life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to grieve my losses, to laugh long and hard, and to learn how to live a full magnificent life with heart failure. I am honoring my creativity, and exploring all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say....."Don't talk like that!"



Thursday, January 31, 2019

I wanna' be a Rayya!

I should have known it would be someone like Elizabeth Gilbert to understand and explain this better than I ever could!

Monday, January 28, 2019

NOT a TV show!

Oh Hell NO!  There is no such thing! 
Although I used to think so.  I defined my family’s dysfunction with TV shows as the standard of a healthy functioning family…Boy…was that a huge mistake! 

So here are the facts….There is no “Leave it to Beaver” family!  Never has been, never will be and those that tell you differently are out and out liars! I am learning to revel in all that I have and to let go of the hurt and anger created by what I do not have...I admit it is not easy and the hurt and negativity will flow out of me with very little provocation.   There are a zillion sappy “Family is everything” quotes…Family is what we want it to be.  The relationships are defined by us,  not a TV show.
"Family Affair"  Sly and the Family Stone

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Not a Bad Person because I do not....

Sometimes I hear a song and I am taken right back to a time, and with Google now I can really “kind of” visually go back too. 

It was my first official run away from Leesburg at 13.  My mother and stepfather lived in South Miami. It was the first time I was exposed to a metropolitan area and I loved it.  There was always something to do and it never involved an orange grove.

The top right building was my Junior High School,  where I was awarded the school superlative…”Girl with the Best Sense of Humor, 1969”. Superlatives were better than valedictorians, it was a huge deal at my school, (back then you kind of graduated, but not with all of the pomp and circumstance just a big school prom like dance and awards).  I was so amazed and surprised and tickled that just being myself was noticed. I was not surprised when I found it online all these years later...that it is now a magnet school for the arts. In Leesburg I had been criticized for being funny, I was told it was rude, crude and unladylike. No friend or family member in Leesburg ever acknowledged or asked me about how it felt to be acknowledged by the students and faculty of a large metropolitan school for such an honor. It was not anything they understood and  I was not the homecoming in their eyes... it did not count.

Killian High School (lower right) was a serious culture shock. A huge brand new school built for the single purpose of achieving racial integration. The high school was bigger than the first Jr. college I went to and a hotbed of civil disobedience.  A week did not go by that at least one bomb threat did not get us all out of class or a urinal was not blown off of the boy's bathroom wall. We had lecture classes in huge auditoriums or lecture labs, bigger than most colleges. It was scary as hell...but exhilarating at the same time...The possibilities were endless!

Oh and Dadeland! (Upper Left) may have been one of the first real malls and my official introduction to Jordon Marsh and Burdines, which no one even remembers now!  But there were so many small and amazing boutiques where anything could be in style…and oh yes there was…. Spencers…Black lights…psychedelic posters…candles.... the definition of a generation! It is where I learned how to create my own style and shop!

And finally home.... 6460 SW 73rd St. South Miami, FL  (bottom left)  The little house,  the first place where I was accepted just the way I was.  It was the beginning of growing into who I was… and would be. (And the clock that sat on the shelf in that house and chimed every hour, is now in my house still chiming, still telling's ok)

I would be dragged back to Leesburg at 16, through legal custody wrangling  I was criticized, punished, chronically restricted from most social events. I suspect in today's world it would be considered emotional abuse.  I was being browbeaten into becoming socially acceptable, to fit into the Leesburg box, but Leesburg would never fit me again, I had found out there were options in other places..  Leesburg would never ever fit me again nor would I ever allow it to make me feel "less than" because I did not fit it. There was nothing wrong with me it was the Leesburg mentality of the 60's and 70's..  As I look back I understand and appreciate all of those that love the comfort and simplicity of a small town. I can see the sense of safety in a narrowly defined social, religious and political structure of a small town.  But I can also appreciate that I am NOT a bad person.... because I do not want to be a part of that ever again.
"Give Me Some Kind of Sign, Girl"  Brenton Wood

Friday, January 25, 2019

It is time...

I am different, I am not meant for everyone, and I am learning that it is ok, I do not need them all to like me and I am ok with that…I think.  My self-value and self-worth have to come from inside me…my own beliefs,  not how much I contribute, how much I give, how much I do for others.  Giving is a terribly important part of being human.  I enjoy it, I do not regret a moment of time and things I have given but now I need to take care of me, too.  I may hurt some feelings, I may make some angry, it does not mean I love you less…it does mean that I love me more. It is time for me to embrace my own magic and I have to do this by myself.
"If You Could Read My Mind"  Gordon Lightfoot

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

It is frustrating as hell!!!

And this is the scariest question because I am afraid the answer is yes.  

I am forever grateful that there is not a great deal of pain associated with this, but there is an overwhelming and indescribable loss of energy and motivation to keep going.  I used to revel in “days off” the “do nothing days” they were the time I got to recharge, to think to brew ideas and make plans for the future  They were looked forward and cherished. Now the “do nothing days” are the malicious reminder that this is all your body is capable of doing.  And it is frustrating as hell…I hate this!

"Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" 
Gerry and the Pacemakers

Monday, January 21, 2019

Wish I had figured this our earlier!

This was a difficult and confusing concept for a small southern town Episcopalian and red-headed daughter (that stuck out like a sore thumb) of the only architect. On one hand, I was often told who was and who was not an appropriate person to befriend based on a small community‘s social and financial standing, giving me the ridiculous idea that I had been endowed with all some privileged (“holier than thou”) traits simply by birth. On the other hand, I was also told privately and consistently what a disappointment and failure I was. It was incredibly confusing!!! I think as a result I always felt and identified more with the free spirits that did not give a rats rump about the social norms, but I was too afraid to openly embrace them!

Now I know, finally NOW I know...I think I have known for a long long time, just never really knew how to put it into words. I am just different and so are the most amazing, interesting, remarkable, and fearless people I know and adore... it is the most wonderful thing! Wish I had the wisdom and intelligence to figure it out much much earlier!
"I'm a Loser" The Beatles

Saturday, January 19, 2019

So Worth it!

I have learned so much about what people do not want to talk about.  This part of the journey is really up to each of us and we have to do it alone. As much as I want to share this with friends and loved ones, it is clear it is very hard for them.  Now I know, no one can do it for us or with us or even help us navigate it.  As much as they want to help, they just do not know. Although sometimes all I need is to have someone listen. I have also learned that fear is what controls most of how we approach this part of life and it can be so damaging and destructive.  But oh my! if you are willing to work through that raunchy fear, if you work yourself to the other side, this part of life can be the most freeing, joyful, celebration of life. I will confess there are still many times it can be frustrating as hell … but working through it….is so worth it.

"She is Not Afraid" One Direction

Friday, January 18, 2019

But We Do....

The world and I lost a guiding light.  Damn, she will be missed, but I am so happy that her amazing words will live on.  She will continue to inspire.  Thank you, Mary Oliver, you made more of a difference in my life than I think you might imagine…You were one of the few that knows the real conflict of exposing creativity, allowing others to give or take away the importance of creating.  Still…after all of this time most do not understand that art is about the process of creating…the “product” the art is not much more than evidence that creativity took place.  We really should not even care whether or not others like it….but we do.
"Maybe There's a World" Cat Stevens

Thursday, January 17, 2019

I'm going to Nude NIte!

I am so eXcITeD!!!! Me and my girls (both of them) are going to Nude Nite! Feb. 14-15-16

This is the part of life where I seriously question my strengths and energy to continue to do some of the things I really love doing.  Creating is one of those things.  So much of who and what I am hinges on my ability to create. I am absolutely certain it is the main reason my heart continues to beat so strongly. Now Ed (the hospice nurse)  will tell you the meds may have something to do with it…but I KNOW.  

When I could no longer do the layered paper pastels (there was a serious breathing issue with all of the fixative) I had to do something and I began playing with the paper clay.  It has been inspiring, perplexing and incredibly challenging, but there is nothing and I do mean nothing that could possibly have felt better, given me artistic validation, and confirmed that I and my work do still have value than to have someone else in the arts industry recognize my work as being good enough to be a part of a National Show….even if it is limited to nudes!...and that is what makes it just a bit more fun than any old plain art exhibition!

"Naked" Lakshmi Devi

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My own reflection...

And this is the beginning of my understanding!  

I think it is so much easier, less challenging, and takes so much less work to love a reflection of ourselves.  I know because I have systematically removed people that are aggressively different from me politically, however, in my own defense I do love having open intelligent political conversations and debates, it was only when the discussion included debasing  and humiliating others for not believing the same way they do that I began resolutely deleting people and comments.  I think loving my friends and family’s different characteristics of beliefs is a wonderful thing, until and unless it creates chaos and drama and begins impacting my own ability to achieve peace.  I will never be able to love everyone, or agree with them or fit them into “my reflection” nor will I fit in to theirs ….and it is ok.  I have not found my own reflection, yet.
"For Good" from "Wicked"

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

This is just so wrong!

 “Once upon a time”…

I suspect we all have “those” stories. And I did have 1 or 2 marvelous decadent up all nighters, but I really thought “adulting” was going to be full of those wild wanton nights! Who knew that once I did not have a job or kids and could stay up as late as I wanted to… I would not be able to anymore.  This is just so wrong!

"Born to be Wild" Steppenwolf

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sunday Morning and all is right in my world!

New Air Handler fits perfectly in old space!

I love it when a plan comes together….
Which very rarely happens!  But yesterday was like a well-oiled tornado of amazing workmen that knew just what they were doing!  The arrived at 8 AM and were done by 1PM installing a whole new system, both inside and out with all of the wiring, drains, electrical, etc…etc…without a hitch…it was amazing…and it works like a charm!  All that “prep” work paid off, having all of the drain and copper tubing exposed for them to get to really helped expedite the job!  And for as much as I have worn myself out and groused about, it sure does now feel great that I got those closets cleaned out and reorganized and now put back together….well almost…the studio is still not finished!  It is Sunday morning and all is right in my world!!

"I Just Want to Celebrate"  Rare Earth

Saturday, January 12, 2019

All of the little things that I did not truly appreciate!

It is new AC/Heater system replacement day!  My last few days have been in preparation for this….AUGH!  All closets that the pipes and tubes are cleaned out and ready…and when you live in the same place for over 40 years and closet cleaning is NOT one of my high priority jobs…there is a serious YUK factor!  I cannot complain, this system has served us well for over 30 years and I have been told that is well past the normal life span but I do not think there is ever a time that I would want to spend this much money or do this much cleaning.  I cannot wait to have this over with...but the dream of efficient air and heat and my kitchen and studio put back together is going to feel so great!  All of the little things that I did not really pay attention to or truly appreciate have become front and center….and oh how I do appreciate these conveniences now!
"Hammer & Nail"  Indigo Girls

Friday, January 11, 2019

Panties are optional!

Well let’s call it as I see it…it is not just coffee, smiling and panties but a back that is killing me, forearms that are again infested with hundreds of those little blood bruises and no desire to get out of this wonderful heated-vibrating recliner!  

After 2 days of tackling the studio closet, it is going to take much much more than this crummy “rah-rah” quote to get me motivated enough to tackle the kitchen “garbage”  closet!  Even if it is only 1 fourth the actual size of the studio closet…there is nothing fun in there…brooms, mops, cleaning supplies, bug spray…. etc. …all are of questionable origin and use! 

Another sip of coffee and I am resetting the chair remote heat massage for another 30 minutes….oh yea…there is the smile on my face and the sparkle in my eye... the panties are optional!...
"Get Up Off of That Thing"  James Brown

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My own little retrospective!

The studio closet HAS to be cleaned out so the new AC/Heat system can be installed. There is absolutely no other reason I would take on this kind of lousy job!  The drain pipe and copper tubes run through the backs of this closet one other kitchen closet and the pantry.  If I ever find who came up with this “better idea” ... I may throttle them!

Aside from my exhaustion and grousing….It has been an interesting visual walk through my creative career.  For the first time ever, as all this old artwork that never sold, or I changed my media enough that I could no longer include it in my outdoor art show category was dragged out and reorganized to get ready for all of this AC/Heat construction. I got to see 30+ years of my art and how I have grown and changed.  It was interesting and something I had never really thought about or would have done for that purpose.

There was texture and dimension even in my early watercolor work, I did not realize what a big part of me and my work it is and apparently has been all along  Too actually see it be born and develop and now watching it morph and grow into 3D work with sculpture was really interesting.  But still there was a ton of shit that just needed to be pitched and I need to temporarily stash the other works somewhere in the studio until the work is done and I can put it all back…

It was like my own little “retrospective”!   
What is in the picture is not even close to all of it!  YIKES!!!
"You Have Lived"  Don McLean

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Is this the something new?

They are photographically done…
that means a lot more finishing work and paint touch up…but for now, the images are good enough for photographs to be judged by the “Nude Nite” Jury to determine if I am good enough to exhibit this year.  

Looking back, I needed to spend more time but it was a deliberate choice I made (or a really great excuse if I am not selected)…. This time…putting the holidays and time with friends and family first.  I really thought I had made a reasonable compromise by NOT doing a large piece as one of my entries this year.  But is there ever enough time when there are deadlines?  Or am I and all artists searching for the answer we ask ourselves repeatedly....Am I good enough?

Regardless of this outcome….I have enjoyed being back in the studio, working in a newer medium that I (and my heart seem to tolerate a bit easier than the pastels).  This may be the beginning of the something new I have been reaching out for!

"Something New" Tom Fletcher

Monday, January 7, 2019

More of it!

Bases and backgrounds taking shape!

Part of being a creative…is to see past the lumps and the sticks and all of the ”broken” things and finally get to the images or artwork I had in my head.  Although I have to admit that more times than not, what finally erupts and is finished turns out being better than what was in my head. The trick for me is to just let the process go...following it, rather than directing it. 

But I do direct! Maybe not in the specific art…but most definitely how I present it!  Not many people understand including artists that a lot of time and money is spent on framing or presenting artworks well.  Artists (for lack of funds, time or talent) tend to want the galleries, museums and/or buyers to do this…I have always disagreed. Perhaps I spend too much time in the presentation, but I have seen what people can do to my work when left to their own devices.  In my opinion, the presentation becomes part of the work.  Other than the work itself, it is the most influential part. So I am sure most people did not understand yesterday’s panic when the black paint I was using for the bases and canvas was drying semi-gloss-ish.  I think perhaps in a day or 2 (crossing my fingers) you will understand how important it was for me to have a flat finish behind the antiquated finish of my girls.

What I will say without hesitation, being back in the studio, has been close to magic.  I know part of it is the excitement and the hoping the “Nude Nite” jurors will see my vision and allow me into the February exhibition.  There is magic and healing power in just plain simple creativity that so many people are going to live and die without ever having truly experienced. Every day I am grateful for this magnificent gift and I need to promise myself to do more of it!
"More of That"  Eric Bibb

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Fantastic Mistakes!

Well, this is one I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with!  Working on a hard deadline is not the time to find out the “flat” latex paint is NOT the same as “flat” acrylic.  After doing a second coat on the bases for the “girls” the damn paint is like a semi-gloss….there is a definite shine.  Even after sitting overnight just to make sure it was not just a little wet, and the damn stuff is still shiny.  Still, have to build the gallery wrapped canvas backing with braces to support the bases and sculptures and they all need to be painted FLAT black too!   AUGHHHHHH!   This can be considered a FANTASTIC mistake! 
"Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology" Jack Johnson

Friday, January 4, 2019

Big Old Fat Creative ife!

I am one of the lucky ones!  I figured it out late, but I did figure it out!  If I did not break the “rules” I would never have been able to become the person I was put on this earth to be. I have lost friends and family love, but it was partly my choice to no longer “play the people pleasing games”. I already let them break my heart once, now it is all on me I will not let it happen again!  Even if I scare them, they do not agree, or they think I am wrong. I will not ever forget or be afraid again to have a big old fat juicy creative life!
"Something to Talk About"  Bonnie Rait