"We Three"

"We Three"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Close, but no cigar...

I work very hard when depicting the animals to keep their essence and shy away from anthropomorphizing them into Hallmark card cuteness.  Just couldn't do it with this creature.  And I am far from satisfied with her even now, just tired of smearing pastels around for a while.  It is the ultimate ennui of artists when their vision does not materialize on the paper or canvas.  Sometimes it is something better, something magical.  Often it is not.  Whatever.  Every piece teaches me something I need to know about this craft.  I think this one taught me to focus better on the subject.  Head was too big, eyes too far apart, body to thick.  AAAAARRRRGGHH!  Still, it was fun.  Now to put her away, start something new, with lessons tucked into my pocket for future reference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back in the saddle again...

Sometimes I go on an artist hiatus.  I never really plan to do this.  It just sort of happens, and I look up and say, jeez, I haven't painted in so long.  And I wonder if I can still do it.  My walls are laden with my work.  Surely that should stand as incontravertible proof that I can.  And it doesn't because I forget the experience of the painting, and no amount of framed oeuvres are going to convince me.  It takes getting out the pastels, taping the Tiziano paper to a board, choosing an image, and beginning.  And then, there it is, again.  Most of what I hoped to get is there, on the paper.  It is an amazing thing, over and over again.  God I love doing this.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Everything is surreal, part IV

Well, I am listening to Mahler.  Even I am impressed.  I have successfully poopooed him all my 70 years, but I decided that if I am going to be an art music afficionado, I need to broaden my taste.  So I ordered a set of all the symphonies minus one.  I guess he wrote on stinker in ten.  Pretty good batting average, Gustav.  And in spite of some rather abrupt volume shifts, I find his music really romantic.  If he hadn't written such looooooonnnnnng works, longer than the staying power of the average human bladder, he might actually be popular.  Or maybe he is, and I just didn't know it.  Nevertheless, here I am, steeped in culture.  Other jarring things happened today, too.  Big bang not too long ago announce yet another collision on the very busy cross-street to my halcyon little neighborhood.  I trooped down to get a gander.  Sweet little old lady was being trundled away in the ambulance.  Little dear was just planning on some shopping at the market, and out of nowhere, a pickup slammed into her.  There are a couple of these dustups a year.  I am really careful when turning out of my country lane onto this thoroughfare.  It is a war zone.  And then, oh, this is the worst.  My favorite character on Days of Our Lives got snuffed out.  Just like that.  No warning, and really, folks, this is just too much.  I have been watching faithfully since 1997.  I am breaking up with you!  No more DVRed episodes to faithfully attend to.  Done. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Watercolors, bah...

I think I suck at watercolors.  Part of the reason is that I work very fast and don't pay enough attention to what is happening on the surface and they freaking run around with a mind of their own.  They just won't behave like oil or acrylic will.  So, impatience, number one artistic character defect.  Sometimes, though, something interesting happens all by itself.  It could be some colors that meld together, or a tiny detail that didn't get smeared around.  I pulled out a stack (one of many) of watercolors I did in a class a couple of years ago and gave them the test; what would they be if I framed them.  Amazing things happen when I put a mat around a painting.  Doesn't matter if I like the painting or think it worthy of framing.  It's like putting a bum in a tuxedo.  Suddenly, wow, it looks so, well, legitimate!  I am of the mind that an audacious artist could put a mat around anything, slap it on a wall, and somebody would think it is art, fall in love with it, and buy it, even at the slightly inflated price I put on my art, because if I don't value it, no one will.  In fact, I think you must love a piece of art to purchase it, and that should be a tiny sacrifice.  Then the artwork will be the balm for that little wound in your bank balance.  Newest thoughts from an admittedly insecure, neurotic artist.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The thing about blue and white shirts...

My favorite blue and white shirt got a hole in it.  Not a smallish hole that one could stitch up on the inside with just the faintest pucker to attest to its existence.  Oh, nonono.  A great honking hole that would showcase my admittedly more evident than usual collar bone.  The rest of the shirt is likewise as fragile and thin from multitudeness wearings and washings, a couple of decades of love.  What is more appropriate as a blue and white shirt for a trip to the Cafe for a non-fat latte and cinnamon walnut croissant on a Sunday morning?  There was a time when I had to be trained to change out of my workaday outfit every night when I came home.  Now I live in those comfy, roomy garments that are soft and well-loved.  I missed my blue and white shirt.  Actually, I still have it, on a  special hook in the itsy bitsy closet, where I can adore it on occasion.  And, blasphemies of blasphemies, I replace it.  My new blue and white shirt is not striped, that would be like buying a puppy just like Boo and hoping for the same dog to show up.  No, my new blue and white goto shirt is blue with tiny nosegays of white flowers in between very discreet polka dots.  It, too is soft, already, and worthy of having croissant crumbs caught in its cuffs.  God bless Anthropologie.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

One wonders, Vol. XXXIII

The older I get, and I am very old, like (gulp) 70 big ones old, the more absurd this world seems to me.  People are all het up about all the wrong things.  Like no marshmallows in the Lucky Charms.  What (adult) person eats Lucky Charms?  Haven't they heard about artificial colorings?  High fructose corn syrup?  Jeez, folks, grab some Cheerios.  Or better yet, some steel-cut oatmeal.  Organic honey.  NUTS!  Funny, but I used to serve my kids hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls.  With American cheese.  Well, I was 30.  I didn't know much better.  And I was on a strict budget.  Lucky Charms are expensive!  Trader Joe's sells cereals much less expensive that are much better for you.  They all have a lot of sugar, though, like it is the second or third ingredient on the list, which means that it is the second or third most abundant ingredient in the mix.  I have given up on cereal.  And lately, I have given up on most sugar.  Oh, I miss it.  And it is not all gone.  I made my protein pancakes this morning and spread them with pumpkin butter.  And whipped cream.  No, not that aesthetic yet.  But I made them with an organic egg and 0 percent Greek yogurt, and multi-grain pancake mix (has some of those oats in it, too).  Waiting for results of this year's cholesterol test.  Mine was up a little last year, when cookies, cake, pies and ice cream were regular fare, a sort of reward for growing so old.  I know that sugar causes inflammation, and inflammation causes high cholesterol.  Should be interesting, seeing if this little change has helped that.  Certainly has helped my fluffiness.  I have lost 12 lbs.  So, take it from a skinny  old person.  Can the Lucky Charms.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


I am thinking of starting an artist's only suicide hot line.  Encouraging messages, like paint over it stupid, or throw it on the floor and walk on it for a while.  Remember Pollack, Matisse, Kandinsky.  Picasso!  Look at art online.  Go for a walk.  And best of all, just keep swimming.  Stay in action.  Here is a little bit of action I have been working on for the last few days, or daze, a layer at a time.  Cannot get away from the chaos of it all. I noticed at Art for Life that my lioness arrested folks.  They looked, then they looked again.  I think that is the secret of selling art.  Make something that is hard to look away from.  This piece is that, if you can get over your first glance. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Self actualized woman strikes again!

The check engine light came on the other day, in my car.  My previous MO was to drive around for a few months, sweating and muttering and praying it would not blow up.  (I actually had one that did just that.)  Not now.  Now I am totally on top of everything.  So I got out the Yellow Pages, and found the ad for the place that checks this malady, free.  That cost me $150, just to diagnose the problem.  I had to re-schedule for the actual repair.  I managed to get rides from dear friends on both ends of the transaction.  Today, I took it in again, and decided to just find my own way home.  This process began with noticing the number on the bus that I often pass on my way into town.  Then I looked up our transit system online and found that, as a venerable senior, it was only $.75 to ride.  Pretty affordable.  My mechanic is on a well-traveled route, too, but I decided to walk the mile or so to the downtown bus mall, a lovely 20 minute stroll past several auto repair places and a couple of tatoo parlors.  I waited there by the sign for the #3, and considered mumbling to myself like several of my fellow passengers.  The driver was very nice, and did not need to see my Medicare card to accord me senior rates.  The bus was clean and fairly cheerful, the ride was smooth, up until the end when I pulled the cord on top of my stop.  Nevertheless, I am heartened that I can take such good care of my little self in the big bad world without my wheels.  On the return trip, I can get a transfer!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The artist speaks. Now listen!

The lioness went to Art for Life today, an annual silent auction to benefit Face to Face, our local AIDS hospice.  Our county was particularly hard hit in the epidemic.  Now, this is a worthy cause, indeed, plus it puts the artist's work in the way of folks who buy art, albeit cheaply, at this particular venue.  I like to exercise my mind with critiquing the fashion statements.  Money certainly can't buy taste, that's for sure.  But I digress.  Now, if I were this organization, who depend upon the local art community for the very fuel for their fire, I would be really nice to the artists.  That means fawning a little, and certainly oohing and ahing over their piece, whatever it might be, even if it is crap.  Mine is not, as you can see.  Well, I think it's not.  Really, folks, artists have pissy little egos that need constant tidbits to keep going.  Feed them!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One wonders, Vol. XXXIv

Seriously, your would think that rich and famous people would know better.  I am thinking that Julia Roberts needs to rethink her hairdo.  That peeking through tie-back drapes thing she has going on is not at all attractive, and much too young for this maturing so beautifully woman.  I rebelled against my mother's admonition that age means shorter, lighter hair, until I quit dying it and found that it was a delightful shade of silver, that I had actually been trying to get with hair coloring, and quite attractive in its own right.  Then I cut it all off, really short, which makes it kind of wave and nestle next to my admittedly finely rounded head and gives me a kind of imperial look, like Napoleon.  Everyday my hair is different.  It is sometimes kind of fluffy and I look like a throwback to the 50s, with a bubble do.  Then it is kind of flat, and I spike it up a little for a kinkier do.  And then, like today, it does both, looks really young.  The hair, not me.  Okay, I'm over that now.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Holy crap, long time, no post...

Hello. Cowwoman here.  Yes, still vertical and kicking.  I am in the last stages of intensive therapy.  Happy to report it was successful.  Now, after navigating through shame, scapegoating, worthiness, and just plain misery, I have emerged with a new perspective of my self.  Big revelation:  my mother is not the way she is because of me, which has always been her take on the situation.  However, I am the way I am because of HER!  And, as sick as I felt in the beginning of this trip through the cerebral soup, she is the one who has been, is, and will always be, sick.  Now, at the venerable age of (gulp) 70, I feel free to be who I am, having finally discovered who that is.  Gee, that's big.  And the cause of all this mental anguish, the core belief, was that if I loved myself, I was not a good person.  Both are terribly important to me.  Early in my recovery, I learned that alcoholism is a symptom of a far more pervasive disease.  The Big Book never says what that is, however, leaving me to ponder.  I decided my underlying problem was self-loathing, and started a campaign to learn to care about me the way I cared about others.  And in the end, what the Steps taught me was to have integrity and kindness, always, in other words, be a good person.  This included visiting my very old, very unhappy mother, even though she worked very hard each time to let me know I was a worthless piece of work, and I would walk away suitably flayed.  Big paradox, you see.  Being a good person meant opening my little self to yet more self-hatred.  Not. Any. More.  (I am wiping my brow as I write.)  Often, as I sat on the couch in Ian's office, he would throw out a notion about how I could let go of going to see mother, and I would run up against this interior wall that said "Hold it!  How can I be a good daughter if I do that?"  And then, mother shut the door for me, appropriately on Mother's Day, a year ago, proclaiming that I should be ashamed of myself for actions in the past (50 years past), that my visiting her was seen as obligation only, and that she never wanted to see me anyway.  In fact, she never wanted to see me again!  And so it is.  Ian said I was free.  Huh?  Only a year later, and I get it!  No longer fearful of losing the quarter of a million dollar inheritance (brothers get over a third of a million each), no longer nose out of joint over being overlooked and discounted for lack of a penis, no longer mourning family that I was never a part of anyway, DONE!   And FREE!  So, expect upbeat and less whiney posts. 
And here is one reason, my granddaughter, Eleanor Grace, Nora.  Happiness abounds!