Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Aw, the violence and drama of Christmas.
The three and a half year old battling it out with the four year old, the tearful nine year old who is now too big for the little kid fun castle at the mall, the two five year olds with super powers to never never stop running, spinning, leaping and telling ridiculous jokes....THIS, is the drama of Christmas.

After the kid stuff in our house: the quickly giddily opened packages addressed to the little ones....we grownups do a crazy, dirty, silly Santa game with our gifts. We toss the anonymous packages into the center of the rug and one at a time we take turns opening a gift. If someone else wants it, it can be stolen. We play tough....we haggle and discuss the ever changing rules...we are a fine example of capitalism and commerce for the child audience, which snorts and giggles and is amazed to see the grownups in such a state.

I collect just the right sill Santa gifts all year. You have to be on the lookout when the choice item comes across your path. Like the vintage Mr. Spock doll I found at a flea market. He was not haggled over....perhaps he has lost his charm. The bronze Buddha on the other hand, was the prize of the night. Of course there were a couple of choice losers in the gift pile....like the chick and duck salt and pepper shakers still in their 1980's packaging, and the marble lion that has come around for a second year, and may make several more appearances.

Best, of course, was squeezing around the trestle table for the the main event....the food, the laughs, the holding of hands around the table connecting us together for a magic moment in time.

Peace.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

mother daughter disconnect

I need to complain.
One week out of each month I spend with my 91 year old mother. I take her out and away from her very nice assisted living, and whisk her off to shopping; doctor appointments; out to eat; drives in the city; drives to the beach; drives to look at pretty houses; home to her house to pick up more clothes, hats, scarves, gloves, etc; out for coffee; more shopping and more shopping.

Sounds so nice, doesn't it? And it might be if we weren't related. She has had a good life, despite WWII and the Depression. She has wanted for little. She has had face lifts, spa treatments, travel, the theater, and all the clothes that all the closets in the house could hold. She is cute and feisty and everyone loves her. Me included. But. Still.

She makes lists for me to do. Lists of things to get for her. Lists of things to do for the house. (Calling the termite man is one I won't ignore).
And today, she told me she wants me to write to her from Houston to let her know I'm alive when I'm not here. Oh, yes, forgot to mention. When I come out here for a week at a time, I fly from Houston, 4 hours (plus airport hang around time) and take the shuttle from the airport, another hour if I'm lucky.

I am an artist, so today, when things were pretty intolerable, I imagined narrative drawings of my mother wrapped around my throat cutting off my air and circulation. Strangling me.

So, being the only surviving member of this family and being the good duty bound woman that I am, I now feel guilty.

And I need to go hem her new pajamas.

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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