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Showing posts from January, 2007

A Patch of Blue

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The images that I make for this blog are inspired by the most random thoughts and experiences. The process of art and writing is so complex at times, but I am willing to let the process take me where it leads.

One of my friends commented on last night's artwork on my blog. He said it looked like a pastel painting, and loved the shape/texture of the trees. I hope that people interact with my art that I post, and I always enjoy feedback or commentary. As I was heading south to New Paltz to meet Rob for dinner tonight, I caught a glimpse of a sunset almost exactly like last night's digital image; the atmosphere, colors, and the soft black velvet texture of back lit trees. It was almost a shock, a deja-vu. I became obsessed with the image, knew my blog title but not the content, and knew that tonight's art was going to be about blue. I don't have tons of time, so I have to set a time limit for both the art and the writing, otherwise the cat litter doesn't get scooped,…

Tuesday Afternoon II

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I just posted to meganaid blog about the meaning that "Tuesday Afternoon" now takes for me; it is very intense as it is the day Megan has chemo. I wrote about it there, as here I want to focus on joy and light; the love of friends, the innocence of children, the preparation of a meal and snuggling in bed with Alanna. Such experiences are the necktar that sweetens my lips and gives me strength and hope. It is snowing out. Not much, but enough to wreck havoc on the roads. I hope we have a delay tomrorow morning. How delightful would that be; surely we are due one. I won't get overzealous as I have lost a few snowday gambles that left me very tired and cranky the next day. However, I have poured a glass of wine, and cut a piece of cheesecake that Megan insisted I take home. I might put on a movie or find my book, wherever it is buried. Tonight's artwork is a photograph I took yesterday on a farm. It had wires running through the sky which was fixed in photo…

The River of Life

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Today I felt much better; the shift in hormones made a radical difference and I felt my normal self. Thought I was physically not in the greatest of shape, mentally I felt lighter and cheerful; what a relief! At times when I am not dealing with hormones or life's stresses, I am a pretty upbeat woman. I have my times, but I see joy and good in everything. I am in love with life and live it to its fullest each and every day. But when I feel badly, I should be shut away to make art as that is all I am good for.

I drove down to the Hudson, but this time with camera in hand. I stopped the car along the wall that is almost level with the river, and took a number of shots. It was cold and quiet save for the grunting and creaking of the ice on the river. It is not a heavily traveled road, and I was able to take in the sights and smells of the landscape in solitude.

I am so in love with the Hudson; the bridges, lighthouses, boats, ice, fish, the wind. I have sailed it a number of times, and …

He Went South

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If Larry were smart, he would indeed head south, for a few years, until I call him and tell him it is safe to return.

This blog is not for those who don't want to read about peri-menopause and all of its demons. I know a few of you guys read this from time to time. It actually might be a GOOD thing for you to bear with me because unless your wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister are beyond this stage in life, knowledge is power and I might give you some insight OR save your life.

If you ONLY KNEW what it was like, you might buy us flowers, make us dinner, get us drugs. (haha) But be careful, those kind of things might make us wonder what you are up to, especially if it is something that you don't do very often.

The last week has been HELL. Emotionally I have been unstable, and considering going back on medication which I have avoided for years now. When I get really depressed I want to do things to ease the pain. As an abused child I would bang my head on the wall, scratch myself,…

Outside In

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Larry and I had some words this afternoon. I can't even remember what they were about. Comments taken the wrong way, perhaps the inflection was sharp, or the words jumbled out in the wrong sequence, landed in a messy heap and were picked up in the wrong order, or a combination of hormones, stress, mid life crisis, or all of the above. I tried to remember that movie from 20 years ago..about the boy who drowned and how it destroyed the family and altered their lives forever....

I stormed out to the studio in frustration and anger and grabbed my camera. It was cold and dark, but I stopped to take a picture of the studio; outside looking in. The joy of the day was finding my CD case that I had thought I had lost and grieved over for a long time. I thumbed through it rather desperately looking for something to blast so that I could just feel the music and get out of my head. I found Peter Murphy of Bauhaus fame, the perfect funk, punk, and gloom. I pumped up the volume, and danced whil…

Some Friday Night Healing

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I checked my stats today and was HORRIFIED to see that no one had read my blog at all today. I waited a few hours and the result was the same. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA.

I checked the one for Megan. 148 hits.

I was crushed. I really had done it. Lost everyone due to my dark and somber writing as of late. I write for myself..but I always hope that someone is appreciating my musings. I sat in my chair at work and was numb.

I had a migrane and had taken copious amounts of drugs, and they were not tylenol either. Nothing worked. My head pounded and I was miserable. My misery had just been compounded by literary rejection.

However, being my analytical self, I checked the html on my blog, and sure enough, while messing around with templates and links, I had erradicated the code for the counter. WHEW. Saved.

Gina stopped in my room and saw how much pain I was in. Even though I had scheduled a massage with her later that afternoon, she massaged my head and some pressure points, I took more …

And all the sea was ink

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I had no choice but to switch to the new version of blogger. Now I can’t upload images again. I am a bit disgusted with it all, but I guess for a free service I have to remain patient.

OK I have figured it out. For some reason it is taking my jpgs, but very slowly. I have to wait a while till the DONE button shows. BMP files work much faster. Odd since my jpg files are much smaller than the maximum K allowed. I will have to play around for a bit to figure out which is best. Thank GOD I have good problem solving skills. Comes from being alone a lot and having to fix and figure out many things. I am the computer geek in my family which is a good thing as I would otherwise be verrrrry frustrated!

Tonight’s image was a card I made. It aptly describes the waters I am sailing on. No stars to guide me, no beacon to warn me of rough waters or dangers ahead. I can’t see what’s lurking beneath the waves, and I am sailing on instinct and a prayer.

I talked to Megan this afternoon. She was having a…

Into the Labyrinth

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Today was a day I shoud have stayed home. I dropped Alanna off at Meg's around 10 am. The saving grace to the morning was the trip to her house which rides along the Hudson River. It is one of the most beautiful roads as it rides parallel to the river, and a times it is almost at level with it. The sun was bright, small chunks of ice bobbed like diamonds along the shore. The river was icey blue, with the rose brown mountains reflected in it. I need to carry a camera with me on my next trip, and I found several spots where I can park the car and paint.

Megan lives on an old estate overlooking the Hudson. Though the buildings are run down, the view is spectacular. There is a spot where you are descending the steep unpaved driveway that you get the illusion that you can drive straight into the river.

I was alone tonight. Part of me wanted to go home and bury myself under the covers, but I also knew that getting out to meet a friend could be just as consoling.

I met Lois in R…

To Fly....

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Early this morning on my way to work, I felt upbeat and good. The last few days were decent, and I felt like maybe I had climbed out of the hole a bit, and my soul felt lighter. Light enough to almost fly. As I was driving to work I could taste the wind on my face and wanted to strap on my skis or roller blades as they are the closest possible experience I could have to flying. My aching ankle reminded me that I am still not ready to do that, and I wondered what else I could do to mimic that rush.

The feel of the wind and the speed of the skis and skates are a adrenaline shot for me. I don’t skydive, I am leery of small aircraft, and I much prefer the contact of the earth beneath my feet. I am a slight daredevil on my skis, though I have done some stupid things that left me gasping for air or breaking a bone. One bad case of road rash while trying to skate like the wind reminded me I am not a bird, and that hitting the pavement at my age is not fun.

As a child I flew all the…

The Wall

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In my series about my studio and the creative process, (one that never really ends), I have posted this picture of "the wall".

I took my 2 car garage and turned it into my studio (see early post about My Zone Part 1) and left the wall that separates the 2 parts of the garage in its entirety. Originally it was suggested that I drop the ceiling to save on heat, but I wanted to make the most of the structure of the garage, and that included the heigth of hip roof. The photo does not show it, but it is fairly large, about 20' long or more, and is about 18-20' high at its peak. It provides a wall upon which to view my work -and a solid mass to balance out the other spaces that are broken by windows or doors. It is like having a mini gallery, and I enjoy viewing my work.

I had a gallery for a while, in a very old building mid-town Kingston, with wonderful full length windows in the front and fabulous faux finished walls,HIGH ceilings draped with fabrics, federal and Fren…

La Cucina

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Tonight my house had the aroma of olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and candles. Keith Jarret was playing in the background, and I had just opened a nice bottle of reasonable red wine. (Osborne Solaz, 2004 Temranillo/Cab- 7.00) I needed it for the sauce, so why not have some while cooking!

I took good care of myself all weekend, and felt like cooking for the first time in what seems forever. I am an excellent cook. A collage cook one might say, or better yet, a bricollage cook. I take what is in the house and make a dinner out of it. I think about flavor, texture, color and variety. Most of the time I would rather put this creative energy into visual arts, but on occasion I will push my fine art aside, and the art of the evening is cooking.

Candles, music, wine, and a lovely table. I must think more like Monet, and not only make the meal art, but somehow make it my visual art too. The best I could do was a photo of the beginning of the sauce. It looks rather bizarre if you ask me,…

In the Bathroom

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I woke up with a headache. My eyes hurt, they needed a cold cloth. Last night did not end so well, and I woke up with the fragments of it clinging to my brain. I stumbled downstairs, not getting enough sleep, but I could not lay in bed any longer. The phone rang, it was Richard asking for help returning the chairs. I grabbed my mug of coffee, and headed downtown. I actually enjoyed the physical labor first thing and the morning.

The remainder of the day was rather mundane as I arranged it to be that way. I started the Meganaid blog, talked to Jonathan about some reconstruction of the sight, and went out to the studio. I made some cards; not a highly productive day, but satisfying enough. The evening came, and I sent Larry off on his own to the opening; I could not deal with talking to a huge crowd of people again.

A perfect evening for some self indulgence and a hot bath. I lit a few aromatherapy candles, Rasa was drifting melodically down the hall into the bathroom. The lig…

The Ground Truth

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I just came home from one of the more intense evenings of my life. It was a benefit for my daughter, who is an Iraqi war veteran. Some of you already know this story, others may be new to it. For brevity's sake, this was a fund raiser put together by the art community for my daughter who has stomach cancer, and a veteran of this war who has been sick since she came home. I won't go into details, perhaps that is best left to a book or to some higher purpose than this blog.

We raised almost 2,000.00 at the event, half of which went to Megan, the other have to the IVAW (see link and info below). I knew half the audience. The love and support of the community was overwhelming. The movie shown was a documentary - The Ground Truth, which should be shown in every high school, to every American. It depicts the horror of our current war, and the physical and mental illnesses of many of the returning veterans, and how they are neglected by the very government they pledged their …

Today is Whatever....

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I was rummaging through Larry's CD's last night when he was not here, as I knew I had tons of time to download ones I wanted to the computer and burn myself some new music for the studio. It isn't that he doesn't mind that I do it, but there is this unspoken territory about his books, his music, his things in general. Most of the time I respect it and have hands off, but sometimes I can't help but ransack his music. Sorry Larry, the cat is out of the bag.

On the shelf was Beth Orton. I have enjoyed some of her music in the past, so I knew this was the one. The CD is Central Reservation, and it rocks. I have listed to it a few times now, and her lyrics, combined with her rich and throaty voice, make for really intense listening. One of the lines that struck me was "today is whatever I want it to be". It made me stop and think. I put the paintbrush down, sighed, and really wished it was that easy. Though I live in my life as an active participant…

The Hunger

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I received a comment from a fellow artist recently who said she enjoyed reading about what motivated me and seeing my studio space. That was inspiring for me as I hope that I reach people from time to time, and I do enjoy the comments people post.

I often think about what motivates me to paint or make art. After years of therapy and soul searching, I have had to face some facts. I am a driven person, perhaps to the point of workaholism. I teach all day and then work most every afternoon and evening on some kind of artistic project, including this blog. I hold myself to very high standards of work and dedication to everything in my life. It is because of those standards and self control that I succeed in most things that I do, and it keeps me out of the danger zone. I am both right and left brained and find that my overactive brain causes some problems. My hormones are for shit, so are my biochemicals, and much of my life has been a difficult journey. Sometimes the entire mix makes for …

The Fortune Cookie

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This weekend was one of some relaxation and fun, which I desperately needed. I started the weekend by meeting Annie at our favorite Chinese/Japanese digs for lunch. I took her out as I had missed her birthday. We dined leisurely, sipped on a little wine, and ate everything in sight right down to the fortune cookie. We always read our fortunes and get silly like teenage girls and sometimes play the game where you say "in bed" after a sentence---well, it works great with fortunes. It read "sweet memories are the paradise of the mind " (in bed?)

I smiled and thought about it for a moment, and realized how poignant it was. I have been having a really tough time at this point in my life where everything seems to be teetering on the edge; I sometimes skate on the borderline of negativity and despair. Sometimes I forget about the wealth of wonderful memories that I have to delve into and meditate upon, which would make me smile and give me strength. I put the fort…

NY Inspiration

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It is late...about 10 PM and I just came in from New York. Last minute plans with a friend came together without a hitch in spite of freezing rain and an iced up car. NY was warmer, with only a misty rain falling early in the day. We went to my friend's doc appointment on the upper east side, and then headed off to Kate's Paperie, and the Metropolitan.

Of course, being a conneseur and lover of anything paper, I had one long sensual experience for an hour in that store. I had to control myself and stick to my focus, which was to buy things for the business. I did allow myself to indulge in a few goodies.

We walked to the Frick, but since it was a monday, and most of the museums are closed, we were out of luck. Off to the Metropolitan where we went to see the show Americans In Paris. We spent 2 hours at that show viewing the Cassats, the Sargents, Homers, Currans, etc. It was a great body of work which showed the progression of art from the traditional to the impressi…

Inside my Zone Part 1

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Very few people get to come inside the "zone". I have two sets of locks, but no curtains, so I suppose when I am in there late at night, those who walk by can get a glimpse of me dancing or painting, or sipping on my wine while working late. There is a local studio tour every two years, so that is one of the rare times it is "spit-spot" and I allow people to come into my sacred space. A few friends from time to time are invited in, but I do a different kind of work when I am in there with them. Most of my work comes out of solitude,inspirational music, and my over-active imagination.

I have had many studios over the years, and sometimes they were kitchen tables and counters, dining rooms, bedrooms, basements and attics. After taking a workshop with Jonathan Talbot, and having worked through The Artist's Way, I decided I was worth the investment of my own studio.

I took half of my two car garage, and transformed it into a studio complete with electric, a wonde…

We are Blessed

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When Megan was diagnosed in November with stomach cancer, we were shocked. She is 22 years old and has a two year old baby. My first gut reaction was to blame the chemicals and vaccines that our soldiers had/have been exposed to in Iraq, but the reality is, she is sick, needs the best medical care possible, and HAS TO get better. Right now what caused this is inconsequential.

It is a fast growing tumor in a spot that was a surgical high risk according to Sloan Kettering, and was best left alone unless chemo did not work. After two months of chemo, both oral and drip, the tumor has shrunk. Megan has worked through most of it, recently losing a possibility for a full time job. She has been sick through this time, but is a strong girl with guts.

While I was struggling with the enormity of the illness and its implications and needs, the art community was banding together to do a fundraiser for Megan and show the film The Ground Truth. This stemmed from the passion of 21 year old Mar…

Taking Down the Tree

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I have used this image before, but I used it again as it represented the very cycle upon which I muse. The cycle of the Christmas tree.

A few days ago I wrote about the ceremony of taking down the tree on my father's birthday. It was a time of mourning for me. I have difficulty taking down the tree; it is the removal of much which is magical and innocent. Larry has been getting me ready for it by pulling the boxes out and letting them sit for a day or so on the sofa, so I can get used to the idea.

Tonight Ella is singing in the background. I have just had the last two people over for a small intimate party to end the holiday season. A few gifts exchanged, and a few bottles of wine imbibed with some snacks to fill in the voids of conversation.

I sit here on the computer, watching Larry dismatle the tree. I enjoy the magic of decorating it; I cannot partake in its destruction. I muse about this evening's difficult therapy session; the gift of friendship, and the finality …

Das Perfume

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I went to see Perfume in Rosendale, NY last evening, in a small town art deco theater. I had been longing to see the movie as I had read the book many years ago and found it to be one of the best reads for a historical/murder/mayhem story, very poetically written. Das Perfume is the German title, and since I came from German class tonight, I should give its title in the language in which it was written.

I do not want to tell the story. Some things are better left to be read; the visual nature of the movie made the subtle (or as the case may be not so subtle) horror of the tale too real. It was beautifully filmed; the setting is 17th century Paris. Dirt, festering smells, rotten teeth (oh God, one of my phobias),lust,sex and the sense of smell, all mixed up with murder - with a twist.

I am one who has a morbid fascination with the macabre, so I do have to say that I was entranced. The final orgy scene, (5,000 extras----CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT????!!!) was a bit superflorous for me. …

Beauty and the Beast

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First of all, some of you may think, wow, some of these blogs are heavy. True, sometimes they are. I hope I also communicate hope and love in these stories. They are proof of survival, love, learning, healing, of success. We all have such stories; some perhaps more than others, and we all have a beast or two in our closet. I hope that these stories inspire, provide empathy and hope for those who also struggle.

This is a photograph of my son Will, taken by Larry with his 8 x 10, shortly after he came back from the Air Force a year or two ago. He was in for a 6 year stint; he was part of the nuclear weapons division. His ASVAB scores were so high that all branches of the military courted him. He could pick anything he wanted. After near a year, something happened and he was cut loose from his contract. When he came home he looked really great; fit, clean cut, handsome as all hell. But he was not right, he was a mess, and much happened over the following year.

Psychiatric and add…

In Memoriam

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January 9th is always a strange day for me; it is my father's birthday. Though he has been dead for 30 years now, this day never goes by without some sort of reflection or emotion of some kind.

As a child, this was the day we took down the Christmas tree. We never had a real tree, like I insist upon now; instead a plastic one that I can still smell at the mere drop of a memory. It was a bittersweet day; I loved Christmas because of the magic it conjured up for me, and the lights, the colors, the glitz. I still love it, and nothing thrills me more than riding around in the car looking at the lights and images of over decorating, and being a voyeur into other's homes to see their trees in the front window.

My father had a lot of power, much of it he abused. He that giveth could just as easily taketh away, as witnessed by the ceremonial destruction of the tree. It was like going to a funeral.

A chance conversation with a friend this afternoon got me thinking about all the thi…

Monday Night Party

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The day started off pretty dreary. Bad weekend left me shell shocked on a rainy monday morning. However, my students were surprisingly good, and made my transition into another world a smooth one. Maybe they had a bad weekend too, or were just plain partied out and my place was a safe place to survive on a rainy monday morning.

I showed the kids my valentine card which I posted on last night's blog. They thought it was pretty sick, and got a laugh out of it. My seniors are designing Valentine day cards as fundraisers, and we are having a blast doing them. I might have to take a few out as they might be a bit inappropriate for a high school setting, but I am still letting them explore their own creativity and humor. We have lines for boys giving boys valentines, girls to girls, girls to boys etc., and even a cow and a baby grace one. They made a card which I LOVE that addresses all those who don't have a valentine, those who are "just getting by". The seniors I …

Down by the River

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It has been an interesting weekend....I got out more than usual, partially due to the weather being so lovely and warm...

I went to an opening last night, still not feeling terribly social. It was PACKED wall to wall people; there were some people there that were from my past and present life, always making for a mix of emotions. Many people were asking about Megan, and I found myself on auto pilot, answering questions and trying to keep a smile on my face. Though I was there in body, my heart and soul were in other places. Somehow I managed to keep focused and controlled. A few very dear friends showed up at the end, who could cheer me up no matter what my mood.

Today I worked on business and art, and made a pot of chicken soup for Megan and Alanna, who are both very sick. I envisioned love and healing as I made the soup, and delivered it later in the afternoon.

On the way to their house, I drove along the Hudson River. I found a place that I could park; no stone walls, no fences…

A Romance Survey

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The last survey I posted a link to, here on my blog, was useless. A bunch of people took it and emailed me with their results. What a joke. We were ALL serial daters, and Romantically Challenged. That made me feel better I have to say as I was at a loss as to why I had gotten those results and I wondered if the "survey creator" was trying to tell us something. Are we really meant to not be monogamous, and our life is just a string of serial dates and romances? (At times I too ponder the same question) Very few of us ever met and married our first love and lived happily ever after, and, as a result, have some really great stories to tell.

As I lay in bed this morning, I thought, why not survey my readers about THEIR romantic memories and stories, whether tragic, funny, or deliriously happy. I will keep it anonymous for those who wish to remain so.

Valentines day is coming, a day which is sad and empty for many (oh how many did I spend alone, hoping that some secret adm…

Tragically Romantic

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I wrote a blog the other night about my being a hopeless romantic, but I have to admit, I was not being totally forthcoming. I forgot the part about my also being somewhat of a hopelessly TRAGIC romantic. Though I would love to believe in happily ever after stories, like The Sound of Music, the reality is, my life has been more like a crash and burn movie. The English Patient comes to mind. That by the way, was one of my favorite seriously tragic movies. I went to see it in the theater, and remember being devastated by it and unable to speak for days following. Beautifully filmed, GREAT hot love scenes, sadly sensual characters, and a good story line. It was reminiscent of a few relationships I had which left my heart in pieces for a long, long time.

There was B, a casual affair, who wanted more of a committment from me. My rejection made him angry and he drove his car into a tree after leaving me. He became partially handicapped the rest of his life, and was never mentally…

I Must Have Done Something Good

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Remember that song from the Sound of Music, Something Good., where Maria and the Captain were singing together....

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood,
Perhaps I had a miserable youth.
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must've been a moment of truth.
For here you are, standing there,
Loving me.
Whether or not you should.
So, somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good.
Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

That was one of the few movies I saw in childhood, and one that still to this day, makes me smile. It perhaps was one of the great influences in my young pubescent life for romantic dreams and fantasies, my love for great romantic films, and tales with happy endings.

This song has been running in my head over and over ever since I had a melt down in our local arts building, and Vindora, my friend, fed me and cheered me up and told me that the society was putting on a benefit for m…

Life Interrupted

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Just when I think I have life figured out, and think it makes perfect sense, WHAM, I get hit upside the head with reality, with history, and a heavy heart. Two steps ahead, three back. It is a wonder we ever move forward at all.

I try and be very optimistic, and in fact, I am. I have to be in order to survive. Overall I believe in love, in goodness, in purpose. But things happen that make me examine all of it and force me to re-adjust the course I am on, re-think my purpose, my past, my future.

My day was full of mixed emotion. A tough teaching day full of intense challenges. I worked late, came home, threw down my stuff and plunked myself in front of the computer and stared at it for a while. I started a poem which though in its formative stage, has potential. Recently I gave my therapist the latest poem I wrote. She read it, made a few sounds, put it down and asked "do you write like this often?". I told her that my poetry comes from a place so raw, so intense, …

On Being a Hopeless Romantic

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I went to the Urban Dictionary to make sure that I was using the term "hopeless romantic" appropriately. I was surprised to find 12 different definitions ranging from the most popular being "A person who daydreams about romantic occasions and dreams of chances where he/she will be able to perform a romantic act to their love, yet never gets the chance to" and the least popular, "A sad creature. It spends its life in search of a mate, yet doesn't. Dies miserable and alone", followed closely by "hopeless romantics AKA guys who have no chance with girls so they watch anime". (that must have been written by a teen).

I dug further on the net. I found a site that asked "are you a hopeless romantic? Take this Quiz". So, I went there. (I provided you all with the link too..just in case you are dying to find out your results--I bombed) I took the survey, was as honest as possible, and this is what I got: "You're not only romant…

The New Year

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That is a picture of my brain at work in the dark. Well, I guess if you could picture my brain working, it MIGHT look like that. It is always supercharged..and barely shuts down when I sleep. Even when I sleep I am figuring out problems, traveling, skiing, writing, and a whole host of other things that I won't even touch here.

The photo was taken by Larry last night of the light in the barn; there was also a disco ball, lava lamp, a fab sound system, and a great group of people whom I danced with into the early hours of the morning. This was the first time I have been able to dance and not be in pain since my ankle fracture, and it felt so great to be able to do something I love again. There is something so sensuous and grounding about dancing. Chris played music that I had never heard before, beats from northern India, some old Clash, and Talking Heads and other tunes from unknown regions. No matter the source, if you can surrender to it, you can dive deep down into the heat a…