Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Art of Caring

I’ve wanted to do more abstract work for a while, funnily enough health irritations (flu and now a gimpy back) have made it happen. I can’t work on the Vukuzakhe Project - canvas too big - with my back in this state, so I got out smaller canvas’ - 18x24 - and at the end of last week I started on a subject bubbling in back of my mind.
Now I have 2 “Within Ourselves” abstracts done. I used canvas, acrylic, burlap and oil pastels - decided to use a limited palette - more of a challenge and can be more dramatic. I joked on my face book page my gimpy back has delved in to some deeply Freudian areas, it’s showing in my art. And there is something in that statement - for a couple of reasons..
Within Ourselves
First, I have a family member fading fast, hard as it is we hope for quick and painless. At the same time good news from the younger generation, we will welcome a new member to the crazy clan. Another family member is slowly taking on more of the caregiver role. It got me to thinking on how life starts with you being cared for, you grow up, are free for a while and then you care for the next generation.
But with age comes another kind of caring - caring for your partner as they fade. Some fade from their body in to another place called Alzheimer’s, some fade battling disease. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman doing the caring, it is never easy but it  is done with love.
Second reason, I am pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. I’m getting fed up with right wing religious conservatives trying to ram their beliefs on abortion and marriage into repressive laws. For people who yell “government is too big, we need smaller government and less interference” they seem to miss the irony of their tunnel vision of right/wrong being imposed on everyone else. I wish they would shut up and go away. Sadly they won’t.
Within Ourselves II
I’m just stating facts as I see them. Abortion and marriage are strictly personal and no one else’s business. It’s just important to love someone enough to care under all circumstances.
I feel there’s too much false emphasis on eternal youth and money in today’s society. It’s a simple path of life - you are young, then you grow old. Money will not save you. Deal with it.
And if you are lucky, you are loved enough and you love enough to care. Warts and all. Nothing is more important.
That is what I’m trying to show in these paintings - the circle of love and caring, no matter who you love.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The art of the turn around

Flat is the only way to describe how I’ve felt the past 10 days - cottonwool head, achy joints, snotty nose and the deep rooted blahs dominated. I am so thoroughly sick of it all. I am normally one of the world’s big optimists …my ex used this description of me: give Anne a barrel of horse manure and she’ll dig around in it saying “there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!” And I’ve always felt it’s far better to be optimistic than permanently gloomy about things. So, it’s no surprise not feeling well is not one of my strengths, if you can call it that.
This morning as I sipped my tea in bed and watched the light change over the river walk, with Geordie giving me a running commentary on bird and squirrel activity outside the window, I pondered what to do to get myself back in top spirit. Do something different was the decision.
The creative process takes a dive when you’re down, so to keep things going I’ve been doing the boring prep work for the Vukuzakhe Project - bonding the plexiglass dowels to the wooden cradled panels, gessoing - and more gessoing. So much so I’ve been looking at the gesso with a jaundiced eye. No gesso today I determined. No something ‘prep’ oriented.
I walked in the studio back door and immediately started hauling out one of the panels, taking off the protective cover and placing fabric landscapes on it to start thinking what to paint. Wait! Isn’t that what I said I would not do?
Then I fired up my laptop and checked out things. Got a wonderful boost with a nice article on the arts in Kent County by Pam George in a very cool magazine, Delaware Today,
And a mention in a couple more in the series… 
This cheered me up no end!
And now I’ve decided I will paint something today - but it won’t be the Project art. Maybe what I need is a little “and now for something completely different.” Okay, I know, short attention span and all that, but it can do your psyche good to do an about turn on occasion. So - voila - here is the start - it will be an abstract -I stuck a piece of burlap in to the paint to add to the texture. The poor cut piece of burlap was looking lost and forlorn since I didn‘t use it for the Vukuzakhe Project, so I slapped it this one.
I just had a visit from a new friend, who cheered me up 100% more. I’ll be skyping with another friend soon, ditto cheer up. And tonight we go to the theatre - our local Second Street players are putting on ‘One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest‘. I personally think a comedy would be cheerier for gloomy February, but what do I know. But it doesn’t matter - I’m happy now!!!
A good day can wipe out 10 days of glumpf easily.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

no blog week

the new postcard to send out in advance...

 My apologies for not writing my weekly blog... stuff got in the way. Ucky scratchy throats, cottonwool heads, snotty noses and achy joints are to blame. I went down with it middle of last week - not too too badly - for which I am most grateful. But then Lee got hit Friday. He got it much worse than me and looks awful still. He must have been REALLy feeling low - he missed the Superbowl party and stayed home in bed! So I went with another date ...his wife wasn't interested in the game.... remember the old song, "Love the one you're with ...?"  heh heh. So anyway - that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. I will write another cheery blog later this week.
But just a heads up - I will give a presentation on The Vukuzakhe Art Project, and The Bag of Hope, to the Jaycees Dover chapter on Monday, February 13. The group meets  at 6:00pm at Fraizer's on the Waterfront at 9 E. Loockerman St. in Dover. I will have a couple of the completed pieces to display and discuss at the meeting. The Jaycees are The U.S. Junior Chamber Emerging Young Professionals group. Call Rachel Dunning (302) 670-7666 for more information on the Jaycees.
See you next week, and thanks for listening