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Way better in person

I love this painting. I wish I had done it. But my four year old daughter, Mimi, painted it. She has suddenly become quite prolific in the world of paintings in her new preschool class. I think it is hard for her to focus and have the physical and mental space to paint at home (I can TOTALLY relate). We don’t have a lot of room here, and her sister is quite the artist herself, so a place where she is singularly special, like school, is very important. Yet another millionth reason it is great these girls have a chance to go to school as young people. I have my generous parents to thank for this gift of school.

I could continue complaining about a lack of gainful employment, but today I’d like to address something else. I started recording a podcast yesterday. Is that weird? Think of it as an extra dimension to 20/20. Maybe unwelcome, but it’s been over two years of this written drivel–it’s time to branch out. Will let you know when I’ve edited it down to something listenable.

 

failed moon drawing

 

Started a new drawing last night. Sort of like the first one, perhaps… same idea of circles and lines. Oh the simplicity. The moon’s movement will continue into this newer drawing. I’ll post an image when I gots one… I have a half-failed piece I should photograph.. where is the danged thing (it’s here, on the right–>)?  The problem with this piece is the paper. I got this really cool gray chunky paper, thinking it would be a hearty, can take what I give it paper, but it is kind of soft and weak. No Arches cover, to be sure. I went back to the spendy, superpaper for the next piece and it’s already way better. Like butter, drawing on that paper. Woah. Worth every cent. Good thing I bought some back when I had income!

September song


Hello, almost autumn. You’re cool enough to be autumn, anyway. Soon enough. Soon enough, I say… no rush back to the double blizzard kill my family in a Shining sort of way from last year’s winter. Take your time, old, cold.

I was contemplating wrapping up this blog recently. It’s been almost three years (more like 2.5, 3 in February). My daughters are turning four at the end of this month. I am currently not feeling completely and totally, almost every minute overwhelmed by being a parent. I realize this may be an aberration, a hiccup, a break in the mommy matrix, and that soon again my blood pressure will rise at the realization of how seemingly impossible this job is. 24 hours/day, every day, for the rest of my life. I am not thinking about the rest of my life, tho, at the moment. I am thinking once again in the constant now. And not out of any sort of conscious choice. It is just how things are working out. Sure, sure, there are challenges… like watching Mimi, who wakes up like a proverbial angel almost every day, and degenerates into the devil’s minion at around 5 p.m. every day, punching, pushing and berating her sister, teasing her mercilessly… Sure. There’s that. And listening to her abused sister Beenie being forced, and rightfully so, to tattle on Mimi and her bad bad ways. Though, if she’s not tattling, she may take matters into her own hands, and those hands are powerful my friends. Beenie is no wilting flower, as they say. She’s mighty big and very strong and when she’s had enough she will, indeed, open that well-deserved can of whoop-ass on her sweet and rotten sister. She’s just been in such trouble from the past history of her own bad behavior, I think she thinks she’s not really allowed to beat on Mimi. Which she’s not. But then, if she can’t fight back, and she can’t tattle, what can she do? I guess I’ll take the minute-to-minute reporting of the cruelties enlisted by Mimi, when the alternative is more violence. Oh, the violence. Oh the toddler humanity. Are they even toddlers anymore? Doesn’t that seem like a title not befitting a four year old?

The thing, though, is, that when they’re NOT fighting, they will retreat to their room or downstairs when I’m upstairs and play. Together. Detailed, time consuming play. That does not need to involve me. And this may be what has given me pause to not pull out my graying hair. They have each other. They always have and always will, unless they kill each other. I take great comfort in their companionship. And wonder if it has suddenly given me the smallest amount of space in which to re-investigate my own identity. I know its in here somewhere. It may be ready to come back out again. I hope it does soon. I miss me, whoever she may be.

Maybe I’ll keep writing here. It’s cheaper than therapy, and its fun to put up pictures. I just don’t want it to lose the miserable edge it once had. Nobody wants to read about how well things are working. They want dirt. Despair. Don’t they? All three of you who read this thing? Maybe mildly plodding through will have to be enough for now.

Speaking of miserable, creating art continues to be hugely rewarding and utterly unrewarded. Except, of course, for supportive friends and the occasional patron of said art. I am remiss in mailing the Puddle Painting out west to its new home. It’s the proper packaging that delays me. Why does it take so long for me to complete even the simplest tasks? I did manage to send off a rolled-up drawing last week to Boomerang!, which looks like a cool thing to participate in. And progress on the Beet-Shell-Flower painting is slowly crawling along. I believe that piece will complete the “2010 — Year of Making Things for Other People” project. It has been a good year art-wise, considering I’ve had less time this year to work on painting and such than at any other time of my life (except for the girls’ pregnancy, but it wasn’t a lack of time that held me back then, it was feeling like shit for about 9 months, then being attached to said babies for another however many months…). And it has been good for me to have assignment-type goals to work toward. It made what little time I did have more productive. And I believe it actually gave me some fresh ideas of directions to pursue in the future. So all around it was a good year. I think next year I would like to begin to build a new body of work. I realize that I’ve sold off most of my pre-parenting work, so it is time. I’m a very different person and artist now. I look forward to making more new things.

Happy fall, y’all!

NORAD tracks santa


Shouldn’t we, as a country, be a bit more concerned about this Santa thing? I mean, S.A.N.T.A. What does that stand for? The fact that NORAD is tracking it should tell you something. I, for one, will not be letting this tipsy, fat, white, bearded man dressed in red felt, edged with white cotton balls in our house or ANYWHERE near my children. I’d rather have the Grinch himself over to steal our two foot tall Charlie Brown Christmas tree, covered in ornaments made of snack boxes and tin foil and roast beast. Santa gets weirder and fatter, more drunk and unpredictable by the year.

Today is day, what, day four? of house arrest by various scourges and the most recent blizzard. Luckily I had a shift in my brain yesterday morning. Where I would usually be yelling at the girls for any number of heinous toddlerish acts, yesterday I found myself, to my own surprise, reasoning with them, staying calm, coming up with solutions rather than just getting really pissed off. This is gonna be THE BEST CHRISTMAS EEEEEAAAAAVVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR!

Two sizes, too small

The girls and I watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas this morning, during their convalescence from a number of ailments, nothing too serious as to bother mentioning, but serious enough not to send them to school today. Hence, TV in the a.m. which is a big NO-NO in this house. Only during illness are such blatant sloth-like activities allowed early in the day. But it was THE GRINCH, which at least gave it an edge. So much of an edge, in fact, that I was crying like a baby at intermittent moments through the entire short movie. I love the Grinch. I believe that show, seen in my childhood, gave me some perspective on my own family’s problems with the holiday, and, really, the culture at large’s issues, too. It is so pure, and beautiful. And a celebration of some sort is definitely warranted at the end of the year, no matter what your belief system or religion or what-have-you. It is just the right thing to do. Acknowledge the passing of a year. What we have defined as a year. Appropriate, to celebrate the end of shortened daylight, welcoming back the sun after it has wound down into winter.

Have yourself a merry little Winter Solstice, friends. Here comes the sun!

Beware, HOT MILFS having a good few days…

applecrumb
PIE FOR BREKKY!

First, Baltimore is doing a classic revisit of spring, dishing out two sunny warm (70’s!) days in a row, mid November, starting yesterday.

Second, the Vegan Apple Crumb pie I made three days ago still tastes great, and there’s still some of the vegan coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream left, which is the perfect complement to a heated slice of the pie. Unless it’s an occasional sliver of delicious cheese, dairy can really suck in the health realm. At least for me. FUCK YOU, MILK! I like the soy and coconut versions of milk better, anyway.

Third and most importantly, yesterday morning, Sunday morning, beautiful sunny Sunday, I woke up at 7:30 a.m., packed up some art supplies, got a coffee and everything bagel with butter at a nearby cafe, and drove on over to the STUDIO to get crackin’ on Lynn’s sister’s painting. I purchased the canvas over six months ago and am just now beginning to put paint to surface. Julia, in her benevolent desire to help a sister out, has given me a wall in her beautiful studio so I can lose my verbal self for a few hours a week and paint paint paint. I put in about 2.5 hours yesterday of real work. Painted a Burnt Sienna base color, drew into it, painted into the drawing, wiped the whole thing off in disgust, then did another drawing on the canvas and painted into that one, had it come out with the correct proportions, washed my brushes and left by 11:45. It was so deliciously right! Divine! I felt like I had cheated on my whole family, it was that kind of intense and forbidden love. The fucked up thing is, clearly I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m cheating on anyone by making art. If anything, I am saving my family thousands of dollars each year by staying out of therapy, if I can continue to eek out a few hours per week standing in front of a painting, thinking about it for a few minutes, then applying paint. Doesn’t that seem a wee bit more productive and life-affirming than going to a therapist’s office, whining about how I have no time or space to be creative, getting a fat bill and probably some medication, and still not being able to create?! I demand creative time. I NEED CREATIVE TIME! Not easy to find these days, this elusive ‘time’, since poor spouse has been working six and seven days a week. Mothers, don’t let you children grow up to be architects.

Anyway, yes, painting yesterday was everything I wanted it to be. Except, of course, back again today. I’ll shoot for Wednesday morning putting in some studio time.

Okay, so, someone I know who lives in Los Angeles just got a medical ganja prescription for her PMS. This sounds highly reasonable to me. Should I consider moving my family west? Do I need to re-think my stand on living on the west coast? Because if the only real threat is that part of the North American continent breaking off and melting into the Pacific Ocean, it kinda seems worth it if you can puff as you’re going down. Kipper the Dog and his friends all do it, except for Pig, since he’s a single dad and needs to be present for his toddler pig, Arnold. My question is: where is the bitches, y’alls? Why are there no female-type characters in Kipper? I had an epiphany the other day that all of the characters are homosexual dogs and pigs and they don’t really hang with the hags and that’s okay, too. Pig is raising his adopted son, Arnold in a loving community, Kipper and Jake and Tiger, who may be Kipper’s partner, but I am unsure about this. Who is with me on this? Am I reading too much into it?

 

Liquid gold

scotch
Whiskey, that is. Amber gold, Texas tea. The good stuff. I believe I’ve stumbled onto a virus killer — two big shots of whiskey. I had been fighting off something nasty that left me with swollen glands and a sore throat every night and following morning for two weeks… until… last night, when I killed every last germ in my throat with two shots of 12-year-old whiskey. Was kinda drunkish, in a good way afterwards, but then this morning awoke feeling restored, scourge free. Will I need to keep this rigorous anti-viral therapy every night throughout the winter? I am willing to make this ultimate sacrifice if it helps me avoid the most horrific of maladies. FUCK YOU SCOURGE.

Am having a hard time getting my head around the hour and a half preschool gift I have Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is long enough to do chores, which I have sworn off for the forseeable future, but leaves little time for any real work. If I had a painting studio, I could definitely do some work for that amount of time, feeling productive and artistically present. There is a good chance this will be happening toward the end of October. Pray for me.

Tomorrow, though I should really do some grocery shopping, I think I may do the “sit at the kitchen table and stare at the wall while drinking coffee” meditation. It is time to get back to something. I just can’t remember for the life of me what that is/was.