Thursday, November 20, 2008

the burden and joy of life and death

What is burden? What is loyalty? What has respect and love to do with it? The fading of a parent a neuron at a time while watching grandchildren expand theirs? The needs of the parent and the needs of the children are not dissimilar. There is a selfish streak in both. They both need to survive. And we, the two generations inbetween are the responsible ones, the ones to balance the need with the want and the joy with the grief.

And then.....the generations will shift again. I do not wish to be selfish. Let me fade into my paint quietly in the night and cause not a ripple when the time draws near.

Friday, November 14, 2008

secret boxes of gouache and wispy things

Holidays swooshing up upon us, circling our ankles and prickling the fingers. My fingers have been about gouache on boxes for my family. It seems childhood for me was about secrets. And secrets were kept in cigar boxes under the bed, or little tin boxes behind the night table radio. They were for stashing rocks and seashells and dried up lizards and lovenotes. I have to say my smaller tin boxes were for dried millipedes and potato bugs.......but, then, I wasn't often the perfect example of a little fluffy girl.

So, even though kids should get to decorate their own boxes, I am doing it for them this time. When they are a little older they can find their own boxes. So I'm doing these in gouache, and then waxing them for protection. I plan to line the inside with felt and some wispy stuff and a few little things to get them started. Like little monsters for the boys and little fairy things for the girls.

And I'm quite having a great deal of fun.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

blind, hesitant, dragging of the feet

I go see the eye doc this morning. I don't want to go. The eyes are not what they used to be, baby.
Some five years ago I had an attack of NAION .....non-artiritic ischemic optic neuropathy. Yes, death of the eye...so to speak. During the night, possibly due to a drop in BP (no one really knows) the supply of blood was cut off to the optic nerve. Bam. That's it. I have maybe 1/4 vision in that eye, and that is not all clear. The other eye is getting a cataract. Geez. Do I sound 104 yrs old? But as I rather like being able to see and paint and draw and just plain see, I will have to have something done. But I am just a teeny bit fearful because I need that one eye.

So. It is a small thing. I am healthy and I am ok and I will march my feet into the building and up the stairs. I guess I could take up sculpture, right?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

bad drawing stiff drawing good sketch books

I have been digging through the old piles of drawings and writings from years past. Putting the writing aside for a bit, I notice how much freer I was/am, most everyone is/was with shards of torn paper or crumby paper or lined paper than in the beautiful moleskin books or the hearty hard backed sketch books. Aren't we all just a little afraid of messing up the lovely buttery good paper? It seems, most of my good drawings are on loose ripped edges of things.

And the good ideas too. So the trick is to gather all these little pieces together. In moments of great procrastination and boredom, I've even pasted some of this stuff into the better hardbacked sketch books. It is difficult to dismiss that parent or teacher or onlooker from your shoulder when you are working in the good book. Sometimes I try and "save" a drawing that has gone stiff on me.....and it gets worse and worse. Then, I suppose it is a good candidate to be ripped out by its roots and saved for collage....but that's another pile of paper.

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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