Sunday, December 28, 2008

new year new president new adventures

A new year ....a new president... a new adventure.

The family who filled the house with noise and flutter has departed. It was very full. The dog, Ollie, hid out most of the time, not even venturing about for fallen food. Too many yelping children, too much talk, too much movement. He hid low.

And yesterday, with dear family off to their own lives, I pushed open the studio door and nosed about looking for relics of abandoned sketches and ideas. Certainly avoiding the three paintings in progress. I began on small sketches of heads. The face is so rewarding. A slip there a dash here and the whole expression is changed. How fun.

Today, catch up on abandoned papers. Tomorrow, back to those paintings in progress. I hear them calling. Woooohoooo.

Monday, December 22, 2008

the holidays and the calm center

At a certain age, given the average procreation, a person finds herself in the middle, the center, the quiet axis of a family. There is extreme age in one circling level, extreme youth on another, and various ages in the rest of the circles. In between these levels/circles there is wind, smoke, fire and cool water. Stay with me here, I really see this.

In the center the middle management holds court. (The metaphors are beginning to get foggy). Occasionally, this calm center, the middle management, offers advice, calms hurt feelings, gives needed attention. It is true that the center does not always hold. But for the most part it is a good place to be.

During the family holidays....all this is more evident. There is yelling, crying, euphoria, delight, jealousy, irritation, burnt food, broken dishes (one here already), sleeping children, droning elders and of course, the quiet fabulous calm center.

I may revise this opinion when I become the extreme elder. But for now, I remain, the calm center.

Peace to all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

handmade gifts and V-8 dinner

Back in de da. It was freezing the night I got here and now it is oozing slimy rain at 73 degrees. But back to the gouache, back to the hamburger soup (this is great: 1 lb hamburger, 4 med cans low sodium V-8 juice, bunch a chopped new potatoes, buncha frozen veggies, buncha whatever herbs on hand, and presto: dinner......I'm not a cook, I am a painter).

My presents are all mostly hand made this year. Saves on running around and spending too much. Though to be honest, I filled the boxes I made for the grand children with all sorts of cute things that I did purchase. But I tried to keep the buying to where craftspeople/artists sell their very fine wares.

So, peace to all. Make something. For someone. With love.

Monday, December 8, 2008

the mothership in palo alto california

I am in California where I have returned to the mothership to help out a little. As time goes along, I find my trips from Texasland to the healthy state are much more frequent. Every 3 mos is becoming every 2 mos or less. Soon, every month and I will have to over come my severe distaste for cramped airplanes. I am in the bay area, Palo Alto, to be specific, and it is a place of health and well being. If you have a job of course, but that's every where just now.

It has long amazed me that potato chips are hard to find here. Not to mention: belching autos, trash, smokers, fried things and fat thighs. I lust for broccoli when I am here. The air is so full of good stuff from the ocean, that I cough the first few days. Texas is grand but it does have a ways to go in the recycle everything and eat your Brussels sprouts department.

So while I try to retrain my painter's brain to recognise all the math things that come with keeping up with the finances of the house of an almost 90 year old neat person, I am also soaking in the good air and maybe scratching out a drawing or two. The mothership is going to live to 105, so I need to get more used to commuting.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

painting current water current dreaming

It has turned a bit cold. This is laughable if you live somewhere north. Cold here is daytime 50's, nighttime 40's (sometimes less!!). But it does make my unheated studio feel like I should store the eggs and cheese there. So I'm doing more indoor gouache.

And finishing up the painted gift boxes. I'm at the fun place where I'm swirling fine holed colored netting inside so little treasures can be hidden there. But the best part was the painting. I think it doesn't matter what I paint as long as I paint.

The need to paint (much more than draw) is as strong a current in me as the push of the Mississippi or the waves back home in the Pacific. In times of no mind feels like Death Valley. Well, that is a bit strong.......but not by much. I paint in my dreams. Occasionally, I wake up with my fingers moving the "brush". Perhaps, once, I painted in caves.

Paint. Peace. Rolling waves. Water current. Caves.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shanty Bellum peace on the river and roads

A little trip out of town cleared the morose cobwebs. We stayed at a B and B in Nachez, Mississippi for no reason other than a whim. The name of this private no breakfast but perfectly appointed abode is Shanty Bellum, not antebellum like up on the fancy hills of Nachez. Perfect answer to the offbeat weekend. The view of the big river was a half block away and the town in all its architectural interest was spread before us. The charming owner of said Shanty is Tommy Polk, who with friend Elodie Pritchartt, rehabbed this row house into a comfy and crazily delightful place to stay, appointed with thrift store goodies.

We trooped on to Fairhope, Alabama for sprawl, drink, eats, wild children and easy river time with family.

We flew up and down on the blue hiways and found nature, color, history and peace.

Peace to us all.

swamp, 55" x 29"

in progress

flying fish, 55" x 29"

eye with a view

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About Me

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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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