Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yet Another New Painting!

Wow! It's so easy to get out of good habits: Art and Exercise. The exercise part because I had (I suspected) bronchitis and was coughing til my chest was I used that as an excuse not to walk and lift weights quickly we lose any semblance of fitness!

The Art Part--fear of failure? Fear of beginning? Shear laziness? Anyway, I'd gotten a good start on this second portrait of Lynne. Tom saw it and liked the spontaneousness of the beginning, so I spent almost a week being afraid I'd wreck it by working on it...Today I just jumped in and did it...helped to have company coming in just an hour.

I'm teaching an online class, Doll Making as a Transformative Process, and am always telling my students to just Do IT! After the book I mentioned earlier saying that we have to do Anything for at least 10,000 hours to be any good at it...WHY do I ever allow myself to hesitate, even for a minute. I did take a photo first, just in case. Thank the Goddess for digital cameras!

Making Art, and Lots of it, HAS to be one of the most aggravating...and fun things in this life!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Work in White

My last patient Monday was hard work, to focus on her pain and not mine...but at the same time the experience took me out of my own concerns...always an effective technique for dealing with un-ease.

I sat at my computer late Tuesday morning, bow windows spreading the magnificent NW sky in front of me, regularly changing from brilliant sun to clouds, the hills of southern Canada a blue line low in front of me, and the gray Strait of Juan de Fuca in front of that. There is a broken layer of tall narrow Sentinel firs, the golden willow wanting to burst into leaf, the bright green stretch of high school yard below my cedar fence and white on black stone spirals.

I'm going to lie low today, push fluids, eat chicken soup and dumplings, retreat to my red couch and tales of Ethiopia and medicine in CUTTING FOR STONE, but I see I'm healing when ideas start to beget more.

Inspiration can come from any where and every where as long as our minds and hearts are open.

I always keep a sketch pad on the table where I eat and read and entertain, by my bed, in my studio...I've been making these curious drawings again and again of white muslin figures looking up...perhaps today I'll bring one of them into three dimensions...and share the results with you. ..Maye it is my own transformative talking with the women of my book group last Wednesday night, ranging in age from 30 to 64 (I'm the matriarch) and from finishing AN UNKNOWN WOMAN last night (she's writing as a 37-year-old) I see how our images, our self images evolve over time, from being the images our parents create in their children as a direct extension of themselves, to forming our pictures of ourselves through the eyes of teachers, boyfriends, husbands, children, clients....and now maybe Our Selves!

Since I finished the Big Doll (9.5 feet tall) a little over a week ago, I've been working in mostly all shows the form and the lines well.

I've been reading a book called BOUNCE, about excellence and achievement, mostly in sports, but in Art and Life as well. The author downplays the concept of Talent, and says instead that achievement of excellence Requires 10,000 hours of very focused practice in order to come get going and Keep working!

He also said that the people who keep hitting new highs (winning races) don't rest on their laurels.
As soon as we achieve one
goal, we are ready to move on to the
next challenge...I just wanted her out
of my living space, so I could make more white dolls. Thanks, Tom!

If you're near Seattle, you can see her in person during the month of April at Fraker/Scott Gallery in Pioneer Square. Apparently I'm still healing from my cough, abandoned by ambition tonight...but I KNOW she will return. Good night for now.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Practice, Genius, and Daylight Savings Time

I am reading BOUNCE, about how what is usually known as Genius, is really lots and lots and lots of maybe hope your children are born with Motivation and Focus!

In that vein, I am determined to continue with my paintings, hoping to get better and better. I believe 10,000 hours of practice was the stated amount of time investment to get good at anything, so after an annoying detour of feeling bad about my skills and practice, generated by two meaningless events, I am back on track, plugging away at one of the things I most enjoy doing. Our own Reality is So Shaped by our Perceptions of it!

I just finished a collection of Joseph Campbell lectures, talking about finding our own defining myths...mine must be as the creator...please buy my work, so it doesn't have to be as the Accumulator!

Just kidding...a little...I'm better at marketing online than in person...that's another topic for discussion. Another: as I get older, I'm trying to focus on what I Really like to do the best, having become somewhat resigned to the idea of never becoming rich...or even making a living...from my ART. The process of making it is what I the work accumulates...and I return to working small, thinner, so I can store it.

More of the small drawing series below:

Today was the first full day of Daylight Savings Time...this may be news to the people who are making me go back to getting up and going to work in the dark again, at risk to crunch the heedless high school kids crossing my street all in black...BUT THERE IS STILL THE SAME AMOUNT OF DAY LIGHT as there was YESTERDAY!!! except for a few minutes at the beginning and end.

Time is such an artificial construct, and now I have to re-program my life yet again And all the electronic devices that are set to the previous dates of Daylight Savings Time.

When I finally retire, at the age of Seventy, if I'm lucky, I'm going to get up when it gets light and close the curtains when it gets dark!..Unless this is intended as life-affirming brain exercise.


Monday, March 07, 2011

A snowstorm, another painting, another birthday

A week of white on the ground is very unusual for the Northwest, but we had that last week, and I took pictures of my parking area in various stages of shoveling, contemplating different attitudes toward shoveling and what they might say about the person doing the said shoveling.

I'm from Vermont originally, and I hear my friends back there just got dumped on again, so I can't say a lot about our measely 7", which has melted back to green grass. People here wait and let it melt. Back home, each instance of shoveling is a base for the next blizzard, so you'd better be neat from the beginning. I still tend to follow the VT standard, but I do get a bit lax, after 6 winters in WA.

When I was married, long, long ago, my ex used to drive over the snow, which would then be ice from November until May. The next guy was a bit of a shovel Nazi, insisting that we start work while the snow was still falling. How nice to be able to have control of my turf!

Another birthday, at the beach in Port Townsend, rather windy and cold, but not snowy. I treated myself to favorite things: beach, movie: Barney's Version (I'm going to read the book), buttery popcorn, buttery cornmeal pancakes (notice the themes?), new books, new canvas...It's at least a month-long celebration, including the weekend before, seeing Hugh in The Three Penny Opera and dinner with my handsome and brilliant Seattle brothers. I got myself a GPS and more, yet more Art Books...ready for adventures!

OK, snow in the North West, and my half-hearted shoveling, although I do like to shovel...and no, it's nothing like VT, although we can drive 17 miles south of town and one mile up and get 4 feet of snow on Hurricane Ridge in June.

Ah, yes, the painting: another in my nudes series. I really like to paint and see what comes out of my brush, and after reading Joseph Campbell about the stages of life and not trying to work outside our particular stage, I'm seeing that this birthday, "will you still need me, will you still feed me..." puts me in the consolidation phase, SO, I'll impart whatever wisdom I've gained: Do what you like and don't worry about the rest, as long as you have a roof overhead and are kind to others.

Sometimes my sculptures are more
than my paintings, and I'll keep doing sculptures, too, but my concession is to make the paintings
on thinner canvases, so I can store them more
easily. If you need a painting for any occasion, don't hesitate to contact me.

And back around to the snowstorm, which we received over a three day period. Since many people here are wise enough not to drive on un-plowed, icy roads, we had a light population of patients to see that week, and since I DELIGHT in sun on snow, I treated myself to lunch at my favorite fast food place in town, home of the Good $2 cheeseburger...Simple Pleasures! Happy birthday, Will, tomorrow.