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As I discover more and more mixed media applications, I continue to jump from project to project! This year I have added woodwork including carving to my repertoire.. now I'm back to painting!

This [really] is getting old!

I just discovered the book by the referenced name, by the author Susan Moon.  She wrote the book that I want to write, or at least very similar in  tone and topic.

She is a Buddhist convert,  and although I can’t say I’ve gone that far, I have taken to wearing a Buddha pendant on a chain, to remind me to be here now.  Mindfulness,  it’s called.

Get the book.  This Is Getting Old, by Susan Moon.


The ever-helpful to-do list

When I get discouraged with a project — like yesterday, when I tried to do heat transfers for the first time in 8 years or so, and I couldn’t remember some of the steps, like .. well, it’s complicated if you’re not used to doing it.  Also, I think the little heat press I kept on hand is not reliable as to temperature.  And I forgot which tiles were from Home Depot, and which were for sublimation.  And I spent most of the afternoon trying to design a box, to be used for a “storefront” greeting card, and became quite frustrated.

Well, as I was saying, when that happens, I stop and take a breath.  I take a day and just ruminate, make lists of all the projects I have going on, what I want to do next, and what I can eliminate from my often stressful life.  The lists really help me to get centered, and realize that some of what I thought was pressing really isn’t, and other things could inspire me more.

After I did that, I decided to organize my closet.  I separated clothes for donation, clothes I’m tired of seeing in my closet, and brought closer to the front things I really like and had forgotten about.  I have a tiny clothes closet and even that has far too many things in it.  I have my “painting” clothes  (tee shirts that are forever ruined to be worn in public) and my “fancy” clothes, things I wear once or twice a year if I actually leave the house in the evening.  I really don’t require too many of each, but it’s funny the habits we develop when we are young and don’t stop to realize it’s no longer necessary to keep all that clutter.

So after yesterday’s disappointments, I am feeling productive and creative again today.

Try it!  Stop, make lists, write in your journal, go clean something, and all the while your muse is thinking up new things to inspire you for when you are ready to go back to the studio.

At loose ends

My dad died just before Christmas.   He had a hard fall two weeks before that and it was one he just couldn’t handle this time.

The funeral was impressive but unfortunately for me, included an open casket and I cannot get that picture out of my mind.  I haven’t attended many funerals in my life, more in the last 15 years than in all the other years put together, and only after I moved back to central Texas.  So I suppose it wasn’t the least bit unusual to everyone else.  My mother’s casket was sealed for her’s seven years ago.

But I spent more time with my dad after her death and now I feel somewhat rudderless.

I have stayed very busy with project after project to avoid thinking.   But today I realized I still have his house keys on my keyring.

My Burridge Tree

While fiddling around on the Jerry’s Artarama site, looking at brushes, I ran across the link to, and was inspired to sign up for at least a month.  I’ve been looking at all the acrylic abstract instructions, and found a few I really liked.  Bob Burridge of course, and also Joe DiGiulio.  Joe does a lot of videos for Jerry’s.  I don’t like to buy instructional DVDs because I only watch them once!  So these online memberships are perfect for me.

As a result I’ve been trying some new techniques this week, and it’s really fun.  Just splashing paint around seems to be the Burridge style, while Joe is a bit more confined in his approach.  But I did learn something new from each of them.

I have found that no matter how long I have been painting (in my case, 9 years nearly full-time) when I watch one of these instructional videos, the information I glean from them is quite different from what I would have grabbed onto five or even six years ago.  There is always something I hadn’t thought of before.

So I’m sharing my “Bob Burridge Tree” which he demonstrates in his video.  It’s quite simple, really, and involves using up all the paint on your palette at the end of a session, and then doing negative painting.

Like I said, it’s really fun!

Burridge Tree (2)

The Story of Freddy

I am staying temporarily at my father’s house in the country. I am alone here, or so I thought.

One night I was at the kitchen table, where I have created sort of a studio, and was creating some new paintings, backgrounds for journal pages, that sort of thing. Suddenly in the corner of my eye I saw movement; a little mouse ran from the direction of the laundry room toward me. He stopped under the table. I bent over to see where he went, and he sat up like a little squirrel, and looked at me. I told him rather impolitely to move on, and he did.


For at least a week, I saw him every day. He would come to my bedroom door, look in, then I would yell at him and he would dash off to the bathroom and hide behind the toilet. I decided to name him Freddy.

Each day when I returned home from my visits to the nursing home, I would call out to him, so he wouldn’t startle me!

“Okay,Freddy, I’m home,” I’d say. “Don’t be jumping out and scaring me.” I would do the same sort of thing when I moved into the dark bedroom at night, or went into the bathroom.

It seemed he liked to be wherever I was. I would find evidence of his presence only where I go every day: the guest room, the bathroom, the kitchen. Apparently he also liked to somehow get on the table where I paint, unaware that acrylic polymer is not good to eat. I never figured out why he followed me, unless it is because I might have scattered cookie crumbs. But I did see that he had been behind my bed next to the wall, and right out in the open. There was never any sign of him having been in any other part of the house or on the kitchen counter. He was quite consistent, and after peeking in to look at me each night, he would wait for me to yell at him, “Get OUT of here, Freddy,” then he’d run away.

I told my brother about Freddy. We discussed the fact that since we snake-proofed the house last year, the mice may come back and be free to roam unimpeded. He said he would pick up some green pellets and that would solve the problem. I assumed he meant after I leave. I decided I could tolerate Freddy, as long as I didn’t see his entire family or any other rodent visitors. He was small, and brown and kind of cute, actually. Most definitely an orphan, and he thought I was his mom.

One day when I came back, I saw “rat pills” in my bed. Freddy evidence. I examined them closely, still not wanting to believe he’d been up there. I mean, who’s ever heard of that? The next day I saw even more evidence, this time on the mattress base which sticks out a bit from under the mattress. (Okay, so I did eat cookies in bed one night, but still!) Wasn’t he the least bit afraid of me? Guess not. He clearly had no experience with people.

Early yesterday morning, 3:00 a.m. as it turned out, I was awakened by a fluttering of something right across my face. I slapped at it to throw it onto the floor, and switched the lamp on quickly.  There was Freddy, right in the middle of the floor, unhurt of course but I yelled at him; he ran into the bathroom. I slammed the bathroom door (aware that he could crawl under it if he wanted to) and closed the door to my room where the carpet would make it more difficult for him to sqeeze under.

I hardly slept the rest of the night, and I determined that I was going to buy some de-mousing product as soon as possible. To heck with friendship or waiting for my brother to handle it! As soon as I could yesterday, I went to the store and bought some D-con, and two little traps that you put peanut butter in and it traps the mouse alive. The idea is that then you put the sprung trap in the garbage, or set him free outside. I readied all this before dark and placed the items in areas where I knew he had been but not so that I would necessarily see them until I prepared myself first! In other words, I didn’t want to see some dead, or half-trapped struggling Freddy until I was up to it. And just in case, I again closed my bedroom door.

I felt bad about what I had done, but there wasn’t any real choice, right? Right? I mean, I really needed some sleep. I was safe inside my room, but as luck would have it, I needed another trip to the bathroom before I really could fall asleep. I thought I would just glance in, and if Freddy was in there behind the toilet I would just grab a roll of toilet paper, run out of the room and make sure the door was closed before I used the other bathroom and got back to safety.

I didn’t see him, but then I saw swirling water in the toilet. I wondered if the toilet was still running from hours earlier, but no. Poor desperate little Freddy. He was swimming as hard as he could, trying to get up the sides of the toilet, first this side, then the other side.

I stood there trying to think of a way to get him out. I needed a net or something. or a scoop, and I would put him into a bucket or something and carry him outside. But then I knew how quick he was and he would scramble away from me before I could do that I went to the laundry room and considered using a dustpan to help him. And then it dawned on me that there was no way I could remove him from that toilet really, and guarantee that the sopping wet Freddy wouldn’t end up in my bed again. I had, after all, been prepared to trap him or poison him and let him bleed to death.

Reality bites. I asked for forgiveness as I took the only alternative available. I flushed him. I watched as he helplessly spun down through the bottom of the toilet, telling myself it was a much better way to die. He would, I suspected, drown very quickly and before he had time to realize what was happening.

Last night I dreamed that he swam back up, and came back hairless from the ghastly septic tank experience. Each time I go into the bathroom, I make sure that hasn’t happened.

I kind of miss Freddy. I just didn’t want to sleep with him.

New paintings…

I have been painting like a crazy lady this past week, because I have lots to think about, and that’s when I paint the most ferociously. I’ll show you a few.

These are all 11×14 on mixed media art board.


















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