Wednesday, November 30, 2005

vincent and me

In tying up ‘Vincent’ I had some new feelings about the essence of the work. I have been so focused on technique for so long, which is a real danger and makes art dead, I lost sight of the reason for the painting altogether. Now that it is almost done, taking a step back I see I need to now hone in on the purpose…the message.

As I have written before, the gut connection I feel with Vincent Van Gogh goes beyond a love for his own work. I have read his collected letters many times and each time a deep empathy is built upon. It is difficult to explain because really it is on an emotional level that I feel these things. The painting is about that empathy, that compassion, in myself that I feel for the man and for his work. It has nothing to do with lifting myself to his artistic level, though I am sure many will take the work as just that. My hope and goal is that those who see it will get a feeling of the tenderness and affection I have for the person he is revealed to be through those letters and the difficult life he lived. To me, he is like a brother.

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." Vincent

happy holidays, uh....Christmas

Now comes the yearly litany of programs and forwarded emails about the ‘Happy Holidays’ phrase that replaces ‘Merry Christmas’ on storefronts, bags, and whatever else available in the commercial realm this time of year. These programs and emails encourage us to boycott places of business that use the replacement phrase as an indication of their supposed political correction. Well, what do you expect? And how much of it is brought on by christians themselves? A silly phrase does not validate or negate a reality. Truth is truth. Chistmas is about the birth of Christ. Always has been, always will be. Some words on a paper napkin cannot change this.

If these so-called followers of Christ would spend more time loving and getting to know people and less time asserting their rights and their religious domination in commercial and political domains (I am not talking about voting, we should vote) then we might have a lot less hostility towards our beliefs. We might make more progress.

Tell me, how does demanding a retail store have ‘Merry Christmas’ on their bags and banners further the cause of Christ? It only falsely furthers our own need to be right and affirms how weak so many are in the faith….how estranged they are from who Jesus is. It freaks me out. He calls us to be in the world, not to make the world conform to our demands. If you want to live in a christian fantasy world where everything is as you think it should be, that everyone else should think that too and follow your self aggrandizing posturing you must boycott the entire world. Are you willing to give up you credit cards, your big gas guzzling vehicles? How about grocery stores? Or some of the name brand clothes you wear? I can guarantee you that the practices of most of the places your money goes would not live up to your belief system.
So, you might as well go ahead and die or go live in one of those cults where you and your children can hide, be ignorant and unempowered, fearful and crippled.
Sorry…just makes my blood boil…..

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

crafty hell

OK….so, yesterday was NOT the day. (see yesterday’s post…), but today might be. Ran out of black paint. This morning I made the dreaded trip to Michael’s to get some to do the last touch up stuff. Every time, without fail, I make a trip to Michael’s and there is always, always the same little old lady working the register. The place is huge….one person on register. And most of the people in line, always women, have bags of Michael’s junk that they are returning. I suppose they bought too many doo-dads they didn’t need after all….too many plastic flowers or dried weeds or rocks or something crafty like that. I had to get to a breakfast date with my friend Tracy, so of course the woman in front of me had a cartload of garland and I am standing there with my tiny tube of paint. Happens every time, I swear it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

pie and van gogh

After a very short, Thanksgiving visit to Norfolk I am back. Lots of cooking and eating and general family strangeness. I love to cook and made two pies from scratch….they came out perfect and as of last night, they are officially gone. I also enjoy cleaning up after the big meal. I think of it all as an act of service. My mother, on the other hand, hates both cooking and cleaning up. I guess most people do. It is all a matter of how you frame it, I think.

Ready (so ready) to finally finish ‘Vincent’. Today is the day…(I think I have said that before about this painting). I was horrified to look back in my journals and see that I started the blasted thing in August. AUGUST!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

tracey clarke, a.k.a weird cat lady

I think I am getting weirder as I get older. I find my self attracted to stranger clothes (stranger than usual, for those who know me), odder music……more eclectic art. I will probably be one of those old ladies with 76 cats and dreadlocks. All the neighborhood kids will know me as ‘that weird old lady with the cats’. Maybe they will leave a smoldering bag of dog poo on my stoop a couple of times a year and yell at me when they ride by on their bikes. And no one will come for halloween….

Just finished a portrait job that turned out lovely. We are off to Norfolk for a few days for thanksgiving next week. Until then STILL tying up ‘Vincent and Me’….

Thursday, November 17, 2005

November 17, 1966 - May 29, 1997

Friday, November 11, 2005

mice and birds

I have had these recurring dreams about small rodents and birds….like pet animals. They are either starving and sick because I forgot to feed them or they are dying. Really creepy to me being a big believer that dreams tell you something about yourself. Mine are like novels; movies. There is usually not a literal meaning in dreams but a symbolic one. So, yes, all those disturbing sexual dreams you have (don’t act like you don’t) have nothing to do with sex. What a relief, right?

Wrapping up Vincent and Me. All the blood shed over this work has paid off big time and all the anger and frustration I felt about and for this work have been worth it. I will have it up on the site shortly, so a lot of positive reenforcement from readers would make it even more worth it. I think I even have some ideas for the next one. AHHH, the NEXT one………In the meantime I have a portrait job to get on.

On a monumental note, the brochure will be ready next week…..monumental, my friends, make no mistake.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

sowing and reaping

So, out of control thoughts, actions…..decisions based on feelings rather than wisdom, on ‘the moment’ rather than principles, have caught up with me. We reap what we sow. No mistake. The saying goes, “sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” That thought has been weighing on me. In the end we can blame no one but ourselves for the way our lives have turned out. Our lives turn out the way they do because of a series of choices made at critical, and not so critical, moments. Pure and simple. It’s time for me to get down to business. I have reaped a diseased mind by sowing its soil with diseased thoughts. Here I am again. I have been here before. When will I start getting serious about it all? Is it really possible to change, permenantly, for good?