Saturday, January 10, 2015
Our animals give us the rare opportunity to love and to be loved unconditionally, and it is as they age that this love is the deepest. Unable to go for runs or rides with us, partially blind, deaf, incontinent, and lame, they bring out our best selves as we care for them until that terrible moment when we have to send them "over the rainbow bridge". Gray Horse" reminds us of what a privilege and an honor it is to have had these animals in our lives.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
With all of that, in some ways I'm still as confused as I was 8 months ago. I'm excited by the process, love the thrill of the transfer(will it work or not!!) and initially love the way it looks. But after a bit, after it settles in, I feel like it's not quite enough, and I'm not sure where to take it. With Smudge I went back to my beloved oils, which I haven't used in almost ten years. This piece is a combination of a transfer gone bad, collage, paint peels, and oil paint. I'm pleased with it, but am afraid it's a step backwards. In other words, been there, done that. I'm trying to go somewhere I've never been, never seen, and don't have a clue of how to get there except that I need to involve paint with photography, and that I need not to be careful, thoughtful, or to pre-plan where I'm headed. Makes it hard to pack for the journey.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
"No." he said, "Can't remember anything. It was too long ago."
Sunday, November 23, 2014
We now have a dog who is 14 and today my husband and I had "the talk" about him. He has become increasingly incontinent, and it seems that not a day passes that we don't have something to clean up, either inconspcious little brown turds that have dropped out, or diarrhea, which smells so foul that he he won't go anywhere near it. We can count on moist pillows in his crate from his urine leaking in the night and have to be very careful to get him out of the house as quickly as possible in the mornings before he lets loose with a deluge of nasty smelling old male dog pee. We don't see this situation getting any better, only worse.
Like many things in life, it's complicated. He is not a dog we are overly fond of, tending towards obsessive/compulsive and bizarre behavior. For example, he once lifted his leg, took aim, and then urinated on my ankle. Think autistic. However, aside from the incontinence, he is doing pretty well. He has a good appetite and manages to charge the fence in the back yard to bark at passing cars, people, and especially, other dogs. He sleeps a lot, but seems generally happy to be on the planet. I'm afraid that if we do put him down for our convenience, we will be filled with guilt, but at the same time, both of us are tired of living with an animal that we don't really like that has turned our home into a toilet. So, to keep that guilt at bay, we recently purchased three packages of doggie diapers....
Friday, November 7, 2014
Around the time of the transplant, he opened up a gallery in Albuquerque with another artist, Kim Arthun. Both felt the constrictions of normal gallery relationships and wanted to take more control for their own work. They also wanted to provide a "sane" venue for local artists, and that's what they did, providing Albuquerque with one it's best venues for seeing art that mattered. * In that extra 15 years he grew his son, maintained a loving relationship with his wife, did his art, hiked and camped and co-ran Gallery 208. Then, his kidney gave out, and once again he had to wait for another transplant. This kidney only lasted about three years, and finally, as Kim said at his service, he "tapped out" last week.
The service was held at a large church, and filled to capacity with all the people in Albuquerque who had been touched by Russell. Kim read his eulogy, and it was truly beautiful. He gave us a picture of Russell's life that was complete, but more importantly, he gave us the sense of how much their friendship mattered, and how much these two men loved each other. When my husband and I left the service, we each felt envious for what Russell and Kim had shared.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
In working this way I have to let go of most control, and I also have to accept that much of the success of this process is being in the right place at the right time. From having painted for over forty years, it's extremely difficult to paint without knowing what the paint will do. I know washes a little, but haven't worked with them much, since I've always liked to go back into the paint and work it until it becomes what I want. With washes, once you put the paint down, you have to leave it alone because the more you mess with it, the less chance you have of it working it's magic--and it's this magic and trusting in the universe that seem to be what I'm looking for.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
However, now, with the painting sold, what I saw was a complicated, triangulated relationship between the dog, the angel, and the bearded figure. Both the dog and the man are constructed from photographs of the Reverend Dennis, an African American folk artist/minister from Mississippi, in his late 80's when I met and photographed him. His world was a tangled overlay of religion, militarism, and paranoia(his antiquated hearing aid probably didn't help matters much). * The angel's body is made up of tumbleweeds and wire, as are her wings, and while she is looking benevolently at the bearded man, it's not completely clear what the dog is up to. His tail is up, and he is alert, not sure if he's barking a warning to the angel, or if he's ready to take a chunk out of the man. The man looks concerned, but not alarmed, and we are left not quite knowing what is about to unfold.