Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I've been working on the sketchbook project this weekend/week. I actually made a little thumbnail of the sketchbook s month or so ago, and thumbnailed the whole dang thing, so I am starting to sketch it in the real, rebound book. The first spread is pretty bland. It simply says, "I made your death about me."
The second page is a fake little mini notebook page, finishing the sentiment, "my mistakes, my karma, my deflated belly, my misplaced anger, my daughter who died, my goddamned grief." The last page contains the theme I chose which is, "I'm sorry I forgot you." I really had two ideas here, and am kind of wondering now that everything is sketched out if the first one isn't the better plan. Here is the one I didn't go with:

"When she told me she was sorry I lost my baby, I was confused, because you died, and I knew exactly where you were. Then I thought, perhaps I did lose you, and you were simply in the cushions of my couch.  I turned everything over expecting to see you kicking and smiling, but there were just some cheerios, fifteen cents and a button. Then I thought perhaps on the bus, when I went to that far away market that sells the really good soap I love to use. The soap that smells like rosemary and lemon verbena. Perhaps I would find you in the public transportation lost and found and I could tickle your belly and say, 'I'm sorry I forgot you, Love.' But then I remembered that you were still dead, and she didn't really want to acknowledge how terribly sad that is. Death is so final, but lost things get found."

The one I went with is kind of scattered. I wrote the poem a while ago, when I thought about the theme, then began thumbnailing it, and now, I am sketching it. Next step, paint. One spread, though, contains guerrilla art. A fake periodic table of elements with Lucy as the first element. Weight: six lbs. Thought I would share. "You are the first element in my life."

I am going to be alone all week. My husband is seeing Rush in the Atlanta with his brother while I tend to things around here. It is okay, but I am having a bourbon as I type, and the kids are both sleeping in the same room, and I somehow managed to do that. WTF? This is literally the first time in three years I have slept in my bed alone. I didn't mean to sleep train Thor, but to be frank, I was worried he would roll off the bed because suddenly, he is so friggin' mobile. And he seems to figure out a way to get where he is going, which is off the bed. Anyway, sleeping alone is a bit intimidating. And to be frank, I am a little scared. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 26, 2010



It took me a while to get this picture correct with my stupid autofocus camera, and even so, I can't quite identify it. I am only using the Portuguese here for a title, because when I was in a backpacker's hostel in Italy once, in a bunked room with eight bunks, I was once awoken to a horrible screaming of, "SPIDOLA! SPIDOLA!!" and a woman flailing in the bunk next to mine. I sat with her, calmed her. She woke us all up at 3am because she had a nightmare and/or there was a spider in her bed, and since I was the only one who spoke Spanish or Italian, I was the only one who could manage to work out that much of what she said. I weaved that together for all the Australians and British girls in the room, rolling my eyes and in general, being very put out. I couldn't fall back asleep and neither could the other girls. I grumbled and bitched about the fucking spider the entirety of the next day. How dare someone scream in a hostel. About two weeks later, I stayed in a old insane hostel in Naples. Everything was heavy dark wood and creepy as all hell. I was hanging out in the common room, which also doubled as the check-in, with some wine and a few other travelers. A very pissed off Irish girl came down holding all her sheets. She cussed and screamed at the dudes running the hostel, flinging her sheets about, showing them the crabs in her sheets.

Cripes, all night, I had this creepy crawly feeling in me, and when I finally managed to fall asleep, I woke up screaming, "Get off me! Get off me!" And I woke the entire room of Romanian graduate students in Naples for a presentation on engineering. They all gave me the stink eye in the morning. And thus, I explain the complex notion of instant karma with one easy story.

And I needlefelted some pumpkins!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Mabon Altar.

Mabon centerpiece and Autumn Equinox dinner.

Candle's out.

Custom Jizo bookmark.
making this moved me a great deal and I wanted to share it.

The backside.

Another joyful jizo bookmark.

Monday, September 20, 2010


All is Full of Love ATC Series.
"Heart trade"
2.5" x 3"
Watercolor and India Ink.

Close-up on the second one.

All is Full of Love.
Watercolor and India Ink.

This one is actually for me. It didn't turn out wonderfully in person. I chose a yellow wash, and it detracts from the power of the painting, I think. This is actually a meditation painting I do when I know one of my babylost mama friends is coming up on the hard anniversary of one year, or when I need to remember that the root of grief is love. Usually I make my own painted cards and they are always a kind of meditation on the person and their loss. It is part of a tonglen painting meditation practice I have been trying to cultivate since my daughter's death. This painting literally is 365 Xs that make up the heart and 365 Ox that make up the background. A year of remembering your child is like 365 days of hugs and kisses.

I also redesigned by main website. Still not sure how it fits me. I love the series the photographs come from, which is called Squared Circles, and it is part of a type of enso search through a photographers lens.

I am also working on two short stories and three essays. EEP. And they are for contest deadlines in the next week, so I might have to filter that down a bit, but for now, it is okay.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


As I have grown in confidence with my illustrating and painting, I have grown in my confidence to share them. So, this year, I started painting my nieces and nephews (I have nine of them!) cards for their birthday. I always send them the cash of their age, which is all my husband will allow in terms of gifts. I have no idea why he is like that, just a bit, uh, tight with that. So, I had some fun with my niece A.'s card, and my nephew W.'s card. W's birthday was the day after Thor was born, so I missed it this year, and kept meaning to catch up and now it is six month later, so originally I thought of sending him a half-birthday card, but in the end, I decided on my old ninja fall  back.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It's been a while, and actually, I'd like to say that I have been ubercreative and productive, but actually, I have felt a bit disconnected from art and writing lately. I think the tempo of my life has picked up a bit with the month of September rolling in, and me taking a hand at homeschooling my daughter for this year. I feel a bit disconnected, like I come into my studio and write or paint, then immediately leave it again and back to mothering. I don't know how to describe it really. I have a lot of heavy stuff on the brain about my own limitations and ego-constraints, and how many steps I have taken backwards and away from meditation and Buddhism and all that. Not that this is what this blog is about, nor are any of these things excuses, but I have felt slightly, I don't know, weird and in a funk.

Still, I do have stuff to share with you. I made a little mock up Sketchbook for the sketchbook project to test my ideas for painting spreads, before I actually sketch and paint them in the official rebound Sketchbook. Here is the first spread I worked on, which is actually not the first spread in the book.

I also began experimenting a bit more with that weird watercolor paper and utilizing the characteristic of the watercolor sitting on top of the paper, so I really made wet, watery watercolor, and hung it, so that it looks like a window in a storm. I fell in love with the effect it created and still wondering what I am doing with this background. I might hand-letter a spread for the Sketchbook project, because I wanted that effect and no idea how I was going to get it.

Some other things I have worked on lately. I have been using my own moleskin watercolor sketch book, which I have had for a while for thumbnail paintings. But recently, I discovered, or rediscovered, a little art store in the next town over. She was having a sale and I ended up buying our babysitter an off to university gift of a moleskin watercolor sketchbook and a highend watercolor travel pan. A few weeks later and bought a cheaper one for me, so I began painting some sketches to see how the quality matched up to tubes. These aren't great, but I loved playing with the pan, especially loved going to a cafe during naptime and painting.

Dragonflies Bookmark. 1.75"x 6". Watercolor.

Happy Trees. Watercolor Sketchbook.

Mama sketch. Watercolor.