. Again. So, I cleaned the oven. Fumes almost did me in. Hope he got a snootful, too. In case that didn't discourage him, I ordered another humane trap. Now have spent $30 trying to catch the little bugger. Praying that will happen soon. Oh, and decided I looked positively fried in my current self portrait, so I smoothed out my eye bags, and decreased my lower lip, that looked like I did one of those injection thingies Goldie Hawn did in The First Wive's Club. Hopefully, I look amused. This was certainly an amusing day. Did I mention that I bang on the stovetop every time I go by? Fortunate thing I live alone, and the only one to witness my behavior is a pokey little Pekingese. Ah, the life of the cowwoman is rich, indeed.
Kind of bottom feeding here. Can't think of anything to do. Let's see. I could: play the piano, vacuum the living room, hammer away at the laptop I have sitting on the table, finish the framing, whack away at the overgrown yard(s), wash the Pickle, take a walk, hell, even go to the GYM (like that will ever happen again). Instead, I did this rather unhappy little self-portrait. What can I say. I am not a glamorous person. I have a piggy little nose. Nice mouth, even if it is pulled into my chin more than ever with those Howdy Doody lines. Oh, well. Something will appeal to me, sooner or later. Soap opera coming up. Fifth Sookie Stackhouse novel to muck around in. It isn't a total loss, no not at all. And this too shall pass. Yes. Soon would be nice.
Friday, February 24, 2012
It's not a secret that I love music, mostly classical or art music, but lots of other stuff too, especially soundtracks. I own a big bunch of soundtrack albums. And I was happy as a hog in you-know-what when I found that my local classical station felt the same way about movie music, that it was the contemporary classical music. This week, as we approach the Oscars, they are playing a count-down of the top 100 film scores, and as they approach 25 so far, I own many of them. They started at No. 1 this time, which was John Barry's Out of Africa. Got it. Also in the top 10 was Dances with Wolves. Check. And Pride and Prejudice by I-can-never-remember-who, Patrick Doyle's Sense and Sensibility, Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings, John Williams Jurassic Park and ET and Harry Potter. Check, check, check, check, check and check. But then there was Max Steiner's Gone with the Wind, and Maurice Jarre's Lawrence of Arabia. I own those on VINYL! Must get some of the Hitchcock movies, other than Spellbound, which I already own. Vertigo was up there in the top 25, and I heard that theme repeated in the new movie, The Artist, which is destined to take the top prize this year. Okay, all excited here about pretty much nothing, but, hey, happy today, and that is saying something after my trip to the bottom of my ocean recently. Not swimming yet, but treading water like mad. And working on this pitiful piece, which just refuses to be scintillating. Can't hit that bullseye every time, I guess.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Tricky little piece, this. I decided it was too bland in its values, so I darkened the reeds, particularly behind the bird, who once again got punched up and more defined. I love these birds. They used to float by my window in my little place a few blocks away, where I learned to be sober in my early recovery. Kind of like silent ghosts, these birds. And there was a tree a couple of blocks away where they roosted. Someone cut it down. Probably because of the mess underneath it. It is such a wonder that, with just a little attention, I can rescue a piece that is driving me bugnuts. I liked the composition from the beginning. Just a puzzle what was not working. And then, I puzzed it out!
I think artists in the past did self-portraits when they couldn't think of anything else to paint. I certainly do that. I didn't even have my glasses on this morning when I began noodling away with this image I had scratched onto the paper before I went to bed last night, after nightly mouse patrol to be certain there was not the tiniest crumb of food for that pest before I hit the sheets. Friends complain that I am prettier than my efforts, so I glamorized myself some, and gee, I got younger, too! Wasn't looking at myself in a mirror. Hell, I have done this so many times, and seen my image so many times, I can do me in my sleep. You think that if I alter me in the picture, I could be that me in the flesh? Like Dorian Gray? Guess not. Also left off the glasses, and to be truthful, I didn't have them on for most of the process. And I don't have the proper pigments for portraits, so had to make due with a range of reds and yellows. I like the pensive pose. That was an accident. Love those happy accidents! I left her all rough. That works for me. Ah, to have that neck again!
I tuned in to one of my half a million channels yesterday and caught a showing of Bottle Shock, wonderful indie film starring some of my favorite unsung heroes like Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, and a current fave, Chris Pine, about a wine competition in France about 40 years ago that was won by a tiny winery in Napa Valley. Anything that distracts me from my current ennui is welcome here. So I took my little vase of violently purple irises and put them between me and the TV, on the kitchen counter, and slapped away with my heavy little hand, and here is the newest Trader Joe bouquet immortalized. Can you see that I don't really care very much what happens here? Or perhaps, I am just letting God do the painting. Still aching inside, don't know what it is all about, but it seems to be old wounds in active bleeding stage, and the only respite I get is when I am working at my "art". Of course, still not sure that is what it is. I am in illustrious company there, because none of us "artists" really ever feel that what we do is really "art". Not worrying too much about that at the moment. Just trying to keep from sinking to the bottom of the pond. Just treading water. Can't seem to swim yet.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I was thinking of just letting this be one of those what-was-I-thinking pieces, a vain effort to impress my teacher, one that had lost all its freshness, a trait she said she admired me for, which is just another way of saying I work fast and loose and have the guts to just leave it at that. And then I came back and decided it was worth resurrecting from its overworked state, by, strangely enough, working on it some more. So I remodeled the bird, dialed down the orange pigment in the foreground and did some diddling with the water, and gee, it came out pretty swell after all. funny how that can happen now. I also dipped into my new box of pigments, oh, joy of joys! Teacher told me how to clean the old ones that are looking so grungy (read USED), by grinding up some rice, putting them it in a jar with pigments of similar color and shaking gently. Going to try this. It is always a moment of supreme displeasure when I lay down a pigment and find it smeared with other hues, even though I did that myself. I work in such a frenzy of joyous creativity, you know. It just flows out of me. What a gift! So grateful.
I took this little work to my class yesterday because it just didn't have much umph. You know, it was flat and kind of not-very-much. No muchness. And my teacher told me what I kind of already knew. The background was too blue against the orangeness of the Hereford. So I got out the new set, the 80 (oh, count 'em, 80!) Sennelier pastels and fiddled a little, got all scumbly, and gee, isn't this fun? Teacher told me I am "heavy-handed". Didn't know if that was good or bad, though it didn't sound all that complimentary. However, later she said my work was "fresh". Yes, I will take that. It is not overworked very often and shows my process. Sometimes, it is downright indecent how fast I work, and how sweet the outcome is. I think there are a few little swipes I could take of this cow. For one thing it took four or five tries to get the eyes even. Think I would measure that when I first draw my image in? Nah. I'm an eyeballing kind of gal. I am always wantint more on the paper than is there, and work with a frenzy to get it all there before thinking about things like that. In that way, my teacher and I are alike. No futzing around in the beginning. But from that point on, we differ. From that point, she futzes. Not this gal. Guess I can life with being heavy-handed. So far, it is working for me.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Nowadays, I never know what I may have to deal with from moment to moment. Sometimes, I wake up, it is all normal and fine. Other days, like today, I would rather just pull the covers over me and hide there, forever. I get up because the Pickle needs to be fed. I make coffee, because that is what I do when I get up. I bathe, because it is bath day (every other day now that my skin is so very dry). I answer my phone. I go to my noon meeting, because it is Tuesday. One foot in front of another. Then I went to the Tuesday pastel class at the neighborhood art supply store, and peck away at a particularly fussy painting. My teacher is kind of fussy. I catch it from her, I think. Probably, I will mute out some of this fussiness, and it will be MY painting when it is done, instead of hers. Yes, I definitely think that will happen. Meanwhile, another day in my tiny life, almost gone. There is a good little mystery novel waiting for me in the bedroom, along with a warm puppy. Nothing terribly wrong. Just a down time. If we were smart, we would all hibernate, anyway.
Monday, February 13, 2012
It is cold here, in the 50s and damp. I am sitting in my computer/music/library/temporary dining room until I finish the framing room, watching this skinny guy lug his purloined shopping cart up and down my tiny street, checking recycling cans for aluminum. He lifted the lid of my itty bitty generic garbage can, then dropped it without a second look. And I thought, hey! My garbage not good enough for you. Okay, now getting a grip. If it is cold in the little yellow house, it is much colder out there. When I think about it, I never saw a homeless person when I was growing up. Of course, I lived in a small town, where everyone messed in everyone else's business, and everyone knew everyone, so folks like that got taken care of, one way of another. They got tucked away in state hospitals, for one thing. Don't have any of those available any more. Thank you, Ronnie. Sad state we are in, going backward, not taking care of one another any more. Oh, I wouldn't want to go back to those days. No computer, no DVR, hell, no satellite TV. I don't think we were thinking about anyone but ourselves when we swept our neighborhoods clean of indigents we so charmingly called bums. There is a much greater chance here and now that we will evolve our thinking into something a little more kind and compassionate. It may have something to do with most of our population is over the hill agewise, facing the Great Reward, and wanting to actually deserve it. You think? Me, I will just keep holding a space for that skinny guy in my consciousness, hoping he gathers enough cans to eat today. It's good to have a goal, you know. And it seems that he works awfully hard doing this. Too bad someone isn't paying him. Oh, and here's the beginning of (yet-another) cow opus. Sweet baby cow, with big cow eyes.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Tiny painting we did in pastel class today, about 3x5. We started with pigment laid down, then went in with alcohol to spread it around, and painted with the pigments on top once it had dried. Everyone did one, they were all different. Mine was not the most brilliant, but I liked it a lot when I got done. This teacher is so good at helping me work a little more pickily, keep pushing it when I want to quit. I'd like to carry her around in my pocket to cheer me on in all my doings, actually. Lordy, life can be so incredibly hard. Still kind of out of focus myself, so this is a good example of what is going on in the little yellow house at the moment. Just turning into the skid, trusting this is all temporary and will change any time soon. Now would be nice.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
I accidentally listened to the news tonight. I do my best not to do that. It always upsets me. And the Republicans are so good at that, you know. This is the party of smug Christians who know better how to live my life than I do, but turn around and diddle their little aides and interns, cheat on their lovely wives, and abuse their power all over the place. In case we have forgotten, our government divides church and state, keeping one out of the other. In the beginning, it was about keeping state out of religion. When are we going to get the religion out of the state? We all get to believe whatever we want, that's a freedom we are guaranteed. And I believe that the first man who mentions his "faith" should have been ridden out of town on a rail, tarred and feathered. Tell me you will beef up education. Tell me you will keep our military strong. Tell me ALL will have equal rights (yes, even women and gays). Let me breeze along newly paved highways and stand on a strong infrastructure. Just stay out of my bedroom, and away from my reproductive system. If YOU don't like abortion, well, YOU don't have one. But don't YOU say I can't. Especially if you are a male. What the hell do MEN have to say about making babies, beyond their one shot hitting the mark? Okay, I feel better. Now back to making art, like this quick study in preparation for my upcoming class. I think this is the image we will work from. Choose one light warm, one light cool, one dark warm, and one dark cool color. Do the underlying layers, working some on top of others. Repeat, working the vertical trees over the layers. Scumble some more. Voila! I think the kids will have a lot of fun with this, and be mightily surprised with the results. No more news for this apolitical animal. Just gets in the way of the joy.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I seem to have lost my muchness, again. Oh, too much change, too fast. Snapping back is not so easy now that I am older than dirt and out of shape. The old part is not my fault. The out of shape part is. Hardest thing to do is get back up on that horse. I think I hate exercise. Then I start doing it again, and find that it really makes me feel wondrous, physically and emotionally. I get to pat myself on the back, pin roses on my nose, jump around and flex my biceps. Maybe that will start again. Soon, I hope. Meanwhile, I got my hair cut. That always makes me feel lighter and in the path of good self care. Gee, I have some good excuses to be indolent. And, on top of everything else, it's freakin' winter, the time when sensible mammals hibernate! Yeah.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Pulled my head in and just didn't do a damn thing today. Well, I did super-clean the stove, go online for hints from Havahart mousetraps, and set the scene to catch that *&^%$@* mouse that has taken up residence in the stove. Not a crumb in the whole kitchen, except in the trap, and the little sucker will have to climb on top of the trigger to get it down, as I hung it from the ceiling of the trap. My bet is that he is so small that he could scamper all around the inside of the trap without disturbing a hair. Hope this works. Not that I am complaining, my kitchen has not been this clean since the day I moved in. Oh, and I did this totally overworked and overthought Wolf Kahn homage, practicing for my upcoming debut at Art Day before a passel of 5th or 6th graders. No pressure there, right? And, gee, it is good to be able to tell them what NOT to do, too. Yes.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
A friend wanted me, the ARTIST me, to teach a class on Art Day at her son's elementary school. So I picked through some ideas and decided that what I like most is color. And an artist who personifies that is Wolf Kahn. I love reinventing the world in different hues. Isn't anyone else tired of green trees, or blue skies? Gee, there are so many other options. So I am going to have me kids recreate a Wolf Kahn composition in their selection of colors, after a little introduction to their wondrous attributes, such as how red can be warm or cool, and the great appeal of contrasting value, and how cool colors seem to recede and warm colors come forward. Then I sat down (well actually, I stood up, at the kitchen counter), and rendered one of the paintings on an old calendar, to see how difficult it would be. Easy peasy. Sixth graders will have a ball doing this. And, in the end, have a colorful piece to hang on their family fridge. And learn that artists rule the world. Yes.