Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This is day 2.Tomorrow I will tone down Romulus and Remus and continue to sharpen all the edges and I should be finished. I listened to David Sedaris's Naked today for the umpteenth time.If you've ever read any of his work,you must listen to it on tape.It's so much funnier to hear him .He lives in Normandy.I would love to surprise him someday and show up on his doorstep. Here is his latest story in the New Yorker

Monday, July 30, 2007


Off to a good start with this week's painting. I spent most of the day setting the still life up. That's a Romulus and Remus statue , in case you're unsure. I could probably finish it tonight, since John is gone. He has a conference in the States all week.
Since I've written about the "naughty little gnome", I have been curious to learn more about perception. I came across a disorder called Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This is a common disorder in which people with damage to their sight pathways either in the eye or the brain, experience vivid hallucinations which replace the missing visual information. In 1760, a Swiss philosopher named Charles Bonnet became concerned when his grandfather began to experience a parade of "amusing and magical visions." The eighty-nine-year-old was being visited by visions of people, birds, carriages, and buildings, all of which were invisible to everyone but him. Apparently these mysterious objects materialized spontaneously among the few bits of the world he was still able to perceive through his cataracts. Charles cataloged his grandfather's hallucinations and the condition became known as the Charles Bonnet Syndrome.(CBS)
It is interesting to know that people with this disorder are not mentally unstable. In fact, it seems more likely to occur in individuals with higher education.( another reason I should have gone to graduate school)
I may have gone off on a tangent, but I find it so intriguing that when the brain doesn't receive confirming visual stimuli, it is free to make up it's own reality.
I couldn't really see what the" little naughty gnome "was doing in that garden, so my mind made up the rest.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I took this picture on my walk the other day thinking it was just a cute garden gnome. It was not until I downloaded it, that I thought he was not so cute after all. I zoomed in to get a closer look at what my mind was suggesting. I was so uncertain, I had to drive back and see exactly what the little guy was doing. Still,I am baffled. It appears that he is doing just what I think he is doing- naughty little gnome! And look at the smile on his face!
Perhaps, it is me that is the naughty one and whatever is supposed to be in his hands is missing.
What one perceives is based on interpreting information. Georgia O'Keeffe painted flowers on a grand scale, so that people would take the time to see the beauty that she saw. The following quote sums up the way people perceive things pretty well....... "Well, I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower - and I don't. "~ Georgia O'Keeffe
This was in reference to people seeing female reproductive parts instead of the flower itself. I wonder if our minds our conditioned to not accept what is clearly presented to us. Programmed, tainted, tarnished-who knows? The simple beauty of a flower and nothing more. Our minds need to complicate things by looking for more.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Today.......... I slept late, later than usual , after making the King's breakfast

Today........... I picked blackberries

Today............ I made a blackberry pie

Today........... I walked the dogs with Aisha and she didn't grab my breasts.

Today........... was a pretty good day!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This one is finished-so no more sunflowers for a while. The exhibit of all four will be showing at a mall near you.
The other day a woman in France was charged for kissing a Cy Twombly painting. He is one of my favorite American Abstract painters. She told the press that she was overcome with passion in front of the work and just couldn't help herself. While I understand being thunderstrtuck, I do not understand the lack of appreciation to deface a work of art.
Her red lipstick stain was a testimony to the moment, to the power of art.
I cried in front of Botticelli's Birth of Venus; almost fell over the velvet rope in front of Rembrandt's Night Watch ; and was in complete disbelief seeing Fra Angelico's Annunciation.
The power of art.........
I will never forget the piece that my agent saw that made her want to represent me. I was in a show in a cooperative gallery in Denver.It was our first show and I really wanted to have this great painting. I had worked all night before finishing which turned out to be an ugly mess and had been cleaning my brush on a piece of paper in back of me. I turned and noticed there was an image of a griffin in the brushstrokes. I took a piece of charcoal and outlined it .I had it framed the next morning to hang in the show.
The woman in France is being tried August 16th in a court in Avignon for defacing the work of art worth 2 million.
Is it a Crime Of Passion? Or a Passionate Crime?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This is the fourth one, so far. The composition seems awkward. I think I will take out the leaf in the upper left. I am trying to keep the painterly quality to the leaves because it is starting to look like one of those paintings you see at your local mall art exhibit done by a bored housewife that wears elastic waist pants and white keds tennis shoes. Oh God! I think I have to divert and do a few of my abstracts.
Remember this is strange new territory.
Aisha watched me through my studio window today -I am getting used to having an audience.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This one is finished.The background is more to my liking now. It is hard to see in the photo, but there is just a little of that pinkish color coming through. I was only able to get the sketch down on the next one.I will show you how far I get tomorrow. I don't know what is really going on with my paintings. I am becoming obsessed with detail and I am using these little brushes. I am also painting sitting down which is so much better than standing for hours at a time. The strange thing is-I am actually enjoying it. I have painted for my agents for the past 12 years and have never done anything for my self. These may not be top-sellers, but I am trying to just paint and not worry. Strange new territory-everything is different.

Monday, July 23, 2007


First day on the third sunflower painting and yes that background is hideous! I have something in mind and that's not it. The whole painting needs more contrast-check back tomorrow-hopefully it looks better.
Schatzi chewed a pair of my favorite sandals today, I was a little preoccupied while trying to get this one started.
Isn't it funny how when you place importance on an inanimate object ; it ends up being destroyed, lost, or stolen?
I wore those sandals to the festival this weekend and thought I was really cool. I got them a thrift store a few years ago.They were from American Eagle and completely out of style back then-kinda platformed Birkenstocks, but I loved them. They made me feel tall.
Having a puppy keeps you focused on things that are more important,unlike shoes. Although, there was a time in my life when shoes were my main focus. Buying a new pair filled that void. When I met John, I had way over 100 pairs from many years of void filling. We had a big garage sale before we moved to Germany and I got rid of most of them. Some nights when I can't sleep instead of counting sheep, I count all the shoes I used to have.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


We went to the Medieval Festival in a town called Kaltenberger.Supposedly this is the largest one in the world.I really don't think we saw everything. Here is a picture of
Naomi looking very medieval in the costume she made 2 days ago; Hagar the not so horrible with his fair maiden; a crazy man on stilts; a feast fit for Kings and Queens ;and Brian singing in the rain.

We had a great time despite the rain and hailstorm!

Friday, July 20, 2007

today and a little tomorrow

Date Night Friday Night
We happened upon an American Sports Bar in the middle of a tiny town called Calmbach.
Since there were no cars in the parking lot,we were a little reluctant.We decided to give it a whirl because our big blue Jeep Cherokee with the American flag decal would make such a statement.
John ordered fajitas and I got a cheeseburger-the closest to American-Faire in the 2 years that we've been here. Our waitress spoke very good English and was eager to learn more.She has dreams of becoming a nanny in America. I wish her well.
We are going to a Medieval Festival tomorrow and will be staying the night.I will update Sunday evening with some pictures. I plan to take some exciting ones with the jausting tournament.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

still today,but yesterday

Creature From
Black Forest
I always make sure to bring my camera when we walk the girls in the Black Forest. You never know what may be lurking in the darkness. I saw this lichen a few weeks ago, but the pics I took were too blurry. Isn't it eerie? I was able to get a better shot yesterday.


Finished this one today-pretty but boring -Ani DiFranco lyrics. I'll do the next two next week. I have a massage scheduled tomorrow, so I won't be painting.
I read something very disturbing yesterday , that has me all in a dither. Did you know that stress and worry can make you fat? The only thing I worry about most is a result of all my worrying. I am destined to be fat with this circular theory.
Breakfast for King John went as planned. This whole eating less each meal thing is supposed to boost your metabolism. I have a feeling come 9 o'clock we will be dying of hunger just like a real pauper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I didn't paint today because I had to go on base to go grocery shopping. I absolutely hate going there .There is something about the way it is all laid out that is very nerve- wracking. The
Feng Shui is just not right. See, this is where having an art major in the military would have come in handy. Anyways, I always have a sense of accomplishment when I drive in Germany. It takes about 40 minutes to get to there . A very scenic drive with rolling green hills; little villages with narrow cobblestone streets; and many fields of wheat, corn, and mustard. In one little village this old man is always looking out his window. John and I wave at him every time and he never waves back. One day John came home from work all excited because the man nodded his head. I am determined to get him to wave before I leave this place. Just like in the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun. I have exactly one year.
I bought all kinds of things to make breakfast each morning. John said that he wants to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince , and dinner like a pauper. Many of you know, that I am not a morning person. I usually don't get going until around 11 or so and around 3 it is time for a nap. I just finished making a quiche-that he can warm up tomorrow morning -day one for King John.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

still today

Here is the second in the series, so far. This is actually the first time I have sketched an image in pencil prior to painting. I don't like such restriction. Staying in between the lines has always been a difficult concept for me even in everyday life. I asked John the other day why the Air Force never tried to recruit me after college graduation. I had friends that received all kinds of phone calls and mailings. He said that they never contact art majors. Isn't that discrimination?


This one is finished.I made just a few changes and was able to start a new one( see next post)
Was in a weird mood all day because I had a dream that I was placed in a group home.We were decorating for Christmas and I was helping someone put together a Nativity set.I stepped backwards and stepped on Baby Jesus breaking Him in half.I then was using super glue to try and repair Him ,but was getting it all over the place and it wouldn't work. I can't figure out the symbolism, but that I've really offended God. I mean breaking Him in half. That's pretty bad! Or maybe it's about being thoughtless and the damage that could happen But,why was I in a group home?

Monday, July 16, 2007


Here is what I painted so far today. I just need to add some more highlights and sharpen up my edges. I want to do a series of four . These are 9x12 gallery wrapped. I hate painting the edges! It does look nice though when it is all done. This is still part of the Tuscany series-although these are actually German sunflowers. In most of the villages the farmers grow sunflowers, gladiolas, zinnias, and tulips. You can cut your own for a small fee. We always have fresh flowers because the field is within walking distance from our house.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I wasn't going to post anything today,because I want to get back on track and start Monday with a new painting. We just got back from walking the girls and John made Schatzi jump on this haystack. What a surreal image! I just had to show you.
We had a nice dinner last night with Ingrid and Klaus. She gave me a nice pewter bowl and said it was very expensive, but she likes me. Seems funny to me because we don't understand each other.Maybe that is why she likes me so much.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


We went to the Hamburg Fish Market last night ,which was held in downtown Stuttgart. Every Friday we have date night. There are certain conditions to date night, one being that you have to get ready just like it was your first date. You can't just wear what you took a nap in that afternoon. Our friends, the few we have don't bother asking us to do things on date night, which is always on a Friday-or come to think of it- they don't bother asking us to do anything on a Saturday night either-oh well. Although, tonight we have been invited to dinner at our German neighbor's house . In a way, I am looking forward to it , because I have come to the realization that it doesn't matter that I don't speak the language.There are only a select few people that I know that can hold an interesting conversation in my own language. I can sit at the table perfectly content entertaining myself in my own mind. I consider it a gift-my imagination. I had an imaginary friend named Koolie growing up. Thinking back on the times we spent together inside my closet -well, those were some special times indeed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Jumping Dog Day
Not much to report today seeming as how I woke up at 4am drank some NyQuil at 6 and was comatose until 2 in the afternoon. I am screwed! What if I never get over this jet lag. Living on Texas time in Germany for the whole next year! All I have to worry about today-what's left of it - is what to make for dinner.I think I will make chicken picata.
Gute Nacht

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My body clock is kaputt! I have been up since 4 this morning. All day I have been in that space between dream and reality with a grey wool sweater rolled up inside my head. Took the dogs for a walk right before a big storm. All the wildflowers were so vibrant against the darkening clouds. These cornflowers are my favorite color in the crayon box. The one no one else was allowed to borrow when I was child and maybe still today.......
Sometimes I get all Thoreau -like out there on my walks.
My dailyness , here in Germany is just so simple.
I seem to appreciate more where I live when I return from a trip.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Just got back from spending a wonderful week with my family in Dallas. I say Dallas out of habit, because that is where I grew up. A few years ago they moved to Shady Shores, which is near Lake Lewisville and is getting nearer and nearer with all the rain that they have had this summer.
I was able to cook a few meals for them and everybody, as you can see, got to indulge. These little guys make the ideal waste disposal.
Texas was hot and steamy, as usual. I guess if you have never lived anywhere else in your lifetime, you don't notice it as much. You quickly navigate yourself from one air conditioned place to the next. I remember wearing linen dresses and never having to iron them because of the humidity.
I am very jet-lagged and have a lump on my head where I tried to wedge it between the seat and the window to get comfortable.I think I only slept 10 minutes the whole flight. The flight attendant assumed I was German so I kept it that way. I actually pulled it off- I made sure she didn't see the book I was reading.
Planning to start painting next week.