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