Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mural nearly done....twenty eight cans of paint

Working on the mural. Maybe two more weeks. We are at the point where it seems endless. Especially with the beautiful days outside....and us in the attic room. Big as it's indoors and up very high. We can look out the large dormers onto a beautiful garden and a landscape of large houses with multiple chimneys and slate roofs. We are inside with paint fumes and twenty eight cans of paint. Oh, I know, grouse,'s a good job and we're nearly done so shut up.

It is interesting to have two artists who have never worked together on a project before attempt to meld personalities and styles in one mural. Especially as one is a ceramicist and the other a painter. Fortunately the ceramicist used to paint, long ago, and is also the instigator and doer of many public art projects. And fortunately, although the painter is a virtual hermit, and prefers holing up alone, she is also able to be nice and knows how to play well with others. So it sorta works. We are working in an extremely high end neighborhood.....and find it odd that the people we see are all workers...gardeners, dog walkers, maids, construction's amazing really. All I can think of is, at least a lot of people have jobs helping the rich be rich.


Monday, April 26, 2010

new garden for the butterflies...and me.

Why is it that the "weeds" (those plants that crowd the ones you actually planted...see, I hate to discriminate against "weeds"....somewhere else, of course, they are not weeds) grow so much faster than the ones you are favoring. Evolution, I suspect. Someone has been weeding them out for eons and they have the spirit of survival in them that says GROW FAST before that damned gardener tweezes us out!

The garden is fabulous this year. I took a hunk of money from the mural project and plunged it into getting people over here to dig and heft and plant for me this year. Digging out the giant ancient gingers was the biggest gift. So now I have even more garden space for pentas, lobelias, rudbeckias, passion flowers (for the swallow tail butterflies), senna (for the sulphurs), butterfly weed (for the monarchs) and much much more. Even something called Kangaroo Paws. So all I have to do is water and pluck weeds. I liked where they put things but I am moving things around quite a bit. Like the furniture in the house.....over over there, might be better.

Sometimes it is quite fine living in a sub-tropical zone.


Friday, April 23, 2010

the excellent lived in face

Just saw Olivia Newton John on the bbc Graham Norton show. I have to spout. He is so funny, do love him. But. Much comment on how great she looks and my my she is 61 years old. I object. Her forehead never moved. Her hair is the color it was forty years ago and there is suspect puffy lip syndrome. I'm just tired tired tired of it. What the hell is wrong with being the age you are?

I like my salt and pepper hair. My mouth is beginning to have a few lines around it from whistling for years. My face and forehead are in continuous movement when I'm talking or listening and responding to someone. I have character, damn it! Too bad of me to take it out on the innocent O. N. John. There are plenty of other examples. She just tipped me over I guess. I love a good lived in face. People not in the movies or on tv are mostly good faces, it would seem. It would be nice to see an ad or movie with a few normal looking people. Agggh.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Volcano slows mural

Back into the lushness of Houston from the spring of Palo Alto and San Francisco. A month away really messes up one's schedule, gets you behind on bills, wash, weeds and friends. I'm amazed that my garden did well. Just replanted it before I's that for trusting the rain and the stars? (And a kind son who came and watered).

But the biggest job waiting is the mural. We're about two thirds done with it. While I went to Calif to attend to the mother the house and all concerned with both, my mural partner and friend, Elena, went to Barcelona to visit her daughter. We didn't expect a volcano. So she's still there. And I started back on the mural alone today. Not a problem, just not as much fun. Elena has a Spanish accent and a fiery attitude about politics......she keeps me entertained. We talked on the phone today...she's going to have plenty to say about the airlines when she gets home.

It's amazing how out of shape you can get in a month of walking around s l o w l y with a 91 year old. I was groaning on the ladder today. And my painting arm was making silent but insistent pleas for me to cut it out and go read a book.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

blasting the termites and forgeting the light switch

Still posting from California.
I am sad to say that I have joined the war between nature and humans. I didn't want to be part of this war....I believe in peaceful co-existence. But the termites were taking more than their share of my mother's house. So, I had to let the poison brigade in the front door. Preparations of safe guarding any indigestibles and plants were taken....which only convinced me of what a violent move this was to be. The house was tarped. A warning sign posted to keep us away for two days. And today we returned to clean up and return the house to normal sans the termites. And a few carpenter bees. I am sorry I had to be part of a poison solution. But I'm glad the fifty year old wood structure will last a bit longer. A few plants too near the house look shocked, but all is in better shape than I had imagined.

As to my mother....still suffering from Lewy Body Dementia...although she still tells wonderful stories and can keep up her end on political conversations....she has forgotten how to turn on the lamps in her room. She asks me again and again to teach her...and I do. And she tries, and cannot manage this once simple task. We have taken another step on down the road.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

back road dawdling

Took the tiny cute mother out on a wild ride today. With my long suffering life partner in the back seat and tiny cute mama in the front seat, we set upon the back roads of California hills allowing whimsy to lead us. Hairpin turns, one car roads, muddy and impossible turnouts, a bit of rain and glorious views cleared my head of any crackly ordinary chore dreary thoughts. The roads through the area between San Francisco and Santa Cruz may look merely hilly from a distance, but the car, the transmission and my adrenalin say they were mountains. Happily we saw few other cars until we resurfaced after mazes of old stage roads, onto incomparable hiway 1.

The surf was wild and foamy, the wind enough to stall a few seagulls and the smell of fresh was exhilarating. This is perhaps the best time of the year to dawdle around in back roads here....the hills are Irish green, blossoms abound and the undergrowth below redwoods, madrone and oaks was a fairy land. Which suits my mother very well...she has the magic of belief and wonder about her and enjoys every cloud, every forget me not and every twist of the road. The back seat other half of my life was patient and enduring. And in Pescadero there was pie and coffee.


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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