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..............