Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Art Work

Social Media is all the rage! I'm taking classes with the Fabulous Renne to learn how to navigate all the new venues. In the mean time, my blog is home base, with a picture of my latest portrait of my friend, Loel Annie Barr
I used a photo I took the night I moved away from Saugerties, NY, almost five years ago now. She doesn't usually smoke--that I know of, but that was a unique occasion. I have a picture of Patti, too, which will be my next portrait.

I have, indeed, been seduced by the ongoing loveliness of the Northwest spring and my ongoing large (100' x 100')
Yard project...I LOVE those stones! Also the un-ending and impossible task of pulling up all the Millenium plants before they start popping seeds. All my Greatest Loves,
as well as the job that pays for the bacon are competing for my time and attention.

The long-armed and legged figure from my sketchbook page is my latest sculpture. I'll post pictures as soon as it's beyond the sewn-together fabric stage. I was going to do it for the next show at PAFAC, but I think the deadline is going to arrive too soon. Part of my new push for Maturity,
Wisdom, and Grace is to accept that I will Always want to do more than what life allows me time. If I miss a deadline, it wasn't more important than all the other things I do. Sadly, I also decided at the last minute to miss David's SMC concert in Bremerton last Saturday night. Luckily we accept each other's moment-to-moment priorities, and we have a weekend together scheduled soon...there's a Mexican restaurant on Capitol Hill I MUST try...which reminds me of the on-going Reliability of the Sensual Pleasure of Food!

My new favorite coffee house...are they as ubiquitous in the NE? Blackbird, where the pie and the magazines and bread pudding and ambiance are great, and I can justify One Piece of berry pie, if I take a good walk over to 8th and Peabody. The apple pie with cheddar crust is fabulous, and I have yet to get there early enough for the cheddar biscuit with bacon and chives, but I hear it's Wonderful. They save me from baking and eating a whole pie by myself, although I did make a Delicious cornbread with blue Stilton topping and a side of mole pork.

It's been an eventful week...Mom had a brief brush with death...a heart attack conveniently taking place in the hospital, where she'd been admitted for tests after complaining of chest pains at her doctor visit. She seems to be doing very well now, and got out of ICU on Sunday.

I was good, and did my colonoscopy on schedule, with good results...at least I found two photos in my purse after that sure looked clean. Thanks, Sally, for the ride and following me home. The procedure isn't as bad as it used to be...and we ALL have an obligation to Take Care of Ourselves...also, to be Kind and keep telling others, like Mothers, that you love them...just in case...oh, yes, and Annie has her first grandson, Charlie, born this last week and Incredibly Cute.

Euphorbia!!! I Love the name. Above, a new Euphorbia from Visions Nursery, with my attendant rock arrangement, then another Euphorbia up at the back of my back yard hill by the fence...It must have ridden in with a bag of hens and chicks that one of my patients gave me several years ago...I sure am glad I didn't weed it out by mistake, although I'm fighting the grass for control of the back row. I LOVE the combination of red and chartreuse.

Today is my Tuesday off, mostly devoted to chugging along with the Hot Flash book. I know there aren't many who would approve of my method of organization: Set up the book in In Design and just plug in pages and pictures, then
move them around until I'm satisfied...or the deadline looms, whichever comes first. For an organized person, I am rather sloppy, both about procedures and finished products. I just don't have time to be a Perfectionist...there are too many things I want to try. And I have to fit my Art Work in around my work as a hand therapist and my social activities and my magnificent stone yard and Food and exercise...book group tonight...Read 'em and Eat.

And, Oh, yes, Social Media...and figuring out how it all fits together, at least for me. Renne says we can reveal different persona in different places, and I say, well, I've been trying to be honest in my one person for years now, and feel as if I'm getting a little better at it all the time. SO, When I Have Time (when have you heard that before???) I intend to work over my web site...the location where I can sell things, like books, patterns, paintings? and sculptures? (after all, a girl has to make a little dough, so she can eat and buy paints and books and such).

This Blog, is a sort of a diary, for those who want to see me chat about All the Stuff that goes through my head from week to week...or at least some of it. Facebook is a briefer, I guess, group info/chat, where I can build a Page for my business, and keep friends updated at a quick glance. Flickr class was last night, and that looks like a place where I can group pictures of my paintings, sculptures, studio, travel...but also maybe teach classes and run groups and participate in groups online. Maybe a group of other pushy, hard-on-ourselves female artists from around the world who can encourage each other to do our best work...maybe even men artist/writers/musicians, too. The next class is in Second Life, and I think my first Avatar may be a man. Brain exercise--see how it feels. I went by the Big Doll (who lives in my main room) the other day, thinking that maybe I can stand to finish her now.

I see that there's already a Hot Flash group on Flickr...So, so many new avenues to explore! The world wide web is changing life as we expected it, for sure! Here I go, doing my best to cram in as much life and creativity and kindness as I can into each moment. Join me!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Springtime Distractions!

Springtime here has been coming and going since December. Unfortunately, when renowned jeweler and painter, Ann Krupp, and her husband, Famous Photographer, Allen Bryan, were here last week, they saw the snowy side of spring in the Northwest. We had a wonderful time, anyway, and on my day off, I showed them some of my favorites from the Quirky side of life on the Peninsula.

Fat Smitty's, at the junction of 101 and 20 is open regularly again, with its abundant American Flags and walls and ceiling festooned with dollar bills. The burgers are BIG and Good, and Allen took some pictures that are classics...The man and the counter stools looks like a winner to me!

On the way up route 20 to Port Townsend, Eaglemont is home to a 1940's motel and Roadside Attraction, decked with the Wonders of the World, a relief map of Washington state to scale, and this Twenty Mule Team, heading through the trees under the watchful eyes of a cement Indian Princess. I've been watching over the last few years as the new owners lovingly restore the glory of a past time when road trips were slow and full of adventure. The motel is open for business again.

There's nothing like traveling with artists to see
familiar things with new potential. Walking at
Allen's pace, with his big camera capturing all
kinds of details, I remembered my idea when traveling with Annie and Patti two summers ago, to do landscape shapes to turn into abstract paintings, now maybe with portraits or collage or textures.

I have to believe that all the ideas and excitement will still be waiting for me when I have the time/make the time to get back to them. At least my digital camera makes taking notes easy.

A very gray-blue day, in which repeated shapes, or a distinctly-different color really stood out.

We stopped at Akamai for inspiration. Ann and I both want to try outdoor sculpture. Her flames coming out of birch trees idea seemed perfect for Apoxie Sculpt. At Wm. James booksellers, we each got a copy of BIZARE BUILDINGS.

Allen added a lighthouse to his collection at the Port Townsend beach, and I continued my rock adoption program. This one cried out for reproduction in its subtle colors and textures--perfect for Golden Paints.

I keep trying to hone down my possessions, interests, commitments, but there's still never enough time to explore all the potential avenues.

Ann, a master gardener, introduced me to Euphorbia, in one of its many strange shapes. I bought myself a Euphorbia plant in her honor, and discovered that I already have one, growing up at the top of the hill by the fence. Both are different from this one and from each other.

I was saying that Ann and Allen are from my Previous Life...in Saugerties. There was another before that in Burlington, and one before that in the bad old Schoolhouse days in East Ryegate. No matter what lives we may be leading, we carry Ourselves along with us for better or worser. I like to think that I've been doing some positive evolution along the way. It's good to have the kind of friends with whom one can just pick up where we left off five years ago.

I woke up Thursday morning to sideways snow and hail, the mountains and trees outlined/detailed in sparkling white...I really should carry my camera wherever I go...didn't think of using the phone to take pictures...technology is getting ahead of me again.

Saturday (yesterday) was a PERFECT Northwest warm spring day, with Mt. Baker showing itself from Port Williams beach, (the photo is a bit enhanced). The top edge of the Peninsula is laced with exquisite bays. This has become one of my favorites sites for the Rock Relocation project.

Long beach down the west side of Sequim Bay, tall compressed sand cliffs, with fossils, I'm told. Many dogs, grandfathers, children, and lovers being taken out for walks, everyone discovering a special treasure.

Today I created a special white rock setting for the Euphorbia I got at Visions Nursery. The code phrase for this month's discount is, "I Love Who I am!" Say it with enthusiasm!

Driving home along Old Olympic Highway, snow-covered Cascades (summer's drinking water) to the south, Strait on the right, green open (still, thank the Goddess and the Land Trust) in between. I love the open skies here (a remnant of my Iowa life?). They are framed by mountains and salt water.

A piece of pizza in the car, plants and rocks to arrange, and I didn't even mind stopping in at work to finish my charting for Friday.

At 63 I am feeling the finite nature of my life span, and have been concentrating on honing my efforts to what I love the best. In the spring, outdoors trumps ART, but I have to believe that all the ideas and excitement will still be waiting for me when I have time/energy/attention to get back to them. On the fly, I take notes in pictures, sketches, words. Following my instincts...no regrets. Each thing chosen implies letting something else go..."bless it and release it," as my wise brother, David says.

Look around you, enjoy each person, sight, sensation as if you might never have it again.