Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Sunday, March 03, 2019
It takes a lot to get me into that chair. The promise of laughing gas has helped throughout my adult years. Childhood dental trauma has me stressed and worried weeks before my appointment for a simple checkup and cleaning
This day I arrive early, as is my nature. After all who wants to piss of their dentist? My hands already clammy, and my body tingly, I check in, and find a spot in the tiny waiting room. I know the office is designed to create an atmosphere of calm, complete with ambient instrumental music, low lighting, comfortable furniture, a mini waterfall, and an essential oil diffuser that releases calming scents into the air, yet still I am anxious.
There are three others quietly looking at magazines and cell phones. No one else appears to be the least bit nervous. This is how adults are supposed to be, I think.
I reach for the magazines and pull one from the pile. ‘What is Killing These Girl Scouts?’ the headline reads. I am drawn into the mystery. As I read the tales of the now grown up Girl Scouts, who all have cancer, it sparks a distant memory of my own experience at summer camp with the Girl Scouts when I was a child.
I remember that we used lake water, sand, and pebbles to scrub our pots, pans, and plates. We boiled lake water to rinse them and hung them to dry in our individual mesh bags. Later, each sporting their own home made ‘sit-upon,’ we gathered to sing songs, eat s’mores, and tell stories around the camp fire. But the most memorable thing about our weekend at camp was seeing strange fish and ducks. I remember telling my mother that there was a fish with two tails, one with a bent back, and a duck with a foot growing out if its back. This was to be my first, and my last Girl Scout camp out as our family’s’ three year stint in that town had ended, and we moved on.
The article relayed story after chilling story of women experiencing cancers of the reproductive organs, and went on to say that there was an alarming rate of men who were dying of brain cancers. The author described the idyllic little town, and the nearby lake that housed the Girl Scout camp. The lake, she said, had been built next to reclaimed land that had once been a toxic waste dump belonging to a now defunct chemical company. The men and women of the town, who ironically were all around my age, had been fighting to find answers to the questions of whose negligence was responsible for their pain, and who would help them as they fought their own personal battles with cancer, and their desire to protect future townspeople from the still present menace.
I was reminded of the strange and awful smell whenever the wind shifted our way. Not knowing its source I remember my parents joking that there must be a city sewer nearby.
The name of the town was shared at the end of the article, and as I was beginning to suspect, it was the town where my family lived for three years of my childhood.
The stories left me frustrated, and sad for all those sweet little girls, their husbands, and children, but grateful that I had never had cancer.
I had a moment in the quiet of the waiting room to take it all in when the door opened, and the hygienist, clip board in hand, called my name.
Monday, January 21, 2019
I am keeping less paintings on my ebay gallery these days and moving some to etsy and some to my blog here. You may always contact me here if you are interested in purchasing a painting from me or having one commissioned. Here is just a small sample of the 16x20 and 20x24 paintings available for sale at the moment.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Flowering Yellow Hemp original 8x10 oil painting. This painting was a 2nd place winner in a regional Plein Aire Painting Competition last fall. It was raining the day I painted this and decided that since it was raining, I would find something close to home to paint and ended up in the little Montessori school around the block where neighbors had built an amazing permaculture garden for students. This is a very tall, ( over my head nearly) flowering hemp which was to be tilled into the soil to build nutrients into the earth. Meanwhile we got to enjoy the beauty.
To bid, Click Here or contact me for purchase. Bidding starts at $175 with no reserve, or purchase directly w/o competition for $250
Sunday, January 06, 2019
I thought I would share the process of this painting that I was asked to do. Many long term priests have had their portraits made and hung in the great hall upon their retirement. I was honored to be asked to do one of my favorite bridge partners, and retiring priest, Steve McKee. He supplied a photo from which to work ( after asking him to retake the first one which, although I loved the idea, it was very blurry) I also took my own photo of a window that was installed on his watch, and a candle burning, which actually I used the real candle to get a better rendition of one. This is nearly finished but not quite. I must say that it was really fun to capture that unusual lighting and working with breaking a couple of painting rules... with more than one light source but I liked how this portrait is so different from the stiff, seated portraits of the other priests. I really liked Steve's artistic suggestion and I liked that it tells a little story with the obvious darkness and light metaphor and I decided to include a suggestion of the stained glass window behind him that was created after an entire family from our church perished in a plane accident.
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
Now for something completely different.....This took over a year for our group to complete. I designed the mosaic for the Art of Healing group at Hillcrest where I have been artist in residence for over 14 years. Usually my job intails working with patients and their families so I guess this wasn't much of a stretch from there as the project was completed by hospital staff, nurses, doctors, volunteers, patients, guests. If you look closely you will see all sorts of unusual hospital supplies. Its main ingredient is the bottle tops of all kinds of medications. The design was changed slightly to accomodate the different colors that we were able to gleen from departments all over the hospital. The supplies were collected all year, organized by patients, volunteers and Art of Healing artists by color, and the project moved to the cafeteria where it was all glued down. It is so much prettier in person than these very pretty photos show. This was made possible by donations from the greater community of Tulsa, ahha, and OVAC, and of course, the artists of Hillcrest's Art of Healing Program.