Wednesday, July 29, 2009

just another day in paradise

I had a blog all planned out about how my art class went and what we did. But I decided not to write it. I'm not feeling very originally creative lately. Nothing I write or draw or paint is coming out right. (I've had 4 typos in the last 4 lines!)

So, recap of the class: I gave a talk about nature journaling, they made journals, they made nature themed ATCs, they watercolor/sketched flowers and plants from the ZACC garden. It was fun and they all survived.

I've dropped an ATC swap that I was sure would be fun and I'd have lots to contribute... but I am blank. I've done lots of sketches and I hate them all. There's only one swap I'm in now and it's about inspiration. A tag book about art and inspiration. Sounds fun, right? *gah!* Hopefully I'll find some before the tags are due!

Part of the problem is that I have kids. My kids are great! They are young and energetic and also artistic. But they also require a lot of attention. I am used to having AT LEAST one full day a week to my self to be quiet and creative. Since the kids have been out of school I've not had one day fully alone. I am in need of some "me" time. I want to turn my music up loud and sit in front of a page and zone out. I can't really get creative until I'm in a zone... and that requires NO INTERUPTIONS! ahem...

Plus, my "me Wednesdays" have become "errand running Wednesdays". Today I sat in the lobby of Tire-O-Rama for 2 1/2 hours to get my brakes fixed for them to tell me they didn't have the right part, come back on friday.

I have been knitting up a storm though. I only learned to knit in (I think) the end of April and have so far made: 3 scarves, 3 purses, 1 project bag (think a duffel for yarn), and I'm in the middle of a beanie for my son. But following a pattern isn't the same as true creative expression.

I can't belive I'm about to say this: I can't wait for the kids to go back to school!
This is Mia being the zen warrior I wish I was

Monday, July 6, 2009

Random Fact #1

Melanie does not like to find earwigs in her coffee.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

ME? an Art Teacher??

Last Thursday I had a meeting with a fabulous artist and person, Hanna at the Zootown Arts Community Center. Hanna is the director/founder/teacher/woman extraordinaire of the ZACC. She's going on vacation to Alaska and needs a substitute for the first 2 days for a session of the kid's summer camp. And she asked ME to fill in for her! I am soooo completely flattered.

I've been volunteering on Fridays at ZACC and have put some effort into reorganizing the supply room so it's all accessible. All the people I've met there are wonderful. It's a great place.

In our meeting I got the lowdown on what I was to do in the class with the kids and how it should run. We are going to be making nature journals. How cool is that??
First day, we will put the journals together with book board and watercolor paper. We'll punch holes and thread the bindings. Then we'll do small ATC sized drawings of the plants around the building, feathers, skulls, etc. On the second day, I'm to demonstrate watercolor and pencil "observations". Then they'll do their own.

I ordered some books on Amazon to bring along and show the kids. I got "Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You" by Clare Walker Leslie and "Creating Nature in Watercolor: An Artist's Guide" by Cathy Johnson. I just hope I get them in time! The class starts on the 20th.

I think it all sounds way too fun. Maybe I will quit my day job cleaning houses and be a full time art teacher... maybe. (keep dreaming, kid)
But seriously, I am so excited for this opportunity, I am dancing on the inside.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A new hero

"Randomizing" on ArtBreak recently I came across a journal maker extraordinaire. Her name is Bunny Mazhari (caution! Adult imagery). She has brave feminine visual imagery and text that makes you think and laugh. She definitely seems like a feminist of the highest order, but her work shows a vulnerable side as well. I so want to do journals like her! Quite a few of her pieces are centered around birth/motherhood, love/lust and the futility of life. She mixes imagery in a way that is nontraditional but works well. I envy her audacity.

Horrible bad poetry (I 'm still cleaning the garage)

Getting in touch with one's true feelings and emotions is hard work. Reporting the results to the world is harrowing.

With that said, here are some poems I wrote a few years ago and have resurrected for y'all to read. (Why?) Mostly they are about the emotions that were swirling around in the empty pot I call my mind. I was in a pretty strange place and trying to figure out what to do with myself. I had no art, no love, no family to keep me sane. So, I wrote what I knew.

I'm not saying it's good, and I'm not saying you should read it. But it's here if you really want to torture yourself by reading it like I did by writing it.


With sultry perfume it intoxicates
but salty, it scours the mouth

wanton desire drips from the chin
stains the face with envy

it's venom pulses through the bleeding heart
burning away at the delicate interior
with juice as bitter as bile

being digested completely
this fruit sends hatred seeping
through pores, saturating the mind

causing the slow death
of reality


On the wall are dreams I've had
framed in wood and behind glass
some you'll find are lovely and bright
others are dark and cheerless
every one magnificent
like a gem polished
under light
look at these dreams
and they disappear
to think of them they become
vivid as noon day sun
but they are not for your eyes
they are here
for me

Lazy Pigs

Afternoon, lazy pigs lounge
swooning over mud baths
soaking in opulence
purged of anxiety

Open snouts savor the foulness
of slop farmer-man serves up
in bone china troughs

Piggy led away in velvet collar
-an exemplary swine-
prepared for ultimate reward

cherry glazed and bacon fried
beautiful Sunday morning.

(on the insanity of luxury)


Footsteps pound ceiling-floor
authority paces heavily

Sleep comes slow
for homesick infants,
now adult,
still caged

Inside, silent screams
belated rebellion thwarted
by under-developed rage

through paper walls
game show canned sighs
garbled alcoholic rantings
listened to passively

lullaby for strangled minds


Swarms buzzing around the glow
fearing the solitude of darkness
Singing wings to secure a place
beside the light that means safety
Blinding themselves to their own selves
All they see are swarms


Sandwiched between
nowhere and somewhere
here and there
is now;
The place reserved for those
who are paying attention.