This morning was pay day, and as I was leaving to take the key back, Syd reminded me that he is ready to get back to his painting. I saw the mural in completion yesterday, but wanted to spend more time tweaking it. It looked pretty good yesterday afternoon as I was limping home:)
I am so grateful for friends who have tools I can barrow for a minute. Syd is my customs inspector...Columbo type cat. Nothing comes in, or out this place without him having to check it out. In order to hang Old School, we had to drill into a concrete block. It looks good right next to the Pepsi cooler.
The Longaberger Basket is in my sights this morning. It goes along the Licking River next to Blackhand Gorge, and before Mound City Ball Park. I am moving as fast as I possibly can given my arthritis. I am down to the wire on time as Don & Sues are scheduled to open in 3 days. I have not downloaded yesterdays photos yet, so stay tuned dear readership for the completion of my mural of The Land Of Legends.
My cousin Kerry O'Flaherty purchased one of my feathers to take with him to Afghanistan in 2012. He told me when he bought it from me that he was going to wear it through his tour along with his cross and dog tag. At Grandmothers funeral I saw Kerry and he told me a story of how my feather was probably floating around Afghanistan in 2014. He had been showering, removed the necklace and hung it on a hook for only a few minutes. When he went to dry off, dress, and finish up, the necklace was gone. That probably was one of our own that took that from him. I marvel at how far out some of my feathers have traveled. And even though I am against these endless wars that we have been involved in my entire life, I am proud of my cousin Kerry who served both in Iraq and Afghanistan. He made the military his carer, got his education on the GI Bill, and he is not a war monger by any means. I told him to stop by and I would replace his feather at no cost. I am proud of the man he has become. Merry Christmas family, and friends. I will be working on my mural today, tomorrow, and possibly finishing up the day after tomorrow.
During calling hours for Grandma Sue O'Flaherty I slipped out and put air in my rear truck tires. I had been curious about what state my other Grandmothers house might be. So on my way back from the gas station, I took a little detour and drove by Grandma Joy Hendershot Dove's last home...before her stay at the nursing home. I didn't want the new owners to become paranoid that someone was parked in front of their house snapping pictures, so I quietly stopped long enough to snap one picture, and then made a beeline back to the funeral home. As you can see it was a bleak winter day. Grandma Joys old house still stands and they even had electric candles in the two picture windows. I lived there for a year while I was attending OSU Newark campus. So this would be one of several of my homes before this one on Eddy Street. I try to keep a photo file of the places I have lived in my nomadic life. This morning I will be working on the mural at Don & Sue's Pizza, and knock off a little early as I have a drum performance tonight in Columbus. The Columbus Women's Drum Chorus will be performing at the Solstice ceremony at 7pm tonight 16 On Summit Church. It will be the only Christmas event I have been invited to. My family did not bother to inform me of my Grandmothers death, or the funeral. Lucky for me, I have friends who get the paper, and told me Tuesday. My grief over Grandmas passing can not be conveyed here, and some of my family members were civil towards me. I hope they all have a merry Christmas this year and Syd and I will be working on Syd's world and the mural. My Grandmothers loved me unconditionally, and now they are all gone from this earth. I know they would be proud of me in spite of the collective indifference from my family. Perhaps my picture is in the dictionary next to the word Black Sheep. Maybe someday, some of them will want to bury the hatchet....hopefully not in my back.
When I saw Grandma Sue late May, I wanted to take a picture of her hands. These are the hands that made us fine Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. These are the hands that changed my dirty diapers 55 years ago. I was amazed that someone in Hospice painted her fingernails that day. She was dressed as if she were going to go out. She had wonderful gourmet meals prepared for her. Thank you Hospice for taking care of my dear Grandmother until her next transformation. Her favorite color was red, and she is probably in heaven baking cookies for the angels today. RIP Grandma Sue.
This morning I started painting the mural for Don & Sue's Pizza. I am working on a deadline, and working with ongoing arthritis My best time is morning and with medication I believe I can paint 5 feet a day.
There is a nice corner in the entrance area that I can hang some of my paintings. I had been looking for a gallery type opportunity and this one just fell in my lap.
Only minutes ago I finalized EIEIO. At least that is what I believe. This means this painting is officially for sale as of today. My price is $400. If it doesn't sell, then next year I may enter it into either the Friends Of The Library show in Columbus, or VSA 2016 Ohio Exhibition And Tour. In the meantime, I can just enjoy the achievement. I realize this is influenced by the writing of James Howard Kunstler who wrote The Geography Of Nowhere. I read his book in the 90's, and everything else I could get my hands on since that book. I think Jim would like this painting. I was not conscious of this influence while I was in the first stages of this work. In fact, I didn't become conscious until October of this year. Jim does a podcast called The Kunstler Kast. I feature this podcast on my daily blog. Sometimes, I fall asleep to the Kunstler Kast, just as sometimes I would put a record on to lull me into sleep. He affirms this thing that I have been noticing all my life. My house is full of antique furniture and tools because I have been able to afford them. Ironic that my antiques were acquired cheaper than big box stores sell the new items! I need to just let this painting hang on my living room wall for a little while, till I am sure that it is indeed finished.
As I add detail to my newest painting, I am ever mindful of EIEIO. Today is the deadline for the VSA show, and that was the painting that I had originally thought should go to that show. I can anticipate that EIEIO will be finished late this afternoon. It still would not be done in time for the show, as the application and all that goes along with that would need to go through Christmas speed mail. I sure hope no one that wanted to be in the show was prevented by the constraints I have been up against. Amen.
In 1983, I made this photograph at 238 Granville Street. It is called Bubble Bath. There always seems to be a cat lurking around in the perimeters of my work LOL! This cats name was Snow Blink, and it took a lot to set this photograph up. I have had years to beat myself up over what I should have done to make this photo an A plus photo! The concept was fantastic, and the execution was not so good. Still though, I should be able to use it right?
So instead of a bubble blower, I have her holding a book. Snow Blink is out of the running for this painting, but so many elements of that original photo will end up in the painting. Maybe someday I will do a whole painting of that bathroom...but for now...I wanted something interesting behind the partially open door. Who knows what may come next. I assure you readership....I haven't a clue. Maybe ice-cycles hanging off the tree in the window.
One of my favorite all time songs is Georgia On My Mind. It doesn't matter who sings it, I just stop and almost tears come to my eye...as some folks feel about the National Anthem. Not too many things, places, or people effect me like that. I feel that way also about the Columbus skyline. I added it to Syd's World today and used a quick silhouette sketch I had previously made in EIEIO.
This particular angle of The Columbus skyline is only visible for a split second when you are traveling towards downtown on State Rt. 70. Photo wise, it is an impossible shot, and I have not ever attempted it as I keep my one eye on the road when I am driving. Still though, I marvel each time it pops up for that instant. Like Oz for Dorothy. I added my Oz (Columbus Skyline) to both recent paintings as I plan on moving back to Columbus as soon as the opportunity permits. I miss the capital city and my Columbus friends. I miss the celebrated diversity. I miss the artistic and musical opportunity's. Perhaps it is a magical thing that I include Columbus skyline in my paintings...like any conjuring or list making. Each time I paint the skyline, it comes a little closer and more distinct.
I added Joselph Albers painting inside Syd's World this morning. I was so happy to be able to get cobalt blue and a detailed brush yesterday. I was delighted that the technique "trick" still works after all these years.
This morning I went to Hobby Lobby in search of the smallest detail brush I could find, and cobalt blue. I haven't had access to cobalt blue for several months and I will need it soon for several of my paintings. Syd is in and out today as it is raining. He likes to come in and go out in the rain because I dry him off in between his trips. I think he knows he is the subject of this new painting....although I am not for sure about that. It may just be that he likes to be on top of whatever I am paying attention to.
My favorite college text book is, and was, The Interaction Of Color by Joseph Albers. Color can be deceptive, and Albers shows us in his book and in his examples. The cover of my old copy has this image which clearly proves that brown can look noticeably different depending on the surrounding colors.
Don't let that cat fool you! Syd had a very nice Thanksgiving meal. I cooked him chicken breast, and he had a bowl of egg nog. I decided to change the color of the room in Syd's world. It looks even different today as I haven't snapped a picture this morning.
Gratitude! My sight. No. 1 to replace being delivered from my enemy's. Sight....what an awesome gift. So now I have two items on my gratitude list. Sight, and then being saved. My macular degeneration is something I don't like to dwell on...it has always been a possibility. Now that I know though, I want to spend my days seeing,
Using an old photograph that was poor technical quality, I can see that the idea was good though. Worth the shot...and maybe it was a scene that was part of a painting? I think I am done for the day. I have been up and working since about 5:30am and I think it is just time to put my feet up for a little while. Be back later when more is revealed to me...as I see into this imaginary world.
This morning I woke up before dawn and started in on Syd's World. I wanted to get a sense of where the ceiling and wall meet, so a ceiling fan seemed in order. While I was painting that in, I imagined a 3 shaker peg coat rack...and then I imagined the coat hanging off of it. It is unanimous that we see Syd's face, so no doubt I will be turning him around as I add filler books in my imaginary bookcase. What is in that room off my fantasy bedroom? More will be revealed! This is the time of the year I begin making my gratitude list. I do this as a substitute for Thanksgiving as I won't be going anywhere and I am determined not to be sad about that....instead grateful for something better to do.
Syd wants to know what I did to his outside? This ole boy spent most everyday outside rain or shine. Yesterday, and this morning he is not so interested in actually going out there. I guess I won't be doing any anvil work or smithing today! That's OK. I can use this pose.
Yesterday afternoon I sanded and stained the frame for EIEIO. There is no possible way to finish it in time for the upcoming VSA exhibition and tour. I need to take the pressure off and let the ideas stew and simmer and not try to force it. I am so thankful to have had a grandfather that cultivated my woodworking interest. My Grandpa Russ (Russel Bolen O'Flaherty) made me a miniature workbench right beside his. When I stayed with my grandparents Grandma Sue (Virginia McKee O'Flaherty) made us an enormous breakfast, then grandpa and I would go to his workshop. Those are some of my fondest memory's and occasionally I am lucky enough to be able to have a woodworking shop in addition to my Jewelry nook. Not at this residence though....so it is my kitchen counter that holds the basics. Knife handles, and picture frames seem to be what I make these days. I find that the little band saw, dremel belt sander and a cordless drill fit the bill for most of my woodworking projects. Although yesterday I had to go to my basement and locate my hand sander. With EIEIO out of the running, I can jump over and start my next canvas that I am calling Syd's World.
I started a working sketch at the laundromat on Saturday. This morning I started plotting out where I want everything and put on some base coats.
My commissioner wants my old guitar in the painting as well as Master Syd.
I met her once. Hope to meet her again. Soon!
I can't think of a more inspirational song or musician I have ever met. I did meet her once....at the Agora. Katie Belle and The Belle Rangers would be the next influence. I have not yet met Katie Belle. I bet if Katie Belle met Melanid Safka......world would not be the same to say the least. For instance....what would Dream Away sound like if Melanie sang it? Every idea I have come up with in the last week or two is illegal. This would be one of those ideas that would need to be brokered. But what if...these people just showed up....didn't care about legality? We'll see what ha0ppens. I am allowed to fantacise and dream...and even affirm. Both Melanie and Katie Belle have powerful voices. We need those for what is coming next. I for one....am practicing to sing with both of these women. How can I go wrong. I am just practicing and hoping one of them will come into my direct radar. Both women have influenced me beyond anyone else. Maybe I will live to perform or jam with them.
Off to the laundromat! Here are two new potential artifacts I created from Ohio Hopewell and Adena artifacts. My idea was that folks visiting a museum where the hand and Hopewell symbol are, might like these new versions. To quote my friend Louise in Maine...."something still remains".
I have had to make some hard decisions this week. I hope they were good decisions. Yesterday, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased 3 tubes of acrylic paint in hopes of finishing EIEIO by my December 5th deadline. My stride was broken, so I don't know how I can get back into the momentum. Painting for me, is sort of like going down the rabbit hole. One of the first processes that I had my art students do this summer was to learn about primary colors, how to mix them into secondary colors. They became quite good at it, and now I am faced with needing to be good at it too. The art teacher has to walk the walk this week. Prior to this week, I have been using mostly recycled and donated paint.
It occured to me yesterday that I need to return this computer to Lori Rayburn who paid for it and loaned it to me. However, I was not going to leave my hard drive or RAM memory cards in it as I will be leaving it on her porch next time I am in Columbus. I don't keep things that do not belong to me. After 19 hours of recycling all makes and models of computers, I know how to remove these parts. It is a matter of removing screws, finding clips, and then putting it all back together. She will not appreciate this gesture, but I will feel better knowing I return what I borrow. Thank you FreeGeek, and Licking County Computer Society for teaching me how to do this very important thing.
post script Thank you Lori Rayburn for loaning this computer to me.
Syd and I turned back our clocks this morning. There are some years that I haven't remembered to do it until I missed a vital appointment. His little nose is a bit bent out of shape. He wonders what I have done to his outside:) There was frost on my windshield this morning, so I am delaying going out on my errands till it warms up a bit. I put a couple new things into my painting, but the going is slow as I am almost out of 3 colors of paint. I am not eligible for another grant till 2016 so this painting might not get done this year unless I can come up with Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue, and Yellow. I have never been a starving artist, but much of my art has been dependent on art supplies. I will turn toward what I do have in stock and try to do something....even if it isn't right:)
Art class was cancelled today, so I jumped over to the workbench to cut out two maple leaves that I am preparing to etch. These would be difficult for a beginner as breaking the needle size saw blade is an inevitability. I want to get several of these cut out, so that the Ferric acid bath will be contained to one day. I don't like to have that stuff sitting around. I am not liking the look of the silver wire on the smaller leaf....maybe I can find some smaller copper or brass wire for those.
These are made by glueing an actual leaf directly onto the metal, then sawed out using a jewelers saw. Next they will be spray painted then etched in order to bring out the veins.
On the way to recycling I can't help but notice this old abandoned passenger railway car. It must have been something to travel and see the countryside from one of these. Most of them have been scrapped. I wish it was mine. I would live in it!
As I become dangerously low on recycled paint and the paint from the in kind donations, I turn to nature herself for my final colors. If you have been following my blog for awhile you probably noted the tremendous impact the city s massive tree killing campaign. I watched many giants needlessly put to death. My soul grieved. Today I honor the maple. She who has sheltered and provided shade and protection for the most of my life. When the paint is all gone, I will turn to what I have to work with that won't require the purchase of anything.
This is a maple leaf from my backyard that I glued flat onto the copper. It can be cut out, forged, etched, patina added. Sometimes we don't have to use a sketch...we can go direct:)
One of my favorite Newark Ohio murals is this one that almost vanishes into the background landscape. The further you get away from it, the more it becomes part of the landscape. I took the afternoon off from my painting project to snap some pictures of my downtown before the leaves are all gone.
I think I am down to the wire on my own painting EIEIO, and I just have no idea how to finish it up. It doesn't feel quite done, but it is close. There is an outside chance that I can get it done in time to enter it in this years VSA show, but my guitar is in hock, utilities up....It is just too close to call at this point. One thing is for sure, I am not gonna lose my guitar in favor of getting entry money. Those are the hard choices I have to make everyday. I am living in a continuous state of collapse. My guess is that the middle class will feel this same way soon. Be grateful dear readership for what you have, and try not to waste anything!