On the (easel) Dining Room Table

I spent the morning cleaning and organizing the studio.  Having the desk next to my work table was just awkward and was a poor use of the desk.  After several hours of work I went out for fish at Rudy’s a local iconic favorite.

When I returned I got to work on an assignment for the graduate painting class I am taking at SUNY Oswego.  I took the class to improve my skills and to start to show my work, because it is ridiculous that I have been painting and making art for 25 years and have had no commercial exposure.  After  completing the painting of the back yard, the assignment was to make some collages based on my backyard painting but collages in general.

I was kind of being a snot, because I think the professor is underestimating my experience and a comment he made on Thursday seemed to be a tick in the column of hmmm about using quality stretcher strips (for over 13 years?) okay anyway.

The first piece here is a painting I did while living with a person who was not very good for me spiritually I painted the background, and then I painted the dejected angel put along they were not very good.  So I combined them.  As I look at it, it is so much a reflection of the neighborhood and the feeling I had while living there.  I can totally see the whole situation in the painting.  But y0u would have to walk the same third mile stretch of road with the multistory nursing home and feel the watchful eye of the neighbor who had a murder in her house thirty years previously and the bitchy Indian woman who didn’t want me training my dog on the street, and the German Aunt and mother who were constantly overwhelming me and the man, with his he is a bully and a clown persona.

Not sure, would LOVE commentary.

I took a marker drawing of a city, Petare (Spelling?) a slum in Venezuela, was partially the inspiration, and honestly I wish my ex husband could see this doodle because he loved it.  Anyway.  I added the sun that I put into a doodle I did while I was laid up for over a week with severe back pain. I could not walk or even move easily.  Excruciating. I drew two doodles of spines, when I first posted them online my high school friend who has a bad back and MS immediately recognized the spines and the pain in the drawings.

I loved the colors together and had to make very few changes to fit the two pieces together.  When I was obsessed with collage about 15 years ago I did several pieces where the city was overwhelming nature, so very much a part of my psyche and spirit at the time, having grown up in farm country, and the deep woods of upstate (real upstate not Westchester County) NY and the remote hills streams and meadows of Columbia County.  For some reason this all just fits for me.  The strength of the backbone hugging the fire of the sun rise and the silhouettes of the trees, a symbol for me of the self and now the blue river washing clean the grungyness of the city.

The two sumo wrestlers, not really but maybe, the two curvalicious female figures at odds with one another is much better in natural light, and is not complete.   See below for the remaining four pieces.


Original “doodle” with pieces of other doodles added.  Hard to see here will repost later with blue river flowing through.
Original colored pencil drawing depicting two figures at odds. 
Negative space tree draft/collage/ experimentation for backyard
Collage experimentation for backyard
Collage Experimentation for backyard
Playing with an old map birch bark and a river colored canoe, drawing from a receipt 1932 bi prop and bi wing plane 

So the three collages are all experiments with what I want to do for a final project for the painting class.  I hate them all.  But the one with the pine tree branches against the blue sky and the negative space tree is tolerable.  I have more to do and will add to this when I make a final painting for the class.

I have been wanting for a long time to do a piece with maps this is just an experiment and I am sure more will come later this is not finished nor fully actualized.



Tiger Lily and Bird

“be like the flower, and turn your face to the sun.” ~ khalil gibran


we spend the morning clearing away the snow.  he works on his aunt’s driveway and i on ours, hers and his mother’s down the street.  the dog is joyful to be in the snow  the men are in the street snow blowing, the plow has not yet come through.  later i get a haircut and then spend some time shopping with and having dinner with, my daughter.  i come home late and crawl into his bed, he wraps his arms around me, holding me so close, with such strength.  I close my eyes and breath in the smell of him, and visions pass before my eyes, of birds and sunshine, and lilies.

Embracing Ignorance

doll idea

Doll Idea inspired by a discussion with a person who hates Obama enough to repost something she knows is a lie just because she doesn’t like him. I was thinking that the idea is that ignorance is dopey, stupid and sappy, but it only has that appearance, in truth that is the false front of ignorance, but that kind of ignorance which maliciously attacks another out of fear, hatred and anger is heartless and vicious and pernicious. But the ignorant person clinging to that notion is actually blind to what it really is.

A Place to Make Art

Funky House
work space

We have to clear out that back room he says, it has too much crap in it.  I know I say.  But what I really want to do, is make that a space where I can write and make art.  Okay.  He says.  Okay?  YAY!

The windows face south, southeast on two sides.  It is a long narrow space, with a wood stove on one end.  I move my desk, craning my neck to look out the window.  Carved elephants sit happily on the bookcase that I made in middle school, a few of my favorite books too.  I arrange lighting a really good space heater that my friend Michelle’s boyfriend gave me last winter, put pencils in the drawer, dig my palette and sketch pads out of a box, and find my brushes.  I step back and look, he comes out, looking good, yeah I say but….  then I turn the desk a quarter turn, and an ahhhh of relief and correct use of the space like fung shui, escapes from me.  The birds, chckadees, blue jays, juncos and some other as yet unidentified bird are at the feeder not more than two feet from my face as I draw, and write.   I can imagine writing early in the morning, and looking up to see a coyote, a fox or a deer in the tiered back yard.  My Buddhas watch peacefully over the garden, and the wind chimes serenade along with the birds.  Though it is overcast, I do not need any unnatural light.  This is perfect.

This is a really good space, he says with a kiss on my cheek.

I just look at him and grin, real big.

I draw and then paint for the first time in months.  And what comes from me, though carrying my distinctive style, is quite different from anything I have ever done before.

I like this.

Does that wood stove work, I ask.   It cranks out the heat, it gets to be about 90 degrees out here, he answers.

Three seasons room just added a season, I cannot leave my paints out here, but I can sure as hell paint in the dead of winter.

Does this match a dark, dank, hot lights, cold cement floor, musty, cramped space?




Two Birds

Crow Drawing

I drew this crow some time ago.


Chickadee Drawing

I do not know what to write about, but I want to post my drawings.  The chickadee one above I also posted in my other blog, along with a long essay.  Here i am at a loss.  I struggle to write lesson plans as well, although in my head they are beautiful beyond words, technical writing is not my gift and I look at the paper and blink my eyes, wishing I could get the poetry of my voice to fit into this mathematical confine, this lab work to mark itself with brilliant precision, its words shall accurately describe how much information my students will absorb and a clear outline of the increase of their test scores.  I forget my camera and find myself soaking in the day without the lens and computer chip and hunk of plastic bits and metal between me and the world.  Later I seek to draw a chickadee, it flows from my pen with a simplicity and ease.  I think of the crow I drew a few weeks ago and find them a perfect pair.  Alas, I have written, and there is nothing technical about it.  This is my art.  I continue to learn and grow each and every day.  I am no master, but I am a joyful participant.

Experiments with Micron Pen

Steampunk Woman
Experiments inspired by Megan Massacre
Experiments from the book Tattoo Sourcebook

Still working on this experimental stuff, playing with what I know how to do and breaking out of it too.  Taking the time to study other people’s work and style in order to improve on my own.  I have been really thinking alot about the kind of drawing I do with my students, all the pieces I toss out because I am just drawing with the kids, but then wanting to some how create work out of those drawings.  Make them more than the brief simple sketches they are, usually.  I know this work is unfinished and lacking any kind of sophistication, which ironically is a good description of me.  Still in need of sanding down the rough places, and without any guile whatsoever.

I really would welcome feedback.  Please!! Comment, Critique (did i say criticize?  No, a critique is feedback that attempts to guide, not roadblock or damage!) offer positive suggestions, seriously I am trying to grow here!!  Thank you!!

Megan Massacre

Last night while I was looking at Ed Hardy images, and then generally getting lost on the internet looking at tattoos in general and then apparently becoming an obsessed fangirl and looking for more deconstructed doll/pin-up images from NY Ink’s Megan Massacre, I realized that she is really the deconstructed doll/pin-up herself and so I started doing some sketches of her this morning.  I tried for a while to make it look like her, but realized after a few failed attempts that the idea was the deconstructed doll, so I did a pretty good sketch.  It has some issues and I will be trying it again at some point, but the idea for me right now is to be inspired and start putting stuff on paper and then sharing it.  By the way this is not my usual subject matter at all, my art is usually very Raggedy Ann like, more in keeping with who I am.  I am really digging the Goth Barbie Doll thing though, its freaking cool as hell.  I want to deconstruct a Barbie, tattoo her and color her hair red and goth up her make-up.  Dude, toy store?  HA!!

Deconstructed Doll/Pin-up: Inspired by Megan Massacre