As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Procratinators and finders of discipline


"Is the computer a way for you to avoid painting?" a fellow artist asked in a poll recently on the artscuttlebutt.com website.

I've pondered....

Today, after much surfing, enjoying the beautiful creations that artists offer around the world, I found this quote:

"Draw every fu*@ing day!"

Ok!

I said I would..


I find I often say "I am going to do this every day!"
Yet in my haste and daily chats, I find I'm wearing other hats.

I think there's purpose to be had.
I think there's lessons to be learned.
I know I should not find distraction
from the very thing to do I yearned.

You see, it always comes, as work will, that whatever your labor
you need discipline still!
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sitting On The Nightstand

My Weekly Book Review

TITLE:
I am America and so can you
, by Stephen Colbert

The omni-influential Stephen Colbert writes his hypercritical, satirical look at life, the American way from the idealistic vantage point common to WWII Veterans, the Dad on That 70's Show, and my Grandmother. I imagine quoting him as one of today's leaders (perhaps the Vice President) saying, "What today's Americans need is my boot right up their asses!"

His approach to writing is similar to his nightly show, The Colbert Report, as if he's talking right at the audience, and it's not just entertaining, it's hysterical!

He apparently got to thinking one Friday night or so, and went on a weekend rant and wrote this book in entirety. Some may liken writing a book in a weekend to cleaning out your closet; once you get started, you just have to keep going until it's done for some sadistic reason or, in Stephen's case, because it really is a good idea.

Speaking of closets, he regularly pokes at the kind of issues close to us; gay marriage, disrespectful youth, stupid people, politics, the absence of morals in our society and the cross breeding of any of the above categories.

He gives credit that the average reader of his book is intelligent enough to know that he is portraying a character who is old fashioned, patriotic and idealistically conservative. His character's blatantly outspoken, puritanical regard of the sensitive subject matter just may be creating some awareness to how backwards some of these ideas are. (I HOPE!)

There is truth to his humor, though. We are losing something in America, and I like Stephen's format for presenting it. He transcends the extreme in order for his [not-so-subtle] opinions to be heard. He is engaging Americans young and old to listen, and hopefully, they get it. Is it really so bad to be patriotic [and be accepting of other cultures?] Why can't we care a little more about our country and be proud of it [and actually lift a finger to help out?] Can we retain some old fashioned values [and not be racist, anti-gay hate mongers] Can Republicans care about people and the environment [without ulterior motives?]

So, what do we want to preserve of old-fashioned American sensibility anyway? I heard the good old days really weren't that good. I think Stephen is the one to help us understand what values should be retained and which deserve the trash bin. Funnier still, is how he manages to accomplish all this and make us laugh with abandon.

I laughed out loud at this book, but I am a fan of Stephen's show to begin with, because what media-conscious, humor-motivated American doesn't form most of his political opinions based on the rants and interviews of John Stewart and Stephen Colbert?

A note on his show: Imagine how difficult being fresh and interesting on a daily basis must be? It has got to require some superhuman noggin' strength. Moreover, have you considered lately how they have been able be that funny and captivating night after night without writers? Stephen (and John), I salute you! (Of course, being a fan, I know this review would piss off Stephen (if he ever read it) because the mention of John takes attention away from him!

A very entertaining read. I recommend it.

PS. Stephen would warn you to hurry! It may not be too late for the first edition with it's special features!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

A Good Day For A Quote

Have you ever heard a quote that so profoundly changed your way of thinking? Or just made you think..over and over again?

Today's blog is for quotes. But not just any quotes.
Is there a quote you use again and again?...One that kind of says it all? Who do you tend to quote? Who's talky talky has affected you?

Now, I'd like to quote some of our most esteemed citizens. Certainly, deep in our historical past and present, there is a great untapped resource of profound wisdom: Cartoons! (Disclaimer: These quotes may not have originated from the characters themselves.)

I will start with a couple, you add some more!

"Whether you believe you can or you can't , you're right!"
-Stewey of Family Guy (in training for 'Scamway' marketing)

"Darling, luck favors the prepared"
-Edna E. Mode (The Incredibles)

"Bite my shiny metal ass!"
-Bender of Futurama


Please add your favorite and I will compile a fun list next week!
Have a great weekend.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Valentine

To My Valentine,


"Live Your Best Life"


From the Playful Trees Series: "Throwing Hearts"

Take care of your heart; somewhat.
I sometimes want to tell you that if you throw it around, you should make sure it will not be abused...

...But, life is about taking chances. And never risking anything will insure you have no rewards, or memories of the joy that comes with being in love.

I took the following from a magazine a few years ago:

"When you die God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself" - anonymous

Happy Valentine's Day!
Approach love, art and cooking with reckless abandon.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Girl Interrupted

Ok, I haven't painted this weekend, AT ALL! But here's why.

I was enlisted by the weekender's home improvement guild.

We built new stairs leading to ..... guess......my studio!!! YAY!! I don't have to climb down the 'old torn up carpet and covered with yuck and nails stairs', I now have a nice path to my happy place!
And, I can start painting again with happy feet.

...Of course, I have to paint the risers and seal the steps.
...Then, we're tiling the landing.
...and I'm doing a decorative finish on the walls.

Whew.

I promise to get work done. I promise to paint. I promise to paint.

To Be Continued...
(geez, that's a lot of leader dots. You know, you can overdo punctuation!!!!!)
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Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday is a good day

I woke up at 4:00 this morning and tried to lie still for 45 minutes, and finally just submitted to start the day. I found myself doing the same routine this morning as I do when I lie down at night...Reviewing the day before and thinking of what I would do differently, and lqtm at the things that just could not be helped.

Reviewing a day can have profound effects on my psyche, making me angry, or pensive, or really satisfied, but it does really help me, because I decide what I would do differently and visualize it going my way so that (I believe) it will the next time. When I wake up, though, I find that seeing my day in advance and how everything will pass and be exactly how I want it to be is probably even more important and impactful.

It has been a great week for productivity.
I've been incessantly visualizing my pieces and sketching and planning layouts, and planning in my head! I've been working on 5 pieces this week. I should have things ready to post early next week or possibly Sunday. Delight in the small successes.

Speaking of reviewing, I did something I knew intuitively I should not:

I had a ridiculous interview for a Visual Coordinator position, by a young woman who had no idea what she was doing. Needless to say, she didn't hire me. I knew off the bat that I was overqualified for the position, but also, she was so very young. The candidate would be reporting to her, and I am 20 years her senior and a lot more experienced. I intimidated her even as I attempted flattery. I didn't really want to go to work for someone else anyway...unless (there is always an exception) or until that perfect opportunity comes around.

Well, you should learn something every day, even if it's reviewing lessons!! First of all, go with your gut. I knew this was wrong even before I scheduled it! I also learned that my years of management training have made me a very good judge of character and, frankly, a pretty decent interviewer! I learned that in my last position I had exemplary trainers and managers who only accept excellence and strive for it everyday (Thanks, Mike!) So, the other lesson for the day was observing - that a company needs to be careful with whom they put into positions of responsibility.

So, as you go about your business, try these few things:

1) Visualize things going your way, being on time, getting what you want.
2) Observe others and pay attention to their behavior and use that to grow yourself.
3) You have a lot of power. Use it wisely.

Back on the creative subject, I want to know how you are selling out there!
Please take the poll on selling art online!
Thanks and have a great weekend!
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Things to Ponder

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. -Andy Warhol

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney

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