Friday, December 22, 2017

California Dreaming

Is becoming a reality.  Yeppers, in January 2018 I am packing up my house and moving to San Diego. It seems to some like a quick decision, but those that really know me, know that it is not. I have tried to justify staying here in Virginia, but truth is, other than a brother that I see less than once every two years or so, there is no one here that I care about or can really count on in case of emergency.  I have several people/friends who would beg to differ, but it is because they don't want to see themselves for what they truly are. (i.e. the way I seem them, anyway)

I would have to say that in addition to an enlightening personal experience this summer, my passive/aggressive and somewhat nosy neighbors were the final push I needed to sell my properties and move to California ...where I will be with close family and where I will still be me, but won't have people making me feel that I have to prove myself or come out of my comfort zone because THEY are social, (insert nosy and gossipy)  and want ME to be less private.

I have recently learned that one neighbor hates for people to keep their blinds closed. I have another neighbor who cautions me because I sometimes leave my blinds open. I have one neighbor who is just a bee-aytch and two neighbors that are the street police and report everyone and everything. Another neighbor called me colorful, years ago when pressured to discuss/gossip about someone that they really didn't know and had nothing in common with.

I have let some of the neighbors know that I am moving and putting my house on the market, and while I am getting well wishes, as is expected, one of them surprisingly said "if you donate anything I want me and my family to have first choice".  Until she said that, I may have, but now that will not be the case. This neighbor who pointedly told me that "she knows me better than anyone"  will be surprised to realize that I have made arrangements for someone to come in and remove all items from my house that I don't ship cross country and I have made certain that no nosy neighbors get to view my house just for fun, it will be viewed by serious buyers and appointment only.

Thinking about something my sister said, there will under no circumstances be any yard sales or estate sales on my property and no nosy people just trooping through my home...I have a great realtor and he is pretty savvy, so I know I don't have to worry about that, but still.

I really am ready to start anew in Cali and am excited about the change. I just get peeved about comments that my crazy neighbors make. It's always about them.  Sheesh.

Well, that's it for now. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more rants and raves.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What's up Home Fries?

I have been busy doing art and getting a house ready to put on the market and doing all the things that go with being a responsible, conscientious adult.

It's too dark here today to do much art, even though my studio lights are more than adequate, on rainy days I prefer to read.

My Christmas decorations are up and I am just hanging around doing my thing. Other than a know it all resident of my subdivision reporting me for leaf removal, all has been as it should be.

I've rearranged my studio, getting rid of the sitting area and replacing it with a drafting table that is in front of the television, so I can draw and watch television in the studio without hunching over a coffee table and totally screwing up my back.

I've ordered a heater for the studio which should be here soon and I'm pretty much tucked in for the winter.

Here are a few of the art projects that I have done recently...

All of the above are done with alcohol inks on plastic type paper...

These two are done in pastels on a paper called Pastelmat.  It is covered with a fine emery type substance that makes the paper feel like 1000 grit wet dry sand paper. Very smooth, yet it holds multiple layers of pastel or color's not that great for blending. 

Well, that's it for a while. Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy, both physically and emotionally. 

Take care and keep coming back!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Nothing new to bring to you...

so I thought I would post some of my recent alcohol ink paintings...

So all of these are painted with fluid alcohol ink on smooth plastic type papers (Yupo or DuraLar) and the images and/or enhancements were hand drawn on with Alcohol Markers...

It's what I do for fun, hobby, relaxation and just in's what I do.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Generation Gap

Every member of the previous generation moans and groans about how things change. Every generation has their "I remember when" speech to let people know how much better it was when they were younger. For the most part I laugh and agree and say something like "that's progress" or "that's the way it is now", but upon reflection and remembering my own past, something has been brought to the front of my brain that I want to address. calling... shaming...even taking photos as proof...of people you don't even know.  This seemingly acceptable activity of seeing someone who is different from you, in dress or looks, and laughingly posting it on a "Walmart People" webpage, or tweeting it for all your tons of followers to see, just so you can laugh at someone...well this pisses me off no end.  It pisses me off because seemingly people of all ages do this.  It pisses me off because I've seen it before, we just didn't have computers and hand held devises to make it so obvious.

Perhaps the people who do this have never been jeered at. Perhaps they do this because they are insecure and can only lift themselves up by teasing and degrading other people. Perhaps they do it because of peer pressure. Perhaps they do it because they want you to like them because they are so witty. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

When I said I was reflecting and remembering, I was thinking of my own past. I was thinking about people that I knew personally. I remember being "teased" to my face, as a child, not only at school, but by my uncle and his friends because I was so chubby. No one knew how horrified I was every time company came to visit and I was brought out, not to meet the adults, but to be looked at. No one knew, because they didn't think they were doing anything wrong. The things that were said in front of me were never forgotten... "it's too bad, because she does have a pretty face" was one of the nicer comments. Was this because of the so-called Generation Gap?

I know that my sister and brother have their own memories of this type of thing, from being told they were just about as attractive as a wet rat when they were born, to being harped upon for being skinny and being referred to as the smart one, as if to say well, maybe she won't be a total loss...why did they never think of our feelings? Generation Gap?

These comments were from people that had been through some tough times (deaths, wars, poverty and such) and supposedly pulled themselves up by their boot straps and were actually considered to be well thought of in our small community. They were also people who were supposed to care about us. I know, in my heart, that they did care about us. 

And yet, what I seem to remember is that they always had something very negative to say about how someone looked. It was always about how they looked.  When I was thirteen and loving the sixties and the music and fashion and trying to figure things out, I heard often, especially from one uncle "all she does is stand in front of the damned mirror."  Maybe I was searching the mirror for something positive that I could latch on to. My grandmother even gave me money to not wear make up for three months. A bribe to change my outer self.  Looks were everything. Her friends may say something.

When I was younger, one of the things we did regularly was to go to the city for ice cream on Sunday after church. For me it was hours of listening to what I felt were insults.  We would drive around the city and my uncle would point out these beautiful women of color in their big hats and brightly colored dresses and say "there goes Miss Ethel in her new dress" as if comparing my grandmother to another lady the same age, but a different race, was really funny. Honestly I never got it.  I still don't. You might say it was because of the way they were raised, but it was still mean... but I think lots of men of that era were mean. 

When my little brother would have to pee on the Sunday ride, as he always did,  I dont remember them bringing a potty or a bottle or something for him to use, Uncle would stop the car in an area that was slightly wooded and out of sight for brother to pee. He would wait until the little guy gathered the courage to pee on the side of the road and then threaten to drive off.  Sometimes he would roll down the window while he was doing his little business and say loudly "here comes the police". I laughed with them, as I was supposed to, but I still thought it was mean and looking back on it now, it really seems almost abusive. My mom stayed quiet, she had three kids and her own set of troubles and we didn't have our own car and well, we shouldn't rock the boat.

All of this reflection came back to me when I saw a post with photos that appears on Facebook about Walmart People and I started to think about how hateful these people must be, to think it's funny to always make fun of someone for how they look. Do they not realize how mean it is? How shallow?

Maybe my uncle thought it was all right because no one (but us) could hear him and his ugliness (disguised as humor). He liked to present himself in a much more positive way when in public...

Back to the folks that post negative photos and laugh at sites like these...are these the same people that are righteously indignant over animal cruelty, and mass murder?  Are these the same people that want to help when a hurricane devastates an area? I hope not. I appreciate the people that contribute their time, and money and donate food and clothing for disasters when they happen. It just cannot be the same people.

No, I think not. I just don't want to believe that these are the same people. I think these are the people that say they are people watchers. Give it a cute name and it's ok to snicker and take pictures behind someone's back.  Sigh.

So there are my thoughts for today. Hopefully, future generations won't have these kinds of thoughts. Maybe things will change. Maybe not. Maybe there will always be a generation gap. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Whatever happened to...

Better safe than sorry?

I know that I touched on this on my Facebook page, but I will also elaborate here. In my opinion, when you choose not to adhere to an official mandatory evacuation due to bad weather, than you should be prepared to accept the consequences, whatever they may be.

With the destruction that was seen (and visually proven by many sources, no fake news here) during Hurricane Harvey in Texas, why would someone/anyone think that one or all of the following three hurricanes (Irma, Jose, and Katia) will fool all the meteorologists this time and you will be fine.

My late husband and his cronies, in their youth, had hurricane parties in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and rode out the storms, supposedly several times. My husband, from his early twenties until age forty, was also a functioning alcoholic and drug taker. I can see where his bad decisions were fueled by substance abuse.

In my opinion, if you are a drunk, or a druggie, or a criminal that doesn't want to be involved with city officials, you are probably not going to listen to any authority when it comes to personal safety.

If you are not any of these things, but are dirt poor and cannot afford to go anywhere, there are shelters set up...just for folks like you. There are shelters that will also take your pets.

If you are just a dumb, ignorant, knuckle dragging, abusive &!@&head that hands your children guns and tells them to open up the front door a crack and shoot anyone that comes on your property, several things can happen. One or all of you will probably die in the storm.  If your freakishly long-armed kids do manage to survive the hurricane/flood/blackout/whatever without shooting a sibling or the family sow, they will probably grow up to be just as stupid as you are and defend this backwoods mentality or hate you for the rest of their lives and often go into town to beg for someone to take them out of their situation. They will most likely marry very young (probably at age 14) to the first available person just to get away from You, Maw and your tobaccy juice and homemade shine.

I hate to sound mean, but my G-d, people, what the h-e-double hockey sticks is wrong with you? I would rather go and stay in a shelter or with someone I barely know and eat generic wheat thins and drink warm Kroger Warehouse water, than to die or have my pets and kids die from my sheer stupidity. Is human life less important to you than whatever you are staying at home to guard?

If you are Richard Branson and have your own island and mansion with a concrete storm shelter built to withstand a hurricane, then I don't have as much of a problem with this, as he seemed to be at least attempting to make a reasonable and informed decision to stay.  In the event that he and his guests had not survived riding out the storm, I would have felt probably the same way...unsympathetic, yet this would have been uttered with a more British sounding accent.

Call me hateful if you want. I am simply saying don't refuse to evacuate and then expect someone else to risk their life coming to your rescue when you finally realize that you aren't that special. Understand? A storm doesn't pick and choose, so if you think that you are special enough, for a Hurricane to miraculously leave you and your property untouched, well you just might be surprised.

One final thing, if you do survive, I really hope that some of you will finally say, "I cannot believe how irresponsible I was to do that" and that you learned some sort of lesson. I doubt that will happen. You will most likely become a victim of something..."storm survivor shaming" or some other made up crap like that.

Sigh. Uncle. I give up.

Please don't repost any portion of this, I'm old and I don't want the PC police to knock on my door.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Marks

It has been so long since I've posted that I forgot how to use blogger.  I just deleted an entire post and don't know how to retrieve it. Sigh.

So I'll just post a quick picture of some of the bookmarks that I am currently working on. These are on Yupo paper, the pigments are alcohol inks and I've randomly doodled shapes on them with a white gel pen by Uniball.

Working small like this fills the need for me to create when I'm between larger paintings and it's fun. This isn't all of them, but I hope to send some out for gifts and don't want to ruin any surprises.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

tick-tock, tick-tock

I found this image on Pinterest and thought it fitting, I wish I had drawn it

Do you ever feel like you are just waiting for something?  I sometimes get this feeling. Not really a premonition, but more like a feeling... of something.  Maybe it's just a feeling of restlessness that floats down on you sometimes, for no reason.  That feeling of wondering what is out there that perhaps you need to be checking out. Then you shrug your shoulders and say to yourself, "don't be restless, it's all going to be OK".

You find yourself in the marvelous position of being able to quit work and do what you want and then life gets in the way and you find yourself doing what someone else wants, or simply doing nothing at all.  Maybe it is because you can't figure out what you want. Maybe a small part of your brain thinks that you don't really deserve to be able to do what you want. Time fails to give you the clarity that you thought it would and you wait...and watch.

Life gives you an abrupt change and you roll with it and then you are back on your own, able to do what you want. You do that for several years and then seemingly you have somewhat quenched the thirst that was rising up in you. You do that in many ways. Shopping, hobbies, traveling and various activities occupy your time. You find the bubble that held so many things has gradually gotten smaller and the friends and family that reside with you in this sphere have also dwindled to just a select few. You don't mind.

You don't yearn for more people in your life, companionship is not really a longing within you. You don't like drama that comes with so many relationships, sometimes even just with friendships, and you find it so much easier to cocoon yourself and wait...

You sit back and take it all in and wait and watch...

Tick-tock, tick-tock

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Let's talk about alcohol ink

Just thought I would stop in a make a quick post.  I used to post so very regularly on my blog and some of my long time friends have been with me since the beginning ten years ago. As we all know life happens and things change and blogs make way for social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram and our blog sometimes gets neglected.

Poor little blog, I apologize.  I HAVE neglected you over the past several years. I am an artist and for the past almost five years I have been painting, drawing, making jewelry and such and that takes time away from blogging. You understand...

After my husband died, I spent the first year remodeling my home and created an awesome art studio with walls full of windows and cabinets. I have a sitting area with a television and of course the capability of having music available if I want it.  I do spend a lot of time in the studio and this year I have been playing around with abstract painting. Ten years ago I took early retirement and this gives me plenty of time to have hobbies and live out the remainder of my time on this planet in a pleasant and contented fashion.

I grew up watching television. I still love watching television and now that I can stream programs from sites like Netflix and Youtube directly to my Smart TV, well I love it and I do spend quite a bit of time watching my favorite shows.

This time last year I had just gotten out of the hospital with a bacterial infection of the intestinal type and it really took me longer to recover from than I expected. A year later and I am still slower than before.

This year I am dealing with the discomfort and pain of a hateful condition that is usually diagnosed as Frozen Shoulder. Combine that with fibromalgia that I know I have, but my family doctor refuses to diagnose, and I find most mornings I wake up stiff and sore and it takes sometimes up to two hours to feel like doing anything.  These conditions make it very hard to be motivated to work out, as it hurts to move and I have had to deal with gradual weight gain.  Oh, woe is me. I have such a tough life.

Not really...I don't have a tough life, I have LIFE and life usually includes aches and pains, and sadness and joy. As long as I can still wake up every morning to experience this thing called life, I'm totally happy.

Lately I have been trying to learn how to do videos of art instruction, or just my thoughts on art and life and posting to my Facebook.  I know there must be a more user friendly way to accomplish this.

I hope this video showed up correctly. Please let me know if you want a link to my FB art page or my YouTube channel.

Till then, have fun making art...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Abstract paintings

I've been doing abstract art lately,  specifically fluid and flow/drip art. Sometimes the control freak in me just wants to take a break and let things just happen.  Don't get me wrong, this is a specific technique and takes specific supplies, including additives, so it doesn't just happen, but it is relaxing. I tried the pour technique about five years ago, but didn't really have a dedicated place to paint, and this style of painting can be messy. Once you do your research and you set your space up so the mess wont get out of hand, then you can relax and not worry about perspectives and horizon lines and proper placement of facial features. It's just fun.

With all that being said, here are a few that I have done this year. Before I got into the totally free flowing abstract, I painted these...

I cant remember if I'm shown these here, but they are the largest that I have done for some time, they are on stretched canvas that is 36" x 36".  They were fun, but there was still so much decision making involved and I really wanted to step away from reality and let the paint be my reality for a while.

Enter these...

These were two of my first pour art pieces.  The top one reminds me of a cave, while the bottom one I feel is very ocean-y.

Next I poured painting but done in two pours...

I did the purple background first and it didn't grab me as a stand alone painting, although my sister and my friends had fun finding hidden images in it.  I had originally planned to do a pour that had floral colors in it, so after the purple dried, I mixed up some yellows and greens and did another pour along with some splatter techniques.

Not all paintings are successes, sometimes you get epic fails, but it's fun to take a mess and run with it...

This one was a total experiment and while it looks creepy to some, I liked putting dots in it to resemble eyes.

I have other paintings that I will share with you next post, but I will leave you with this one...

I have to admit, this was a complete accident, not at all what I was going for. This image was achieved by trying to scrape off paint that was starting to turn to mud on the canvas. I actually love the way it turned out. 

For this last painting, I used transparent airbrush paints as my first layer and the smell of them was quite off putting. I personally don't want to have to wear a mask or a respirator in my studio, so I tend to stay with products that are low odor and hopefully less toxic.

Well that's it for today. Hope you all are having a great week, month, year. Whatever or however you gauge your passage of time, enjoy is fleeting.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Frozen Shoulder, Fibromalgia and other imaginary illnesses

I am not one to bitch and moan. No one can do anything about it and usually, unless it has happened to them, people don't even believe you. I have a new respect for people that have illnesses and handicaps that arent visible to others.

I have frozen shoulder in my left arm and there really isn't much you can do about it. So many differing schools of thought. Some doctors think physical therapy is the answer and some think surgery is the answer, while other professionals think that it will eventually subside on it's own and that whatever you can do to manage the pain is your only recourse.

Pain medication, other than Tylenol, raises my blood pressure to stroke levels so I have to rely on other methods of pain management. I am currently taking a natural muscle relaxant that helps and a combination of herbal supplements used for fibromalgia (which I know I have for years, but try to get that diagnosed) and they seem to be helping some.

When I wake up in the morning, I feel like I am made of stone. My body feels so heavy that it is difficult to get out of bed. Not impossible, but difficult. I would think that this is a symptom of something, but at this point, do I really want to know why?

I have a friend that has lung and (I think) heart problems and they are causing shortness of breath and other symptoms that arent visible. She is so hesitant to call in sick, because she knows no one will believe her and that they think she is trying to get out of work. She has worked all her life, and now in mid fifties, feels like she is "on her last leg", but just keeps pushing on, as she feels like she has no other option.

I have another friend that is a cancer survivor, and pushes herself to the limit all the time. Just to look at her, you wouldn't know anything was ever wrong. But she hurts. That doesn't keep her from cooking, and cleaning and helping her family when I know she doesn't feel like it. Wont let anyone help her much, as she wants to be the one helping. I suppose she is a nurturer by nature (say that three times fast).

Different people choose different ways to deal with illness and pain. Some like the ones listed above are more inclined to keep things to themselves while others are more inclined to talk about what hurts them, only to be scorned and called hypochondriacs.

The bottom line, and the real reason for this post is to remind you of this...just because you haven't' experienced a certain health issue, doesn't mean that it isn't real. It doesn't give anyone one the right to talk down to someone, or to have such negative thoughts about them.  Have some compassion.

True there are some people that thrive on sympathy and beg for money to pay for medical expenses that aren't actually needed, but in my opinion, those people are fewer that the people that really need our help, monetarily and emotionally.

Try to be more caring and look past the fact that you cannot relate to something you have never had, try walking a mile in their shoes. Try to not make it about you, there are things that you will never experience, that are real. There are mental and physical conditions that afflict many people in the world today, and while I cannot relate to something, I am going to try to be more understanding.

Sure it's good to support organizations that help disaster victims and it's great to support animal rights groups and such, but try to remember that there just might be someone in your own circle of friends that you could do more for.  I know I am going to try to be more understanding. Because I know from my own life that things can change in the blink of an eye. So now, more than ever, I will strive to...

Be nicer. Try harder. Don't be so quick to judge. Help where I can. Listen when no help is to be had.

I know this was a long and drawn out post and for that, perhaps I should apologize because I also really love this quote:

So I will try not to judge that which I don't understand well enough.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weirdos have weird dreams...

I dreamed that I was walking across the porch at either my grandmother's house or my mother's house, when I suddenly encountered a snarling dark grey wolf.

As I recall, he was fairly large and I knew I was in trouble. I couldn't remember whether I was supposed to avert my eyes or stare him down, so I did a throw-down with staring and growling back at him.  This did not work at all, and just when I knew, in this dream, that I had just reached the last day of my life, the wolf turned into a man.  You would think that he would look like that guy from Twilight, but no, this shape changer takes on the appearance of Jason Segal from "How I met Your Mother" but looking a bit off.

Don't get me wrong, I was pretty scared, nonetheless as I knew this ordinary looking guy could change back and rip my guts out at any minute.  Then I heard someone coming, and he said no one else could see him and to prove it, he immediately became invisible and started doing tricks like opening and shutting the door.

Well, it just happens that the person we heard walks into the room and it's Amy Poehler.

She was all cute and bubbly and she says to the door that is opening and closing that she can see him and basically acted like she wasn't scared at all. Exit Wolf/Weird Jason.

Then Amy and I, along with some other random people that just wandered into my dream, start discussing how she shouldn't be pressured into making another movie. My advice was to just be herself.

Then she started fake-snoring/snorting, trying to be funny, and we told her that wasn't a snore noise it was the noise you make when you are mucous-y from sinus troubles and then, sitting on the floor behind the couch, I see a humidifier/nebulizer releasing steam.

That's when I woke up, coughing a bit from whatever that nebulizer had loosened up. I'm still a little clogged up as I type this, but I thought I would share it with you.

Hope you enjoyed my visuals, also. Let's go get some coffee.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It's been two months since my last...

It's been two months since my last post. I suppose I should post more often, but you know, sometimes I 'm just not in the mood. I have been painting a lot these past two months, as well as going to the doctor for a physical, and having physical therapy for a frozen shoulder. Oh and the day after Christmas I got something akin to the Norovirus (aka stomach flu) and was really sick for several days.

Hopefully I am on the mend from everything and will be more inclined to post more. Maybe, maybe not...who knows.

I'm not one to bitch and moan about stuff, but I really haven't felt good for a while and I've been watching a lot of television and taking it easy.  It's only mid February, but I find myself looking forward to spring.  We have had several unseasonably warm days here in Roanoke, Virginia and it lulls me into a false sense of warmth and change. With all that being said...

Let's see what kind of art I can post for you.  Most of my FB faithfuls have seen these, but it never hurts to post them here, just in case I still have readers...

 How about a portrait of a Canadian Chicken???

And here we have an abstract with the colors of my bedroom...

 Who doesn't love splashes of color representative of a flower garden where sunflowers rule...

 Another abstract that ended up being a city, but it started out as something completely different...

A trio of faceless angels helped me welcome in the Christmas Seasons...
And some of you will remember that I love cardinals, so I painted this guy against a snowy backdrop...

 And for my blogger friends that haven't seen me for a while, I'm still rocking my gray locks and

I take almost as many selfies as a reality star, but hey, use to be that I took pictures of my cats and my husband and well...they are no longer in this realm, so a gal does what a gal has to do.

Enjoy your upcoming week and have fun of some kind. Love ya bunches and I'll try to check in more often.