Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friday in the middle of moving...

I originally wrote this on December 9th...

There are two inviting things drawing me forward: one, my new fingering yarns, two balls of mixed soft purples, and one of a softer, slubbier fiber - cotton, wool, nylon & silk - that seems like a mix of greens and cool colors, with flashes of bright flowers blooming in the forest shadows. I think the red is minority... And there are new skeins of applique thread as well that I feel excited about. A rich purples mix, a rich mix of deep greens, a sunny light bright yellow green mix, one called Nefertiti which is exotic and luxurious, a couple of sunsets and another mix. So I have more applique and some new delicate, colorful knitting to look forward to, when our stuff is all moved - into Pine Hill, and into storage, and hopefully books taken to the library and thrift store stuff all donated, not just abandoned - and we get to tidy away, organize, and finally sit, begin new projects and return to old ones.

I always forget I can't tab here - it kicks me out of the post...

The second inviting thing is my batch of new photos of Lulu, the yummy little pug puppy. For her, I imagine getting out my pencils or my paints, and drawing and painting shapes and roundnesses, curled tails, round wrinkled heads, beautifully muscled hind legs, wide-legged stance, and the intriguing photos where she looks like she's in a - darn, who's the Spanish painter who did portraits of royalty - Las Meninas, and all? With mirrors, himself in the mirror, toy dogs and mastiffs? Velazquez, yes (got this information from Duane Keiser, with a wonderful post on Las Meninas; before that I had written Goya). This one photo, with its low angle, light from along the corridor, leaning mirror and another painting in view, looks a bit palatial and Old World.

Meanwhile, I've been eating almond M&M's like crazy today, but I did go through all the workshop's worth of stuff, with Paul, packed up a carload to bring back, myself, and designated a truckload for storage. The rest, scattered around the floor, to be cleaned up and disposed of, or just abandoned, as time permits. And then I did some sorting in our bedroom and bathroom, and made a small, alarmed stab at dealing with my studio. Omigosh! I still have a whole Letraset-file of drawers of Letraset... oh, dear. Well, I think that's for getting rid of, and I hope someone still wants it. Probably quite obsolete, another sadly, wrongly useless artifact... Anyway. I did actually make some headway, I think, and I think next time I tackle it I'll get a lot packed up - maybe just about all of it. I can imagine that. I hope to get to Maidu class tomorrow, if Paul's okay with taking the day, or part of it, off. I was stopped today by hunger, actually, not just overwhelm, and that's why I ended up at Safeway stashing up on M&M's.

Oops, tabbed again. I will brush my teeth, take Chief out, change into pajamas, and do my homeopathics and drops, while rereading the next to last Wimsey-Vane mystery, which I'm enjoying more than I remember doing the first time. But maybe it gets bleaker. Anyway.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Salamanders & Dreams

This is a post from 2007, April 8th - finally publishing it...

Hey! Long time...

Well, today Tim and Al (the grader) have our front driveway and side yard all dug up, laying septic, electrical, water and all, with Paul, and Paul & Tim found a whole bunch of salamanders. Paul called me out to see; he'd named the first couple, Jimmy and Mabel, and I named the others as we found them and I picked them up: Judy, Jeffrey, Robert and Richie. Meanwhile the drain had been interrupted, in order to hook up the new septic connection, so we weren't supposed to use the toilet or run water down the drains; and I suddenly realized that I was holding these toxic salamanders in my bare hands, and should wash my hands afterwards, but was I going to be able to do so? And I'd been eating chocolate... eating with my fingers without washing my hands first was definitely out if I wanted not to get sick.

Well - the piping was all hooked up, so I was able to wash my hands right away. Paul, who'd been wearing gloves, opened the door for me and turned on the bathroom light and the water. I could have turned on the light with my elbow, and the water using a piece of toilet paper over the faucet handles... but it was nice to be treated to some help.

More later. I want to write yesterday's dreams.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Some dreams and some painting prep work, Part 2

Monday morning when I took Chief out for his wake-up outing, he looked up the hill, so I suspected the nearby presence of deer - and that reminded me of a bit of my dream. Much of it is vague - something about driving up a hill kind of like a ramp, in snow or something; having trouble with the car, I think; but I think there was something about Harry Potter in it, and then a bit I remember vividly: a young buck deer behind us, me and Paul, as we were sitting on a kind of mound or slope at the edge of the parking lot, woods behind us. I think I invited the buck nearer, maybe challenging him, as I like to do. His head came towards us, accepting the challenge, I think, and I got nervous, somewhat nervous about his antlers, but even more about a very small, very sharp greenish spine at the base of each of his antlers that I thought was poisonous. He was trying to scratch me with it. I grabbed his head and his antlers, trying to keep out of range, confine his head, wrapping my arms around, wrestling with him. I did enjoy the close encounter with him, the feel of his antlers with his muscle behind them.

I looked at needing to keep some balance, as far as keeping housework going as well as art, so I did a bunch of dishes and then cleaned our pellet stove. It was a mess! Another new watercolor brush arrived (another lovely gray squirrel quill), yippee!, and I bought myself a canvas drop cloth I've since cut in pieces to spread on the table and the couch when I do my gessoing, and another piece to protect my drafting table when I paint. Yippee again!

Tuesday I had to do a different sort of painting: the trim on our new studio. Paul and I got up on the roof - I refused to get up there without a rope to hang on to, and Paul had the brilliant idea of wearing our river shoes, soft tight rubber slippers with clingy soles, which gave us much better traction on the roof - and painted the eave-fascia on the dormer, then, off the roof and onto ladders, we finished the eave-fascia on the backside of the main roof. Paul had already painted the fascia on the rest of the roof. We needed to get all the roof trim done before the roofers came, which we thought was going to be yesterday; but after all, here they are today.

Meanwhile, I decided to go ahead and paint the pillars and beams of the "porch", which involved some tricky reaching around, on account of the limitations of ladder placement. Now it looks kind of Japanese. And when I finished that, I had some paint left in my tray, so I did some door, window and corner trim. Hey - painting is painting!!

Yesterday afternoon I finally did my first PAD painting. Yaaay! I wrote about that on my PAD blog, but I haven't posted the painting yet. I hope to do another painting today, but it's getting late - I need to drive down to Yuba City today - so I might not get to it. But I particularly want to photograph the first painting, and try to post it.

Hey, hey! Moving forward.

Some dreams and some painting prep work, Part 1

Friday I had a wonderful dream: I was in my house, a wonderful, big, square, solid house with woodwork and details that were finely crafted but unobtrusive, giving a spacious, glowing, airy feeling; lots of rooms, a California craftsman expanse. Expansive. At least one big room, big enough for a ballet studio, was full of my paintings. We had a black bear cub living with us, a big floppy guy, and I sat on the steps with Melissa and her baby (maybe Zach, maybe not), and someone else.

Some people came in to stay, and we were going away; maybe a movie crew, to shoot on location, or some other renters or tenants. When we came back, the paintings were down and some were missing I think, and some other things, but I wasn't troubled. I was a bit concerned about how they'd respond if they encountered the bear cub. But I loved the dream.

Sunday morning I had a not-happy dream. I was on my way, with Melissa, to meet Paul at a very special friend's wedding, and I realized that I was missing part of what I was supposed to wear (I was wearing a vivid, kind of sparkly blue and purple outfit), and a camera or something I was supposed to bring. We were already late, or almost late; I might have been still eating, in the car; we didn't have time to go back... Not good. And then, trying to go through a labyrinthine building to get there, I got lost. Before that, Melissa and I were in her apartment, which had about six inches or a foot of water in it, and our long dresses or bathrobes were getting soaked at the bottom.

Saturday I helped Paul spread straw around the base of the new studio, so that if it rained the red clay wouldn't splash onto the green paint; and then I gessoed 25 pieces of masonite. That was good, even though I got kind of stuck in driven, punitive work mode, putting off dinner.

Sunday I organized & consolidated the recycling, and gathered packing materials I want to hold on to, in anticipation of having to ship little paintings - hopefully lots of them... Then I did some packing up in my studio, a box of books mostly. I want to list them, so I can remember what's happened to them, and what's where. Then I cleaned my palette, and was all set to start on my Painting a Day project. Whee!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday morning - think I'll annotate my posts

Hey hey. Monday, it is still morning; I'm making breakfast - my usual time, which I would like to change.

I have been moving forward on my website: I picked a bunch of slides of my work that I want to put on the site, and found a scanning service for high end scans, in San Francisco, and (just for this first time) drove into SF to take in the slides, and again, a week & a half later (I wasn't in a hurry) to pick slides and scans up. The scans look very good; I might want to get larger ones for some of these if I want to have prints made, but for now they're great.

The next thing to do was to knock out the white paper background (which came out pale grey in the photographing of it) of the charcoal drawing I want to have on my Entry page. Now I'm thinking, since I actually want the actual drawing surrounded by the entry page color - not white - that maybe I should have just painted in a color, any color, which would make it easy to select the color and change it, rather than Erasing to white. On the other hand, I think I want little details from this spread around the website, which I will do as square/rectangular bits with white background, so I guess doing the erasing may have been a good way to start after all. It was a long and picky process, rather like cutting away linoleum from words and lines and fur details. It also reminded me of mowing a lawn, sometimes - sweeping away the large areas, even with a larger eraser...

Anyway, that first step on that drawing is done.

Looking at my last post here, I'm thinking I'd like to annotate some of these posts, define or explain some of the terms or names... In case anyone but me ever reads it...

Well, I think that's enough for this morning. Hey hey again...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thoughts from Monday

So. Since two weeks ago Monday, I have been doing JoKata in the mornings, and that's been good. Kate had me "get back on the horse" - fast painting; I was scared of it. In my mind I said, but I hit my head last time - really hard. It was traumatic. So that was on Wednesday, the 18th, and after some resistance I said I'd do it that day - 1 hour. But I didn't do it Wednesday, but I DID do it the next day, Thursday. I did a fast painting, from a photo of Molly, including tracing, enlarging, transfering, and painting. At one point I looked at my timer, thinking, isn't my time up yet? (Or was that the next time I painted?) I liked the results, and... but... I felt kinda flat, unable to celebrate actually doing it, unable to enjoy what I'd done. Just flat.

Next day when I talked to Shrimpy, she said, You PAINTED? You DID it? How about celebrating that? And I started crying.

I still don't feel like I know what that's all about; and maybe I never will. When I went to Kate's last week, for S Coaching, she had me do a very fast painting, about 15 minutes. Everything I had to work with was a bit crude: paper: the inside of some used wrapping paper; pencil: one common yellow #2 pencil, not very sharp; brushes: a few various ones of quite moderate quality; color: a bottle of writing ink, blue or blue-black; and my reference: a dog-eared photo of a - BLACK - puppy, and it looked like it was actually a worn and dog-eared XEROX of a photo. Little detail, hard to make out. But as I was working, I realized it was probably Kiwi, and I was right.

As crude as that was, there were things I liked a lot about it. With only one color, no water for diluting. Not much subtlety. And yet Kate and I both felt I had captured Kiwi. After that, and some energy work, I felt kind of calm. Sometimes it's hard to tell calm and numb apart. And while I'm scared of the excitement and the trauma, when they're not there I also miss them...

On Kate's assignment I did one more 15-minute painting, last Thursday. (But I actually set the timer for 20 minutes, and also, because Shipply called and I was working on it part of the time we were talking, I figured it was really 25 minutes.) This time I did a direct sketch and painting in my big spiral sketchbook, of Starr. Black, again - this year's Raffle winner. And when I got to her eye, when I was going back into it, edging it with black, I got suddenly excited, for a moment at least, and thought, that's IT!

I am thinking I'd like to give Ruth her set of the photos I took, and consult with her about which one she'd like me to use.

That's it for today...

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I'm a featured reader in a poetry reading this Wednesday evening. I've been going through my poems, reading them aloud and timing them, thinking about which ones I want to read, how they fit together, what kind of narrative thread they might follow.

Meanwhile, our oak trees have large areas of leaves turned yellow, the weather's been cool and clear, and this evening we have a brilliant sunset, as the changing light is caught by some layers of clouds. Usually our air is SO clear that we don't have a very interesting sunset, so this is a rare sight. Paul heard a woodpecker; it sounded like a big one to him.

I don't know what else to say now. I think I ought to say more... but I'm not.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Putting off having dinner

Putting off having dinner, not making salad... I painted today, and felt unbearably disappointed afterwards. That's all I will say about that.

Well, hey hey anyway... Onward.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuesday evening

We saw a deer the other evening - a very young buck, getting his first set of antlers, I think, standing just beyond our truck. Chief barked at him - he seems to think the deer are going to attack us; I watched from inside for a minute, then went out on the porch, and carefully but openly walked to the side closest to the buck, and watched him. A couple of times his head went high, on guard, but then he relaxed and looked around behind him, downslope, and finally turned and went over the edge and back down, slabby sided and high heeled.

Last night there were clouds flung across the sky, backlit by the moon. I love that, but most of all (or at least especially) I love the green of the oak leaves pouring out in front of me, when the sun's behind them. Green is a vitamin for the eyes...

Now it's about time to go to bed. I'm not the early retirer and early riser I want to be, not right now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Do I need to have a post for this to show up?

Hey, hey. Do I need to have a post for my URL to be found? Just wondering... Hoping...