Saturday, April 12

Visiting my Parents

Paul and I drove up to CT to see my parents today. Mom was put on hospice care about two months ago, but I naively hoped that this might have been more about changing her type of care rather than a real harbinger of what was coming. That did seem to be the case at first, but she has been declining suddenly just lately. I spoke with hospice people twice this past week, and a little with Mom herself, and decided I could not wait till next month for my next visit. I'm in the last few weeks of a graduate degree program, and we were/are planning to celebrate with my parents on Mother's Day in May, two days after I graduate. Was/am hoping to show Mom my diploma and tell her I am grateful to be following in her footsteps. (Always a hard worker, she got a Master's from Columbia when she was a brand-new mother!)

We stopped and picked up Dad first. 

Dad asked me to bring him toothpaste. He couldn't recall the kind he liked so Paul got him a variety.

Saw this old photo of my parents in my Dad's apartment.

Mom loves flowers

Mom was asleep and slept heavily throughout our entire visit. Dad was being very brave.

Even though Mom was sleeping we got some snuggling in

She loves cats: I hope she enjoys the company of a few furry friends when she wakes up!

This is a natural phase in existence, but it is incredibly painful. Driving home we were listening to a talk by Edward Hirsch and he quoted this beautiful poem:

Life flows to death as rivers to the sea /And life is fresh and death is salt to me. (J.V. Cunningham)
Of course, everyone is hoping she will pull up out of this recent nose-dive, and she could! She's always been so strong. Keep the river flowing Mom... 

Thursday, April 10

Dawn Brushes Rose

Just a typical day at the sink in art school 
Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?

Wednesday, April 9

Poetry Poke

again the artist comes to the studio with unkempt hair ~ parody of Chiyo-ni
April is National Poetry Month here in the U.S. I majored in English at University, with a concentration in poetry but I somehow missed out on studying any asian poetry traditions at all! I later discovered various traditions on my own. Fukuda Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiya, 1703-1775) was a buddhist nun, a calligrapher and a painter in addition to being one of the foremost haiku masters of the Edo period in Japan. The poem of hers that I respectfully parodied is this:

again the women
come to the fields
with unkempt hair

Monday, April 7

Book Contract!

Yesterday we had a momentous evening! Paul signed the contract for his book, working titled "The Boss Life" which will be published by Blue Rider Press (an imprint of Penguin Books) in Fall 2015. I'm so proud of him!

Wednesday, January 15

King Cake...Ka-ching!

I got the coin in the King Cake! Along with the possibility of heavy metal poisoning (note the pretty green oxidizing surrounding the coin)  I guess it signifies wealth a-comin' at me in the new year! I'm just grateful I did not break a score! Except, it's a Euro. So I can't actually spend it, dang! Is this some kind of sneaky zen koan?

Here is the cake before it was cut up, a real beauty made by my friend Helen. And it was delicious too (once the coin-y and bean-y bits were excised!) King Cakes often have pastel colored icing or bright sugar toppings, but Helen is an artist as well as a natural foods enthusiast so she went her own way with this, to great effect. Here's a recipe for anyone interested:

Tuesday, December 24

Xmas Eve Amox!

Ho Ho Ho! Here's a little Xmas eve present for me, a nice bottle of antibiotics! I've been more or less ill since the evening of Dec 13th....I thought it was just a virulent cold and that I was getting slowly better but this morning I either had a relapse or started afresh on illness number two (which appears identical to illness number one.) My physician didn't even bother to see me again: when I called the office to see if I could come in (again) the receptionist wouldn't make me an appointment, she just took a message and an hour later called to say the doctor had phoned in a prescription (unspecified) to the drugstore. Phoned it in about sums it up. I guess it's xmas eve and nobody really wants to be working, but this is not confidence-inspiring.  Not sure why if it's "just a virus" as the doctor decreed at last week's office visit, that I'd suddenly need an antibiotic? Without another check-up or even a phone consult? Ho Ho Ho!  #feelingrumpyandlousyandUNCONFIDENTinmyhealthcareprovider

Follow Up: The antibiotics worked like a charm. So, I guess my doctor knew what she was doing after all! ;-)

Sunday, December 22

The Three Brothers

Everybody is home for a little while anyway. There's something about having all three fledglings back in the nest again however briefly...says Mama Bird with a contented little chirp!  That really is all I wanted for Christmas. ~♡♫♡♡~

End of Semester!

My newest obsession project!
The semester ended a week ago with my showing both paintings and also my newest project, a series of photos playfully exploring personality and identity. Its working title is Re/Present. So far I have done 27 sessions, all but one with just one person at a time, friends, family and fellow graduate students whom I think of as my collaborators.  I've made a blog of selected images over at Tumblr but a) I am waiting to get the okay from all my collaborators before going public and b) I am having some trouble with the Tumblr interface: I find it much more difficult to configure and control than Blogspot. ;-( So I may in fact scrap it and start all over again on Blogspot...but I'll keep you all posted either way.

Here I am inbetween two mediums: digital and canvas! Photo: Kathleen Hogan
A big crowd at my review!  Photo: Kathleen Hogan

It was a rough week leading up to the final review on Friday, with an art opening, several snow days, weather cancellations, and sudden family health emergencies in CT necessitating a lot of extra confabulating with siblings and parents and almost as soon as Friday's effort was over I immediately became sick. After the last review on that last day I had my coat on and was standing at the school entrance with a bunch of fellow students getting ready to go out and have a celebratory drink. I suddenly felt wham! an enormous clout of shaky exhaustion. I made an excuse and went straight home and was sick for this past entire week! A terrible bad cold, I guess but more like a mini-flu, fever, congestion, sore throat, aches, etc. worse than any cold I've ever had. Anyway, just starting to feel the recovery has started as of today, one week and one day later! Oh well...onwards and upwards!

illustration by Norman Rockwell

Saturday, November 30

Henry and Art

Henry came home from his boarding school the previous Saturday for a full week of Thanksgiving vacation. We started his break off by going to the Astrid Bowlby exhibition and Gallery Talk at Gallery Joe last Saturday night:

It was a packed house



Henry attended his first art opening on his ONE MONTH birthday, and it has just gone on from there, so it's an atmosphere he is comfortable with and also seems to naturally enjoy, at least for short periods of time.

The next day we visited my studio at PAFA:

We looked at my new piece (on the right) hanging in a small group show 

and we also visited the PAFA vending machines...very much appreciated in every way.

 These big boxes that light up, and hum, and show you lots of snacks and then you GET one of the snacks and you can eat it! It is like the most perfect kind of art really, when you think about it...

Not so sure about this one and what it wants from him? :-)

Henry is a catalyst for re-examining preconceived notions of the world, that's for sure. We took in a few more shows:

Hen responded positively to The Artist's Response to Tonalism show

Judging by the number of stims per square inch, I think his favorite was this small piece by Al Gury

And he was as good as gold in the other galleries as well. Another nice thing is that most museum/gallery goers seem to be generally sophisticated/broadminded and savvy people, we rarely get more than a brief glance and a friendly smile when Henry flaps his hands (stims) with excitement, or gives the occasional happy little skip (which can be a surprising move enacted by a six foot five inch young man.)  I guess it is pretty well understood that art-loving comes in all shapes and forms...