Monday, June 25, 2012

This Tiny Life

Wouldn't it be great to be allergic to cats? Then declining to pet one would be so much more polite. "Oh, sorry, I can't pet your cat. I'm allergic."

I was about to say that I'm not allergic to anything, but that's not true. My skin reacts to everything - plants, soaps, lotions (including sunscreen), the sun, food oils, metals, various bugs - it's annoying.

I rearrange stuff in the house all the time. A few weeks ago my daughter couldn't find the cutting board and asked where it was. She thought that maybe I had moved it out of the kitchen and into the living room for some random unknown reason.

At age 48, one would think that I would have figured out by now to feed myself on a regular basis. Instead, I am surprised by stark raving (raging) hunger several times a day. I'm hungry right now. Absolutely starving.

The same daughter who asked about the cutting board is newly engaged (yay!) so we have a wedding to plan. One thing that means that I'm going to have to shop for some grown up shoes. My guess is that it might be uncool for the mother of the bride to wear chucks to her daughter's wedding.

Someone recently offered me $1000 for Tilly

Organic dishwasher detergent doesn't work AT ALL. These dishes are about to go through the wash for a third time.

Recycled toilet paper (the kind organic type people buy) is unpleasant to use. 

I literally dream of living in a really old house someday.

I painted the upstairs bathroom. It's blue. Apparently, I'm in a blue phase.

Editor's note:
The Amazing Reese was concerned that some of my faithful readers are cat lovers and would therefore be offended by the above cat remarks and consequently never read this blog again. Well, here it is. I'm not a huge fan of cats. I am, however, a HUGE fan of the people who own them. If showing you that I care about YOU means that every now and then your cat jumps in my lap from out of nowhere and scares the living daylights out of me, then so be it. I like you and once my heart rate returns to normal, I'll get over the fact that your cat freaks me out on occasion. Thanks for continuing to be my friend and faithful blog reader.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Name that Cat

Trying to catch up on the business side of art, I've been working toward getting paintings ready for public. There are a few things on the horizon, nothing certain yet,  but there's always hope.

It's easy to forget these little details - painting the edges black, adding hooks and wires to the back, and signing my name. Some of these paintings have been unsigned for over a year and a half, which if it weren't for this blog, I honestly would have no clue. This tiny little insignificant blog is the best record keeper ever, for me.

Signing ones name takes a surprising amount of time.To be sure, I'm a little picky about how it looks on a painting - it's so permanent - so great care is taken to get it just right. Today's haul was 16 paintings worth. Between signing and adding hooks and wires to some, and cleaning up afterwards, it took the whole afternoon.

There's more to do. There's always more. That's a good thing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ninja Painter

Home is wherever I'm with you. And since you're in my heart, I'm always home....except I like it when we're side by side for real.

Not such an exciting job, but at least the bedroom was painted today -- green to blue. It was a task that was long overdue. Yay. Happy exhaustion.

The color was made by combining the remnants of several cans of paint in the garage, which means that it's unmatchable, as was the green before it, which was made the same way. So do it right the first time. (I did.) This actual color could of course be matched, but the sheen is anybody's guess. It was made by combining some flat, some satin, and some gloss.....only a paint ninja could match it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Apartment Therapy Hazel House Tour

A couple of months ago, the Amazing Reese and I hosted an engagement party for some friends of ours. It was the first time to our house for one of their guests, and she casually mentioned that she would like to include our house in a blog about apartments. "But it's not an apartment." "Oh, we do house tours, too. Your house would be great for one of the house tours." It was easy to agree to that, plus Nancy (in the photo below) is quietly winsome and very likable.

One month ago, the day before she was due to come take the pictures, I noticed that her e-mail address was at apartment therapy dot com. Naturally curious, I looked up the website and was stunned. Apartment Therapy is a big deal. I really should have dusted.

A couple of days ago, I found out that well written and engaging story was to be published today --  super excited! It wasn't until late yesterday afternoon that the thought occurred that some of the opinions in the comment section might not be kind. Nancy took wonderful photos, but this house has always been, duh, it's our house. Of course we like it. Not everyone will, though, and that's OK.

This is the view while sitting at the dining room table to write this. It suits us. This drafty old house has been a great place to raise our family and our newest addition, Tilly the Wonder Dog. A bucket full of thanks to Nancy Mitchell at Apartment Therapy for featuring our house on one of the tours. Y'all can read all about it here: Reese and Sarah Hazel's Welcoming Home

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Where the Sidewalk Ends

For whatever reason, I don't have a particular formula for creating paintings. Just because this painting happened this way this time doesn't mean that the next painting will.

Which incidentally makes it hard to remember how to paint. Presumably it would be easier to be formulaic. As it is now, it's both a thrill and a bother to start from scratch every single time I paint.

One of my strong suits, however, is mixing colors. Though, sometimes the colors in my paintings confuse people. They have more than once asked why something is thus and such color in a painting. When looking at a tree, for instance, I don't see a monochromatic gray trunk. I see reds, pinks, blues, and purples....yellow, green, orange....depending on the light and the kind of tree it is, a tree trunk can be any color on the color wheel on any given day.

Which brings up another point. In real life, there was a car parked at the end of the road, but I didn't "see" it so I didn't paint it. It was a blur. Also, the sun was muted, but bright enough that it was hard to tell where the sidewalk ended, or really what shape it was. So I painted what I saw, which looking at it now looks a little cattywompus. Oh well.

The weird thing is, this tree is just outside (west, looking south) the Menil Collection, and I really wanted to get the shape of the tree right because I figured people might recognize it, but there are no other context clues to identify it as such. Just to the right of this view in this painting is the main building of the Menil. This road separates the Collection from a lovely field where neighbors gather, spread blankets, have picnics, play music together, read books, or just visit. There's a red swing in the field where grown-ups and kids take turns swinging. In real life, in the background are a series of muted bungalows that I literally couldn't see for the trees. Well, that and my bad eyesight. On the plus side, I have excellent hearing. (ninja ears)

Monday, June 04, 2012


Like many people (?), my interests and passions have changed over the years. A rather large chunk of my life was devoted to gardening once upon a time. No more. Certainly not exclusively,  but usually if a plant is in the ground, especially native plants, they tend to grow regardless of care or most recently around this house, a lack thereof.

My garden was never formal or organized. It was for the most part a specimen garden. I wanted to grow as many unique plants as our space allowed. The garden flourished as long as it was watered on a regular basis. But who wants to water all of the time? Plus, here in Houston we've had several extreme seasons in a row -- freezing winters and exceedingly hot summers. The garden still hasn't recovered but what do I care?

OK, I care a little bit. Which is why, when daughter Anna pointed out this vine growing into our house from outside a few weeks ago, I didn't have the heart to yank it out. From what I remember, it's a Mexican flame vine....which has a lovely orange flower and if it blooms inside, that'll just be a bonus.  The trellis on which it was originally growing was blown down in  a hurricane (Rita, Katrina, or Ike) a few years ago and never replaced. It's hot outside -- again. Where else is it supposed to go?

Welcome home, little vine. I will love you and hug you and call you George. Just kidding -- but not really.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Tilly 'n the Labs

Tilly the wonder dog is a regular volunteer at Methodist Hospital, mostly on Fridays. Here, sweet Tilly is making the hospital rounds with  her lab partners.  :)