Friday, July 22, 2011

The Shepherdess and U2

Well, Jill asked for some art so here's something I finished a long time ago but for some reason I kept procrastinating doing the photomerge in Photoshop (it's 12x12). I guess I thought it was going to be a real pain but it actually took only about 30 seconds. The inspiration for this collage was some of Ann Baldwin's work, specifically from her book, Creative Paint Workshop. I used corrugated cardboard, patterned papers, decorative napkins, some mulberry paper and acrylic paints. Oh, and some stamping into the paint. The shepherdess is a gel medium transfer. I had a hard time deciding if I should include her dog because I think he looks too much like a sheep. I guess that's not such a bad thing.

It was another hot, sticky day here in the Twin Cities and it looks like tomorrow will be similar except that we could have thunderstorms, which should be fun during the outside U2 concert. I told my mom I was going to a concert and she told me to be careful not to get trampled in a mob rushing the stage. She's hilarious sometimes-- doesn't mean to be--although instead of laughing I should be taking notes because I'll need to use these lines on Alexander in a few years!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Peace and quiet and fear

The boys left Sunday. Off to Itasca (4 hours NW) for their annual foray into the woods, where Dana teaches biology to incoming freshmen and Alexander has the time of his life playing with the peer mentors and the kids of other instructors. 
I always look forward to my two weeks of alone time but this year it is different because I really am alone: there's no Cupid by my side. I'm pretty sure that Cupid relished her alone time with me just as much.
It's always a time of mid-year resolutions for me. I started my two weeks well, with a trip to the gym and resisting the urge to run to the store to buy more yummy flavored creamer for my coffee. I need to get back to using 1% milk.
I am resolving (again) to rid myself of the fear that infects my life.
A big one is my fear of making art. My poor muse, always being ignored. This fear stems from my issues with perfectionism, which I've dealt with since I was 6 or younger--not wanting to make 'mistakes', the fear of failure, and not being accepting of myself.
For someone with a background in research, where did all the thrill of experimentation go?

But as soon as I finish this blog post, I am setting myself up on the living room floor with a much-too-large assortment of red- and white-tones of acrylic paints and working on a memorial collage about a friend's therapy dog.  My reward will be to dive into a book by Beryl Taylor which I have wanted for a long time and recently received. Her work is so incredibly detailed; she uses fabric and paper and beads and embroidery to create amazing quilted fiber art. Every time you look at one of her creations, you notice something new. Her work is so inspiring, but for now I'd better start smaller although I did make a piece of her fabric paper the other day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More about Cupid

A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from To Flush, My Dog

With my hand upon his head,
Is my benediction said, therefore, and forever.
Blessings on thee, dog of mine,
Pretty collars make thee fine,
Sugared milk make fat thee!
Pleasures wag on in thy tail--
Hands of gentle motion fail
Nevermore, to pat thee!

Yet be blessed to the height
Of all good and all delight
Pervious to thy nature.
Only loved beyond that line,
With a love that answer thine,
Loving fellow-creature!

I found this poem in a very nice book titled Blessing the Animals: Prayers and Ceremonies to Celebrate God's Creatures, Wild and Tame, by Lynn L. Caruso. It really made me think of the relationship I had with Cupid. And the line about 'pretty collars' reminded me of her lovely red leather collar with the hearts on it. With a name like Cupid, I took advantage of the Valentine reference as well as the Christmas/reindeer one. The photo was taken in 2003.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How my son plays catch

I forget at times how much fun it is to be a kid. If you want to wear last year's Halloween costume, you just do it. It doesn't matter if you're playing catch in the street. What a free feeling that must be. However, if you ask my little lefty, Alexander, how free he feels, he may tell you all about his losing privileges, consequences, and being grounded. It's not all fun and games!