Friday, August 31, 2007

This week has been grueling...increasing with intensity. Yesterday, I was spent. Big time spent. I had to leave work every few hours because I would break down and have a difficult time breathing. It was tough. With each "episode" I'd talk to myself...outloud...over and over...

"M, just be in it. Let yourself go thru the pain. You'll come out on the other side of this. Don't attach anything to it. This is all part of the healing."

When the pain would come up, I learned quickly to stop asking why, just go thru it and at one point even likened it to sneezing. I knew it was mostly old pus coming out...from long gone days.

Thing is...this experience is the most fucking loneliest feeling in the world. I'm not going to pretend it's pretty or honorable.
It's ugly and cumbersome. And yet...yet...I know it is something I MUST go through. I'm not a warrior or brave. There's nothing else I can do but do this. This is my time.

I am trusting the process. When in doubt, angst, fear, agony...I'm learning not to fight it, yet step in it to get out of it. I now see (with experience from the last few months) that the sooner I accept what I need to go thru, the sooner it dissipates. And yes, like this week, or even yesterday when it hit over and over and over....I again get through each onslaught that much sooner.

On the other peace. And even some pride for having gone thru it. It may not last, but the calm is waiting for me each time.

And there is more clarity. Slowly I see old pain being stripped away from my life and feel more honest about my present.

Within this tumultuousness, my painting is changing. It carries a substance not before seen in my work. There is more integrity.

And with all this work, it feels like I've lost my sense of humor. Everything feels so serious. I now understand why people in chronic pain can sometimes become bitchy. It's wearing. I know I'm not much fun to be around. This I trust is a temporary side effect.

But going thru this is giving me a greater empathy for so many other things.

Today I drove to the studio because I only had a little bit of time, before coming home to get ready for Young Frankenstein. Stopped at a light and right next to me a building was being demolished. Grabbing my camera I managed to capture a few shots before the light turned green.

It's the perfect image. This is my life right now.
Deconstruction of the house my parents built

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

...dealing with trust.
Working hard to remain vulnerable.

I've noticed my guard up quite a bit. And more interestingly, yesterday I realized that most of my photos lately (not posted ones) all seem to have a large black pole in the forefront, like this one. How can the internal not affect the external?

Onto other stuff~

Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered pretzels. To die for. They are really good for you. Not fattening at all. Nope.


I thought I was paying off my car next month, but as of this past is all paid off! It's a 2000 Corolla with only 69,000 miles on it. I bought it from Enterprise Car Rentals in 2002 when it had 40,000 miles. 30K in 5 years. Damned good. Now my car payments can be applied to my studio space.


I've been pushing myself to use better quality paints. I was a faithful user of Winton Oils while in school way back when (student grade Winsor Newton) and slowly began adding the Utrecht brand. Yesterday I noticed I only had one tube of Winton left, and it's almost all gone. Everything else, is Utrecht, Rembrandt, artist grade Winsor Newton and a few others I can't remember right now. The brand purchased is contingent upon the specific color.

It's time for me to grow up as a painter. Serious intent, serious materials and serious discipline. In that, will be the room to be playful.

In addition, for the last two days, I've slowed down, stopped being lazy and finally began using medium with my paint instead of just turp or mineral spirits. It's making such a difference with how it covers and dries. It seriously feels happier when it hits the canvas. Really. It definitely assisted with the image below.


Someone brought in homemade peach cobbler yesterday. It didn't last long.


From Web Urbanist, check out the groovy, or as they call it Transformable, Convertible & Collapsible furniture.


Burning Man is happening this week. From The Slog's Burnt Man entry:
A performance artist did an early burn...destroying 85% of the structure.

I thought it a shame, pointless destruction and then my mind went to the same place as a commenter on The Slog. Urbanist wrote:

"Tough one ... sure, someone put a lot of work into the Man, but on the other hand: it's a subversive art event: what could be more subversive than burning the sucker early?

Thing is, I still can't get over the idea of violence.


Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology.


Now for the latest from the studio:

I really, really, really didn't want to go yesterday. At the same time, I couldn't imagine just going home. So I pushed myself to work. It's a good thing. I worked on 3 pieces.

The work is going to a very different place. Not sure where, but I enjoy sections of this piece.

It was a fairly realistic still life that I began last week to ground myself again. It changed drastically yesterday and even more today. The shapes you see weren't part of the original ptg. Don't know where it's going...but it's definitely fluid.

What thrills me with this one (which you can't really see in the jpeg) is the contrast between a more classical painting style with layers and glazes, butting up against something clearly more contemporary - thick slabs and shapes. It's creating so much space and light that it makes me giddy. And it feels as if I'm very much moving in a new direction....claiming something as a painter.

I'm very glad I went in yesterday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Since Sunday night, there has been a slowly increasing anxiety. My family should be receiving their letters any day now. I still don't know what to expect, but I will say I'm not looking forward to any possible confrontations.

My concern is that I hope, hope, hope I can accept and be in whatever is thrown at me. I don't want to react, yet act with a modicum of grace and a specky bit of wisdom.

And yes, I had booked an appointment with my therapist for this Friday (to deal with potential fallout) until I remembered yesterday that I'll be watching Young Frankenstein musical right at my session time! I've emailed him to reschedule and am now waiting to hear back.

The deed is done. This week is the waiting.
Breathe M...breathe.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today I grabbed my last 3 hours of summer holiday time and left work at noon, hopped the bus at the front door of the office and down to the studio in 20 minutes. It was a good painting session. Whenever I enter the 619 Building I can breathe deeper. It's not only my painting space but the whole structure carries amazing energy.

Clean energy.

While there I can forget about the ugliness-selfishness-arrogance out in the world and for a little bit of time, I'm less of a cynic. Some days I'm more sensitive to the blackness than other days. Today wasn't one of those days, but became aware this afternoon that the work space is really a haven.

Speaking of blackness, a handful of my friends are going through really tough times. You are all in my thoughts.

Notes from my trip back from the studio:

Walking back to the busstop I noticed there are two of the duck land/water boats driving down the street for every one of my busses. It is tourist season.

The underground tours are doing a booming business. Right near my corner at First and Yesler, the heart of Pioneer Square, massive groups were going every which way.

I realized I'm only one block away from the Utilikilts store.

On the bus I need to keep my camera at the ready. There are many great missed shots because it's in my bag. And today isn't the first day I've noticed that. When will I learn?

Downtown there was a cop on horseback...yet he and horse were walking down the sidewalk instead of the street. So odd.

On the hill there was a young guy quickly buzzing down the middle of Pike St on his very brightly multi-colored bicycle, one hand on the bars while holding and eating a large slice of cheese pizza. Again, a fun strange sight.

It's tough shooting work in my painting space. If the lights are on, I'm dealing with very warm color temperature and if they aren't on...well, even with the big windows, it's a little underexposed. Maybe I'll have to try late morning when the sun is pouring in. Here's a poor example of a few of my many in progress works:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

After a very full week that culminated in painting and then an intense, good play scene was a quiet day.

Did two loads of laundry.
Took a hot bubble bath.
Watched Firefly dvds.
Ate very spicy green curry chicken.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Stepping into the studio is stepping into a world unto itself.

I was thinking about the quote I posted yesterday...regarding going deep. And I realized that this work, my painting practice, is exactly like laying on the couch in my shrink's office: both scary because of the vast unknown...never sure of what will be brought to the surface.

What excited me was the realization that I used to do deep couchwork with a professional and now, somehow and very naturally, I've transferred what I learned and am now doing it myself. Although I still see him, it's different.

I'm slowly working my way out of the nest.

Friday, August 24, 2007

There is much going on inside. Although I'm not ready to elaborate, it feels as if in sending the letters, a big shift happened within me. I don't trust quick changes but then again, I have to remember all the work, struggle and suffering that led to this point. And I know it's not the end of it.

Life is about change and growth.

Tricycle's Daily Dharma shows up in my inbox every morning. From this morning:

If we do a little of one kind of practice and a little of another, the work we have done in one often doesn't continue to build as we change to the next. It is as if we were to dig many shallow wells instead of one deep one. In continually moving from one approach to another, we are never forced to face our own boredom, impatience, and fears. We are never brought face to face with ourselves. So we need to choose a way of practice that is deep and ancient and connected with our hearts, and then make a commitment to follow it as long as it takes to transform ourselves.
--Jack Kornfield in A Path with Heart from Everyday Mind.

Today I'm giving a small studio tour to another artist. Yesterday at work, someone came in who I hadn't seen in a long time. We tend to see other other about once a year. They had seen some of my work before...and expressed an interest in purchasing a certain painting. Yesterday they too asked for a tour and reminded me of their desire to purchase. He said he wants me to show him everything...and talk about it. We'll set up an appointment after Labor Day.

I haven't painted since Saturday. Sunday, in the studio, I wrote the letter. Monday, I spent time with Daniel in the space. And that was it.

When guilt would try to bust in, I'd remind myself that my creative energy was going to a very different place this week. Today, it's back to work.

On my way down to the space, I need to stop at The Paramount box office for tickets. My coworker (therapy twin), his partner and I are going to hit next Friday's matinee showing of Young Frankenstein. It's the world premiere...before heading to NYC. The Slog came up with a list of fun facts about the musical. I look forward to seeing Megan Mullally in the production.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

...I did it.

Yesterday afternoon I mailed out the letters.

Yes, mailed, not emailed.

My shrink made the suggestion with one reason being that there is so much in the letter. Computer screens offer coldness and a sense of distance whereas holding a piece of paper feels more natural. Organic was the word he used. As we continued to discuss it, two more reasons came to light: if they don't respond, I won't wonder if the emails never went through and with a letter there is no way to quickly send off a reply.

Regarding a response from them, I really have no expectations. Yesterday in chatting with Bill when he asked me, I said..."I have no clue. They could argue with me, they could ignore it, they could say they love me anyway, or they could put me out to pasture."

The shrink told me that my answer was even more powerful than the letter and it showed him I was ready to send it.

I returned to the office and emailed my sister for everyone's addresses. She replied within 5 minutes and was preparing to leave for the weekend. So if I'd waited, the letters would have as well.

There were 5 stamps left in my bag. Exactly enough for the 5 letters. At 5pm, very nervously, I popped them in the mailbox.

From there, I needed a drink. Bad. And I didn't want to be alone.

After a few misses with friends, I resigned myself to take out Thai and tv. Craig called and invited me over. He and Daniel were entertaining someone else, who I knew.

So I went over and enjoyed a wonderful evening with a perfect dinner of grilled chicken, a large plate of mixed greens and corn on the cob. (Sir...if you could have joined us you'd see I ate all my greens.)

Two glasses of red wine offered the nice, slow buzz my insides craved in that moment. Good company was balm.

I left with treats. Daniel, while cleaning, found some of his old art supplies. He gifted me with a delicious old metal paintbox that traveled through Europe with him and they loaned me the Firefly series on dvd.

And life goes on...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Seeing Eye...

About 10 minutes after posting last night's entry, Rob Brezsny's email hit my inbox. The first quote he had in there, which made me laugh, considering what I had just written was~

"A religious person is one who contributes to the world some beauty,
some joy, some happiness, some celebration that was not there before."

- Osho

And here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

Thanks to everyone for their support and kind words regarding yesterday's entry.

Thing is, although the letter literally wrote itself while sitting in my studio, and I know that it will need to be sent to The Family, it doesn't mean that I'm any less terrified. I've just reached a point where I cannot imagine any other alternative.

A perfect moment:
The coworker I call my therapy twin, because he's been through the tough work also, just walked past my office, stopped…turned around, came back in, kissed the top of my head and then headed on his way. No words.

He felt my energy and just knew I needed such kindness and affection right in this instant.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Breaking silence.

When I read the War of Art back in June, I received the first acknowledgment of how fundamentalism is detrimental to art.

Fundamentalists construct and live their lives with fear of freedom whereas artists work to embrace freedom. Two opposing forces. I would add that in both cases, it's a spiritual freedom that is feared or revered. And as I've said before, fundamentalism is seen in many communities...even liberal ones, not only traditional religious organizations.

It's a mindset.

Many times, my therapist would attempt to tell me how I was a freak born into my family. He'd say that even as a baby, my parents could see I was not like them and therefore really didn't know what to do with me. I would toss much of this off because I didn't have a full understanding of what he meant.

When I read the chapter on fundamentalism and art, I cried. The light was beginning to filter through the fog. And then this weekend, it broke through...glaringly. There is no place for me to hide.

On Sunday, I wrote a letter to my family. I've yet to send it. It may change. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the shrink and we'll discuss it. Maybe this letter simply opens the conversation or maybe I need to lay clear boundaries within. We'll see.

Here is the letter I wrote on Sunday.
Another coming out.


Dear everyone,

This letter has been in the making for a while and I had to trust it would happen in the right moment.

I need to be honest with you and let you know what's been going on with me....and why I don't come home very often. Not sharing this with you has been painful, and yet I also feared I'd cause more pain with my revelation.

You all know that I came out as gay at 23. I still am. It doesn't matter that a man is currently in my life and in my heart. I am queer.

I also wrote to you back then that I no longer considered myself a Catholic. In writing the letter, it surprised me that it was more difficult for me to reveal that fact than my sexual orientation.

Over the years, with much work, I've been discovering who I am and who I am not. Peeling through old layers and wading through mud has been and still is very cleansing. With this, I'm seeing my potential. In this, I see how critical being a painter is to my life. I could never have had the courage to paint let alone get a studio space without this work. It's all about healing the heart.

I love you all very much.
And I know you all love me with the same intensity.

Yet our mutual caring doesn't prevent the feeling of claustrophobia that hits whenever I go home. The world is so much bigger than what I believed for the first 20 years of my life. There is so much diversity, in lifestyles and beliefs. It's not a black and white world.

What's been the most difficult for me is reconciling my beliefs and be a (insert last name here) at the same time. Unfortunately, because of it, I've built a wall separating you from me. I've created distance.

It is time to chip away at the wall.

I've come to a place where I believe there is no god. Hand in hand with this I still believe that if people believe in god, then they too need to be true to themselves.

My philosophy is that we each need to follow our heart. Doing so reveals our truth. And with that, we need to allow everyone else their own truth.

It's interesting. As I've been coming to this very personal realization, I've discovered that, especially in the United States, if one is seen as believing there is no god, then they are seen as godless (which would be correct). Yet that then takes the next step of being seen as "evil".

I understand where this idea comes from. In a world that consists solely of heaven or hell...god = heaven leaves only one other alternative.

What's fascinating is that people who believe in god believe that god created us in his image. Therefore, following that logic, all of our hearts, our minds and our imagination would be of him as well. If that's the case, I don't understand why differences are scorned, feared, hated, reviled and condemned instead of being embraced and celebrated.

Even the belief of nonbelief.

Whether one is religious or not...whether one believes in god or not a measure of compassion.
Religious differences beget many wars. Killing and bloodshed.

I believe there was a man named Jesus. I also believe he, like Ghandi, was one of the most compassionate beings to walk the earth. Yet I see his followers who call themselves Christians, actually follow the Old Testament or Paul. The most vocal of these say very little about the words of Christ.

He believed in love. Unconditional love. He believed in non-judgement. He believed in social justice. He did not believe in an eye for an eye.

And I believe there are many who are equally as compassionate, yet live quiet lives, where their touch speaks loud in the small day to day actions. We will never know their names yet their energy of peace is what continues to flow through our world and touch every one of us.

When I come home, I am immediately surrounded by a sense of judgement and constriction. It is not intentional on your part, yet it is what I am sensitive to.

I don't expect you to do, be or act differently. My wish is that in revealing more of myself to you through breaking my silence, I will begin to take down the wall I've created. In that, maybe the heaviness I feel will lessen.

I love you. And I believe wholeheartedly that we all do the best we can. My job is to continue to reveal myself and not hide from parents, my family.

With my heart...

Monday, August 20, 2007

For the last few days I've been going thru something heavy, regarding family history. So today is one question and things that made me smile:

A family of four raccoons crossed in front of me on the way to work.

Where can I purchase Stone Temple Pilot's cover of Led Zeppelin's Dancing Days? iTunes doesn't seem to have it.

I literally had to stop in the middle of the street because a baby squirrel became confused and no longer knew which way he was headed. It took a specky bit before he made up his mind.

Syncopation is the way to do massive amounts of data entry. Blasted loud on my headphones, it put me in a groove.

Received a donation at work today with a wonderful comment:
I love what you do and how you do it! Thank you for your creativity, compassion, and generosity!

Spied a woman in her pink chenille bathrobe walking her dog.

Spent some long overdue wonderful time with Daniel.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I don't want a do-over but a move forward.

Today has been the oddest day.
And it's not even 6:00 pm yet.

It began about 11:30 last night. Sound asleep and I was awakened by my cell phone beeping. I looked and saw a message. Opened up the waiting text message. No missed calls. Nothing.

I returned to sleep.

This morning I checked voice mails and found one unheard message. It was the artist who I replaced. So I returned her call and found out her message was from last week not last night.

Walked out for coffee and found a parking ticket on my car. It was my error because I didn't move the vehicle yesterday afternoon. And I left my keys in the house so although my apartment was unlocked I couldn't get into the gated entrance until someone was leaving.

I managed to figure out how to add an extra account to Apple Mail to accept my gmail address. It seemed to be working fine. Except...any new mail from my regular email as well as gmail would no longer show up as new mail. Yes it would still make it to my in box, but not identified as unread mail. I couldn't figure it out.

In addition, any links in email (even older email still in my box) were no longer working. I'd click on it, Safari would open to my homepage and sit there. The url wouldn't go into the browser window.

Then, in testing some gmail account was only working sporadically.

So after an hour of trying to figure it out, I decided to get rid of the new account in Mail and leave gmail on the web for now. The only POP I deleted was for gmail. I didn't touch my regular email. Yet in doing so, I lost everything in my inbox. It was wiped clean.

Before freaking out I googled and discovered it hasn't disappeared permanently, instead it's stored in library. I relaxed and at some point I'll get someone to help me retrieve it. Another day.

During this strangeness, I tried to restart the computer, thinking it was glitched out. It wouldn't restart. So after a bit, I hit the power button to shut the damned thing down. It wouldn't do that either. Definite gremlins! After letting it sit for about a half hour, I was finally able to shut it down and then reboot.

When I woke this morning I was incredibly sleepy. That feeling has lasted all day. With this weirdness maybe painting would be a wise thing to do. First a stop at Utrecht Art and then to the studio. Returning to my car from the art store I saw a black SUV trying to park behind me and scratch up my white bumper.

I in the car and went to my workspace. The one utility sink on my floor was all backed up and half filled with greasy water.

While painting, threw on iShuffle which I had loaded with new music yesterday. And I double-checked it. It was all there. Everything seemed kosher. Today, while playing, there was a duplicate of every single song.

Painted for an hour, came home, picked up a couple slices of pizza and I'm staying in tonight.

Before eating, I moved a pile of music cd's back to the shelf. The whole pile slipped out of my hands, hit the floor and two of the cases broke, cd's sliding across the kitchen linoleum.

The strangest thing about all this bizarreness is I never got upset. Or depressed. It was becoming ludicrous, a comedy of errors...of sorts. If I come across as flat it's due to tiredness. Extra hugs are welcome.

So to end on a little better note, here are a few paintings. I haven't touched them this week because I'm not sure if I'll work over them or just move on. They are part of my "I haven't a clue what I'm doing" series.

The first one is a little 8x10. The second is 16x20. The images appear faded but if you click on each painting, you will have a better sense of color and density. I don't know why it changes when it opens in a different window.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Standing outside my studio waiting for C a couple days ago, I looked up and saw it peeking thru the opening. The Smith Tower. It once was the 4th tallest building in the world. Developers have received approval to turn it into condos.

Today is the 100th anniversary of Pike Place Market. There have been celebrations all week, culminating with special events all day today. The Market is only about 6 smaller than NYC blocks from my work space. I suspect the tourist action will be much heavier than usual.

Yesterday I became sick at work and went home early.
Today, I plan on painting.

I could have sworn I purchased a tube of cad yellow last week. But it's nowhere to be found and I'm out. It's unsettling when one's memory goes sour. Must stop into Utrecht on the way to the studio today.

Monday morning while heading back to work after running an errand with a coworker, I noticed a sign for the first time. It was near the Central District. An old Wonder Bread sign. And the "bread" letters were gone. What we could see was "wonder" in big letters, floating in the sky. It was a perfect photo op and verbally noted that I needed to return with my camera. Yesterday, I read that it's now gone.

I lost my chance.

And here is one person's opinion of what are the 10 gayest album covers.

Thanks to The Slog for both links.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Persist with painting.
Yesterday I went into the studio more relaxed. If it is my season for muddled messes, self-doubt and the be it. I still don't know what I'm doing but in letting go, the despair disappeared.

I switched out my small little darker than wasabi bag that I carry for a larger canvas mushy bag. A bigger bag was needed to traipse back and forth to the studio. The bag was purchased a year ago and yesterday was the first time I used it. This fact struck me when I had to cut off the tags.

August is a slow month in Seattle - at least in the nonprofit sector. No one holds meetings. Emails have slowed to almost nothing. No voice mails. It's still something I have a hard time remembering and therefore getting used to. People are taking advantage of the nice weather. In my office, we haven't had the full staff together in over 4 weeks.

My shrink moved his office a few weeks back. Last week was so strange seeing a different space. It's cozier, in a good way. And odd.

I have to, have to, have to make time to shop for groceries. My new schedule with painting after work hasn't left me any desire to shop for food or cook. I tend to pick up take out or a protein smoothie. Even something as simple as having some homemade egg salad waiting in the fridge would be a good thing. As would a carton of milk and a bowl of fruit. Why does it feel near impossible to be responsible in all aspects of one's life all at the same time?

My body is happy this morning.

In a few days I will be making my 2nd to the last car payment. This makes my bank account happy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Going to the studio and painting just about every day after work has made daily photo-taking a greater challenge. Some days there is no creative energy left to shoot. Yesterday I committed to shooting before I began painting.

My life lately is mostly lived alone. Again, it has to do with painting. I've noticed that when I socialize, I can pretty much chalk it up as a no painting day unless I work in the morning as I did on Sunday. Of course that means there's little left of me for large groups. So even in a group, I'm a puddle, sitting in the chair.

Being in the studio is an experience I've never imagined. Last week was about playing and getting to know the space. This week it seems I've stepped into the reality of painting. I can't seem to spend more than 2 hours in there. A great uncomfortableness arises and I need to leave. It's something I really want to push through.

The last 3 days have been challenging.

Last night, after getting home, I could feel a vast unknown. It's been building. I'm sure that it will break at some point but not sure when or how. I'm working and each session seems to be about nothing more than pushing paint around. It's crazy. It's only been 3 days and I know it could go on for weeks...months.

But it's all new for me.

It's interesting that claiming this studio has oh so quickly pushed me into a space I didn't know existed. The landscape is harsh. Unfriendly. The moments of sun are fleeting.

I'm painting fucking mushy squares...over and over. Something is in there yet I haven't a clue what it is. Looking at the current work I see they are the same. They all wear a veil. The color isn't bold. There's no direction. No light.

Each evening when I leave, there are many restaurants where I can pick up cheap eats. Happy hour places with good food abound. I can actually do a nice glass of wine and a great dinner for $5. Yet I'm so raw that I can't imagine sitting alone, dining with strangers. Instead, I walk to the bus and surround myself with an invisible wall...anxious to return to the safety of my home.

Yesterday morning while tearing my house apart looking for something, I stumbled upon a book that N gave me a few months back. Here's a link to a few excerpts.

Flipping through it, I saw these two nuggets:

"Are you paralyzed with fear? That's a good sign....The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have do to it."

Yeah, I knew that but it helps to hear it again. Especially now.

And this one I really need. It's on resistance and isolation.

"Sometimes we balk at embarking on an enterprise because we're afraid of being alone. We feel comfortable with the tribe around us; it makes us nervous going off into the woods on our own.

Here's the trick: We're never alone. ...As soon as we step outside the campfire glow, our Muse lights on our shoulder like a butterfly. The act of courage calls forth infallibly that deeper part of ourselves that supports and sustains us."

That's my current struggle. I think I'm fighting the aloneness. Even though I am committed to working and make myself go to the studio, I'm afraid of the isolation.

I'm trying to trust and believe that this is all an inhale and then an exhale. Nothing more.

And so...that's why today's Rob Brezsny is so perfect. Last night I was trying not to freak out...even though I kept muttering over and over "I don't know what I'm doing..."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Welcome to the Season of Temporary Insanity, Capricorn. According to my analysis of the omens, your imminent immersion in lunacy, delirium, and freakiness won't hurt a bit -- and may even stir up exotic varieties of pleasure and amusement. For best results, keep the following advice bubbling and frothing in the back of your mind. (1) "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things." - Edgar Degas. (2) "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." – Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks. (3) "All of us are crazy good in one way or another." - Yiddish saying. (4) "You are either losing your mind -- or gaining your soul." - Julia Cameron.

Here is yours.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yesterday, I took a couple vacation hours to get to the studio early. While heading over on the bus, sleepiness overtook me. My mind was busy, but my eyes were heavy. And exhausted. It hurt behind my eyeballs.

Stepping foot in my space..."oh!" slipped from my lips. Looking at the work on the walls, I cried.

I was falling in love with the work. Warmth filled me. And still...tiredness. Laying on the couch, I stared at the wall that held my latest pieces. There was a sense of satisfaction.

It took great effort to get up and paint. I worked over two pieces.

In doing so, my skills fell down. I looked at the palette as a foreign entity. I no longer knew how to mix color. Color sense left me. I was the 6 year old, staring at the coloring book, refusing to fill it in because I didn't know what colors to use.

Yes. Although I loved the idea and possibility of coloring books as a child, I feared them. I didn't want to do green trees and blue skies and yet couldn't pull the color from myself and apply it to the page.

There is much intimidation in a coloring book.

Each time I stand before a canvas I am again intimidated. It doesn't matter if I've approached it joyfully or out of duty. Painting is a terrifying proposition.

The only thing that keeps me going is that it is a part of me. After years of running, I can no longer deny it.

And yet, it doesn't make it any less scary.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Very overdue image posting-

A while back, the week I found my studio, I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend from blog-ville. He was in Seattle only for an overnight and we managed to finally get together. It was a total joy spending time with Zev. I picked him up at his hotel and first took him to Alki where we sat in the sun at a picnic table at the beach and enjoyed scallops and fish. From there, after a car tour of Seattle, we ended up at Cafe Septieme where we met up with Roger's hubby.

By using his hanky, this rope top gave us tips on knot-making.

Zev allowed me to take photos. Being quite sympathetic to his discomfort in front of the camera, I was thrilled to see how relaxed he came across.

Hot boy~

The following week I returned to Alki with Daniel and Craig for dinner when Malixe showed up with a friend. It was a fabulous surprise. I don't see Malixe near enough. And many years ago...I was told I should be introduced to Scott.

Oddly, I didn't get photos of Craig.

It was another dinner with lovers of rope.

Malixe and Daniel~

Last night's dessert options at Casa de Phil -

Beginning clockwise, all homemade, kickass ice creams: chocolate, mint, strawberry and vanilla bean. The mint, as someone put it "doesn't taste like mouthwash." It was the most incredible mint ice cream made with fresh mint from a friend's garden.

And then fabulous cherry pie and the best chocolate cream pie I've ever had.

Yeah, I had to sample a little of each.

And Gryph couldn't get enough.

Although these recent photos are much milder, they reminded me of another food porn shot from 6 months ago.

Remember this?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Some touristy type photos from Friday night~

I know I posted one of these yesterday, but this one has the mountain.

Maybe my painting palette is influenced by our late afternoon light hitting the buildings?

Now introducing a guest photographer:

Sitting across from me at dinner on Friday night he asked for my camera...and wanted it set to color. I was curious to see what he saw.

I so wish I had seen and taken this one.

Remember this painting from May?

This is what it looks like after this week~

I've been slowing down and reworking overly marked up paintings. The most recent one still isn't complete...but I like where it's going. The color in the jpeg is still off (even after color-correcting in Photoshop) because of the temp of the studio lights.

Yesterday I was bone tired and never made it into the studio. Instead it was a day of laundry, cleaning the fridge, watching movies and then a killer dinner with Phil, D and Phil's brother.

Being tired, the images I was going to post never happened. Hopefully they'll go up today...after some time spent painting.