Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Art Everyday Montage at

For Art EveryDay Month hosted by the lovely Leah, I chose a word each day that encapsulated my mood or day. I then painted a 5" x 5" watercolor, which is now a book. I also finished and completed NaNoWriMo, which is why all the writing paintings at the end of the month. Here is my month in watercolor. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

day twenty-four #aedm2010

One day, I may have a normal looking watercolor picture here. I have so much to do, I can't quite believe I am blogging this right now, but five minutes won't destroy everything, will it? I may look happy here, but paintings are deceiving. I need a butler monkey. Even if he couldn't bake, still, we would have a monkey.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

day twenty-three #aedm2010

It is all fun and games until I pull out my thrift store Schlitz Beer T-Shirt which has been found in more pools of sick than a frat house during homecoming weekend. Actually, not really. That is what I imagined happened in the past life of this t-shirt. I bought it as a painting/ironic hipster t-shirt and it ended up being the shirt I wear when I am feeling queasy and/or puking my guts out. In the moment, when I catch my reflection in the mirror after puking up the contents of my stomach, it seems like I am having more fun than your run of the mill Norovirus.

I'm not. 

Actually, I don't seem to have the actual puking bug/norovirus. I had a massive internal "cleanse" yesterday after dinner, upchucking my entire dinner and mid-afternoon snack, and then nervously, in absolute stillness, I stayed on the bed, mere steps from our toilet, wondering when I was going to puke again. I never did, in fact, but you know how the twenty-four hour bug or rather, the threat of the twenty-four hour bug, does that to you. It messes with you. It makes you wonder if you need to cancel every activity. "Is Thanksgiving even going to happen?" you bemoan. You warn every person that may call. "Don't come over. We have the ebola." The first person pukes and then you wait. When is it coming? When is it happening again? Should I cancel the weekend plans or wait? And then, when you think you are clear, it shamelessly rips through your house like your family is a trailer park and it is a summer tornado. Trucks are overturned. Laundry is strewn about the furniture. Towels line the bedsides and floors making a path to the john and back. It isn't pretty. A week is mysteriously wiped off your calendar. Last norovirus that plagued our house was the day my husband got home from surgery, and my daughter kept mysteriously declaring that she couldn't yawn, and then would spew in a way that rivaled the Exorcist. I am still scarred.

Oh, dude. My husband just got home from work to help me in case I hurl again. Notice, I am blogging, and I have painted a picture. And I am going to ask if he minds if I catch up on some NaNoWriMo word counts, and sip on some warm liquids that may or may not be called coffee. I seem really sick, no?

I also think you should notice that I used the correct form of the adjective describing myself as experiencing nausea. Not nauseous, which is something that causes others to experience nausea, but nauseated the experience of nausea. Though if I did draw a wee puddle of puke on the floor next to me, I might be nauseous to you, but as it is, I kept it as nauseated. See, even in my most delirious, nauseated moments, I am still a grammar asshole. Yay. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

day twenty-two #aedm2010

At the end of this month, I am going to somehow figure out how to properly photograph watercolor and do them all at the same time. Today, my husband arrived home at work around 7:30a, and my daughter and son and I were curled on the couch watching Ponyo, which is a strange and beautiful animated movie. Basically, a perfect movie in my opinion. And when Ponyo describes her mother, the Goddess of the Sea, she says, "She's big and beautiful, but she can be very scary!" And Sosuke says, "Just like my mother." And Beatrice said to the television, "Just like my mommy too."  And I said, "Am I scary?" She said, "No, not scary. Just beautiful." I just feel very loved and important today. Now, off to catch up on my word count. Harumph.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

days twenty and twenty-one #aedm2010

Things have been little busy around the ranch. Yesterday, I felt the pull to write a ton because of Thanksgiving, and my husband being off work, and then I had laundry, market day, the kids crying, cleaning, and all the other little things I have to do, like mail and burning cds, and crap. I just felt stretched, and had to do a quick sketch.

The baby said "Mama" last night for the first time. It is his first meaningful utterance. And now he won't stop saying it. He is getting so big. I am amazed at him. So cute and lovely. I feel very blessed today.

Friday, November 19, 2010

day nineteen #aedm2010

Yes, well, I suppose I need to explain the word and the picture. As you know, I have been fairly low and sick and worn out the past few days. And in my sick/low/wornout haze, I let Beatrice pick movies to watch. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is currently free On-Demand, and she has been begging to see it. We do love Tim Burton movies, though we skipped Coraline, to be honest, it looked a bit scary. Anyway, I wasn't sure Alice was appropriate for a three year old. Beatrice loved it. She didn't find one part scary, according to her, and besides, it is made up. Did you know that? She informed me quite a few times when I asked her if it was too scary. Beatrice is quite brave when it comes to movies and especially enjoys movies about young women/girls who battle things. We also love movies with real people in them v. animation. Anyway, I am pretty sure we have watched it, uh, four times since Wednesday. What? Don't look at me like that. I was sick and my husband worked a twenty-four hour shift yesterday, so we curled up on blankets and watched the movie while we needlefelted. Yes, I let her needlefelt too with close supervision. Stop looking at me like that. ANYWAY, yes, so this movie is such a cool adaptation of the original story of Alice in Wonderland. Alice is brave and kind and mindful. That my daughter connects with this image of women makes me proud. Anyway, there is a line in the movie. The Mad Hatter says to Alice: 'You're not the same as you were before You were much more..."muchier" You've lost your "muchness"'

Yeah, the past few days, I lost my muchness. My NaNoWriMo mojo was flailing, my paintings were filled self-doubt and lowness. I needed to be muchier. Watching Alice, though, kind of helped me build my muchness back up a bit. One thing that I did the past few days was talk to a my husband and my ex-husband, oddly, about my novel, talking through the plot and main points. Wow that helped a great deal, and I kind of feel more settled on the plot of the novel. While lying in bed the other night, I had one of those epic breakthroughs that feels like walking into another dimension, or falling down the rabbit hole. All of this was besides writing though, because sitting in front of the computer, I just surfed the internet, made stupid status updates and all together avoided work. Anyway, I think I am ready to face Jabberwockies in the novel today, and crank out four thousand words to catch up. Oy, vey, that is intimidating. Still, no time like the time it is now to start. My painting in any case, is me as a disheveled Alice with a long sword to battle Jabberwocky and Bandersnatches. My sleep-deprived husband is home and can mind the children while I crank out words. I only have eleven days to finish this novel and much of my muchness has returned.  Yesterday I was almost Angie and today, I am muchier.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

day eighteen #aedm2010

It is bloody difficult to photograph watercolor. I just thought I should say that. This painting is really muted in real life. ANYWAY, so first I feel broken, then unmotivated, now I am just sick, and so is the baby. I keep putting him down and he keeps responding in exactly this way. I haven't quite been able to put my contacts in, because it seems like too much work. I have a headache and my throat hurts. I have a cough, and the baby has thrown up mucus a few times already this morning, and it isn't quite 8am, yet. What I also should have drawn was Beezus doing ballet around us, generally in a fine mood and in all around good spirits, which in contrast to Thor and myself means that we seem a bit extra sick, or grouchy, depending on your point of view. The baby has taken to pinching me when he is mad, and that makes me mad. My response is to put him down and say, "It hurts Mommy when you pinch." which makes him madder and more inclined to pinch. It is unpleasant here, and Beezus desperately wants to go to gymnastics. So, I guess I will haul my ass down to the gym, and sit there and moan more while the baby pinches me.

What is interesting about the exercise of choosing a word for the day is that you know the month will have x number more of pictures/words, so when I had the sniffles, my inclination was to use the word sick, but really, I wasn't quite sick, and thinking sniffles might lead to a full blown illness, I held off using sick. Yesterday, I wasn't quite sick either, but I thought I might be headed towards sick, so you know, you try to be precise. I really realized this after day two with the whole "sleepy" thing, that I should consider not painting in the morning, since every morning, I feel sleepy and I should have saved it for a morning after an insomnia night. I still have a night feeder, after all, and I'm prone to sleeplessness. I'm also writing a novel this month, usually after bedtime, so I am perpetually tired.


Yes, I would like some cheese with my whine, if I could eat cheese. Or wine. Yum, wine. Ow, good thoughts hurt my head. Must. Mope. More.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

day seventeen #aedm2010

You can give me my coffee and keys, but you can't make me go. Okay, you can. Music class. Errands. I'd rather be laying on the ground moaning. I feel better today. The Blackberry thumb seems to have resolved itself. It must have been the Sunday NYTimes Crossword puzzle that put my thumb into crisis. And the leg is still sore a bit. My husband freaked me out by asking if I am prone to blood clots. How the fuck would I know that? I don't have a clotting disorder, if that's what he means. I know that from Lucy's autopsy and chromosonal studies on me. I do sit on my ass a lot breastfeeding. My blocked duct got unblocked, apparently, but today Thor is able to crawl backwards, so maybe it was a magic milk bubble. He already has done six impossible things before breakfast. Ooops, late for music class.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

day sixteen #aedm2010

My thumb/forearm hurts. My calf is sore. I have a blocked duct and a wee fever. I feel old and broken today. I feel a little like Peggy Ann McKay in the poem Sick by Shel Silverstein. Except it is not Saturday and I'm not faking it. Nevermind, I'm not like that poem at all.

by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Days Twelve to Fifteen #aedm2010

Day Twelve is the word Adult, since it was our first date night in a long long time. I got to dress up and wear heels, which lasted about an hour, before I ended up in the flats I brought. The painting I drew actually looks disturbingly like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, which isn't helped by the fact that I was holding a martini in the picture and drew myself in pearls and mascara. I have repainted it, and each time erased it and ended up repainting and still looking like this:

Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up.

I will try to repaint it again and again and again until it is simply a martini. Actually, that is a good idea. I can paint a martini, even if I can't drink it with all the early bedtimes we abide by here. I will turn to the page lovingly when I am knee deep in a tantrum.

It was chilly and I couldn't think of a word.

I hit 25k on my NaNoWriMo novel. WooHoo. Yippee. Hooray.

Today is my husband's birthday. I made a cake. I can't bake. It looks nice in this painting though.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day Eleven Peaceful #aedm2010

Could not figure out if I was meditative, or distracted, because I am a bit of both, and then I realized that my children were distracting me while we were meditating and that made me peaceful.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day Nine AEDM

My husband is off work today, so I have some moretime to write my NaNoWriMo novel and paint and do some creative things, but I woke overwhelmed. I wrote 1000 words this morning, though, the entire time, I could hear the kids giving him guff and him growing increasingly more impatient. I muscled through my two sprints with Ines, and painted this when I stopped writing because I had no idea what to paint. I sat and wondered and finally I thought of doing a visualization of what I want the day to be, rather than what it already was. If I painted how I was feeling, it would be me sticking my tongue out at the world, or flipping the world off. If I still feel that way tomorrow, I might paint that. Anyway, I don't feel down, just think that taking a day off from NaNo on Sunday, and then yesterday, I ended up chatting rather than, I will stay focused and write. I will hit my Nano goal, and my other real world deadlines, and somehow be dancing through it. Come on, Visualization, manifest.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day eight AEDM

We are going to visit my dad today, and bring him his laundry, in his red bag. He is in a wheelchair and Beatrice always rides on the back, and Thor on the front. Off to do some visiting.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Five AEDM

Mama Log: nine in the am. I have paid bills, called my sister, dressed, fed and cleaned the children, laundered a load of kid/adult clothes, painted my AEDM painting, made a grocery list, read a few books to the children, ate breakfast, made a fire, walked the dog and am getting ready to head out for errands-library, market, coffeeshop and the post office. Naptime I'm hoping to make my 1600 word goal for NaNoWriMo. 

Yeah, so, I am calling today productive.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Four AEDM

Today my dear friend Danielle is remembering her son two years after his birth and death. She is also mourning so much today. And I also received a custom jizo painting order request from one grieving mother for another mother experiencing a miscarriage. I feel reflective, staid, mindful. I am surrounding myself in grief. Surrounding myself with images of the sea and calm and peace and compassion. Practicing tonglen for all grieving mothers and fathers, and practicing tonglen on myself. In all, I think the best word for today is just abiding. Abiding with you, Danielle. Abiding with your friend, the other Danielle. And abiding with all my grieving friends, fellow artists and myself.

Monday, November 1, 2010

11.01.10 (Day One AEDM)

Well, it is November. I have managed to sign up for both Art Every Day month and NaNoWriMo. After October's Thirty Posts in Thirty Days challenge for Babylost Awareness Month (my new name for it), I felt like I wanted a break from on-line writing a little without giving up the discipline of writing every day. I will be checking in here with my AED project. Hopefully, every day.

This is what I am doing for Art Every Day Month. I made a little watercolor book that is 5"x 5". And I will paint/illustrate one word, either emotion or experience that encapsulates my day. I think I have to paint in the morning, or the evening, since I am trying to write 1600/day at night after the kids fall asleep. Oy, vey. Anyway, morning seems to work well since they are little gesture paintings, and I can tie it into art/craft time with my daughter.

So today's word:

Anyway, I am keeping the book unbound for the time being, until I finish painting. I think it will be easier.

I also almost have my last spread of the Sketchbook Project completed. I changed the lines, and image, and I like it. It is different than the other spreads, because the gesso prevented me from doing nice washes, so it is acrylic mostly.

The red heart on the right hand side is the center of what will be a Radioactive symbol. And some lines, showing the process of nuclear fission will be added on the left side, except instead of neutrons, they are hearts.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here I am as Frida Kahlo. I finally finished my felted flower crown, and my eyebrows, and my earrings, and here is the ensemble. Happy Halloween. I feel like a peacock.

Day of the Dead Swap.

I participated in an amazing swap this month for Dia de los Muertos.  The wonderful Ines initiated and hosted, and each piece that came in took my breath away. Gorgeousness. I photographed them together this morning, but as it is Halloween and we are having a block party/fire pit for Samhain, I don't have time to do everything individually. Sadly, I somehow lost all the photos on my camera of our pumpkin carving, and this morning we woke to find our two largest pumpkins smashed in front of our house, and our cars sprayed with shaving cream. YAY, Mischief Night. That was rather mischievous. I thought Beezus would cry, but she said, "They got your pumpkin and Daddy's pumpkin, Mommy, but my pumpkin, Thor's, Lucy's and Jack's are safe. They didn't hurt the kids."

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I already posted the polymer clay hands I constructed for my Frida Kahlo costume for Halloween. I actually went to Joann's today looking for some jewelry making stuff. And eh, voila. I have some cool hand earrings to match the necklace I purchased on Etsy. I kind of stupidly did not bring the necklace with me to the store, but somehow Mr. Magoo-ed the exact match. (Yay, me.)

My daughter and I have a few children's books about Frida. We love her. Beezus thinks she looks like me, except for the eyebrows. And she also is a painter. She asked me if I laid in my bed to paint when I was sick and sad, and I had to tell her no, but I would in the future. And we decided that is who I am going to be. Picasso made Frida some hand earrings.

I made me some as well. It wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined. And I actually really love using polymer clay. I am seeing sushi earrings in my future. Huzzah.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Hand Earrings.
Polymer Clay.

(For my Frida costume for Halloween. I am making a felt flower headband tonight to complete the ensemble. I actually cannot believe I haven't been Frida before for Halloween. I feel like a bad artsy Latina.)

Frida Muerto.
Polymer Clay.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Custom Mizuko Jizo.
6" x 9"

I was in a pie baking contest on Saturday, so I spent an inordinate amount of time on baking. Then we made a full Thanksgiving type dinner on Saturday just because we were feeling cozy. I also have been developing the lost spread for the Sketchbook project. Then I have to clean them up and final photograph them and then mail it off. WOAH.

Friday, October 22, 2010


The Last Sketchbook Project Spread:

I am sorry I forgot you.
(also the theme.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I had a really scary night last night. After dinner, my one eye went all strange and distorted. My vision twisted, and I had a massive headache on the other side of my head. It was pulsating and I was afraid. I held my babies and told them I loved them, because I am apparently THAT dramatic. I was convinced I was having some kind of stroke-like situation. My nurse husband calmed me as best he could, took my vitals, and checked me for all the symptoms of stroke/aneurysm. When we determined that I was not having a stroke, after the eye thing cleared up, and was replaced by a massive, debilitating headache, I went to bed. I was in bed by 6:30p with all the lights out listening to meditation CDs, since I could do nothing else. I did paint, sadly. I mean, my painting was very sad. Not that it was sad that I got to paint before the crazy migraine thing. I did the next spread, which was envisioned as a four elements and a radioactive symbols to the words, "Your half life was your full life. And you never seem to break down in me." To go along the theme of the periodic table of elements. Yeah, the painting sucks, and I am blaming my massive pre-migraine addled brain for its horridness. I am going to gesso the whole damn thing and start over. I have no idea what I am doing. If you have any superduper ideas of how you illustrate "Your half life is your full life, and you never seem to breakdown in me," please feel free to leave a detailed comment (I am actually on my knees begging the internetz for inspiration on that one).

So, I skipped to showing you that one. The spread I worked on today was mostly blank, except for the words, "I did it again. I made your death about me." I had no idea how to illustrate that. So, I decided to really make it about me. Lots of different markers of the word "Me" and variations on uses of the word "me". This was a fun one, and a hard illustration. Me in a hospital gown staring at my stillborn daughter. Hopefully, the juxtaposition works.

Sketchbook Project X:

I did it again. I made your death about me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sketchbook Spread VIII:

But I want you to drench only me, Daughter. I hate the sea.

Sketchbook spread IX:

In the Periodic Table of Elements that makes up my life now, you are the first element. The most basic parts of nature (regret and grief) are contained in U + I.
O + U + I in its most basic form are the weight of all sadness (and love).

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sketchbook Spread V:

And those other explanations I came up with about how you were taken away because I don't deserve happiness really were big fat lies that I have been hearing for a very long time.

Spread VI:

I have a cramped heart and a stiff soul from sitting in meditation with this grief.

Spread VII:
I once read that the soul is like a raindrop and when you achieve enlightenment, you fall into the ocean. Still you, yes, but part of something powerful and inseparable from everything.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Sketchbook Spread:

Maybe you really are a Buddha. Just like she said. Maybe this was your last life.

Still trying to decide if I am inking this sketchbook or leaving it all watercolor without ink. mmmm.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I love block printing, and I used to block print often after Beezus was born and before Lucy was conceived. That was the only art, really, that I was doing in the first few years of her life, before Lucy died. I was asked to be in a Day of the Dead ATC swap, and was psyched to do it. I feel Day of the Dead deep within me, and not only that, but it also marks one year of connecting with other artists via Mother Henna's swaps. I took two of her courses in the spring, and loved them and her, and was still finding my artistic footing, or lack of artistic footing that became my footing. (Does that make sense?)

Anyway, I had been wanting to try a block print for this swap, and then I saw Ines doing one, and Kara herself used an amazing stamp. I know nothing about stamping, but her work is amazing. My first instinct is to say, "Well, they are doing printing, so I won't copy." Or whatever you say as an adult that boils down to that sentiment. But having had a busy busy weekend, and not got to paint, I thought that I would just love to pursue this. My first idea. I'm going for it. So, I sketched out a 2.5"x3" skull with minimal design, some, but minimal. I wanted to give my calavera a tear and a heart, for obvious reasons. (Well, obvious to me, at least.)

I had my camera near since I was taking pictures earlier, and I was also spread out on my kitchen table for some reason that annoyed my husband. So, I took some during picture. Burnishing, then printing on card stock, then I lined them all up like a Warhol except the one messed up one I turned to the side. Then I used some cool markers and decorated them like sugar skulls. Though the orange were difficult to use markers on, so I left them just printed. Then the lining up of the ATCs made me think of doing a full sheet of skulls for my sister to frame. She collects Day of the Dead stuff for her house, and has my art in almost every room, from practice still life watercolors, or illustrations of her children, to block prints I did years ago. She is my biggest fan, so I am hoping she isn't peeking over here to see her surprise.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Sketchbook project Spread three:
Maybe you lived your heartbreakingly short life exactly as it was supposed to be lived.

Bea decided to co-opt my practice binding project, and use it as her sketch book. I asked her if this was a picture of trees in the grass with the sky, and she said, "No. Just lines and dots and squiggles that are brown and blue and green." Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.