Sunday, March 28, 2010

mid-century housing, the Eichler

Away from the mural. In California. Amidst the mother in assisted living, the house with termites, and bountiful pollen.
It is funny how one perceives things. I was just at my nephew's wedding, all nice and family and all that. In talking with another nephew, I found he thought of my mother's house as having the look of military housing. I was flabbergasted. How funny. The house that belongs to my mother is an Eichler, built in the 50's of stained redwood and glass with a slanted roof. No attic, no Tudor redo, no traditional barbie house, no grass. It is what is now called "mid century", and rather desirable.
I have always liked this kind of housing.... I grew up in it and felt the inside-outside California vibe of it, and it's connection to nature and the land around it. And I ended up in a house much like it in Houston.

But my nephew is right. This sort of house does not appeal to everyone. It doesn't have an attic or a basement or drywall. You can hear the rain on the roof. You can see the garden from almost every room. You are part of it. Certainly it is getting a bit rundown after 50 years, and I have a lot to do just to keep the termites at bay and the garden trimmed, but there is meditative peace here. The house dwells in the garden, they co exist and belong together.

Peace.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

achey breaky wall mural

Working, working, working on the mural. The mural of Mozart's Magic Flute. In a big third story room for an opera lover. It's been a while since I've done work on a ladder, balancing on one foot, reaching my brush to the far corners of the top of a wall. Criminey, I'm freaking too old for this. While I'm there I'm all bravado and blazing brushes but when I get home I'm beat and can be found in the kitchen fumbling with the advil bottle for a quick fix of ease the sore muscles.

O.K. It's actually quite fun, but the stamina that once was, isn't. Today I found myself quite irritated with the house paint that wouldn't behave, the idiots in the traffic on the way home and then, heaven help me, I had to go to the post office and wait in line on tired feet. That sent me over the edge. Crispy shimp at the local Chinese helped. Tomorrow is another day, another wall.

Peace.

Monday, March 8, 2010

the woe pit

Whoosh. The sound of February speeding past.

Enter March. I'm mulling over my show which opened Feb 25th........a nice opening with well wishers, friends and curious parties. I always get the blues after a show goes up. I always think I won't this time, but there I was again in the woe pit. Do performing artists feel this way? Writers whose work is out of their hands and in the bookstores? To let go and put it all in the hands of someone else is hard for a neurotic person. A person who wants to continue tweaking. A person who always thinks they can do better with a few more weeks.

Because I'm working on this mural with my friend, Elena, I am saved some of the doldrums I normally conjure up. I have to concentrate. And it just feels good to have my hand holding a paintbrush and trying to do the best job of painting on somebody else's walls. And painting with wall paint...........that's an interesting twist as well. It's going well. Time to load up the pie tins, the paint clothes, the lunch of almonds, carrots and oranges and head out to the new challenge.

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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