Friday, July 13, 2007

Painting Class

Tonight in my painting class I did a painting in ninety minutes that takes most people six hours to do. It was pretty cool, a rose in a mason jar with a rose next to it. I put my brush on a dowel with masking tape to do the fine work and for whatever reason, I started to get into my own flow. I love it when that happens.

Some people are able to paint exactly what they see-- I can but I don't like to do that right now. There were times when I started that I could and even tried to paint or draw like a copy machine but I have no interest in it now. My work is "painterly--" impressionistic. What is funny with that in six months I may go back to being exact. I think you work it out in your brain.

For years I painted and worked under a nom d'art. I won't say what it was but it was French. When I was a single mother I sent my bills in envelopes that I decorated and was shocked when I went to the phone company to see some of my works in people's cube. I didn't say, "I did that!"-- they didn't have a face with my work and didn't need to know that I was a pathetic little mother on Welfare. I also sent beautiful letters to my children when they were in a custody battle-- my envelopes drove their step mother crazy which wasn't hard because she was already kind of looped. I never put the stamps in the upper right hand corner-- the judge let my ex do as he wanted but I had to keep being Mrs. Perfect and I took it out on my envelopes! Then. . . a few years ago I ran in a pageant. I sent my sponsors monthly, individual letters and kept them updated with letters that I painted. It took up a lot of time and I would ask my husband if he thought I was silly-- the sponsors didn't really care one way or the other what I did and dh said, "You don't do art because someone will like it. You do art because you have to do art." They probably thought I was nuts but I started signing my real name to them and it was a big deal for me to do that. Those works had no borders-- then my drawing teacher said that mail art can look anyway you want it to, bu that "you honor your work" by putting borders on it. I use tape to block of the borders now and I love getting done with something and pulling the tape off-- it's "Ta-Da!" I have to be careful of the tape sticking to envelopes and even my artist paper so I unstick it first on my skirt or bedspread then affix it and press firmly to the paper. I seldom put the stamp in the upper right hand corner and if I need to I often ask one of the kids to do it for me. There I go-- one minute I am putting postage stamps in the lower left hand corner and the next I am riding a Hog in leathers with big hair!

The tape gives you boundaries, even on an envelope. I often write the address in the picture or in the boundaries. It's weird but it is pretty and my mother saves what I send to her!

My eldest is moving soon to my brother's house. I will miss her. She is 18 and about to start college. I am very blue-- but it will be good for her. My brother is a professor and she is a good kid-- he'll be protective enough I hope and watch out for her and she'll have a safe place near the college. This is where the worries start. I was with an abusive husband for two years, age 19-21, then years of being single. Did my mother worry?

School is stressful and this morning my two year old sat her little bottom on my feet and smiled at me-- I picked her up and danced with her in the kitchen and then her next older brother came in and then I had the three littlest ones and I without arms around each other in the kitchen, all of us saying, "Ahhhhh!" It wasn't that long ago that Miss 18 and her sister and I were doing that at my parent's ranch. How fast the time flies-- these days that are so busy will all be a distant memory soon. What will school be compared to these moments? May they each see how important it is and get their degrees before they turn 24 and go on for higher education unlike their mother!

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