Friday, October 31, 2008

International Quilt Show of exhaustion

I have just come limping back from the Houston International Quilt Show at the convention center here. I can't quote numbers or winners or vendors because, really, I was just a quick visitor. Another world spread out before me in dizzying splendor.....and awesome talent.

I thought I might look for some felt in the enormous vendor section, and when i found my way out again I was wishing for a stretcher. This is very serious stuff with extremely serious but happy people shoulder to shoulder and stomach to stomach within it. I was awash in prints and buttons and embellishments and ruffles and fabrics and embroidery and rug hooking and Christmas ornaments.
Not to mention jewelry, purses, silk scarves, do it your self kits and huge quilting machines with people driving them furiously. And about 70,000 women. Even the men's restrooms had been relabeled "women". Perhaps I will go again some day......in a few years.

Monday, October 27, 2008

restoring the used to be

I drove to San Antonio this last weekend to visit son and family in their hundred year old Sunday house. It is being restored to live-a-bility inches at a time. The neighborhood dangles "promise" before their eyes, being in such a close in location amongst other promising to be restored houses and some that are. There are roosters that crow at 4 am. Dogs that are horribly tethered up the street who bark a lot (who could blame them), loud music from open pickup truck windows and there are shady characters doing shady things on sunlit street corners.

In the midst of this is my son's house, beginning to rise from the dead. The tall ceilings are elegant as are the deep wood moldings and the the restored floors. You have to have long eyesight and faith to do what this family is doing. Is it really very different from homesteading among the wolves and bears of long ago? My bones are too old to contemplate such an endeavor, but I relish what my son and his family are doing. It is difficult, but it is beautiful to my eyes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

gouache supreme amonst paint

Painting with gouache is such a pleasure. While it is so rich and forgiving it also costs so very little as you can use whatever is dry on the plate. A white plate...so I can see the colors. I found that I have let some of my tubes of paint become all the way dry....I can't squish anything out. No problem....I'm just going to cut them apart and use as dry lumps made new again with water. So I thought I would post a gouache that is one of my favorites....sort of goes along with the bad attitude I had during the last post. Oh, and that tantrum I posted about my other half not being human? Well, he isn't very, but I'm used to him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

living with a grumbler not being a snivler

You know how things go chugging along ok for a while and you sort of get used to it ? And then every minor thing goes wrong and your partner/husband/irritating other sends you right over the edge? Well, I'm there. Hanging on by threads. Its very hard for people to live together. There needs to be a constant shift of duty, consolation, listening, rallying....right? Wrong. If you are a man, you don't feel that obligated. I'm not writing a book here, I don't really know the statistics, I just know how it looks in most every relationship I've been in/seen. Someone is grumbling and someone is sniveling. I refuse to snivel. But when I grumble it falls as they say on deaf ears.

So I'm allowing myself a moment to gripe. AND GRUMBLE.

And now, thank you, I shall go back to being a human being, even though I don't live with one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

our life long chosen path

There are many political artists. There are people who live in the world as it is today and relate to it and with it.....expounding important ideas and revelations, looking toward the future.

And then there are artists who dwell in the past or perhaps in the ether between the past and the present. I'm very much afraid I am one of those. I dress my people in nondescript no time clothes with a nondescript fashion. It is my purpose to focus on the ordinary person with the ordinary feelings of an individual in any time or place. I like the moment to be that of a quiet turmoil.

It is interesting that we all find our own path and that so few of them are similar. And that be we writers, musicians or visual artists, if we are very possessed of our chosen way, no temptation will cause us to veer from it. It is that strong......and life long. Even, as they say, if no one hears our song.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the movies....

Finally getting back to seeing a few movies. Perhaps the most outrageous and ingenious that I've seen is "Burn After Reading". Geez, holy satisfying satire, Batman! It sizzles with idiot people in D.C. Just the thing when we need to really laugh at the craziness. But in this great poke in the ribs movie, it's not just the big guys who are stupid......the wealth is spread around. Great stuff.

And I really didn't want to go see "Nights in Rodante" because it sounded all goopy....but I got sucked right in. Not just because there is a bit of a hurricane in it. I have to admit...and I hate doing this....but I cried into my shirt. You know the wiping with your sleeve sort of weeping....all running down your neck and into your collar. And then when the movie is over you sit there and read all the credits so you can look like Heck no, you weren't crying.

Then we saw "Ghosttown" tonight. Fun, funny, interesting idea....really liked Ricky Gervase in the main role. Not hugely thought provoking, but kind of a nice movie. Saw "The Women" a little while ago. OK. Nice to see some older real looking people in it. Meg Ryan, however, doesn't age and that sucks.

I'm much more a book reader....but being hopelessly visual, the movies are a treat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

trees in shreads but painting is healthy

Only now, some weeks after the hurricane and after the big blown over trees, fences, etch have been carted away, are we seeing more damage in the trees. Remember how Cinderella goes to the ball in the beautiful dress? And then she is in rags, all tattered and torn? That's how the oaks and pine trees look. All the small limbs that hadn't turned brown before, are now dead, brown, tattered and hanging all over the trees. You start to realize how strong that wind was. Whole sides of trees are burnt and shredded. OK, OK, I'll stop. I just really love trees.

In the meantime, the change to acrylic paint is finally working out. That is, not fighting me anymore. It seems the trick is to slather paint on in the beginning....all to avoid the deathly drag of the brush if you don't. I'm happy with the two thirds done new boat painting......and already starting another new one. Onward.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Much of what hurricane Ike left behind is now gone, at least here in Houston....luckier than Haiti or Galveston. So we are on to other types of storms: the kind from Alaska and the kind from wall street. I am not the astute political observer....I am a creature who snuffles along much closer to the ground.

For instance. There are butterflies and hummingbirds back in town and the sight of them makes a body wonder where they found comfort and safety during a rocking and rollin hurricane. Life, as they say is full of mysteries.

We, as a species, can't find many places to hide and survive either. Storms will have their way with us. But I wonder about the ones coming out of Washington D.C. In my old 1960's attitude, I still believe we can rage against those. It is surely time to look to the real resources of the land we live in: the people. If the people of any land are fed, educated and given the benefit of a little modern medicine, people will survive in the best way. How is it that we let a few greedy goats keep running all the shows?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

water wind and oh yeah a hurricane

OK, OK, I take it all back. The weatherpeople were right this time. Ike blew its little self right in here, squashing Galveston and surrounding counties and cracking trees and houses in Houston. It was a bit of a mess. The worst on the coast....and I am so sorry for the losses there. Here it was just more of a mess....but everyone was good spirited....ah, the smell of freshly broken pine.

After 15 days of dark nights, we are happy to be back in the lap of technology.

swamp, 55" x 29"

in progress

flying fish, 55" x 29"

eye with a view

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I am living and painting in the little town of Houston. A far way from my San Francisco beginnings. I paint what I see of the human condition, be it human, animal or object. The glimmer of humor, pathos, and spirit in so much of what I see is the basis of what I paint.

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