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Archive for the ‘The Artsy Side’ Category

poppies

I’m not really sure how things are going with the kids other than that they seem to be adjusting pretty well. Red’s hand washing has gotten alot better. She still pulls some quirky things, like not wanting to touch a library book after her bath, or open the car door. She has stopped washing her hands every ten minutes and has not woken me up in the middle of the night either (to wash her hands).

I know that deep inside, Red  must have some sort of deep 8 year old conflict between loyalty towards her dad and loyalty for J. She adores them both and I only hope she never feels guilt for enjoying the man who now lives with us.  I suspect that some of the extreme behavior lately has stemmed from J’s return and the slight changes. Even if they are good, I know it causes some anxiety, just because it is “change”.

Fortunately, we talk alot. There is alot of nurturing going on between all of us and J is so great to not make a major slam into the household. He’s spent some of the last two weeks up north cleaning out his apartment and getting affairs in order after being gone for six months. So it has given the girls some time with him here, but also still, with me, alone…with him gone.

I am grateful that he kept his Monday night gig that is two hours north. He is happy to be visiting with his mom and sister and her family, make extra money, as well as give us some balance back here with the girls. It’s a way to ease into things here.

In terms of changes, they are small-ish, other than the big one, where the man is home. He has clothes here and music equiptment and brought his new dvd player to replace our crappy one. But other than the keyboard in my bedroom and the duct tape chair, no changes have been made in the house.

Except that J is here most of the week. Which apparently, she loves. I see no weirdness when they are together. It is AWESOME.

And as for Blue, she just goes with the flow. 

I’ve been cranking through projects with J being gone right now up North. I finished my last commission that came in since my last show. It’s up at the top of the post here.  I am nearly done with the thirteen (random number) paintings that go up in a large group show in three weeks. I’m finally getting homeowner’s insurance on Thursday. I’ve got lists and lists of things to do for and with J, here around the house.

But here I sit browsing Hulu.com.

And I am in awe at all that is on there.

Who knew that you can watch Silver Spoons on the internet? And The Partridge Family?

Anyway, I am jumping around here, and am going right into conversations we had in our household this past week:

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Red: (to me) Mommy, when I grow up will I have medium sized boobies like you?

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Blue: (upon learning that I was getting my hair cut) You should make it long so you can braid it like Laura Ingalls Wilder. That way you can never grow up, like her.

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Red: (screaming) I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS! Apparently, the 2nd grade teacher made an announcement in class about Swine Flu.  Unfortunately, someone also told her that a baby died. Over the course of the last few weeks, she has become completely compulsive about washing her hands and being clean. So badly that I am considering taking her to the doctor who can explain to her about antibodies and how Swine Flu is not gonna be touching her if she waits more than ten minutes to wash her hands.  It got so bad last week, she woke me up at 4am to wash her hands. She wont touch things like her clothes or doors or even her stuffed animals unless she washes her hands after. This is a big problem and I learned she isnt doing it at school and I decided it will likely go away by the time school is out and we we are at the beach every day rolling around in seaweed and sand and catching sealife in the nets. Until then, I am ignoring it and not responding or giving it attention because it seems to bring the anxiety level up in her. It is so so sad to see. I realize my anxiety over her behavior is making her more stressed out. So I have to cool it. (update, this appears to be resolved!)

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Me: I’m a rockin’ girlfriend, aren’t I?

J: Yes, you are. 

Me: I’m a rockin’ girlfriend because I bought you some lube to take with you on your trip this winter.

J: (laughing) Yes, you did.

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p1010008Here is a bird nest painting with graphite I have done, part of a series I worked on last month.

In my last post of randomness, I mentioned my talking to my lawyer. No, exhusband isn’t going for custody or anything like that. In fact, I am just doing some preventative research…and I am a little nervous but more calm today after more emails with my attorney. (imagine Bernadette Peters, miniature) 

I spent Friday and Saturday preparing for my Open Studio on Sunday.

With the economy and lack of exposure in the winter and rain and feeling all “bah” about things right now, I decided to mark everything down 30% for the month of May and have a Sunday afternoon party.

It turned out on the slow side due to the rain, but those who came, bought work. One who came, bought work and called the next day to come back and commission me to do a companion piece to the one she bought. 

I’ve had and am continuing to have, more browsers and hopefully buyers, this week.

A photo of my small studio with piles of watercolors from my files.

p1010003

J starts work in two weeks at our local piano bar. It’s where we met. It’s a magical place (even before I met him, it was a magical place) and I am so proud of him and so excited for the summer, our nights at the piano bar, with friends, with him shining the best way he knows how. It is the perfect and only real venue for him, where he is completely in his comfort zone.

He said to me tonight, “I can’t wait to play there again. These last six months have done nothing for me, compared to (insert name of piano bar here).”

The girls are excited for him to come home. They don’t undertsand what “a week and a half” means. They kind of understand “a week and four days.”

I totally understand it. Down to the minute!

I’m in a funkiness with food lately. Chili Con Queso. Huh? Seriously. Every day. A little bit every day.

Somehow, I have lost weight and not sure where it is going because I am eating somewhat normally (but healthier) and walking every day. The bummer is that my new bras don’t fit so great. I can stuff them, right?

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Newish artwork

I am not feeling terribly inspired to write about anything, with Dad’s visit and all. I feel worn out already. I feel small and tired and old and young, all at once.

I wish J were here with me while I go through this week. The internet for him right now depends on the satellite and that is pretty crappy where he is…it cuts in and out and our conversations consist of redialing each other back until we can connect for a few minutes before it happens again. It is very very difficult, he has three more weeks at this current gig before going to a place where the internet will be rockin’ for the last two weeks of his European gig. But until then, it just basically sucks. I am trying not to dramatize it. I’m just going to leave it.

Anyway, so I am going to post some paintings I recently finished instead of writing more of THAT shit. Most of these are from my trips to see J. I have more in the works.

If you are interested in anything or just want to see my professional website, please email me movindowntheroad@gmail.com. I won’t advertise my name or professional website on my blog due to keeping it from coming up in a search for me by clients. But am happy to share with you what I do if you email me directly.

(note, I did something funky with the lemon paintings and so their size is on the smaller side on this page. Sorry about that. I can email you larger if you want to see  it up close. That sparkly/spotty stuff you see on the watercolors is salt, a technique I have been using since college…um, circa 1995.)

river-house

riding-innertubes-on-the-waves

downtown-in-curacao

blue-boat-grounded

barbershop

banana-truck

overflowing-fruit-bowl-2

lemon-pedestal-2

one-hanging-lemon-2

dangling-lemons1

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six and a half weeks

finallyspringflowersHere’s a painting I did a few years ago. It feels fitting since today is foggy but Spring-like. Tomorrow will rain. But winter is certainly falling more behind us that in front of us.

Six and a half weeks.

That’s how much longer until we can get on with it.

I mean really.

J’s traveling for the last 6 months for work has meant that our relationship went into “love based on visits, Skype  and emails”.

I-simply-cannot-do-it-anymore.

Otherwise, I might start resenting his being gone if he goes away again like this.

He heads to Europe on Tuesday after landing at midnight the night before, to be with us for approximately 18 hours.

I pretty much suck at ironing. I cleaned his white shirts and had his suit dry cleaned for him. I should have sent the shirts in too, but I didn’t. I sucked at the ironing part but I figure he’s got to fold them in the duffel bag and iron them when he gets there anyway…so…I may be a domestic person, but I-just-can’t-iron. (don’t want to, either).

So last night, we were talking and I looked at him and said seriously, “I don’t want to do this again. Ever.” 

What I mean, is, “I don’t want to have a long distance relationship for a matter of months at a time. I just don’t.”

And he goes, “Don’t worry, I hate it. It’s never ever happening like this again.”

I’ve just applied for a big local art show that is for charity. It is juried and I saw it for the first time last June and it was so neat, I am dying to be a part of it. I sent in my application and slides and will hear by May 1. I’ve felt so uninspired lately, I almost didn’t apply. I almost blew it off. I find that despicable. 

Because I have been so sick, I’ve been a little depressed. Unfortunately, in the midst of emotion and tired-ness on Skype with J the other night, I said (while crying) “I am just not excited about anything…I don’t feel good about things…”

Oh gosh, that is the WRONG thing to say while bawling your eyes out to your true love who is floating around on a boat and unable to be around for some good solid discussion.

When I said all that, I was talking about my art, being sick, isolating myself from friends because I’ve been wrapped up in some jobs this winter. I feel like other than being a mom, I should be doing something really great with my passions and feel stalled and uninspired and confused by it sometimes. That’s normal, isn’t it? I was feeling it, especially the other night..

So yikes, the next morning I woke up and emailed J and said, “Gosh, it is important for you to know that the one thing I AM excited about and inspired by, other than the kids, IS YOU!!!!”

Yeah, the night before, I left out that little bit.

Unfortunately, he had spent some time wondering what he had done.  And  it wasn’t even about him. We cleared that up, big time, quickly.

I’m excited about what he and I can do together in our lives, going forward. I’ve been ready for it for months and months. Since he left.

It’s gonna be good. It’s exciting. It’s exactly what I want.

Aren’t I lucky, that it’s exactly what he wants too?

He’s arriving around 1am on Monday night and we’ll wake up and get the girls to school and spend Tuesday together. Spend the afternoon after school with the girls.

Later that evening, I am driving him back to the airport.

Talk about a teaser.

Just six and a half more weeks. The final stretch. Seems minute compared to what we have already done.

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p1020927

We were heading towards bad weather, apparently.

The day was supposed to be a full day of school on Friday, but they called it short because the snow was going to start falling by noon.

I picked up the girls at 11:45 on their last day before their holiday vacation, and they came home with an excitement I remember vividly from my own childhood, something I find myself reliving, wildly, through them.

Finally, I feel like I am somewhat getting in the spirit. THANK GOODNESS.

Something lifted yesterday when I came home from my last shift at a local artisan’s collaborative that I have been a part of for two years now. We set up shop for two months in the holidays and rotate hours and have our wares for sale. The town knows about it. People come through. It turns out, with the economy and all, folks are buying all things for under $20. I was an exception twice, selling only two paintings over the course of the last six weeks. I sold alot of the tshirts I designed a few years ago, and a ton of notecards and prints of my work. My price point is higher than the other “artists” (more like knitters and jewelry makers) and in the end, I think we all are going to make about the same amount.

I haven’t written about it at all because for some reason, it caused a high amount of stress for me, something that I sorted out a few nights ago in my head about why I have been out of sorts this week. Waking up in the middle of the night with high anxiety. I know I miss J but I feel so secure with him, and him being gone, I knew for sure it wasn’t that I was suddenly FREAKING OUT.

In the shop, I was signed up to work twice this week, four hour shifts at a time. It’s boring. The dynamics since some of the original members left and new ones came in, changed and feels less unified. There’s no internet access in the shop. Most of my paintings stare me in the face, paintings I have worked on and enjoyed and loved and expected folks to snatch up, because actually, in other venues this holiday season, they did. Orders off my website. Usual clients contacting me to buy or do some holiday card design work for them. Nothing else really was a letdown other than this shop.

I’ve watched people go through my paintings and the appreciation and comments are nothing but positive and for that, I am grateful. I know that validation for the quality of my work doesn’t come from people opening up their wallets. I know so many that would if they felt they could. I know some wouldn’t. But the validation that comes first is that I do what I love. The money people will pay for it, SHOULD be second in line. But you know, it goes hand in hand sometimes, especially when there are bills to pay and trips to take and a laptop to pay off.

Unfortunately, this season, I have felt discouraged, disheartened, angry, sad about my work and considered stopping for a while. 

Instead, I broke out the sewing and started working on a quilt I started over the summer. It’s a “crazy quilt” from scraps and ends up I am also hand embroidering on each piece. I am double stitching the top seams with a zig zag because a) I like how it looks and b) I am considering turning it into a slipcover for the overstuffed chair and it will need reinforcement if I do.

I pulled out blocks of wood, parts of beams from a friends’ house-gut when they were renovating. Months ago, in the middle of summer, J helped me unload them from my car after I had been rummaging in a dumpster for them. So they are sitting right here beside me at my studio desk and I am trying to figure out what the hell I am going to paint on them, do with them…anything. 

I decided that despite the slowness of this shop and the time I spent worrying about it and resenting it and wanting out can be shoved aside now and cannot take part in sabotaging my creativity.  So, I finished up my last shift. My anxiety is gone. My work will stay in there until Christmas eve and on Christmas I am going to drive my girls to their dad’s house for their week with him and on the way back, stop at the shop and grab all my stuff and bring it home for good. What a relief. I already feel relief from the icky-ness of it all.  I have a show booked for September but I know I’ll travel other places with this stuff, before then.

At any rate, as I write this, the girls are asleep upstairs, I spent the night watching Project Runways on Tivo and sewing and eating a few Dove Bars. (really). And we’re completely snowed in. Our plow guy will come by morning and then we’ll go out and dig and play and hopefully not freeze. ( yeah right, this is New England).

I love cozy-don’t-have-to-be-anywhere-anytime-soon days.

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I spent the weekend pretty much holed up in the house. First, it was ass cold outside (as opposed to the freaky 55 degrees TODAY). Second, I felt kind of “down”. No kids. No J. No warmth other than INSIDE the house.

I kept the tree lit. The candle lights on every window sill lit. The heat cranked up. I took a shower both mornings and did my hair and makeup, just so I would FEEL decent, without having to actually ACT decent. If that makes sense.

Oh wait, I did leave on Saturday to go see a movie with my mum. We saw “Four Christmases”. Hilarious. Good no brainer. I suggest it if you are looking for something upbeat and funny and where you don’t have to think for a whole hour and fifteen minutes. Which brings me to this: WHAT HAPPENED TO TWO HOUR MOVIES? Didn’t movies used to be two hours? What’s with this 73 minute running time shit nowadays?

So, I finished some paintings from our NYC trip. They are very different from my usual style. If you click on the artsy category, you can see some of my other style if you are new here. These are all watercolor and pen and ink.

The one with all the lamps is for J. We were standing there looking out over the Statue of Liberty and then went walking around and we came to that scene and he pointed and goes, “you should paint that!” And so, I did.  Very pretty. Contradicts the McDonald’s painting. How romantic that one is, huh?

rock-on-nyc1

 

tilted-in-nyc2

nyc-glass

 

nyc-empire

 

arches-nyc

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I cringed every time someone asked me “Oh, are you cooking for Thanksgiving?” 

My answer has been “yes, for myself!”

And then folks didn’t know what to say when they realized that J will be gone, my mom is out of town and my kids were with their dad for the four day holiday weekend.

When I say “I am cooking for myself”, this is no ordinary Thanksgiving. I woke up and started the coffee pot and brewed a big pot of my favorite Blue Bottle coffee. I fried some eggs and toasted the bread I made on Wednesday and got out the blackberry jam. And then I took it back to bed to watch movies while eating breakfast.

Just a month or so ago, on a Saturday morning that was chilly and gross, J and I did the same thing together, in my bed. And a few weeks ago, he made us egg sandwiches and coffee and brought it to his bathroom where we took a Jacuzzi tub and ate breakfast. (yes, IN the bathtub…there are scary things like this that explain why we are together)

I am doing some work sewing for a friend. So after breakfast and a movie, I got to work. Making $20 an hour doing something that comes as naturally to me as painting, in my pajamas with twelve Project Runways (I thought it was fitting) lined up in the Tivo, is a good working life.

D came home from Manhattan for the weekend and we’ve walked every day and caught up on each other’s news. Unfortunately, he is not coming home for Christmas and I will miss our usual Christmas eve visiting. 

I promised the girls we’d get our tree on Monday after school. But I had an art show down in Rhode Island on Saturday and on the way home, 40 minutes from my house, on a busy highway, my car dead stopped and I rolled into the breakdown lane.

I can thank the girls’ dad for recommending Triple A (AAA) last year when I had work done on my car. Because at 7:30 at night on a Saturday, on a thin shoulder on a highway where folks were cruising past at 75 miles an hour, I was not happy to be alone, broken down. The lady asked if I was alone and when I told her I was, she said she would send the highway patrol to stay with me until the tow truck came. I already knew at this point, due to the lights that came on on the dash, before the car died, (I called my dad in California who GOOGLED it and told me it was the alternator) that my car didn’t just need a jump. This baby was going all the way back up north to my car guy and I was going to shell out some bucks.

Anyway, five minutes after hanging up the phone with AAA, I was waiting for the cops and I was shaking. It kind of freaked me out, that it happened. And then my phone rang and it was the tow truck guy, telling me he was going to be there in about five minutes.

Sure enough, this greasy rugged angel of a tow truck driver appeared at my door and helped me to his truck. Ten minutes later, we were driving north towards my car place. It was a half hour drive and although I was alone with this guy, I felt strangely safe. He told me about his kids and how when he was young, his dad brought him up to our coastal town for a week’s vacation at the beach. And how it was his best memory with his dad, who had recently passed away.

During the ride, I made a comment about how I appreciated how quickly he got to me on the highway and he said they tend to expedite highway breakdowns (some people may wait a few hours) and because I was alone (AAA asked if I was alone when I called them), they got him there asap. He said that for a woman to be on the side of the highway alone is not good because creeps pull over to help and then rob people or attack them, so if the truck can’t get there, they call cops to go sit with the person.

GAH!!!!

In the end, he went over and above the call of duty. We couldn’t get the key out of my ignition, which mean I couldn’t lock my car, which had all of my artwork (my life) from the art show in it. At first he said he’d load it in his truck and take it to my house for me. But there was no way it would all fit in the cab of his truck. Then, he pulled his truck around, and we sat for about five minutes while he charged my battery enough to get the ignition to turn on so I could turn the key and release it. THEN I was able to lock  the car before dropping he key in the drop box for my car guys for Monday morning.

To top it off, I couldn’t get a hold of any of my friends that are local to pick me up a mile away at the car place, so the tow truck guy goes, “Well, I’ll just drop you home, I don’t mind!” I thought a minute and then decided to let him, I felt safe enough, but it didn’t stop me from having him drop me on a different corner and walked the other way until he disappeared. 

The weekend was crazy. My kids and J left on the same day (Wednesday) and I can’t shake the sad feeling, kind of lonely (THANK GOD FOR SKYPE and his satellite connection!). I had Thanksgiving alone, as well as Friday, where I was productive and carefree and relaxed. Saturday was quite the hell due to the aforementioned event. Sunday, I felt resolved and settled, even though the car is going to cost a bundle and I am currently at home without transportation. At least for a day or so.

All in all, I am grateful for the experience that was as smooth and safe as can be. I am glad my kids are home with me tonight (their dad drove them home for me since I was car-less). And the week will start on a somewhat normal note. In four weeks I will be sitting with J at the place where he is playing piano, at the beginning of my week with him. Until then, I will continue to enjoy my children, Christmas, getting and staying healthy after my bad bout with the cold, and continue to be creative and sell and relax and be grateful.

 

 

 


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