Friday, May 16, 2008

it's 130 degrees outside I spent it in here, doodling and thinking it was Saturday. Turk and I went out last night and made rather too merry at the neighborhood Italian bistro, and since no one should be this hungover on a Friday I just naturally assumed it was already the weekend. Shame on me. Again.

In honor of this monumental hangover and my current guru Danny Gregory, and in place of going to the gym, which is of course what I would have done if I wasn't such a sad derelict, I drew my new running shoe. Fair comp. While the intertwined laces and staggering number of swooshes pointlessly applied to the surface of the shoes confused my bleary brain, I do believe I burned 7 whole calories in the process. Good for me.

On Wednesday I spent the better part of an hour getting weighed, measured, foot-stamped, generally evaluated and no doubt judged by a handsome but bored young man while I sweated through my running pants and wished I'd had a pedicure. Ever. My feet are such a mess from centuries of standing and walking around and everything that running has become painful, and I was desperate for a solution. In the end, I bought these shoes for $110 plus tax and the standard measured-by-a-handsome-but-bored-young-man humiliation surcharge. Then I went to the gym and covered a total of 9.27 miles between the elliptical machine and the treadmill.

And my feet are killing me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

of mush and mojo

I've spent a beautiful and breezy California weekend trying to get my painting mojo back after months of ineffectual doodling. I've been trying to work on portraiture, which as I've mentioned before is not a strong point but something I love. The problem is that I tend to fixate unhappily on a desire to reproduce a precise likeness of the individual, unable to balance that with the more encompassing and interesting emotional aspects of the subject. I need to loosen up. The best artists manage to combine elements of both the objective visual and subjective emotional to create a work that embodies an overarching truth. Today, I achieved neither. Today, I achieved mush.

In searching for inspiration, I came across a portrait I did awhile back of mixed-media artist Betye Saar, based on a picture in an old LA Times magazine. I was drawn to the textures and colors, and the way the then 74 year old grandmother stood out against the background even as her clothing blended in to it. I loved her strong features and regal presence; the substance implied by the weight of her jewelry, the bravura touch of purple in her hair.

I didn't capture it all; I keep using too much water, the whole thing is at once too tightly controlled and overworked; it's evident that I had quite a bit of trouble with the jawline. And yet despite its flaws it's a picture that makes me smile, in large part because the photo was accompanied by a pithy quote by Ms. Saar; one which I admire for it's brave truthfulness, even as I ignore it's wisdom daily:

"There's a freshness about youth..and it's sort of pitiful when you see older women trying to grab on to that instead of holding on to the grace that comes with fading beauty."

It takes a great deal of strength to, in that lovely turn of phrase, 'hold on to the grace that comes with fading beauty.' I am not that woman. I am Woman, Hear me Mush.

Monday, May 05, 2008

tell me about the rabbits, George

Bunnies. We've got bunnies. We've got lots and lots of bunnies. From darling little fur balls no bigger than a powderpuff, all the way up to that mangy old jackrabbit who stands 4 feet tall and spits tobacco juice in the neighbor's pit bull's eye, bunnies by the hundreds reside here on our bucolic little rabbit farm high in the hills of suburban California.

At last count we were host to at least 4, possibly as many as 12 generations of free-range rabbits, all happily residing deep within the hedges, down under the deck, high up in the flower pots and soon, under the bed. In fact, the other evening I counted no less than 97 bunnies of every shape, size, religion and political persuasion devouring
the remains of our tiny postage stamp of what was once a lawn. At least I'm pretty sure that was the number of bunnies; we were kicking back with a couple of cold ones at the time and that number may be slightly skewed in direct relation to the number of cold ones consumed. There is probably a precise mathematical formula by which one might compute an actual Rabbits-to-Dos Equis ratio, but that is beyond my range of expertise and really not the point. I don't even know why you brought it up.

The point is, there are a lot of bunnies.

And so, with
the music of Tiny Bubbles playing in my brain (in every sense of the term) I wrote them a little ditty, called Tiny Bunnies.

They're just lucky they're so damn cute.