Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Funeral Music

While browsing last night I came across a couple blogs that were listing their choices if they could pick their own Funeral Music. Writing from the Inside Out and Layla's Classic Rock Faves. For the rest of the night, I kept thinking of song after song that I thought described how I felt about the people I would leave behind. I couldn't get them out of my head once I thought of them, so I caved in and made a playlist. I am sure this is not complete. Now that I have the "funeral project" burning in the back of my mind, I bet I think of several more songs I would want to include.

So now I ask anyone that reads this: What would you pick as your funeral music? Leave a comment with a link to your choices.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bragging Rights

Every parent thinks their kids are awesome. I am no more or less than the average mom. I just want to brag for a little while.

When he started this season out, he could not swim a 25ft race without stopping. He knew that to be in his age group, there was nothing less than a 50. Inspired by his older brother, he went to the pool twice a day every day. By the end of the season he had knocked nearly a minute off his freestyle and more than 20 second off his backstroke. He was told that if he worked hard at it he could be as good as his brother.

Well.. he may not be as fast, but he is definitely just as good.

The video tells the rest.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Knee Deep in Kids and Books

I have been enjoying my summer as a taxi cab driver, a vacation lounger on my own front porch, a gardener, a tea drinker and a reader. Not much art in all of that, but I count most of this as inspiration for later. The kids are not kids for very long and I have learned an important lesson from the first two. Every story and conversation I have with them means something. When none of us remember the subject matter of these conversations, we will remember that we had them and how much we enjoyed them. I will never regret putting down my pencil, paintbrush or book to hear the happy sounds of laid back summer conversation. It is the honey on the biscuit!

I have read this cover to cover, but have yet to really dive in and do the exercises. I like the way it is written. It reminds me of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity in the way it encourages you to explore the world you live in through writing practices. I am horrible about putting the book down and doing an exercise before continuing to read. My curiosity gets the best of me. I don't think it ruins anything in this book to do that.

I had every intention of starting the exercises as soon as I received the book, but the summer has been full of pleasant distractions. I am considering doing a series of exercises and thoughts on the book like I did with the New Earth Series.

I am still reading this book, but I have done some of the image streaming. Back in April, I came across some interesting links that eventually lead me to read the book. Even though most of the information is provided on Project Renaissance, I have a hard copy I can carry around with me and jot notes in the margins. Yes, I am one of THOSE people. If its non-fiction, I feel no shame in writing my books. I haven't done this yet, but I feel it coming. I have had some interesting results with the exercises I have tried and I look forward to trying out some of the problem solving ideas and variations.

I can see where this and "How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci" could work hand in hand. When I do decide to start up my notebook, I am going to include some of the ideas presented in this book as well.

Just in case I never make it to genius status with the other two books, I decided to get a back up plan!


This book has been on my wish list for a long time and for just a few extra dollars, after eliminating shipping costs, it finally became a reality. I am very glad I bought it. I have a feeling it is going to be one of those I keep on hand and refer to often as I try to improve my picture making. Its broken down into easily digested sections and has good examples of the concepts in each section. I am anxious to do a series of experiments, after reading this book.

We have to go on vacation in a week and shortly after we return, we will be having house guests. I think of this as recharging my inspiration battery. Normally, I would be grumbling about the lack of art time, but I feel like it is a waste of precious time to be grumbly instead of just enjoying what life brings you. If all I did was paint and draw, I would missing the whole reason an artist picks up an art tool. To feel. Maybe, just maybe, it will make a difference.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Watching a Heart Break

I had the misfortune of attending a memorial service for a 17 year old boy today. I did not know him personally, but in a community as small as ours, that does not matter. My children knew him. Their friends and significant others knew him and the grief was felt all the way to my house.

My son in Virginia could not attend the service, so I went in his place and gave a card with money enclosed instead of flowers. Flowers are always nice, but I know that at a time like this, the money helps relieve some of the burden that lasts long after the flowers are gone. No parent wants to think about getting life insurance on their child. When something like this happens, it is a double tragedy.

The service itself was as nice as it could be, considering the theme. I sat in front of some of the boys that went to school with him and until just days ago, looked forward to his senior year with him. I didn't turn to look, but I could hear their poor little half grown man hearts breaking behind me. Tears flowed down my face. I don't know why I do that.

I was doing fine. A leak here, a drop there. I felt a little strange about the tears falling down my face, but I was dealing with it one tear at a time. Then the father stood up to say a few words about his son. My chest got tight and I could feel my head pull to the side like I do when I want someone to veer one way or another via telekinesis. I have seen this man on countless occasions at the school. I have never seen him not looking strong and proud. When he lifted his chin to the microphone the pain in his eyes and the vulnerable look on his face opened the gates and I cried several tears before he started speaking. I bit my lips and my cheeks trying to swish away my tears with mouth motions. It helped, but didn't stop them.

Then he spoke. I have heard his voice several sets of bleachers away at football games. It is a strong booming voice that makes your belly vibrate when he yells. Today his voice cracked and was barely recognizable. He gripped the hands and pieces of the children around him and hung on for dear life as we all watched his heart break before our eyes. A piece of my heart searched for a way to come out of my body and wrap itself around his heart to heal it. He doesn't even know my name. I will never forget his face.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Take two

Sometimes these things really grab my attention and I can't put them down. This was one of them. Ok.. I think I am done.



Just playing with pencils in my sketchbook. I picked a pose from Deviant Art and dressed her up a bit to suit a character portrait. I haven't decided if I am going to play in color with this one. It is going to depend on how things go with the kids.

The kids are home from school and I am having a lot of fun playing with them. I love Summer vacation!

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