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, www.ArtistsWithAttitude.com. 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)

Whidbey Island Overnight

Our friend Cheryl King invited Patty and I and several of our artist friends to spend the night at her vacation condo on the beach on Whidbey Island to celebrate birthdays for three of them. Patty and I were to drive up very early and bring some of the ingredients for the luncheon we planned.

Patty arrived at my house at 9:30, we loaded her car with my stuff and took off. Happily and blissfully chatting on our way to the ferry. We paid our $22.50 one-way and got on. It’s about a half hour ride and we keep on chit-chatting ……….well ok, blabbing……… sometimes both of us at the same time. We drive off the ferry and go quite a distance while blabbing. Somewhere that little guy on the left side of my brain is saying “where’s Langley? You should have passed it by now.” But I don’t listen to him and we keep right on blabbing obliviously. She’s driving and I’m looking for Cheryl’s turn off but what I see instead takes my breath away and I scream “POULSBO!!??!!??” I’m no dummy and I know immediately Poulsbo is NOT on Whidbey Island. Are we in the Twilight Zone? Because if somehow we’ve been transported to the Kitsap Peninsula it’s going to take us hours to get to Whidbey for our luncheon and we definitely can’t make it by noon.

Patty and I are both Italian so you would think that we would handle this information in much the same way. Wrong. I’ve been brought up to handle unexpected crises by screaming, tearing out my hair, running around waving my arms (difficult while being trapped inside a moving car but I was giving it a try), and generally coming unglued. Not Patty. She stays calm and slowly turns the car around to head back the way we came. I am so stressed out I’m totally dysfunctional at this point and ask her how she could handle it so well. She tells me that “This sort of thing happens to me all the time, and if I behaved like you it wouldn’t be good for me.”

So for the next two hours that it takes me to calm down, I try to behave in a civilized manner but inside I am churning. I am still churning right now as I write about it.

But anyway………let me continue. We finally arrive back at the ferry, wait in line, pay another $22.50, go back across Puget Sound to Edmonds, head for the Mukilteo ferry to Whidbey which is quite a distance. While she drives I look at the ferry schedule and see the next ferry leaves at 2:30. It is now a little before 2:00. I’m sure we won’t make it, so I say “We have to pass Trader Joe’s on the way so why don’t you stop there and we’ll buy salads for lunch and eat them on the ferry……….I’m starving to death!” She says “No, I’m going for it!” Well OK. At that point I can choose to eat partially frozen chicken (for the salad that we’ll never get) or drink salad dressing, or eat the bread Patty brought. I reach into the back of the car and start ripping the bread apart and shoveling pieces into my mouth. 

Just as we round the corner to the ferry, we watch it pulling out of the dock. We had missed it by 3 minutes! When I actually put the situation into words and tell Patty what time it is and how long we have to sit in line and how long for the crossing and how long the drive to Cheryl’s, she starts to laugh. I don’t mean giggle. She laughs harder and harder while I stared and took photos of the tears rolling down her cheeks. Totally hysterical!   

I discovered there are many ways to come unglued! My way is not necessarily the proper Italian way. There is no right or wrong here. Different strokes for different folks so they say.

How much is this going to cost us? The price of gas is astronomical and now we have to pay for three ferries. We threw ourselves at the mercy of the ticket taker. He looked like a nice old guy. “We got on the wrong ferry and had to turn around and come all the way back and now we’d like a refund.” I guess he’s heard everything in the years he’s been crammed into that tiny little space all day and has lost all sense of pity so without missing a beat he said “no refunds”. We’re women, after all. We’re women who are artists. We’re Italian women who are artists. Cut us some slack! But it doesn’t work. No free rides.


When we arrived at Cheryl’s condo, both the luncheon and some friends were gone. But Cheryl and Liana were there and it was nearly 4:00! Happy Hour! YIPPEEEE!! Let the wine flow! Crack the bottle! It took Patty about 30 seconds to fall off the wagon she’d been on for a couple of weeks in an effort to lose the 5 ounces of fat she always complains about.

So the four of us were left to spend the night at Cheryl’s condo and relax with our friends until the next morning when our little road trip would continue.  Cheryl is a good friend.  She posed for photos for me to paint:

 We still had to drive the length of Whidbey Island, cross the Deception Pass bridge and drive to Anacortes to deliver paintings for our show at Scott Milo! Oh that’s right! The show!! We will be there for Art Walk on Friday, June 3rd from 6 to 9. Don’t worry, there are no ferries and getting home from Anacortes is a 2 hour drive but it’s a straight shot on the freeway. Sometimes I feel like my life is one big joy ride!  Patty and I have promised to double check each other on everything from now on.  I hope it makes a difference.

Liana, Cheryl, Patty and I at coffee the next morning.  Still good friends.

Me and my piggies

Almost always I wear my hair up in two piggies on top of my head. I do it because 1: I like it. 2: It’s easy. 3: People expect me to.

I'm the one on the left.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear comments about my hair from strangers. Most of the time it’s positive and they tell me how much they like it or love it or it’s just darling. Sometimes I can read between the lines: “I like it on you, but I could never wear it.” I’ve seen women elbowing each other and whispering and trying hard to point me out without me seeing it. This just happened this morning at Costco. Also at Costco today I heard “Is that your hair?” Sometimes women come running after me to comment on it. Women try to be more discreet than men. Men will make comments from wherever they happen to be. Sometimes I hear comments being yelled out of car windows. A couple of days ago I had three old (way older than me) women looking at my hair and talking about it as I walked toward them. One of them just couldn’t contain herself and had to ask “Are they real?” I was about to tell her ‘that’s my business’ when I realized she wasn’t talking about my boobs………..so I said yes and fluffed them up and told her she could touch them if she wanted. “How do you make them do that?” Oh I don’t make them do anything; they just do it by themselves.

I’ve heard comments from every age, race, gender. Many times, it’s the children who are impressed with my piggies. I see them tugging at their mom’s arm and saying “Mommy look at that ladies hair.” while the mom is trying to be discreet and turn them around quietly. Once at Disneyland, the little 4 year old girl in line in front of me was obsessed with me and the 4 inch Minnie Mouse scrunchies I wore on each piggie. She wouldn’t face forward no matter how her mom tried to make her. Finally, I said to her “I’m Minnie’s Mommy.” She threw her arms around my knees and hugged me as tight as she could. That was one of my favorite times. That experience made my trip to Disneyland (the happiest place on earth) more memorable than all the rest.

These piggies are the best for getting people to remember me. They know me, but I can’t remember them. I just hug and kiss and pretend until finally it comes to me…….or not.

Once, when walking through Nordstrom, a woman saw me and started walking toward me with her arms out and smiling. I figured ‘here we go again…….who is she?....where do I know her from?.......oh well, I’ll just give her a hug.” She got closer and closer and still I had no clue. Finally, just as my arms went out to hug her, she walked right past me to her friend who was behind me.

So my piggies are uniquely my own and I’m going to keep wearing them. Much in the same way an old woman wears purple. Who cares if they cause my daughters to cringe? ‘I am who I am’ to quote Popeye. I’ve got a great life and I’m happy. That’s what matters.

I'm the one on the right.

'Daddy's Girl' for Pioneer Square First Thursday Art Walk

Thursday's Art Walk is at 306 So. Washington (between 3rd and 4th Ave. So).  From 5 to 9pm.  I'll be showing my latest and best art.  Come on downtown!

I love this painting!  Even if I do say so myself.  I took the photos of Kerry more than a year ago and hung onto them until I figured out exactly how I wanted to paint them.  I will paint more from that photoshoot soon, I hope.  I love photographing Kerry.  She has just the right attitude and knows how to turn it on.

Who Wants To Be 'Normal'?

It’s 3 am and I’m wide awake making notes for this blog. People! Cut me some slack! I’m trying hard to be normal instead of dealing with being a temperamental, emotional, stressed-out, Italian artist! I’ve always known I was a little ‘different’ but I used to be ok with it. I thought other people were boring and bland if they weren’t like me. People who weep instead of sob. People who walk instead of skip. People who giggle instead of guffaw! People who whisper instead of scream. People who ride the carousel but don't reach for the golden ring.  I told myself I want to feel every emotion……. cry hard until my eyes are swollen and laugh hard until the tears roll down my cheeks! After all……what fun is it to be on an even keel all the time? But I don’t handle stressful situations well. And I’m tired of it! Now sometimes I’m jealous of those kind of people.

The better I get at painting, the more I want to paint and the less time I have to do it! Why can’t I be like ‘normal’ people? I wish I didn’t have to write blogs, post on face book, update websites, attend every opening and shows of friends (even though I do love to party) because I am booked solid all the time and don’t have TIME TO PAINT!!! And I LOVE TO PAINT!! It’s one of the only times I am able to feel ‘normal’…….especially if things are going well. Times when I can paint, listen to music and dance at the same time. Heaven to me!! Don’t ask how low I can get if the painting is a failure……………….

So as much as I love art, it is both a curse and a blessing. I know if I gave up my art life and just puttered in my garden and went on cruises and out to lunch and shopping with girlfriends, I’d probably have to wither up and die. I don’t take naps in the afternoon. - no time. I don’t play bridge - not enough action. I don’t golf - I’ll just continue to go to the gym because it doesn’t take as long. I don’t watch tv in the daytime. I don’t chit chat on the phone - well only if I’m driving or painting at the same time. Everything I do is while multi-tasking and running in between stuff to do. I guess my only choice is to get used to who I am. It’ll probably never happen. I gotta get some sleep…….gotta get up early……….only have a couple hours left………hurry!!! hurry!!


Another version of Kerry! 

Carson, Hank and Kelsey.



Three siblings I painted on commission through Baas Art Gallery.  All three gorgeous!  What a pleasure.

Three More

New Years Resolution (again)

I really want to post on my blog.  Honestly!  I really do!  I mean well!  But life gets in the way.  Besides painting is more important, so when I find time, that's what I do.  The blog gets put on the back burner.  But I am now making a New Years Resolution - along with losing the same 10 lbs I lost and found again last year - to post regularly on my blog.  I'm going to post it on my studio wall to remind me.  These first two paintings were sold to a man who wanted to put three black babes in a row on his wall.  He asked me to paint one more for him.  I actually painted three more for him to choose from.