new group of paintings

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on my blog.  Not that I've been sitting here twittling my thumbs!  No no not me!  I've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off!  This analogy came to me because as a young girl I remember my grandmother chopping the heads off chickens so we would have dinner.  Sometimes these chickens would run all over the yard without heads until they just dropped dead!  Hopefully I won't drop dead. 

Anyway, not to get too sidetracked, I have been painting.  And running.  And painting.  And running some more.  So much stuff going on in my life!  What's new?

Here are some of the paintings I'm working on in a group I've entitled 'Fractured Florals'.  It's a group of brightly colored paintings with abstract interiors and flowers.  These are acrylic and collage. I am working on some with my 'girls' and will post them later. I have six on my easels as I type this.

Let me know what you think.  I need feedback.

Cleo with Hieroglyphics

Acrylic and mixed media collage.  24x30


The other day I was happily shopping for whatever would fit me in a small size at Nordstrom Rack. (Of course I’m not small, I just want to fit into something small…….but that’s another blog). My cell phone rang shortly after I got there and I started talking to Patty. I still think I can multi-task. For most of my life, I didn’t even consider talking on the phone and continue doing whatever it was I was doing as a multi-task. Now, I’m beginning to realize, I cannot talk on the phone and do anything else at the same time. We talked some serious stuff…………..all the while I was looking through racks of clothing and pushing the cart around.
I really do try to talk a little softer when I’m on my cell phone in public, but I guess I must be pretty loud (see my blog ‘Art and Drama’ Aug 2010) while I’m in my own little world and not really paying much attention to those around me………especially when it’s a serious conversation with Patty. So there I was, pushing the basket around and every now and then putting something in it, and trying to convince Patty that she’s really one of the best painters in town. I’m also waiting for her to tell me that I’m one of the best painters in town.

So………..I guess I must have pushed my cart a little too close to a woman who was working her way down the rack toward me. Suddenly, and as a total surprise to me, she says “do you mind?”

DO I MIND???? Flustered, I say “oh I’m sorry” and back up. Immediately I wonder what I’m sorry for and why is it me who has to back up?

I don’t mind telling you that I’m a way nicer person than that old biddy! I would never have asked someone “Do you mind?” and after all, didn’t I apologize without even knowing what I was apologizing for?

“Patty now she’s in the men’s department!” “ Don’t tell me she has a man!” “Oh, maybe I should ask her if she needs to go to Sports Authority if she’s looking for a jock strap for her BIG BALLS!” But of course I don’t ask her because I’m way way waayyy nicer than she is! So Patty and I go on trying to be convinced of our great painting skills while multi-tasking. Actually it really isn’t important that we even listen to each other………..we just have to talk and do whatever it is we’re doing at the same time. Besides, Patty and I are pretty sure we’re ADD and couldn’t stop multi-tasking if we had to.

Science has proven nobody can really multi-task. Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell has gone so far as to describe multitasking as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.” Yet…..I can dance and paint or sing and paint with no problem at all. Maybe I’d be able to do it faster if I kept my mouth shut?? Well what fun would that be? So I’ll do it slower but I’ll keep on doing it.

I think there is an art to multi-tasking. Or should I say trying to multi-task. Patty is convinced she can multi-task (even though I can always tell when she’s doing something else while talking to me on the phone) but it doesn’t bother me. Why should we change anything? The whole thing is…..Patty and I will always continue to multi-task even if we’re not performing multiple tasks as ‘effectively’ as a single task . Once in awhile some old biddy may get testy, but really lady? Is it that important to you to continue down the rack of clothing unhindered? Or shouldn’t you just be talking to someone on the phone and having a fun conversation while you shop!!!!

Can you just picture this whole scenario happening a different way? What if the biddy and I were each talking on the phone and bumped into each other………..we could have laughed and both said ‘sorry’ and backed up and maybe even had a lovely conversation and met a new friend, but she made sure that could never happen. Please! You biddy! Get a life!!!

When is a Bitch Not Really a Bitch?

Let me explain: I was in the shopping mall the other day and passed a small boutique shoe store. Always attracted to fun shoes, I slowed down to look closer in the window and that’s when I saw her………………the beautiful store clerk. I immediately wanted to take photos so I could paint from them, so I went inside.

Yup. She was just my type. Great new short cropped dark hair style, cat-eye eyeliner, long feather earrings (I should have been suspicious here – feathers are so yesterday), rocking body, and pouty lips. I could just see my new paintings.

Right here is where I went wrong. I should have followed my own rule to take the photos first and ask permission later, but since the store was so tiny, andwe were the only ones in there, I decided to ask permission. I introduced myself, gave her a business card, showed her some of my art and told her that I liked to paint beautiful women, and asked if I could take some photos of her.

Here’s where I learned that she wasn’t a true bitch at all!

A true bitch would have stopped straightening the shoes, looked into the lens, and turned up the heat. But this was a faux bitch. A sheep in bitches clothing. Just a bitch wannabe.

Wouldn’t you think that if it looks like a bitch, walks like a bitch, talks like a bitch, then it’s a bitch, right? You’d be wrong! A real bitch flaunts her stuff and takes all opportunity to show it off. A real bitch flirts for every camera she sees. A real bitch knows she looks good and her purpose in life is to show it off! But alas! She showed her true colors in her answer to me, and proved that just like the shoes, she was just a cheap imitation of the real thing. No………. she was no Jimmy Choo. No………. she was no Christian Louboutin with a red sole (soul). She’ll never make it in a bitches world. She looked at me, and suddenly I could see the real mouse underneath. I saw the coyness and the shyness. I knew what the answer was going to be. I knew I’d been had by a fake exterior. “No, I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be able to.”

I immediately knew she was right. She wouldn’t be able to. No point in trying to make a “silk purse out of a sow’s ear” as my grandmother used to say.

So I thought about the waste of womanhood this was. I thought about the times I tried to turn a model into what I wanted in front of the lens. I thought about the thousands of wasted pixels on my computer. The hours spent taking countless photos of beautiful women who were not true bitches. Women who were stiff and self-conscious. Women who giggled through the whole shoot. Women who had real potential to be a bitch, but never could turn it up a notch. What a waste! She was right. She was right and she knew it. Good! She didn’t waste my time. She couldn’t do it.

She wouldn’t be able to make it in a bitches world. Stick to selling shoes. No high expectations there. You can go on looking good to people looking in the window. Maybe you’ll find a sugar daddy who never would want a bitch anyway.

Speaking of bitches: Here’s my latest painting of Jenn. Now she’s a real bitch. That’s why I love her. Of course I had to tweak it so it doesn’t look too much like her. I try to make it look like I have a jillion different bitches to choose from. But the truth is, true bitches are not easy to come by. It takes a very special woman.

The next time you call someone a bitch, remember………….. she probably really isn’t one………..and secondly, she only wishes she were. Just call it like you see it………. call her a Bitch Wannabe. Now that’s an insult!


Unsolicited Critique

I was happily painting along when my guy from P.C.Fix came to work on my computer.  My friend Patty was here painting with me.  Or should I say, I was painting and she was drawing different compositions for a painting she wanted to do of the tulip fields.  She wants to enter it into the competition for poster artist.  She was a finalist last year. 

Anyway, here I am happily painting along when Kekoa, the computer guy, (who, by the way, is normally very quiet and the typical nerd computer guy) gets up from the computer and asks "So what have you been working on?"  I show him the painting on the easel and he studies it for 10 seconds and says "How would you make her cheekbones higher?"  He might just as well have slapped me upside the head.  He's the friggin computer guy for Gawd's sake!  What does he know about art?  But I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT!  Patty had told me the bitch I was painting  looked like Miss Jay, the guy on America's Top Model who teaches models how to walk the runway.  Anyway, I knew something wasn't right and she did look like a transvestite.  Besides, I wasn't done!

So Kekoa goes back to work on the computer, I go over and whisper to Patty "Do you believe him?"  "What does he know?"  "But he's RIGHT!" 

Now Patty thinks  I may as well pick his brain too.  I'll show him my ideas and just see what he has to say.  She shows him sketches for her painting and he actually says "That's Bammer".   WHAT?  What the heck does that even mean?  He explains it's bad....not bad meaning good.......but just plain bad.  And........unsolicited......he goes on to explain what makes it bad.  (I had already told her I didn't like the composition, but obviously his opinion held more weight.)  He explains:  A single person in the tulip fields is too lonely looking.  Too many people is not good either........nobody wants to go if it's crowded.  Not in the rain.  He suggests to put a child with the lonely woman or at least her significant other.  Make it happy looking.  Better for selling people on the tulip field experience.  and again.........HE WAS RIGHT!

OK.  What have we learned here? 

1:  As artists, we need to listen to critique from others......even the so-called man on the street. 

2:  You can't judge a book by it's cover.  Even quiet computer geeks could have a wide variety of knowledge swimming around in their heads that has nothing to do with computers. 

3:  The next time I have Kekoa fix my computer I'll be sure to have a problem painting on the easel.

Genius IQ

Patty and I took a long drive up to Anacortes to pick up some of our paintings. On the way we decided to write our paragraph for the website we have together, She wrote while I drove. As we talked and bounced ideas off each other, and our ideas got better and better, we decided that together we have a genius IQ. I’m not saying that either one of us is dumb all by ourselves. Not by a long shot. In fact we each think we’re pretty smart. I’m just saying that added together our IQ is probably off the charts. Mensa material!

We can think of the most ingenious marketing plans. Like getting a glass trailer or motorhome and pulling it around while we live in it and park it in the middle of the city and start painting so everyone can see us. What. You don’t think that’s genius? What about painting women in bikinis in Nordstrom or Macy’s window? Who’s done that? What about us living in a glass room on a billboard while we paint? What about a TV art reality show? If we got a contract from someone we could and would actually do all the stuff we think up.

I’m serious.

Our paintings are better because of each other. We get stuck on something and ask each other to give a critique. It’s always so helpful. Some little thing we didn’t see that makes the painting so much better. Like: “I don’t understand why her arm is coming out of her head.” And although I know that her arm is coming out of her shoulder, I will know that I need to define it better. Just that simple. Genius!

Yes we have a fabulous collaboration, Patty and I. Hopefully every artist can find a friend to form a bond and help each other to achieve a genius IQ.

Helpful hints to look for:

You have to admire their work. It won’t help you if their work sucks.
You have to like them. What good would it be to have someone you don’t like bugging you all the time?
You have to want the same things out of life. #1 on the list should be to have fun. Family should be second. To be a great artist should be somewhere around third on the list.

That's all it takes to call yourself a genius.

I love the sound of it: GENIUS! That’s me! (and Patty)