Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Little Bits

I love to paint and collage. I have set up work stations around my house and out on the porch. The only trouble is, there is never enough time. I look forward to working with my paints and glues and scraps and I get everything together, and do a few minute and suddenly it is time for bed, or time to go to work, or time to do the laundry/grocery store/mow the lawn/feed the cat/walk the dog...
sigh.

Now it is time to get dressed and go to work.
Have a sparkling day!
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fish or Fowl?


I live on this beautiful country road where only trees and clouds come between me and the sky. On the night I took this picture (with my sexy new phone) I was walking with Murphy after work and wanted to capture the fading light o the warm summer evening. Don't know that this picture does it justice. It was light enough that I didn't need a flashlight, but dark enough to see the first stars. It was warm enough I didn't need a jacket and cool enough I didn't have to change out of my work clothes....and just a touch of a breeze. I love the wind...and where I live there is almost always a bit of wind...sometimes quite a bit of wind.
This night I asked myself, if I could fly or be invisible, what would I choose...well, I cheated really, because this is an old question and I already knew I would choose to fly. But the next question....if I could choose to fly like a bird, or swim like a fish, what would I choose?
This is much harder to answer. I have always enjoyed swimming. Last summer was the first summer in my memory that I did not swim. It was too cold (this was also the general concensus in the North Country...last summer was Too Cold)
When I was young I practiced holding my breath and swimming underwater. I longed to be a mermaid...I wore goggles and played diving and retrieving games, I was always in the water when given an option.

But this day, walking down my beautiful road, I longed for the sky. I desired to feel the wind lifing my arms, ruffling my feathers...I wanted to feel the blue of the sky and look down on the world from a great height (I hate heights).

This day the wind won over the water.
I am looking forward to my next dip in Beaver Lake.
Till then, keep sparkling!
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

I have wanted to paint outdoors for years!


I bought a camp table at Gander Mountain...it is very light and very cheap and very easy to set up and take down and now I have something I can move in and out and paint on...splatter on...and glue to my heart's content.
Our weather has been so beautiful- I wanted to take advantage of it and be out in it rather than just on the porch. Plus I can't splatter and fling paint the way I want to if I am in on the porch...at least, not if I value my marriage.I started this piece today...lots of lovely splatters made by the Wild Woman of Lake Ontario!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Inspired by the Spring Night

Just inside from a beautiful walk under the big dark sky of stars.
The air is delicious in my nose -
with new leaf smell and babies being born.
Water is flowing past the stars and banging its hips against the shore,
as the season of growth returns to the North -
urgent and frenzied -
deep and warm around the edges
of the sun that sits in my kitchen -
and cool enough to show your breath.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Madonna in Four Parts



I didn't plan for her to come out looking like a Madonna, but I like the finished product.
I am mad about the background layer of yellow, red and white.
The veil was an experiment/accident and I did it on four panels because that is what I had available.
I still have not decided how I will hang, mount, display it.

I really wanted to try and do something bigger than what I have been doing in my art journals, so this is the beginning.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beloved

Off to Dayton, Ohio on Sunday. Wish I was going to visit and have fun. So many wonderful memories of holidays and visits with my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins.
The last time I was there was my grandmother's funeral.
This visit is for the funeral of my beloved uncle.
Uncle Bob
Uncle Butch
UNCAAAAA BUUUUUTTTTTCHHH!!!

As children we would run into the house when we would arrive at the summer house, and fly into his arms or land on his lap....calling his name and we would all laugh.
I hated the day I got too old to fly into his arms.
Even more I hated the day I realized he was too fragile to hug hard.

When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up and marry Uncle Butch.
He was funny and knew interesting things. He taught us to play poker and drive motor boats and motorcycles. It always seemed he trusted us to do stuff....he would teach us how to do things and then let us do it...he never seemed nervous.

When I got older I would note how he and my aunt laughed every day....several times a day. I realized I wanted that in a relationship.
And their children are smart and funny and responsible and seemed to have really healthy self esteem. I wanted to be like them. I still do.

Uncle Butch was sick for a long time with a really rare disease.
His body would just stop working for no reason.
Shy-Drager Syndrome.

My Aunt was constant and attentive and worked hard to give him the happy quality of life he deserved. I am so grateful to her. She made it possible for him to be at the summer house last year and I got to spend time with him. He was at my brother's birthday - my brother was named after him.

I am driving to Ohio in my Kia Soul and I thought..."oh, won't it be fun to show it to Uncle Bob" then I remembered he saw it this summer, then I remembered he won't see it this trip.

My Mom is so sad. That is perhaps the hardest part - seeing her pain.
The other side of it is that loving him is worth the pain.
And he is no longer struggling to have a decent life. He is no longer fighting infections and being ambushed by his body's malfunctions.
Loving him is worth the pain. I am lucky to have had him in my life.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brrrrr and the whisper of snow and Mouse Catching

Flying Squirrel World


Yesterday we had a low temperature of 21 degrees.....wind chill of minus 1......
They said it would snow but it didn't.
Thank goodness!
I am ready for Spring, jumping for Spring, happy for Spring, loving the Spring.

I am painting and walking and taking a Reiki class and enjoying the extended sunshine.
This morning I moved my painting supplies over to the kitchen window (see above) and enjoyed painting in the sunshine while watching my fabulous friends out in the trees and garden.

Zsa Zsa caught a mouse this morning!
It was very exciting!
She was hunting in the entrance hall and she caught my eye while I was making coffee.
I saw a little gray blur and she chased it and pounced!
I was so shocked I screamed!
She dropped it and the mouse ran like a flash into the bathroom. Z followed the mouse and I followed both and closed the door. I grabbed the trashcan Z grabbed the mouse. I tried go get her scruff so she would drop it in the trashcan but we missed.
The mouse ran around the toilet and made a dash for the door, and without thinking I reached out and grabbed it and dropped it in the trashcan. It was so quick I barely thought about it...
If I HAD thought about it, it would not have gone so smoothly.

Now the tricky part was walking outside, across the street and releasing the mouse into the woods. The distance is not bad, but the bloomers I had on, did not have adequate elastic remaining and one hand was holding the trash can, the other was holding the magazine over the lid of the can, and the other hand (what, you didn't know I had three hands?) was trying to grab the bloomers before they ended up around my knees and my neighbors got more than they bargained for. HA!
Success...I got the mouse safely on the ground - he or she looked uninjured but stunned. Dropped a stick on the ground near him, and he took off under the leaves.

When I got back to the house, Zsa Zsa was pumped! She was pacing back and forth like a tiger...practically snorting! She had tasted mouse and wanted more!!!

Time to sleep...and dream of Spring!
Have sparkling dreams.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quote for the Day - Month - Year

When people start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are…..But Loving Kindness – maitri – toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid, or jealous, or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice is not about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It is about befriending who you are already.
- Pema Chodron

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Art Journaling


Got my scanner going (took two years)

The journal is 12x12 and the scanner can only do 8.5x11....so I got most of it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Different Degrees


The temperatures this morning went from 33 degrees when I was at my desk at 9am to 46 degrees now, when I was getting ready for lunch. At least that is what the temperature on my computer said. It was bright and sunny and clear and a perfect day that is a little gift to us for surviving the bleak economy and the winter.
I went for a delightful walk at lunch. I felt like a big sun flower, turning my head to feel the sun on my face as I went around the block.

At the end of the day my thermometer at my desk said 57 degrees.....LIES!
I walked out to the car and had to put my coat on. The car thermometer said 48 degrees. Could it be nearly ten degrees difference here on the lake than over by the airport (8 miles away?) humph. I was a bit put out...but it was still sunny and lovely and more Springtime than we usually get this time of year.

I am a bit cranky because I am a feeling a bit stuck in my art.
Want to do something...but nothing is coming.
Had a great night gluing last night, even did a tiny bit of writing because I forced myself.
Had a great night painting the night before - have actually had some fun making backgrounds, but it seems when I get done with them, I don't want to do anything else to those beautiful pages. Mom said that was OK and I could be done with the page any time I wanted to.
But I have itchy fingers....they want to create something really good with lots of layers and delicious colors and interesting scraps and intricate deep images just beyond the reach of consiousness.
But no, they are stuck in first gear - a bit afraid of messing up a page in one of my nice journals! Afraid of making something that is not good enough to scan and show off!
Afraid of not doing something as interesting as the art I have been looking at on line. AH fear...the great creativity neutralizer!

I wrote something good today. I went for a walk after lunch, around the block of this wonderful old village...without a coat...under the clear blue sky and stronger than normal sunshine. I took note while I walked because I was so enchanted and knew I would want to write about it. I wrote my Mom (still in the draft folder) and when I got home I didn't feel like I had the energy to take it on as a full fledged art journal entry. Didn't do much at all to tell the truth...my knee was hurting and I had it up on pillows...nothing serious but it felt difficult to get in a comfortable art making position...
humph again.

So I am posting an old piece that was really a scrap until I scanned it and fell in love with it again.

That's it for today...I'm going off to look in on Dirty Footprints Studio to see what is up.
Have a sparkling night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The League of Extraordinary Dancers

The Internet contains everything you have ever wanted....it is just a matter of finding it. This clip absolutely made my day.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wow!

OK....my brain is overflowing! I just visited Dirty Footprints Studio and had my mind expanded and my eyes thrilled and my heart jump started!
Art and dance and a creative juicy life!

I am so grateful to the internet and the people who use it to spread the amazing gifts of humankind.
When I was in graduate school I studied art and dance and how it communicated what was happening in a culture and the big shared psychological events in a culture, like WW2 in Japan and the survivors after the atomic bombings...like the Pearl Harbor Bombings...big events, pre internet, that were landmarks in people's lives, and that were shared across the population.

My studies were done at a time when the internet was just coming to the desks of real people - no pictures yet, just words and connections and the ability to search for documents and ideas.
I did my graduate work in NYC and had the best libraries, in the English speaking universe, available to me.

I spent ALOT of time on line, looking through the catalog for the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center. (Did I mention this was all DIAL UP?)
At that time you couldn't watch movies on the internet so I made lists of what I wanted to watch and put them on hold before I traveled up town with my list and my notebooks.

I couldn't watch Nureyev perform on my computer at home. There were no DVDs. Video tapes were not loaned out and were not cheap if they were available at all. It sounds like I was living in an ancient times...

Because I was in NYC, I also got to see ALOT of live performances....local talent and some of the most history making dancers in the world.
I had no idea how lucky I was.

Now I am applying to teach anthropology at the local college and I realized how much is available to me at the touch of a button. What a wealth of videos and scholarly reasearch!

So much knowledge - so little time!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Five Things I am Grateful For Today.

I am trying to make this list every day. In general, I know it is good for me to focus on gratitude...but somewhere else I read about improved health and I am looking for ways to improve my physical health and reduce my stress...
I have been practicing this for a while now and thought I should blog about it and encourage others.

1) My Family, who loves me just the way I am and whom I love with my whole heart.
2) My pets who are my fur children and show me what unconditional love is.
3) My cozy and comfortable home with room for me to make art.
4) My job....I know just having a job now is a reason to be grateful, but I really like my job despite the poor salary.
5) My ability to see good in other people.

OK...now it is time to run to work.
Have a sparkling day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Star Gazing

I am forever amazed by the enormity of the night sky and the brilliance of stars. I go out and walk my dog after work and enjoy the low winter sunlight at the end of the day, but my favorite walk is after dark with the stars. I walk with a flashlight since there are no street lights on my road, but it is mostly so drivers will see us on the side of the road. I like to find a dark spot where lights from houses don't reach and turn off the flash light and let my eyes adjust and slowly expose the ba-gillion stars in the universe.
I am hoping I can sleep outside sometime this summer, under the stars, maybe over by Lake Ontario. When the stars are out over the lake it is like a black bowl of stars. I have never seen anything like it.
I did a journal page about my walk under the stars - still working on it.
Need to get my scanner fixed so I can post some of my work.
Maybe I can find some time tomorrow.
:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All Is Well


Everything I need is being provided today.
Everything I need is being provided today.
Everything I need is being provided today.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Stimulus Act and Me

I am tired of people telling me the Stimulus Act has been a failure.
I am here to tell you about a real American who has been helped by the Stimulus Act....me.

My husband has been unemployed for a long long time (banking industry) and because of the ARRA his unemployment insurance has been extended and the monthly cost of our COBRA insurance coverage was almost cut in half (still almost $300 a month).

Because of the Stimulus Act, my husband's unemployment insurance pays him alittle more money that I make in my full time job.
Because of the Stimulus Act, capital projects at my job have been funded which will allow me to do some extra work and earn extra money.

Jobs are really scarce out here in rural America. I am sure this is true in most areas that do not have the economic infrastructure of a major metropolitan city nearby....of course one of the reasons I love it here is that there is no major metropolitan city nearby...

These are just a few examples of how these policies have helped a real family.

I just watched President Obama speak with the Republicans at their retreat and I am so proud to have such a smart president. And he made all his points make sense! No double talk...no talking in circles...no dodging the questions! It was so refreshing.

I have a loving family that helps us, I have friends and a job...and these policies directly help my family.
It is a hard time for us, and there are so many people that are worse off.

Sometimes I sit in a coffee shop or my office and people feel free to mouth off (loudly) and complain and tell me how the world is a mess and the President is to blame. (WHY is it some people feel so comfortable spewing their toxic opinions, at full volume, all over others?)
I sit there politely and hold my tongue, wondering why the offender can not do the same.

I don't like to argue...especially if I don't have specific facts to back up my opinions. Well these are my specific facts and I wanted to speak up.