Saturday, May 28, 2011

Self Portrait Saturday

Self Portrait, May 28, 2011

Of all the paintings so far, this one best captures my terminal attitude of concern. I generally pass myself off as a mostly laid-back smart alec but this is what the mask conceals. Oh well. Hey, I'm getting my hair cut today, it's way overdue. It's been a year since my last one and my hair has turned into straw in the interim due to the crappy Trader Joe's shampoo I use. I worked on the story today, have been reading Lydia Davis as well which is helpful because her stories are all over the map structurally so I find that helpful. I have never been so good at doing things the conventional way and I find it strange that I need some permission to be non-traditional in my writing. Anyway, it's worth saying that I couldn't pay for the therapeutic effect these paintings afford me. I wonder if the next paintings post hair cut will be sassier? I'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am working on writing a story. I realize that I am not confident that I know exactly how to write a story but I am not letting that stop me. I have some key events to weave into something and I am not sure that I know where it is all going but I am moving forward with it anyway. My biggest fear is that the story won't go anywhere, that there will be no climax or resolution. Do these things even exist or is there just resignation, acceptance and adaption. I have no answers but maybe answers are not even a reasonable goal. I am writing this story and as things come to mind I put them in, like I am making a salad. I am a good salad maker so maybe I can focus on that, and making the story won't feel so uncharted. Now that I have mentioned it here I will have to finish it and present it somehow, that's okay, I am interested in finishing things these days.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Small Talk

The artist in me wants to hang up the phone, close the door and be alone. I have lost my appetite for small talk. I can't track the simplest of conversations, I just don't care. I want my meals to arrive on wheels. I've had a really good day in my studio. I had a list of 4 things to accomplish and accomplish them I did and now they are done I want to sink into my head and make something for myself. Say something that is an expression of me. I heard a great poem today and I thought the poem is the thing for me but if it had been a story about straw bale houses I could have just as easily said, yes, the straw bale building is the thing for me. I am looking for attachment to something, something to be made by me, for me alone. But the slipping in is not to be because it is supper time and supper time means the mother, leader of the small pack must stop what she is doing and set an example for the others, for the husband and child and even the dog and cat have their own expectations of the human leader. So in I go, across the yard, east of my office to make the supper and wash the sheets and assume the roll that I have taken on and that I love in some ways and resent in others. There is nothing to be done, days come and go and I do my writing and one day when the time is right I will disappear into the page and they will feed themselves and the cat and dog will be long dead and I won't have replaced them and there will be stories and paintings and they will make my small talk for me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On second thought

I had a whole shoe rant going but with all this sun it's hard to be committed to whiny negativity. I'll get some shoes for spring, somehow. They'll be black not rust or pea green but I will survive. Instead I want to say something about Facebook. I turned off all notifications to my email and Blackberry because I was getting a little obsessed, so now when I check in after a few hours away from FaceCrack it's like opening a little present, seeing peoples likes and comments feels good. So there, back to work all of you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

Okay this could be confusing so stay focused, I have a second blog. It's not as quirky as this one as it's attached to my company website but hopefully it's still valid. It's a good place to see the work I do for money, MONEY!, not just this pleasant drivel I make for amusement and to keep myself from leaping into the river which I might have done this week. Holy crap was it ever wet, but thankfully we got some sun and all is forgiven, for now. For total ease of following my every move you can like me on Facebook and get a non stop barrage of ME at no extra charge.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Amy Butler Shirt

I have been spending a lot of time in my bedroom lately. I am rich in places to be creative in my life. I am lucky to have an entire building dedicated to myself and I am also fortunate to have a large bedroom that I don't have to share with anyone. I have been sewing there and am trying to finish things in a short amount of time so that the season for which the garment I am making was intended does not pass without me being able to sport my hard work. I am interested in training myself to have better habits, to do things with more care and sewing falls into this category. I have always done it but I have not always done it well. I used to get so frustrated that I often ended up in tears. I also made a lot of clothes that were not exactly constructed well but they were good enough and I wore them. I am in a wholly different place in my development these days and I find I have amazing focus and am not afraid of ripping seams out to replace them with better ones. More precise ones. I am not trying to achieve any kind of perfection, rather I am attempting to really be in the process of making something and really do it until it meets with my satisfaction. I see precision as a viable goal. So the Amy Butler Liverpool Tunic is complete! I still need to put some buttons on it and then it will be ready to wear and I can start on the next thing. Each completed project signals permission to begin the next thing and so I go, making, making, until the end of time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Almost Spring

Poor little bloggie I have been walking past you like the mouse parts I step over to get to my room at the end of a each long day. Spring is in hard labor here and we keep starting and stopping, my mind is mushy and contracted and I worry that it's something dire but that's just me. It's friday finally and my sleep was cut open by a familiar voice from around the corner of my doorless bedroom, Mom? and there I was. Alive again and it's Friday so soon and Mark is coming over and the weekend calls for more rain. It's going to be Mother's Day which is okay but not a big deal for me, it's just another day in my life. I've been writing on paper, listening to words, writing down smells and the complicated feelings that arise from the emails I get and from the world that parades past me daily, there is no tidy way to put it all here and so I just fill up the notebooks that no one will ever see, and I hope that one day I can sit down for about 5 years and sort it all out into something useful or funny, the story of how I birthed myself at home alone. There is nothing new there, nothing I am experiencing that hasn't been felt by women before in the spring during a hard birth of this desirous season.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Sketchbook Cover

Self Portrait April 2011

I carry a notebook around with me all the time, it helps to keep me focused and to remember fleeting ideas. The books I have been using are the ones I was making to sell at the Bellingham Farmers Market several years ago. I had a few in reserve and every time I started a new one I would make a little collage on the inside front cover to sort of launch the whole thing. I am about to start a new one so I decided to make a painting on the cover. The photo is from the Clint Eastwood High Plains Drifter photo tribute I did one sunny afternoon in April. My dad gave me this very nice gray poncho shawl thing with fringe and it made me think of Clint, except with green grass and dandelions. What I am most excited about is seeing what happens to the painting as it gets worn out as the sketchbook gets used. Painting on the gray board was a challenge and I switched back to the old play set of watercolors. The weekend is over and I think we are back to rain on Monday. Osama Bin Laden has been killed and his body taken into American custody, a strange description. I am not jumping up and down. So much blood has been shed, so many dollars spent and we're still no closer to a peaceful society, maybe it just isn't in our nature.
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