Tuesday, September 1, 2009


It's 7:32 a.m. .. I'm already at my studio waiting on a potential client to come at 9. I'm hopeful. 

Today is also my birthday. 

Upon waking up this morning, I started thinking about the things that make me happy, the things that I am thankful for. I also thought about the things I miss sometimes. It occurred to me that, although I love you all, dear readers, I am filling a sort of void in my life through this blog. I'm not trying to get all sentimental. It's just that, at a certain point, sending sentiments out to the blogisphere can be, to say the least, a little lonely. I put a thought out there, and it goes out into a cyber world, never to be seen or heard from again.  This blog has been a place of my sharing and sifting through thoughts. It has been therapeutic, at times. And it has been my companion, in a lot of ways. Knowing I have a few friends out there who care enough to read and comment has pulled me through some very rough patches. I am tremendously grateful for this.
But as opposed to a lot of other people who write blogs, I sometimes write mine as a form of communication with very certain friends. You could see how this doesn't really work very well... I write, and they read. 

And I never really get to know what they are thinking. I'm kind of tired of trying to be known by myself.

But today I am 29 years old. If we supposedly reinvent ourself every 7 years, today is the first day of my 4th life. (I was never good at math). 
And today, I choose to speak to real people, face to face or on the phone. I'm tired and also grateful for this blog. I want to know more about my friends, and have them know more about me.  

I've always been a little melodramatic. 

So to those of you who read this to know me, I ask that you just, well, know me. I would like to know you more. 

I wish all of you the best, and I will continue to follow YOU on your blogs. :) Otherwise, I would like to just see you or at least talk to you in some form that does not feel quite so lonely. 

It's a beautiful day out.  I want to live IN it. See you there.

Monday, August 31, 2009

two very beautiful women.

As a morning inspiration, I looked up two of my favorite female  artists. Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a huge fan of Bjork, so obviously she is one. The other is Sister Marie Keyrouz, a Lebanese nun who has the most stunning voice I have heard for what she sings. Both links are interesting... the one of Bjork is probably my favorite song by her... I tear up and the hairs on my arms stand straight whenever the strings kick in. I wish I could paint the way this song sounds. The other link is simply a gorgeous piece of music. Paired with the beautiful sunshine this morning,  both are little wishes for the day I offer up to anyone reading. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ink and Madeleine

 It is a day or running pigments, haphazard lazy brush strokes doing what they want, running into each other, blending completely. Think of it when you drive today, especially if you are near the mountain. Today is a living print, a monochromatic painting that finds a way to be colorful. And think of it with this song

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reactions? Reactions.

I don't know about some of you all out there, but between the rough economy, getting older, and having my heart pulled in different directions at different times of my life, I have to ask: "Is there a way to sift through this chaos in any way and not let it all affect me SO much??"

Obviously, there are always a TON of things out of our control. After all, we shouldn't even pretend to be playing God. That would just be silly.

BUT.... Is there a freakin way to get through this stuff in one piece? Seriously... sometimes I think everyone and everything around me have more say than I do on how I feel. It's exhausting to say the least.

A lot of my posts are about sitting in the moment, being with it, listening to it, and letting go. AH! The letting go part is what I, personally, have a really f#*king hard time with.  There is a lot of power in letting go. And yet, all of our surroundings say the opposite. We are NOT a culture of stepping back, preserving, then letting go... we are one of tearing it down, fixing it all, eating it all, hoarding what's left, giving it all away, stealing it all back. 

To make it simple, WE REACT.

Reaction. I've been thinking of this word on and off all summer. I'm pretty confused about it. Sometimes it's good to react... it's a beautiful thing! We react to art, love, pain, illness, death. It is natural. But then, there is a flip side to this reaction.  Sometimes we react SO quickly, we forget to sit with the feeling. We fill the space (I think I wrote about this already).  We react and react and react some more. Bloody hell it's SO damn tiring! 
So, what gives??? Do those Zen masters detach? Or is it like a wind that flows over them and passes. 

I've passed plenty of wind in my life, but not of that sort....

HA! Ok, sorry! 

I'm obviously in a weird mood, and nowhere near the thoughtfulness that needs to be present in dealing with this question. 
Personally, I like the laughing buddha most of all. What if that's the reaction you get, when it's all said and done, and the feeling has come in, been with  you, and moved on? What if you laugh your bloody eyes out??? What if you all of a sudden see what fools we all are, and you just....

 laugh till you piss yourself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

P. S.....

Speaking of multi-figure compositions, is there anyone alive today who can compose like Degas? Not to seep myself in history, but seriously, Degas is a badass composer. So modern and surprising. It's a good challenge for up -and -coming painters out there.

Inspiration, Take Two.

I found this FABULOUS Alma Tadema start on the Art Renewal website.... it gives a great clue as to how he worked. I LOVE this sketch... It's a gorgeous multi-figure composition. 

Personally, I have been working with solitary figures exclusively, unless in a portrait commission. But I have always wanted to work with several figures at once... one of the hardest tasks in painting, I think. 

Very inspiring.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Changing of the Guard.

I started teaching at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC) today.  
I have to say, being in an academic setting is not natural to me. The many  years of waking up at whatever time I want and strolling into my studio, staying until ungodly hours of the evening... well, just don't seem to fit with being a teacher AT A UNIVERSITY. Sounds more like a  first year student, if you ask me. Plus, I look younger than most of the people in the class.

And I giggle more. 

HOWEVER, isn't it when you are slightly uncomfortable that you learn the most??? 
I have a strange feeling that I am going to learn more than my students.
I am teaching figure painting to 3rd and 4th year painting majors. Even the thought makes me sweat a bit. Luckily, I had ten smiling, patient faces awaiting me today.

I'm REALLY excited. 

Being on campus, I realized today how bad I need to be doing this. It's pretty easy to get caught up in your own head, day in, day out, in a studio full of fumes (roll of eyes again).  Walking around the university you can feel the general dedication to learning .

Now, whatever your views are about our educational system (I could write a novel), I still believe there are people teaching and learning because they love it.  There are older students,  young teachers, awkward adjuncts (ahem!), young students in groups, jocks, nerds,academics,  anti-socials, ditzes, and all sorts of people there. And I can't help but think that a rather large percentage of them are there because they love something. Think about it... students pay WAY too much, and teachers get paid WAY too little....
And yet, classes are full. 
Something's gotta give.  
On a more personal level, I feel like there is a changing of the guard going on in my life right now. I have left a big building full of painters, some of them pretty comfortable in their routine (I mean that in the best of ways). They have been my uncles, watching out for my safe crossing into Chattanooga. Now,  I've been thrown out on the street, only to find myself in St. Elmo around a bunch of rock climbers, in a studio with all light directions except the one I am comfortable with, and teaching in a setting that is, well, like I said, slightly new  to me. 

Hmm. I've also have to wonder if this is not the way the last month of my 28th year SHOULD go. After all, they say your body regenerates itself every seven years (yup... you are a WHOLE new person every seven years). Considering that I am in my 4th round, maybe it is applicable that everything I have known should be tossed out like marbles and redirected. (yes... some of my marbles WERE lost).  

29. What will it be like? When I turned 28, I had more than one person tell me, "Oh, Honey, I'm soo sorry... 28 is pure hell". And It kinda has been. 
Let's see... heartache galore, first physical signs of wrinkles, realizing that I'm starting to be of the age that, in the south, is referred to as "old spinster" due to lack of a ring on my finger, finding that I am NOT who I thought I was, finding that many people are NOT who I thought they were, and the general concept of leaving what I have learned in school for my own ways.

Oh, WAIT..... those are all GOOD things.

Phew. For a second I was overwhelmed.

I TOTALLY plan on being a new person as of September 2nd, B T dubs. 

So.... 29. Any suggestions???  I like asking people what they were doing at my age (if they are younger, I ask them what they would LIKE to be doing... then I steal their idea:) Any last ideas for 28? I've got less than two weeks. 

There are a lot of birthdays in September, by the way. Apparently doing it around New Years is popular....

I wouldn't know about that, though.