Friday, September 11, 2009

last of the summer tomatoes

There's a group of Daily Painters whose widget appears somewhere on this page and whose work ethic I much admire. It's astounding to me how quickly and effectively they can produce such lively small scale paintings in such a short amount of time.

Me, I tend to plod, over-think and obsess with even the simplest subjects, resulting in canvases of overwrought mushiness and confusion. Much of this is no doubt due to a lack of training on my part
, since I have no idea what I'm doing and am making it up as I go along. But quite a bit is probably due to essential personality flaws as well, as I tend to plod and over-think and obsess about everything, resulting in a brain and life of overwrought mushiness and confusion. Maybe because I'm still making that up as I go along, too. Funny, you'd think I'd have it down by now.

So when my husband came home and plopped some tomatoes down in the basket on the counter, I popped some blue hydrangeas in a vase and thought, hmn, I bet I could do this in a few hours(!) and quickly set out to try, you know, to loosen up my brain a little. When, to the surprise of no one I didn't finish that day, the canvas sat for a week, the tomatoes were eaten and the hydrangeas started turning green.

, I thought, I like that much better! More color, better contrast. Turk was promptly dispensed to the farmers' market for more fruit and I added some green to the blue.

Later that afternoon, as I noted that the flowers had started turning brown around the edges and imagined the tomatoes in a nice insalata calabrese for dinner that night, I threw a little sienna into the petals and finally called it a day. Before my bright little Still Life with Tomatoes turned into a picture of an empty basket and a couple of dry sticks in fetid water: Stilled Life: Study of a Too Literal Mind.

And I wonder why no one wants to sit for my portraits.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

summer reading

To all the slack-jawed yokels and Yosemite Sam wannabes proudly strangling free-speech and the democratic process in town hall meetings across the land, as well as to their media handlers and other mad prophets of the coming Apocalypse I would like to recommend picking up a copy of T.R. Reid's new book, The Healing of America.

I would further recommend that, rather than using said book as you normally would, say as a beer coaster or something to burn at the next Birther bash, that you actually look at the pages in a genuine attempt to discern their meaning. And if that's proves to be too difficult, perhaps a kindly visiting child could interpret them for you. That's why we make you send them to public schools. So they can help you to help yourselves.

In the meantime and for the rest of us, Reid has laid out the Five Myths About Health Care Around the World in a sensible, comprehensive and thoughtful fashion. I first heard Reid speaking this morning on NPR and was so impressed with his broad knowledge and reasoned compassion that I immediately went online in search of the book. I'd like to send one to each of my Congressmen and women as well ~ can a constituent give their legislators required reading lists? I very much doubt it. But I'm sure as hell gonna try.

Health Care: We all get it. We all pay. What could be fairer than that? Or more democratic? It's the American way. Dammit.