I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell – mine sell out!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Immovable"

The first thing I thought with this word was rocks, or maybe the old refrigerator in my basement -- heavy, difficult things I don't really want. Then I started thinking about an old boyfriend who was stubborn in his points of view, which is why we aren't together any more. I was stubborn too, but I'm pretty sure I was also right. We could pick up the same fight years later and still remain immovable in our beliefs. What a shame really.

Nothing is actually immovable. Our molecules are constantly jiggling, the planet orbits around the sun, and the sun is part of the vastly moving universe. I can stand with my feet firmly planted and my arms crossed while the planet forces me through space, and time creates change around me. Even my beliefs and attitudes change, no matter how much I want to hang onto principles or things already gone by.

I got this lesson every year when I was growing up. Boulders in the river looked immovable, but the spring floods came and shoved them downstream a little every year, and then a little more, and then more, until I noticed a huge granite boulder I used to sit on behind the Lutsch's house is now behind the Hollar's. That's a long ways, and it made me feel old and timeless at once.

I'm very much like the boulder. I want to draw with a pencil and paint with a brush, but life is like the flood that forces me to adapt and use technology. After some complaining, I've figured out I can like computers too. Life changes, people change.

This is a big painting for me, 30" x 20" in acrylics. I hate to apologize for the quality of the image, but I had it framed before getting it properly reproduced. Taking this one apart would be a nightmare, so I haven't done it. It's hanging in the living room, and I'm leaving it there. At least I'm leaving it there as long as life doesn't make me reassess it again, and that day will come. None of our beliefs are as sacred as we think they are. This painting will eventually be sent to the attic or sold or given away because something always happens. The trick is to quit fighting the floods.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Atmosphere"

Home repair is wrecking my delicate ecosystem. The plumbing disaster last month inspired me to get Adam the Plumber to replace the drain pipe from the kitchen sink. That wasn't part of my flood, but now I have plumbing paranoia. He also took out the dishwasher because I never use it, and if you don't use a dishwasher, it goes bad. They waste a lot of water and energy anyway.

Adam told me to put Drain-o down the pipe to clear out any residual gunk in the connecting pipes. I read the directions and obediently flushed with hot water. I forgot about the furnace guy turning up the water heater to the temperature of the sun. Factoids: faucets these days have plastic inside. Plastic melts at the temperature of the sun. The cheapest new faucet is $80. AAAAAaaaaaagggghh!!!!

Adam is a sweet guy, but not a little one. The opening for my corner sink is 8" wide. He said he'd have to find someone very skinny to access the faucet pipes. I don't have money for 2 plumbers, so I decided to fix it myself. Since the dishwasher is out, I dismantled the cupboard for better access. That worked great for all but one of the connections which was completely rusted together. Late into the night I attacked the faucet with a hack saw. You know, if they put chintzy plastic parts in the faucet, why is the rest solid brass? That's about as easy to saw apart as taking a leg off the Eiffel Tower. After much sweat and swearing, it's off and the $80 replacement is on. It's shiny and pretty and my greatest accomplishment to date.

There's a creepy atmosphere of absolute silence around it. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd gotten to the perpetual drip of the old faucet, and that gets back to the destruction of my delicate ecosystem. Bugs went there for the water, spiders spun webs to catch the bugs. I leave a light on over the sink in the evenings which attracts other bugs, so the carnivorous ecosystem was pretty much continuous -- but no more. The eerie silence of the non-dripping faucet must've scared the spiders away too. Nothing lives there any more. No mold, no moths, no spiders. I'm just not sure I can adjust to this.

The linoleum got replaced in the kitchen and down the stairs to the basement this week. It's a story in itself to explain why I had the most expensive company do it instead of begging favors from my almost-brother-in-law, but it was actually cheaper for me because the insurance company is insane. I kind of dread explaining to my sister and her boyfriend, but he really needs to learn to schmooz some claims adjusters.

Guilt aside, the new floor looks nice, but it made the kitchen cabinets look awful, especially the hole in the cupboards where the dishwasher had been. I spent 2 days trying to make them look better with liberal doses of wood putty, paint, and scouring powder.

Are you tired yet from reading about all of this? My knees are screaming at me for crawling around on the floor while doing plumbing contortions, and there's still a lot of stuff that needs put away. That doesn't even count in the fact that the wood floors need refinished, and that means everything in the house has to be shifted from room to room to clear off the floor.

... examining my biceps... I am woman, hear me roar!!!

Oh yeah, I used to do work for a feng shui instructor, so I know the kitchen is the love center of my house according to that tradition. Just something I've been thinking about while I wonder about my absent spiders.

The spider tin was created for Firefly Fandango. It may be a stretch for "atmosphere", but I figured it was time for an update about my disaster relief. I like the word for the week, so may attempt a second post if I can stop trying to get the house in order -- but then, the house is my atmosphere.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stargazing

There are people who might be surprised that I'm patriotic. I get ticked at my politicians on a regular basis, and have been a pacifist since I watched TV as a child and saw other children running from explosions in Viet Nam. There simply has to be better ways of solving the world's problems than blowing people and places up.

Don't get me wrong -- I believe in our right to self-defense, but wars with Iraq and Afghanistan make less sense than blowing up Saudi Arabia if we're actually retaliating for 9/11. But like I said, I'm a pacifist. I don't want to blow up anybody, and I don't want our soldiers blown up either. It hurts me to see young people without arms, legs, or faces because of the stupid decisions made by people in power for oil interests. Rich people get richer, and everybody involved suffers. The rest of us are supposed to buy cars and stuff to help the economy and avoid looking at that man controlling things behind the curtain.

On the other hand, my country right or wrong -- right? America isn't just the flawed people in Washington or greedy corporations or fruit loops in Waco, Texas or whatever other crackpots you might want to point to that live here. America is an ideal of freedoms. Believe in the religion of your choice, or don't believe in one at all. Every child is given a basic education and libraries are free. Anyone can go to college and study the career of their choice and abilities. In theory anyway, none of us is limited by our caste in life. The streets may not be paved in gold, but we do provide opportunities. It isn't all given to you, but you have the guaranteed right to work towards your own happiness. We have the right to say what we want and to create pictures of anything we want, even if it criticizes the government itself.

My sense of patriotism runs deep. My ancestors have fought in America's wars since the first war against the British, and I even had relatives who signed the Declaration of Independence. My relatives fought on both sides of the Civil War, in both world wars, Korea, the Gulf, etc. I feel obligated to support the people who are willing to die for our freedoms and the greater good, but that doesn't mean I have to support the politicians that send them in the line of fire in the first place. And as an American woman, I do have the right to vote. I think there are a lot of Americans who share my views, but we are the quiet majority who seldom get heard in the news.

My flag is painted in acrylics. There are 13 smaller stars representing the original colonies with a large star symbolizing the unity between the states. Or maybe the big star is for Ohio, because obviously, that's the best state. Anyone who says different is clearly deluded and/or prejudiced, or looking for a fight. Which kind of gets to the point of patriotism. It's love of home, wherever your home is. I'm just lucky that I get to call America and Ohio home.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Caged"

What can you do if you cage a hawk?
Broken wings beating in fury against false walls
She will break herself before being broken
In an unfair prison.

A tethered leg bound to a stump,
Broken wings bound,
Glassy eyes glaring in mistrust,
Flashes of hate piercing your skin.
She would kill you, blind you, hurt you
If she had a chance.

She hangs her drugged head, and
Her broken heart pounds painfully.
Inside hard bandages and soft feathers
Longing, gasping, waiting
For her chance to break loose.

She wants more than vengeance.
She wants the songs and silence of the sky.
So close to God,
So near her soul,
Where she belongs,
Where she rules supreme.

Free.

-- The art was created for Lake Metroparks' Wildlife Rehabilitation Center as part of a fundraising campaign. The poem was not.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Artificial"

Anything artificial isn't real. It's false. It's a lie. It's a deception to fool us into thinking that orange drink is something like orange juice, even though it's full of sugar, chemicals, and manufactured vitamins.

I've tried a number of starts for this topic of the week, and found them all rather depressing. It's just my nature to look for honesty in people and things. I want to look for the good around us instead of being sucked into thoughts of artificial things created in China with plastic made possible with Middle Eastern oil -- which then gets shipped around the world for purchase at Wal-Mart. I don't want to think about artificial people either. You never really know where you stand with them. I'd rather hear unpleasant truths than try to figure out what someone else might be doing or saying behind the scenes.

Fishing flies are artificial in another way. They are created to mimic things fish want to eat. Creating them can be an art form in itself, and I started painting them instead of fishing after meeting a Japanese couple in Yellowstone. We didn't understand anything the other said, but the man showed off his fishing flies, which were exquisite faux grasshoppers and other bugs. I'd still go fishing if I were hungry enough, but I'd rather order fish at a restaurant off the menu than cut off somebody else's head.

This is watercolor with rice paper on the border. I'm hoping next week's word is something nicer like "natural".