topiary cats

topiary cats

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Those Strange Artists

My friend Teresa is a cellist for the Bronx Opera. I met her through cat rescue a long time ago.
She is giving a concert in a few weeks, one she does every year at the Roerich Museum in Manhattan.

We wee chatting a little about it and she said it is a special performance because she has rearranged her relationship to music.

I said "Artistic transitions are dreadful."
She said yes, and no one really understands it.
They think it is a gift, a blessing.

Most people, non-artists, really have no idea.

I'm not talking about sometimes-hobbyists.
I'm talking about those of us sorry souls who have been thrown into the artist's life from the very start.

Our art, and it doesn't matter what it is- music, dance, painting- it drives and defines us in all ways.  It is so central in our existence that it is impossible to separate from it. It drives us and consumes us. We know ourselves and the world around us through it.  It is with us whether we are in the process of physically manifesting it or not. It occupies a stupid amount of our mental space and our resources.

Sometimes, the presence of our art is the only consistent thing which has been with us for our entire life.

It isn't something we can just shut off or stop doing. It isn't a choice.

This is what non-artists do not understand.
It isn't a choice.

Our art is linked to our stability or instability- and sometimes both at the same time.
We are constantly seeking it out, even as it seeks us out.

Art takes us to strange places, and makes us do what may appear to others as strange things.
We do go where others don't.
We know strange things, too.
As artists, we do absolutely experience life differently than the non-artist population.
We are very complex internally.
Everything is in relation to our art.
It is present in everything.
We see everything and feel everything through our art- it cannot be separated.

It drives us to strange thoughts and life experiences.
We tend to like other strange souls. Lots of us like cats, for example.

If you come into our home you will see the presence of our art has been given prominent space.
It is central, integrated. It is part of everything. It is so much more than the painting we are painting or the music we are playing.

Every artist has at some point been given Life Advice by a non-artist who thinks they understand their artist friend. We immediately know how wrong that advice is for us, though it might be ok for a non-artist. And we think, "Wow, they don't understand me one bit." And we know it is because this person means well but they are not an artist so they cannot understand.

We have to accept that but it is lonely.
And so we become our own best advisers, or if we are fortunate enough to have another artist friend, we might ask them. We tend to be very self-aware.

Especially for painters, but I think this applies to all true artists, it is a brutally lonely existence.
Not just because we require so much solitary time-- our art is in many ways our primary relationship and it is very demanding-- but because all through life, we do not find people with whom to relate. We are the odd one out. The strange one.  The fringe-dweller.

And sometimes it really fucking sucks.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Daya's school sent home a note about her attendance, which is odd because she almost never misses school.

The school was condescending enough to write a letter to the principal on my behalf which I had to sign.

I prefer to write my own letters, thank you.
I even included a nice flow chart for my non-linear letter/

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mad: Messed Up

Last Thursday or so, Carey informed me that we didn't have a theme yet.
Like I was supposed to know what it was or something.

.....oh wait......

Well the first thing that popped in my head was "Messed Up" so that's our theme. I had a Cool Image Idea, so I prepped a canvas and did a background.

Oh, and by the way this canvas is something like 24x32ish. (It's a messed up size.  I stretched this one myself about 15 years ago. It had a painting on it but has been recycled.)

The most messed up thing is that I actually thought I was going to finish an entire layered 24x32ish oil painting in a few days. Thinking that to begin with is extremely messed up.

Sometime around late Monday afternoon I realized my painting predicament. I thought I would just do a smaller painting.  But then I didn't want it to be rushed and last minute.

Then it occurred to me just how messed up my ambitions were with this messed up size canvas.
Why do I do these things?
There is just no hope for me.

So it fits the theme perfectly.

Oil on Canvas on Easel

It will get an image, and hopefully not a messed up one.

Monday, March 28, 2016


This......monstrosity, abomination, whatever you want to call it....

People had actual meetings about this...and got paid to think it up, design, manufacture, and distribute it.


Who....who would want this? Do people hate their kids?

NOTHING in the confectionery world is more disgusting and disturbing than THIS:

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Daya said to me, "Mommy, I think I have outgrown Easter."
I said, "Does that mean you don't like Cadbury eggs anymore?"
She said, "I still like those."
I said, "Ok."

Because I am a nice Pagan girl, I will never outgrow Easter.  It is still named for Estara, the ancient goddess for whom it originally celebrated.  The welcoming of Spring. That's why we still have the pagan celebratory symbols of eggs and bunnies.  Getting busy in the woods................


Because Daya has outgrown Easter and I have not, she gets a cool Easter basket complete with a dress, good candy, and a Monster High doll.

Drusilla and Branwen contributed the amazing cat and bunny cookies.

I'm thinking that Daya has not outgrown her Easter basket.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Too Much

Life is ironic in the worst possible ways.
It really is, and it is too much.

People say the most..... interesting..... things.
Wow, really?
I suppose I understand why but still.

Just once, I would like for something nice to work out instead of this constant dreadful fuckwittical nonsense.

I wish I was the kind of person who could get over stuff easily, quickly. I wish I could just forget, I wish I could just switch to different feelings. I wish I didn't have any feelings at all. I don't want them.

I hate being messed with.

Just once.

There is no point to any of it.
I am so, so tired of everything.

Probably, in too many moments, I look forward to being out of here already.

Friday, March 25, 2016

King Tut

Dru and Branwen were in the city and we met up later in the day.
There is a King Tut exhibit at ... a place I never knew of which is on 5th between 37th and 38th.
I forgot the name.

It was a cool exhibit.  Replicas, but very well done. Definitely a worthwhile trip.

And what do you know, Lee's Art Supply is still open! I'm glad about that.
I got three tubes of paint and a book.

Dru got nothing, which was pretty shocking. She said she has so many art supplies already.
Well, so do I but that never stopped me...I think it is irrelevant.

Clearly, Dru is far more disciplined and levelheaded than I am.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Am Blue

I am blue.

Pthalo blue.*

My arm has been pthalo blue since Sunday night and it won't come off.

Selfie with Pthalo Blue

I would like to assure you that I am a very hygienic person.  Meaning I do, in fact, bathe mostly every day.

But I am still blue, and will probably remain blue for several more days.

*Pthalo blue is notorious for being extremely powerful.  If you paint, you'll want to be very careful with it as it will quickly overpower all your colors in mixing.

My friend Sid Bledsoe says this:

"I think everyone would like to turn down the volume of phthalos, including users who adore them such as myself. In fact, this is exactly what the makers attempt to do when making this crazed maniac of a pigment.

It is an unusual pigment in that it is so strong as manufactured that it is actually improved by the addition of 50 and 75% Alumina Hydrate or Blanc Fixe, uh, that right there is a whole lot of filler. 

Normally this would constitute unacceptable cheap "student grade" adulteration in other normal pigments, but in this case, the extenders improve the workability of the pigment, eliminates a tendency to 'bronzing', and reduces the tendency of the color to overpower all mixtures it is a part of. This admixture of inert filler will be already in the pigment at time of purchase. Then as suggested here and by others, dilute it out with lots of white, or add to mixes by the gnats' eyelash quantity, and with extreme caution."

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Walking Again

I did my first nice long walk of the season, since the weather is nice and the days are longer.

I think it's kind of messed up that walking almost 7 miles didn't burn more calories.

Back in another lifetime before I had a kid, I went to the gym and I liked it.
Now, I'm not so sure the gym would be for me.  I like being outside.

I like the bridges and the water.
I love living somewhere where I can basically walk anywhere.

My walk is not really pretty for the most part, and there are some dodgy areas, but it is long and straightforward,  I can have my music up and go on autopilot, with the exception of watching out for traffic.

I can pretty much walk indefinitely.

It's also time to scope out some new painting spots.

Under the subway tracks

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mad: Negative Space

Here is my offering for our theme of Negative Space.
8x10 Oil on panel

Monday, March 21, 2016

Macro Paint

Unbelievably, I finished my weekly Mad painting early!

Quinacridone magenta plus black plus white makes a lovely purple.

Palette photos. Oil. Click to enlarge, if you want.

In other news, I really think life is a big cosmic joke and I feel extremely fucked with, and I don't appreciate it.

Not one bit.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


I am so, so lazy.
You know that mind-cloud where you could sit and stare at a blank wall and be happy?
That's the kind of lazy I have been all day.

Somehow through my lazy haze I got four (4) loads of laundry done, one (1) dishwasher load done, and nothing is put away.
I do not care.

Even more amazingly I went to see Jackie, who was feeling just as lazy as I was.  Jackie was in the hospital for one night and thankfully got out.  We were too lazy to cook anything, let alone clean up, so we went to the neighborhood vegetarian Chinese place.

We were extremely lazy over soup and ice cream.

Now I am home and Daya is in bed and I am too lazy to write about anything other than being lazy.

No picture because I am too lazy to do it.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Brush Farm Cats

Kitties getting sun in the brush farm.