Sunday, June 9, 2013

What I Did Over Summer Vacation...

The three weeks between Geography and Ethics were busy ones for me. The first week was spent shopping and touring some of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes' beautiful historic sites with my best friend who came from Denver to sneak in a week of vacation before the heat and humidity got to be too much for her. I planted my garden, tweaked my class, and managed to complete this drawing which has been floating around in my head for some time now.
As usual, the background took months to develop and the drawing took minutes to complete. I love the aged and abused look this canvas ended up with. I never do well when rushed and have learned that it is just fine for a work to take months to evolve into its final state.
Just like this beautiful old schoolhouse at Laurel Valley Plantation--time often adds a patina to things that adds both richness and beauty.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ghost Dog

It's funny how everytime I move, I wind up involved in some new sort of creative endeavor. I haven't painted too much since I have been here--unless you count all of the paint I've put on my walls! I have done a few decorating consultations, but mostly I have been spiffing up my own house and working in my garden, and now I am busy building an Ethics class that I will be teaching this summer. A Humanities scholar is never bored!
Recently one of my friends lost her beloved companion, so I was inspired to paint this ghostly portrait of him. If all dogs go to heaven, then I believe it is a place full of trees--which are full of squirrels!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Time Flies

Just the other day, a friend of mine who writes a blog about the various places she and her family live thanks to her husband's career mentioned that she hadn't written a word since their recent transfer to Australia. It made me realize that I haven't written anything for a fair piece either. It's funny how life gets in the way like that. I find that making art and writing take second place in my life to actual activity. If I have a choice between gardening or painting, I will choose gardening 95% of the time. I was made for motion. I am bad at holding still. Most importantly, I like having my hands in the dirt. I'm not particularly good at landscaping. My creativity doesn't seem to extend that far. I am, however, very good at growing flowers. Beauty fascinates me no matter what dress she is wearing, but I am most comfortable in her presence when she is wearing overalls and a floppy hat.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Most years, I get a great calendar from one of my friends for Christmas. I'm easy to please. I like everything from kittens to landscapes and most points in between, but in 2012, I got screwed in the calendar department. I started out ok with a freebie from my mechanic featuring classic cars--yes, I love the romance of the vintage automobile almost as much as I love kittens--but my husband liked it so much that he swiped it for his office and left in its place some cheeseball excuse for a calendar from our insurance company that offers monthy health tips and crappy photos of people exercising. I know I could have gone to the dollar store and got a decent replacement, but 2012 was one of those years that was half spent by the time I really thought about my calendar. So, with 2013 looming large, I decided to treat myself to a birthday present that will make up for the great calendar debaucle of 2012. Thanks to George Rodrigue, I am going to have calendar happiness for a whole year, and I plan to mat and frame some of my favorites for life long enjoyment. Happy Birthday, me!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Free Falling

Summer has begun to fade into autumn here in South Louisiana. Though I won't be expecting the brilliant fall color I experienced in Wisconsin, I am looking forward to milder temperatures, mums in my garden, and candy corn in the stores. Fall is by far my favorite season. I loved harvest time growing up on the farm, and I loved going back to school and seeing my friends after a hard summer's work. These days, I look forward to the harvest from my garden and my fruit and pecan trees, and to meeting my new students. Unfortunately for my blog, fall is a busy time for me, so I don't spend as much time either painting or writing. I don't mind that much though since I am so caught up in the business of enjoying my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stopped Chasing Carrots

I have long admired and coveted this painting by my good friend Carolyn Phillips, so when my husband and I made our latest move to Houma, I decided to treat myself to a house-warming gift. It's not just the fact that the rabbit looks like he would feel like velveteen if you touched him, though that was a big part of my attraction to this piece. The thing that makes me really appreciate art is when it tells a story. OK, I'll be honest, it's when it allows me to make up a story. The story can be simple or complex, deeply meaningful or just silly.

By the time we moved back to Houma, this painting was telling a story that I could relate to. When I look at this painting, I see a rabbit who is the subject of a great experiment. For years this rabbit has been leaping and running, trying to get the carrots that dangle just out of his reach. Now and then, he gets one, but that just makes him want more. In the background, a group of observers watches. Then one day, the rabbit says, "The hell with it," and just stops chasing the carrots and adopts a position of rest. This could be a metaphor for my life and probably for the lives of many others. During my 20s, I spent a lot of time and energy chasing those proverbial carrots. In my 30s, I wizened up a little and realized what a waste that was. Society can look on through their little window all they want, but I am focused on getting my zen back these days. What I like most about this painting is that every time I start getting a little crazy and start thinking that I should be working harder, chasing down success a little more vigorously, I have this plush bunny to remind me that carrots aren't all they're cracked up to be. It's wisdom straight from the brush of a good friend and truly talented artist.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wine is Not Enough

This past week I learned what it feels like to be a sitting duck. Growing up in Wyoming, I learned how to deal with just about every natural disaster known to man. I know what to do in event of blizzard, tornado, flash flood, prairie fire, and even the occasional earthquake, but nothing in Wyoming really prepares you for a hurricane. Out there, we build our houses to stand up to wind that regularly gust to tropical storm force, we dig storm cellars to hide in in the event of a tornado, and we build on the sides or tops of hills in case of flood. Since Louisiana has no hills, and the storm cellar would just flood anyway, I have to say that living here leaves me feeling both exposed and unprepared at all times.
Thankfully Isaac passed over us here in Houma without much ado, and I was as prepared as I could be, so this hurricane was a non-event for us. That doesn't mean that I wasn't at maximum stress level. I discovered, however, that my cats have three levels of storm alert just like the weather channel.
Sarah = high alert
Bonnie = aware
Petey = comatose
I suppose this only makes sense since Petey is Cajun born, Bonnie is from Vicksburg, and Sarah is a Yooper. As for this transplant, I need to either take lessons from Zen Master Petey or lay my hands on some Xanax before the next storm.