Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2/8/17

Not much art making going on at the moment. My grandson has been home sick with the flu for 3 days now. He had the flu shot but I know that it does not always work. Taking him to see his doctor this afternoon. Maybe he needs antibiotics.

We are also still trying to figure out my parents living situation. We know where they will be but we are not sure if they will be together or not. Their needs are so different now. My dad's dementia is worsening rapidly. My mom's mind is sharp as a tack she just has mobility issues. It is so hard to watch my dad's decline. I cry a lot. Especially after I visit. I come home feeling like I have been run over by a truck. Dementia is horrifying.

So it is all ongoing. We are still hoping to go out to Arizona in 10 days for February vacation week. We will play it by ear since so many things are up in the air right now. One day at a time or so they say.

Today is supposed to be rather warm and then tonight we are due for a blizzard. I did just see a robin though......always a nice thing to see.

So that is about all I have for this week. I made this little collage in my sketchbook. My sketchbook is my best friend right now. Just making small little things in it. That makes me feel like I am actually doing something!

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

1/29/17


2017 is not going so well so far for me. So much is going on right now in the family. In the country.  In the world. It is hard to breathe.

A couple of weeks ago my 92 year old  mom became quite ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized for well over a week. I really never thought she would survive as she was in dire straights. Her lungs were filled with fluid and her kidneys stopped functioning. But my mom rallied! She is now in the same facility as my dad. We are hoping that they will give her a permanent room there so she can at least go visit him every day. My 96 year old dad is not doing well at all. His dementia is worsening every day. During my mom's illness my beloved aunt from California came to visit. She too thought my mom was at the end of her life and she wanted to see her sister one more time.

When she went to see my dad, he did not know who she was. That was really hard for us. We went out in the hall and cried our eyes out together. They had always been close.

So I have been bringing clothes over to both of them. As well as things they will need to cozy up the rooms as much as they can be made to look cozy. Not that easy as the rooms are really small. I have been checking their mail every day over at the apartment. We also have to figure out what to do with all their possessions. They have a lot of stuff crammed into that apartment. The first thing I need to do and do soon is clear out all the food before it goes bad and starts to smell.

And as you can tell by now I have not been able to do any art really. Although I had signed up for something called Lifebook2017. I was not sure if this was anything I would like but I have been pleasantly surprised. The class is about self love really. And being kind to yourself as well as making art. We get a new project each week for one year. These will become pages in our life book which we will bind at the end of the year.

Last weeks class was really interesting. We had to make a story board using stick figures. We had to tell a story in 3 frames. The teacher, Mandy, encouraged us to draw about something that was hard for us to speak about. There were some pretty powerful stories from my class mates. The example that Mandy used was how she felt nothing when her grandmother died.  Talk about sharing a powerful feeling. I adored my grandmother so I thought her story was pretty heartbreaking.

I did have my own grandmother story to tell though. You can see it above. No explanation needed!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

1/15/17

I am sorry that I do not have much to show this week except this strange thing from my sketchbook. I have no idea what it is but it is weird.

I may have mentioned that both my parents are still alive and quite advanced in age. On Friday my mother was rushed to the hospital with heart failure. She is currently stable but at her age it could all change on a dime. My dad is in a different hospital, a rehab hospital with compression fractures in his spine as well as some dementia. Needless to say I have been doing a lot of running back and forth from hospital to hospital.

Assuming that they survive this, neither of them will be going back to the apartment. There is no room for two wheelchairs plus all the advanced care they will need. It is getting increasingly difficult to find beds in a long term care facility around here. There are fewer of them than ever due to the fact that most new construction is for condos here in Boston. Even some of the older rehabs are being converted into apartments and condos.

So we have no idea what is in store over the next weeks or months. Will they be in two different places far away from here? Not sure. Possibly Worcester which is over an hour away.

Needless to say, I can't concentrate on much else at the moment. Plus there is a lot of junior year stuff to do this year like college visits, SATs etc. Although my grandson doesn't seem too keen on any of it right now. He may need to take a gap year while he figures it out.

I also still seem to have my ear infection from the plane trip.

Have a good week. I will try to.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

1/5/17

Sherpa
When I returned from Tucson this time I was very sick and couldn't properly grieve the loss of my cat, Sherpa. Today I began that journey. As I roamed the house, and visited all the places she frequented, I realized she was not there. Like under the kitchen sink. She was always sneaking under the sink whenever I changed the trash bag. Sometimes I knew she was there and other times I didn't realize it and she would end up stuck in there sometimes for hours! Or in the cupboard where the paper goods are stored. She would hide in the back and sometimes get stuck in there as well.

And of course, there is the bed. She was always sleeping on my afghan. In the morning she would wait patiently outside our bedroom door for us to let her in.

And now she is gone. Just like that. Gone.

Something feels amiss. I always had a love hate relationship with her. When she was younger she would bite and scratch me so I sort of stayed away from her. She was my husbands cat really. He adored her. He always took her to be groomed every 6 weeks. And always paid thousands of dollars to the vet to keep her healthy.

But now I miss her too. I am sad that we were not here when she died.

RIP Sherpa. I miss your voice.

Monday, January 2, 2017

1/2/17

Backyard in the Foothills
We are back from our December trip to Tucson. Not a great trip this time I am afraid. The sewer pipe backed up twice into our bathtub, so we spent a lot of time with plumbers, the weather was cold and damp for the most part, our cat died while we were away and we both came home with awful colds. I still cannot hear out of my right ear and I can't taste food at all. Don't fly with a cold if you can help it. I thought my right eardrum was going to burst.

We did manage to get in a couple of nice days though. The day we drove down to Tubac was simply gorgeous! I have never seen Tubac so empty of people. I guess everyone must come after Christmas. Then we had a nice trip over to Tohono Chul Park where I bought a lovely piece of artwork from an artist who was new to me, Rand Carlson.

We had a lovely dinner with friends on Christmas day and again on New Years eve.

So now I am back in Boston. At least now I can say that I am moving out to Tucson full time next year. This has been a long grueling path which no one ever expected.

Here are some more photos from our trip:

A mantis egg casing at Tohono Chul Park

Some metal work from an old table
The Virgin of Guadalupe at Elvira's in Tubac

Monday, December 19, 2016

12/19/16


My class with Jane Davies has come to an end and as usual it was intense and satisfying. The only problem I had was keeping up with it due to the holiday season and a variety of things pulling me in several directions. But that is OK since I downloaded all the videos as well as the lessons so I can go back and do the exercises that I missed at any point in time.

One big takeaway from the class was the idea of making flat color samples in tones and shades. Normally I make my painted papers with lots of textures, stamps etc. This time I made flat colors. It was wonderful having so many colors to choose from and being able to audition the colors before hand. When I was in design school we used something called "Color Aid Paper". This was like making your own color aid paper with all your favorite colors! Really a great project and wonderful to collage with.

We leave this weekend for Arizona for the Christmas school vacation week. My grandson has been sick with a really bad cough for the last 10 days so today I took him to the doctor. He doesn't have bronchitis or anything so she said he was good to travel. It would be better if he stopped coughing before we get on the plane though! I can imagine all the dirty looks we will be getting but go we must!

So Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year! See you in 2017!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

12/13/16


I always find it interesting how and when inspiration hits me. Sometimes like a ton of bricks.

There is an artist I follow on Facebook whose work I really love. She is a master of color. Her name is Barbara Marks. Of course I can never paint the way she does. With bright color I mean. My colors are always muted and I have learned to live with that! But one day she posted her test strips. Of course her test strips were as colorful as her paintings but the thing that inspired me was the actual painted strips of colors. I immediately began ripping up sheets of water color paper into 3" x 9" strips. And then I let loose with my strata of colors! When they were done I had all these lovely strips of colors......what to do with them? Of course I can never be finished until something representational is somewhere on my work. To me, my work isn't finished until that happens! So I added some collage work to them and that seemed to complete them.

I like them. I would love to go larger with them some time but perhaps the beauty is in the small size. Or maybe I will put some together as a triptych..... Possibilities are here.