Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just started new 5x5 footer

A little more realistic but distorted. Head itself is almost the full 5' in height.
Not sure where this one is going. The previous canvas was from imagination and a little too cartoony for my tastes. This one is referencing a photo. Though I think working from a photo makes imagery more static. So for third one, I will try mirror.

Friday, July 30, 2010

think i am done with this drop cloth

grease pencil, charcoal, acrylic on drop cloth.
5' x 5'
weight is negligible compared to my normal work

need to do a few more.

It's gone

As I stepped in for a moment, I just missed the fading of the orange sky. Its slipped back to grays and blues as the sun sinks swallowed up by tommorrow. I can hear the crickets over the traffic's to and fros. The rumble of the early evening train. There is the slightests of breezes skimming across my cheeks and arms with a mildly humid cling. A few birds speak. I don't know them but they are more noise than song. My nostrils flare again not for scent of evening but that weird body reaction to fought sadness. So I sit out here looking at a star like planet begin its twinkle, slap a mosquito or two and wait for it to pass like another day.

Location:Harrisburg Blvd,Houston,United States

Thursday, July 29, 2010

aaaggh!! such a good idea foiled!

so i took a kitchen hot water (for hot tea and such) on demand kit plus some crazy plumbing adapters and connected it directly to a kitchen sink faucet i had already adapted to my bathroom sink. This was going to be my source of hot water. DOUBLE DANG!!

one fundamental problem. On the instant hot water maker there is a vent tube. This tube is designed to go WITH the faucet that came with it but, darn it all, i am not using that faucet because i want to blend the hot water with the cold to get it "just right." this vent tube  is required and if you cap it or pinch it off you'll blow up the machine due to a build up of water pressure. FOILED FOILED. I can't see a work around. So I'll return that dang thing after most a day spent fidgeting to try and make it work. Oh sans hot water ... DANG DANG DANG. There really isn't room in the space for a mini tank water heater. Oh cold water how i don't like your chill on my bones any longer!


little 4 gallon wall mount plug and play water heater. I don't like the unattractive bulk, but I'll be danged if I didn't have warm water in less than 5 minutes after I plugged it in!!!! "YES YES YES AMEN," SHE SAID! Just don't ask me to do any real plumbing! If it's just a matter of screwing things on I am goo, but if I have to cut rotten pipe and glue on new parts, forget it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drop cloth drawings hopefully headed for Peru

Five x five drop cloth that I am not quite done with is kind of small for me. I'll throw down two more but I am going to give one or two twelve by fifteen footers a shot. Then pick one to roll up and send to Peru with some other painters. Wow art that is light weight and portable--an unheard of concept in this girl's studio. The canvas is ok but I am still partial to the color, texture and absorbant characteristics of that brown shipping paper and newsprint. Perhaps some day I'll discover archival paper with the same qualities.

Monday, July 26, 2010

mosquito larva sampler

Some things are hard to throw away, like this turkey baster. I remember being a little miffed when it was converted to a storm drain mosquito larva sampler. I got over it quickly enough once it dawned on me that we very rarely hosted family events since we were kidless and had weird holiday schedule due to working in the church which made us not very available for hosting typical turkey basting events. And then there is that fact on the rare occasion when I did host, I fixed standing rib roast not turkey. I think I've fixed one turkey over the course of two decades.

Anyway, said turkey baster to mosquito larva sampler to art tar dispenser is now on its way to one of houston's ten active landfills.

Its life as a larva sampler is why it is hard to dispose of since once I do I will have nothing to spur that memory to reoccur or to help it stay in my mind. But I need to clean my studio and I simply can't keep everything tied to a memory. So today it will travel to the landfill and perhaps this post will help me stay connected to my memories i value.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

98/48 me and my gram

In a little less than a year and a half my gram will be 100 years old. I suppose that means, assuming no accidents or funky ailments, I am nearly 1/2 way there. Makes my cup 1/2 full. Dang!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thanks for coming out

Houston Chronicle article
To fill the empty BOX. if you couldn't make it, but want to help support the BOX 13 artSpaces, 501c3, you can make an online donation from our website. Click pink donation  button.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I was putting out some of my non-tire tubular work out in my studio for tomorrow's empty BOX fund raising event and I realized I have a series of emotional self portraits spanning five years.

2005, Paris, France
a pivotal time in my shift from designer to artist, from invisible to visible, from voiceless to finding my voice. I began allowing myself to experience my emotions and stopped my Vulcan practices.

~9'x 3' grease pencil and acrylic on fabric

2006, CSAW, Houston
I made the full shift over to artist with the help of my former husband. "if you're going to be an artist, do so professionally." okay then. it was like finally stepping into my own skin, being an artist was like coming home to who i was created to be. I joined a collective for my studio space to try and prevent to much isolation. Unlike my previous jobs, i would simply have no contact with others if I didn't intentionally join a group, no bumping into people at a water cooler or grabbing a bit to eat with a coworker friends. Without a group, I would be fully alone for 8-12 hours a day, that seemed unhealthy. So the collective became important ti me. And i needed my tribe more than ever. Even with being a part, most my work time is in an alone contemplative state. That works, but it means my time with others is incredible important and I needed that time and I needed the contact.

~4' x 7' grease pencil, charcoal, and acrylic on cardboard (my table saw box)

2008, BOX 13 artSpace, Houston
A hand full of us began BOX 13 artspace--a very good thing but stressful since my strengths are not in business. Though my alone time for art making was good, it magnified my relational needs. So this weird thing of simultaneously becoming at peace and comfortable with who I am and my relational world imploding occurred.

~3' x 6' grease pencil, charcoal, gauche, and acrylic on packing paper (my tablesaw box)

2010, I-park, East Haddam, CT
And as my success as artist takes off, the world which was incredibly important to me exploded and is no longer accessible to me. Some blamed the art thinking it took me to a dark place, but I don't believe that to be so. The art uncovered things I struggle with but didn't want to face, it uncovered my needs I cognitively refused to acknowledge. It uncovered and exacerbated unworked through areas of life. It has been very messy and heart rending. I hope I survive to see who I am as I work through all this. I know I will but some days are much harder than others.

~5' x 7' grease pencil, charcoal, tape, and acrylic on packing paper

Monday, July 12, 2010

More crazy beautiful growth

Cactus and now sunflowers(?) amongst the tubes. It is the interesting
way of things that appear as trash and repeatedly prove otherwise.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

OMG a little crazy over kill

On the faucet installed on a bathroom sink, but it will be so useful-- rinsing and washing art, dishes, and a dirty Kathy.

Crazier still I intend to hook a little kitchen hot water on demand to it and wallA! a hot shower at my studio (yes there is a floor drain and even the walls are tiled--making the space highly multifunctional).


I just saw a cow stuck between two trees that seem almost ajoined at their bases and flair apart as they reach for the sky.. Said cow is wedged hip deep, her hip bones preventing her from moving forward and her rib cage preventing her from reversing out. She'll actually have to pop a wheely to reverse out or throw those hind legs up elevating her hips and fall forward to escape I suppose. Definitely a predicament that will kill her if she doesn't find a solution. There has gotta be a metaphor screaming in that to get out. I just can't see it yet. Didn't know whether to laugh or feel bad for miss cow.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Awe. I am dirty and sweaty which naturally means it was a good day.

Let's see...i hung some screen doors (harvested from the city's reuse center designed to reduce flow to our ten active Houston landfills=free) on my studio. Ah, perfect fit and color coordinated. And the joy of drilling through porcelain tile (sarcasm) and adding mounting anchors for the doors. Had plumber fix some 1948 rotten bathroom pipes I didn't have the expertize to fix. When he finished I began installing new faucet fixtures, of course, something nonstandard for a bathroom. So I had to drill a larger hole in the porcelain sink. Naturally I didn't google the how to and thus worked directly counter to what I should have been doing all while using an old used up drill bit. Thirty minutes later and only 1/16 to an 1/8 of an inch or so in, I decided google might be my friend. Dang. I broke down and popped some cash on a Brutus drill bit (half the price of a Rigid?) AND FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS and was through the inch and a half of porcelain in under four minutes. Yeah. Almost fully installed but of course when I tried to hook up to the water lines protruding from the wall, I've got male to male fittings. :) so it will be another depot run to get a dual female mounting adapter! Home repair job you think is going to take at the most thirty minutes and cost a hundred bucks....ha! But it was productive--doors hung and a faucet with a pullout sprayer. Needed both!! A good day.

Crazy but it does give me a hankering to literally build my own house.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Yes. I think this is so...

"You will only grieve something that means something to you...Grief is actually a way of honoring"

Yup. But I do need to keep getting on with it. I do need to really reestablish living outside of grief. It is time Kathy.

Life things I learned during my time at I-Park (things I need to):
  • Develop a rhythm to my day and need to figure out how to establish it in any environment;
  • Create a nest, a physical space to call home;
  • Have regular access and nearness to green;
  • Keep focusing on my surrounds--listening, seeing, smelling, touching--which helps me be alive, so I need to focus (writing helps with this).
  • Hand off things I am not built for--I am not an administrator or manager (though I already knew this), I need to let some of these types of things be passed on to others;
  • Hold my breath more often before speaking, making more room for truly hearing not just the words but the soul;
  • Continue looking, recognizing, focusing on and sharing the gifts I am given;
  • Remember and practice writing which helps me focus on living, helps me be present;
  • Allow myself to finish mourning my losses;
  • Envision and dream of a future (without vision the people perish) and move towards it;
  • Continue to recognize that God is not punitive, I do not have to look over my shoulder for his wrath--this is simply a lie I have been told--this lie has been repeatedly proven false; 
  • Know that god is infinitely good even when it makes no sense at all; Look for the goodness Kathy. I will and am.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Journey (by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

I don't actually read much poetry but I find hearing others' experiences in this form helpful and thought provoking...I tend towards poetry not about earthy nature but the nature of the inner workings of human experience expressed via earthy parallels.

"all men by nature desire to know." Aristotle

For me the type of knowing that pulls on me the most involves understanding how and who we are and how that shapes are relationships and our living and how we might move with more depth and love and understanding the things that hinder that. I think we each have a drive to know but what it is we want to know differs with each of us. I have had intimates who needed to know the beast and birds of the field, others who needed to understand their past and how to heal from it, others who sought the next best sale, those who sought the internal workings of the computer...

My desk is clear. Box business sorted out, fall syllabus and projects ready to be reviewed and refined, xxx,xxx worth of legal paperwork filed away (perhaps fodder for a memoir or two...but not on this rainy day and not to come out of anger or hurt). It is time to move forward, stepping away from shut doors that are not to be returned to. It is time to let go of grief. It is time.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

need to get back to morning writing and not blogging.


i picked up 750 pounds of black rubber refuse today because someone thought of me when they received the truckload (not a pickup truck) :) it was stripped off the side of a building and functioned as waterproofing. manufactured by the same groups that make the many of the tubes i use, it is similar in thickness to the remnant combine tubes and has a nice rusty like patina from the residual adhesive which affixed it to the building. my trucks load capacity limited me to taking half a box of the stuff...about 7 1/2 more boxes (~4'x 4' x 4' each) remain at the refuse/refurbish/recycle center used to reduce the construction waste stream to Houston's landfills. storage is an issue for me so i will not be able to accept it all :| unless someone has a ranch and would like to let me start storing completed works there :)

the door is shut

thank god the door is closed. that statement/thought seems so wrong. i don't want to thank him because it feels wrong to be grateful; it feels unloving to be grateful; it feels belittling of the door's attendant, whom I have loved for so long, to be grateful. so in spite of this, because god knows what i cannot know, peering far into my future, emerging with me from my past, and whispering comfort even now, knowing each hair on my head, i thank god for my own spiritual health and well being. i am ashamedly learning to be grateful that the door is closed.

i shall not want
he makes me lie down in green pastures
he leads me beside quiet waters
he restores my soul

artificial constructs.

others' false constructs built about another person as a coping mechanism are so startling; these defense mechanisms used to try to hold one's own image of the self together seem so incredibly human though. most these mechanisms were learned in early childhood and they are repeated in adulthood even when ineffectual and damaging. I actually haven't met anyone, whom i have spent time with, that does not do this to varying degrees. I see it so clearly in others. i know if they do it, i cannot be immune. i try to locate within myself and disassemble my own constructs; i know this is not fully possible for anyone, but can be done to some extent if one is willing to honestly look within, setting pride and wounds aside, and examining their own history. as i work to see how i might be doing this, i try to forgive others of the false or exaggerated constructs they have built about me in order to hold themselves together and justify/rationalize their own actions and inactions. Both are hard work. aaaggh.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Rationalizing Anger

"You can prolong your anger by rationalizing it or blaming others for it rather than accepting full responsibility for your part. To rationalize something means "to cause it to seem reasonable," when it may not be reasonable at all.

Listen to some rationalizations:
* It's not my fault I am angry.
* --- does not deserve to be forgiven. I'm not going to let him or her off the hook that easy.
* Why should I bother when my --- isn't even trying?
* --- wasn't sorry enough.
* I have had such a hard life."

This reminds me of the story of the prodigal son and older brother which i believe is really a story about the father and his example of love, forgiveness, and connection. We are not called to be like the sons (except the coming home part), though each son resides inside us to varying degrees, I am called to be like the father--embracing both sons when they are ready, offering welcome, accepting amends, hoping and believing and gifting to trust. The father did not accept either child begrudgingly, he did not say to the younger child, "well you are not sorry enough or repentant enough. i don't believe you." he did not force that child to get on his knees and beg, he did not even demand an explanation. he simply opened his arms and accepted his child as the child presented himself (as is) when he arrived home. risky. he did not force the older child to accept his brother, he simply, instead assured that child of his love for him, his connection with him as family and that all that he had was his as well. i wonder if it reduced the older child's fear. it appears to me that the older brother, continued in his resentment and contempt for his brother. I am called to be like the father, to forgive and accept amends and to risk the reestablishment of trust. I may not see amends given or accepted in this lifetime, but if and when they come, when the opportunity arises, give me the hope and faith to forgive and embrace. I cannot live like the older child. I have lived there for far to long. Let me be like the prodigal returning home, let me be like the father. Let me set aside false pride and rationalized anger that I might use to hold my world together and hold others at bay. Let me set aside constructs I have built to try and understand the nature of the others. Let me forgive the constructs others have built about me in order to hold their own world and self together. Let me not choose the illusion of self protection, when in fact it does nothing even remotely protective. Both children belonged to the father, they were and are his. They both loved the father though they could not see how this was so in the other. Help me in my disbelief.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Awe. My cacti growing, still, even while I was away

i find this incredibly amazing and hopeful in spite of houston's humidity that these remnants of frozen cacti could simply be tossed into a heap atop trashed inner tube tires AND GROW! some things are incredibly resilient, others are not. which will i choose to be? i hope resilient.

I-Park residency experience

click here
or use blog archive (scroll down on right) select june and may 2010.

Landed 4,500 miles later...

Not as far as 2004, 2006, or 2007. Perhaps it means I am not done this year. I see a tent in the woods, under starlight, atop a mountain in my near future. Hike in the morning, reading in the heat of day (and a few lesson plans), gazing at the milkyway come night and praying I don't smell like bear food. But for now, laundry time, vacuuming up 100+ roaches (yes that bomb i set off before i left in May, worked. yeah!), and paperwork (yuk!).