Thursday, March 05, 2015

90 Degrees.

No. It is most certainly not the weather. But last week I glanced at my art table, which had been tucked against a wall in the corner of my living room for a few years now, and decided it was facing the wrong way. I don't like facing the wall. So I turned it...90 degrees to the left, and I  am making art again. Now my table faces into the living room, instead of into a wall. Sometimes that is all it takes. A 90 degree turn.  A new perspective.

In progress...

Friday, February 13, 2015

More digital collage

Sometimes, or more accurately, most of the time, I have an urge to journal, to spill out my fears and frustrations and problems on paper, but at the same time I am afraid of revealing too much. I find it awkward and painful to read my own admissions of struggle or failure. So I find myself hiding the words somewhat by incorporating them into an art journal page, or in this case, a digital collage. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

More digital collage fun...

While impatiently waiting to be able to get to work yesterday, I did a little photoshop play. The primitive nature of the drawings is the result of sketching with a mouse...




Monday, February 09, 2015

Life Lessons - control

There's nothing like two fucking feet of snow at your doorstep (and everywhere else you look) to remind you that any feeling of control you've ever had is an illusion.

I love the illusion of control. I like choosing how I will spend my days, even within the confines of my reality, which of course, includes a job, walking a dog and a lot of other obligations. Still, I choose to work (so that I can eat), and I choose to walk my dog (so that he doesn't poop in the house). I like feeling as though I have choices, that I control the shape of my days.

But right now, mother nature is in control. And she is one miserable, sadistic bitch.

And I am fairly certain that I have written this before. Possibly this entire post, but certainly the theme of control. And my lack of growth in dealing with it.

And now that I am done ranting, I will leave you with image. I think it's called the sun. I am not sure. It's been so long since I've seen it that I barely remember. 




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One word...

As my faithful (cherished) readers know, each year for the past seven, I have chosen a single word as a form of new year resolution. It is a practice that I read about on another blog, and I love doing it. I have often said that my word chooses me, through weird coincidences, and this year is no different. 

My word for 2014 was LOVE. (From 2008 to present: Health. Wealth. Believe. Authentic. Power. Discipline. Love.)

I started a new job in January, in the middle of a snowstorm, taking the city bus (for the first and last time) and no word less reflected how I was feeling than love. I hated the job, the commute, and the parking (none), for starters. I hated myself. I went from a place where I knew everything to knowing nothing. I hated my boyfriend -- not really, but he had recently retired, and I would wallow in self-pity every time I thought of him at home while I trudged through snow and ice from my distant parking garage into work. I felt like the life I had loved was stolen from me, and replaced with a poor imitation. And then I felt bad for feeling bad, because I knew that I was incredibly fortunate. So it took most of 2014 for me to feel the love– but as usual, my word has seen me through. I can even say that I love my job now, most days.

So this year’s word has been on my mind because of a particular quality that I want to change:

I am a quitter. It’s true. When the going gets tough, or hell, not even tough, just slightly annoying, I quit. It’s usually at the point where I have mastered the basics and might actually have to work hard and fail a few times before I get to the next level. Or, because it becomes easy, it gets boring. And I have noticed that when I listen to successful people that I admire talk about their lives, (I am often referring to artists here), their talents, as great as they may be, are probably secondary to their PERSISTENCE when it comes to how they achieved great success.

And then, as though she had crawled into my brain, this post by writer Elizabeth Gilbert just landed in my Facebook feed after I had written that paragraph…

Somebody asked me the other day if writing was easy for me…I hesitated with my answer…I have never wanted my work to be easy; I just want it to be interesting (for me)…

Meditation teacher Pema Chodron once said that the biggest problem she sees with people’s meditation practice is that they quit just when things start to get interesting. Which is to say, they quit as soon as things aren’t easy anymore. As soon as it gets painful or boring or agitating. So they miss the good part – the part when you push past the difficulty into some raw and new and unexplored universe within yourself.

And maybe it’s like that with every single important aspect of our lives. Whatever it is you are pursuing, whatever it is you are seeking – be careful not to quit too soon. Don’t quit the moment it stops being easy, OK? Because that moment? If you stay in it and then stubbornly push past your fear and resistance? That is the moment where interesting begins. 

So there it is. 

PERSISTENCE.  (def: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Fresh eyes

Yesterday, a friend who had never seen my house stopped over for just a few minutes, to pick something up, so I gave her the two-cent tour.

She ooh’d and aaah’d, and said that my house was great, and that it looked just like me – a comment that just about everyone who sees my house says. I hope they mean that my house looks bright and fun and creative, which I’d like to think I am, rather than like it was decorated by a wino, which would also be pretty much true.

And it was just what I needed to hear. Ever since I embraced living alone, six years ago, I have taken on a room each year as a project – fresh paint, new d├ęcor, etc. – except for this past year. So I was in a sort of house funk.

After losing my job and having to pinch pennies this past year, I put all improvements on hold. And once I began to regain my financial footing, my house conspired against me, with unexpected plumbing and electrical repairs and failed appliances that needed replacement.

So even though my home is filled with bright colors and artful pieces that make me truly happy, my focus had been on all the improvements I didn’t get to make this year, rather than on all of the things I’ve done for the past 6 years that already make my home cute and comfy.

And just like that, I am inspired to start working on the last two rooms -- my bedroom and my art/sitting room – so that I have something to look forward to over what I fear is going to be a long, cold winter.




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fifty.



In 50 days, I will turn fifty. Millions (billions?) have done it before me, but I will only do it once, and it is a HUGE number for me. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, fifty screams with absolute certainty that I am no longer young. 

Overall, I have enjoyed aging, and I have had more fun in my 40s than any other decade, so it is not about youth per se, because that is so obviously wasted on the young. It is about running out of time.

It is about not wanting to squander a single moment of this life that goes by in the blink of an eye. I think about what I will leave behind, besides a whole lot of unfinished projects, unused art supplies and wine corks.

I have no children – so how will I be remembered – or will I, at all – and for how long? And why is it important to me, because I know that it is.

I want my life to have meant something. I want to leave behind something of worth and beauty – a story, a work of art – something.

So, at almost 50, I am in a mad dash to figure out what that is, and to do it.