Painting. Pastels. Paper Mache.

Whew! This was a productive day off. I’m supposed to be taking it easy and not overstimulating myself and a bunch of baloney like that while I’m in uber crisis self repair mode. But! Instead I finished my Breast Cancer Awareness painting with a matte finish, which was a bit nerve wracking because I’ve never touched a finished painting with a wet product like that before! Exciting!

Also, I did some paper mache for the first time since elementary school. Hubby commissioned me to make a monkey’s paw prop for his upcoming show, because for some reason I thought I knew all about this. Turns out I’m doing a decent job though! I made a rough mold out of aluminum foil and then put the paper over that. I’m going to paint it and shape it a bit more, then add some craft fur. Pretty fun project!

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And then I did some art! Wow! I had another song stuck in my head that spoke to an ouch on my heart and I just had to get it out. This is acrylic and pastel on canvas… Thank you to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their song “Maps” for the inspiration.

I also did some writing on a novel. Dun Dun Dun… I know. The dreaded novel… But this was a real novel I worked on, not a manic novel. And I’m taking it very slowly… It might not be released until the end of the century, but I’m still taking this as a triumph. Here is my tentative prologue…

Sailor loved cloudy skies. She tolerated the poky grass on her arms and legs as she laid and watched the gray giants soar over her, using their magic powers to transform into whatever they wanted. Today the sky was so full of them that she wondered if they were gathering for some purpose… Something important. Like a big assembly to hear God speak.

She wished that she could go too. All of Sailor’s teachers liked her and told her that she was very bright – she just knew that God would feel the same way. Maybe they were waiting for her.

The wind picked up. The clouds’ voices, they were raising until Sailor thought they were screaming urgently for her to come join them, to run! Quickly!

But then…

“Wow! Look at that!” It was Ramona. Sailor forgot that she was lying beside her. They were playing Lion King until they were exhausted chasing the other students at recess (it turned out to be much harder than they anticipated, down on all fours.)

“I see it!” Sailor cried.

It was the clouds. The crowd in the sky had parted. The air felt warmer as a single loose thread of sunlight fell from the opening and landed somewhere on the horizon. It let in all of the color that the clouds were hiding, and it danced in celebration to a tune that artists would surely have stuck in their heads all day.

“I’m going,” Sailor decided, and she popped up like a grasshopper.

“Huh? Where?” Ramona asked, baffled.

“To the light!” Sailor called over her shoulder, for she was already running in the direction of their small town, half minute miracle.

“Sailor! That could be millions of miles away!”

“So what?” Her tiny voice barely traveled with the barricade of howling wind separating them. But Ramona heard her.

She didn’t chase her. Ramona knew better. This was just one more adult thing that she knew more about than her friends, for she too was very bright. But she would always remember the anticipation she felt, watching Sailor run.

an oldie but goodie

I wrote this some time ago, but as I am trying to resurrect my muse it’s nice to go back through things I’ve written. Especially old things, because the wound is healed and I can appreciate it for what it is, rather than hating it for what it’s not…

missing you

your absence is substantial
physical and
not absence
material
negative space defining
outlining
tracing a place that is you and
love

 

Before and after

It’s a painting makeover!


I enjoyed my first “Open Paint Night” this weekend — which is probably the greatest thing since my middle school art teacher let me come in after school. It was great to have a second pair of eyes, experienced ones at that, looking over a piece that has given me so much difficulty, and then re-envisioning it.

This was actually the very first painting I ever designed for myself. It’s very rough, clunky, and just…blah. I never liked it but it came to the point where the paint was so thick and caked on there that it was simply time to let it go… And yet the inspiration behind it meant SO much to me that it hung in that living room for years. And until recently, it was almost the last thing I’d ever paint.


And now look at it! What a makeover! Complete with China marker white doodly things! It’s my favorite! 

The Lovely Bricks (and Facebook Cooking)

After a rough couple of days, the last thing I wanted to do was figure out a way to replicate old, weathered bricks on a sample board for a client. I was dreading it, truth be told, because I think I’ve had enough experimenting with new things for a while. But along with breakfast the other morning, my husband surprised me with this:

Whether he wants to admit it or not, he’s an artist at heart. While I was off bragging about my painting from Friday’s class, he quietly took home his own wicked cool piece. And that wasn’t the first time–he’s come to not only support me but work alongside me at several of those classes. And then with his set design experience, he laid this foundation for me and lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. He knew how much I needed a fucking break. And with his guidance, I powered through and sanded the piece:

then he whisked me away to Home Depot for paint. He carefully navigated me through a near meltdown as he rummaged up some additional dark brown paint from the garage in mid sponging the shit out of this square of drywall. And so it is entirely because of him that I can preview this:

The client still has to approve it, mind you. But those fake bricks mean the world to me. I even like the things I don’t like about it, which is a complicated emotion you should have an artist near you explain.

And so tonight, a celebration with a Facebook video recipe…

Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini


As seen on a Facebook video thingy. Ingredients are:

1 20oz package of tortellini (we always get the mixed spinach kind)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 small onion, diced (I had a glass of wine so somehow I read this as a whole onion, minced. Which is what we did and I stand by that decision.)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (it was probably 5 or 6…because there’s never too much garlic)
3 tablespoons of flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk (I don’t do whole milk. Can’t drink the stuff, and I hate buying shit for one recipe and never using it again. So we used 2%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
5oz baby spinach (we used 6, because I don’t get how to measure ounces in food)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded (I used a few handfuls. Until I really felt satisfied…)
Salt and pepper (of course)
Red pepper flakes (naturally)

So I cooked the tortellini like the directions say, which ashamedly I have memorized. Melt the butter, cook the onion in the butter, add garlic, smell garlic, add flour. Stir it around a bit, until you’re nervous that it’s been too long since you’ve done anything, then add milk and cream. Bring to simmer, add tomatoes (with juice) and spinach. It takes a deepish sauce pan for this since spinach starts off like a million times the size it ends up as in your dish. Add salt, pepper and pepper flakes to kill the spinach and when it’s wilted add the important stuff…cheese and tortellini. It turned out pretty freaking delicious, actually!

I’m aware those directions sucked. But recipes are SO boring to write. Sorry ’bout it.