Dark Shadows…

June 30, 2010

Anyone remember the old series, “Dark Shadows?”  I used to watch it after school…plunked down in front of the tv set as close as I could stand it, with a ‘barrier’ behind my sitting-self so that no one could sneak up on me.

I used my brother’s toy rocking horse, and the wee chairs around the coffee table as my barricade.  I can still see that pale, yellow horse, with it’s wide open eyes.  I probably would be more afraid of that horse now…

But, I digress…

I’m sure the soap opera drama would seem remarkably silly and non-scary if I were to watch it now, yet at that age, I found it delightfully hair-raising.

Maybe this is a stretch, but I’m hoping that *really* soon, some things that seem scary to me at present..like the house still being up for sale in Rolla, or the thought of money-issues, or any of my other current frettings, will seem silly and overly dramatic, much like “Dark Shadows” would appear to me as an adult.

I’d very much like to look back on the “period when we still had the other house to sell”, for example, and think…”Sheesh…I thought *that* was scary???  How silly of me.”  And then I’d have a great big laugh.

Yep.  I’m hoping I’ll grow up and find that things aren’t that scary, really…   That would be hilarious.

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Sad faces…

June 29, 2010

Whether I intend to or not, a lot of my face drawings/paintings or the like, end up looking sad.  I’m not sure why, for often times, I am anything but sad whilst drawing.

When I was back in art school, I painted a series of faces.  They just came out of nowhere, so I painted them onto canvas.  I had a critique of this ‘assignment’ with my painting instructor, Papa Tutt, and I remember him looking at them, and then back at me, and then again back at the faces.

He said, “I know you and your family and where you are from, and you don’t have any reason to know this kind of sadness”.  I’m probably paraphrasing, yet his message was clear:  I didn’t have the right or the knowledge to paint of such sadness.

Well, he was wrong, and that’s ok.  I don’t see whatever sadness I have felt in my life as a “right”…just a fact.  I have experienced some, as many people have, and I know it when I see it and when I feel it…

In my mind’s eye, I see a row of women’s faces lined up, waiting to be drawn.  I’m not sure I know all of these women, nor do I believe they are all me.  I just feel a commitment in giving these images some space in this world.

Perhaps when I draw these women…be they sad or not…I am releasing that emotion from a locked place.  Perhaps I draw it out of the shadows and into the light.  Perhaps every time I draw a sad face, I lighten someone’s load by drawing the sadness out of their realm.  Maybe at times that person is me…

Pinball Alley…

June 27, 2010

As I was making dinner just now, I was having one of those hypothetical conversations with myself.  I was pondering the fact that my mood today is lighter and less intense than yesterday, and wondering why that is…  There’s nothing different about today as it relates to yesterday, yet I am different.

This isn’t my first rodeo with this line of thinking, either.

So, I asked myself why some days I slip down the spidey hole and fail to get a good foothold out of my nonsense.

Typical to my artistic bent, I got a visual as an answer:  Pinball.  Yes, pinball.  I’ve never liked the game much for I am really bad at it, and it makes my heart race and my blood pressure rise.  I feel awkward and clumsy whilst playing.  So, I don’t play.

Apparently, though, it’s possible I play on other levels.  Perhaps I should hone those skills…

Given my limited knowledge and experience with the game, the visual I received was something like this:  I start out my day as that happy new ball ready to meet life’s experiences and as I sail through the initial burst of energy, I am also escaping potential pot holes that could send me down that hole where there is no way back into the game.  I can ping around and make the colored lights and sounds go wild as I bounce through the day, yet if I am unlucky enough to be catapulted from one of the bumpers straight into a hole…I’m a goner.

Ok, that’s probably waaay too dramatic and leaves me with no control over my thoughts and emotions, yet it does feel slightly analogous to what might happen on those days when I find myself in the hole.

I think I’ll have to redesign the silly game.  I’ll put safety nets in each of those out-of-the-game holes, and I’ll feel more free to ping around and make colors and lights without the fear of darkness.  I’ll make it so I win every time.  Yes, that sounds like a much more fun game.

I think I’d even put quarters in that one…

My father did most of the driving as we would trek out to Utah each summer.  One year in particular, my siblings and I were all in that ‘teenager-y’ place where we were sullen and quiet during the drive.  We had our Walkman’s, which were the thing to have then, and we stuck in ear plugs and watched the scenery go by.  Each to their own, indeed.

Dad hated our Walkman’s.  He hated to be ‘alone’ in the car.  Called them anti-social and a whole lot of other things.  I think he longed for the camaraderie of earlier days when we would play, “I spy”, “20 questions”, or listen to the portable tape deck playing Jarre’s “Equinox” or John Denver’s greatest hits.

Of course, we, as teenagers didn’t think much of his disdain.  We were just happy to have something ‘to do’ on that long drive out West.

Well, I get it now, Dad.  I get what you meant and I get what you felt.  A day late and a dollar short…

I spend the summer with three males in a house where a great deal of the time, they are in front of a computer or a tv screen.  Locked in their own worlds of game-playing, web surfing, or the like.

It’s like being alone in that station wagon.  I get it, Dad…

I’m sorry now that I didn’t talk with you more on those drives.  I’m sorry now that we didn’t play more games.  What I wouldn’t give for the chance to go back and hear your voice…

Dreams…

June 26, 2010

I have always had pretty intense dreams.  Thankfully, of late, they are less nightmarish.  I remember them nightly unless I take an Ambien, and they are generally so other-worldly that at times I question the state of my mind.

Perhaps it all ties in with being an artist, and having a well-developed imaginative side…  I’m going with that notion rather than wobbly mental wellness.

For example…last night, one of my myriad of dreaming scenes including me getting tiny baby wolves out of a vending machine.  I was so concerned about how well they were taken care of in their wee boxes.  How did they get food?  Water?  How long did it take for them to come from the factory to the machine??

I wasn’t concerned (in the dream) about the fact that I was purchasing a small animal from a vending machine, I was just concerned about the details.

Odd, to say the least…

I’m also a lucid dreamer.  Often times I’ll be interpreting a dream while I am dreaming the dream.   Kind of like the annoying person next to you in the movie theater who won’t be quiet and is telling you what is going to happen next and why.  I get to play both parts.

Except for the nights when my dreams scare me, or leave me shaken for most of the following day…I feel a strange kinship with my dreaming self.

“Dream Slacker” will probably never be one of my monikers…

So, when you get an idea or a thought or a notion, how do you know if it’s a good one??  Does it resonate in your gut?  Does it make you feel excited and interested?  Does it have energy??

I had a notion of a path I could take while I was drawing this morning.  It felt like a possibility; a potential, a possible path that would fit right in with the art.

It’s just that right now, it’s hard to tell whether I am reacting or responding.  Am I operating from the old days of thinking, “this is how I could possibly fit into this picture”, or am I creating the new picture as I go along with me already in the picture?

Lee told me he doesn’t think one should fret about whether they know what they are doing at all times when starting a new venture, for the future is uncertain… regardless.  Just do what you feel is right and most appropriate, and see where the new path leads.  I like this advice, and want to follow it…  I guess I’m just wondering right now how I’ll know what feels right??

I’ve completely dismantled the old, and certainly don’t want to pick up pieces of that reality just because it is familiar.  I want new tools.  Brand new, shiny, tools and a new tool box.  That way, when I head out to construct my refreshed reality, I’ll be working from the new place and not the old shop, full of worn out and used up tools.

Maybe it takes time for the new to feel familiar?  And, maybe when an artist ‘hears’ something while in the process of making their art, that voice should be taken more seriously??  Isn’t that when you are most in tune with yourself…i.e. in your element, so to speak??

Who knows???

Shawn Mullins has this great album called, “Soul’s Core”.  There is a song on it entitled, “Tannin Bed Song”, from which I grabbed the line for this post’s title.  It’s kind of a sad song about a woman who has given up on her life and settled and the thing she looks forward to in her days is laying in the tanning bed and reading the newspaper.

That line has always struck me.  Really.  It’s always been the “what not to be” thing for me…

So, yesterday, I found it quite amusing and a wee bit sad (but that’s just silly) that I put in an application at our local tanning bed place that advertised they needed some part time help.  It’s just up by the Gerbes and isn’t far away at all.  It wouldn’t be much time per week, and I’ll bet I could handle it just fine.

When I applied, I told the gal who was at the front desk of my situation (i.e. that I had recently left a good paying job to pursue my art, and oh yeah, I have a college degree, and that I was just looking for things to support my endeavors in the art realm, etc. etc…), and she just looked at me with this dazed expression that said, “what??””…

So, yeah.  Left an application there and am trying to see that everything I do these days is not necessarily a reflection on me and my talents, for from here on out, it is merely me supporting myself on my art path, right??  Whatever it takes…

Yep.  A day in the life of an artist.  I also finished face quilt #21.  I’m actually creeping forward to where I’ll be ahead of schedule.  This is exciting!  Maybe I’ll have time to work in the studio on a hunk of wood in the interim before the show in January.  That would be swell…

Self Portraits…

June 23, 2010

I would think that it might be easy to see that, of late, I’ve been busy creating a self portrait.  Figuratively, of course, and then last night, I finished the literal aspect of it as well.  There is a show next month at Capital Arts, called, “Portraits”, so I decided to do one of me.

It doesn’t necessarily look like me, yet captures the essence of what I feel myself to be at this juncture in my life.  I like it, so I think it will be the one I use…

Perhaps the key to any good self portrait is to make it as real as possible.  Not so much in a tangible sense, but from the “gut” sense.  Then, hopefully when others see it, it will resonate on a level that touches their most true essence as well.

I contend, however, that this could be a lofty goal for one little ‘ole image…

I won’t let the madness of self-doubt win.  I appreciate with all my heart the words that were shared by friends and family after my writing the bit called, “Untitled.”  You *all* are right.  Time to step it up and carry on and continue to see what this path of being an artist entails.

I won’t quit, nor be sorry.  I will keep on keeping on, with my eyes wide open and my heart space filled.  Thank you for your words.

Once upon a time in a space and time many realities removed from this one, there lived a being of light.  Pale, purple light to be exact, yet since colors didn’t exist in that realm, it went unnoticed and un-noted.  The being lived in a state of pure bliss.  Most living creatures, however, could not grasp this type of Joy, for it was purely experiential in nature, rather than thought-based.  Suffice it to say, it was heaven.

One ‘day’ (since time didn’t exist in this space, either)…the being found out through cosmic, galactic channels that there was something extraordinary happening on a planet called Earth… far, far away.  Curious, the being decided to travel (which actually only required a thought) to this planet.  He/she (since there was no duality in that other world space) was recruited by other beings who had responded to the call; to incarnate, sheath the spirit, and join the ranks of the living on planet Earth.  The being was told that its presence would help in the process of transformation that the Earth was undergoing.  The light inherent in the being’s makeup would assist in raising the essence and vibration of Earth.  It would be fun, they said…something different to do.  It would be an adventure!  These were things the being was told…

So, on August 22nd, 1963, at 7:28 a.m., the being became a ‘she’ and entered this realm…

(to be continued…)

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