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!