Thursday, June 28, 2012

Begin again

The kid comes back today after about 2 weeks away. I've been sleeping well, not having the usual lost child dreams of days gone by. I am certain there will be a period of readjustment, there always was but it feels bigger this time. I have allowed, almost encouraged at times, an adversarial environment between the two homes she inhabits and it has given me nothing. My daughter has always been hip to everything in her world. She is observant and a little suspicious and she knows how to get what she wants and possibly needs. She doesn't need me to point out the flaws but rather be a sounding board when she sees the fallibility of things and people. In that vein I will attempt to close the door on the past and look ahead. She is a baby no more and neither am I.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Post solstice wrap-up

5 days into summer. The solstice came but I didn't celebrate on the day and instead I ambled next door and did it belatedly with some longtime friends on Friday. We sat around under my white — ever useful in many circumstances—farmers market canopy in folding chairs, while the rain poured with all it's might and we agreed that this was certainly the only way to welcome summer in the Pacific Northwest. The very next day I got caught out in a thunder and lightening storm that blew down trees around the county and soaked my jeans and shoes, and dog. Yesterday it was okay all day weather wise and I went to the Cone Sisters Show at VAG with my sister and seriously considered whether or not we should dedicate our lives to leisure and art. You know, make a name for yourself in better circles like those Cone Sisters did. My sister gave me change for transit because I had none and showed me where to catch the sky-train to visit our stepmother which I felt was terribly good of her. It felt exciting to be inside the Gallery. Matisse's Odelisques were inspiring and hopefully, affirming.

I started this painting. That is all I have to report. After I have made about 400 of these I will have more of an idea of what it is I am doing. I think I should spend some more time on this one and then make another one right away. You heard it here first. I saw my stepmother again today so that my dad could go freely to Walmart to replace a pair of pants for her. I rolled her out to the garden and we sat and she laughed out loud, almost hysterically at times at what was going on around her. She was lively for a time but then began to think that one of the men was her father. She said, "my father never wore white shoes". She looked lost and agitated. I reassured her that everything was going to be okay. "I feel mad with madness" she said. On the way home I got lost on United Boulevard amongst road construction and landfill traffic looking for the good fabric store. Mark wrote his final securities exam and we went for a walk in the late afternoon with the dog and it was hard to tell what day it was because we had not spent the whole weekend together.

I have been alone much of the last 10 days which has been somewhat novel and certainly rejuvenating. Initially I felt freaked out about releasing my death grip on my young charge but a cooler head prevailed and I took the time off willingly and I am glad I did. The growing pains we experienced a few weeks back are gone and a new phase is upon us. This parenting is a tricky game of push-me pull-you and I for one do not always see the changes in direction coming but clearly there is no stopping them and that as it turns out is a good thing. The process is much like painting, you start, the colors run, you try madly to see the shapes and values and then you wait, and when it's all dry it looks totally different to what you planned or imagined.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Painting Exercises

I've made a little book of a few of the exercises from my recent painting class. Beyond the paintings I really wanted to test drive issuu. Enjoy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

High Stakes Dressmaking

 Vogue 8813 Marcy Titlon

My very good friend Lois is getting married on Sunday. In typical fashion I could not decide what to wear. I blame a lack of belief in God and the fact that I work at home. Because I don't believe in God I do not go to church so I don't have a closet full of Sunday best outfits that might also do double duty as wedding attire. Because I work at home I tend to wear pretty utilitarian costumes that afford me both comfort and function. I can work, take my daily walk and clean the chicken coop in the same duds. It's ruthlessly efficient but it puts me in a funny spot when I actually need to dress up a little. Another hurdle is the whole body image thing but I won't go down that rabbit hole this morning.

I had a few ideas about what I wanted to wear to the wedding and basically none of it worked. I hate shopping and I did make an effort, I dragged Pearl around the mall and several small shops one afternoon and found nothing but a few very sympathetic saleswomen.

Some months ago Lois gave me a rather nice beaded necklace so I decided to build my outfit around it. I happened on this pattern from Marcy Tilton who I met at Sewexpo in February and I had this green color in my mind. So off I went on Tuesday to town, gave the shopping thing one more try but came up empty handed. I bought the pattern and this lovely green linen and went home. Keep in mind this was Tuesday and the wedding is on Sunday. I have a tendency to leave things to the last minute, I am not sure what the psychological implications of this activity are but I do it often. It seems I need fear to motivate me. I washed the fabric and cut out the pattern on Tuesday night trying not to think about the whole process all at once. I find thinking only about the next step keeps things more manageable. On Wednesday night, while apparently locked in some destructive internal power struggle with my Self I watched TV with Pearl until 10 and then began sewing once she got off to bed. I had to rip out one of the pieces after sewing, notching and pressing it, amazingly it did not discourage my fretful easily put off Self. On Thursday I began sewing at after lunch and continued on until 7. I just kept taking the next step, reading the directions carefully and then rereading them. The dress is allegedly an east to sew pattern but the structure is slightly complicated. It has these crazy huge drapey pockets and the front is smocked.

Smocking detail

For the most part the dress is complete except for the hem and 2 buttons that keep the oversized pockets from looking like saddle bags. I like it but I can also see how I could make it better. My fabric choice was not ideal, a lighter weight fabric would have been better. Will finish it all up on Saturday and despite my best efforts to sabotage myself the eternal optimist in me had a good time making this piece, it was challenging and rewarding and you can bet real money this process will be repeated at some point in the future. I have 2 more weddings to attend this summer so stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Sketch, June 1/2012

Trish the teacher says make it juicy, and I do because I am obedient and crave acceptance. Some of the other students have trouble with the concept because they can actually paint but my total lack of experience enables me to hear what she is saying and follow it religiously and I don't care how it looks like some of the others because they have a point of reference which I do not. I step away from the painting—9 feet, our commander and chief says—and I am in love with what I see and I think I could do this everyday, I could live on this.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It