Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In Overtime

I have a recurring dream where I am running through fields and valleys, but always open spaces. I can run forever. The strange thing is that I am on all fours. When both hands hit the hard ground my body propels forward. I glide through vast green landscapes with the wind rushing through my hair. As natural as this feels, I am only aware that this abnormal when others see me whizzing on by.
But, this is my way.
I am fast and I am free, yet incorrect as others see.
I am not sure where this dream originates.
I had a coach growing up who would videotape our games. I used to run with my arms swinging uncontrolably like I was swimming through the air. My teammates would laugh and poke fun at me.
But, it was my way.
In the past 3 years I have had 2 knee surgeries. Sadly, I can no longer run. At times it is even painful to walk. I continued to play after my first surgery, which lead me to a second one just a year later. I was unwilling to give up something that I had done for 34 years. I never thought there would be a day without soccer. Secretly I am entertaining the idea of an old lady league when we return to the states. Please remember that this is a secret and I am keeping it from my knees.Right now I can only dream.These days I am trying to concentrate on my painting, but it is like making love to a stranger while fantasizing about a distant lover.

Endorse, Exalt, Essential

Today Katherine came over and helped me in the studio. I have about 50 of these little paintings (4x4) and she is doing the lettering.
As an artist it is so important to surround yourself with warm people who endorse and exalt your creativity. I am fortunate to have Katherine as my friend because she does this so effortlessly.
Friends that have warmth for your creative life are just like the spices that we painted today. They are essential for the recipe.
I am also fortunate to have a husband who understands my need to create.
He too supplies the vital warmth I need to thrive.
My leaves bend toward this warmth for without it I would wither.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Parts and pieces

The sun shone brightly across the canola fields today. Minus the happy sounds of dancing
Turkish girls, I stopped to hear the silence of the sun.

I found myself getting a bit Thoreau-like pondering a single canola flower. It's so easy to overlook the details, when the whole is so extraordinary.

I know that all the events in my life that were half understood and half remembered were a result of ignoring the details.

Now that I am older, I am more concerned with the parts and pieces that make up the whole. Maybe I have slowed down and that immediate gratification is not so important. Only seeing the big picture was really never gratifying because I tended to overlook some very important details

For instance, my first husband's pencil thin neck(size 14) . Why hadn't I noticed this beforehand?

Another example was the day I adopted Sienna from the shelter and didn't notice that her teeth were all rotten until I got her home.

I also rented many apartments that had things terribly wrong and didn't realize until after I had signed the lease. I adapted to the lack of closet space and unusual placement of electrical outlets. Blow drying my hair in the kitchen was quirky.

I preferred quirky back then.

I believe the appreciation of all the details comes with age. The big picture is clearer now because of this.

Things that are happening now will be remembered in greater detail and better understood.

I still prefer quirky-somethings just don't change.

Yet somethings do, I am now married to a man with a normal sized neck(16 1/2) and Sienna has a healthy mouth of gums.

So the next time you find yourself wrapped up in the big picture, try to think of all the little brushstrokes it took to complete it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Beginnings against the grey

Winter is beginning here in Deutschland. I haven't seen the sun in 7 days. The Autumn colors are still vibrant yet seem flat against all the grey. Today while walking the dogs I saw two Turkish girls run into a canola field. They were dancing, singing, and laughing.
I stopped and thought, it's okay if the sun doesn't shine today;
but today is the last day! Though I don't think I can depend on these little Turkish girls to dance away my winter blahs. John, the weatherman, says the sun might break out a little bit on Monday. Dance little Turkish girls, Dance!
Here is day 1 on a new still life. I won't finish it until Monday because I don't paint on the weekends. Tonight is date night.
Have a good weekend-Tschüss

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wandering in Japan

not much to say.
Grey German day
If I am my own worst enemy, how can I be my friend?
I spend too much time in my head, alone.
I go from dogs to dishes away from the studio.
Today I cleaned house
I could build a new dog with what's inside the vacuum cleaner.
Amy has been my agent for the past 12 years.
Look at all the wonderful artists that she represents.
There is one of my paintings on the first page in the lower left hand corner. The blue abstract with the orange splash then there is another in gallery 1 on the second page. The one with the 3 red circles also in the lower left corner. You can click on it to see it larger.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I found this unusual postcard at the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto painted by Insho Domoto. At first I thought it was a Hindu painting of Adam and Eve and the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus.

Since I am fortunate enough to be a student at the University of Google, I was able to research it further.
The woman in the painting was once a demon ghost with many children. It is uncertain how many she actually had. Some texts say 500 while others say 10,ooo. She was considered a demon because

she kidnapped and murdered other little children to feed her own.
Her name is Hariti in Indian mythology and Kishimojin in Japanese. Translated in English it means mother of little ghosts.

Buddha decided to teach her a lesson and hide one of her own children. She then experienced the great loss and suffering that she was causing others. This realization made her repent her evil ways. She then transformed into the goddess known for the protection of children.

She is often portrayed with a pomegranate in her right hand which is a symbol of fertility because of the many seeds.

Last year John had to work in Armenia. He brought me home this statue. I wonder if this is Hariti?
I might have to enroll in some more classes to find out.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Frankenstein Castle

Last night we celebrated Halloween a little early. We went to Burg Frankenstein, a hilltop castle in Darmstadt. It is said to be the probable inspiration for Mary Shelly's novel, Frankenstein, but there is no actual proof.
She may have visited the castle in 1816 when she was living in Switzerland and heard the local folklore about Johann Conrad Dippel who lived in the castle. He was accused of grave robbing and preforming experiments on the dead bodies. There were even rumors that he could bring the dead back to life using the castle's prison as his laboratory.
The castle was built by the noble family von Frankenstein with records dating back to the 13th century. Although at one time it was a fairly large fortress, today only two towers and a chapel remain. The towers are pictured in my collage photo.
Every year at this time the ruins are transformed into a haunted house.
The Germans are slowly getting into the spirit of Halloween. Other than the crew that was working the haunted house, we were the only people dressed in costumes.
The funniest picture is when Bubba, (John, in case you didn't recognize him) meets Frankenstein. I think he truly was scared-look at his face!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some Sumo

Fortunately our time in Tokyo coincided with the Grand Sumo Tournament that only takes place six times a year.

We were a little late arriving to the stadium so we missed the traditional sumo lunch called, chankonabe. It is a stew made with fish, pork, vegetables, and

rice. The wrestlers don't eat breakfast because they train on an empty stomach. This makes them hungrier too.

Although the stew is very high in protein, their weight gain is a result of the huge quantities that they consume. They eat up to 10 times more than the average person. They even get special massages to move their intestines allowing them to consume even more.

The meal is washed down with large amounts of beer because a big beer belly is desirable for more stability in the ring.

A three hour nap helps the process by storing the fat.

Sumo are recruited as teenagers. It may take up to ten years for them to reach the respectable fighting weight of 400 pounds.

Although they are quite large, the fat ratio of an average middle aged businessman is higher than the typical sumo wrestler. There is really quite a lot of muscle on a wrestler's body.

They live in a highly disciplined setting similar to a commune. They aren't allowed to drive and must wear the traditional Japanese dress when seen in public. Strict tradition also dictates a hierarchy where the young sumo, Rikishi, must serve the older sumo called Sekitori. They have rigorous chores of cooking, cleaning, and preparing the bath along with their training. This causes a high dropout rate in young sumo.

The sumo live their lives as kings but there are many downsides. The average life expectancy is between 60 and 65 which is 10 years shorter than the average Japanese male.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are also major threats.

With the excessive alcohol consumption there are also liver problems and many suffer from arthritis because of the heavy stress on the joints.

Postcards From Japan

John and his son, Drake

Zen and Superstition

Bamboo Dreams and Tokyo Lights

The Golden Palace
Click on each photo to see up close- Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Green in Japan

After two days of visiting the Buddhist temples in Kyoto, I was finding it hard to achieve true enlightenment. It would have been disrespectful to the Japanese if I were to kneel and pray to Buddha. It also felt like I was cheating on God. Although the temples were so beautiful and peaceful, it was tempting.

It wasn’t until we went to the hot springs in Hakone that I was able to reach Nirvana. Not only did we find ourselves in hot water, we were lucky enough to soak in a few of our favorite beverages.
First for what ailed us -pardon the pun - a big vat of beer.

Next we found a tub of green tea with all its powerful antioxidants.

Then since the Japanese claim that sake is great for the skin, we decided to emerse ourselves in a big tub of it.

Having our fill we needed a little rejuvination so we jumped into a tub of freshly brewed coffee .

Finally my chance for true enlightenment , a big pool of red wine! I am sorry that I didn't get any photos, but I found this one of the red wine pool.

A perfect ending to this surreal spa experience found us soaking our feet in a pool of little fish. They nibbled off all the dead skin on and between our toes. It was a strange vibrating sensation that actually felt good. The fish were mostly attracted to John's big white feet. I guess they liked American food or perhaps they tasted German faire-who knows.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Memoirs of a Geisha

We are back from our wonderful adventure. I have so many exciting photos to show you this week.
Here are a few of the geisha girls we saw one night in Kyoto. Aren't they beautiful?
Now I must really see the movie-Memoirs of a Geisha.
Going to Japan has truly given me a better perspective. I was taken aback by how gracious the people were.
All my previous notions have changed and I am so glad I went.
I will tell you more in detail this week because I am still jet-lagged.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Japanese Koi

We are off to Japan. I wanted to leave you a couple of paintings I did for my agent about 7 years ago. Japanese Koi to get me in the mood.
We will be back in a week. Many photos to follow.
Feel free to visit my archives while I am gone.
Itte rasshai (means so long in Japanese)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Walk In The Woods

A Walk in the Woods!
A Personality Quiz. Have a pen and paper handy before you read any further. As soon as you read a question, write the answer right away. Read the following questions, imagining the scenes in your mind, and write down the FIRST thing that you visualize. Do NOT think about the questions excessively.
1. You are walking in the woods. Who are you walking with?
2. You are walking in the woods. You see an animal. What kind of animal is it?
3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal?
4. You walk deeper in the woods. You enter a clearing and before you is your Dream House. Describe its size.
5. Is your dream house surrounded by a fence?
6. You enter the house. You walk to the dining area and see the dining table. Describe what you see on AND around the table.
7. You exit the house through the back door. Lying in the grass is a cup. What material is the cup made of?
8. What do you do with the cup?
9. You walk to the edge of the property, where you find yourself standing at the edge of a body of water. What type of body of water is is it?
10. How will you cross the water?
Find the results below...

This has been a relational psychology test. The answers given to the questions have been shown to have a relevance to values and ideals that we hold in our personal lives. The analysis follows:
1. The person who you are walking with is the most important person in your life.
2. The size of the animal is representative of your perception of the size of your problems.
3. The severity of the interaction you have with the animal is representative of how you deal with your problems. (passive/aggressive)
4. The size of your dream house is representative of the size of your ambition to resolve your problems.
5. No fence is indicative of an open personality. People are welcome at all times. The presence of a fence indicates a closed personality. You'd prefer people not to drop by unannounced.
6. If your answer did not include food, people, or flowers, then you are generally unhappy.
7. The durability of the material with which the cup is made of is representative of the perceived durability of your relationship with the person named in number 1. For example, styrafoam, plastic, and paper are all disposable, styrofoam, paper and glass are not durable, and metal and plastic are durable.
8. Your disposition of the cup is representative of your attitude towards the person in number 1.
9. The size of the body of water is representative of the size of your desire for love.
10. How wet you get in crossing the water is indicative of the relative importance of your love life.
Author unknown

Friday, October 5, 2007


Don't you just love this time of year?
I love all these colors!
They make me so happy....
Enjoy the slide show.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Angst with little paintings of food

3 paintings
each 8x6
yesterday and today

Not much to report today.
I am a nervous wreck anticipating our trip to Japan next week.
I don't know why I have gotten myself all worked up about it. I should be thrilled because it is a chance of a lifetime.
I guess because every tourist site I've read says to leave your claustrophobia at the door. I don't think that I have this phobia.
I now have closets bigger than some of the studio apartments I onced lived. I've survived a couple MRIs and even snorkeled through caves in the Yucatan.
I just don't like big crowds of people.
Those of you that know me well, also know that I am not particularly fond of small crowds.
I have no idea what to expect and this really has me in a dither.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

red onion breast

Today's painting
Red Onions
8x6 , 2007

It's funny how I can work for 2 hours on a single
painting and overlook the obvious.
I have to fix the "big onion tit" tomorrow. It is really staring you in the face. Isn't it?
Speaking of..........
I went for a walk in the woods with Aisha today. This time I was quick to catch her
reaching for my right breast. I deflected it with a bent elbow, which she held on to most of the way.
Another nice Fall day....

Monday, October 1, 2007



Fall in Germany

This is my third and sadly, my last fall in Deutschland. Growing up in Texas I never had the experience of fall and the changing of the leaves. It seemed like winter was summer's subsitute just so summer could recoop and come back playing even better than before. The first time I saw the mixture of autumn colors in Germany, I became alive with a creative energy that I couldn't sleep through.

There is also something about the crispness of the autumn air that energizes me. Taking the dogs for a walk in the forest, crunching leaves with my boots after a day of painting with my studio windows open-priceless!~ John says Asheville will offer the same experiences. I just hope I can learn the language there...