It was Thursday that I said I had a great week of painting. The week wasn't over yet. I painted lots on Friday, Saturday and today. Both of these pieces far from finished, but I am excited about how much progress I am making.
I forgot to remind you all about Earth Hour, but I doubt my mentioning it would cause anyone new to participate. It's become a strange and frustrating tradition for us to fumble through a board game by candlelight. Our first game of Monopoly with Ellie was quite a lot of fun. Mostly because she was winning by a landslide when we had to call the game at 10:30 pm. Games are lots of fun when the littlest one wins. No tears or tantrums.
Building a body of work, but also gaining experience. More color, more depth, more relaxed, more confident and the excuses are melting away. I've painted about 12 hours this week and it wasn't a particularly quiet week. Band concert (including shopping for concert attire), staff student basketball game (including pseudo baking for the bake sale) and a very long doctor's appointment (keeping fingers crossed that we won't have to see an ENT specialist).
How did I do it? Last Saturday I vowed that I would not make dinner all week. "What's for dinner, Mom?" – "Nothing." Everyone survived and I don't plan on living this way all the time. It was a much needed break from focusing my attention on everyone else's needs. I honestly felt a little guilty and self-absorbed. Something I'll need to get over, because painting should not make me feel that way at all.
I am experimenting with building up layers of paint. This may add more depth, more body to the finished pieces. Enjoying the chaos stage, but from here I will be adding order, pattern, organization. By the time I finish, there may be no trace of these colors or this chaos left to be seen. Still, it will be a part of the painting. Who knows? My next body of work could be completely comfortable with the chaos and leave it at this stage.
Doesn't the expression "It's a cake walk" refer to something being unbelievably simple? Tomorrow is the Fun Fair at school. I thought I would simplify my life and NOT bake for the cake walk. [Why? I don't know? Because if I have established anything on this blog, it's that I LOVE to bake.] Most people buy grocery store cakes anyway. My idea was to run to the dollar store and buy a plastic jar of some sort and fill it with slice-and-bake cookies. Then, I remembered the very delicious pretzels, with Hershey's kisses and m&m's our friends brought over once. What could be simpler than that?
Got home from work just before the bus at 3:00. It was a beautiful day so the kids played outside. I told Ellie she had to be in by 5 so she could eat a little something, she could get her homework done, we could go to the dollar store for some sort of container, then go to the candy store for the chocolate. Darrin went to the grocery store and bought pretzels and slice-and-bake cookies. Here it is 8:30 and I realized if I baked rolled butter cookies - I could have been done by 4:00. I always have the ingredients on hand and I could practically make them with my eyes closed. But, I did need to make a trip to the candy store anyway. Ellie's troop will be playing store as part of earning their Penny Power Try-It. The girls are all to bring $2.00 worth of small items to sell at the next meeting. I suggested 8 bags of candy to sell for 25¢ each. Did I say I needed to go the candy store? Maybe that's where my simple scheme de-railed. If I skipped the trip to the candy store I could have gathered my supplies without waiting around for Ellie to eat, play, and do homework. The dollar store didn't even have a container, but I bought the plastic tray at the candy store. Looks like I spent 60 seconds in the grocery store, not 5 hours of running around like a maniac. Life is simple, sometimes I make things more difficult than necessary.
Most people don't realize they have a mantra that they have not consciously chosen. I am at least conscious that I need to change mine, even though I am not always disciplined. For example, every time I cleaned the house all the while I would be thinking "I hate cleaning... I hate cleaning.... I hate cleaning..." I've changed that one to "I love a clean house." My other most recurring thought "I am so busy... I am so busy... I am so busy." Now I can consciously replace that with "Life is a Cake Walk!"
This little illustration is a re-post from this day last year. Grabbing that jpeg was just like going down to the basement to dig out the holiday decorations. My belly is really full of corned beef, cabbage, boiled potatoes, rye bread and topped of with a little Irish cream. Quite a lovely feast at the folks house.
28.5"x19 Acrylic on Paper
I've been thinking of patterns and chaos for quite some time now. This post from over a year ago wasn't my first thought on the subject. For this painting, I've pieced together bits of textiles in what I thought was random and chaotic. Halfway through the process it occurred to me that it is highly organized. Painting is a journey of self-discovery.
I'm more excited about showing this than my latest painting. I've had this idea for years. And, I am a big fan of Altoids, so I have a stack of boxes waiting to be used for something crafty. This little secret box for a sleeping fairy is so much easier than building a house. Many people tell me to sell them, but how much would someone pay for something like this? I cannot market it as a toy, because of regulations on safety testing. Who wouldn't let their child play with an old tin box, some cotton, felt, embroidery floss, craft paper and glue?