Thursday, June 27, 2013

is that a bee i hear? Why yes George, it is a bee... i believe summer must be here!

Hello friends.
It's been too long...

I've made little time for art or blogging lately.
It's finally summer here.
Need i say more? :-)

Like most everyone,
I've been busy with so many other things,
like hanging out with my son,
working (who had the bright idea that working 5 days/week was reasonable?),
watching movies,
treasured time with friends,
graduation ceremonies,
spending time with dad,
doing summer stuff, like sitting on the front porch
with iced tea on warm evenings,
or walking on the beach with my toes in the sand...
and of course,
drinking wine and eating chocolate.

Not necessarily in that order...

i am really itching to paint something - to make art,
but i seem to have little energy left by the time evening rolls around.

Must be a case of the cubicles. :-)

Being surrounded by grey walls for 8 hours
would zap the energy out of anyone.

So tonight, a few minutes ago, 
i did this quick pastel - 
just to get my hands & fingers dirty again.

Found this little deck of cards in mom's things...
it doesn't surprise me that she would have this.
Mom always knew exactly what she needed.

And earlier tonight, i was visited by my dear friend, Lucille...
who brought me this wonderful gift for my birthday earlier this week.
She could not have picked out a better gift.
It's filled with beautiful art
and thought provoking questions.
Two of my favorite things in life.

Now if only it somehow contained
little hidden pieces of chocolate...
Rainn Wilson is the guy who plays "Dwight Schrute" on the OFFICE
for all you tv buffs out there.

i can't wait to go through this book...
how can you not love such a book
when it's filled with both creativity and questions?

my little Einstein quote,
pushing me along... 

and a video of Lhasa de Sela, singing Fool's Gold,
a song that still grows on me to this day.

She died about a year later... at the tender age of 37.
Gone too soon.

Thanks for being here,
especially considering how little i've been here lately... 

Monday, June 17, 2013

dark places and light hearts

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves
at the same time.
- Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

Sometimes, i get images in my head
of mom's last moments in the hospital...

I am overwhelmed with grief
until i sketch or paint the memory in my head
and it somehow eases the burden in my heart.

i believe that every day,
we are faced with the choice to move past difficult moments and live
- or stay stuck and die.

Making art is my way of moving on.

I like to think we all have our own way of moving on
from the dark days.

From divorce.
From death.
From tragedy.
From confusion.
From abuse.

From the loss of a job
the loss of a house
the loss of a limb...

some places are darker than others
and who am i to judge
those who are unable to find their way out?

We all have our crosses to bear.

I only know that art helps me
move through my own darkness.

This little video is of a song from a movie i saw a while ago
and fell in love with, called YOUNG AT HEART.

If you haven't seen it, you must.

This song is particularly touching,
because it was meant to be a duet,
but his partner died only one week before the performance.

And Fred Knittle had the courage
to go on without him and sing alone.

Here's the trailer for the movie...
it made me laugh and cry.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Relay for Life, making art and being art

We are only as strong as we are united,
as weak as we are divided.
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblets of Fire

Hello everyone.
It's been a while...

I have a ton to tell you,
but i'll never be able to say it all here,
so i'll start slowly, with a few pics
from the Relay for Life over the weekend.

This is the team my son was on, minus a few missing team members.

He's the one holding the sign with the baseball hat on
next to the pretty red head (his girlfriend). :-)
Her name is Renée.
She lost her dad to cancer 3 years ago now.
He was 45.
His name was Charles and he loved the Peanuts characters...

It's always very touching to see so much love
in one place at the same time.
 The beautiful bagpipes... leading the parade of cancer survivors.
the yellow shirts are all cancer survivors... 
courage galore.
Those little white bags lining the track
each represent a person who has died of cancer in this area.

There are far too many little white bags.
this photo says it all...
courage and love.
That's what it's all about.

This was mom, walking with dad
in last year's Relay for Life...

After such an emotionally charged Friday evening,
i woke up on Saturday with the desire to paint.

I've had less time to myself lately,
or at least less flexible time. 
It's an adjustment for me to be "elsewhere" from 9 to 5. 
To not be able to take a break at 2pm and go for a walk,
or start my day at 7am and finish at 1pm if i want.
But i'm adjusting and for now, 
this is the stability i need.

I am learning valuable lessons along the way
that i will perhaps someday share in a book. :-)

I still write every day.
i try to make art every day, even if it's just a little doodle
or even if it makes no sense whatsoever (see above).

Someone asked me the other day (at work)
why i make art
and i looked at them like they had 3 heads.

I work with mostly left brained people.
(A challenge for any artist...)

I wanted to reply by asking them:
why do you breathe?

I make art because i HAVE to.
Because it's my oxygen.
Because it's who i am.
Because it's how i make sense of my world.
Because i'd feel lost without it,
just like i'd feel lost without music.
Because it's what i do.
Because it makes me happy.
Because it allows me to express how i feel.

This (above) is how i felt after the Relay...
(sketched quickly when i got back at 11pm on Friday night)
And then this the following day.
There's something about journaling
that feels more intimate to me
than an actual painting on canvas.

Maybe it's because it often includes writing?
Thoughts on paper.

After the bit of journaling,
i thought i'd paint something on a small canvas.

I had the whole day to myself on Saturday,
so i made soup and ate chocolate and painted. :-)

...not sure where this image came from,
but it was in my head so it went on canvas. :-)

i don't think i'm done yet
and i'm not sure i like it without the mouth.
It kinda reminds me of the Grinch. ;-)

I'll probably finish it today
and i'll post it again later.

I may have already shared this
but i'll do it again.

A book i bought myself years ago,
mainly for the illustrations.

Aren't they beautiful?

Dry pastel.

I just love this style.
Simple images with lots of breathing room.

The book layout is beautiful too,
as is the story.

Here's a quote i saw the other day by Nelson Mandela that i love:

When a person dies, their library of stories dies with them.

So they must share their story so that it is not forgotten.

Even the most simple story can teach and inspire others.

- Nelson Mandela

Thanks for being here.