Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Monday in June

Yesterday was a beautiful day and although I really needed to spend it cleaning my house (my parents arrive today at about 3:30), Roxie and I wanted to be outside.  We played ball.  Twice.  We went for a walk to see the baby mule.  We ate lunch on the lawn.  We ran four miles.  We looked for turtles in the pond.  We rolled around in the tall grass (ok, she did, I didn't).  Here is a photographic record of the day:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just Do It

One year ago today Ubu died.  I still miss her but I know she is in a better place.

Today Derek built some of the frames for my abstract paintings and I framed three of them.  This is going to be a problem.  I liked these paintings before, but now I REALLY like them, and I want to keep them for my very own.  Here is your framing lesson for the day:  a frame can make something bad look good, or something good look great.  Conversely, a frame can make something good look bad, so choose wisely.  I have a bunch of paintings at home that are not going to make it out of the reject pile, even with an awesome frame.  I also have a few that I know I will like better once they are framed.  Like this one:

On another note, yesterday I decided I might run a marathon this fall.  Today I decided to just do it.  The Two Bear Half Marathon kicked my butt last year -- I registered about two weeks before the race, didn't really train, and suffered for it.  It was my slowest half marathon time ever.  This year I want to run the full 26.2, and hope it will be my fastest marathon time ever.  Having only run one other marathon, this may be an easy goal.  Having to add 18 miles to my long run over the course of only two months, this may be a difficult goal!  Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Smarty Pants

My friend Felice fits more into every day than I can fit in a week.  She works fulltime (a very demanding job), she is married with three VERY active kids and a dog, she is involved with Pampered Chef, I think she is in charge of Girl Scout cookie sales in the greater Chicago area, she bought a house last year, she knits and crochets and bakes yummy things.  And if that isn't enough, she has also been going to school.  Today she is a "candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Magna Cum Laude."  I feel smarter for having typed that, even though I'm not sure what it all means.  Congratulations, Felice.  We are very proud of you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Old and Older

Here is something old:

I painted this probably five or six years ago.  Actually, I painted it twice; this is a picture of the one I have at home and I know Derek has one also.  My inspiration came from a postcard I got in the mail advertising a new show at Shelburne Farms.  (That's a nice way of saying I copied the image on the front of the postcard, by the way.)  I like it.

And here is something older:

Anybody recognize these?  Recognize the dog hair in the box?  It belonged to either Schroeder or maybe even Spunky.  These are the crayons we had when we were kids.  They are older than dirt.  Why do I still have them?  Must be fate.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer

I was going to call this Wishful Thinking, but now it is Full Sun.  And that's what we have today.  For at least one day this week.  Roxie is out working on her tan, and I might close early.  Just because I can.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hot Mess

So this morning I get to work and first thing I do is dump half my smoothie all over my desk.  Grr.  My stapler is in the trash now (the only working stapler I had), and I missed the mouse by [this] much.  After the blender incident the other day I am wondering if someone is sending me a message:  STAY AWAY FROM THE SMOOTHIES!

It occurred to me last night that since I paint and cook in essentially the same space, sometimes at the same time, I may inadvertently be creating scratch-and-sniff art.  If so, this hot mess is taco salad:

This one isn't actually a keeper; it really is a hot mess.  Started out as something else entirely, then became something quite cool, then it wasn't as cool when it dried, then I added something that totally wrecked it and when I wiped it off it left a blueish sheen.  All of which, of course, you can see in this lousy photograph, right?  But I bet it smells like taco salad.

Friday, June 17, 2011


The rainy, cold weather here (I'm wearing fleece today -- in June) has sapped my desire to pursue anything even remotely creative.  This is sitting on the couch and reading a book weather.  And here is the silver lining:  it is a damn good thing I didn't have a bunch of paintings in the works because they would have been over on THAT side of my kitchen counter.  And yesterday morning there was a little incident involving the blender and a fork.  I won't go into any details (think spinach, chocolate protein powder, etc.); suffice it to say my cabinet doors are all shiny and clean now.

So today I give you this.  Self-portrait in haiku.

I travel through life
with watchful eyes yet silent;
birds cry look at me.

Think about that one.  It's deep.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Huh. That's Weird.

So I don't paint anything new for what, two weeks?  And this is what I get:

Neptune's Sunrise.  Weird, eh?  Then came this one:

I have NO idea what this is, but I call it Monarch Madness. Reminds me of butterflies.

I don't consider these to be the innermost workings of my soul, just interesting texture studies.  I can't tell you the technique I used, however, because that would be giving away all my good secrets.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Connecting the Dots

This is how the dots were connected yesterday:

I figured out what I want to give to my niece for her 8th grade graduation, and it was really a no-brainer.  That was the first thing.

Then, much later in the day, I was informed that I need to be more careful about what I write here, as my mother is now convinced I am about to jump off a bridge.  See "Pit. Of. Despair" below.

After that phone call Roxie and I went for a walk to check the Swan River, and suddenly I had one line on repeat in my head:

Always look on the bright side of life.

Over and over.  Just that one line.  Over and over.  Which had me thinking about Monty Python, of course.

And that took me to my nephew, Liam, the world's biggest Monty Python fan.

And then we were back full-circle, as it is Liam's sister Delaney who is graduating from the 8th grade.  She is getting Taffy Heart:

I painted this quite a while ago, but from day one it reminded me of Delaney.  So there we go.  Dots.  Fully connected.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pit. Of. Despair.

Things suck in my head right now.  It's not a good place to be.  As a scientific experiment it would be interesting to paint a new self-portrait, but it would need to be larger than life and I don't have enough room.  And I'm not sure how to adequately portray situational hopelessness.  Would that be a special glaze?  A matte-finish varnish?

So here is something I drew a hundred million years ago.  It's not quite a self-portrait.  I call her my superhero alter ego.  Her name is Ping Pow.

I never decided what her super powers are, but for right now she is concentrating on perseverance.  There is some acceptance, but mostly perseverance.  And yes, both of those things are super powers.  Trust me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chocolate Cake

So today is my birthday.  And this is what happened.  Back on May 4th I got an email from my cousin Andrew.  He apologized for being a day late, and wished me a happy belated birthday.  I wrote back to say he may have been a day late but he was a month early.  There was still plenty of time to get me a big fat chocolate cake.  Now here we are, a month later, and guess what I had for lunch today.  A luscious piece of a surprise chocolate cake, thanks to Andrew.  He ordered it from my friend Viki, and it is d.e.c.a.d.e.n.t.  Yu-u-mmy.  I laughed so hard when Viki called I practically fell on the floor.  I love surprises like that -- they don't happen often enough.

Aside from the beautiful cake, it doesn't feel much like a birthday.  In fact, I have had to make a conscious effort to be positive today.  I don't know what's up with that nonsense -- maybe it is all the rain.  It is washing away all my happy birthday vibes.

I haven't painted anything in a couple of days, but here is the ginormous pear, sitting next to one of its little friends for scale.  The little one is seven inches tall.

Yes, no, maybe so.  Still can't decide.