Wednesday, June 17, 2015

IS 70 the new 40???

I'm discovering the advantage to working in series  AND having a small artist support group that keeps me producing







I’m 68 years old, part of the Boomer Generation from which industries geared toward the denial of reality and the effects of gravity on flesh over time bring in billions from those determined to make 70 the new forty. As usual, I use reading to figure out what to expect from the next 20 or so years I might have left, the most daunting thought being that everything will just get more painful and annoying from here.

Sophie, #98 in my 100 Hot Flash Women Series
 
I realized while reading that I’ve just dumbly accepted the popular equation of age and decrepitude/no-reason-for-living, possibly because of too many years working in nursing homes. I don’t have to commit suicide after all…I can just keep riding along and see what happens next…a little more cumbersome and painful movement, a little less visual acuity, but I can keep going and maybe I’ll do something interesting, as long as I keep my brain exercised. I do have to restrict my joyous consumption of butter more and more, and spend at least an hour a day on serious exercise…walk up more hills. Can I release my natural delight in crabbiness and practice compassion? Or maybe just know that group activities are not usually my thing and keep working toward kindness, including toward my own flawed self.

Journal Page I did while suffering from a cold in April...Journal pages for mindless fun 

Let go of my boundary issues with my mother, my fantasies about hot sex…at least I have it to remember and I’m reading a book about late life romance. I can’t extinguish corporate greed, but maybe send an email to add a feather’s weight to the side of Good. I can make whatever I feel like making: quilts and clothes for myself for a change, wall pieces with tiny beading, paintings and collages…make space in the garage to store them, give them away, work small so they don’t take up too much space. Such unaccustomed freedom, no longer to have to obsess about money and how to get it is a gift. I can take my time cooking dinner, washing clothes, following threads online, watching the birds on my fence…experience the time I have with appreciation.

Two Women on a Beach2, inspired by a Thirties photo, a Notan Class and my Art Women Group
 I'm going to post the second half of this blog and more of my current art work on my other blog: Hot Flash Women   Since yesterday, my 4 brothers and I have made a plan to converge in Iowa in two weeks and help Mom move into a part of her facility where she'll receive more care.

I am not my mother, but I'm only 22 years younger than her almost 91. I'm working on making my nice one-story place with a small yard in town even easier for me to manage so I can continue to do All Art, All the Time. I'm working on a series on my family history and aging, so see more in my Hot Flash Women blog. Barb Kobe and her Computer-whiz son are helping me to whip the eBook version of Doll Making as a Transformative Process into shape, and we hope it will soon be available on Healing and Transformative Dolls, where many of my online classes are already available as eBooks.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Family Affair

With two blogs, I have difficulty at times deciding what to put where...then just difficulty both living AND posting about it. This blog has evolved somewhat into a friends and family post with the other for art work and fans of that.

I still haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up, but also HAVE decided that I don't have to narrow it down...Ever!

This has been an amazing and warm spring in NW Washington, and I'm grateful to have a big chunk of my family relatively close by and that we enjoy being together and are all great cooks.

Colorful Tin Art Construction at the Bainbridge Island Museum

Beau and Serene compete in the traditional Easter Egg Hunt

Great clouds over Ediz Hook, my favorite town beach

More clouds over Ediz

Serene and her proud parents share graduation from Western Washington University with a degree in product engineering

Serene torching the tops of lemon goodies at her graduation party

Even though I'm trying to stick to a budget, I could not resist ferrying to Seattle two weekends in a row, for Serene's graduation party and for Easter... Both great meals and an opportunity to hang with family...so nice that they are all people who like and love each other!

Easter: David, Amal, Brian

Easter Goodies...SO DELICIouS!

Hugh and Connie

Serene doing some last-minute frosting application with Beau in the background. He hasn't cooked anything for us yet, but we did get to meet a large contingent of his family the weekend before.

Shannon and Chris and their girls are visiting Steve and Linda and Mom in Iowa...Steve says that Mom is loving feeding her second great granddaughter.

Life is Good!
 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rolling Along: Sculptures with wheels

Spring seems to be a time of forward motion, and Spring has come early this year to the Olympic Peninsula. I’ve been editing my e-book edition of DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS and see the way I’ve noted trends in my own work.

I see a trend of figures on wheels…maybe a precursor to learning animation for my imaginary friends.

Where is she going in such a hurry with that silly grin on her face? Does she know something? Painting with words, 2006 or so, a life-time penchant for words and image



Speedy, Painted muslin body, sewn-on wheels, clay face, sold at a show at Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Windsor House...Apoxie Sculpt made a lot of new arrangements possible 


Alphabet for a New Entity. Green wooden wheels, painted muslin body, 2014
Back of TALE FOR THE TIME BEING

This year I'm back to multi-media story-telling images, and wheels figure prominently--Kinetic art. But then who knows where the next flight of fancy will carry me!




Inspired by Ruth Ozeki novel. 2015

Overlapping translucent faces

Winter's Tale, Original drawing

finished piece with rescued metal piece

The rusty wheels were once a functional part of something?

Although I have been diligently working to downsize my possessions, that's a difficult thing for a mixed media artist. One never knows when something might come in handy. A rusty triangular car window frame that I saw on my last trip to Port Townsend...$3 seemed like a lot, but maybe just the thing for the Liquid Planet show at Pippa's this summer...hard to tell, and the mood must be right.

I just re-joined Pinterest and found a number of different approaches to the figure with wheels really appeal to me. Will I have to go back to learning welding? Who knows where these wheels will take me???

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A train trip to Portland


Katie in the Edmonds train station

Since we can't stop birthdays from coming, we might as well celebrate them. Katie's and mine are close together, so she arranged for us to take a train trip to Portland to meet her friend, Francesca, and celebrate.

Getting on the train in Edmonds, after a drive and ferry ride

I drove over to Port Townsend on Monday evening, and after Mexican food and a sleepover in Mike and Katie's Cute Cottage, we drove to Kingston, left the car and hopped a ferry to Edmonds.

Katie brought everything in one big bag, because her wheelie bag didn't match her outfit


I dressed to match my smallest wheelie bag and we brought plenty of snacks for the 5-hour trip down. I cut and pasted in my notebook and Katie started another pair of socks, and we had plenty of time to laugh and talk.

Super Thai food in Francesca's neighbohood

Katie met Francesca at work in Spokane many years ago

Francesca, who also used to be a social worker, like Katie

The kid in the group, happy with the prospect of a great spread

Francesca lives on the 10th floor of a building right downtown, with a small balcony and a wide, wonderful view, from the city and up through the hills to the new building going up across the street. She has lots of art projects and instruments around  her apartment, and played Happy Birthday to us on her harmonium...a wonderful instrument with bellows. She also made us an amazing birthday cake with Real Whipped Cream on the side.


Our birthday cake with candle in the middle, glaze, and walnuts

Thank you, Thank You!! Francesca!!! She even bought us old lady bus passes for the first two days, and we went right to Powells the first evening. I was good and only bought 2 books...but roamed over the whole place in the hour I was allotted...what a treasure that store is! LOTS more graphic novels since the last time I was there. I bought a graphic novel on helping elder parents and one with design inspiration. Steve called while I was in Portland to say that Mom might have to move to a higher level of care. Luckily all my brothers are on board as helpers.

Wenesday, walking in Portland

There's So Much to see...and to EAT! We went to the craft museum, no one was too excited about the show at the art museum, we stopped to check out a Goodwill, and Francesca found a great tray/table top for a reasonable price.


An interesting apartment building across the street from GoodWill

I am trying really, really hard not to buy anything, and also could not breathe in the musty air inside the store. Katie and Francesca are experienced second hand store shoppers.


Portland Reflections...this place started in the year I was born

Good thing I wore my red jacket from Connie so they could find me when I loitered behind to take pictures. I've learned how to use my iPhone to cut down on extra equipment, but I still like my camera best.There is a faint reflection of me taking the picture in the window. 

We had a great Indian Lunch, and I was so excited, I forgot to document. I miss the Indian restaurant in Port Townsend, and must do more Indian cooking, because I love the food so much!

Great sushi for dinner!

It is still possible to find inexpensive places with great ethnic food in Portland...and I was happy to learn that we can mostly do the same on the Peninsula.


Katie and Francesca at Sushi

There was a picture of me, too, but I put it on my Facebook page. We did a potato chip and pop run to Safeway...they had the fancy blue cheese chips, and I a new find or re-find of mine, Lays Regular, because they are so thin and salty, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper for me...a seldom-indulged treat...that weird flavor. We watched a whole disc of West Wing, which I hadn't seen previously...a potential new addiction, as soon as I finish the Paradise Department store. Francesca favored us with another Harmonium tune...I wish I'd taken a picture. She has ordered a smaller version which she will be able to take on the bus for concerts....she has a rich and varied life on little money in the city.

River Walk

Green space near water, in the middle of a large city

Thursday, already, Quick trip with LOTS of visual, gustatory, intellectual, and emotional stimulation. Again, I was so excited, I forgot to take pictures of lunch from one of the pods of food carts...I went around twice before finally deciding on 4 different dumplings with 4 different sauces for $4 from the Dump Truck and Amazing fish and chips from a Scottsman whose speech I could barely understand because of the accent. There was a park nearby for eating, with the upper level for the homeless people sleeping there, with their blankets and possessions around them...something to think about.

Restored facade near the river

Architectural detail

Manhole cover for the Rose City

Hung Far Low

Tacos sign in a window. I am reflected in the bottom center

Portland is a richly-textured city, trying to be human-friendly. We had a conversation with a street cleaner, who will be marching in one of the parades this summer. Portland has a different vibe from Seattle. A number of times people on the street just started talking with us, happy to show off their home.

As in Paris, street texture invites photos...suggested by Katie


Selfie at Union Station

Union Station, and I was home in my own bed Thursday night

We'll be back!!!
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter, Winter, Solstice, Winter, Winter, Winter


I don't celebrate the traditional Christmas...I'm more of a Pantheist than a Christian and  hate all the Commercialism and guilt associated with the season...all the hoopla IS a way to pass the dark days before the Winter Solstice starts tipping the earth back toward the sun.

My West Coast family and I Love reasons for cooking and sharing food, so here are my end of December 2014 pictures.
A few days in the twenties in December, frost on the ground cover

A cold day at Ediz Hook

Looking across the harbor at Port Angeles, snow on the mountain tops and a few days at sea level

Celebratory Latkees...I LOVE potato pancakes any season

A two-table celebration at Doug's house in Seattle

Sarah, Serene, Connie, Hugh

Seren'e Cupcake Creations...she is an artist of cake!

Amal and her mom, who now lives nearby

David, Brian, Doug

Doug and Thayer cooking...Thayer is getting GOOD!

Lots of busy food prep going on

Thayer cured salmon and made potato latkes to go with...Very, Very Good!

Multi-tasking in the kitchen: Thayer, Serene, Amal

A small wall piece of my Mom and Dad in the Forties for Serene

One for Thayer of Dad at sixteen with a beloved train

Typical winter foggy day from the window where I sit at my computer


 I'm trying to put the dark days to good use, although sometimes the gloom gets me down. I finally broke my way into the process of making an eBook combination of DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, the book, the class, and lots of additional information and images I've gathered over the last 10 years....I LOVE learning new skills!


My friend, Barb Kobe, is encouraging me along, to become known on Pinterest because a woman from Paris saw one of my fabric journals there and ordered my eBook on that topic.

Birthday Deal: 2 books and a kit and free shipping for $20


And to do my Birthday Deal above. Fast approaching my 68th birthday...and having more time at home is motivating me to clean out boxes of books, kits, patterns, and anything else I can probably do without.

The North Peninsula Surface Design group is having a show at the Port Angeles Library, so I've been making wall pieces (small, so they won't take up much space to store)...but every day a few more pages on the book...Stay Tuned!

Forest Dream...using up the Good Stuff!