Yes, it is. And BETTER than ever. Its DAMN hard work writing and Self Publishing! Im gonna take a hot bath, but i LOVE MY BOOK, the content is exactly what i want!!! Just cross your fingers for the structure to hold up to the writing and artwork.
I recieved my paperback copy of my book , Nap Time Paintings yesterday. I am totally dissapointed. It looks like a cheap overpriced magazine. It was marketed to me as a coffee table book. I shouldn’t have shared it on Face Book and Word Press before I recieved my copy, I was just so excited. This is what it looks like two days at home:
Its a very sad thing.
Studio called, helped me, cupped me, marked me. Studio welcomed me back, still work on New Work for my Fall show and possible inclusion on my new website and book. Work on colors, new, or deeper colors. Try to take my purples farther. “Color is mood” someone said to me the other day. I say this to myself as I work. I start on collages in my notebooks. Ripp up old drawings I worked on this week.
Paint, add collage. Get excited. Print what is left on my plexiglass from yesterday when I did an art lesson on printmaking in Fionas class with the children. Again my true self emerged. I was my complete self teaching that class. Each kid made a beautiful print on nice paper.
I was inspired today in my studio from the experiments yesterday in Fionas class.
“Time to go for a walk babies, do you want to take Billy for a walk?” I say. We just finished eating pasta for dinner, “This is how we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face, this is how we wash our face early in the evening.” I sing as I attempt to clean Jack and Fiona’s spaghetti sauce faces. I do a good enough job, grab both babies out of their high chairs, carry them down the stairs, Jack slipping out of my arm, I make it to the bottom without dropping one, set them both down. I open the door to the garage, “Look Daddy’s home.” I say. Alan is putting out the trash. Jack and Fiona scurry around the garage, touching things they shouldn’t touch, playing with a half put together toy dump truck we got for their birthday. (Alan put the wrong screw in one of the wheels so now he needs a long screwdriver to get it out, the kind of thing that eventually goes to the dump without ever being used) I go upstairs and put on Billies leash, she’s shedding like crazy, big clumps of hair falling out, there’s no way to control it. I bring her downstairs and Alan has Jack and Fiona in the B.O.B. for me. “You guys need to learn how to do this” I say as I brush some of the clumps of hair off Billy. I imagine Jack and Fiona brushing Billy, loving her, taking care of her. She’ll probably be dead though before any of that actually happens. First we walk down the hill, “Billy’s sniffing, she loves to sniff, come on Billy, whoa!” she stops and pulls me backwards, “Billy, come on, you’re not going to pull me backwards on hills today, LET’S Go Girl!” I say. “Look at the trees guys, oh my god it’s going to be a bad night for pollen, can you feel the pollen in the air?” I say. Past the Bret Harte playground, I ask myself, is it really that bad? (I can’t get my first visits out of my mind, the dog poop, the dirty diaper in the corner, I won’t know until Jack and Fiona are older and we spend more time here, I think to myself.) I really like the big Oak Tree. Up the next hill I’m laughing out loud. Smiling, wondering if I’m crazy? Crazy happy? Why do I have so much energy tonight? I imagine People think I’m crazy when they hear me talking and laughing while walking Billy and pushing the stroller. Before the babies came Alan used to always tell me, “Stop talking to yourself.” Now technically I’m not talking to myself any more, I’m talking to Jack and Fiona. I’ve always talked to my dogs. It’s natural. “Do you see the trees? The half-moon in the sky? The single dove on the telephone pole? Look at this pinecone. The sun, no wait the sun is already down. Babies the sun is already down, but we’re lucky, we’ll make it home before dark. Oh my gosh, what if today was the last day we saw the sun? ” I think about it, the last day, that day will come. My new motto is “Keep on Movin’ Keep on Groovin’. Keep the wheels turning, that kinda thing. Yesterday it happened again, I got the babies down for their nap. I had to give them a bath, I didn’t use wipes at the park today. (the park I drove too, because at the time I think it’s a nicer park than my neighborhood park.) They have dirt on their legs, food on their faces, just messy! I watch the other moms at the park wiping the hands and faces of their babies several times. Sometimes thoughts appear in my mind, self-conciousness, “Do they think I’m a slob? I’m really dirty?” Even Alan has made comments after meals that I haven’t cleaned Jack and Fiona’s faces good enough and they are going to break out. Interesting huh? I wonder why people are so into cleanliness. Anyhow the babies were taking their nap, I had all my workout clothes on the floor, I was going to go through them and turn some into painting rags. I tell myself, “Just do it really fast” and I did. But I came upstairs to get some water, I decided I NEED to go to my studio and paint for a minute. Kaboom! I see the kitchen is a complete disaster, after the park I brought everything up and set it on the center Island. (The babies are asleep right now) I find myself walking around in circles picking stuff up, putting things in the sink, in the fridge, in new piles of like items. “STOP!” I say to myself. “Grab the baby monitor and water and Go to your studio!” I can finish cleaning later. I get into my studio. I’m feeling super inspired, is it the babies? Their passion for life? I don’t know but I’m feeling freedom. I paint fast and into new territories. I’m excited by the drawing I’m doing, the unconscious feeling I have when I paint with my few remaining usable paintbrushes, (I ruin all my paintbrushes, they turn hard as rocks) I grab a palette. The colors show up in my mind, I mix them. I use restraint not to overwork every single piece. I already have a huge pile of overworked pieces. (I may turn these into collage down the road) Its 5:30PM, I can’t believe the babies have slept so long. I finish up in my studio and go inside the house. (my studio is in the garage, built into the hillside. It stays the same temperature all year long) All is quiet, but I realize I had the wrong baby monitor. Oh well, they needed that rest and I needed to work in my studio no matter what. I walk in the house expecting to hear crying babies, but the house is still quiet. Sweet little babies, in their nursery, in their cribs. On white cotton sheets, a quiet peace surrounding Jack and Fiona as they sleep like babies, a sweetness I’ve never know before. Maybe comparable to a sweet late spring day, where the chimes chime in the breezy afternoon. The doors in the house, windows open, letting the light and smells of the day filter through my body. There are always sweet, lovely things to hang on to in life. Even on the most stressful, busy days.
What thought do I start with. The small flying orange creature that just flew into my house, my notebooks laying out downstairs, almost bare. One piece of black handmade paper collage is glued on each page. I want to go down and work on them now. Jack and Fiona are not taking a nap. They are watching Toy Story. I can feel the naptimes are almost over. A little boy showed me his Dark Vader ice pack from his lunch box today as I pack up Jack’s left over lunch stuff. The teacher wants each kid to pick up their own lunch stuff. I’m the mom who comes in and picks up after her son. But I want to get to know his classmates, who he’s hanging out with. Jack spills a bucket of old daisies on the floor, they are dried out. A few sprinkled down on top of one of the girls sleeping mats. I pick up the flowers, leaving dust on the carpet, too difficult to pick up. A little girl asks me about the flowers. I say Jack picked them and brought them to school last week. He wanted to pass them out to the other kids. The girl and I talk about sewing the flowers together, making headbands. I tell the teacher she could use them to make prints. Two little ones are dosing off to sleep next to a teacher. They have their toy stuffies over their faces. I could tell a lot of them weren’t going to actually fall asleep. I put Jack and Fiona in their beds when we get home. I come upstairs. Hear them. Check on them. Soap all over the mirrors. They are not going to take a nap. I give them a bath. We read toy story and I decide to just play the movie for them so I get a break. The end of naptime. The end of naptime paintings and writings. It will now become something else. Some other piece of time carved out of motherhood. I will find it. Time will adjust. Now I have to go to my studio for a VERY SHORT TIME and make marks in my notebook.
Painting. Why do we paint? What are we painting for? Who are we painting for? What are we trying to communicate in our paintings, if anything? How has Facebook changed our lives as painters, with a 24-hour audience? How has being painters altered our lives? How does it alter our day to day activities? How we look at and respond to the world? Do we have a collective voice? Are we bonded as painters? Have we become one?
Naptime. Friday. Paintings worked on, getting closer to where I want to go. The layering, the foggy, dusty eyes. Texture creating memory, on the canvas becoming a rivers edge, always changing, eroding and coming back again. On paper, in my notebooks a moment. A flash of time, a scrap of paper with paint drops from several painting sessions, a little mini journal on my studio floor. A tiny scrap, taking on a life of its own. Walked on, stomped on, drawn on, glued on. “Notebook project” taking on a larger life. Prototype made, Rives BFK, four sheets, painted on separately, folded and sewn together, is sculptural, physical. Trying to connect with the canvas in the same way. Getting closer. Not easy. Skin dry, paint spots on it, neck tired, body tired. Still have to be mom. Babies waking up soon. Need to get energy. Had crazy week. Realized I am crazy. Need to take break, need to get head clear. Dentist said I have grinded my teeth down, bad. Need to start meditating again. I lied last week when I say I don’t have moments when I say I need to do this or that, I need to change. I do still say that, feel that. Or should I accept my grinding teeth? Paint every chance I get. Not take a break? Forget to re-order my checks. Forget everything but the most essential? I need to go now. Sit outside in the sunshine before the babies wake up from their naps.
Sunday. A DAY I normally don’t spend in the Studio. But it’s naptime and I haven’t been in my studio for days. This was a must. And Good Thing! I painted “Creepy Kitty Lady and Scary Pumpkin Face”. An acrylic painting on a large unstretched canvas. I LOVE it! Since I’ve decided to focus on painting for awhile I’ve completely gone back to my roots. My large unstretched figurative canvases. I had to get in here today. Naptime was my only option.
It’s almost time to go back in the house. I take a deep breath.Go in. Drink water. Take a bunch of deep breaths. let the October changing sky, light, shadows coming, crispness in the air guide our night. Let the mood guide us. If there’s more cranky whining I will light some candles, drink a glass of wine and tell the babies stories and give them whatever food they want.