Thursday, May 31, 2007

thoughts about art and its process

Over at The Colourguru there is some pretty awesome art work to take a look at.

One of the things that caught my eye was a bit on the side of the blog that talks about the process of making art. The question being posed was rather it is the striving for quality or the continuous process of quantity that makes for great art.

The conclusion was that we must keep DOING to grow and that it is that growth that makes great art.

I have felt for the last week that I was pretty much stuck on most levels, and consequently have not accomplished much. There is a major economic component to this situation, but there is also something else that is part of the mix.

For a while now I have tried to work on pieces that are something that I think I can sell.

With the animals this is definately true as I have long since stepped out of the "I'm a collector" mode, and I have no real reason to make these otherwise.

The jewelry pieces are also pretty much in this mode as I don't wear much jewelry myself (just a narrow gold wedding band is pretty much it).

A while back I had started in on the drawings and planning for a triptych of the archangels, and I was looking forward to working on that piece. The comments of a potential collaborator on the piece that it wasn't good enough to do anything with prompted me to just put all the drawings in a folder and file it away.

Here then are the issues of my frustration:

1. If my collaborator is no longer interested in working on this, how do I do anything further. The faces and hands are essential and that is generally the work of that collaborator. So now what?

2. If there is truly nothing in this piece that gives me any chance to sell it, how can I justify spending what it will cost to make it? (Ok, there probably isn't any justifing possible, given the current situation)

3. Is there some other way (so far nothing has come to me)

And so such is the state of my inactivity of late.....a sort of irritated restlessness because I'm not really working on anything and it annoys me.....

Perhaps I should just go work on something else entirely.....inspiration for something would be good!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

thoughts on being "stuck" ...

I came up with an idea for a contemporary story about a week ago, and started in like gang busters....even wrote something that resembles an outline, (which is definately out of character for my usual approach) and even started the first bit of the beginning chapter, then I got totally stuck.

What is this about? Hmmmmm, partly because I am drawing from very real, very close to my life characters, writing this is a little scary....sort of like "writing will make it so" and since the whole premise of the thing is rather dark at the beginning, maybe I've just paralized myself with big time fear.....

So, I guess I need to go back to fundamentals and work on character descriptions, etc., while I work through this fear thing.....

Odd place tho'

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

understanding why

As I talked about here we will need to have about $500 of work done on our car this week.

I'm not complaining about what it is that must be done in terms of the work (new struts are a maintenance thing on cars), just the timing. Usually for this kind of things we plan ahead for a couple of months which gives me the time to put aside the money we need to have the work done.

So, I've spent a lot of time trying to find a way to get $500 out of an already very tight budget, and it will just be one of those months where there's no extra money for anything that is not absolutely required.

Along the way, I decided to take a look at what is really happening to our money, and found some interesting facts. Here is my brief list:

1. Income -- (by this I mean the income I KNOW will be there, which means only my husband's social security and his pension -- all of my income is purely a "maybe" proposition since I have no job, I'm too young yet to get my pension or social security and selling art is a "maybe" sort of thing.) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 our income rose by 4.69%

2. Utility Bill -- (I'm taking this on the average billing over a year, and its worth noting here that while we used to keep our house at about 70 degrees in the winter, this past winter we turned it down to 62 degrees -- we tried 58 degrees, but both of us just ached too much to handle that) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 our utility bill rose by 76.77%

3. Groceries -- (I'm basing this entirely on one commodity since I don't keep all of the receipts from the grocery store) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 the price of a gallon of milk rose by 66.99%

4. Gas -- (Okay, every one already knows this has gone crazy!) Between the end of 2001 and now, the price of a gallon of gas in our area rose by 176.47%

5. Health care -- (at the end of 2001 I was still covered by the group health insurance plan with my husband's retirement. As soon as he became eligible for Medicare, the price for my insurance skyrocketed) Between the end of 2001 and the end of 2006 the cost of just the health insurance premiums (not actual medical or RX costs) rose by 600.26%

No wonder our budget is at the breaking point....

Monday, May 14, 2007

In my daughter's eyes.....

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

(Martina McBride)

This is the cover of the lovely (THICK!) blank book that my daughter gave me for mother's day. Inside she wrote "To the woman who taught me how to be a butterfly"

She also brought me one of her now famous compilation CDs, full of wonderful, uplifting thoughts, including the song I have quoted part of here.

Every year at Mother's Day she reminds me again of the very special relationship we have. I rejoice that we are now closer than we have ever been, alternately bouying each other up when one of us is having a down day. It also makes me a little sad that my own mother and I have not had this kind of relationship.

But for today, I am feeling blessed.

Thank you daughter! I hope you have a child just like you!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ready for my close up, Mr DeMille.....

Marty, over at Travelin Oma posted her "interview" and has invited me to do one of my very own.

She posted 10 questions and let me choose 5 to answer, which has been kind of fun and in ways more difficult than I imagined it would be.

So, here are the 5 I answered:

What are 3 pieces of advice you would give a new bride?

Now I’ve been thinking about this of late because my “baby” will be getting married in August. I don’t feel all that qualified to give her advice on this subject, although my husband and I have managed to make it work for a pretty long time. After some serious consideration, here are my 3 most important ones:

1. Never go to bed angry -- this may mean you have some long nights, but you’ll feel better for it in the long run

2. Remember that you are equal partners -- he should not expect you to repress all that you are for his convenience, and you should not expect him to either. Your differences should build the strength of your union, don’t forget to celebrate them and allow each of you some space to continue to develop who you are.

3. Talk about EVERYTHING – the worse thing for building walls between you is the silence of not talking about things. If you are afraid to talk about something(before you are married) get it cleared up NOW or it may tear you apart later.

What is a talent you wish you had developed more fully?

Music. Everyone in my family had some kind of musical training, and I love music, but I haven’t ever had any formal training. Before my daughter was born I had taught myself to play Moonlight Sonata on the piano (hours and hours of practicing it over and over, yet I never got tired of it). I’ve pretty much forgotten how now.

What did you do this week that made you happy?

I’ve begun working on two very large beaded pieces that will go into frames. I love the planning stage as much as seeing the completed piece, as it involves spending hours with colored pencils and graph paper and bead catalogs.

What kind of music sings to your soul? How?

I love all kinds of music – classical (The Pines of Rome, The Planets (especially Jupiter) and New World Symphony) But in a lot of cases what I like best is the power of music and lyric combined.

My daughter makes these wonderful mixed CDs that are a combination of whatever music has struck her fancy at the time, and they always include Broadway musicals, pop and country stuff. (I loved the time when I was still her driver to everything…there was always a tape or a CD in the player and she would sing along…and patiently let me “warble” along)

There is a special power in that combination of music and lyric that enables me to remember the words to something I haven’t sung or heard in years. (Now days I’m fascinated by the fact that the TV commercials are using the music of my youth and I still remember the lyrics!)

Who is a person that exemplifies courage to you, and why?

My great grandmother. She was born in 1863 in Arkansas, the youngest daughter of a Confederate soldier and his wife. She was married in Indian Territory and had 8 children. Her first daughter died when the house they lived in burned down. Her husband was killed when a horse kicked him in the chest. At the time her youngest son was 2. She lived until 1969 – I actually remember visiting with her in the little house on Pecan Street in Nowata, OK. What an amazing life she lived, being on the frontier, moving across the plains in a covered wagon, and seeing space travel become a reality. And it took a lot of courage in that time for a woman to be alone….she was a widow for over 60 years.

And now folks, its your chance! You too can be interviewed! Here's how it works:

1. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment saying "Interview Me!"
2. I will post 10 questions, and you choose to answer 5 of them.
3. You will leave the answers to your questions in my comments, or tell us to go to your blog where you may decide to post the questions and your answers.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others (1-5 participants) in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions of your choosing, and the interviews go on....

So, now the camera is backing away and Norma Desmond is being lead away....the close up is over................