Friday, April 30, 2010

If you only knew.....

Birthdays are always a sad time for me.

I turn a year older today and still feel very much like a failure.

Here is a photo of me as a small child.

I recall getting haircuts by my father, playing with Legos, and lots of fighting in the house.

You poor, poor boy.

I could weep for you right now.

If you only knew.....if you only knew.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Who knew!

On our way to the hospital where my uncle gets his chemo treatments, we pass through several towns along the way.

In Chicago, the fire hydrants are a classic red. In Cal City, they're solid yellow. Then through Lansing, you'll find yellow with red trim. And finally, in Munster, Indiana are the most wonderful colors of fire hydrants with yellow tops!


You read that right. Not red but green! GREEN!!

Ohhhhhhhhh! My most favorite color!

I want one!

There's a TON of down time while my uncle receives chemotherapy. Lots of waiting around. So armed with my camera, I decided to kill time and take some shots of this verdant rarity.


I wonder if every city has their own special color combination for fire hydrants? What's yours?

I'd just die if I saw a purple one with pink or light blue trim! The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Survivor" - (Fall leaf W.I.P. - Step 2 - Completion!)

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

Survivor n. One who carries on despite hardships or trauma; to persevere.

In step one I mentioned finding this leaf last fall with the intention of painting it then. Then it got pushed further and further back.

Surprisingly, the leaf remained relatively intact all this time! Sure there are stress marks and it's crumbling yet the glimpses of intense color are still there. I see great beauty in that!

Even though it has fallen long ago, the leaf managed to hang on. Weathered and blemished with just about everything thrown its is a survivor!

And each new crack and chip becomes a battle scar of all it's endured. It literally becomes more powerful as it deteriorates.

Its struggle is its story. How it managed to make it this far is a testament to hidden strength. It is HOPE made tangible!

Maybe one day I can be like this leaf. To overcome. To endure. To be a survivor.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You've got mail (art), David!

The talented David K. Small has been going through a difficult time these past couple weeks and needed some cheering up. Not only is David a fellow artist but he's also become a good blogging friend. What better way to lift one's spirits than with Mail Art!

Here's what I mailed to him!

Cut paper on archival backing board - Roughly 5" x 8" (NFS)

A little known fact is that I tend to collect interesting-shaped leaves in the fall and store them for future reference.

One of my oak leaves was used as a template and transferred on a comic book backing board which was then cut to size, leaving me with a blank leaf shape to embellish!

I didn't want the front to be plain yet so busy that you couldn't read the address. I had some woven origami paper but the pattern was too intense so I simply turned it over and used the reverse side which was much more subtle (am I clever or what!).

Once the origami paper was glued to the backing board, I carefully clipped off the excess revealing the leaf shape again.

The backside! (Do you see Wondy?)

I used several styles of paper for the back. Prismatic, scrapbook, origami. A variety of patterns from whimsical to elegant all cut into little strips which were carefully glued down, lined up, then trimmed. I even added a strip of Wonder Woman for some strength and compassion!

A series of encouraging words were written on the slivers of paper: "Joy. Create. Inspire. Pain. Hope. Survivor. Powerful. Determination. Live. Open."

And to finish it off, the entire edge was painted with silver glitter!

This is the first piece of Mail Art I've created that wasn't done on a traditional envelope. I thought FOR SURE that the stem would've been ripped off or at least bent during its travel through the postal system. David told me the leaf arrived COMPLETELY intact! Hooray!!

Just a little something to brighten another blogger's day. Enjoy David!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


What an unproductive, piece-of-shit I've turned myself into.

I went to sleep at 4:30 this morning and stayed in bed until about 6:15 in the evening, finally getting up to go to the bathroom and eat something.

This being one my last free days before helping my aunt and uncle on an everyday basis, I thought it'd be wise to take my usual life drawing class today (I haven't gone since last summer).

When the alarm woke me up, I kept hitting the snooze button until an hour passed. I wanted so badly to get up and out of the house but the depression told me "no" and I listened....again. There was no one else HERE to tell me otherwise.

My face was buried under the pillows while I tossed and turned under disheveled covers. Most of the time I lay there awake, staring blankly at the walls, stewing in my own sadness. Literally wasting away in bed.

How sad. How very sad.

And of course the weather in Chicago was PERFECT. Cold, dark skies with a light mist throughout the day. I didn't even have the strength to look out the window. I didn't want to see what I was missing.

I can't function here properly anymore. This house is slowly draining and killing me from the inside out and I don't know how to escape. I fear I never will.

Nothing will get done today. Perhaps it's for the best. My heart isn't into drawing or painting at the moment.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to get back to bed. If God is kind He won't let me wake up at all next time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"I feel so alone right now."

"I feel so alone right now"
Watercolor with ink and wax in Moleskine journal - (NFS)

This is the second entry in what I'm now dubbing my "crazy journal".

It's just a basic watercolor paper journal but it's become a safe place for me to express my inner turmoil in a
healthy manner. Think of it as art therapy on a budget!

This latest "crazy painting" captures how I'm feeling at the moment. Isolated, detached, and terribly alone. So alone it hurts.

I wonder if that will ever change.

Sometimes I no longer think so.....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It was good while it lasted.....

I live a very sheltered life and have fallen behind on things most people accomplish much earlier on.

One of those things is driving. I do NOT own a license!

My neighborhood train station is about a block-and-a-half from where I live. When I went to college downtown, the train literally stopped at the corner of my school. And my previous job, which was also in the Loop, was only blocks from the same stop.

Add to the fact that I'm a recluse and hide most of the time and you can see why driving wasn't a priority for me....until now!

Sketch of the Rules of the Road booklet

This past Wednesday I took the written driving test! All of my studying paid off because I only got one answer wrong (something about what to do at a stop sign. Yikes!). Now I have my instruction permit and can begin practicing to drive!

Go me!!

I think this will be a good thing. It'll allow me to become more independent and rely less on family to get to places.

And this celebratory news came on the same day one of my amaryllis bulbs decided to bloom!


Learning to drive was one of my goals since I was in my early 20's. This feels like a step in the right direction....for once!

When I held that permit in my hand I felt so accomplished! It was a really GREAT day for me.

I felt powerful, sexy, and even a bit dangerous!


A natural high. One that made me feel normal and connected to the rest of the world. And during that day, there must have been some naivety in me too, for I thought my depression was really nothing and that I conquered it right then and there, once and for all.

And in truth, that wonderful feeling has steadily faded several days later. As it always does.

It makes me wonder how much different my life would be if things were completely reversed.

If I experienced those great days most of the time and the depressing ones only every now and then. Ah, that almost sounds too good to be true.

But I'm trying not to dwell on that. I'm working on some art projects now and riding out the rest of the high while I got it. It was good while it lasted.