Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Oil on Panel

I received a Oneness Blessing last night. I don't know exactly what made me want to go. I took my oldest daughter and she was pretty anxious about the whole thing. Afterwards we went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse and had a Bloomin' Onion. I love those things. She loves them too. I love her. She loves me. There was an abundance of love all over the place.

This morning every child in my house left. The house got very very quiet and it was a strange feeling. I haven't had a day all alone in my house since Mr. Coast Guard came home. He leaves tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn and I think I miss him already. That's not hard to do since he is at his girlfriends house until her parents kick him out later tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Oil on Panel

I had to go to jury duty today. We live in a small town. Trials that involve a jury are a big deal. I got there early. I am not sure why I felt like I had to be there early, but I did. I didn't want to scare anyone, so I pulled my hair back into a ponytail and put on some make up. Once the jurors were all gathered, the court secretary had us all go into an empty room and sign a roster. The defendant reached an agreement at 4:30 a.m. So here I was, all dressed up and nowhere to go. Early. That will teach me to be so curious, I suppose.

So I brought this sense of curiosity to the easel and started to paint. What if I painted in the kitchen instead of the computer room? What if I painted a half torso? What if I painted myself painting? What if I use that green again? What if I play with all of these triangles I see? What if I use this brush? What if I try to put all of this on a little 6x6 panel?

I got a really bad start on this. I nearly gave up at the initial drawing. 6x6 can be crazy small for someone who loves to paint details. I could pick this to death, but I think I will just celebrate curiosity and clean up instead.

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Monday, May 19, 2008


Grateful - Self Portrait
6x6 Oil on Panel

Honesty is a lot more than telling the truth or being fair with others. It is being able to look at yourself in the mirror and appreciating the person looking back. It sometimes means reaching deep inside yourself and forgiving yourself for things you can no longer change. At the same time it is taking ownership of of the wrong and making today as right as it can be.

I started my day telling someone I have owed an apology to for years that I am sincerely sorry. I am incredibly grateful for that opportunity. As a direct result, the face staring back in the mirror at me was softer. I didn't mind looking at her for hours. It started with a quick sketch and when that wasn't enough, I moved on to paint.

I have no explanation for the green other than it was there. I was in a green mood, I guess. Green could mean growth. Green could mean Go. Who knows. It just felt right for today.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Left Hand Madness and Real Love

More Sketches on 18x24 Newsprint

I am really enjoying my "doodle time". Most of this is my left hand (I am right handed) without looking. I love the way my left hand has no boundaries as to where it will go to make a mark. It is kind of like watching a baby veer to and fro in an effort to maintain balance on those first few steps.

Drawing blindly with my left hand amuses me. The drawings are so bad they are funny. The first close-up is half blind and half corrected with a lot of laughter in between. This is me, making fun of myself drawing. Yes, I really do get a crazy look on my face when I am drawing. Yes, I really do move my mouth, like its going to help guide my pencil in the right direction. Yes, I really do wear sweatshirts when everyone else is in shorts.

The second close up is a quick impression of my daughter sitting on the stairs near my desk. I love how she holds her feet and wiggles her lanky legs. I love how her arms and legs seem so very long on her 5'3" body and appears to be much taller than that. I love that far away look she gets when she is thinking. I love her long hair and I love her long toes. I love how she can't stop singing no matter how many times she is told to "be quiet". I love how she holds her hands limp at her wrists when they have nothing to do. I love how she grins from ear to ear when she wakes up from the semi-dream state like this and realizes I have been sketching her. I love how very humble she is, even though she is a fantastic singer, dedicated writer and incredibly thoughtful family member. (She is the kid that goes around the house reminding everyone to buy birthday presents and sing happy birthday when a sibling wakes up). I love her loud. I love her quiet. I love her. I just love her.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blind Contour and Left Hand Sketches

Charcoal and Pencil on 18x24 Newsprint

Blind contour drawings (Drawing without looking) are very good to get the hand eye coordination going. Drawing with your off hand is also a very good excercise. The top are blind contour drawings with my left hand. They force me to really look at what I am drawing.

The second page is a bunch of everything. Quick sketches, blind contours, left hand drawing and just playing with charcoal. I was really surprised at how easily I could draw with my right hand after doing so much with my left. It was great practice.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Poodle Skirts and Prom Dresses

This is an art blog and I haven't posted much art lately. I have been doing sewing projects like Poodle skirts and Prom Dresses. My girls are doing a Grease Musical for their choir concert tonight. I made a black one (pictured) with matching hair ribbon and a pink one with a matching neck scarf (not pictured)

The bottom is a picture of the prom dress I made for my sons girlfriend. She is amazing and I was very happy to do this for her.

I took 4 years of Home-Ec in High school. I finished my requirements in my freshman year. They didn't even have 4 years worth of classes. My Home-Ec teacher called my last year "Individual studies" so they had something to put on my report card. When I sew something up for my kids, it feels good to justify why I took all those extra classes.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Daughter of the Spirit

Kathryn Faucett

Meldia, Anna and William Faucett

My mother (top picture)was Kathryn Mary Anna Faucett. She gave birth to me on March 16, 1966 in Hermiston, Oregon. I am not sure how old she is in this picture. In fact, I know very little about her, except for stories told to me by my grandmother and her friends. She died when I was three and I was raised by my grandparents, her parents. (Bottom picture)

My grandmother used to scold me when I would try to call her mom. All of the other kids had a mom and I wanted one badly. I had a dad. It must have been quite confusing to my teachers at school. My dad was married to my Grandma. My dad was my mothers father. My dad was quite a bit older than most dads. He was, of course, my grandfather by birth, but Grandma approved of me calling him dad because I didn't have a dad of my own. I did have a mother. "She is gone, but we will never forget her" my grandmother used to say. Grandma used to tell me that my mothers spirit was always right there behind my shoulder watching me and keeping me safe. I used to point behind my back and ask "Is she right here? Can you see her?" Grandma used to smile and say "Yes, I think I do see her! She is smiling because she loves you so much!" Grandma told me that if I really wanted to see her, I need only look into the mirror because I looked just like her.

I will be honest. It was strange to carry around that face. I remember going to a nursing home to visit an old relative and he bent down to take a look at me and called me Kathy. People that knew my mother would always comment about how much like her I was. I felt like I was sharing an identity, in a strange sort of way. I used to go into the bathroom and crawl up on the sink and talk to myself in the mirror hoping that somehow the spirit behind me or inside me or all around me would one day talk back.

Grandma could not have known what a powerful gift she gave me. Later, when I was 7 years old, Grandma also died. Because I had grown up believing that my mother was behind me, when Grandma died, she took her place next to my mother. I spent a large part of my youth being haunted in the most wonderful way. It was very difficult to do things I absolutely knew was wrong right there in front of Grandma and Mom. I cannot tell you how many times I avoided trouble because of it. I was no poster child of goodness. I did, however, get into a lot less trouble than I might have if I did not have them watching over me.

Life got a little bit twisted up and tangled after Grandma died. Dad (my grandfather) got remarried and I ended up becoming a ward of the state. I lived in a few different foster homes. I ran away a couple of times. I had no fear that bad things would happen to me because I felt safe and blessed. In fact, my case worker put me as far out in the country as she could to keep me from running. It didn't really matter where she put me, because anywhere I went, I had Grandma and Mom right there behind me.

When I had band concerts, they told me I did a wonderful job. When I got good grades, they told me I was a very smart girl. When I got bad grades, they told me this was not going to be acceptable. Every accomplishment was praised. Every mistake was forgiven. They were always on my side. They always understood my side of things in a dispute. I didn't belong to the world. I was theirs. I was Anna Marie, daughter and grandchild of the spirits. I had a purpose and a door to divinity. I was the daughter that would live and make things right.

Had my mother and grandmother lived, I might not have had so much support and unconditional love. I probably would not have spent nearly as much time with them. I might not have turned to them in my greatest hours of need. I probably would not have confided my whole life to them. In their death, I was given a miracle of eternal mothering. What a beautiful definition of mother to take into my own family and use for my own kids.

As a sane adult, I tell people that I know I made all of this up in my mind. I cannot prove that there were spirits behind me. At the same time its wonderfully synchronistic that given the path my life would take I would be given this amazing strength to lean on when I needed it. In a world of easy come, easy go, I had stability. Where so many of my peers ended up heading down a rough path in their adulthood, I managed to turn north. Most foster kids end up repeating their family problems. I beat the odds. I could not have done it without them.

Happy Mothers day!