Monday, July 27, 2009

Best Laid Plans

Me, small and meek, and curiously busy
but has not time or moment to seek
more than some housework, which makes me dizzy,
the washing and folding, an occasional weed
to pull in the cracks and crevices
before the weed spreads to seed.

The days, weeks, and moments of planning
to work on a painting, the time is unjust
and what I imagine is time for the taking
is only a matter of time to adjust
my schedule to one or another of lacking
adequate time to begin the said painting.

The frustration experienced while trying to honor
the tug and the pull of different directions
the doer of chores, a wife and a mother,
the sweeping of floors, amidst imperfections,
never ending expectations to bother,
preparing a meal and tasty confections.

What will I do? Will time grant some peace?
Or a piece of time in which to begin
that blasted painting? Or will the mouse
win this battle with men
and nibble away at resolve like a louse
never a moment's piece of zen.

For what happens when hope is lost or is missing
and all of these years hope has been practiced
religiously believed and now it is dashing
like a wave on the shore relentlessly splashes
the moments add up and all of the sudden
one is broken, lost, and is perishing.

My hope is or was to work with a passion
whether cooking, cleaning, or things of that sort
to live each day in some sort of fashion
that elevates beauty, pure thoughts to transport
But life's best laid schemes require so much tension...
naive and hopeful, maybe tomorrow's for art.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lady in a Red Coat

Painting portraits is hard. What on earth possessed me to think that anything about painting a portrait would be something that came naturally? Why do I keep torturing myself? Perhaps it's a disadvantage to have not studied art. It seems like for every painting, I have to re-learn how to mix paints to get the right colors. Well, at least this way, nothing is formulaic.

Painting is always a little easier (for me) when I pose the subject, or take my own reference photo. The subject of this painting is a very lovely friend, and this painting really doesn't do her natural beauty justice. Her husband took the reference photo, which is a piece of art in it's own right. But for the purpose of the painting, I took a few liberties. In the photo, she's wearing a black winter coat, which made it very difficult to distinguish where her hair ended and her coat began. Painted with the colors in the reference photo, the portrait looked dull and boring. But then, after changing the color of her coat to red....voila, it worked.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Silly Signs

OK, really? Eyelash Arts and Sciences? What?

Gender neutral? This must be here on account of those who might not remember whether or not they are male or female....just in case. It is in the corridor outside a bar, so maybe when one is inebriated, this facilitates a quick trip to the loo. Though, in a drunken state, the sign seems more likely to confound rather than relieve confusion with regard to gender. Or maybe it's only for those who are neither male nor female.(?) Or perhaps, this restroom is for those who consider themselves to be androgynous, a person who does not neatly fit into typical societal gender roles. So....all things considered, it is a rather thoughtful gesture, I suppose.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dear Diary,

It would be a really good idea if I took advantage of tomorrow's quiet, empty house. Sigh. Deep breath. Relax.... Just practicing some self soothing techniques. Wouldn't it be great if the techniques actually worked? Well, sometimes they do, but not right now. I've got the jitters because I might actually have time, place, and opportunity to paint tomorrow. Nervous excitement is what Reese calls it. Whatever it is, I'm a bit apprehensive that my brain and hands won't remember how to paint, and yet strangely pleased that I get to try.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll start the day tomorrow with a smile....

Friday, July 03, 2009


It's so easy to get sucked into the computer vortex. Good grief! One thing leads to another, and another, and before realization fully kicks in, it's been hours. Presumably, time management would be enhanced if thoughts would flow a little more freely. But today, when I sat down to write about this week in art, so many competing ideas surfaced that it has taken a while to coalesce them in a concise manner.

Last week, I finished the painting of the Guadalajara Beggar Woman. It needed some refining touches, and now they are complete. Mmmm, looking at it here, I can see it might need more work...again. With oil paintings, it seems that they change some as the paint dries. And when I don't obsess over them for a while, then I can step back and assess the paintings more objectively, less passionately, which sometimes helps produce a better painting in the end. We'll see what happens with this one....

This week and last, I worked on a portrait of my good friend, Martin. It is unfinished as of yet, but Martin came over today and saw it, and liked it, so it stands to reason that a photo wouldn't offend in any way. One of the most difficult challenges of painting portraits is that everyone be pleased with the finished product. Maybe it helped that before he saw the painting, he was prepared by a gentle admonishment that the eyes, mouth, and fingers would be re-worked after the paint dries a week some time. It took forever (OK, not forever) to select and sketch the pose, but when I finally got this one on the canvas, it practically started to sing....or chat, as Martin often does. :) That's one reason of many I like him so much. Oh, and by the way, this painting is 95% finished. Sometimes though, that last 5% takes a long time to get done.

Also, the top photo was taken outside (Beggar Woman) and the bottom one (Martin) inside. Neither are true to the colors in their respective paintings. It's often a frustration that the photos of the art aren't a true match to what it's like to see them in person.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Jake Shimabukuro

A quick little poem to ensure
that readers have cause to endure
almost a week's break;
we drove to see Jake
and listen to uke playing pure.

His name is Jake Shimabukuro.
He can only be called virtuoso,
an ukulele he plays
and performs to amaze;
he's become an uke playing hero.

We saw him perform at the Cafe
named Cactus on campus at U T;
an intimate crowd,
spellbound and "wow"ed...
we listened and cheered and were happy.

But now to the new tasks at hand
without which life would be quite bland;
a painting to paint
and supper to bake...
'n staying cool in house air conditioned.