Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finding time for art

cold wax & oil on wood ~ 12x12

I don't know much about cold wax medium or oils, 
but the idea of working with cold wax intrigued me
especially living in a cold climate where ventilation
for encaustics is an issue.
I've been puttering away at this painting
working on it off and on for many months.
Very happy to have finished it yesterday.
I've been trying a different approach to making art.
Much of what I had been doing required poems and quotations.
Interpreting the words with design elements, line-form-texture etc.
I've switched to journaling my thoughts and feelings 
and expressing those with cold wax & oil.
This is a different animal than acrylics.
You need a bit of patience with oils as they take time to dry.
In May I'm taking a class with Rebecca Crowell.
Sure to have my many questions answered.
I've got a triptych in the works.  
More on those later....
My mom continues to improve.
Even her voice sounds strong.
We're still working on finding assisted living for her.
One day at a time.... 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life is a bowl ...

Bowl #2
gouache and encaustic medium on plaster 5x7

This piece was inspired by two stories.

"This is a giant block
of whatever is most difficult
for you to carry
and trust me on this,
you'll carry it more times
thank you can count
until you decide that's exactly
what you want to do most
and then it won't weigh
a thing anymore"
from The Story People
"...each day a monk goes out
with his empty bowl in his hands.
Whatever is placed in the bowl
will be his nourishment for the day."
Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
These two stories have been rolling
around and around in thoughts that are
deep and scattered.
I've been resisting difficult situations.
Easier to try to run and hide
than to (wo)man up and face them...head on.
Denial runs within a deep vein.
Taking on my mother's burden
has been at once painful and tender.
My bowl is full to the brim (enough, I cry)
with work, visits, seeking help, searching for assisted living,
calls to nurses, doctors, social workers...on and on..
I think about how difficult this is to carry,
I come to the realization
that this is exactly what I want to do most.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.
My mom has turned a corner, she's doing much better.
She'll be leaving the ICU behind soon.
Sweet relief.
She's got a lot of work to do ahead.
Her will has become strong.
Grateful daughter am I.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Charcoal on pastel paper

What a month it has been.  On Feb. 8th, there was a fire in the apartment 2 doors down from my mother's.  She was hurrying to put on a robe to evacuate when she fell, hit her head and knocked herself out.  She had bleeding on the brain and broke 3 bones in her wrist (dom. hand).  Thank God she didn't need surgery.  I have been scurrying around trying to get her into assisted living, fill out paper work for aid and attendance benefits, keep up with her doctors, spend time with her, and I was advised to set up a burial trust for her.  Sobering thought.  Exhaustion has draped it's cloak over me and I can do nothing but surrender.  I - am - tired.
The other night I got a call that she was having trouble to the ER, now she has pneumonia.  An 84 year lady with one lung has pneumonia.  I visited her today, she is so confused she doesn't know where she is.  She told me she wants to die.  She doesn't want to live, this is no way to live.  My eyes filled up with tears.  I didn't want her to see me cry, but maybe I should have.
She has given up, there is just no fight left in her.  She's ready to go.  I cried all the way home.


The drawing was done in 1996. 
 The photo I used was taken
 when she was in the sanitarium
 after having a lung removed from TB. 
 She was only 19.
  I covered the paper with charcoal
erased a grid
placed a grid printed on a transparency over the photo
and went at it.
grid by grid, erasing and drawing,
I love the sound of charcoal on paper.
It was her Christmas present.