Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lucille Two

When the Amazing Reese and I first got married, when we were just baby adults, way back in 1984, our family car was a 1950 Chevrolet panel wagon named Lucille, christened after BB King's famous guitar. I loved her.

Lucille was faithful in spurts. Not withstanding the rusted out floorboard, which we covered with newspapers, she did get us from Colorado to California to Texas, but she preferred cold weather, and she really needed a push to get started, preferably a small hill so that we could give her a few good tries before reaching the bottom of the slope. It's neither cold nor hilly in Houston, so, not too long after we moved to here, we sold her. From that day till this, I've missed her. My one consolation is, as silly as it sounds, that the famous monster truck Grave Digger is actually the reincarnated Lucille.

For almost as long as I've lived in Houston, there has been an Art Car Parade. We've attended many, many parades, volunteered in a few, but what I've wanted for years was have/create an art car of my own. It's been on my bucket list for some time now.

Last week while checking my twitter feed one evening, I saw this:

Looking for a sweet ride to turn into an art car? This could be yours if you get it out of my driveway.

What? Is it really true? Is someone really giving away a car? All these years of wondering if I'd ever actually have an opportunity to create an art car of my own, and this one is falling in my lap? YES! YES! YES!

Arranging for a tow truck felt like planning a surprise party. To add to the fun, the tow truck driver couldn't have been more delighted. All the way home, people would nod or wave to him from the streets and he would honk his horn and wave back. Reese and I were both giggly on the way home, and a little horrified that our "new" car was going to fall off the end of the tow truck bed. (Roads in Houston are a bit bumpy, to say the least.)

We are SO pleased to announce that we are now the proud "almost" owners (still have to sign the papers) of a 1980 Buick stretch limousine, affectionately named Lucille Two, in honor of our 1950 Chevrolet Panel Wagon, and a gentle nod to Lucille Two (Lucille Austero) in Arrested Development.

She's parked in our driveway RIGHT NOW!!!

Lucille Two, being a 1980 vehicle, needs quite a bit of TLC. The Amazing Reese has already started the process of changing/replacing various fluids and we did crank her up for a few minutes, but she's not quite ready for the open road -- not even close. For one thing, she needs new tires.

Then, we need to figure out how to do body work. We're clueless, but ready to learn. Reese thinks with all this work ahead of us that she won't be ready for the 2016 Art Car Parade, but I'm ever hopeful. *fingers crossed*

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Portrait of a Homeless Man

This painting first began churning around in the the cavernous spaces of my brain back in 2009. Some paintings are like that -- I think and think about them, sometimes dreaming about how to convey what will go on the canvas without getting overly bogged in details, instead to focus on the big picture and (perhaps) a smaller message, if that makes any sense. For this one, however, it wasn't until last summer that I actually put brush to canvas and started on it. Started is the key word in that last sentence, because it was left VERY unfinished. It languished on the floor of the art studio for the last year collecting dust. It got shuffled around the studio, finally, firmly wedged between a pile of paintings stacked against the wall. Recently, someone reminded me of it, and last week or so, it got put it back on the easel just to see if any inspiration would unclog the enormous mental block experienced every time I glanced at it. This process took several attempts at painting something, then wiping it off, painting something, and wiping it off again. This is about the fourth attempt at the background and thankfully, it was a successful one, if not exhausting. I'm VERY pleased with how the background completes and complements this painting, and brings out the clear green of the eyes. And good grief, it's so much better than the other three attempts.

 Portrait of a Homeless Man -- Louis is 20" x 16", oil on linen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This is the commissioned portrait I've been working toward completing for the last few weeks. It's done. All I need to do to "finish" it is paint the edges black and sign it. It's a 16" x 20" oil on linen.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

This Present Drought

It's been an inordinately long time since I posted, for reasons not fully understood, even by me. Hence, the silence. My creativity seems to have slipped into a black hole -- a vortex of vagueness and emptiness. Well, maybe not emptiness so much as a deep earthen cavern where one stumbles in the darkness and where the damp coldness chokes any spark of light. It has been excruciatingly difficult to find creativity. Sustaining it has been nigh to impossible. That said, I am working on a commission, a portrait, that is slowly evolving into the likeness of the person, but the work has been long and hard. This struggle is probably a normal part of any creative person's process.....though blessings of creativity in my past have FAR far far exceeded this present drought.

The drought seems to be confined only to the creative aspect of my life. It is all encompassing -- writing, painting, cooking, gardening, playing music -- all has suffered. I can pull an occasional rabbit out of the hat, but mostly, the tricks are old, tired, and exposed.

This isn't a complaint -- honestly -- it's just an attempt at an explanation. Only my creative life has been disrupted -- I'm more stunned than anything, surprised that the normally fertile soil of my brain is such a parched desert of a landscape. Hopefully, just explaining this vacuous mind suck will revive something.....anything to reconnect my normally creative mind and hands to my heart, soul, and spirit. And hopefully, soon, I will find beauty in this desert.