Chaos and Security

7x7 . mixed media

My scribbly lines made it impossible to accurately transfer a drawing. So I had to let go of my desire to control it and trust that I could make some order, some sense of this with only my brush. It has occurred to me as I have now started photographing nests in the branches that it is a symbol of security. Also, simplicity. How much do you need to feel secure? Birds only need a few twigs, and leaves.


Let Your Imagination Run Wild!

No. Don't. Well, maybe. But, be careful.

"Imagination is how we transform ourselves and the world in which we live." (Why Angels Have Wings, by Rami Shapiro, Spirituality and Health, Jan-Feb 2010) I needed to hear that. I tried to explain to Darrin, but couldn't quite put into words, that when I create art, I refrain from delving too deeply into my own imagination. What if I get lost? What if I can no longer differentiate between what is real and what I am only imagining? Can I transform myself and the world? Can I really?

So I hold back. I refrain from using my imagination to create art and to fully contemplate the metaphysical. It would be real easy to get lost there. Yet, I found myself a few days ago using my imagination to worry. Worry - that is your imagination speculating what bad things might happen. And then I realized other people in my same situation (or potentially worse situation) are still calm and not complaining. When did I become the most pessimistic in the bunch? This is not me. This is not who I want to be. I apologize to anyone that got an earful from me. Recently and in the past. With a smile and a laugh I have heard myself say "I know, I am so cynical." I try to laugh it off and joke because I don't really believe I am cynical. Or am I? How do I imagine the world to be? Am I bitter, distrusting, showing contempt? Do I hold a low opinion of humanity? "Sometimes" is not an acceptable answer.

In my quest for enlightenment I have read some of the modern day Spiritualists. I open a book. It resonates with me. This is all true. I needed to be reminded of this. The Universe is full of potential and possibility. I do have the power to create my life and change the world. I believe in creative consciousness despite what the critics say. It is not wishful thinking. Everything that comes into being begins as a thought.

At the end of my week I am conscious of my not-so-good thoughts and I will put them behind me. I am grateful to have heard the eloquent closing statement of the very wise Conan O'Brien. His words have the power to transform and transcend. As he said... (and I paraphrase) Cynicism is one of the worst qualities. It gets you nowhere. If you are kind and work really hard, amazing things will happen! Amazing! I will be looking for his new book on the library shelf next to Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer. Thanks, Co Co.


How Young Are You?

Today I assisted my mother in getting my father to the barber shop. I am grateful my mom was able to find one of the last few barbers to offer the service of shaving. It was sweet. Soap and brush, hot towels, straight blade - the whole nine yards. I am grateful for his courtesy and kindness. "How young are you, Jack?" "Oh, 85 years young?!" His light-heartedness was comforting. My mom said next time she would be able to get him there by herself. I told her I would happy to go with them again.


Thrifty Find

25¢ ea. I've hit 3 resale shops yesterday and today looking for teacups for a tea party. Ellie and I agree that we will just hang on to this set of four instead of giving them as party favors. Kind of kitschy, but there is something about them that we love?



Every last bit of the holidays has been packed away in storage – Girl Scout tree and all. And so, I am ready for yet another fresh start. Every week is new start and I have a good feeling about this one even though I haven't been early to bed lately. Late night is my favorite time of day. The house is quiet and I don't feel compelled to accomplish anything. Most relaxing.



Two more new paintings. Also untitled. Some day their names will come to me. When I began painting mandalas I couldn't imagine what I ever might call them. By the time I was preparing for my first show I understood what they were and the titles suddenly came to me. This was months (maybe over a year) after I painted them.

And a little secret. All four of the paintings are derived from one photograph. Previous work is also of the same tree in my backyard. When cropping these two I saw where these pieces fit together.

While painting on wood 2 years ago I painted almost the exact same painting twice and did not realize it until I was looking at one on my computer screen and gazing off at the other hanging on my wall.

Last week I was so optimistic about starting anew that I was euphoric. Changes I am working on – early to bed, early to rise, early to work, more proactive/productive at the office, healthier eating, more exercise, no eating after dinner, painting everyday (almost) only tea at bedtime, no beer or wine. This week began with a strange unexplainable bout with insomnia on Sunday night. It left me feeling like I am trudging through sludge ever since. While I have hit a little bump I hope to not de-rail completely. I've actually done quite well in most areas. Not striving for perfection - just improvement. I hope this little bit of cutting and chopping prep-work will lead to more energy.


New Paintings

Untitled. 12x16. Watercolor and Acrylic.

Untitled. 12x16. Watercolor and Acrylic.


Begin Again

I absolutely love this time of year. It is quiet and restful. Time feels plentiful. And so, I am beginning a new body of work. This was my intention at this time last year. I painted very little last January and then almost nothing the rest of the year. In October I entered one of my small efforts into a juried show and was awarded "best of show." I'm sure I would have stayed the course if I had known my work was meritable. My struggle comes from not being able to judge my own work, but maybe more so from not trusting my instinct.

Winter Interest . January 2009
Best of Show - Fusion of the Arts 2009


Happy New Year!?

If how you spend your New Year's Eve is any indication of what the next year will bring...I have no idea? Nothing worked out quite as planned today. The last couple of days Darrin said he felt like he might be coming down with something. He woke me up early this morning to tell me he needed to see a doctor. Before I left for work he returned from the clinic and he assured me even though he had pneumonia we could still have friends over tonight. When I returned from work in the early afternoon he was not doing well - running a high fever, looking and feeling miserable. We cancelled plans with friends, but told them we could hook up with them at the fireworks display downtown at midnight. It was all I could say to console Ellie. It was her friends and their families that we invited over and then had to un-invite. The quiet evening passed by slowly as the girls lost interest in everything by 9:30 and I played Beatles Rock Band by myself for the last 2 hours of clock watching. Ellie was exhausted and tried to take a nap, but couldn't. She perked up just before we bundled up at 11:30 and we headed downtown. We didn't find any of our friends, we nearly got frostbite, (10˚ F) but Ellie said it was one of the best fireworks displays she has ever seen. I was happy that she was happy. It was such a strange holiday. We missed being with Daddy. We were disappointed that plans with friends didn't work out. But, we were happy and we did the best we could under the circumstances. If this is any indication of what 2010 will bring, it does not mean that Darrin will be sick or I will be playing video games. In 2010, be happy even when things don't go as planned.