Posts Tagged ‘art’

I put myself out there tonight (and over the weekend). I went to two events (the latest was tonight) where I knew NOONE. The first was fairly intimate (four people) and I at least had a name in common with one person. Tonight was really out there, for me.

When I was younger, I could do this.

Or maybe, I just didn’t realize the cost.

There were about ten women who showed up, all strangers to me, and some already connected to each other. I stayed for two hours, and they were still going strong. I learned a lot about selling my art.

But I just spent 3 hours playing stupid games, just to relax. The Introvert in me, and the HSP, is all aroused and on edge. Too many new people, too much small talk. I am exhausted.

I learned so much, I took so many notes (but why am I the only artist in the room doodling in my notebook? Seriously – I stole looks at everyone else’s notes and NOONE was doodling. Except me).

I decided, during the first half, that I would never go back. By the end of the second half, I regretted not bringing my own art samples along and telling my husband that I would be REALLY late. I will go back. With samples. And with the understanding that I will be really late getting home.

Backing up – I went to a meeting on Saturday that was very intimate and designed more toward visioning. I felt connected immediately. The speaker admitted to being aintrovert right off the bat. I will definitely be back to that group.

This is hard: putting myself out there as an artist.

Thank you for being faithful followers of me as a writer (even if you consistently refuse to comment). I appreciate that you follow this introvert person.

And, seriously. Comment. Let’s become internet friends. I can deal with friends who are “imaginary”.




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Updates on “Panic”

I have already updated the status of my dog, Harvey, on several social media sites (he has his own FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Harveyalbertpresley/), but I feel the need to follow-up here, too. He’s Okay. He has doggy bronchitis and he is on antibiotics. We didn’t do an x-ray of his heart, because it didn’t seem necessary. His heart sounds good and healthy. He’s been on antibiotics for two days now, and his coughing has noticeably slowed down. He does, however, need to lose the ten pounds he gained since I broke my foot last June, therefore, he is on reduced caloric intake.

I am working hard on photos for the applications I need to make for two art shows this summer. The photos are the hardest part: I need them to look professional. Unfortunately, I could not take anything outside and photograph in the shade this weekend: we’re in a monsoon. I do have some good photos, but I would like more to choose from, and of different media and size art work. I think I have a work-around: take the art to work with an easel & take photos during my lunch hour in the large conference room. Lots of natural lighting & no need for a flash.

I am working on a list of things I need to set up a NICE display, from the pop-up (I can borrow a 10×10′ one) to tables and frames and pegboard. I haven’t done an art show since the 1970’s, and that wasn’t juried. I sold three art pieces, all to the same person. One was a commissioned piece that I painted after the show. I probably have photos of those pieces in my 35mm files (pre DSLR days), but they aren’t relevant to the now.

I know I can do this, and I appreciate the Facebook comments and encouragements. I actually have a very strong ego, and while I am momentarily intimidated by something, I can usually plow through (after venting, of course). As an introvert, venting by writing is the way I roll. Being able to vent publicly  on a blog is sort of a plus: you find out there are people just like you out there. 🙂

I do want to paint more than just the minis I am currently working on (see my website), but I have to concentrate on this summer and the art shows, and the very limited amount of time I have to paint (especially with summer coming, and my other passion – gardening – competing for my weekend and evening time).

Several people have asked me to join their cause. I need to state this now: my cause is animals. I am not an “animal rights” person, because animals are considerably more complicated than that. They don’t afford rights to each other, and neither should I afford ‘rights’ to animals. However, I am a conservationist. I am not anti-hunting, but I am anti-trophy hunting: if you are not hunting to feed your family – get a good camera and take photographs. We are in an extinction crisis.

I told my husband that I am learning more about Class-Family-Genus-Whatever than I ever learned in science (I flunked biology in high school, dashing my dreams of becoming a veterinarian). I told him how I cannot believe how many antelope species there are, how some animals seem to cross Family boundaries, and then there are rodents. He said (casually), “I am surprised you haven’t gotten into lagomorphs.”

For the first time in my life, I actually understood that. I replied that, “Oh, yes. I have discovered lagomorphs.” Hares and rabbits are fascinating.

Taking a deep breath. I have a lot of work to do this week: photos, applications, lists of things I need, setting up the Etsy shop, business cards. And that’s outside of the 40 hour work week and house work and car maintenance and relationship maintenance.

P.S. _ I get that this blog does not follow traditional news: WWWWW and H


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October 21

Has it really been almost 3 weeks since I have written anything? Hey, things have been happening. I just haven’t written about them.

Where do you draw the line about silly stuff that happens at work and posting online about it? I work in Real Estate and sometimes the funniest stuff happens. For instance: we had a data entry clerk tell us that “no one told me addresses were required” when entering Listings into our online system.

Um. How do you think people are going to find those listings without addresses?

There’s the zero-error factor. A Realtor friend of mine had a home listed for $400,000.00. Last week, she got an offer for $3,900,000.00 on it. Her clients were thrilled.

The buyers probably backed out real quickly.

I have a lot of opportunity to slam my head on the desk.

I work with a Morning Person. You know what a Morning Person is, right? An annoying individual who doesn’t drink coffee and who speaks before you’ve had a chance to even sip your first cup of coffee. Fortunately, we now have a receptionist who does not do mornings and the focus of irritating someone has moved to her. “Good Morning! What’s not good about this morning? The sun is up/the rain is falling softly/your heart is beating/you’re not underground/it’s a brand new day!”

Let.Me.Drink.My.Coffee.In.Silence. Please.

Morning Person is also an extrovert. “What? You’re going out to your car for lunch? Why don’t you sit in the break room with me and eat lunch and talk?”

TALK? You want me to TALK during my lunch hour?

My coworker is also reinventing herself now that she is an Empty-Nester. She pesters peppers me with questions about my retirement plans. Well, actually, she didn’t realize I was talking about retirement. She thought I was looking for a second career that would take off tomorrow, complete with a Business Plan.

Um. NO. I retire in seven years. I want to have something in place when I retire. (By the way, I have decided to concentrate on artwork). “So, do you think you’ll make enough to live on?” she asks, glibly.

I stare at her. NO. I do have one artist friend who has made a successful career out of it & has even been entertained by the grandson of Henri Matisse (“who?” asks my coworker. Face Palm). I have another friend who shows her artwork in galleries. And yet another who mentored me this summer in the art of hawking my wares at faires.

Right time, right talent, ta da!

I’d like to write the Great American Novel, too, but this I do not share with my coworker. She would pester pepper me with questions about the plot and twists. No – I take that back. I did share with her, once. She went on a long rant about Stephanie Meyers and how she hit the market at the right time with the right novel. I countered with a long rant on everything that is wrong with the first two books in the Twillight Series.

1. The heroine, Bella, goes out into an ice storm in Washington State. Instead of falling on her arse (as I did in my first freezing rain), she nimbly makes it to her antique 4×4 pick-up truck and drives to school without mishap. It is only upon getting out of the truck and looking down that she realizes her father put chains on the front wheels of her truck.

Have you ever driven a pick-up truck with real chains on? Hell, ANY car with chains on? Thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa. Clank-clank-clank.

2. Someone comes to the local Pacific Northwest Outdoor Gear store and states they saw “Something big, hairy, and animal-like” loping across the road. Do you immediately think: “Werewolf”?

COME ON! BIG FOOT. Sasquatch. There will be ten Sasquatch Burger Joints opened within a three-mile radius of the first sighting within 24 hours. Everyone who lives up here knows there’s “something” out there. And it is not a werewolf named Jacob.

3. Creepy ancient guy has a crush on teen-age girl named Bella. Acts like a teenager with a crush on and a stalker.

I don’t even have to put anything in italics to answer that.

I never read the last books in the series. I think my youngest did, but only because she was determined that it couldn’t get worse. It got worse. They married and had a baby together. How does a dead guy even have living sperm?


I am not comparing my novel to Ms. Meyers’ novel. Mine could be worse. I’m just saying… don’t compare me with Ms. Meyers until you’ve read the book.

Then you can have at it.

Anyway, I patiently explained that this is a retirement plan. A way to make a few extra dollars on top of my husband’s pension, SSI, and my 401-K (both of which are piddly). My coworker seemed surprised.


She thought I was only 54. I should be flattered, but I’m not. What’s four years? I’m (almost) 58.

She has a much better plan that I do. But planning ahead was never my forte. Handling money was never my forte.

Which brings me around to the irony of my job: I handle money. I’m actually very good at what I do. I make mistakes, but when I do – I own them. No excuses. No “noone told me…”, just a big “OH &%$#”. Most of my Real Estate Agents love me (and I love them), but sometimes I really can’t please one. It happens. It’s work. It’s what I do in the real world.

But I don’t think I ever glibly thought that Real Estate sold without an address.


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This is my third post on deciding what I want to be when I grow up. My mother always told me, “Grandma Moses started painting when she was 70 years old.” I don’t know if she meant she could have started a new career as an artist or if she meant to encourage me, but I do know that 70 years old sounded really, really, really old, and so I was duly impressed.

70 doesn’t sound that old to me now and time is closing in on me.

I decided the best way to go about this was to weigh the things I love doing against each other and to assess the monetary benefits of pursuing an action.

Writing is the most obvious way to make money, but writing is only my second love (I am excluding horses: I couldn’t make money with horses if I knew squat about them, and they cost a lot of money to own).

The first thing I ever did in life that I remember is to take a pencil and draw. I was drawing before I could write. I was in detention in Kindergarten for drawing a pine tree instead of a lollipop tree ( the kid sitting next to me tattled on me and told the teacher I was ‘drawing Christmas trees’. When I defiantly pointed out that it was not a Christmas tree (no decorations) and that it looked more like a tree than the lollipop tree (I probably used that term), the teacher made me stand in the corner. I was crushed, but my sense of defiance was strengthened).

I created my first sculpture in 5th grade. I remember it vividly: it was made out of home-made papier mâchè. Each student  in class made a bird, and the popular kids were very detailed and politically correct. My bird was a fantastical parrot-like creation, green, and funny-shaped. I was embarrassed at the outcome. Later in life, I realized that’s just how my brain translates to sculpture. All my papier mâchè creations since have been grotesque and strange. I’m fine with that.

I love to garden, but I came into that passion as an adult. I hated yard work when I was a child and my father snapped a long black whip over our heads. “Work, ye slaves, work! Ground, ye are! Two weeks’ detention: spend it clearing out the boulevard! I want that salt grass gone!” Other neighborhood kids came and watched us toil in our shackles and striped pajamas. “Those poor Wilcox kids. They’ll never be free…”

Okay, it wasn’t quite that dramatic. The whip was imaginary. All the rest was real.

I love to read. If I could make as much money reading as I make working a forty-hour-a-week-job, I’d read for forty hours a week. At least. I’d even put in overtime.

I hate math. Herein lies one of the greatest ironies in life: God arranged for me to have a very nice job in a closing department for a real estate company. I spend forty hours a week dealing with numbers. I have a memory for patterns and numbers, and they come very easy for me. I only hate math because I had one good math teacher in my entire public school life (Mr. English in 8th Grade). The worst math teachers were in high school and higher math. I especially despise geometry.

I love science, but I can’t deal with the rote memory of it. You’d think that would be simple, but it isn’t. I had this very lofty dream of becoming a veterinarian when I was a freshman in high school. Enter Mr. Ricketts and his biology class. He was determined that we all understood what college was going to be like and he was hard. I learned to despise fruit flies. But what was driven home more than anything was that I do not have the ability to memorize biology terms. All we had to do was memorize the bones, musculature, and nymph system of the human body.

The final was the weekend after a big conference in Las Vegas for a volunteer group I had gotten involved with. We students screwed around a lot (one night, Tracie, “Rat”, Lance, and I ran around playing “doorbell ditch” on wedding chapels. We were all going to “get married” but we didn’t know to whom we wanted to get married). But I also spent a lot of time cramming for that test, and I remember sitting in the cafe with my biology book and notes. Mr. Ricketts was one of our chaperones and he came down for breakfast at the same time. I was making notes, reading and rereading.

I failed the test. My very first core subject failure. It was a pivotal moment in my life as dreams of becoming a veterinarian were dashed completely. Mr. Ricketts, who was a notorious bad-ass, gave me a D- on my report card. I deserved an F, but he knew how hard I’d studied in Las Vegas.

He did not know I wrote my first novel in biology and passed it around to my fellow students. It was titled, “Hey, Birds.”

Today, I had an interesting conversation with a new coworker. She’s from Iowa. I mentioned that I attended Grinnell College for a year. She replied, “Wow, that’s a rich kids’ college.” Well, yeah, it was then, too. It is also a very diverse college and a wonderful liberal arts education. I was just not prepared for living away from home in the middle of the flat lands. I was not college material at the age of 17 (my father warned me: he wanted me to take a year off and then go to college. I should have listened). I loved Grinnell.

I got to see/hear Ry Cooder. Oh my Gosh – he remains one of my absolute favorite independent musical artists. I had a great design 101 professor. I pulled a B+ average. One of my favorite courses was Humanities. World History was not far behind.

Still, I dropped out. World History, the Greeks, Poetry – those stick with me. I have a very dog-eared copy of Norton’s Anthology of Poetry (1974). John Donne became my favorite sonnet poet. Simone de Beauvoir was inspiring. I hate Freud.

I passed Physics for Dummies with flying colors with a paper on the artist Christo. What can I say? Christo had to understand physics in order to do the things he did with orange drapery.

I dropped out. I was not college-ready. I wanted to be John Steinbeck and write the Great American Novel. I’ve written three or four by now, and burned them all. The only novel I ever sent to a publisher was “Hey Birds” in the 1970’s. It was a truly awful book.

Now I am here: almost 58 and trying to decide which way I want to go. Tonight, I watched a You-Tube tutorial on oil pastels. I felt inspired. I knew that I was on the right track.

The end result of this rambling post is this: I want to be an artist. I buried my Talent for years and years as I worked my way through life: there was making a living to pay the rent, then there was marriage, and then there were children. I chose to homeschool my children which turned into a full-time job (that I will never regret, although their take on homeschooling is yet to be determined*). I was thrust into a full time job working for a real estate company.

And I found every excuse under the sun about why I couldn’t also pursue an artistic career. My bad.

Now, I want to correct that. I am leaning toward art. Really leaning. This is where I need accountability.

(I didn’t even touch on photography. I’ll make that my next post.)

*For Levi. My son. You would NEVER have broken so many laws if you had attended public school. You would NEVER have run as wild as you did if you had been in public school. You NEVER would have taken up Swing Dancing with the cute girls at community college when you were 14 if you had been in public school. I just want you to know that homeschooling worked in your favor.


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He’s finished. Well, he needs a name, but otherwise – he is finished.

new-goblin-004-2 new-goblin-007

I started out with the polymer clay figure, added some features with an air-dry clay, and painted with regular old craft paint.


Then I took an old dress, some cloth ribbon, fabric stiffener and fabric glue. Oh, and I added some velvet from an old coat my mom took apart years ago. I inherited the scraps of cloth when she died and now I have a use for them: faerie boots!

march-1-009 march-1-011

No sewing involved – I am far too lazy for that. He does need his horn and a few minute details added, but he’s looking pretty good!


I’m pretty happy with him.

He needs a name, tho.



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