Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Slow Pace of a January Day

I am still struggling with intense fatigue and poor Don is struggling with a root canal from hell. We are both moving rather slowly these cold January days as the weather aggravates our Lyme eroded joints and magnifies our fatigue. Today I am catching up on downloading photos and Don is resting on the couch waiting for the second Vicodin to kick in and ease his tooth pain.

Beacuse of my sloth-like energy levels I have not made a lot of progress on my shaman painting. I did manage to work on his face a bit more and I am getting rather attached to the old fellow. I enjoy having his eyes follow me around the studio and I am looking forward to my next remission when I can dive right in and finish him up.

Don and I went on a couple of walks during the gorgeous January weather we were having and I took some photos of the double bridge leading to NH and a pretty little waterfall.


Monday, January 25, 2010

A Shaman and a Funeral

Started another little painting the other day, the old man in it reminds me of a Shaman. So far a raven and a snake have appeared in the background, not sure if anything else will surface so far it has been a fun exploration.

Yesterday we volunteered doing set up and clean up at a funeral for most of the day at church so I did not get a chance to get in the studio and today I was pretty tired from the funeral work so my little shaman painting has been waiting patiently for me to return to it, hopefully tomorrow I will be able to finish him.

Don and I went for a walk the other day and took some photos. It was one of those lovely bright and crisp January days. I will share a few of the photos here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Healing Sleep & Wailing in Haiti

I have been needing lots of sleep these days, maybe the healing process accelerates during rest and my body instinctively knows that. I went up to bed at 5:00 the last two evenings, briefly got up again for an hour or two and then went back to bed. I also slept quite late in the morning. Even took a nap yesterday. Still, I do not regret increasing the meds so close together, winter is a good time for this kind of deep healing and hibernation and I am believing for remission and wellness in spring!

I have not had much energy for dragging out, or cleaning up paints or dyes in the studio so I have been pixel pushing, working on a image called “Spirit Bird” on and off for the last week as I teach myself about layers in PS. I also took out some ancient pastels that I had stashed away in the studio and did a sketch called “Wailing in Haiti”. This image came to me very clearly after watching some news footage of Haiti on a CBS video pod. The news broadcaster was standing in front of the wreckage of a building and it was a jumble of black and white lines, some bent and broken, some missing and others converging in the distance. Then they flashed photos of the sobbing, wailing, injured and frightened people. Anyway I did this sketch quickly as a release and did not fuss with it at all.

This morning I am going to pay bills and later depending on my energy levels I am either going to do some work with oils or if energy still eludes me I will do some more pixel pushing as I continue to teach myself the process of creating digital art.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brattleboro at Night

Last night Don and I went to the Martin Luther king Jr. service at Center Church. It was a wonderful service and it was such a mild a beautiful night that we decided to walk around downtown Brattleboro and take some photos of the “city lights". Some of them would make great paintings and I plan to experiment with doing some silk paintings of a couple of them .  


Back in the studio today I am continuing to work on a pastel that I started yesterday, it was an idea that came to me after watching a news clip on Haiti. It is an expressive piece that is roughly drawn with lots of emotion so I want to get right back to it while I am still feeling the rawness I felt when I saw the photos on the news.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Local Ruins, Homeless Burn Victim, MLK Jr, & the Vamp in Red

It seems as if there is so much sorrow, so many wounded souls, so much suffering in the world right now. No matter how much my own illness affects my life there are always people that have it so much worse. Don and I went out for a few walks this weekend in and around the “Boro”. As we walked and talked the earthquake victims, the war, the homeless population here in Brattleboro and the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. were all upfront in our hearts and minds. 

The range of things that caught our attention on our daily walks ran the full gamut from delightful to disheartening. We came upon the snow covered campsite of one of the local homeless people. They were sleeping in a tent and there were opened canned goods strewn around. I was reminded of hearing the DART helicopter fly over the house the night before as it picked up a homeless man that had been found in Brattleboro with third degree burns all over his body from either rolling or falling into his campfire. I felt deeply sad and ill at ease when we wandered into the campsite. Don wanted to walk on but I wanted to turn around and not pass through it. I felt that this was someone’s home and I did not want to invade this sacred space. I wondered as we turned and left if it was the camp of the burn victim? (I chose not to photograph the campsite)

On a different day and on a different path we came across some “ruins”. Some cast offs from another time and our conversation turned to the Haitians living in such utter devastation right now. On Sunday our church talked about what we could do to help the earthquake victims. As we celebrated Ecumenical Sunday and the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. We spoke these words: “ We pray for the countries and continents from which we come, and from which our neighbors come, in their struggles and accomplishments, in their suffering and hope. Bless the peoples of this world: bless the lands we cherish, the communities we serve, and the families we and our neighbors love. We pray for people everywhere without a home, without a family, without jobs, and without a voice. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.”

Our walks were not all sadness however; we enjoyed the beautiful view over the Retreat Meadows of the multi colored ice fishing shacks, the powerful structure of the arching highway bridge over the river in the distance backed up by the rolling mountains and expansive sky.
We also enjoyed the amazingly creative window displays downtown, all decked out in their Valentine reds, hearts, and even a sexy brooding vamp clad in red velvet, sipping a martini while lounging on couch. Ahh…. the eye candy of Brattleboro, art is everywhere; even in the midst of such tragedy Brattleboro is a canvas ripe for paint and full of expressive souls with something to say and the multitude of viewers that reap it all in.

Back in the studio there is an image being born on a small canvas, with an uprooted section of earth on which sits an abandoned house and garden. A raven is escaping from one of the broken windows to fly off with the others in the distanse. All of this is sitting on top of a "No U Turn" sign on the side of an asphalt road.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More playing around with digital collage

Didn't have much energy today so I did some more playing around in Photoshop with Layers. The digital painting on top is variation on the one I did yesterday. The smaller one is a background of flowers and grasses painted on silk with a bird layered on top of the silk painting image.

Have learned so much about layering in the last two days. really amazing what you can do by adding together painted layers and then using the brushes to paint over them again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Raven by the Brook

Day three of the increased meds and I am really feeling the higher pain and fatigue level so I don’t have much wisdom for today. I did manage to create a nice little digital painting with a proud looking raven in it. I created a pebbly brook and a scattering of leaves and twigs on the bank. It reminds me of the brook that ran by my house when I was growing up. I may try to repeat this one with dyes on silk at some point when I am feeling better.

I fought with the front paper load mechanism on my EPSON for what seemed like an hour today trying to get it to take Inkpress’s canvas paper with no luck. I followed exactly what it said in the owner’s manual and then threes everything else but I just cannot get the canvas paper to feed. I am wondering if I attached it to another sheet of less flexible paper if that would do the trick? Let me know if you have any wisdom on this subject.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Something Old and Something New

I increased my Neuro-Lyme meds again yesterday and I have never done 2 successive increases so quickly before (10 days apart) because it tends to make me very sick. I did it because I want to get this treatment over with and I am hoping to feel better by spring.

When I woke up this morning and knew it was going to take a monumental effort to get out of bed and try to excavate some positive energy from somewhere inside myself today. In defiance of this pain, depression & fatigue I focused on the many things I have to be grateful for and I decided to just put one foot in front of the other and see how the day unfolded.

I put a pot roast & veggies in the crock pot, and felt very grateful that dinner was taken care of so early. I got an email that my niece was in a bad accident. She was hit by a drunk driver but she is going to be OK so that was another thing to be grateful for. I took the dogs out for a walk because the sun looked so inviting but it stubbornly scooted behind clouds for the whole walk. Still the fresh air was nice and when I got back I headed into the studio.

Yesterday I had gotten out some gauche paints and just started brushing them onto some 80 lb paper in big sweeping streaks. At one point a lady appeared so I went with it but did not develop her very far as the paper would not allow too much fussing around. Today I did the same things but with oils on unprimed 80 lb paper and another lady showed up so I allowed her to surface and then let her be as the paper was beginning to protest all the water and paint being applied to its unprimed surface. Last night while watching a movie I had done a sketch that I called Adam’s Lament and I briefly thought of developing that into a painting today but I am way to fatigued, anyway it will keep.

I also took some paintings on silk that have been hanging around forever and ironed and photographed them. I remember hating both of them when I first did them but now I sort of like them. Funny how the Eve/serpent thing that showed up in my drawing last night was in the silk painting also.