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I'm moving to a new blog. One that lets me easily upload pictures and fuss around with it and stuff. Not far away. You can come visit.

I won't be deleting this journal or anything, but I probably won't post here often or at all. I may let it lapse into a free account when the renewal notice comes, but I like having the friends list feature that allows me to see all of your updates. Not that I've had much time to read it lately, but I have been thinking about you all!

Anyway, come on by the new place sometime...
11 thoughts or tell me something
"Sometimes we have to labor on our own to discover the force we need to be our new selves in the world.... Taking on the challenge of liberating ourselves directly enables us to thrive in our new freedom. Sometimes the greatest supports we can offer others and ourselves are patience and quiet confidence in the process unfolding, along with faith that the result will be extraordinary."

From today's Daily OM email

Current Music: The Water Is Wide-Cowboy Junkies-Rarities, B-Sides And Slow, Sad Waltzes

tell me something
I was writing a long blog post in my head this morning while driving in to work about all the things that I'm irritated about and that feel wrong in my life right now, but it was boring even to me so I'll spare you. I know what is happening, I know why I'm uncomfortable and I have a pretty good idea how to fix it. I just have to get through the complaining stage first. I was doing really well in about February. I was feeling balanced, happy, healthy and engaged. They all go together. If I am healthy, I get happier. If I'm happy, I get engaged and then I feel balanced. But I've dropped off a few of the things that make it all click. So instead of the negative list, here are the things I need to do to help me feel better:

* eat healthy, more fruit and vegetables
* yoga
* tea
* sunshine (of course it is grey today)
* get caught up at work (leaving for the day with things undone or disorganized makes me uncomfortable and stressed)
* quiet time with my journal (see tea, sunshine)
* drink more water
* art time

Ok, now make it so.

Current Music: Right Where It Belongs-Nine Inch Nails-With Teeth

4 thoughts or tell me something
Been sick, been busy, been working a weird schedule to get some stuff out the door: this and this and this.

I've slept so much some days and so little other days and at such weird times this week that my poor body doesn't even know what's going on. I've been craving the sunshine today, probably in an unconscious desire to reset my body clock.

I'm loving the spring this year. The sunny warm weather, the flowers, the increase in my level of energy. I've been cleaning the house, weeding the garden, cleaning and organizing my studio. And painting, finally. Usually I clean the studio to get myself started again after a slump, but my studio was cleaner and more organized that it has ever been, and I still wasn't painting, and starting to feel frantic. Something shifted last weekend, though, and I got going again. More flowers, and leaves and trees joining them. Lisa says they look sexual, but they aren't. I understand now how Georgia O'Keefe must have felt. They aren't vaginas, really! Just flowers!

Today I'm still a zombie from working into the wee hours last night (this morning?), so took myself on a little jaunt downtown to buy a birthday present for Lisa and poke around the bookstore. I've been frustrated that I have this fancy-pants SLR camera that I don't really know how to use, except in auto mode. What a waste. So I scoured the photo section for a book on aperture, which is really the part I want to understand better. I know about color and composition already, thanks. I read the first two chapters, and went in the backyard and took many pictures of the rose bush, and I think I'm actually getting it. I can now control the depth of focus while still getting the exposure and visual focus I want, which has been the part of flower photography that I've been frustrated with. I'm looking forward to experimenting more, and finding out what else this book has to offer, because this is a great start!

I miss my wife. We've been like ships passing in the night this week. This morning as I was arriving home from work, she was getting up to leave. We had a short, sleep-deprived conversation that I hardly remember, and I've been home all day while she's now working into overtime to get her own pressing tasks done. And she has class tomorrow. I'll get to see her on Sunday... She called home at lunchtime and I described what's coming up in the garden, since she hasn't seen it in the daylight for a few days. I'm really ready for her Saturday class to be done already. I enjoyed the Saturdays to myself for a while, but I'm ready to have my wife back now.
1 thought or tell me something

Your Life Path Number Is 5


You are very versatile, adventurous, and progressive.

With a 5 life path, you are one of those people who is always striving to find answers to the many questions that life poses. You want to be totally unrestrained, as this is the sign of freedom and independence.

You abhor routine and boring work, and you are not very good at staying with everyday tasks that must be finished on time.

You are, however, a good communicator, and you know how to motivate people around you, perhaps inclining you to be a teacher of some sort.

A love of adventure may dominate your life.

This may take the form of mental or physical manifestation, but in either case, you thrill to the chance for exploration and blazing new trails.

You are apt to be multi-talented, but just as likely to suffer from some lack of direction, and there is often some confusion surrounding your ambition.

On the average, the number 5 personality is rather happy-go-lucky; living for today, and not worrying too much about tomorrow.

It is important for you to mix with people of a like mind, and try to avoid those that are too serious and demanding.

It is also important for you to find a job that provides thought-provoking tasks rather than routine and redundant responsibilities.

You do best dealing with people, but the important thing is that you have the freedom to express yourself at all times.

You have an innate ability to think through complex matters and analyze them quickly, but then be off to something new.

In the most negative application or use of the 5 energies, you could become very irresponsible in tasks and decisions concerning your home and business life.

The total pursuit of sensation and adventure can result in your becoming self-indulgent and totally unaware of the feelings of those around you.

In the worse case situations negative 5's are very undependable and self-serving.

tell me something
What am I doing with my day off today? Cleaning. I hate cleaning, so this might seem a little odd. But we've been running at full tilt for so many months around here that we've pared down to the essentials needed to get by. And cleaning isn't one of those essentials in this house. The clutter and dust and cat hair are taking over and this morning I reached my breaking point. I wanted to paint on my day off, but I can't even conceive of creating anything in all this mess. So, I clean. The studio is now tidied and organized, all the empty boxes and random stacks of papers flattened, recycled, tossed. Supplies put away. Stacks of stuff thrown away or put away. All except for one small corner which I'll tackle later. Even a clean sheet of paper on my studio table.

Next up, laundry, vacuuming the carpets, and washing the bathroom floor. And it is only 8AM, so I'll have plenty of time to paint still in this lovely clean space. If only I had some sunlight in here. Maybe I'll sketch in the backyard, if I don't get sucked into the weeding that needs to be done out there. One bit at a time!

Right now I'm going to go read a book in a sunbeam on the couch I just cleared off in the guest bedroom.

*ahhhh* Clean house is so much better.

Current Music: The Water Is Wide-Cowboy Junkies-Rarities, B-Sides And Slow, Sad Waltzes

4 thoughts or tell me something
On Saturday night I went to a party wearing a shirt that reads "I fuck like a girl" across the chest. There's just only so many places I can wear this shirt. I was surprised to find that while only one guy made a comment about it (an ex-lover who is a really big letch - it was just too much for him to pass up), several women commented on how much they liked it. One woman summed it up: "So do I!" And I realized just what it is that I like about this shirt. It is a statment about how we're all the same, even in our differences. I'm a girl, so of course I fuck like one. And it doesn't really matter who my partner is. I'm gay, she's straight, she's single and experimenting. But we all basically have sex the same way. And that's the point I always seem to come back to, in my queer politics. It doesn't matter who I sleep with. Not because the person doesn't matter, but because the sex doesn't define either of us. We have sex the way we do, because that's who we are. We are defined by ourselves, not who our partner happens to be (or what gender they claim).

I'd illustrate this with a photo, but I don't have one of the shirt, and I can't think of another that's appropriate. :)

In other news, I'm painting flowers. Lots of them. I have no idea where they are coming from, and they are unlike any flowers I can recall painting in the past. Odd to be a prolific artist all of a sudden.
2 thoughts or tell me something
My work is on display at Beckman's Bakery's Mission Street store in Santa Cruz from now until the end of April. The shop's address is 2341 Mission Street, Santa Cruz. Please stop by if you are in the area, have a snack, and check out my paintings! Beckman's makes excellent bread, among other things. I love their applesauce muffins.

I'm also posting a photo here for those of you who aren't local. :)

I haven't hung my own work since I was in college. I've only participated in a couple of shows since then, and they had volunteers to hang the work for those. This was a bit of a learning experience. Mainly, I learned that it is really difficult to hang paintings straight and even to each other when using a fishing line hanger from a high rail. Lisa did most of that, since I couldn't even reach the hooks (note to self: remember to bring an assistant to thse things, it made my life a lot easier to have help), and she did really well, but at some point I had to let go of the attachment to getting everything perfectly even.

It was really interesting to see a group of my work hanging together like this. I seem to have a fascination with orange. Or at least I did for a while. I've moved on to red and blue in my more recent work. I don't love all of these paintings, and I don't think they work together as well as I'd like, but I'm still pretty pleased with the finished grouping. I was definitely thinking about how I would change my selections and hanging strategy for the second show in August. I'm going to bring less pieces to the second show, because the newer work is a lot stronger individually. Maybe 6 paintings total. I really like the grouping of the four small paintings, though we really struggled to get them square. Also, I didn't have wires on the back of any of these paintings, and that would have made hanging them a lot easier. I normally do wire the backs, but I was so surprised by this opportunity that I wasn't prepared. I'm going to make it a habit to wire each new painting when I finish and sign them from now on!

I do like my printed support material. I'm pretty happy with my artist statement, and I think the layout of the statement, biography and price list looks professional. I also left a stack of cards and a comment book, so I'm interested to see what kind of feedback and contacts I get. I'm comfortable with my pricing, too. I really hope I sell some of these, as I'd love to get them moving out of my studio!

There was a couple in the shop when we arrived and started laying out the pieces, and they were both really interested in what we were doing. The woman asked if I was selling while the paintings were still stacked up, so she couldn't even really see them yet. I took that as a compliment, and I hope she comes back to see them hung. :) I wasn't quite coherent enough in the moment to suggest that to her.

Now I need to think about how to get the word out most effectively, and I need to update a couple parts of my website that are really stale, because I'm hoping this exposure will drive some traffic there...

Current Music: The Facts About Jimmy-Shawn Colvin-A Few Small Repairs

6 thoughts or tell me something
So. We have a friend who manages a bakery/coffee shop here in town. It is a small space, but there's two walls they reserve for hanging the work of local artists on a monthly basis. Their waiting list is pretty long, but I'm on the calendar for August of this year.

Yesterday I got home to find a message from her that the artist for this month didn't show up and she can't be reached. Do I have some paintings I can hang on short notice? She needs them tomorrow (today), since the walls have been bare since the 31st.

When Lisa got home, I pulled out all my finished, hangable pantings, and lined them up along the wall in the living room. I was sort of surprised to find that there are 5 12x12" canvases, 2 larger works on paper that are already framed, and 4 5x5" canvas pieces that all go together. Two of them I don't like a whole lot, but Lisa does, so she talked me into keeping them in the group. So, yeah, I do have enough. And I have the start of a new series that are different enough from these paintings that will work together for the August show.

So I called Steph back and got the details, and tonight I'll be hanging my first solo show. Let me say that again. My first solo show. Wow.

Now I just have to do some more paintings in the other series before August.
20 thoughts or tell me something

I know I posted recently that I was going to concentrate on mindful awareness (that was the new agey name Kian used), and work on being in the moment. But this moment my mind is elsewhere. I had an interesting idea for a scrapbooky/journaly design this morning on the way to work - new colors, a new style for me, and an end product that's just for me (not to sell, just to hang on my own studio wall and look at). I went out and bought the paper colors I need for it at lunch time, and I really really just want to go home and play. Not work.

In other news, I'm doing pretty well. Getting stuff done, keeping the stress level down, looking forward to Artfest. Really looking forward to Artfest.
5 thoughts or tell me something