Thursday, January 22, 2009

six degrees of speculation

Nunly and Spartacus both invited me to the 'six things' party that was buzzing around recently which had the probably unintended effect of turning me to public introspection. I believe that's a contradiction in terms but here goes:

1. Sometimes I go through long periods when I have the urge to be creative but inspiration refuses to cooperate. This is a painting from one of those periods - neither here nor there, coming and going, anxious. When stuck creatively, I usually just turn to reading or think of something else to make:

2. Most of the novels, but not all, get returned to Powell's where the generous buyers give me enough credit to fund the collection of science, sociology and history books I keep. I read books about enlightenment hoping I'll find a quick and easy map to the destination. It's not to be found in a book and I despair of my laziness and sloth when it comes to following written instructions of any kind.

3. I become compulsive about silly things. Some years ago a company designed paper towels with cows on them and I'd root through all the rolls at the grocery store to find the ones with blue cows. The design was soon obsolete but I still remember them with fondness.

4. Once I was an intrepid adventurer, never bothering about running off without any particular destination other than knowing it was far from where I'd been. Now I prefer to stay home where I'm most comfortable learning how to astral project.

5. I would sooner have a root canal than walk into a gallery with a portfolio of my artwork. I would prefer to tear the paintings into little pieces rather than talk to the owner or director about why my stuff deserves to be shown in public.

6. and finally, in case you wondered how I look now that I've arrived at my 63rd year on this hard-ass planet, if Utah Savage can do it and Pagan Sphinx can do it then so can I.. but that's not to say I won't replace it with a stick figure drawing tomorrow:

Crow here. What can I say? I have some strange friends.


Utah Savage said...

I love the way you look so much I kissed you on the lips. Did you feel it?

I have always been so bad at following written directions that years ago I gave up even trying. I got this fabulous new Imac and have yet to look at the elegant little instruction/owners manual.

So you understand my fear and loathing of the dreaded pitch I have to write to sell some nitwit on the idea that reading the fist fifty thousand words is worth his/her time. Sell my book like it was a bar of soap. My god, the indignity. And then to have to sell them on ME! Horrors.

You did a lovely job on this meme. And I will not hear of you denigrating your art. It's art, dear. Once created it no longer gets to be just yours. How dare you say that what I love is second rate or not good enough. I won't hear of it.

Lover of Life said...

I have a wonderful story of astral projecting! My father-in-law (who is in his nineties), is very attached to his wife, who he loves dearly. One day he had to go to the hospital and, I believe, he thought he might die. His wife had to leave the hospital and go back to the assisted care facility. That night they both woke up and knew where they were, and that they were not dreaming - one at home in their bed - and one in a hospital. But they both said they felt the other one in bed with them! The next morning they called to tell my husband all about it, but have not spoken of it since. However, my father-in-law has a new perspective on life these days. Astral projection??

Liberality said...

welcome to blogtopia dearest. Utah is right, you are an artist. I am awfully fond of artists, writers, and poets I must confess.

Seraphine said...

first of all you're beautiful!
i love the circus drawing. the elephants are awesome, and the border- your wonderful borders!- reminds me so much of a circus tent. really, you don't need inspiration when you have such talent. all you have to do is... do.

La Belette Rouge said...

Whether you have a gallery or not you are an artist. I have just done what Utah is dreading and I can tell you it was hard but not as hard as I thought it was going to be.

You are gorgeous and you sooooo look like an artist.

susan said...

utah - Yes, I did. I'm smiling.

Along with you my tendency is to just figure things out myself unless some kind person arrives to just show me one little trick and then I'm off. When I posted 'baby days' I didn't know I could do it all at once and thus did it 18 times but I can't change it since I'd lose all the lovely comments that came from time to time.

I used to do the gallery thing but no longer can. It's so nice having this forum where people can see them and leave remarks as they care to. I do have some paintings that are more favorites than others - this one just isn't one of them and I can't take it back for editing.

I really hope your book gets accepted for publication. You deserve to be more widely appreciated.

susan said...

LoL - That's a wonderful story. Our bodies may weaken but our consciousness expands whether we notice (or acknowledge) it in daily life or not.

susan said...

lib - I'm glad to know you enjoy the show. If more people realized we're all artists it would be a happier world.

susan said...

sera - That's the scariest post I've ever done. Should I? Shouldn't I? This one? That one? Why do I look so different in every one? Why do the elephants have big brown and gold eyes? What was I thinking?


susan said...

belette - bien sur.. I've talked about my artwork before and surely will again. I'm delighted you and Utah are both getting ready to publish and I hope it goes well for you. It's simply true that people don't buy artwork the way they'll commit to a book. That doesn't stop me from being an artist and never has. I just wish I could produce more for your amusement.

linda said...

susan!!!! I was so excited to see your lovely face, I actually forgot what else you posted but now I remember it's the meme, I really should go look but it's late and I'm lazy after changing my blog list to have pictures and such and not just a I know who what and when my favorites(like you, my dear)posts! I didn't kiss you, btw, but smiled widely at you...there seems to be this thing going around of people's faces showing up on their blogs and I love it...I am going to get my daughter to take pics of me painting if my hair is clean, I'm dressed in something other than pj's and have lipstick on, all at the same time! ;)

Randal Graves said...

#1: ay-men to that. Isn't it frustrating as hell?

#2: I have the enlightenment map. Found it under a big X. Yours for only 29.95 plus shipping and handling. Act now, while supplies are limited!

#3: Was it Brawny? I know Babe was an ox and the lumberjack wasn't exactly Paul Bunyan.

#4: Once I thought about being an intrepid adventurer, but then there was a bun in the oven.

#5: I feel the same way about people reading my stuff, but they can do that at home. Your terror is MUCH more frightening.

#6: I hope you didn't doubt your art babeness gig.

Lisa said...

Whatever you do, keep that photo of you up. I love looking at my friends' faces.

I wish I had a gallery so I could come to you and tell you why I think your art should be displayed.

Mary Ellen said...

I think it's great that you put your picture up, you're gorgeous, girl!

I laughed when I read about your sometimes compulsive nature because I'm often the same way. I can't believe the time I will spend re-organizing a cabinet or picking out just the right flowers for my garden in the Spring. It's maddening sometimes!

I love your paintings and you are so fortunate to be so creative. That's such a special gift, one to be cherished.

Great meme,kiddo!

susan said...

linda - That's a heckuva lot to do all at once while painting at the same time. I don't know how I manage it but I can get pretty messy doing most anything but the silk painting can be the worst - colored fingers, smears on face or a stray lock of hair that soaked in the thallium turquoise while I was considering my options.

Glad you liked the pic. I just thought it was time to do it once ;-)

susan said...

randal - 1. Yes. 2. Sounds like a bargain. 3. A name you can't trust.. Scott. 4. Buns have waylaid many. 5. They're supercilious. 6. :-)

susan said...

lisa - I'll keep it on this post but won't us it as an avatar. Crow enjoys the spotlight too much.

It would be a happy gallery that you owned.

susan said...

nunly - I never planned it but then I realized after the brain surgery post people might assume I'm disfigured. Couldn't have that.

Speaking of compulsive, I can take a jar of tiny odd beads and separate them into individual groups of size and color. There's no shame in attention to detail and while engaged in mindless activity one might gain an original thought :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! You're 63? Minus how many years? All of these six things are news to me, but I am not surprised. I guess it comes from the comments we exchanged on other posts or maybe it comes from your artwork. No matter, I think you're an art-creating, book-bartering, compulsive-silliness-buying, intrepid-wandering, gallery-fearing wonderful person. Thanks for doing this.

susan said...

spartacus - Nice, as always to see you and, yes, that's me as of not very long ago. The post was fun to do after all so thanks for asking :-)

Steve Emery said...


You are beautiful, with a lot of class and grace showing. Your age surprised me. On the one hand it seems to me like you would need to be over 100 to have done so many interesting things and lived through so many of the times and stories in your Adventures Ink posts. I can't believe how much you've lived, compared to my very ordinary life (which I love and would not trade - but I'm aware it is a stroll compared to some). On the other hand, you sound and seem very young, eternally so. Something about your humor, and the freshness of your perspective.

The gallery thing. I haven't done it yet. I had my work up for a year because I co-founded and was the president of the gallery - a co-op that showed only member works. I have no idea how I would fare in a gallery pitch - but I can't get up the desire to go do it. Not yet, anyway. We'll see.

And the most important thing I wanted to say - I have spent a powerful lot of time looking at art, opining on art, loving art. So much of it is not unique or interesting enough to hold my interest for long. Certain artists stand out, and keep me coming back for more - a craving I have to satisfy. You're in that category. Few of us are as great as the best - but there are a good many of us in the next tier, and in my opinion, you're there. What you create, your viewpoint, the "attitude" in your figures, the way you handle space and composition, the way you create patterns and combine the beauty of several periods and styles into something unique and new of your own, with lots of yourself throughout - these things set your work apart. I don't know anything quite like your paintings. Your black and white illustrations for Adventures Ink remind me of several things - Vallotton, Art Deco, Beardsley, Gorey... You're not like any of these, but your work reminds me of these at times. And not as some shadow of their art, but as a sibling of theirs.

Like some of the others commenting here, it saddened me to hear you question your artist identity. As you said later, this painting isn't a favorite... I understand that feeling. But many gallery owners are about selling, not about art. And many of their clients are not interested in art, either.

I like this one - though I agree others are stronger...

And is the lady in this painting pregnant? She seems self assured, sexual, and powerful in a way that (to me) goes along with expecting - and the way she's drawn I could imagine she is...

I love her foot on that elephant's head. And the sexy thing she's wearing.

susan said...

steve - Thanks. More to follow :-)

lindsaylobe said...

Happy birthday to you. We are fellow Aquarians; you are just a few days or so older than me- since I just turned 63.

Interesting list.

I’m more an evening person, who’s therefore more likely to sleep in the morning. I like making lists, but sometimes I can be easily distracted. When it comes to formal presentations my preference is to be always well prepared.
I don’t give up easily; rather I will persevere like a dog with a bone.

As I have become older (and hopefully a tad wiser) sometimes I’ve become too much of a talk feast, which extends into long winded comments.

Best wishes

susan said...

lindsay - It's always fun reading your comments. I'm naturally a night person too but having to get up for work at 6am doesn't allow me to indulge the inclination :-)

Kirie said...

What a list! These sorts of responses to a meme remind me why I love them.
Your work is beautiful and so are you--in the photo, and in the philosophy you convey. This blog is a gallery of sorts for you, where you are in charge of how to present yourself, frame your work, highlight pieces, etc. I'm so glad you are choosing to post your work and your thoughts on it.
It's a gift to us.


susan said...

kirie - Why, thank you :-) I had no plan for phantsy when it began but as time has gone by it's taken on a life and theme of its own. The lovely and talented people I've met up here have inspired me. As the Beatles' said, 'and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.'