topiary cats

topiary cats

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


There is a painter named Ryan O'Rourke who does 10 minute acrylic painting demos on youtube. And they are pretty good!  He knows his theory, he knows what he is doing, and his 10 minute paintings are pretty cool!

Doing timed paintings isn't a new concept.
A lot of people have done this as a way to practice and get the mind shifted into a different gear. Some people limit the number of brush strokes instead of time- for example, doing a painting in only 120 brush strokes.

Because I have a terrible obsession with oil paint and pastels, it stands to reason I am also fully stocked in acrylics which is good because when I need them I'm ready to go. Last night I brought out my acrylics and did a little 10 minute painting which took 14 minutes and 45 seconds.

It is such a small time investment, and truly a mental flip. While it will never replace longer studio paintings it really is fantastic artistic exercise. I guess these could also be done in pastel, and probably oil because nothing is impossible, but the acrylic drying time is a huge advantage with layering.

With this painting, I chose a color scheme ahead of time which was fun but also maybe not the best decision because I made the composition up as I went along.
It would have been better to know my composition beforehand.

This painting is not a good painting but I don't care. It was good practice and good to try something new. My coordination isn't there yet but with some practice it will be.

5x7 acrylic

Today is the summer solstice.
I'm going this afternoon to light soome candles.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yellow Wood

Here is a painting I started a while ago. Last month probably.  It got finished Thursday night and I'm now just posting it.

9x12 pastel on Mi Tientes.(smooth side)
The paper is a lovely yellow ochre, pretty much the yellow of the sky though I put pastel over it.
I like working on different colored grounds.

This painting is a continuation of Adventures in Smooth Pastel Paper.  Mi Tientes is a smooth paper which I have so much of and always ignore in favor of my sanded and textured papers.  Smooth paper is just different but I'm working on making friends with it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Flip: Broken

The theme Broken is in honour of Carey's fridge, which was in a broken state more than any fridge has a right to be.

ACEO 2.5x3.5 pastel on bristol with Golden pastel primer.


Carey's Fridge Tribute is here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

4 Things

Thing 1
I'm still feeling better but it feels tenuous and fragile.
The noise from upstairs is a bad trigger, when it happens, and anticipating it,
I wish it wasn't and I don't know how to minimize how it affects me.

I got a really LOUD industrial floor fan, which Daya has named Fran.
I love Fran. Fran is awesome.

It all seems petty and silly and small and ridiculous until I search for solutions online and find so many other people who have the same intense reaction.

Thing 2
I have made a decision to not acknowledge Fathers Day.
The last time I saw my father was for a couple of hours four years ago.
We haven't had any contact since last October.
Daya also has no contact.  She stopped crying for him about it a year and a half ago and the last thing I need is to re-open that issue.  It was bad, very bad, for years.

It is obvious he has no interest whatsoever in any type of involvement in my life or Daya's, so I need to stop doing old habits and things which hurt me.  I have to let it go. I'm not angry, but I am sad. It is sad and anyone in my place would be sad about it because that is a normal human reaction.

For several years now I have been very seriously wondering if I will ever see him again.  As far as I know he is and has been in good health, and he lives the distance of a 2 hour flight away. I did tell him I would like to see him but all I got was a response that they are busy and have no plans to come up to the northeast.  I am not welcome to visit them. Daya went three years ago and they showed her a great time then never asked her back.

There is no relationship.  Everything about it from his end and mine is old and very outdated- nothing current because there has never been enough contact, no life overlap, and he isn't interested in building that. It is why the relationship failed. There is nothing of the present in it. So I'm done walking in old empty meaningless patterns.

I have come to the conclusion that I will probably not ever see him again though I would have chosen differently. One day I'll probably get a letter in the mail telling me he has passed on and I will not inherit anything. This is sad but I will let it be and let it go.

Thing 3
Daya is miserable because there is no dance for two weeks.
She is impatiently waiting for school to be over...June 29th I think is the last day.

We never got a pointe shoe email that her teacher said would be sent out right after recital. Daya's ballet teacher mentioned there is no reason Daya shouldn't be in pointe shoes, and she was going to talk to the prepointe teacher but we have heard nothing.  So Daya is dealing with failed expectations and extreme disappointment- some of them her own possibly of her own making and some were set by her teacher.  She just wants to know, she is a kid, she is excited, she has been working so very hard.

I told her to adjust her expectations to hear something around her birthday but Daya is a stubborn obsessive Scorpio (like me) and changing her mind is just hitting a big brick wall.

Thing 4
Today I am starting to go through A Course in Miracles.
It's something I have known about and been aware of for the last 20 years, and I studied it a little in seminary, but it never called to me.  Now it is.  Interestingly, I got both the physical copy and the audio copy for free, which I appreciate. So it is time I guess. I suspected one day it would be.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Today is the first day I have been feeling mostly back to normal since Memorial Day weekend  Two weeks ago.

Everything hit me in a big crashing wave over Memorial Day.  Just cumulative life stuff.  It was bad.  And that horrible anxiety chest/solar plexus pain came back...constant and intense. Today is the first day in two weeks I have gotten relief.

My upstairs neighbors were quiet for a while then started BLASTING their stupid party music...three days in a row....that was a week ago.
I spoke with the landlord.
The piano next door is still a huge bother.
There is stuff I have been sifting through about my father which I don't want to write about and it is sad stuff but not new or life-changing.
I lost my desk at work... I got displaced because of new people moving onto the floor.  My awesome sunny wonderful space that I loved so much.  I have a new desk and it is crappy and loud and the location is terrible.

This year in particular I have been really struggling with this awful painful chest anxiety- and it isn't something I can control at all.  Prayer and meditation doesn't help. Yoga doesn't help. Physical activity doesn't help.  Nothing helps.  Even spending time with Rob- nice good times- doesn't even relieve it.  It's just constantly there until it isn't, much like a physical injury which hurts until it doesn't anymore.

I'm at such a loss of how to deal with it, and it lasts for such a long time- weeks.

Perhaps I'm just at a point of being completely worn down and I don't have any internal buffering or stamina left.  That happens to bodies physically from trauma/wear, so it makes sense it can happen internally as well. 
I think that is what has happened.

Daya did amazing at her recital.
We still haven't heard about her pointe shoes and she is miserable.
The girls she is with in dance have not been very nice to her lately.
I hate that she is miserable.
Sometimes she takes her misery out on me and sometimes she looks for connection.