Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mary Had A Little Lamp

#168 - Draw your daily newspaper; #116 - Draw something green; #2 - Draw a lamp.

I was looking over our daily paper to see if there was any inspiration therein to use as a writing prompt. I soon found it, in the classifieds. Now, we locals like to joke about the lack of proofreading abilities displayed by the Tribune-Herald staff. Rumour has it that all new job applicants are immediately given an elementary spelling test. If they can pass it, the interview is over and they won't be hired.

As much as I like poking fun at our Trib, I think for a small paper on an underpopulated island, they do pretty well. Besides, I have to admit I kind of enjoy typos. They usually make me laugh, and always make me feel, well, sort of superior when I find them. Also, it can be like solving a little puzzle to figure out what it was supposed to say. You know how important it is, as we grow older, to exercise our brains on a daily basis!

I found this advertisment under LIVESTOCK FOR SALE. "Premium hair sheep. Lamps and breeding yews. 555-5656." Not only did it make me chuckle, but it gave me an idea for an EDM triple score.

Breaking My Own Rules

I have a "rule" about posting without an accompanying drawing or painting, but I guess this will be a temporary exception to my own rules.

This is a photo of my labyrinth garden, taken by my friend Rev. Angelica Taggart, who some years ago encouraged me to build it. It's more recent than the depiction of the same garden in the banner.

I'm writing about it now because it has been mentioned in a magazine article which I can probably only link to until the next issue is published. I always meant to explain my connection to labyrinths and what they mean to me somewhere in this blog, but I never know quite how to go about it. It's a mystery! Anyway, maybe the article will help.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just Because We Can -- Period

#170- Draw a zipper

I like the woman, she does much good for the world and she produces an uplifting publication. That said, I was home after a hard day’s work at the bonsai nursery. A casserole was in the oven, so I relaxed with a fresh new copy of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine. I was reading an article on age appropriate dressing, and I agreed with most of it, until Oprah herself chimed in to share a pet peeve. She acknowledged that many employers in this day and age allow casual attire for the job. Evidently this fact is troubling enough, but what really distresses her is that women of a certain age are now wearing blue jeans to work. If they could only be honest with themselves, they would admit an older body cannot carry off this look, and it is so much kinder to those around you to dress attractively. In essence, just because women over 40 can wear jeans to work, doesn’t mean they should. Ever!

I had spent that day shoveling cinders, screening peat, hefting 50 lb. bags of fertilizer, and now I learn that all the while I had been subjecting my poor co-workers to the indelicate sight of my middle-aged behind in snug denim. Oh, the shame! I re-read the few lines of copy, surely there was some loophole? Some mention of “in the office” or “metropolitan” or “white-collar”, but there was none. I didn't bother to do the research, but there must be many women employed in agriculture, in construction, and driving trucks. I may be going out on a limb, here, but I think at least a few of them might be over the age of 40, and probably do not plow and hammer and toil in the designer corduroy and tweed slacks that “O” has blessed as appropriate work wear (none of which, by the way, cost under $300.00.) I know she had another type of woman in mind, but do the rest of us not exist? After giving the matter a lot of thought, I formulated an opinion of my own. Just because a media mogul can project her standards of dress onto the masses, doesn’t mean she should.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Grog Wasn't Just Redecorating the Foyer

#117 - Draw Something Round
Consider, if you will, the cave painters. How did primitive man, (or woman, we don't really know!) render such beautiful two dimensional depictions of live moving objects from the three dimensional world, without even the help of a reference page torn from Nat'l Geographic? Just the "how" of it boggles my mind, and then I must go on to the "why." Again, we don't know, but I think s/he did this to capture the animal in the spirit world, so hunters could experience a successful hunt in the real world.

This is why I paint mandalas. It all began as an experiment in capturing the "spirit" of something I wished to manifest. You could easily argue that every artist does this with each attempt at art, but I try for something a little more... what? Intentional? Esoteric? New-agey? Goofy? I dunno, you decide.

I begin with affirmations which I write longhand into a wedge shape. After these word-forms are repeated around a center point to form a circle, I end up with a complex linear pattern. Then I pick out shapes using color and contrast. While coloring in the pattern, I try to meditiate on the feeling of the affirmation, be it joy, abundance, health, protection, whatever. It is a calming, centering process, and I wanted to share it with you. (OK, I also wanted to buy time while I finish challenge #170, which is taking longer than I thought it would.) This particular design is built on the affirmation "I love my home, with each passing day its positive energy increases."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ode to My Old Friend Jeeves

#169 - Draw a piece of cake

I was introduced to AskJeeves soon after I discovered the Internet. We immediately hit it off. I could ask him anything, he was never too busy to talk and he never ridiculed my questions. He was especially helpful when I came home late from work and didn't have a meal planned. I would look in the pantry, make a list of three or more ingredients, and ask "What can I make for dinner with (fill in the blanks?) Often I was given menus and recipes which exactly fit my needs, sometimes it was necessary to make a few substitutions, and even if no close answer appeared I always received an idea to build on. Then one fateful evening I was down to a couple of condiments, wilted lettuce, and a half bag of Gummi Bears. In desperation I typed the question anyway and hit "search", fearing that the CPU might explode, or that Jeeves might decide he didn't want to be my friend anymore. But instead he came up with an answer and it was spot-on. The first hit was "How to make dinner reservations online"!

This reminiscence came about because I first had to bake a cake in order to draw one. Being a practical person, I searched for a recipe using two ingredients I have an overabundance of: dried, natural coconut from our front yard, and bran cereal from an unfortunate experiment in case lot buying. I didn't think I was going to like this crumbcake, but it turned out to be surprisingly good. The main flavors, coconut, coffee and almond, blend so beautifully that no one dominates. The recipe is a keeper, the drawing -- not so much.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Warning: Some Content May Be Disturbing

#167 - Draw something that needs to be fixed.

I found the first at a garage sale on the seedy side of town. Soon, needing more, I was haunting thrift stores, flea markets and even church bazaars. I approached a family member for help. She didn't even bat an eye at my macabre request, which may suggest that my dark imaginings are an inherited trait. She found more that were promptly subdued, strapped into unmarked boxes, and transported over state lines. Once they reached my workshop terrible things happened, things I would rather not describe.

You see, my muses once bid me to make an "art doll". I had what I thought were some terrific ideas and threw myself into the project with unbridled zeal. I collected all the raw materials, tools, supplies, and teeny-tiny props necessary. But each time I begin working on the task my initial vision expands, morphs, becomes more complicated. I cannot seem to get past the deconstruction phase on this job without changing direction or stalling out entirely. In short, I have a terrible habit of not finishing my creative projects, and this habit is what very much needs to be fixed!