Wednesday, December 30, 2009

He's not heavy, he's my...ex-husband.

Went to a small-ish gathering this afternoon at my ex's home - I've mentioned my spending Christmas there and being friends below - anyway, I got into a conversation with a woman there who I'd not met before but she did know of me ( that semi-famous status I have in this town...snort) and in the "Who are/ who'd you know" thing that occurs during these social meetings, she found out the host was my "ex." Her reaction was amazement that I was actually there and professing a great love of him and his wife. Now, I get this reaction quite a lot when I reveal that I am fast friends with my ex and his wife and the whole shebang we encompass with kids (ours), step kids (his), relations (his, hers), etc etc etc -you need a flow chart; believe me! Anyway, what this reaction always seems to be when this revelation is made, is one of unbelieving amazement that we don't hate each other's guts AND how did we do it.
I'm more amazed that this is the reaction.
I know for many adults divorced or separated; hate, anger and general loathing of the former partner is well, Du rigour, and there is a tendency towards being proud of just how much you can revile each other.
Not my place to be 'holier-than-thou' here.
Suffice to say that, for me, this makes life SO much better for me. I can be assured that at any family gathering, I will be there. That there is a decided current of caring running between our families and, best of all, my sons are mighty glad they don't have to play stupid games with their Mom and Dad about each other.
Not that this happened overnight, mind you. But I was DETERMINED not to have a stupid angry hate filled relationship for my boys to suffer through and it's always the kids that suffer most.
Also I learned a mighty hard lesson about what hanging on to hate etc can do.
Many long years ago, when I was a younger woman, I had a very acrimonious relationship with my Mom. We talked rarely to each other and her comments at those times certainly underlined how disappointed she was with me. Really dumb stuff. So when she became ill, I did not find out until she was in hospital. I saw her 1/2 hour before she slipped into a coma that lasted 4 months before she died and she did not know me. That, my friends, is my last memory of my Mom.
Heavy lesson to learn.
But to this day, I refuse to carry 'crap' around. I refuse to dwell on 'he said/she said'. I refuse to not accept that I cannot swallow my (ridiculous) pride and apologise to someone when they feel angry at me; even if I feel I've not done anything to cause it.
It's just not worth it, believe me.
Life is so fragile for us all. We NEED our family around, whatever or whoever they may be. If someone irritates the crap out of you or makes disparaging remarks; well, you CAN be bigger than that. People act reprehensibly to those they really love - and it's generally because they feel inadequate or have low self esteem. And, if the damage is just too great, disconnect with love - let it go - let it go - let it go. Words do not have to justify your actions.
All that being said, I'd like to point out that I'm NOT a saint and many many times I can still say and do stupid things about or to people, but I hope and try to remember this and rectify or - just plain old forgive myself.
Then I go to my studio to paint another painting.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009



Now that's a good quote from Tolstoy and one I really am thinking about right now; this being the time we all rethink things we've done or are or whatever seems to need 'fixing' in our lives. I sure go through the thoughts of "I'm going to do such-and-such, and by golly, things are just gonna be better!"
And, most certainly, we fail to do so.
So the idea of change coming from the space of knowing in our very soul that it MUST happen because to do otherwise is denying the very essence of what/who we are, is, in retrospect, the only way it will truly succeed.
Many years ago I did make this kind of change. After some years of a truly addictive lifestyle in a vain attempt to find 'me', I ended up back here in this little coastal town in a black black cloud. I literally closed myself away from all human contact and just lay in the bed of misery. Until some spark of that soul said " This is not the way. Do the one thing that has always been the best part of you, the one thing that has made life bright and worth the living; ART."
It HAS been the best decision or resolution - if you will- I've ever done.
so the rest of it all: wanting to lose weight; wishing for love; taking better care of myself; is just 'fluff'......I mean, it probably would be worthwhile to do these things but my soul is actually content in it's path.
So, this year, I'm going to live in the trust of my real self. No "RESOLUTIONS" because I know that all the above will happen if I just let it be.
Wow, how freeing that was.
A good NEW year awaits !

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Soundtrack of My Life

The last couple of nights I've been watching "The Beatles Anthology" - boy this dates me, huh - What a great series! I've been so engrossed in it. Anyway, during the closing credits, I found myself getting all teary-eyed because of all the memories of my formative years it brought to mind and it occurred to me that what they - The Beatles - represent is the soundtrack of my life. I can just about apply any one of their songs to some significant moment along the journey so far. I mean, the one song I insist gets played at my memorial or whatever is done when I move on from this earthly coil; is "In My Life".....
Well, indeed.
I think though, that any generation has had or will have a "sound track". Why else do we dress up in some old costume of our youth and dance around screaming 'they don't write music like this anymore!' yadda, yadda....I was just at an 80's party a week ago - it was fabulous and I looked great as a punk, may I add - and witnessed the same phenomenon happening.
So, tonight I'm feeling nostalgic; appropriate for the season's apex almost being upon us. If music forms a soundtrack, surely Christmas music evokes the strongest memories for most of us.
I hope each and every one of you is surrounded by a good beat over the next few days. If not one of music, may it at the least be the sound of a heart - or hearts - that you love.
Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

After The Painting's Over

Ok...the latest "Walk On By" is done and I'm ready to start the one that's been crowding in my mind-sort of a "brain pileup"-got a new canvas ready and the next photo inspiration all lined up and etc. etc.
So why am I procrastinating?
I seem to need this 'down time' before I can dive into the next one....and I wonder if it's akin to an 'etch-a-sketch' board. Remember those? You had to shake it vigorously to renew the surface to begin a new drawing. I feel sort of like that. I muse about this though. IF I did just flip right into another canvas; would it become 'rote'? You know; a certain 'robotness' to the paintings.
I know I'm forced to stop for a longer period every few weeks because my shoulder craps out on me, usually after I've done a few straight 7 hr marathons back to back. That's pretty much when time disappears for me. I keep thinking I should eat or stuff but it becomes a "one more section here and then I'll stop". Now this probably sounds cool but really is not a good operating system. I generally put myself into a strange state of exhaustion and hunger where I'll go for whatever is fast and plenty (toast) and then keel over on the couch for a 2 hr nap...not good if it's 4:00 in the afternoon and I might want to sleep at night instead of prowling around wide awake.
So I've taken to listening to Talking Books while I paint as they go for @ an hour per disk and focus me more on a coherent schedule. Mind you, yesterday the CD stopped and I kept on painting thinking "Better stop and change the CD" and a whole hour and a half went by.
OK, still working on that.
In any case, I feel a certain excitement to be this eager to start a new painting. I'm always intrigued to see how my hands turn my mind's eye vision to reality. (Now, that would be fascinating to know how I DO that - do Scientists even understand 'Creativity'? hmmm, another post methinks...)
So where was I...oh yeah...The Next Painting. I really love this process. Gathering the research together, planning out what kind of background, arranging the elements to produce the it all.
Better get started!

Newest! WALK ON BY

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Will If You Will

The photos I have of Mom etc. are, obviously due to the time frame, in black and white, so I do a lot of research to find out fashions colors of that time. And this has me thinking about what "fashion" is. Usually, it comes to mean : What Everyone Is Now Wearing", right? But, and here's where I'm going with this, WHO was the 'first'? The first to be wearing that particular, oh, skirt or shirt or what have you? Most of us would say it's the fashion moguls, designers, etc. that call the shots here - but I'd think you'd still have to have a sort of consensus of agreement on what is cool. But it has to be the 'brave' that make the leap to adorn themselves in what, for all others, at the time. And the whole thing about wearing 'what everyone else is' ; that is an odd idiosyncrasy we humans participate in. And really that's what "fashion" seems to be : "What Everyone Is Now Wearing"; and it seems to be what has been going on for a long long time. I can picture some cave woman artfully draping her mastodon fur across her shoulders then having the rest of the tribe think " Wow. 'Shoola' looks fantastic like that and by golly the Hunter Boys sure pay more attention to her so I'm going to do it too!"

But there still is the FIRST one to do it.

Kind of like Art in a way. If you look at paintings through the years, there is always a "new" style or method an Artist employs and the next thing you know, Hey Presto, the whole fleeping flock rushes to do it just the same; ESPECIALLY if that new style/method becomes popular. Witness the surge of "way colorful, perspective wonky" painting currently a craze.

Of course, there's the other side of that equation that has the Artist ridiculed for the new direction until some far off time when the ordinary souls finally 'get it'.

I read somewhere that there is nothing really new under the sun; that we all take whatever has gone before and just reinterpret it.

Maybe so.

Still, there has to be that first.

Maybe I should start wearing my paint splattered clothes more often to town.

You never know......

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SWEPT AWAY much for being on top of writing here....ah,yes, famous last words, as they say. Apart from the plethora of Seasonal parties, we have been swept up in painting, which is the point of it all. The reception for the new series has been gratifying, to say the least but with 2 sales in the last week - "Telephone Call" and "Wave Baby" sold! - our impetus for creating more along this vein continues. I have another one almost done and the next one was formulated in my mind's eye as I was painting's a very cool feeling to be so inspired! I find myself irritated by the fact of life interrupting when I have to get groceries or even do the fleeping dishes...sheesh! I got some more old photos of Mom when I was over in Van. and they are sparking the battery...along with the ones my (ex) MIL sent.
Anyway, what I've come to realize as well, is that they are becoming "me" - and in that I mean that even though the photos are of Mom etc. the painting is actually telling my story. I dropped off 3 paintings to my Gallery Guy Mark Penney here in Ukee, who has been my "champion" in encouraging these works and this new direction for me today and in conversation with him I said as much. He replied that this was the reason they were being received as they are - sort of like my guts are (finally) reflected through the work and that is what makes for a "good" painting. I think what I find so intriguing is that the paintings themselves are 'light' and 'colorful' but in actuality are portraying very dark stories.
Makes me wonder if in some long far off time, someone will do a Theseus on the 'real' picture behind the painting. Mark wants to do a big show come next "Whale Fest" time so I'm trying to have a good size body of work for that. And I find myself in a strange space or situation from this. In the past I've tried to get paintings into the galleries up here but until Cedar Corner opened in Tofino hadn't had much luck. Cedar Corner has been pretty lucrative for me and so when I first had some of these new ones done, I took them up there. I honestly wasn't sure about the reception because they aren't "beachy"; which is very much all you see out here. Anyway, the two that I held back for a show I took into Mark's and he has been the one person really excited and willing to go to bat for me. So here's the thing; I had the first one I did - "Thursday's Child" - at another Gallery here in town and I am not really selling at all from there so I pulled it out and took it to Mark....leaving me feeling, in a way. I mean this is a small place and you don't want to piss off any gallery folks - and I basically do try to be as 'well behaved' as possible. But it seems to me that they should be displayed as a body of work and not scattered higgeldy-piggeldy all about. Tofino/Ukee ok but not 1 or 2 in every gallery in the same town. (I don't have a problem with different stuff, like the 'beachy' ones)
So, tonight, I'm feeling like I need to 'explain' my behavior and 'fess up to what I did to the other gallery person.
What a petard to be hoisted on.
Georgia O'Keeffe was even more outrageous. If she saw a painting of hers displayed at a client's home or whatever in a way she disapproved of, she would 'take back' that painting.
Now that's ballsy!
Can't say I'm that bad (or gutsy) but I do wonder if Leonardo or even poor old Vincent saw how commercialized their work has become, if they'd blow a gasket and take it all back......when does a treasure become trash?
In any case these are questions that are starting to pop up for me. this what 'fame' brings, we wonder. Who'd a thunk it was so fraught with 'stuff'.......

PS...Jams has taken to jumping onto my painting chair in the studio and reaching up with her paws on my back to get me to pay attention to her......bit of a illustration of how swept away I am....

Friday, December 4, 2009

A New Series Begins

Marion Series # 1

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

It's the first of Dec.....and, methinks, time to get back to the blog-oh!-sphere.....been away for a bit and I hadn't realized how long until I woke up thinking about what to write here. Mind you, I fell asleep again right away and lost it all when I resurfaced.....damn! It was good too. I'm sure of it.

Anyway, today is the start of the Crazyily Special Season and a post by someone on FB re: gathering at relatives being an excuse for a mad frenzy of feasting on each other's brains..(wow, the visuals that engenders)...has me thinking about expectations and acceptance. This always seems to be the time of the year when folks go a wee bit "strange". I often hear the same sentiment - well maybe not quite so "horror film-ish", expressed by adults. And, to be honest, I was feeling somewhat the same this time too. what with the worry about my Dad and the thing I have happening with my dearly loved child...I just wanted to run away. What usually happens for me at Christmas is the kids go to their Father's home and I go over for dinner. Now, I've made peace with my ex a long long time ago and we are good friends now, including his wife - this is not the big deal. What IS a big deal is sitting there, looking at his amazing home, seeing the kids just being so at home, well what it boils down to ( and I'm not proud of this, but there you go) is: watching him surrounded by everything that I long for but have lost. AND, waking up alone on Christmas morning.

Now right about here I could get really up righteous or sickeningly wise (?) about all that but I won't. Life truly is what we make of it and you can wallow or pull yourself up and get back in the game (oh oh - that sounds suspiciously sick)

So!....I wrote to them both and asked if I could really spend Christmas with them - Christmas Eve, Christmas morn and Christmas day and they said "of course".

And, you know? I'm looking forward to this like you wouldn't believe.

And the goofy thing about it all is: the kids won't even be there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cycle Of Life - Round and Round We Go

Boy it's been a long long long week of "take another shot". Started with my PC crapping out completely and when I got it to repair fairies and letting them know it was imperative that it be fixed by day's end because, you see, I have to arrange for the bleeding thing to be delivered and picked up from said shop in next city over 1 1/2 hrs away - and being assurred no problem.....well you can guess where this is going. Meanwhile a phone call from my bro in Van letting me know aged parent was in hospital after bad fall and things not looking good so I packed hurredly and caught bus out for a days travel to get there. When there finding out the aged parent was going into surgery for pacemaker (at 89?!?) but within 3 hrs he was sitting up and eating and complaining about not having his teeth and flirting with the nurses......what a guy. But he's very confused and's distressing to see your parent failing before your eyes.
So I'm thinking a lot about life and it's journey for each of us......and how in our society getting old really sucks. We are so removed from what the end game is like, aren't we? I think that is what is most terrifing for us - we remove our elderly away and just don't know what to do when they are nearing the end of their life. It must be a scary thing to be surrounded by strangers.
Quite depressing this.......
I sure hope each and every one of us takes every opportunity to tell our loved and cherished how much we care.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Artist Life - Coles Notes version

Wow - didn't realize it's been so long since I've posted here. Well, I do have excuses - artist kind. First it was Halloween. I've been asked to decorate the town hall pretty much every year since ,oh, 2001 maybe, so I have a lo-o-ong history doing this. The first few years it was a volunteer gig but turned into me pretty much doing it all...making props and setting up, so as of last year, when I completely ran it all by making the huge old town hall into Harry Potter Hogwarts with a Diagon Alley mock up, I started asking for a small recompense. (My time being valuable too and I think I provide a good money's worth of effort) That just about did me in and took 3 weeks of creating props in my tiny living room to accomplish but I did get BC Hydro's "Smart" award because I did it all from recycled materials...yay me.....anyway, the point being is I DO enjoy it but often wonder if I'll still be staple gunning bats and owls and what have you when I'm 80....are there really no other creative souls around here that could do just as - if not better - job of this? (by the by - that's my Dracula i made from old clothing and recycled fabrics plus a $7.00 mask)
And that leads me into the other thing I'm doing which has kept me occupied and not blogging lately; to whit: The Christmas Craft Fair which I've been organizing for 12 (?!) years now. And the one year I took off, the person who did take it on alienated most folks so I was requested to please do it again.
I like to be acknowledged for having an orginizational gift and I like to think that I'm good at what I do but every so often I really wish I could just...PAINT.

Ok - really this is just silly to complain about. In some ways I love the pulling together of people and things to make a cohesive whole but in other ways it's just so much chaos in my otherwise singular life.
Yes, well, maybe I'll someday get "Citizen of the Year" if not leave behind a veritable plethora of great props.

Hello, Hollywood...?
PS..I did also manage to paint a new painting....

FORTRESS - Rita Series # 5

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Artist on a Seesaw

I'm waffling yet again, about that painting I just uploaded: "Catch of the Day".
I go through this every time I finish a painting. First, I LOVE the damn thing; take it to bed, stare at it endlessly until I HATE it....the face is wrong (the face is always wrong), the pose looks stilted, the this, the that...GAH! I make myself crazy.
Of course, you say, I'm looking too much and should just put it away immediately.
I would if I could......seems I'm cursed with this particular idiosyncrasy.
Witness the "face" saga from the first Rita Series. Now that was a real love/hate soap opera of the canvas, so to speak.
But even after all that roller coaster reaction to a painting, I have to say I'm glad that this particular silliness happens because it keeps me striving to be better, to paint with greater skill, to overcome the obstacles of the steep learning curves that are there. And that's got to be what this is all about.
So I guess I'll live with myself a while longer.

Catch Of The Day - Bathing Beauty Series #3

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fuzzy Around the Edges

Last night while I was lying in bed, looking at my newest painting, Jams was lying across my stomach as she does. I was idly stroking her and she was rumbling away - sort of like a vibrating bed effect - anyway, my mind drifted away and I stopped petting her. She then reached out her paw and gently patted me on the hand as if to say "Keep on doing that, please!" and I chuckled and commenced stroking again whereupon, she turned her head and licked my hand. At that moment I was suffused with the most powerful feeling of love.....astounding that a creature 1/10th my size and unable to speak should engender such a visceral emotion! And that got me to pondering the human trait of having pets.
'Cause when you think, really think, about what a "pet" is, it is a bizarre thing to do. We take on an animal that basically becomes dependant on us for everything. And because of us and this "collecting" as it were, they have changed from their original selves unutterably. I'm mainly speaking of dogs and cats now, but most "pets" probably fall into this category. Well, maybe not snakes or lizards or even fish so much as you don't really cuddle them do you? And they basically just keep on being "snakey" or "fishy" or "lizardy" in the wild or in a cage. (altho' there are some pretty strange folks out there and maybe they do cuddle their let's try not to stray too much into the realm of freakish)
And what is the 'thing' that makes we humans want to have these creatures beside us? Yes, yes, I get the "companion, friend, love/child substitute,etc" bit, but I guess I'm wondering about the core desire to attach a non-human (golly, I'm struggling for the right word here!) 'pal' to ourselves. And we know they have such a short life span as compared to us and the grief we feel when they die is almost unbearable but we still do it.
All I know is that this small furry little cat means the world to me and she makes my life the easier for being there with me.
Maybe just in that I have answered my own question.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Like A Rainbow

Last night, during the seemingly endless insomnia I was experiencing, I was thinking about color. Partly due to the book I'm reading about this race of folk who turn blue if they tell a lie. Now wouldn't that just change our whole world if you turned a color due to speaking falsely.....there goes our politicians and our diplomats and our war mongers I dare say, not to mention all the little bits of every day life....the phrase "Does this make me look fat" takes on a whole new ambiance. Anyway, I was thinking about the human palette of colors and the sort of almost "unexciting" shades we sport. Don't take that the wrong way please. It's just that if we were more vibrant, like oh, gold or maybe electric blue or even a lovely lavender .....well, wouldn't you be uplifted? I wonder sometimes if this is why we lighter skinned folk are so into the astounding tattoos you see more and more. I have 5 of them; all uniquely designed by myself may I add. We are influenced in subtle ways by color - mood changes by what is predominate around us. We use color to describe our feelings too. Then again, maybe we would choose very dull clothing if our bodies were all sorts of wild colors. And, of course, we idiotic humans would attach some sort of judgement and racial thing to that in all probability. Honestly I do despair of us sometimes.

In any case, adding color to our lives generally makes for a new viewpoint, doesn't it.

I love color. I love using it extravagantly in painting. I love mixing wild combinations to see what evolves...good fun for artist eyes!

I DO think turning a color if you lie is cool though! Blushing when embarrassed seems just undignified but it has me wondering why embarrassment is genetically programed to do this in us and not lying.

MUCH more useful!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Did It My Way

I'm pretty proud of myself right now. I plunged into a relatively unknown arena for me and tackled making my own website. I expect that to most folks that sounds lame but for this gal who remembers oo1 o1o ooo to program computers and had decided that was not going to be her shtick - ever - it's a big deal. And it was really not at all as difficult as I thought it was going to be. (take a look The reason I did tackle this myself was because of the astronomical quotes I was getting for someone else to do it...and the artist pocketbook is not that flush.

So this has me thinking about how so many things that seem so daunting to us usually turn out to be not so much. We need to believe in ourselves more. And just go and dive right in. If I had been afraid of never being able to paint or draw or create when I was young I'd never be where I am today.

It's not real earthshaking what I accomplished today but it's huge as a life lesson.

Maybe I'll finally tackle travelling to Italy by myself. That scares me too.

Live your life or have LIFE to LIVE!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Always Darkest Before The Dawn

I haven't written here for a while and the reason is two fold. First there was the painting "Yellow Bird" I was working on and that seemed to be consuming me and then there was my "black dog". Ever heard that expression? It's a descriptive term for depression that I read somewhere and I like it 'cause it fits the strange weirdness that overwhelms me every once in a while. Most people would be very surprised to know that I suffer from depression. Mostly I'm pretty upbeat and smiling but I have my moments, oh yeah do I. But because I paint and that's pretty much a solitary business, if I disappear occasionally, no one really notices or attaches significance to that.
But when it sits down on me I can be more alone than an explorer in space.
Depression is a strange thing; so many people have this but it's so little understood. Even the Psychiatrists haven't a clue - lots of goofy pills but no real "reasons" for the whole shooting match. Why are some of us so overcome by the feeling of hopeless ennui...brain chemistry? Lack of proper nutrition? Genetic marker?
It always makes me feel idiotic because my life is so vastly easier than most folks on this planet. And I know that.
Anyway, I don't really have any wise words about this. I've been through it many times and realize I just have to ride the dog until it passes. Usually I just sleep a lot and generally eat bad food.....I'm sure that doesn't help and ends up making me more depressed. I'll NEVER take any of the psych medications as I personally am completely frightened they will take my art away. And , then, maybe this is part of the creative process. It all feeds into the big picture........I've painted some very deep things when in this space but they aren't "popular". I tuck them away.
So I will just keep on keeping on.

Coming 'round again.

Bathing Beauty Series #2- Yellow Bird

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh bla Dee Oh Bla Da Life Goes On Bra LaLaLaLa Life Goes On

I was at a huge family wedding that went from Friday evening to late Sunday afternoon this weekend. And at one point, as I looked around me,I was struck by what "family" means in this day and age. From me; who was once married to the groom's stepdad and mother to his stepbrothers; to the father of the groom with his new wife ; the grandfather of the groom with his new wife and the children of that union who were sisters with a 23 yr difference to the groom's mother; to the ex mother-in-law; the new mother-in-law ...whew! You just about needed a flow chart! But what joy was around us all. The fact we could all gather there to celebrate such a moment of life's continuity and all have a marvelous time together, well, the United Nations pale in comparison. It was pure magic to be a part of that.

How the idea of what constitutes family has changed. And I expect that as the way families are made now what with more interracial marriages and same-sex marriages and adoptions of children from other lands, they will continue to be redefined.

Fantastic. I'd like to think that as the lines blur more and more between the peoples of this world that it will make for a better place. That war will disappear because your aunt and cousins or your brother's family are no longer considered enemies because they come from another part of this world.

It bloody well gives me hope. This world is not as bad as those merchants of chaos lead us to believe.
So, love does make the world go 'round, we ARE all family and I for one, shall keep on believing in the bright side of life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Ok the white coats.....but I really do think these are much better....redone faces on paintings 1 "Thursday's Child", 3 "Walkies"and 4 "Green Thumb"

Who's on First, What's on Second and I don't Know's on Third.

I think I mentioned that I take my paintings to bed with me before. I really do, but it's not as weird as it sounds. My bed is built into an alcove and as such, is enclosed by 3 walls. The wall at the foot of my bed has a picture hook in it where I hang my canvases to look at while I ready myself to sleep. That way, I can see how the painting is progressing and what needs changing or work out the color scheme I think will work best or just generally continue the artistic process. And my mind wanders as I "make up stories" about my painting. This seems to be especially true with the latest ones - "the Rita Series" and now the "Bathing Beauties". I think because the inspiration is from actual photos of young women now certainly long dead - I wonder about their lives and what they were doing that brought them to this particular studio to have this photo taken and how now, almost 150 years later, I'm using this image of them to create with. It's a strange feeling. Made me wonder if some image of myself or something I've created will be viewed by a future someone who will be inspired too. I read a science fiction book many years ago titled "Dream" (I think), which had an artist whose paintings "came alive" there's creating! The figures she painted would suddenly pass her by on the street...and being as she lived in New York, no one ever really realized that the strange "woman/lioness" or "man/eagle" was Anyway, what this little wondering lead me to was that in my readings of all and sundry, I know there is a Quantum Science experiment happening that is trying to make "anti-matter", the most powerful substance known and what is believed to have caused "The Big Bang" that started all this life-as-we-know-it. So, trying to be brief, if this is made then conceivably it would be used to create another "daughter" universe to about playing god. Or maybe "we" are a "daughter" universe ourselves from some other beings experiment. Certainly that would be "in God's image", would it not?
The mind boggles when you envision the many universes we supposedly have (oh I love Quantum Physics!) strung out like beads on a necklace.
After all the whole process of "creating" does seem somewhat (forgive this ) "godlike" to people from my experience. And I've certainly heard folks say "it looks so real!" or feeling a strange life-like eminence about paintings or sculptures or what have you. It ties in with my belief about the early paintings in caves that were viewed as having the power of gods. Those Artists were imbuded with the power of creating the life around them.
Well, I don't claim to be anywhere as powerful as that. But I'd enjoy the experience of passing by one of my paintings "in the flesh" so to speak.
I wonder if they'd go for a coffee?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First of the new series "Bathing Beauties"

Inspired by a collection of old french postcards.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Listen Up,EH!

While I paint in my studio, I have the radio on and my choice of listening pleasure is the CBC. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for my "not Canuk" visitors. What a fantastic station this is! I've listened to a plethora of subjects from science and intellectual debate to comedy and dramatic plays. And late into the night the rest of the world is invited to share what's going on in their countries. Last weekend I had an eye opener on the state of our Oceans to stories by the greatest raconteur ever - Stuart McLean. DNTO brought me new music and thoughtful humor and I get to find out what's up in the world of new technology on SPARK. I hear interviews with great inspiring Canadians, young and old. I get to go to Quebec and be immersed in our "exotic" counter culture ( and practice my feeble french) I hear one of the best multi-subject "talk shows" ever - Q. I am enthralled by the history of music that shaped our world. I get Jazz, I get Classical, I get old Rock and Roll, I get Contemporary, I get everything!


My point being; what or where else can you get such a banquet of ear treats? We should be standing up and yelling our pride in what is one of the finest examples of everything Canadian, everything that makes this country so wonderful. (yeah, I'm proud to be Canuk!)
The CBC should be classified as a National Treasure - instead of having to fight cut-backs and loss of funding. Not to mention, that in a country as huge and sprawled out as ours is, this is sometimes the only way we have of knowing what's going on in the rest of Canada. Certainly the opportunity to travel in person to the many varied places this country has is, well, problematical for the vast majority of us but CBC brings it all right to your door.
So, CBC, this is my shout out to you. Thanks for 40+ years of great radio. You've followed along with me wherever I've gone. You are the background sound to the play of my life so far.
And, boy, it's been swell.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time For Moving On....

"Green Thumb" Rita Series #4

This is the last one of my Rita Series. I feel it's time to delve into a new series that I've been thinking of and I'm not feeling that overwhelming desire to keep this one going. Interesting how in the flick of a paintbrush all can change. I was certain that I would be painting "Ritas" for a long time .....huh. Perhaps the "demons' have been laid to rest; I did have an poignant moment during this last one with missing Mom and realizing that she truly was gone. Few tears and regrets....

Ah yes.

Anyway, I have found a whole bunch of old 1920's photos of "Bathing Beauties" that have me interested - all mostly posed in the Photographer's studio and very "saucy" allowing for the morals of the day. It's the looks on their faces that I hope to that I feel I've worked out painting faces with these ones (witness the 20 odd attempts with "Thursday's Child") And as well, I admit to thinking that these Bathing Beauties will be more popular out here on the coast......yep, we are commercially motivated like everyone.
SO! Looking forward to waking up with the focused desire that a new subject brings!
There's the secret to life - always having a new goal to excite you, motivate you and give you the excuse to buy more canvases!!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I'm thinking tonight about Inspiration. The actual "what is it" of the whole magical process inspiration seems to be. I'm really fascinated by how you can be turned on, so to speak, by the strangest thing or smallest hint or fleeting moment that leads you into an amazing process of creating. I guess this is sparked by the newest painting series inspired by the old photos of my mom I have been working on. For myself, inspiration has always been visual but I do admit that I've known some very inspirational folks too. That's more of a "if they can achieve that despite or look at what they achieved" thing.
It's a hard "thing" to pin down. I'm not even sure I can elucidate what it is I'm trying to say about inspiration. My dictionary describes it as "a supposed force or influence" ...italics are mine. Even the Oxford Dictionary doesn't know what to say. I have sketch books going back almost 20 years full of "inspirations". All I know is that right now I feel swallowed by this. The latest painting is actually making me weep with missing my mother for heaven sake! She's been gone 25 years!
But it's so wonderful to be feeling this way! I found myself wishing I could magic up a sponsor/patron that would just make it easy to ride this series for as long as it takes. Unfortunately I have to pay the bills/eat so I will have to take on "other" paying projects and I'm so scared that my inspiration will fade away.
Where are the Medicis when you need them.

4 U 2 Red. I Spek Enlis.

Boy I just know I'm going to sound just like my parents with this the hell did I get here so fast.....
Anyway, I see more and more replies to posts written in "text-ese" lately. And it makes me wonder if in, say, another 50 years that the written word will become obsolete. Sort of like what Shakespeare or Chaucer sounds and looks to us today. I read a book many years ago by the writer Ridley Walker where he envisioned some future post apocalyptic world where dogs could speak and when they spoke in the book, he wrote in this kind of "phonetic garble" and when I see text messaging it really reminds me of that book. ( yet another science fiction book eerily coming to life) It's a bit disconcerting to think how we will be reduced to communicating in a half symbol/written shorthand. Mind you if our world is becoming smaller due to Internet connectiblity...perhaps this is the way we will need to talk. Many (and I mean many) long years ago my mom learned to speak "Esperanto" which was a constructed international auxiliary language invented by L. L. Zamenhof ( look this up in Wikipedia for the whole quite interesting story)
My point being is that I'm sad to think most of the glorious languages that inhabit our world will become an esoteric study someday, like Latin. Are we becoming lazy with language? Is this a reflection on the growing illiteracy rate? Does anyone use a dictionary anymore? I know it's a struggle to find a decent dictionary in bookstores......and that seems astoundingly ironic. I know for sure spelling is becoming increasingly poorer.
I don't know; maybe we will just morph into "mind melding" with everyone. It'll all be pictures.
Ha! Another reason Artists are so needed!
We will be the fun guys to "talk" to!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Persistance + Perfectionism = Pain In The Ass

Well....what needs to be obviously pointed out here? Face attempt # oh god 20 or so(?) by now.....sigh.

Save me from myself.

Monday, August 31, 2009

So,What Comes Next?

Tonight I watched an excellent documentary called "Flock Of Dodos" - which gave an interesting view on the eternal debate about Evolution verses Creationism or, in the "new age" parlance, "Intelligent Design" which is the argument that nature and this world and all life is so complex that we can't explain it and therefore there is "something/higher power" in control. The documentary chronicled the Kansas State Debate of what to teach in schools; where this controversial subject usually raises it's little head. OK. I'm not debating this - it's rather one of those 'nobody can ever agree' things depending on your belief system and we ALL have something we cling to in this crazy life- it's a choice.
Nope, not going to dive into that murky pool.
What evolution always makes me wonder about is: Is it still happening? Or have we come to the final design here? Is some very very very future human going to look completely different (but still recognizable) from what we are now from those early humans? I mean, we seem to be mostly unchanged for some 3000+ years, and I'm making a conservative estimate I think, and I know that evolutionary change is very slow to happen but I just think there might be something that would be evident about change by now. That is, if we are.
Does anyone know or wonder about this besides me? Does anyone study stuff like this? NOT all the old species stuff but whether we and animal life is changing still.
I know we live longer nowadays but I think that's mostly due to a better understanding of nutrition and healthy living as opposed to body redesign.
So, if anyone is out there that might know, I'd sure like this answered.
And I'll now start picturing future!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I mean in a painterly sense, not in the tobacco one...although I do crave one every time I finish a painting.....sigh.
OK. I am LOVING this series and am already planning the next one to start tomorrow. This one is called "Walkies" and is inspired by the many times Mom would comment that her dogs gave her much more pleasure than her children ever did. AND that I should learn to groom poodles when the art career didn't work.
Ah Mom. She was really not a happy camper. I think that she had such a 'fairy tale" idea of what life with kids and all that was supposed to be that the reality of it all just made her more and more miserable. I really miss not being able to talk about all this with her. Who knows, maybe she just never would have.
You can see I'm still changing the face....seems to help as long as I don't start to fool with it at night while I look at it.......this actually is a very respected and time honored arty thing we artists do. I mean sit and look endlessly at our finished work - Rothco would spend days looking at his even after just 1 brush stroke.
I personally take mine to bed with me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who's That Girl?

I was out to dinner last night with my gal-pals; the sustaining friends throughout the last 10 years of my life. Good good women. Anyway, when I got home and was downloading the excitement of the evening; ok, and the fact I drank 2 strong coffees after dinner; I went on line and Googled myself. Admit it, we all do this. (It's some strange impulse to see if we're really as much of a big deal as we think we are.) Now usually, when I get this impulse, I see all the Galleries I'm in or the articles I've appeared in or the arty events I'm participating in but this time I clicked on "Images" to see what would appear. The usual stuff of the Galleries, articles etc. did come up (where was this blog??) but what really threw me for a loop was the photo of some strange woman with my name......not that anyone would consider this odd but I have a fairly unique name. There is no other Marla Thirsk out there I am sure and willing to bet the bank on not that I have any money but let's just get on with the story.......Anyway, I clicked on this "doppelganger" and got directed to my Classmates page. (Classmates is where you can try to reconnect with old school chums.) Now, my own photo did come up on my page but I'm left wondering who in the wide world of odd things, is this woman? And why is her photo coming up on my IMAGES search? AND! why is she wearing my name?

I find this somewhat disturbing. Almost "Picture of Dorian Grey"ish. (I really have way to active an imagination)
Twilight Zone would have had a field day with this.

...I also found a "Marla Hotel" and gotta say I was really intrigued by that! However the site was all in German and very confusing so I couldn't figure out exactly where this place was. Too bad! I wonder if they'd offer a discount....?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Photographic Evidence

Thought you might like to see the original photos. They are @ 3" X 2.5" in black and white. I shifted the 2nd one to a mirror image for the pose in it. I'll ad the next ones as I finish the painting.

I Think She's Got It! By George, She's Got It!

" TELEPHONE CALL" Rita Series #2
Ah, sweet smell of success....or whatever. Pretty pleased with my second one in my Rita Series....did redo face @ 7 times and then completely erased it and redrew the whole thing...stayed up until 5 am one night ( and was rocked off my pins when I saw what time it was...that's a weird feeling to have your sense of reality shift. This has happened a few times in my life. Once I remember I walked out to the compost pile to dump the veggie scraps one morning and there was this huge and dead raccoon lying there but what I focused on were the paws of the creature. Don't know if anyone has seen raccoon paws, but they are extremely human-ish. So I momentarily thought it was a child.....ooga -totally creepy! That made my whole time sense and position in space go right into another dimension before I realized it was a raccoon!
And if I walk into a wall at night, that does it too. As well as smacking my head on something - because I'm so short that's a pretty rare occurrence for me.
So anyway.
This painting has an oddly troublesome story to go with it. It was inspired by a memory of a telephone call my mother once took then she handed the phone to me. On the other end was a fellow who thought I was his girlfriend and he proceeded to talk "inappropriately" ......and I was 14 at the time and very very shy and this whole thing majorly traumatized me. My mother was laughing her guts out in the other room meanwhile.
To this day I hate telephones.
Honestly, I feel like a Gothic thriller at times.
But what "grist for the mill", so to speak.
Got lots of that.
...... and now for painting #3........(I feel like a wildly cackling laugh should follow that sentence).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beula, peel me a grape.

'Beula', what a great old fashioned name! Like 'Eustace'. Or 'Madge'. Does anyone name their kid 'Madge'? My Grandmother's name was 'Calista" but that's seen a rise in popularity since Calista Flockhart. Ex pop-in-law's name is 'Stallard' which is pretty trippy. Or how about 'Effedrina"? There's a moniker for you.
OK, completely off topic; whatever it is.
Been struck down by the mother of them all colds over the last 4 (5?) days. Where everything runs but you can't blow your nose it's so stuffed up - weird that - and all the attending aches and etcs that come along for the ride. Bleah.
And I just laid on the couch staring at my next painting waiting waiting waiting......
Anyway, I thought that the worst part of this whole "sick" business was that I am single and there was no-one to send to the store for "mercy" trips ; like some Popsicles for the sore throat or another trashy magazine or more Kleenex or drugs.....the legal kind.
Which made it all even worser.....and I know that's not a word but it fits.
We need some kind of service for times like this. A "Rent-a-?? Something" that you can call in for the duration to fetch and tuck and coddle. Oh yah, and is sworn to secrecy about how revolting you look while you lie there like an old melted shoe.
Opportunity here folks! If you could put up with whiners like me, that is.
Ah well. This too shall pass.

"Beula, peel me a grape" comes from an old Marx Bros movie...does anyone remember them?
Now I'm really worser.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

OH! LOOK! There's another gizmo for my collection!

I got to thinking about collecting after my last post; you know, how we seem to like "collections" of....well, things. From the sublime to the ridiculous it seems from my troll around the Internet. (and who doesn't LOVE the Internet for being the BEST in finding the most amazing crap out there...I spend HOURS on the damn thing...ok well anyway...) I happen to like collecting stuff. Who knows why. I have about 11 teapots so far. I don't particularly like tea, I just like teapots. This started with an old old old one from my Mom. It's so old that when I tried to make tea in it once, it was close to the most foul stuff I've ever had. Beautiful pot though, hand painted enamel over clay - maybe Japanese?? - no marks on it to say. Then my big hand made pottery one I got at the "Renaissance Fair" in Courtenay, B.C. and that's been defunct for 20 years now. And it just went on from there. Most have been given to me - old no-longer-wanted kind of thing. And my 2nd hand store finds...#1 rule: cheap! and funky!
If I ever learn pottery, it will be to make teapots.
Now I'm sitting here thinking about all the other things I have collected. Of course my old trunk with all the photos and etc from my life,there is also: hats (don't particularly look good in them, just like them), books (love to read), beach shells, beach floats, magazine clippings (boxes of this as I do collage work), pottery, old things: 1920s sewing machine, 1900s pendulum clock, opera glasses, 1890s lamp, 1900s meat grinders, coffee grinder, tins, scales...ok enough already!
I haven't even touched on the visual arty kitsch I have all over my little apt. Or the art accouterments for all the assorted art things I do.

...and I hate to dust.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Time, Time, Time

I've been delving into my old trunk that's full of letters and school memorabilia and collectibles and birthday cards, looking for more old photos for this series that's got me so all fired up when by golly look what I found!
This was a self-portrait I did in 1971 when I was lord, seems like forever ago.
Honestly if there is ever the faint chance I may be written about someday, this old trunk is a goldmine of my history. What is the thing that makes me treasure all these bits? Goofy photos of myself from the dawn of life to now - what a chameleon I am. I think I've had just about every hairstyle and outfit going. Letters, man, a LOT of letters; some great old memories in these almost disappeared form of communication. Pics of the boys from the baby days that make me get all weepy. Birthday cards for heaven sake! I can't even remember some of the people who sent them.....
What in god's name am I doing with all of this.
I suppose it all will make sense at some point. Or be a real headache to deal with.
Anyway, it's a treat to find little surprises like this painting. How raw the talent was.
Sure nailed my little blobby nose tho!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Huston, the painting has landed.

Here it is. "Thursday's Child - The Rita Series #1"
This has been, to date, in my long and twisty art life, the most difficult thing I've attempted.
But the EXTREME sense of satisfaction I have right now is truly worth the last 13 days.
I actually feel I've climbed up another notch artistically speaking.
I'm totally stoked to do a whole series now. Can't wait to stretch my next canvas.
Here is the old children's poem that the title comes from:
Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace
Wednesday's child is full of woe
Thursday's child has far to go
Friday's child is loving and giving
Saturday's child works hard for a living
But the child that is born on the Sabbath Day, is bonnie and bright and sweet and gay. (that would be the old meaning of gay, ie: happy)
The title refers to the fact that she travelled to Canada from Holland when she was 23, leaving behind her large family and everything she was familiar with, to marry my Dad. Pretty brave and awesome, really.
*sigh* Time for a glass of celebratory wine I think!

Paging Dr. Freud!

13 erasures of the face in the painting. 13 attempts to repaint my mother's face in the painting. 13 frustrated days doing this again and again and again, until finally realizing it was because it was my mother's face, it wasn't working.
Therapy anyone?
There is something deeper than I realized going on here apparently. But it's made me want to do a whole series of these paintings just because of this. Will it eventually "work out" for me? Will it prove to be elusive and just never happen? Will the face morph over the series?
Fascinating in a truly weird artist way.

By the by; the painting is almost done now, just a couple more days to complete the background. I'm really really happy with it; it's just not got the face of my mother.

So, Dr. Freud........?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Curses, Foiled Again!

.........I don't even want to talk about it..........

Friday, August 7, 2009

Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer

HA! Thank the great spirit for making me a real stubborn cuss.
Boy have I had a battle.......
I was NOT giving up on that painting and after a long rant about the frustration of the whole "face" thing to my very dear long time friend who said to me at one point, "Marla! Paint freeking Benjamin Franklin's face instead!", I realized that I was lost in the "never gonna win" idiocy game that hits me every once in a while. And that comment about Ben Franklin made me think I needed to approach this in a completely new viewpoint. Forget the "face of Mother" and look at it with new eyes.
So I blew up the old photo to 600 times it's original size (it's only 2" X 3" panic!) and played around with the shapes of the shades on the face and that's how I nailed it.

Mind you it's still early evening and I might change my mind by bedtime.......
The curse of ART!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How Do You Spell &#%%$@#!? .......A-R-T-I-S-T

There are times when I think that going to art School would've been a good thing.
Like right now.
Came back from my trip down island to good friends (and the Sooke Show) with all sorts of inspiration. The main one was an image of 2 women from the 50s that really captivated me. I have a veritable plethora of old photos of my mom from the 40s and early 50s, and since she has been dead for 25 yrs now(!) it would be a great painting series to portrait her. She was very photogenic and had a interesting life - what with being a "War Bride", coming over here from Holland to marry my dad leaving behind her large family and all she'd ever known. I never had the chance to talk to her about any of this as she died when I was in my early 30s and we were estranged.
There's more fodder for the blog.
Anyway, the point being that, I was all fired up with the vision of this series and dove right in. The beginning of the painting was just pure heaven, artistically speaking. I got the body and pose nailed and LOVED what was going on. Even her hair was excellent. The way the paint was applied was making me feel I'd finally joined the exalted realm of figure painters.

Then the face.....

Why is it that this part completely frustrates me. I have scraped and repainted and touched up and ad infinitum until I want to cut my head off with a dull palette knife.
And I want to paint this SO BAD!


Today would have been good to groom poodles*..........

* this refers to the many times my mom would tell me I should've learned this particular skill.

Friday, July 31, 2009

There Are Aliens Amongst Us

I'm pretty focused when I'm creating. Takes a lot to get my attention away from the project at hand so when I saw the slight movement out of the corner of my eye this morning, it really made me take notice. There coming across the carpet towards me was the biggest freaking "thing" with large antenna and hind legs .....well, I gave this kind of loud expletive and jumped and so did the "thing". Turns out it was a very large cricket.....honestly, the biggest cricket I've ever seen. Any cricket I've seen before has been about 1" maybe but I swear this thing seemed enormous! I'm usually not too "girly" about such crickets actually, but the size of this thing really took me aback. So all day I've been hunting this critter, expecting it to leap out at me...anyway after a bit of a comedy routine involving Jams and myself in the last 1/2 hr.,
I finally trapped it in a glass and released the poor thing outside.
As I recall this whole episode, I mainly am thinking about the hind legs of the creature....they were so large and the cricket was moving them in a "walking" motion ...very alien. Our weather has been unseasonably warm and I'm wondering if this has anything to do with how big the damn thing was.
Talk about some science fiction weirdness come alive.........
By the way I measured it in the glass I captured it in and allowing for the bend in it's large legs it turns out to be 4" in length.
Truly amazing!

I wonder how loud it's song would have been?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life's a Beach

Got the new "runnies" yesterday so I tested them out with a good long walk along the beach.
And as I was walking along I thought to myself that I've been walking this beach since I was 16, and give or take a few years that makes about 40 years...holy tide line! That makes you pause, let me tell you!
It really hasn't changed too much in all that time; mainly the logs and sand shifts, but basically it endures. And this of course makes me think in analogies of how Life follows this theme. We start out along the tide line and along the way have to watch out for rising tides or stormy weather, sometimes sheltering in the driftwood, sometimes finding really exquisite treasures, meeting friends, leaving others behind and looking back at our footprints every once in a while. The distance is a bit foggy so it seems veiled in mystery. Who knows what you will find ahead. Meanwhile, the ebb and flow of the ocean resounds in your ears.
I once painted a watercolor of a wreath of beach treasures and flotsam I'd found; accompanying this painting with a poem I wrote.


.....the runners are bright red and black with neon yellow far, they are proving a good investment, I think.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Am A Dirty Word

What's the "dirtiest" word in our society?


We are so scared of this inevitable experience that we spend millions of dollars trying to hide the fact that we are ....gasp....getting old. And don't think I'm any more able to stay away from the little magic potions in an attempt to halt the march of time and even though I keep swearing I'm just going to stop dying my hair and "just let my freak flag fly"...I keep on doing it.

A few years back I organized an erotic art show as part of a wine festival up this way. (NOT pornography...look up the word EROTIC) I got intrigued by nude paintings and in the course of researching this genre, it occurred to me that , allowing for body image change across the centuries, there are NO older women portrayed. After an exhaustive search I found maybe 2 (?) artists of our common era and they were women themselves, painting the older woman nude.
Makes you wonder.
So I decided to paint myself in the nude. It was quite interesting to see the reaction that painting received. It certainly wasn't horrifically graphic, quite tasteful truly, but maybe the fact I put it in front of my town's people (just a bit too over the top for most of them) that may figure into the reaction, however, still and all it was an older body.
I mean there's a lot about my body I wish wasn't there but I'd like to think at 4 years away from 60, I'm not doing too bad.
I'd like to think that we would look at our body changes as marks of our journey through life but most of us just feel ashamed.
What is it going to take to change this I wonder.

I am planning another nude myself.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Perchance to Dream

I dream deeply and I'm one of those people who remembers dreams too. I can taste in my dreams and read in my dreams and write in my dreams ( the things "they" say you can't) and sometimes I wake myself up because I'm laughing so hard in my dreams, I'm shaking. When I was younger I had devastating nightmares; mostly to do with drowning and there's another post) ; so I taught myself to lucid know, where you know you are dreaming so you actively participate/change the dream. I've even written music in my dreams.....but I don't think I can even sing in my dreams. HA! (Family joke for the boys)
BUT!I don't get the thing about dying in your sleep as being so "great" as with the kind of dreams I have it fleeps me out to think I might get stuck in one of the wilder ones....forever! EEP.
SO! What this is all leading to is, I am musing about the actual "thing" of dreaming. I know we all dream, animals dream too - I watch Jams twitch and growl and stuff when she's sleeping - I wonder if birds dream? Anyway, the whole point is: WHY? (and yes, I know it's the blow off the stress of daily life/issues/bla bla - which brings up why my cat would have this stress to blow off when her life is pretty easy if you ask me.....) It just seems that we run around all day with the old monkey brain buzzing away and 80 gazzillion little inconsequential thoughts zinging around and I just think that when you go to bed at night a calm "nothingness" would be so much more beneficial.
God knows, I'd like to shut down occasionally.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How Long, Oh Lord, How Long....

Well after 3 days of pc hell consisting of a blown modem, phone calls to Tech Support and finally a 1 1/2 hr trip to the next big city able to handle pc problems and a day dealing with that....I'm reeling in the "how long" world. Add to that my phone call to Telus to actually pin down why high speed is STILL not available to us here in the wilds of Millstream (and just to further frustration - 5 mins away is Ukee proper with HS; 3 mins away is the junction with HS and 5 mins across the bay is the First Nations reserve with HS as well...) you can see why. Telus does have a reason that makes not a lick of sense so I've requested a "big kahuna" to phone me with a real in depth conversation on this topic. It beggars belief that I'm dealing with outdated technology that now impedes the functioning of my world because of a strange map geometry.
I feel as though I should be out feeding the dinosaurs...
Other than that, I am once again (!) battling with my weight. I actually figured out that I've been dieting in some form or another for 40 years now.....who's the idiot in this picture?
I suppose I could just accept the fact that my genetic makeup and propensity to chocolate and fresh baked bread is basically going to do me in whatever I attempt and the fact that I generally sit at an easel to create, but a part of me is yelling "IDIOT! LAZY FOOL! TAKE RESPONSIBLITY FOR YOURSELF!" and god knows, that voice has pretty much saved my ass most of my life.
I was once an alcoholic drug addict and was fast tracking myself to death at an early age when that voice finally made me take stock about where and what was going on in my life. I changed my life around by listening and taking responsibility and doing the one best thing I had ever done in my life - ART. Life just got down and rolled in ecstasy at my feet the moment I did that.
So when folks whine and moan about how awful their life is, I kind of am unsympathetic. I empathise (I know I've been at the bottom of the well myself) but you are the captain of your own ship and you can change your life.
So, I guess I'd better listen up again.
I'm just wondering how long, oh Lord, it's going to take for me to finally just get it together.
I did order some exceptionally cool runners tho!
Things are looking up.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I can't sleep...arrest me.

I've been awake since 3:15 this morning and I can't decide if this is good or bad. It isn't a big deal, being as I'm pretty much on my own time frame - thank you for making me an Artist! - but I have this strange feeling that being awake in the wee small hours is almost "reprehensible". Waiting for the sleep police to come on by.....
So what brings this on? Is it that sleep is usually the thing we generally all do between 11pm to 7am, give or take, and here I am "breaking" the pattern? I really felt strange getting up out of bed after 1 3/4 hrs of trying to read and re fluffing pillows...honestly, books are beyond dull at 4 am....and I don't get why. There's only me here (ok, Jams too, but she could give a shit as she snores away on the bed) so if I want to eat, read, paint, whatever, who cares??! Except for making undue noise disturbing my upstairs flatmate, pretty much anything goes.
It just seems so fraught with the odor of illicitness so early in the morning.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Design Flaws

I'm thinking about design flaws as yet again I've smacked the living jeez out of my baby toe on the table leg.....I'm surprised it hasn't fallen off I've done that so often; anyway, it makes me wonder about how we are designed. There is so much I'd change given the chance at "design' - like this is a reality but let's just go with the possibilities of imagination, ok?
First: I'd like 4 arms and hands. Now that would be useful. And I've heard it said many times "Boy, I need an extra pair of hands..." I just like the thought that I'd be able to drink some coffee (it would still be hot!) and keep on painting at the same time. And carry all the fleeping paraphernalia that Artists cart about with them.
Second: eyes in the back of my head. And you know you want that too for innumerable reasons.
Third: and now we're getting strange, I think all women should have tits of uniform small size. (I can hear the groans) It would stop the incessant obsession guys have on tits and would make bra/swimsuit/top shopping so much easier. Big sure doesn't mean they work better and they wouldn't end up somewhere next to the cat dish when you bend over/ get old etc.
Fourth: Guy's penises should be a dolphin say. Think about it now; save the "goolies" from all sorts of embarrassing/dangerous/stupid things.
Fifth: Fur. We should've kept the fur. (you know, hairy ancestor stuff) It would save endless amounts of time dressing (yay) and all the assorted idiot stuff that the fashion industry has foisted on us. Mind you, I expect we would find a way to fool with the fur as much as we do with the hair we have now. And probably fashion would rear it's ugly head again....
Sixth: Gills. Just makes sense to me. Our world is mainly water...why don't we fit our world?
Ok, I could go on and on with all this sort of thing. It just makes me think how goofy we are as a design for life in a way....maybe in some far off time (if we don't blow ourselves to kingdom come) we will all be genetically given choices to have a new design.
Sure will make people watching interesting.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alternate Reality

My cat firmly believes that if the weather is not to her liking out the front door, the back door is bound to open onto a day of sun and endless cat nirvana possibilities.
She does this without fail every time it rains here, and as it's the west coast of Van. Island, that's fairly often.
I read a lot of science fiction so the idea of alternate reality isn't a new idea for me and it has me thinking, as I watch Jams, yet again, attempt to change her world by using the back door, that being able to change your reality by using a different door would be pretty handy. Just think how cool it would be to walk through another door into that "other" life you might have had but for the twists and turns that we have with the choices we made.
This does raise some questions though, such as: could you return? would that life really be any better than the one you have now? and, most importantly, if you had a door #2 to choose from, why have a "door" at all?
I think what I'm trying to say is, why not change the life you have to one you want right here? I know there are lots of "touchy-feely" books out there all about this kind of thing but in truth it's as easy as making the decision to change.
And I speak from experience. (but that's a whole other post)
We are the captains of our own ship so the control is in our hand and I don't care who or what you are; we all have free will.
(and I can now hear the voices saying " not if you're handicapped or whatever or etc etc . I'm pretty sure I could argue for free will in homelessness but let's use a bit of sense)
So, today I'm just thinking about choices and where they've taken me. I've done some real bone-headed moves that cost a lot in conscience but I also changed the whole fibre and route of my life by deciding (at 40 for crying out loud) to believe in the one good thing about myself that had ever brought me the best happiness in my life.
And that was being an Artist.
Haven't wanted to close this door since going through it and I never will.

PS. Jams is really pissed at me when she finds out the back door only leads into more of the same.....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lo how the mighty are fallen

Well, we didn't make the cut for the Sooke show. So much for the fame of my earlier post, sigh. Definitely bummed and my bruised ego has been coddled by really-bad-for-you-food; but we shall live to paint another day. I did "Humpies" yesterday during this crisis. I like to say that artists are the bravest people in the world because a slap down is pretty much part of the lifestyle and we keep on going.
So what is it that keeps us persevering in the face of all the odds against success?
Is it the hunger in the soul that commands "CREATE" or an "I'll show you!" attitude or "who cares what they think" thing?
Pretty much all of them I'd say.
And those of you out there that say "I paint what I want-money means nothing" are full of it because money DOES mean something. Haven't run across any artist yet that's turned down fortune or fame because "money means nothing to them".
OOPS, we're starting to sound bitter.
The truth is this: We will continue to create no matter what the barriers or set-backs or awards or recognition because we honestly have no choice BUT to create.
And I can live with that.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have a certain ritual I go through right before starting new artwork; mainly consisting of reorganizing and clean-up, this ritual seems to also "clear' my head and prep me for the upcoming creative whirlwind. It's been making me think about what other "rituals" we have. Mornings usually include a certain one of how you get up and approach the day (coffee!!) and again, at day's end there is how you get ready for sleep. I'm sure there are lots of these little rituals we perform throughout our days that we don't even realize that this is what they are.
Why.......? What is it that makes us establish route actions to what we do? Is this some throwback to our long-ago days as we huddled together in smelly caves and needed ritual to make the scary world have a sense of order/safety for us?
Does a certain way of doing something make it ...well, better? I know I lay my paints out in a certain way; even as to how I prep the canvas.
Will breaking this routine make for better painting?
I'll have to see right after I make my coffee and write this blog...........

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I was thinking about fame last night while I stared up into the evening skies in hopes of seeing the Space Station fly on by - in case no one knows, my cousin Bob Thirsk who was Canada's 4th astronaut is currently up there - Bob is pretty "famous" I'd say. (And he's a really really great person just on his own. Love you, Bob!) In my family the joke is that I'm the "other famous Thirsk"...ha ha ha. Anyway, what I'm getting to is the actual idea of fame. Is it the "holy grail' of existence? It can be a fairly onerous crown to wear if we remember Marilyn Monroe or even see what happened to Michael Jackson (there was a tortured soul). I admit to hoping for some myself - I created the piece "Let Go" for the Sooke Fine Arts Show in the fervent desire to get myself known/discovered. Honestly, maybe it's the hope that money would no longer be such a sword over my neck every month (ah...the life of an artist) And I admit to liking seeing myself in the local papers.
But, and but again, do I want /am I ready to be swallowed up by the really close scrutiny of minute details of your life this brings?

.......I need to lose some weight......

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Words of Wisdom

I like words. I use them a lot in the collage work I do. And I'm a voracious reader. The way they look in different fonts, the way they sound rolling around your tongue, all good. (charioscuro...mmmmm)
I am a secret poem writer because I can play with the visual sound of words...."cold clacked" is a small phrase that still resonates in my mind from a poem I wrote @ 16 years ago.
I wrote and illustrated my own books when I was a young child (I wonder what happened to those? They had lots of dogs and adventures if I remember)
And words have such power don't they? What we are called, what we call out when angry/hurt/sad; what these words mean or do to us.
And the overwhelming amount of words now swirling about in cyberspace from Blogging.
Words......just one little mark that can change so much when put together.
That's Art too, isn't it?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hello Hello, this is Romeo, calling from a Jackpot telephone.....

This is my diving in to making my own page with all the added accessories......and it occurs to me that it is akin to being faced with a blank canvas and the additional stress of knowing you have to create a really kick-ass product because everyone is looking.....
Never mind still being on dial-up out here in the wilds of the west coast of Vancouver Island.
A chore when downloading pictures, let me tell you!
However, you approach blank canvases with the final thought of "what the hell let's do it", so I'm feeling much the same.
My biggest worry is I hope I'll get back here after..............