Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hooray!!!

Got some very amazing news yesterday, and I can only keep thanking God over and over for a miracle--my Dad suddenly responded to his treatment, I mean, DRAMATICALLY responded.  His blood counts dropped like a stone, which means the chemo is starting to work for him.  Doesn't look like salvage will be necessary, and hopefully, God willing, he is back on the road to remission.  I'm so happy, it's the best Christmas present ever!

On another good note, I will be exhibiting in New York City in mid-January, so I hope to see some of my old and new friends there.  I will be exhibiting with other women artists in the National Association of Women Artists 2010 exhibition.  The exhibit begins January 15th, and the opening reception is on January 20th, from 5 pm to 7 pm.  The gallery is located at 80 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1405, New York, New York.  You can email me for more details and I'll post them as they become more known to me as well ;-)

Anyhow, I wish the happiest of all happiness to you all for this upcoming holiday, May God Smile On Us All!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow and the blues

Feeling rather sad today.  I was looking through old photos, and wondering where time has gone...the kids were little, we were young and carefree...now, I feel time has caught us. 

Dad's treatment seems to have failed at this point, it seems he has become refractory to his protocol.  Refractory.  The one word no patient wants to ever hear.  His numbers have come back up, and his Dr. will look to try a clinical trial for salvage.  Salvage.  A sinking ship.  A dying patient.  My Dad.  I'm numb now.

Will this be our last Christmas together?  Will we lose him?  Will the new year take him away from us?  Who else will not make it through 2010??  We have so many who are sick in our family now...I can't think about it, since it makes my heart just sink in my chest.

I hope my brother is having a happy birthday...he has many cares on his shoulders, so I hope today will be good to him. 

I don't know if I can drag myself outside to work...I may never stop.  I'll just lose myself in my painting...another world, where there is no sickness and no death.  Just happy, smiling faces of the people you love...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New painting--"Siene in December" Day 2



Here is the start of day 2, and below, is where I had to end off, due to some sudden business outside the studio that cropped up--but I will get back to it early tomorrow morning.

New painting--"Siene in December" Day 1


Here is the first stage of this painting--I had put together several sketches, and did a final composition, as the basic reference.  I'm never too hard or fast with making an exact replica, so I kind of just remember what my impression of that day was, and blend it with my initial on site sketches...so I am intimate with the scene in my mind, I have no doubt of what struck me as beautiful that day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back to work!!


Out all day in studio--feeling much better...still don't have an appetite, but who would complain about that LOL

Started a new painting based on sketches and references I did in Paris...will do a series of 5 paintings only until I return to France in the summer for a more immersive study.

I'll post the progress as I go, because I have had a few people indicate this would be interesting to them, rather than just seeing the very end finished painting.

It's pretty warm today, but my studio is still a bit damp, so I can't wait for our friend to come and insulate it at the end of the month...or it's gonna continue being mighty chilly out there! I'll have to lose myself in Bocelli and that will thaw me out...his incredibly beautiful voice will keep me warm ;-)

Anyway, here I'll leave you with a photo I took from the first level (Floor 1) of the Eiffel Tower...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Clearing out the cobwebs

This flu really knocked the wind out of me, but I feel about 90% better today--certainly not 100%, but at least able to eat a bowl of oatmeal.

I am trying to get beyond the lazy urge to still remain curled up on the couch, and get out to my studio, but I don't think I have the constitution yet, so I can do both--I'm curled up doing some preliminary sketches and rough layouts for some new paintings, and making notes, etc. This way I don't feel like this flu has still gotten the better of me ;-)

I'll see how I feel in a few hours from now, but I am still very drowsy and achy, so I don't know if it's even good to push it at this point, after all, as Scarlett O'Hara famously said, "Tomorrow is another day!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flu Season has arrived!

Ugh. I've been K.O.'ed by norovirus...AKA--the Stomach Flu, the Winter Vomiting Sickness, The BUG. I wanted to get out into my studio today, since I was really looking forward to starting a new piece, and last night turned into a nightmare of...well, you know the drill.

So, now I feel like Santa's elves did the chicken dance on me, and I can barely move from my bed...how I hate being sick...but so does everyone, and it's just part of life, because, in all fairness, I was overdue--hadn't had a stomach flu in about 10 years.

Anyway, stomach permitting, I will be out in my studio tomorrow morning, and greatly looking forward to getting a warm fire cranking, and getting a new series started. I hope you all are feeling well, and if you do get sick, ginger ale and sipping water seemed to keep me alive, so I'll pass that little tidbit along!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home sweet home!

Well, it was an arduous trip, but after crossing all time zones and being up for close to 36 hours, we arrived back home from Paris last night. We walked through the door like two zombies, carrying our luggage and two bags of Chinese from the local takeout for everyone.

The family was delighted to see us as we were to see them, and we ate and talked a while, and then I headed off to sleep, disregarding the 16 new messages on the home line, and the messiness of the house, or the fact I had to unpack...it would all wait till today.

Around 4 a.m., Noelle came down crying to tell me she got sick and didn't make it to the bathroom, so I comforted her about it, and after that was cleaned, I slept till about 8 a.m., and over coffee, Anthony came down stairs looking for ginger ale since he was up all night vomiting also...apparently the stomach flu has reared its ugly head here, as all the kids are/were vomiting and laid up.

After getting things settled, we got news this morning of Mark's sister being very ill with cancer. It shocked us and saddened us, since she took ill on her drive back to Florida from our home, we thought it was only a "stomach thing" and it turned out to be something unimaginably worse...they operated over the weekend, and we hope after her treatment, she will have a full recovery.

So that's it. Paris was wonderful, and now back to mainstream life for the time being. I have several new paintings I need to work on, and will be pulling new prints this week, so I'll keep you all posted!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Parting is sweet sorrow...

Well, our time has come to kiss our new friend Paris goodbye, for now. We leave in the very early a.m. back home, and as I walked Monmarte one last time tonight, I was surprised at how much I fell in love with Paris in such as short time--it was, in true form to this Romance capital, "love at first sight."

As for our last day here--it was fun, and relaxed, and more leisurely. We headed out to the Musee de Orsay at around lunch time, after sleeping in and having some eggs, croissant and juice. We had an easy journey there, and, Murphy's Law, it was closed Mondays. Go figure...

Although I was disappointed, I was determined, and we realized that the Grand Palais had a Renoir exhibition going on, so off we went. After waiting online for about an hour, we got and were not disappointed. The show was lovely, with many of Renoir's lesser known paintings on exhibition, as well as a few compatriot Post-Impressionists such as Bonnard, Matisse, Gaugin, and even a Picasso. Nice.

After we finished up, we strolled along Champ Elysees, and hit up the Christmas festival...they had wonderful stands, and we were amazed by the different foods for sale, and we couldn't resist--they had a salmon stand--open fire with long, fresh fillets of salmon, rubbed with sea salt and spices, and they would just cut it off the roasting fillet, and put it into a baguette, with a nice white sauce on it. It was amazing! We also tried a fresh duck sandwich--incredible, and had tastes of a REAL hot dog from the German stand--delicious, and a sample of a chocolate crepe. We were stuffed to bursting at this point, and still the food stands were unending--caviar and vodka tastings, dry goods, huge varieties of wines and cheeses, Spanish sausage...we were in complete amazement. No popcorn or anything you'd expect at an American fair, and this both delighted and intrigued us.

We also explored the Basilica Sacre Coer, which was so beautiful, it actually topped Notre Dame, IMHO. The architecture, sculptures, and complete ceiling murals were incredible, not to mention you walk out and have the entire of Paris below you..

We loved the L'Eglise de Madeleine, which from the outside, looks like a massive courthouse, but is a Church...when you get inside, it is breathtaking in it's Rococco decor and lavish statues. The alterpiece statue of Christ's ascension and angel escorts is absolutely regal.

We got back to the flat, and after our gastronomic insanity of the afternoon, were both feeling it, so we decided the best thing to do is to sip a little sparkling water and then walk it off...worked like a charm!

We got in rather early, and spent the night making calls, packing, arranging our taxi departure, etc., and catching up on business--code: getting ready to head back to reality...I was feeling rather forlorn about it, but I noticed that I sold a painting online today, while here in Paris--so I take that as a good omen! Paris is asking me to come back and work and expand here...and so, we will! We've started laying tracks for Parisienne representation, Parisienne weblinks, etc...so, we'll see this beautiful lady of a city again very soon. Au revoir!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blue lights, blue hair and the Eiffel Tower


I'm sitting here sipping a glass of wine, the wide window of our flat open, letting in the cool evening air...whew, what a day!

We woke up a little late, and had a breakfast of juice, fruit and croissant, and headed off to the Musee de Orsay. We're now pretty savvy with getting around on the Metro, so we got there with ease.

It had started to rain, but no problem, we have our umbrellas...as we get to the Musee, we see the lines--I mean, it's like nothing you've ever seen in the States--only if you were waiting to get into a pro football game or top billed concert--there were literally hundreds of people, with the lines wrapping city blocks...I was completely aghast looking at what would be a several hour wait to get in--and we are not working with alot of time on this little holiday, so as the rain began to rain on us in buckets, we began to wander along the Siene, with no idea of what to do now that our plans were thwarted--even the Eiffel Tower had disappeared into a shroud of fog...As the rain pelted us harder and harder, we began to bicker and wander, growing more frustrated by the minute--just as the rain began to hit us full force, and our arguing grew a little more heated, a cab rounded the corner and literally threw a waterfall of water onto Mark--I laughed so hard, I almost wet my pants--even after his initial shock and rage, he had a good belly laugh at it...and then, the rain stopped as quickly as it started.

We found we had wandered, quite unintentionally, within a few blocks of the Eiffel Tower--much to our delight and surprise. We just followed the direction of the tower, and just kept moving, every few blocks seeing it would loom larger...as we got very near to it, it seemed to disappear--we were dismayed, and as we contemplated stopping to check our map, we turned the corner, and there it was...I mean, THERE IT WAS. Magnificent and beautiful, it stunned me with it's size and grace...it was quite a moment for me.

We entered the park around it, and it was somewhat empty due to the earlier weather. We had a little language barrier trying to buy our tickets in...and Mark and I, in our American naivete, thought the line for "escalators" meant that--as if there would be an escalator in the Eiffel Tower! Well, the Eiffel tower has two levels, and then the "summit"--we began our ascent, and it was SCARY, since the steps are metal and wet, but the French ran up like it was nothing, so we tried also. We were literally ready to drop dead by the time we reached the first level, which is about 300 feet. The observation deck was a welcome reprieve, and we tried to catch our wind and with much trepidation, would scale the next 200 or so feet to the second deck...if we survived, and there, take the elevator, or "terror" to the top. Mark looked at me anxiously and asked, "Are you quite sure you want to do this?" I laughed and said, "Sure...I guess.." I mean, how could we say we chickened out of going to the top? But, the weather decided our trip for us--much to our secret relief, the "summit" was closed due to high winds, so we smiled, took some pictures, and moved on from there.


After leaving the Eiffel Tower, we wandered the local streets, a beautiful, wealthy quarter, and we were pretty hungry after all the walking and climbing, so stopped in for authentic "Chinois"--after all, we had to try French Chinese. It was surprisingly good, and after a pot of hot tea to reheat our soggy forms, we were off and running to find the Arch of Triumph and Champ Elysees--we figured out the route with our metromaps, and went looking for the nearest metro station. After hopping on and realizing we were heading in the wrong station, we jumped off and reboarded, and got off at Charles DeGaulle Square, right in front of the Arch of Triumph. The square was insane with people and cars, and Champ Elysees was lit up like a blue Christmas tree--it reminded me of Times Square with the thousands of lovely blue lights, bustle and stores. Pretty neat, but very congested. We spotted the second McDonald's we saw in ALL of Paris, that's right, only two in all of our travels, and decided we had to taste a burger just to see what a french Micky D's tasted like. Guess what--exactly the same as America. It's like they fly their hamburgers over here...not an appetizing thought, lol. The array of characters was enormous, from street performers to boys walking around in blue dresses, with blue hair. What that is supposed to mean, I don't know, but at least it doesn't have much chance of catching on with any of our sons in America LOL.

We made our way through a huge Christmas fair on Champ Elysees in full swing--we smiled at the different food stands--chestnuts and wine, duck "sandwiches", foie gras, crepes, and of course, more wine. We extracted ourselves from the crush of people, and made our way to the Palais, and the famous Pont Alexandre III bridge, and then headed to the Metro, since we were now pretty exhausted. After a grueling last set of stairs, and a stop in the local supermarket for some eggs and groceries for tomorrow's breakfast, we were barely able to crawl up the two flights of stairs to our flat.

Moral of the story--if you come to Paris, you'll see why the Parisiennes are all so thin--you're going to walk and climb about 30 miles a day if you go it the "Parisienne" way...wow...lots of footwork, but well worth it.

So, now time to soak my poor feet ;-)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ah, Paree

I awoke fitfully this morning...I took a sleep enhancer, and finally drifted off around 6 am Paris time...I got some sleep, thank goodness, and woke up with bells on my toes!

After buying a baguette and some juice, Mark couldn't live without his morning coffee, so we found the only fastfood joint in the entire quarter--a very empty Starbucks...and he was reprieved.

My cat socks...they're still smiling...in amazing shape after the journey today...walking, running, hiking, laughing, meditating...

We started this morning rather late, but we more than made up for our slow start.

We headed out immediately, with the Louevre being the destination...after a confusing bus ride since we really didn't know if we were reading the bus routes right, we made it to the Louvre, and the building itself was unbelievable, with or without the art. It's massive, and every inch of it is ornate and lavish--we were pretty amazed by it. Inside, they have an extensive collection of classical art--we tried to get a picture of the Mona Lisa, but the without flash photography, and the fact the artwork is somewhat hidden away by plexiglass, it was a fruitless task. Mark got a little upset about not being able to get a good shot of it, but I told him not to worry, in all honesty, I never saw anything very amazing about that painting--it's just pure hype IMHO, and there were many other paintings in the Louvre, by Ingres, David, Gericault, Botticelli, that I thought completely blow the Mona Lisa off the map.

The only sad thing about the Louvre is that it still has no Impressionist collection...I guess they still think like old Paris Salon in thinking that the Impressionists were heretics and not artists, and since many of Paris museums are on strike right now, we don't know if Musee D'Orsay is open, and that is where the Impressionist paintings are--it would be sad to think I'd get here and not be able to see the Impressionist collection they have, but that only means one thing--I'll have to come back!!

After leaving the Louvre, we set out to see Notre Dame, and that was another amazing landmark. It was so beautiful, decorated for Christmas, with the mammoth tree in front. The interior is so lovely and gothic, with the dramatic, soaring arches and buttresses, symmetrical columns and intricate stained glass...built for God, out of love and respect. Unbelievably mind blowing. I lit a candle for my Grandmother, since I know she would have loved this place.

We went on a wild underground Metro ride after, but somehow found our way back to Monmarte just as dark was falling and the rain came...didn't matter though, since we esconced ourselves at a bistro and had a nice warm meal, then headed in.

It was quite an enjoyable day!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paris

I am sitting here in our little flat in Monmarte, munching on fig newtons, and listening to the rain hit the little ceiling window, so peaceful. Monmarte is beautiful, and Paris, well, it most certainly is Paris.

Our journey began stateside at noon, when we set out to Newark. Nothing unusual to note except I set off the metal detectors as usual...when the female officer came out with the gloves though, I began to think "cavity search" and got a little nervous, lol.

Our flight was an arduous one--I was worse behaved than the children on board. I was in the middle of the row, which always makes me a bit claustrophobic, but God had mercy on me, and the gentleman I was sandwiched in between got up and sat with a friend a few rows down, so Mark and I had some breathing room.

I was very impressed with Scandinavian Airlines, to say the least! Service on board was impeccable, with nice, smiling Flight attendants, *2* full onboard meals that were actually good, complimentary wine and liquor with your meals, free beverages and snacks through the flight, pillow and blankets, and private movies, games and music for each seat, not to mention what I liked best of all--an overhead TV showing us the route and all particulars of our transAtlantic course--I found it fascinating and comforting, knowing exactly where we were, as we went up over Canada, the Labrador coast, and finally, to Copenhagen. Although I got squirmy and had to pace the cabin every two hours or so, it was as good as a flight as we could experience.

When we landed in Denmark, I have to say, I was floored. The people are ALL drop dead beautiful, and the airport was very new and modern, and ECOCONSCIOUS-- these people seem to be light years ahead of us in terms of their eco awareness...I was very impressed, but then as I looked around, I began to become uneasy...here we were, these two disheveled and dumpy Americans in the midst of a race of mannequins, and I justed wanted to get on board and go LOL

Charles DeGaulle airport was more my speed with the grime and variety you get accustomed to for an international airport. The variety of people was very interesting, from the French, to Spaniards, Arabs, Swedes, Germans...a real melting pot...put me right at ease!

Our flat in Monmarte was about a half hour away, so we got a taxi ride through the outskirts...lots of graffiti, and litter...made me feel like I was in Brooklyn!! "Newer" Paris in nothing to speak of. I was happy to see the French drive on the proper side of the road as we do LOL (now, now, don't get offended my dear English friends!).

Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication, our flat wouldn't be ready until 3 pm, instead of 11 am, so we had to go across town and drop off our luggage at the rental office, since we weren't go to be dragging our suitcases everywhere with us until we could get settled in...at this point, I was completely undone...exhausted, and irritated. Mark saw me turning cagey and we decided to go get a nice meal at a local restaurant recommended by our "host" so off we went, and found ourselves in the middle of a very jolly and somewhat boisterous group of Parisians at lunch time. Our language barrier didn't seem to bother them in the least, and they were quite friendly and cordial to us, contrary to many myths I heard in the past of the French treating Americans abroad like dirt...not true as far as we can tell.

After eating a very nice and large lunch of steak, chicken, baguette, fries, salad, and chocolate tart with expresso, we were off to the Sienne to walk it off and see everyday Paris...we stopped in some beautiful little markets, and tucked off into a wonderful park with a statue of Louis the IV...or the V?? I don't know, it was one of the Louis'!

As 3 pm approached I was completely feeling the 28 hours we had been awake and traveling, and I could tell Mark was also by the way he nodded off in the cab while sitting straight up--quite a remarkable feat!! Aside from our taxi driver trying to rip us off for a double fare because we didn't understand French, everything was smooth, and we met our "hostess" Jen at the flat smack in the middle of Monmarte. She showed us how to operate the various appliances in it, handed us the keys, and off she went. I was looking forward to nothing more than a nice hot shower, change of clothes, and maybe a nap, when we discovered we had no hot water...this really pushed me over the edge, and hot or cold water, I was going to get CLEAN here. I felt like a complete dirtbag walking around Paris in what now felt like dirty pajamas, and I wasn't having any of that, LOL. So, I took a shower that was so cold, it could have rivaled the Antartic, and if I was about 20 years older, had the potential to kill me by putting me into cardiac arrest...but, hell, at least I felt awake after it!

We began to explore Monmarte, and I have to say it is just as quaint and beautiful as I had pictured it to be...now, don't get me wrong, there is an element of tourism going on, but thankfully, it has been ruined with any "Ripley's Believe it Or Not" shops or cheesy wax museums.

Artist circle was in full swing, and all the gang was there, hawking their paintings, portraits on the spot, and caricatures...The Church across the way was hosting a Christmas Bazaar, and all of the local children there were dressed in Victorian Garb and went through the streets singing french Christmas carols...until they stopped in the square, and after a long prayer, all of the trees in the square lit up to symbolize the start of the Christmas season...it was absolutely stunning and Mark and I sat at the cafe across the narrow cobbled street and wined, dined, and enjoyed the whole event. The cafes all had overhead heating installed so that their patrons could continue to dine outside no matter the weather, and this seems to be all of the demand, since Paris is now nonsmoking indoors, and still is home to literally LOADS of smokers...I was secretly impressed by their old fashioned ways, for such a cosmopolitan city...fashionable thin people, who love their old fashioned foods, wine, and cigarettes or "tabac" as it's put everywhere...I was definitely digging them. No political correctness here!

As we sat eating saumon aspic (salmon), beef, and noodles, a local artist named Alan struck up an interesting conversation with us, telling us about his life here, his younger years traveling the world, his lost love in Cambodia, and his eventual return home to France, and his life in Monmarte...he finished our conversation with doing a pencil portrait of me, which I felt was far more flattering than what I really look like...he insisted it was the exact likeness, and I laughingly thanked him for such a kind interpretation of me, as probably I had been, 20 years previous!! He snootily informed me I have no wrinkles and "very lovely skin" so the portrait was quite accurate. God love that man!

At some of the local artists and resident's advice, we headed down to Rue Abbeuse, where the tourists don't go to, and all of the locals hang out at. It was a party in full swing, and we hit several local bars/cafes, and chatted it up with them. They were surprisingly open about what the loved and hated about their beloved city, and I was again, impressed they would share this with traveling Americans. Yet, they did.

After all the food and wine, and lack of sleep, I felt it hit me sharply like a drug, and I could barely keep my eyes open by around 9 pm...Mark literally had to drag me back uphill to our flat, where I instantly fell asleep, and then promplty awoke at 3 am...not knowing where the hell I was, and completely dazed...so here I sit now, 6 am, happy, but still tired. I'll try to get a little more rest soon, since we will be armed with our Metrocards...and ready to start doing some more exploring of this fascinating old city...

That's it for now!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Change of season on the tree farm Handsigned Limited Edition Print | Twolia: Where Talent & Creativity Flourish!

Change of season on the tree farm Handsigned Limited Edition Print | Twolia: Where Talent & Creativity Flourish!

New Painting--"Change of season on the tree farm"




Ok friends, here is my new painting--sorry I was so slow to post, but I have been really swamped lately, and it's been slow going for me with just about everything. My wedding is this weekend, and I'm still just getting a handle on everything that needs to be finished up...the devil is in the details!!

This is from our local tree farm, the view is uncompromised, and so peaceful. There was a bit of nostalgia involved for me, the scene looked somewhat melancholy, yet hopeful, with the dark and overcast sky against the tapestry of color on the hills, and the baby trees that would get more time to grow and mature, rather than get cut for the holiday rush. That made me cheerful to think that the holidays are approaching...the landscape seemed to reflect that, as if it were taking a deep breath before it stepped forward into the impending soft blankets of snow that will no doubt be here in a few weeks...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ill and such

I've not been too well the last week or two--I don't know if it was the flu, or the mental flu, but either way I've been down.

I've spent alot of time watching TCM...it's my "escape hatch" when I'm feeling sad or just want to feel secure like Grandma is watching along with me. So many wonderful old movies, how I love them! To me, classic movies are so rich in so many things...in history, in storytelling...it's like taking a time machine back to another era. I also feel that classic movies have so much more character and depth, as compared to modern movies. Hollywood tried to portray people, for the most part, in a much more noble light. It wasn't "cool" or desirable to be a dissapated and degenerated individual, as it so often portrayed today, and I appreciate and find comfort in that.

I think I do because it gives me a gleam of hope that people can excel and strive to do right, rather than submerge themselves in the status quo, and celebrate mediocrity and apathy. People fought for all different kinds of causes, from the simplest, to the most complex. They had principles, and a fire and a hunger for truth.

I watched "Night of the Hunter," with Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters...that was a really good flick. Robert Mitchum was fab as the completely evil and closeted Preacher, and Shelley Winters was a bit over the top as the brainwashed newlywedded widow. The boy who played "John" was wonderful and believable in his role, and the little girl who played "Pearl" was more adorable than the money-laden doll she toted through the length of the movie. A must see.

Anyway, I'm out to finish my latest painting. I will be posting it tomorrow. Our wedding is this Saturday, and that event is wreaking havoc with my schedule, and my nerves! Then, off to Paris.

I'll keep up as best I can in the next few days/week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Painting!


Here is my newest painting...the color in the photo is a little off, the sharpness also, and it had to be cropped along the edges due to some shadow, but, you get the idea!

I'm starting a series of limited edition giclee prints, and I will post more details as the proofs come in, and become ready for sale!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Painting




I haven't posted in a while, since I've been busy, and busy painting, and I really just didn't take the time to photo my work, which is such a struggle for me, and I just decided against it altogether...a sort of protest. So, now I have several paintings to photo...but I'll do it all at once!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Painting, same roadblocks!


Hi all...well, I finished my new painting, and the photography of it is giving me fits. I bought a book, etc. But, still no improvement. So, now it's time to call in the pros--I'm going to have a professional start shooting the photos--it's well worth the investment, both in terms of posterity, and frustration!

In the meantime, you can look at the painting with my bad photography, lol. The photograph is a bit washed out (the colors), and it will be interesting to post the professional picture versus my amateurish attempts.

So, here it is:

"Summer friends" Oil on Canvas 18" by 24"

Here is the creative idea behind it...since we are coming into the end of summer, I was intrigued by the colors and senses that summer brings, and how it passes away pleasantly yet somewhat bittersweetly into autumn. There is usually a surge of excitement, almost a relief, that follows the random cool breezes that begin to blow through the end of August and early September, signalling the change about to take place. Your senses all seem to sharpen, the air becomes clean and fragrant with a definite crispness...The oppressive heat of the summer begins to fall away...and although it WAS oppressive, there is still a small place inside of you that will miss that heat and the stifling warmth...because although it could be uncomfortable or inconvenient, it still had its moments of pleasing sensation and accompanying connections.
Most of the time, my world manifests itself in a sort of hyperrealism...the colors are magnified, the sounds and sensations are larger than real. The smell of a freshly split watermelon...the burn of a red hot aji pepper that can literally last for days...the fleeting delicacy of luscious, fullbodied summer rose with it's untaintedly sweet perfume...they all represented different faces of summer. So, I moved to capture them before I got caught up in the excitement of the new sensory experiences the fall will bring, and I forget what intrigue the summer had shown....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mixer tomorrow

Tomorrow evening is our networking mixer...we will be doing a business get-together from 4 to 7 pm. We are serving wine, h'ordeurvres, coffee, tea and dessert, and are expecting about 40 people...I am pretty tired tonight, but that didn't stop me from plotting my next still life, execution will begin on Thursday morning--with a CLEAR head!

Getting our wedding plans in order also...I guess that's about it for tonight, except I've also decided to begin work on my memoir...throw another log into the fire ;-)

Goodnight all--see you in the funny papers!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Painting



"Perkin's Cove" Oil on Canvas, 12" by 16"

This painting I posted yesterday...it sold in under a half an hour. Amazing!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Painting



"Sunflowers and the tomato"

From my garden...I liked the texture of the wood, the flowers, and the deep red of the tomato. Had to work fast because it was dreadful hot in my studio, and this caused the decomp of the tomato to speed up, and the flowers to wilt superfast...but, it's done, and I enjoyed it in spite of the sweat and the gnats!

I had a real hard time trying to photo this...the lighting, the shutter speed, the reflections on the darks, and then trying to balance the saturation without washing out the lights...it looks much better in "person" LOL.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Frustrated!

I can't wait for this summer to be over. Our water heater burst Saturday night, and we had a monster flood in the basement not to mention no water since then. Of course, this happened on Saturday night when there was no plumber to answer their phone, or able to get anything done until this morning. I'm just fed up at this point.

I have not been able to get anything done...I had company in on Saturday night, which made this a nightmare--I still have my nephew with me...he decided a jump in the pool was a good alternative to a bath, LOL. Kids.

I NEED to get this painting finished--if they linger more than a day, I'm crazed. God is merciful in that the kids go back to school Wednesday morning...and not a moment too soon. Teachers have it made--alot of whining about how hard their jobs are, but they get full time pay for part time hours...only hitch is, they have to deal with KIDS all day long. On second thought...maybe it is a pretty hard job after all!

I'll post my new painting sometime tonight or tomorrow. I have some chaotic BS today in running about to get sneakers, haircuts, pencils, etc. Then, come 6 a.m. tomorrow, the fun begins!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Link

Photography Prints

New Painting




"Lilies and Wood" Oil on Canvas, 12" by 16".

This painting was done in studio from a pink lily I picked from my garden. I am enchanted by the array of colors and sensory pleasure that flowers give...I arranged this mature bloom on an old work bench, since the contrast of textures was interesting to me--the stark simplicity of the wood, and the velvet softness of the lily. I perched the flower in an antique porcelain vase for a neutral yet elegant vehicle to showcase the two opposing elements. I utilized a limited palette of only burnt sienna, french ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crimson and white, thinned by a mixture of 1/2 and 1/2linseed and turpentine to create this painting.

Time to work on my next summer flower--the sunflower...also, will be posting my Maine paintings within the next couple of days--that's all for now, folks!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tornado Time


We have a tornado alert in effect for the next hour...it's kind of laughable, since we live in Schulykill, PA.


Aside from having my power knocked out several times today, still no sight of it! Anyhoo...above is my latest painting--it's called "The Secret" and here's the tidbit behind it: I was doing yardwork and I started to get divebombed by a crazy robin, and I know birds don't generally carry rabies ;-) so I figured I'd find out what I did to irritate it so badly...upon some perfunctory inspection of the area gutters, and a large hedge, I found the "secret." Her nest--she was defending her nursery! It was better than an Easter egg hunt! I quickly left the area so she could go back to attending her nest and not abandon them altogether...


I've had a dickens of a time photographing this last painting, maybe since it's a high contrast painting...the darks and lights don't come through balanced like they do in the actually painting...it's a reflection issue, even though I'm not using flash.


Anyway--I've done the best I can in terms of photographing it, so now it's time to post it to eBay, Etsy, and all the other sites---going up very low, with no reserve price, so now's the time to go bid!


Take care and ttfn!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Where does time go?

This summer has flown by...I will be picking Cannoli up from girl's camp the day after tomorrow, and it seems I just dropped her off! Not that I mind, since I miss her keenly...

My trip to Maine was short, and thankfully so. Maine was beautiful, it's just that I was not in the "mindset" to keep the company I did. I was extremely grateful to get home and sleep in my own bed...

But, from the brief stay I did have, I have a few new paintings for a "mini" series...I will begin to post them in the next day or so.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Head full of cotton

Day five without a cigarette...doing ok--I haven't really missed them too badly until I take my afternoon lunch break while I'm painting...then it does get pretty bad. I start feeling fidgety and crappy and long for a cigarette, but I know it'll lessen in time.

I've been working on several projects at the same time, and trying to juggle the finishing touches on the bedrooms for AAA--getting into their travel guide will be a big bonus, so I'm trying to get the rooms completed.

I'm working on painting number four in the Seashore series; I may only do one more instead of three, since the "fog" theme is starting to bring me down, and I'm yearning to do some light-hearted, sun-filled landscapes...not to mention start working on a few portraits. I'm also going to do a formal figure study in Conte...I just have an urge to. Must be the gorgeous Ingres paper that just arrived!

Anyway, thunder storms today...I spent late yesterday afternoon lolling about at the Bungalow...just floating in the pool, staring at the sky...needed a day like that! Tomorrow, I'll have to go purchase some more curtain rods, hit the gym, get a yoga session in, and finish up the painting...start a pastel as well...going to try to hit the hay by midnight, and be up by 7 am. I have business appointments to go over early, plus chores, and kids to shuttle in the inbetween. Running a household and two businesses is pretty crazy...but, whatever...as long as I get to sleep, I can hold everything together quite nicely. I've found a good trick--no internet after 9pm, so this is it for tonight!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Slo Mo Confusion




The rain has been relentless...it lulls you into a sort of aimless mindset...a lethargy that becomes deeper with each passing raindrop...it's hard to get motivated when every day is soggier than the next.

I've gotten alot done, considering the fact I'm working two businesses, and taking care of kids that are home for the summer! Not too shabby...

I finished up my third painting in the series of seven last night--so now we have:

"Sea birds on a gray day" (SEE PAINTING ABOVE)
"Immortal beloved (flowers for the dead)"
"Lone fisherman on the jetty"

Starting painting number four hopefully tomorrow--I have a figure drawing session tonight, and also a very good high school friend coming in tonight to stay with us for the next two days, and also a wedding party coming in this weekend, plus we need to get the new drapes up in several guestrooms, not to mention installing a few new antiques...so I'm spread a little thin now--we'll see how it goes...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Untitled

I've had a lingering sickness for the last two weeks...it's in my throat now, but I hope it's on it's way out...

I've also had a lingering sickness in my mind...I feel all out of sorts...anxious, a bit depressed, as if something is waiting to happen...I can't pinpoint it, and I hate being distressed over something vague.

I guess I'll just out to my studio and start another piece...It's cool and clammy out, and I kind of like that...matches my mood.

My Dad came for a visit yesterday with Dale and Tom in tow...it was good to see him out and about, be he looked old and frail, and I was afraid to hug him and get him sick all over again. We all had a nice chat...discussing art, Silver Screen Hollywood, of course, Clint and his movies, Gran Torino, we went on to discourse about Henry Miller, reading some passages from "Black Spring" and as usual the state of the economy and political turmoil...drank some herbal tea...which was good because my nerves were fried with an ocular migraine triggered by an overdose of Chambourcin the night before...I gotta cut out the BS...that shit is going to be the end of me if I don't watch it.

Well, another cup of coffee, and I should be ready to head outside...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Too Dumb to be Smart

Well, I find myself in the same quandry. I live in a beautiful and insane world...but, I hope a few of us do.

I went to "Venice Biennale 2009" and wanted to puke. I guess I lost myself in stupidity for a while...I forgot being an artist was being a liar...being a painter was being a bullshitter.

Half-wits who put together incoherent "statements" and INSULTINGLY debased works...but, they spout the "correct" bullshit, and hobnob and lick ass to the right "friends". I forgot how I will be lost in a sea of nothingness, because I'm not gay enough, sick enough, left enough, pathetic enough, but most of all, not SHITTY enough, because if I have any talent, I'll expose them, and not fit into their weird little "wanna be eccentric but not untalented" box. Wanna live a lifestyle that feeds a lie.

Art is about beauty and connection. Art doesn't need an incoherent statement behind it to be beloved. It's about reality...and not incoherence--if it can't be verbalized, it can't be executed. And vice versa. You can't run before you walk, and you can't create before you can even form the creation into a simple statement...a statement that means something...a statement that is UNIVERSAL enough to be "art" If you have to attach a 15 page "statement" of crap that no one but a decoder can understand to even make your work viewable enough that it won't be thrown out with the trash...you are just a bullshitter. A liar. I have no time for liars, con men, and stupid suckers that perp it. Remember the book...The Emperor's New Clothes...written by a true artist...HCA. (that's your hint my sweet friends lol)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sick and Subdued

I've got a whopper of a cold coming on, I can feel it. Who gets sick in the Spring? Too strange.

I went to the shore the other day, and of course, it rained the entire time. That's ok, cuz I just put on my rain slicker and windbreaker, and went down to the beach anyway...rain wasn't going to stop me.

The wind had whipped the ocean into a frenzy, the rain was steady against my face, and I felt a call in my soul to get to the water's edge, to where the huge breakers were crashing against the rocks. I walked gingerly out onto the jetty, as far as I could go without getting swept away...M was there too, looking a bit fearful and hesitant, but I told him to stop being so cautious--it was ok. (famous last words :-D )

The ocean was so majestic, the waves in a perfect and somewhat threatening rhythm...I was awed by their power. I had to resist the urge to fling myself into the maelstrom...I envisioned what it would be like to be plunged into the valley of the mountains of water...the cold green world, the thousands of pounds of crushing water battering you, until you were finally dashed again and again against the barnacle covered, unyielding rocks. Pretty intense.

The next morning, I was determined to get to the beach again, and actually do what I set out to do, which was to commune with my "Mother." The day was misty and foggy, but the surf was calm.

We walked down onto the nearly empty beach, which was peacefully shrouded in fog, and set up our chairs...I watched two lone surfers appear out of the mist--mere shadows against the veil of white...in their wetsuits, they appeared like stick figures against the dreamlike, billowing backdrop and the soft grey pulse of the surf.

In the distance, a lone fisherman worked on the jetty--standing stock still for so long, I wondered if he was real. A single man appeared suddenly from the greyness, and ran quietly into the surf; I watched him jump in, jump out, and shake himself off. He donned a strange little terrycloth outfit, and then went through his yoga poses. He left as quietly as he came...

Along the beach, about 100 yards away, I noticed a man scattering the remains of native roses into the surf...I tried not to look at his pain directly. It was a private moment for him, and I felt I shouldn't intrude on him with my stares as he honored his lost beloved.

The different sea birds went about their business as I sat. I watched pleasant little sandpipers running to and fro, while larger gulls hovered and landed softly, their intentions known only to themselves.

M went for a long walk, and I was able to quietly reflect and communicate with the sea. I told it all of my hurt and sorrow, and it quietly acknowledged me...I know that God is in the ocean--and could feel His presence sitting with me, his arm around my shoulder.

The day was wonderfully peaceful, and I felt very refreshed. I allowed myself to think of nothing but the sea, and the moments I spent with it. I got some beautiful references for a series of paintings I've already begun, and I'm entranced with them...

After we left, I found myself sporting a pretty good burn on my face. Hat, blankets and all, my freaky mixed blood doesn't like the sun, and it always finds a way to get that burn in...

I came home to find how happy I was to see everyone--Anthony was quiet in his room, Noelle was playing outside, Gab and Iz were gone though, taking both babies with them...only the remnants of Miss Maddies's great flour disaster remained behind, lol. But, that's another story!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beyond Hope

Can I be hoped? helped? In that order...I'm alone, 3 am, I entertained and loved, ready to rip off my own skin...

I don't say I hated entertaining, or the people I did...I hated not being good enough...I hated the fact that I'm fucked up...I looked into their eyes, knowing I was lost--because I am...in this world. They were better than me, and I struggled to stay alive...my work, my paintings...that makes me "whatever." Shit. Puke. Everything awful and dead.

My paintings...most of the time, I look at them and want to kick them in, burn them, trounce them...same as that goes on in my mind. They are trash in my mind--no one that amounts to anything thinks about them. Especially family.

Oh, by the way...to show I'm completely worthless...Nicole got a clean MRI today...her brain cancer is in remission. I'm happy and numb... numb because I'm still to blame over not "reacting" the right way. I'm a freak...I love her, but I'm just sick. I've never ever done the right thing, and now, they have the excuses to fly against me as to why I'm this way.  It's what it is...blown up...destroyed...sunken like a destroyer.

I realize NO ONE has loved me...they may have reached out a hand it transition, but looking at my group of FB friends, I realize I wasn't loved. Not important. Not in the right way. I was hot and distant. I hated myself, and apparently, they all hated me to. What a fucking horrible realization, a slap.

You never knew a piss-0ff like what i feel...fuck it. I know who's worth their fucking metro card.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's the difficulty?

I aim this at me. I am dragging ass today...and just feel generally depressed. It was an effort to even move out of bed...and the sun is bright and beautiful, and I am hiding inside like a ghost, trapped behind the doors, unable to move into the outside, as if I were going into another dimension...

I need to force myself out--get to the gym, get motivated. I am so F*$cking sick of feeling like this...a few good days, then down in the dumps...

I once read a quote, "A professional produces even on a bad day" so this makes me feel ashamed to boot.

Sitting here agitated and down at the same time...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

BORED on Friday night.

I don't know what's with me. I am so damned fidgety tonight. Nothing is seeming to calm me down. I can't pick up a brush, and I can't sit still, and I can't find peace or contentment, it's like I'm completely hyperactive.

I went to the gym, paced in my studio, doing everything but what I should've been doing, hung some photos, did alot of nothing, and am sitting here now at 12:30 am, with a glass of merlot, and just brooding.

I have alot to do tomorrow, so I have to get a grip here...same old same old....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drip Drip Drip--and the approach of Mother's Day

I can hear the faint patter of the rain outside...it's been raining for days, but since I love the rain, this doesn't bother me.

It has made a slight inconvenience in that I want the cloud cover, but I need some dry time so I can photo my paintings outdoors. Natural light is ideal, but high sun causes reflections on the surface of the canvas, so overcast is best. Hopefully, I'll get that a bit today.

Still itching with allergies, and my Dad is making some improvement in his illness--we know it's not pneumonia, Thank God.

Mother's Day is this weekend, and for some reason, this is a holiday that has never "registered" with me, and for being a Mom for almost 20 years, this is odd I suppose.

I have loved being a Mom, but I always demurred getting some kind of "recognition" for it--God gave them to me, and I love them and do the best I can do...I guess a simple hug and a fresh picked flower (like when they were little) was the best gift of all...and now it's mushroomed into some elaborate commercial affair like all holidays have been distorted, and for me, it's just more pressure and expectations. What will we do for dinner? Will the family be coming? How many? What to get all of the Moms? We don't want to offend anyone or slight anyone, etc.

Sheesh! I won't bow to this! I have taken a stand--I will enjoy a lovely Sunday, without the stress. I will buy a card and a flower for my Mom and my daughter, and send a card for my sister-in-law who lives out of state. I'll have the kids call any other relatives that need to be wished well, and our meal will be a Sunday meal as usual. Anyone who wants to stop by is welcome, but it's no formal affair. That's how I'm going to enjoy Mother's Day.

Speaking of mother's, I walked out into the drive to get something from the trunk of my car, and as I glanced downward, a perfect blue miniature egg lay nestled right by my foot in the grass. Curious, I picked it up and examined it--was it really a robin's egg or a child's toy? It was without blemish save a little impact scratch and it was a pretty cobalt blue, and if it was a real egg, why was it here? There were no trees in sight, maybe the gutters of the garage? Had it fallen? I gave it a tap with my fingernail, and to my horror, my nail penetrated the shell, leaving a crescent shaped hole in the side of it. I saw the gelatinous interior, and felt instantly sorry--had I killed it? I didn't realize how very soft the shell would be.

I immediately got the wildlife "Consultant" on the phone--a.k.a. Dad. He assured me it would never have hatched, it was either abandoned or the nest was plundered and it got tossed out in the melee. I thanked him, and when we hung up, I became more curious as to the actual location of the nest...after a series of clues, including, upon close inspection, a hatched egg shell, I traced the nest to the shrubs several yards away. Upon carefully pulling them apart, I found a beautiful, well-formed nest, with one blue egg in it. Not wanting to disturb it or cause the nest to be abandoned if it wasn't already, I left it be...

So, even in the kingdom of birds, there is love, tragedy, the will to overcome, and Motherhood.

What an interesting and lovely thought...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vampires in my coffee

Last night was a strange one...I fell asleep reading the letters of Vincent and Theo, probably around 2 a.m.ish, and had a series of incredibly vivid dreams.

I dreamt there was a party going on in a home, I'm supposing the home was mine, but it was huge, rambling, like a maze, and broken down, like a fraternity house or something. The corridors were lined with nameless, faceless revelers. I was agitated about this, since it was my doing, and the kids were in the house, lost among the "guests."

All of a sudden, the Police showed up, and everyone began to scramble. I was more frantic now, but a woman, I'll call her the "Girl" came up to me, very stylish, young and chic, and patted me on the shoulder sympathetically, and told me not to worry, everything would be just fine. She was part of a small group of odd, yet handsome people, who seemed unruffled by all of the chaos. She moved aside, and sitting on a couch between a young, Goth looking man and woman was Noelle. Anthony moved from out of the shadows and stood by me looking anxious.

I felt immediate relief but then consternation...what now? The police were rounding everyone up, including some of the small group I mentioned. They took two biker looking men from the group, who didn't resist their arrest. The one man smiled at us and winked. The "Girl" turned to me with a sly smile I didn't understand, and whispered, "He's two hundred years old, and being arrested doesn't bother him. He'll slip away without a fuss." I was confused now, and asked her how is this possible? She smiled and showed pointy, glistening teeth. She said, "We're vampires."

I should have been horrified but I was numb. I looked at my daughter sitting between the two creatures and gave a start, but the "Girl" said, "Don't worry, we want to help you. You must come with us." I began to follow, as the whole group got up and began to move rapidly through the maze of corridors. Anthony whispered a warning, but I dismissed it as childish. We opened one door, and my brother was sitting in a broken down room, on a ragged bean bag looking chair, watching an ancient TV on a milk crate. He didn't look up from his stupor, and just waved us away. I was alarmed, but the "Girl" grasped my arm and said, "We'll come back for him later. There's no time now." I protested, saying, "What if he's gone?" She assured me it would be alright, and we began to run now.

We burst through a beat up, industrial metal door, into the dim evening light. Everyone dispersed, and Anthony and Noelle disappeared as quick as lightening with the group. I immediately panicked and protested, but the "Girl" pointed to a motorcycle and said urgently, "Get on, we've got to go. We're meeting up with the others." We both got on, her on the front, me on the back. I tried to fumbling strap on a helmet, as she did hers smoothly, and the motorcycle reared into a wheely of sorts, nearly knocking me off the back. I thought, "I must stay on, or I'll never see my kids again!" So, I grabbed her in a bear hug around the waist, and just clung on with my eyes tightly shut.

We road what seemed a short distance to a huge, decaying, abandoned warehouse. As we approached, the "Girl" seemed to lose her energy, and became somewhat lethargic. The bike meandered to a slow crawl, and then it lurched, and went down. I was able to jump off, but she fell beneath the weight of it. I went to help her up and she recoiled. "Don't touch me!" she hissed.

Something about her demeanor had completely changed. She seemed irritable, distant, menacing. I tried to swallow my fear, and walk with her, just so I could get to my children. We walked quickly to what looked like an old cafeteria, but a small one. There were beat up couches, and a TV playing, snowy and monotone. The rest of the group was there, and didn't even look up as we walked in. Again, Noelle was tight between them, and Anthony was on the fringe of the group, looking anxious. I saw the relief wash across his face when he saw me, and he walked quickly to my side and whispered, "We've got to get out of here." I nodded in agreement. I realized in my quest to get us out of the jam I had put us in at the "house," I made a grievous error, and had compounded the situation to a dangerous level by being here...and we might not make it out alive. I felt my heart pounding in my chest as I tried to figure out what to do.

In the meantime, a few vampires trickled out of a back corridor, and stealthily entered the area we were in. There seemed to be something down the corridor, but I couldn't see anything.

The "Girl" looked positively sick now. She yelled at one of the other vampires to let her into the "room." I don't know what was in there, but she became very agitated when a male vampire by the corridor stated she would have to wait her turn. I reminded me of having to wait for a restroom when you have to go to the bathroom really bad, and she paced and shifted looking miserable, but not even looking in our direction. None of them did. Anthony asked a question, something inane, like for a drink of water, and they looked at us with disgust, and said something rude like, "Why are you bothering us?"

I saw this as an opportunity, and said, "Apparently, this is a bad time for you--so we'll be on our way!" and quickly grabbed both kids' arms and headed for the door. Noelle was reluctant because she didn't understand the situation, but she moved nonetheless.

As we left, I became angry--angry at myself for trusting them, and angry at them for deceiving me. They brought us to this dangerous place on the pretense that they cared, and were our friends, and they really didn't. For some reason, it hurt me, even though I should've known they were evil creatures. Somehow, I felt they should've cared, even though they didn't have the capacity to.

As we crossed through a large, dark, cavernous expanse right before the exit out, all of a sudden, a low, childish voice called out to us, and in the weak light of the exit, children began running out at us. One young teen after another ran out as quick as lightening, their evil eyes flashing in the darkness--they were vampires also, but these made no pretense of friendship. Terror welled up as they surrounded us, and the burning fear and desperation made me tight as spring--we were just feet from the exit. They circled and taunted us, and then attacked us.

It felt like hands ripping us apart, not our flesh, just separating our grip on one another--in the darkness I lost sight of both Anthony and Noelle. A horrifying looking heavy set girl in a clown outfit, with white-blue eyes and slavering teeth, held me down--saying all kinds of horrible things to me. I pleaded with her to let us go, have mercy, just let us leave, but she laughed at me and said, "No, you will suffer." She suddenly let me go, and I was alone in the dark.

As I stumbled about, I heard yells and screams and cries and evil laughter in the dark, as if they were playing some monstrous game of tag in the blackness. All of a sudden, I felt someone firmly grab my arm--it startled me and I screamed and struggled--but I heard a voice--"Mom, it's Anthony!" I looked at him in the weak light, and he looked sad and scared. "Where's Noelle?" I screamed--he looked at me in horror and just shook his head.

We began running around the darkness, screaming her name. After what seemed an eternity, I saw a young figure stumbling in the darkness, feeling along the walls with her hands. It was Noelle! I ran up and grabbed her, so happy she was safe. I kissed her and hugged her and cried tears of happiness, as we ran for the door. Just as I got my hand on the door and began to pull it open, she wrenched herself from my grip, as if she was scared to go outside. I looked at her inquiringly, and she held up her hand. On it, smeared in blood, was a strange symbol.

"What does that mean?" I begged...and she said to me, "I got bitten by one of them--I can't leave with you." My heart raged and broke, and I screamed into the darkness--"I won't leave her here! You can't have her!" Anthony and I cried, and swore we wouldn't leave without her, we would find a way to save her, and we would be turned also rather than leave her...and we began back into the darkness to find the monsters and demand an answer...

And then I woke up.

And it's left me in a sad and depressed mood...so here I am.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Revelation and a rash!

I woke up extremely itchy today. This irritating rash of sorts that started on my arms has crept upward towards my neck, making me scratch like have fleas! It could be my allergies, as this happens sometimes in the Spring, or it could be the St. John's Wort...either way, it's annoying.

Along with being itched awake, I had a revelation of sorts. I realized I didn't KNOW HOW to trust. How strange! It was a concept as far removed as knowing trigonometry...which, I never even took in school. I have been doing so much reading, on how to move forward, but the common thread through it all was you must trust God, and I discovered upon self reflection, that I had a hard time even registering that word...

In my life, I've always relied on me--if you wanted to get the job done right (at least most of the time), or get the maximum effort (also, at least most of the time), you did it yourself. My experiences had been with selfish, lazy, deceitful people, with a sprinkling of honest ones, so as time went by, I just catagorized EVERYONE as the latter, whether they deserved it or not...I was tired of trying to discern who was who, so in my mind when it came to telling who was who I did the old Marine war-motto: Kill them all and let God sort 'em out.

What I didn't realize was I was also "killing" myself in the process. My heart just grew harder and harder, and I wanted less and less to do with anyone, because the idea of humanity and people just became overwhelming, horrifying, sad and threatening in every respect. I also began to view God with this paranoid thinking. Where was He? Why was he so silent? Did He exist--and yet I knew He did, but I spurned him. Good, I thought, if you don't want to talk to me, I don't want to talk to you. It all went South--and it wasn't fast...it was like the Bataan Death March. Long, terrifying, grueling, painful. Lonely.

Then today, a little lightbulb went off inside my head while I was doing the dishes, something completely mindless and innocuous. To trust, you simply just have to BELIEVE. Believe that God is honest. Believe that God loves you. Believe that He will allow good things to happen in your life. Believe He will walk with you and never leave you. Believe. And I did...and it was like for a moment, a ray of bright sunshine peered through the clouds in my mind.

Of course, like all weather systems, the clouds moved back in, and my mind frantically searched for the ray again...but, I was not without hope. If is showed up once, if I believe, it will show up again, and again, getting stronger with each appearance, until one day I won't have to try so hard, hope and belief will have become a welcome friend.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Addendum

I found out what my vague queasiness has been for these last few days...and it had nothing to do with nostalgia, anniversaries or lost opportunities--it was my Dad. His cancer has returned.

I knew something was wrong, and I couldn't pinpoint it. I have a sixth sense when evil is on the wind, I always seem to know...it's not a clear premonition, just a grieved spirit of sorts comes over me. It's happens literally in front of every bad event/storm in my life--and I mean life changing events, like deaths, serious illnesses, accidents.

He's gone back to the hospital today, for further testing, and a game plan on how to handle this. First, the infection in his body needs to be brought under control, so they can figure out his chemo courses...I'm waiting to hear from him and my Mother later today.

In an effort to distract myself and expend some excess nervous energy, I was outside planting my pathetic, brink of death sapling plants, and I ripped my thumbnail almost off at the base, so I'm in alot of damn pain (right hand to boot) and I can't concentrate or attempt to paint tonight until this heals up a little bit (tomorrow hopefully). I'm so blindsided by all of this, and the waiting, it's like I'm underwater looking at the surface.

So, there it is. Now it's time to don the armor and begin battling again.

The Comfort of Gloom

To me, there is something so comforting about a gloomy day...the peaceful grayness of it, the melancholy quiet, the soft, misty, ethereal air...it just makes me feel as if I'm being wrapped in a coccoon of quiet and calm...like a giant pair of unearthly, angelic arms are holding me.

That's what it's like outside today, and it makes me very content. I have things to do, and I don't feel bad not doing them, because these days aren't so often...to have the perfect, gloomy day outside!

My Dad's been feeling poorly...we're hoping it's not pneumonia. His Onc put him on some heavy duty antibiotics for his upper respiratory infection, and it's knocked him down pretty well. I had a terrible dream about him last night...I dreamt I went to visit him. I walked into a bright and foreign kitchen, and he was unrecognizable. The drugs had swollen his face up to the point of disfigurement; even his eyes were changed and so sad. Strangely, his body was that of a very young, healthy man, muscular and vibrant. I was horrified and I said to him, "Dad, you have to see your Doctor immediately!" He refused (as always) and said, "Let me just give it another day, the medicine is working!" I was insistent that he see his Doctor, and he refused, and I left him, with a feeling of dread, that he might not make the night. Then I woke up.

I guess it was even worse then the dream I had the night before, that when I blew my nose, copious amounts of red insect pieces (looked like maggots or something) kept coming out...

I don't know...I only know that I feel ok today, must be all the St. John's Wort I've been taking for the last few weeks...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eat your Wheaties and other tidbits of supposed wisdom...

I'm starting off behind the "eight ball" today. My allergies are killing me, and the sleep aid I took last night have kicked my butt, to the point of me waking up at 6 am not even knowing I where I was for a few moments...nice the things a person must go through to combat insomnia...

I was at the gym doing intense cardio for over an hour yesterday, and through my sweaty haze, I had a dull feeling of dread I was trying to outrun, something vague growing like a seed in the core of my being...I was trying to figure out what it might be, and I guess this morning it dawned on me.

Today would've been my 20th wedding anniversary.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not pining over the waste of life that is my ex, but I'm pining over the loss of what I had dreamed of 20 years ago. I wanted someone to love forever, a best friend to trust and raise a family with, and now, that the kids are all almost grown, someone to have lived through that wonderful experience with me, and to move onto to happy and freewheeling times as "empty nesters;" in short, I wanted a lifelong mate, and I got cheated.

I raised my children alone with absolutely no help (not even child support) of any kind, including relatives, and suffered through many, many trials to handle by myself. I cried many tears of pain and anger for my kids, and for myself at being cheated of their rights to a father that cared about their well being, or even if they were alive or dead!

I never wanted to have to be single again, and try to find a "needle in a haystack," which was a man that would truly care for my kids, and also actually be someone who I may have a remote interest in...so many things, so much pain.

For a long time, I lost my faith in all things good, including God. Oh, I would mouth the words and hollowly cant a faith, but it was just empty air, and I was as empty as a person could get.

I have recently decided this isn't acceptable, and after my long struggle, I want to "go home." No, not to die, but to live. I want to go home to God, who loved me as a child, and loved me as an adult, I just didn't see it because I was blinded by my pain and struggles. I want my best friend back--and it was God all along, never a human being.

So, I try again, and today is the anniversary of the prodigal's return.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lessons Learned

I've been doing a lot of reading today, Joyce Meyer's book, "Never Give Up." It's a very inspirational read, especially for me, who suffers from lifelong depression. It's become worse lately, like it's out of "remission" and I feel very alienated and somewhat paranoid. It's like a bad downward spiral, the worse you feel, the more you isolate yourself and mistrust other people, the more inert you become, and even the most menial tasks become gargantuan, and you feel even more depressed about that, and you go down the tubes like getting flushed in a toilet.

I am trying to work through this, and I know my family is impatient with me--kids are kids, and they only want what they want, right now. M left me completely and utterly drunk and possibly suicidal last night, with a loaded gun, and I haven't heard from him since. I guess he feels irritated at my illness, and the darkness that has emerged lately. I have been with him through all of his bullshit, but I guess when it comes time to show what it's really about, it's certainly not about me, if I have annoying baggage and not just money and some looks. I'm sorry for my present condition, but it not something somebody wants or can even help, anymore than being a cancer patient. I'm sorry if that offends people, but depression and mental illness is a disease, not a behavioral choice...

I am committing myself to a week of intensive soul searching, and trying to keep my mornings and early afternoons entirely devoted to reading, meditation, and trying to hear God's voice and obtain healing. I have been taking stepped up dosages of St. John's Wort, in an effort to avoid medication if at all possible, and trying to get an hour's worth of cardio daily, plus minimize stress as much as I can. I'm also trying to eat very carefully, healthfully, and in small amounts. Sleep is a huge issue for me, since I'm an insomniac, so this is a nightly struggle, but if it means sleeping later into the morning so I can be well-rested, I'm not going to feel guilty about that anymore. It's necessary for my health, so I'm accepting it as a healing strategy, and not because I'm a "bum."

I am also postponing my return to B's figure drawing sessions since even that weekly trip in is just too overwhelming to me at this point, with the kids and school and the fact that M is too unstable in terms of his "forgetfulness" and I don't feel comfortable leaving the kids alone with him--that sounds terrible to say, but it's the truth. I've tried to avoid talking to my family, since they are so completely negative about everything, to that when I get off the phone, I just feel like sticking my head in the oven--thank God it's electric ;-) The last thing I need right now is their hideously horrible outlook on life, and their terrible and catchy self-loathing. No, I just want to talk with the Universal Optimist...He's the only one I'm interested in hearing from right now.

So there it is...horrible to see in writing, but a necessary purging. I will write more as I go along...

Healing Hearts Portrait

"Aaron R." By Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 12" x 16" 2017 Here is another portrait I just finished for Healing Hear...