Thursday, December 30, 2010

Land Ho

My little narwhal painting is part of this very charming treasury, Land-Ho Little Narwhale! curated by rrthoma, the store owner of The Golden Mark (her horse painting is below.)

I really love the idea of narwhals knitting. It comes from a fabulous store, Sadly Harmless. Her paintings are wonderful and fun, and I recommend looking at her shop.

For your listening pleasure... Tom Ashbrook is asking very dull questions (Larry King, anybody?), but William Shatner still makes this a fun interview. I have always been a fan of people who cross the boundary of good taste: "Having boundaries is a mistake, because it encases you in a shell, and .... you're already shrinking."

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Critter Yoga

It is hard to decide who should do the handstand... Skunk? Bear?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

River Horses et al

Winter has finally and fully hit; we were supposed to go to our friends' house today, and ended up snow bound. Lucy got in a bit of skating before the snow hit, and Émile continues his slow Cowboy Junkie dance.

Lucy just asked me if today could be Christmas, too. It's a bit of a let down to have no more presents, sweets, friends over for dinner...

Question from Lucy: "Can a magician be a fairy?"

I had forgotten the link between hippopotamuses and Christmas, until PluckingPendants curated a treasury on Etsy, called I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. My favorite item on the list is the pair of front and back hippo earrings.

I found a mind bending yogi, Tiffany Cruikshank, online, searching for study photos for some paintings. Impressive, isn't she?

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
Lao Tzu

Monday, December 20, 2010

Warthog ... underneath

I am really enjoying the music of PSAPP and the animations of Hauke Hilberg. Delicious noise, silly bugs.

And sorry, frogs, I have found a new love: warthogs. There is something mythic about them, the hairy fairies. Like dinosaurs, I can almost, but not quite, believe in them. Then, of course, they have their own Flanders and Swann lyrics, so how could you not love them? (full lyrics below, listen here)

Lyrics to The Warthog :
The Jungle was giving a party
A post hibernation ball
The Ballroom was crowded with waltzing Gazelles, Gorillas and Zebras and all.
But who is that animal almost in tears
Pretending to powder her nose?
A poor little Warthog who sits by herself
In a pink satin with blue bows.
Again she is no-body's choice and she sings in a sad little voice:

No one ever wants to court a Warthog
Though a Warthog does her best
I've spent a lot of money for a Warthog
I am perfumed and prettily dressed
I've lustrinsed my hair
I'm perfumed here and there
My gums were tinted when I brushed my teeth
I'm young and in my prime
But a wallflower all the time
'Cos I'm a Warthog
Just a Warthog
I'm a Warthog underneath

Take your partners for a ladies Excuse me!

Excited and radiant she runs on the floor
To join the furor and fuss.
She taps on each shoulder and says 'Excuse me!'
and each couple replied 'Excuse us!'
Then having no manners at all
They sing as they dance round the hall:

'No one ever wants to court a Warthog
Though a Warthog does her best
Her accessories are dazzling for a Warthog
She is perfumed and daringly dressed
We know her these and those are like Marilyn Monroe's
Her gown is just a scintillating sheath
But she somehow fails to please
'Cos everybody sees she's a Warthog
Just a Warthog
She's a Warthog underneath'

Head hanging she wanders away from the floor
This Warthog whom nobody loves
Then stops in amazement
For there at the door stands a gentleman Warthog impeccably dressed
In the act of removing his gloves.
His fine chiseled face seems to frown
As he looks her first up then down

'I fancy you must be a sort of Warthog
Though for a Warthog you look a mess
That make-up's far to heavy for a Warthog;;
You could have chosen a more suitable dress
Did you have to dye your hair?
If that's perfume give me air!
I strongly disapprove of scarlet teeth
But let us take the floor
'Cause I'm absolutely sure
That you're a Warthog
Just a Warthog
The sweetest little,
Neatest little
Dearest and completest little
Warthog ... underneath'.

When you try to take a passport photo, don't use a baby as your model

Friday, December 17, 2010

Supertramp, again

Supertramp and Sondheim... I keep hearing Sweeney Todd on the Supertramp CD (remember those?) that puts Émile to sleep. Yay! We have, at last, expanded from the exclusively Cowboy Junkie diet we were on.
Also, the intro to Dreamer sounds surprisingly like the later Jane's Addiction hit, Jane Says...

And I hear my parents' generation in the Goodbye Stranger lyrics,
I have to have things my own way
just to keep me in my youth
This is, more or less, the mantra I was raised on. Not very good for, say, society, family, or individual, eh?

How many times have I heard this album in the last few weeks?

I went to yoga for the first time in years this morning, and I'm already sore.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, no, wait, Rhubarb, and Thyme

So, Rosemary is fine for nursing babies, scary 70s movies aside. Parsley, sage, and thyme, however, are bad eggs. As is rhubarb, mysteriously. That knocks off most of my favorite spices, and one of my favorite fruit/vegetables (actually a vegetable).
Now I only have curry, cumin, and rosemary to bolster my meals. Brings me back to prenatal times, when all I ate was curry and cumin, to the point that I was debating which one would be a better name for my little boy. A sort of Rapunzel thing.

I repainted a bit of the butterfly painting, because it had something that kept me from focusing on it. Wish I understood it...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

media wars

I often put together a photo collage as a model when I make a painting, but this is the first time I have been sure that I liked the collage better than the painting. I feel like I am betraying the medium by admitting that.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't sneeze at Supertramp

Things I have learned over the last few days:
1. Pushing my tongue against my top front teeth can keep me from sneezing. (other methods here.)
2. Amaryllis are poisonous to pets.
3. Cradle cap has unknown origins--yeast? mother's hormones?
4. I love the 70s band Supertramp. The Logical Song makes me feel like I am five years old, running around my aunt's house in Ames, Iowa.
When i was young
It seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical

Unanswered question: Do I really want to make a painting from the study collage I made, or is it better as a photo?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The moon rises in purple

A painting in memory of my childhood pet, my black mouse, Percy. She was a wonderful pet. The charming thing about holding a mouse on your palm is that it defies gravity. It's little heart beats at approximately 480-600 beats per minute, vibrating itself right up into air. Also, feeding her a drop of peanut butter on my finger, with her tiny tongue licking up every bit of peanut oil, was painfully sweet.

The wee little Percival painting made it into an Etsy treasury, called the moon rises in purple, curated by ArtInVenice (yes, he actually lives in Venice, lucky man...) I love the butterfly print.

Lucy drew me a frog. Without a doubt the best frog painting I have ever seen.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Legacies and Teeth

Émile has become very interested in the activity that seems so important to everyone around him.

My eye was caught by a posted question in a forum I read. The question was simple, but one that has snagged my mind for a while, long before I saw the question: Why do I, or you, make art? It seems, to my farm country genes, and my Peace Corps-raised Id, like an insignificant thing to do in the face of climate destruction, poverty, suffering.

On good days, I think the artist is like a priest, and has a spiritual role to fill.
On other days, it is just a handicap, an itch that must be continually scratched.
Or maybe it is a way of justifying my own existence. "Look, but I made this."

Sometimes this need goes away, when some very significant other creation takes place. Some people teach, and find that their creative drive disappears in the teaching. The same is not true for, say, a filing job. But some of us have it all the time, teaching or not. Babies are the ultimate in creation, but even they don't always make that drive go away.

So, for me, the question remains unanswered. Do you have an answer, yourself?