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

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

"Stairs", #inktober52, #inktober


Seriously, I’ve tried writing a post for weeks.  I just couldn't keep my concentration through a whole page of typing because I have acquired a puppy who NEEDS my full attention all the time – except of course when she’s getting in trouble.

My blog silence actually started with stairs.  The deck steps were bad and I replaced them with the invaluable assistance of a friend and Bro3.  My helpful friend pointed out other things I needed to fix.  Bro loaned me a ladder with a stern directive to clean gutters.  I caulked, mortared, painted, stained… I can’t even remember all the things I did.  What I know for sure is that I was tired at the end of every day and didn’t feel like writing.  I was also so stressed about the US election that I couldn’t think straight or say nice things in a post.  Thank God we can put that stress behind us, as long as the current president doesn’t blow up the world before January 20, 2021.  Thanks to everyone who voted for that happy outcome!

I grieved when my last dog died about a year ago.  I didn’t start looking for a new companion right away, and then everything shut down because of Covid.  I searched rescue websites for months before I saw my new baby at Rescue Village in Geauga County, Ohio.  She is currently about 14 pounds and about 5-6 months old of every breed in the rainbow.  Great!  I love mutts.  The vet suggested she might be part whippet and said Pup will probably be about 25 pounds as an adult which is plenty big enough.  She’s a soft, cuddly, wiggling delight who is lovely in every possible way.  In case you can’t tell, I adore her.  Life feels good and normal because I have a puppy.  She runs up and down the deck stairs many times in a day and I’m glad I fixed them. 

I wanted to write a gushing post about her since I got her, but I’ll admit she’s tired me out.  We walk miles every day and my knee is killing me.  She’s made friends at the park and learned some basics.  She was housebroken in a day, walked nicely on the leash in another day, sits, and lets go of things on command.  She definitely gets “NOOOO!!!!”, but that doesn’t stop her from doing a bad behavior again behind my back.  We play fetch and she helps me pick up sticks in the yard.  Our next lesson is “SHHH!!!!”  She has a bark that can shatter steel 3 miles away and she uses it to alert the world to squirrels or to her abandonment.  She’s also learned she can use her voice to boss me around because I run to shut her up before someone calls the police on us.

I’m sure she was neglected and pretty sure she was abused before me.  The rescue people told me she had lived her short life in a kennel and “knows nothing!”  That last bit definitely proved true.  I saw her reaction the first time she saw grass.  It’s hard to imagine, sad, but a delight at the same time.  She discovered dried up dandelions and loves to make them explode.  She chews on my fennel and oregano in the garden and has the freshest dog breath.  I take her to the woods or river and everything is new and wonderful.  Every person or dog is a new friend.  Except, there was one guy.  She was afraid of him, and it occurred to me he was the guy I called the cops about last year for hiding in the woods to watch high school girls.  I have a smart dog.

She's mistrustful and uncooperative with picture taking

She had some absolute meltdowns when I first got her.  It was more than a cry for attention.  She actually sobbed in my arms when I left her for a few hours.  She cried in her sleep and I stroked her and said it was alright, the bad days are over.  The longer I have her, the fewer bad dreams she has, but she still gets upset if I have to go out without her.  Now she has dreams about the park and playing with the neighbor boys too.  I always wonder about the idiots who think dogs don’t have feelings.  Of course they do! 

The drawing above is the only thing I’ve drawn lately, and that was using my sleeping pup’s back for an easel.  It’s also hard to type with a warm puppy on my lap, forcing me to stretch to the keyboard to type with one finger, and she makes me take play breaks, but really, I’ll make an effort to post more often.

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!  Stay safe and healthy!

Monday, September 7, 2020

“Drill”, #inktober52, #inktober

I have been reminded of my blogging duties, especially as Mom said she thought I was dead or dying.  My apologies for dropping off the web this past month.  I kept trying to write a post, but I just couldn’t find the right words to say what I want to say.  I want to yell “Don is a bad boyfriend!”, and I’m pretty sure nobody wants to read my yelling.

Here’s the thing, I had a narcissistic husband.  I didn’t know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and I fell for many of his tricks.  Since then, I’ve studied NPD (beyond my friends’ patience and understanding).  I’m like an alcoholic who quit drinking with it.  I want everybody to see the light and know the things I’ve learned.  After I started my studies, Don became the US president.  This really made me want to educate everyone about the dangers he poses – except one of the realities about NPD is other people really don’t want to hear it.  Do you see my conundrum?

Most people know Don is a bad boyfriend.  He cheated on his mistress right after his wife gave birth to their son.  We all know he’s a racist and misogynist.  We know he’s out for himself and hangs out with criminals.  We know he breaks laws.  His base forgives everything even if they say they don’t like him either.

I blamed myself for a long time during the marriage and long after my divorce.  I knew I was miserable, why didn’t I leave sooner?  But I valued the marriage commitment.  Sometimes I believed his lies.  Maybe I’m too stubborn, or too optimistic.  I tried to work out our problems.  I didn’t understand he didn’t want to work them out.  He enjoyed fighting and making me miserable.  He twisted everything around so I didn’t know which way was up, and he felt entitled to do whatever he wanted to do.  Live with it.

This week it came out Don doesn’t respect soldiers wounded or killed in battle.  Nobody is really surprised by this, are they?  Life as we know it is threatened by climate change.  Don wants to drill for oil in one of the last undisturbed places in the world.  He doesn’t care about the planet, nature, or you.  Take away Social Security from old people too.  He doesn’t care about you.  He’ll leave all of us to clean up his messes and heal our broken hearts.

My ex would do something nice every now and then.  Okay, I like getting flowers or going out for dinner.  See, he loves me.  Doesn’t he?  I’ll keep trying to work things out… but then he didn’t come home or show me respect or whatever.  Don is just the same.  He’ll throw his base a bone like nominating judges or giving the wealthiest people a tax break.  He says that’s what you wanted so shut up.

His opponent, Joe Biden, is by all accounts a decent man with a lifetime of government experience.  He and his running mate, Kamala Harris, both have centrist, moderate goals.  For some people, that’s just not exciting enough.  They aren’t turned on by the good man even though he’d make a better partner.  They want the bad boy even if the bad boy punches them out once in a while and might end up killing all of us.

I don’t know how to convince anyone Don is a bad president.  200,000 Americans are dead from Covid-19 because he either didn’t act or encouraged risky behaviors.  His actions have resulted in most Americans saying they won’t get a vaccine when it’s available because they don’t trust how it’s been developed and rushed.  You know in your heart that if Don was a good leader we’d trust the vaccine.  We don’t.  He isn’t.  Please vote responsibly.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

"UFO", #inktober52, #inktober

There are definitely unidentified flying things in my yard.  I know this because they attacked me.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to live after the attack, but there was a bit of time when I was wondering if my rapidly swelling knee was a sign I’d developed a bee allergy.  I remembered a time when I was a kid when a neighbor boy got stung.  His arm swelled like a balloon before he was rushed to the hospital.  Maybe that’s why he quit playing at my house?

The summer people behind my yard kept bees.  A long row of stacked boxes were kept right along the property line, though they possessed an acre or two of land.  I suppose this was because we had gardens and apple trees.  Dad didn’t complain.  He wanted the pollinators.  The old man showed up once a year in his bee suit, armed with his smoker, and collected honey.  I liked watching him – from a distance.  I don’t remember him ever giving us any honey.  It didn’t seem fair.  There wouldn’t be any honey without our flowers.  Millions or trillions of bees buzzed through my childhood.  I learned to live peacefully with them. 

I took a walk in the park with a friend this week and told him about my childhood bees. I smugly repeated my childhood adage, “Don’t bug them, they won’t bug you.”  Obviously, I tempted fate.

Bro4 has repeatedly directed me to paint my shed.  I’ve repeatedly promised to get around to it.  Some day…  Okay, I finally started moving my pile of old logs so I could get to the shed walls. The logs were falling apart so I got a pitchfork and started tossing them into the yard waste bin.  I noticed a few bee-like things buzzing around, but mostly ignored them.  I noticed they were very fuzzy, a little smaller and darker than the usual honeybee.  I was a little curious, but I was a woman on a mission.  I was finally going to paint the shed.  After all, Bro4 added to my to do list when he dropped off a ladder.  Apparently my next job is to clean out my gutters.  I guess they aren’t supposed to have maple trees growing in them?

Anyway, my pitchfork snagged some weeds off a log and exposed a hive of monsters.  The monsters got upset.  I had a moment of surprise and the monsters took that moment to make a beeline to my tender flesh.  OW, ow, ow, ow, OW!!!  I guess I broke the bee rule.  I didn’t leave them alone and suffered the consequences.  It’s war.  They’re going to die!  Actually, it took me a while to start thinking about drawing battle lines.  I hobbled to the house and tried desperately to remember what to do about bee stings.

I haven’t been stung since I was a kid and I stepped on a rotten apple with a bare foot.  A very angry bee was inside.  I was stung between my little toes, which is a nasty place to hide a stinger.  I tried to remember what Mom did then.  I was pretty sure she plastered my toes with baking soda, or maybe it was meat tenderizer?  Lacking tenderizer, I slathered soda on my extremely painful elbow and knee – and then a spider bit me on my other arm!  Nature hates me this week.

My tender parts are back to normal looking.  I don’t hurt anymore, but I’m going a little crazy from itchiness.  Like I said, I’m pretty sure I’m going to survive this time.  Probably.  It’s too bad I don’t have a bee suit and a smoker because those monsters have to go!  Except?  I had another recent conversation with a beekeeper and said I sometimes think about keeping bees too.  I have space and bees are good for gardens and flowers.  I think I’ve accidentally gotten my wish.  Can I unwish something?

I tried to look up what kind of bees I've got, but I'm just not sure.  Anyone know about bees?

Sunday, July 26, 2020

“Sandy”, #inktober52, #inktober

My college roommate was from the east coast, which she thought was superior to Ohio.  She waxed on about the Atlantic Ocean which I’d never seen.  I got sick of her putting down my home and said Lake Erie was just like the ocean.  It looks limitless from the shore and has waves.  In fact, the lake is far better because it’s fresh water and doesn’t have human eating monsters in it.  One summer she visited the lake and I visited the ocean.  We both exclaimed, “You were so right!”  We both kept sand from our visits.  It was a good summer.

Grandchildren are visiting next door.  They’ve been there long enough for me to both get used to them and not long enough for me to get used to their screeching.  Why do kids have to scream so much?  The girl has found more screechers to play with and has progressed from the perfectly adorable little child she used to be into an occasionally sullen near-teen.  Before you know it, she’ll turn into one of the most evil people on the planet, an 8th grade girl.  It’s too bad we can’t keep them 9 years old forever.

I rejoiced when the grandmas filled the car with coolers and towels for an obvious trip to the beach.  I had a lovely, quiet day.  Towards evening, I found I was looking forward to the kids coming back.  The grandmas are boring neighbors.  The only entertainment they provide is a reason to complain about their lack of proper suburban lawn care.  The kids are like having a flock of butterflies flitting around, a pleasant diversion during my covid seclusion.  Their car pulled in and the shrieking recommenced.  I scratched out my butterfly comparison and thought about unoiled heavy machinery.

The weather has been extremely hot lately, yet it didn’t occur to me until now that I should go to the lake -- sand, sun, fun, and all that.  I like swimming and the rocking of the waves.  Then I thought, sand gets everywhere, I’m pigment impaired and will get sunburned, and it’s not like I can socialize while doing these things because of Covid-19.  I argued with myself to go to the beach in the evening – but the bugs come out in the evening.  I hate being a responsible adult.  I want to be a shrieking butterfly.

I find that when society shut down, I shut down.  I quit reading my daily horoscope.  What’s the point if I’m not actually out in the world?  Actually, I’m not sure there’s much of a point to the daily horoscope to begin with, but it was part of my daily routine.  I don’t go to the store.  I don’t even know why my attitude changed so much when my actual life didn’t really change other than seeing a friend seems to require a hazmat suit.  I just feel like I’m waiting out the pestilence while my brain tells me that there isn’t a quick solution to any of this.  In fact, everything is probably just going to get worse.  I think I’m having a childish reaction.  Make myself small and maybe it won’t see me.  I think I must not be the only one responding this way but I don’t hear of anyone else talking about it.  They complain about being stuck at home, but they don’t seem to share my feeling that time has stopped.

Ohio is in the medium range of US infection.  Nobody I know has it, but the disease is around, or so they say.  I don’t actually see evidence of it which makes this all feel surreal.  The governor says everyone has to wear a mask when they’re out, and I hope people comply, though I’ve seen too many act like jerks about it.  A lot of people also don’t seem to understand their nose has to be under the mask too.  Oh well, I tell myself the nicer people stand a better chance of surviving.

Sand in a timer doesn’t seem very “sandy”, but it is what I’d painted just before I saw the word for the week.  I think this is the last Barbie painting I’m going to do for a while though I’ve enjoyed painting them.  You may notice some of the elements in this piece were in previous paintings.  I was consolidating my thoughts from the other paintings.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

“Garden”, #inktober52, #inktober

I started writing this post about how the darned varmints keep eating my garden.  I got up to get another cup of tea and looked down from my kitchen window to see deer eating my gooseberries.  They’re shameless.  They don’t even seem to care about the gooseberry’s vicious thorns.  The twins camped out in my yard for 2 days.  They didn’t care about my loathing.  Sure, I had a few moments when I thought about how pretty and cute they are, but I collected myself and remembered to go back to hating them.  I fantasize about eating venison.

Okay, let’s switch topics and talk about something more pleasant.  I was at Mom’s house and commented on a framed collection of pictures by my great aunt Ila Rhea (Lee) Little that Mom had on the wall which I hadn’t seen before.  Mom said I could have it.  Whoopee!  I took it home and realized I don’t have enough wall space either.  I propped it up against the dining room wall and find Ila Rhea’s art makes me happy whenever I walk past it.  That’s got to be a sign of good art.

Size: 20" x 24"
This piece is very nicely and professionally framed so I didn’t want to take it apart to scan it.  The reflective glass and shadow box format made it hard to photograph.  That said, let me share Ila Rhea’s art from her college days, from 92 years ago…

I think I inherited that table
Obviously, studying my aunt’s work is much better than studying the devastation of my garden.  She was a lovely lady.  I imagine her decades of students were glad to have her as a teacher.  I wish she was still alive so I could ask her things it didn’t occur to me to ask about life and art when I had the chance.

Mom got upset with me the last time I posted some of Ila Rhea's work (which you can see here).  Mom said it was a violation of Ila Rhea’s privacy.  I said I thought Ila Rhea would be pleased people could see her art.  It’s a way for her to live on although she’s no longer with us.  How many years after you die is it okay for other people to blog about you?  I think I’d be happy if one of my nieces or nephews posted my work after I’m gone.  What do you think?

As an afterthought, I googled Ila Rhea's name and found this post about the school where she worked early in her teaching career.  Fascinating.  More stuff I wish I would've thought to ask her about.
The great lady herself :)