Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flowers For Chickens

Flowers For Chickens
36 x 48
acrylic on canvas
This painting was inspired by a little drawing that my student gave me. He is 8 years old and is so very creative. I just loved this drawing, so I asked him if it would be okay to copy.
It was quite challenging. I truly wanted to maintain the whimsical innocence that he had in his drawing. It was a fun painting; I was actually sad when I finished it.
I feel a series coming on!
One of my favorite quotes by Picasso says it well.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Friend Shapes and Training Wheels

I've never felt the satisfaction of having a circle of friends. I am always envious of a group of women appearing to enjoy each other's company. But, truthfully, I am most comfortable one on one in a friendship. Introduce a third friend and it gets tricky. It then becomes a triangle of friends, an uncomfortable shape compared to a circle. One point is further from the two and usually that point is me.
I know it's childish for a middle-aged woman to find herself feeling this way, but I am thinking that feeling like the "third wheel" may not be such a bad thing, after all.
The idiom, "feeling like a third wheel" refers to one that feels left out or useless. Since wheels work in pairs, a third wheel is not needed.
Or is it?
I got to thinking about this and remembered my training wheels on my first bike. That white metal apparatus with a little black wheel on each side. The whole thing just seemed so flimsy.
As I remembered, only one wheel actually touched the ground.
I'd like to think of this as the "third wheel", quite useful when it came to assuring me that I wasn't going to crash.
So the idiom isn't exactly true.
I have no idea what that fourth wheel was for. I bet if you really felt left out or useless, you could call yourself a "fourth wheel", hopelessly spinning, never touching the ground, and only there for appearance.
Fortunately, training wheels are only temporary. Unfortunate for my "third wheel" analogy, though. Gradual adjustments are made as the rider becomes more stable.
A day will come when the training wheels are no longer needed and can be removed.
One of the many rights to passage of childhood memories.
So at the moment feeling like a "third wheel" is quite enjoyable.
I know it's not forever and I can be supportive.
But really,
I am just along for the ride.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Red Umbrella

I recently heard that if you concentrated long enough on something, you could actually slow down the passage of time. Buddhist monks practice this deep focus while meditating. The study went on to stress the importance of "staying in the moment" .
I thought about this as I waited in line at my little town's post office. I began to focus on the clerk's methodical questions and his snail-like movements.
Time was slowing down, it was Zen-like, and I was getting very sleepy.
It is true what they say about small towns. People tend to move slower. I am not complaining.
I'd still be in line talking to the lady with the red umbrella, if my husband weren't with me that day.
She said that her grandson makes fun of her for carrying the umbrella when it's not raining.
"It's for sun protection", she boasted. Her face was riddled with bloody scabs and I found myself focusing on the red umbrella. I felt the Zen-sation returning and her words slowly slipping further and further away.
I once had an uncle who had a large portion of his nose removed due to sun damage. It was hard not to compare him to The Great Sphinx of Giza. Because of this, I always felt uncomfortable around him.
I would wager that having a visual mind is equally as harmful as ultraviolet rays, but I'm not a good gambler.
I never will forget the time when my grandmother returned from the doctor's office with her face looking very much like the umbrella lady. It was horrific!
At this point, John was pulling my arm to leave.
There was no more time left to stay in this moment.
As we drove home, I wondered what was the benefit of staying in that particular moment and the only conclusion I came up with was that
if you choose to stay in a moment, make sure you're protected from the sun.