Sunday, August 31, 2008


Okay, so I'm updating the blog every six months whether it needs it or not...

In the past six months, I have been painting a lot and writing a little. I guess I can't really do both at the same time, although I am convinced that the urge or drive or - well, let's face it, compulsion - to do both comes from the same place in my head, that not-too-well-ordered spot where the cups all runneth over and the glasses are never half empty or even half full, but brimming like silent fountains. It's the constant jackpot in the slot machine of my life.

Oh, yeah, I discovered casinos - "Indian Gaming" is the really polite word for what goes on in these absolutely vast gambling palaces. Full of smoke, noise, mirrors, drinks, music, over-the-top waterfalls, costumes and glitz, they are fascinating, repellent, beautiful and crazy. There are no clocks, and very little sense of time. Step through the doors into a different world, and live a science fiction vignette.

It can get pricey, though - the video slot machines can cost you if you don't win at least part of the time. And for me, it's a long drive at high gas prices. But the people I see and the ideas I get in the two casinos I have frequented make the trips and the cost worth it. And I have won a couple of times, so I am breaking even on the money.

The other big gamble I took this year was giving in to the painting compulsion. I began painting in oils even though I didn't know anything about painting, oils, equipment, technique or, well, anything at all. Also, since I don't have the use of my left side & I was left-handed before the stroke, I didn't have anything to paint with. I took an online class in how to mix oil pigments, what turpentine is for and how to gesso a stretched canvas. Actually, I learned a lot more than that, but when I felt ready I bought paints, oil medium, brushes, canvas, - a ton of stuff is needed - and started my first paintings. I already knew what to paint as I had been having obsessive visions of these paintings for quite some time. I started off using the brush in my mouth, but finally got the hang of using my right hand for much of the actual application of color. I got a beautiful easel for my birthday and turned the office into an office-studio.

I am delighted to report that my first ever public showing was at the DA Center Art Gallery in the Childhood Dreams show where I had two paintings on display. I can't tell you how thrilling it was to see my stuff on the wall right next to established artists.

This new direction has led me to at least think about updating my website to include links to the painting side of things, so over the course of the next hundred years I'll be working on that, too.


The clean smell of oil & turpentine making the house somehow seem more expansive.

The bits and pieces of green shrubs defiantly growing up through the blackened and charred remains of our beautiful hillside which burned this year.

The new babies this year - my niece Bekki had a boy and my niece Susie also had a boy. Two boys! Woohoo!