Thursday, December 31, 2009

Over and done with!!

With the current year ending this very night, I thought it'd be wise to collect all of the posts for 2009 in one spot for everyone to see and share.

Presenting the 2009 Archive Post!!

Every single blog entry from this year will be listed and linked right here from beginning to end!

The perfect way for "newbies" to get all caught up or for "veterans" to reread a thing or two! Feel free to comment on any of them!

So while everyone else was partying the night away, I spent the past several hours slaving over my computer to get this ready for you!

I'm proud of all that I managed to post this year, yet it felt strange looking over the older entries. It brought up a lot of those feelings again. I didn't realize how hard I am on myself. What's worse is that I'll continue to do so even with that realization.

In any case, it's interesting to see how my writing style progressed along the way. The silly posts, the serious ones, the downright sad entries. It really was quite a year!
*exhausted sigh*

Enjoy and Happy New Year to everyone!!


(04-02-09) Nude Female Ink Sketches - Back and Front Pose
(04-04-09) "I love you. I need you to survive."
(04-07-09) "One is the loneliest number"
(04-08-09) Chicago's Millennium Park at Night!
(04-12-09) "Glass Ashtray" ACEO
(04-16-09) Dean Facts!
(04-18-09) Pansy sketch and unexpected city colors!
(04-22-09) *Happy Dance* I got a Lemonade Award!
(04-23-09) Up in the sky.....
(04-26-09) "Ugly" (self-portrait)
(04-28-09) The gift of art.....
(04-30-09) Rain, puddles, and tears (Part 1)


(05-02-09) Rain, puddles, and tears (Part 2)
(05-03-09) Rain, puddles, and tears (Part 3)
(05-06-09) "Sheila's Butterfly" ACEO
(05-09-09) Dandelions sketch
(05-13-09) Chicago's Buckingham Fountain at Night!
(05-17-09) Wow! I got A Passion for Painting Award!
(05-19-09) W.I.P. Hibiscus Painting - Step 1 - Drawing
(05-21-09) Having a bad day.....
(05-23-09) A new dawn. A new day....
(05-27-09) W.I.P. Hibiscus Painting - Step 2 - Underpainting
(05-31-09) Dean Facts!


(06-04-09) Strawberries sketch
(06-07-09) "Tequila Sunrise" (W.I.P. Hibiscus Painting - Step 3 - Completion!!)
(06-11-09) Chicago's Millennium Park at Night!! (Part 2)
(06-15-09) I LOST my dead-end job!!!!
(06-18-09) Nude Male ACEO
(06-21-09) My new baby!
(06-26-09) Nothing lasts forever.....
(06-29-09) Cloudy day in Chicago!


(07-05-09) "Abstract Squares" (ongoing series)
(07-11-09) Praying for something better.....
(07-16-09) And so it ends.....
(07-23-09) A sign of thanks.....
(07-27-09) Impatiens on LSD!
(07-31-09) "Samira"


(08-03-09) Unemployed and on unemployment.....
(08-07-09) Ugly is beautiful.....
(08-13-09) Nude Male Ink Sketch - Side Pose
(08-16-09) Nothing goes as planned.....
(08-21-09) "He broke it"
(08-27-09) Face the day.....
(08-29-09) Taking the long way home.....


(09-01-09) W.I.P. Self-Portrait - Step 1 - Drawing
(09-05-09) W.I.P. Self-Portrait - Step 2 - Painting and Panic!!
(09-08-09) Keep the faith.....
(09-13-09) "You have six months....maybe a year if on chemo."
(09-18-09) W.I.P. Self-Portrait - Step 3 - Salvage
(09-25-09) Is it worth it?
(09-30-09) "Depressed" (self-portrait)


(10-04-09) For a limited time only!
(10-07-09) Wordless Wednesday - Tree's canopy after the rain.....
(10-11-09) When the urge strikes.....
(10-17-09) It's only a matter of time.....
(10-23-09) I've got mail!!
(10-27-09)'ve got mail!!


(11-01-09) "Day of the Dead skull" ACEO
(11-06-09) "It's just not going to work out."
(11-11-09) Wordless Wednesday - Fall in Chicago.....
(11-16-09) Sleeping the day away.....
(11-22-09) "Crumbling"
(11-25-09) Wordless Wednesday - Foggy Day in Chicago!!
(11-30-09) "Lord, have mercy....."


(12-04-09) I received two blog awards in one week! WHOA!!
(12-08-09)'ve got mail!!
(12-13-09) "Christmas Apple"
(12-19-09) All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray.....
(12-23-09) Wordless Wednesday - Christmas in Chicago!!
(12-27-09) Footprints in the snow.....
(12-31-09) Over and done with!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Footprints in the snow.....

The winter air bites into my skin and stings my saddened eyes, yet I am unscathed. It cannot damage me more than I already am. You can't break something that's already broken.

The new year begins in less than a week and I'm hesitant....and worried. Worried things will get worse for me. Scared I won't make it.

It's too bad nothing goes as planned. Things aren't working out the way I'd like. This isn't how I intended my life to be. And if I can't have the life I want, why live it at all? I ponder that all the time.

I fear one day my lover will call for me with such intensity that I'll submit completely. Maybe I'm delaying the inevitable.

Everything looks like it stopped outside. Fallen, snow-covered branches scattered about.....dead on the ground. Summer grass poking through all the whiteness.

The crunch of snow under my boots. Small animal tracks mixed with human ones.

Which footprints are mine? The ones going in circles, heading backwards, or the footprints off to the side....all by themselves?

Ah, Dean, you are such a fool. You and your meandering thoughts.

Why does any of it even matter? In the end they'll all melt anyways.....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray.....

It was very dreary yesterday in Chicago. Chilly, drizzling, and foggy. I LOVED IT!! My favorite type of weather forced this recluse to get out and take some pictures of the Loop.

While walking through Millennium Park, I cut across Lurie Garden. Here are some shots of this amazing garden!

Lurie Garden with Michigan Avenue in the background!

I was amazed at all of the browns I saw! So many monochromatic textures and shapes!

Look at all that sallow grass!

The summer plants have died away but their husks remained intact for all to see! There was something so lovely about seeing the garden in this state. Nothing was really alive yet what remained had a life of its own.

Facing north with the Pritzker Pavilion as a backdrop!

Honeys, wheats, tans, yellow-browns, gray-browns, reddish-browns. They were all there! It was like a neutral party! (And I'm not talking about politics!)

Facing northeast of the Loop!

Tall grasses, spent flower pods, and dried stems in every shade of brown you could think of!

Browns on top of browns with the Modern Wing in the distance!

I even spotted a gray-brown bunny hopping around here. I can't blame it! I would too!

Just thought I'd share this before the winter snow comes and covers it all up!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Christmas Apple"

Watercolor on watercolor paper - 5" x 5" (SOLD)

The holiday season clearly inspired this painting!

I spotted this particular apple and was struck that the greens were just as intense as the reds. Normally as an apple ripens just one color dominates. What a rarity!

I loved the color combinations. When I saw it I immediately thought of Christmas! I wanted to paint it. No, I HAD to paint it!

It felt lively and festive....almost like an ornament!

Perfect timing!

Happy holidays!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009've got mail!!

Continuing the "Mail Art Tradition", I exchanged addresses with the highly-talented Suzanne Berry last month.

I finally finished my mail art to her!

Here it is!

Markers and ink on standard mailing envelope - 5" x 7" (NFS)

Originally I planned on creating something "cutesy". Butterflies sitting on a mushroom, surrounded by flowers. You know, pretty things. But that felt soooo contrived and it made me put down the project for a while.

I wanted something with real meaning to it! Something I could identify with. A piece of myself in the actual artwork.

So while listening to my Gundam Wing soundtrack and flipping through the CD's booklet, I thought about doing a face, specifically in a manga style, which I haven't done in ages.

The concept was born and the rest naturally blossomed!

This is my first piece of mail art done entirely in color! Hooray!! Since the artwork is the actual envelope itself and will eventually be mailed, I wasn't sure if I could use paints on this. Instead, I decided on markers with black ink for the details. Looks very much like anime, no?

The backside!

The back of the envelope reads, "Cry for me. Cry for me. Cry for me. Bleed away the pain. The most beautiful colors ran down her neck."

Suzanne has been going through some rough patches last month. God knows I can relate to that! So I thought maybe this lady would inspire her a bit.

A lot of work went into this and yet again I'm worried, frightened even, that some devious postal worker is just going to keep this piece of mail art for themselves! They better not!!!

Enjoy Suzanne! This was a lot of fun to create! Can't wait to see what you mail me in return!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I received two blog awards in one week! WHOA!!

I'm a terrible blogger. Bad, bad, bad.

I was given not one but two blog awards last month and am just getting around to mentioning them now. Just terrible!

But it's never to late to show your appreciation IMHO.

So first up......

The lonely wanderer Ekanthapadhikan gave me "A Present For Your Blog" award over at his blog. Thank you, Ekan!!

And then.....

Shortly after that, the painting powerhouse Kelley MacDonald presented me with a "Kreativ Blogger" award on her blog!

A special thanks to both of you for the kind words and awards! It made me feel kind of special for a change!

Go me!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Lord, have mercy....."

To my left was a life-size statue of Jesus with hands turned inward towards His heart. Colored votive candles shimmered at His sandaled feet.

My eyes kept welling up and occasional tears ran down my flushed cheeks. I was
soooo self-conscious. Thank God I sat in a back pew off to the side so no one would notice.

It had been twelve
years since I last went and something I wanted to do for the longest time. After over a decade, I finally attended mass last week. I decided upon evening mass at St. Peter's Church in the Loop, hoping it wouldn't be too crowded with all the commuters heading home from work.

Feeling awkward and out of place, I started to cry as soon as I sat down. Oh, and I forgot to genuflect on my way in.

Everyone was nicely spread out so I had my own little space. I am NOT one for crowds! There was an assortment of people present. Older, younger, somewhere in between. Businessmen, housewives, and some homeless strewn about. All at church praying for different things.

When mass actually started I didn't know all the procedures or phrases to reply with. With folded hands, I rose when everyone else stood and knelt when everyone else did. I was more of a quiet observer than an active participant that day.

The priest read from
the Book of Daniel and said to the attentive crowd, "Do what you can, in difficult circumstances, with faith."

I had to keep turning toward the wall and looking down, embarrassed someone might see the tears streaming down my face.

Emotional not because of what I'd done in life but
what I didn't do. I've knowingly let my life slip by and am NOT living up to my full potential. Wasting life is as big a sin as any in my opinion.

Needless to say, going to mass was a roller coaster of an experience but I'm glad I eventually did it.

Will I go back? I sure hope so. There are very specific things missing in my life right now and I think I found one of them that evening.

Next time though I'll remember to genuflect....and to bring plenty of tissues!
Lord, have mercy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Watercolor with gouache on watercolor paper - 6" x 6" (SOLD)

Crumbling v. 1. Breaking into small fragments. 2. Disintegrating gradually.

It just spoke to me, I guess, so I picked it off the cold ground and took it home. Fallen, mottled, already spent. An autumn leaf that was damaged and unwanted. I could identify with that.

In past years I used to paint fall leaves with overly intense colors and made sure they were perfectly formed. But now it seems I'm drawn to how things really are, flaws and all, rather than seeking out an ideal.

Faded colors, brittle edges, cracks, and holes. I wanted to capture a grittier portrayal.

How many can honestly say they see the beauty in the ugliness? Who actively looks for something flawed, scarred, and worthless?

I wonder if I'll meet someone that can accept my faults, my imperfections, my "issues". After all, who wants a shattered soul that's so clearly damaged and fragile?

Perhaps that's too much to ask of anyone.

Or maybe like withered fall leaves, they'll just continue to pass me by as I lay fallen, unwanted....crumbling.