I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
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Sunday, August 10, 2014


Squire’s Castle was built as a gatehouse for Feargus Squire, a founder of Standard Oil.  Now the castle is part of Cleveland Metroparks and is a scenic backdrop for weddings and picnics.  That’s the castle, and Feargus was the royalty.  The king lived his excesses while somebody else swept the floor, got blown up in refineries, and was beat up by anti-union thugs in a time when widows couldn’t get work and companies weren’t held responsible.  People come to the park now and imagine themselves as part of the elite where someone else sweeps the floor.  We can all live the fantasy.

I don't want to be a princess, and I don't want any kings.  I just want to have the freedom to live a middle-class life and retire someday when I can really paint whatever I want without having to worry about how much money I get from it.  I'd like some reassurance whoever inherits my estate won't sell my life's work at a garage sale or throw it all away.

Last night I said "Find your focal point!  Look at the light!" while a young woman huffed and groaned with labor pains.  I'm not really sure what to say about this, especially since I don't feel like I have the right to talk about her life in particulars.  "Remember, you're doing something men will never do!  You are woman, roar!"  Which caused me to get chastised for making her laugh, and laughing hurt.

Her young daughter was floating around the periphery of a very female experience, and I remember being that age when my mom was huffing too.  It was exciting in the moment.  The more times it happened the more I disapproved of my mother procreating, but the first time I didn't know that a new king was supplanting my place in the family order. 

I guess it's been an interesting week.  I've been feeling very stressed and escaped to the river on Friday after work.  "Is that a Hensley?"  "What? Do we all look alike?"  Kevin pantomimed me walking, or maybe he pantomimed my brother walking.  Okay, I laughed. I never realized my family has a particular way of walking.  I tried to notice as I walked through the woods and decided I have "in the woods", "trespassing ", and "on the street" modes.  Bet my siblings have those styles too.  I'm going to notice now.

I have to walk through Kevin's kingdom to get to the "cutoff" where the river was redirected by the Army Corp of Engineers when I was a kid.  I walked around the resulting island and noticed the old paths are gone.  It was like walking through virgin forest, but I know stories for a lot of the bits and parts of that place, like the yurt my ex just had to have.  My nephew stole the yurt and used it to build a fort.  I guess my ex was right that the extra $ for oak was worth it because it's lasted a lot of years in the woods.  At least my nephew's kingdom still exists in its way and I can hear remembered laughing.

I don't know where I'm going with any of this talk of kings and kingdoms.  The new baby was born this morning.  I painted this fish after I finished that other painting.  I don't know what to do with it now because I want to work on something else.  Anyone want to buy a fish skeleton?  And I guess since I don't have anyone to sweep the floor or do my laundry, I guess that's how I'm going to spend the day in my kingdom.


  1. I wish you a peaceful Sunday.

  2. Thanks Paul. Wishing the same for you!

  3. I used to paint bull skulls in my paintngs. They had a southwestern vibe for reference. Those paintings have good bones at the very least!

  4. Your kingdom is whatever you say it is. The fish is pretty cool.

  5. Aw thanks! I decided what I'm going to do with the fish. It's going to be gifted. I might have to repeat that bit about "good bones" :)

  6. Loving the fish. A "family walk," huh? Hmmm.....I don't think mine has one....nor do we really look alike....but there has to be something that binds us, beyond a last name....

  7. Speaking as the "queen" of my castle, I can relate to your story and fish skeleton, also taking on the title of being the "sole" housekeeper of my abode. Lord knows we work our fingers to the bones. I also wonder who will inherit or dispose of all the old paintings here, but then maybe that's payback time. Let someone else deal with it, we won't have to worry about being royal pains then, huh? Congrats to the new parents- Hope the little one inherits a stress- free kingdom! Hope you have more time to paint what you like!

  8. I don't think I look very much like many of my siblings either, but somehow people often seem to recognize we're all part of a set. I hope I have time to paint more too. I'm setting some time aside this week to try at any rate. Thanks for the comments!