Thursday, March 30, 2006

a painting retrospective

I used to paint pretty regularly. Oil. Portraits. For years. Positively loved it and can't believe I can't make time for it now. I'm sure that my style would have evolved tremendously over time and I would have welcomed that because I was just getting a handle on the basics when I quit painting all the time. There was a good reason for changing gears in my life, which I'll go into another time, but I do mourn the loss of time and growth.

Meanwhile, I am sure that some growth occurs just by living life. Even when I am not actively drawing or painting, I still look at everything from an artist's point of view. I notice light and patterns and perspective. I am aware of composition and emotion in all things. I make judgements on what I like and why, and what I don't like and why, as well. I think the "why" is important - nothing is more irritating to me than to hear someone say, "Well, I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." A proclamation of ignorance is not a disclaimer. If you don't know WHY you like or dislike something, then you don't have much ground for an opinion.

age 11 Here are three paintings I did of my daughter over time. In the pink dress, she is eleven years old. We got some great photos from that session, but she was obnoxious. I wanted to choke her with the pearls! And I wanted to hug her for being herself. She knew who she was at an early age and she was never afraid to challenge me in any way. As trying as that is for a parent, it is good to know that a strong spirit lives in your child. Should you not be able to protect her, she still has a chance at protecting herself. My daughter was born strong.

age 14 In the blue dress and straw hat, my daughter is fourteen. Going on twenty-four. I had visions of locking her in the garage until she was of proper age, but that never really is an option, now is it?

age 18 In the white sailor blouse she is eighteen. Deceptively grown-up looking. She pulled away from me so hard that I had to let her go, even though she still seemed like my baby girl. I did let her go and the beauty of it is that she came back. She is my only daughter (I also have two sons) and she is a treasure. My life is easier and better because of her. I can depend on her for absolutely anything and I know that she loves me as fiercely as I love her.

My daughter is thirty years old now and has three children of her own, ages 7, 5, and 4. I haven't painted any of them - nor even sketched them - and that is feeling very bad to me. It will be a regret in my life if I don't get busy on it. So my new goal in drawing is to get busy on those kids. I haven't seen them much since I started the crazy work schedule a month ago and I find myself staring at their pictures on my desk during the day. The other night I met them for a pizza on the way home from work and I sat and drank them in at the table. I found myself hungrier for them than for pizza. They are growing so fast!!

I need to get busy and get back to my first love of drawing and painting. There is much to do!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

another day, another drawing...

wouldn't it be great to really do a sketch every single day? I don't know if I can commit to that, but I sure love the idea. And this web group, Everyday Matters, is a great encouragement. I made my first post and got lots of encouraging replies ~now I need to check out some other sketching blogs and get to know my new friends.

I find that I have two different reactions to checking out fellow artists. Maybe three. First, it seems like everyone is an artist and what I do can't possibly be of any importance. But I HAVE learned over the years that that is not true, even though I often feel that way.

Second, I start COMPARING myself to others immediately. What? Like this is a competition?? THAT, I would like to quit doing. And this idea of just doing a sketch of something in your everyday life each day might just do the trick. I mean, who do I need to compare myself to on that? My life is not like any one else's and the things that I choose to sketch are personal to me. No comparison. And no comparison needed. Just do it, Starr, ok? Just do it and enjoy the process. And enjoy what others do as well.

And third, I start feeling very un-clever. I think I am soooo creative and then someone else blows the socks right off me. Their ideas, their perspective, their ability - are all so superior that I wonder why I even bother! I guess that makes this observation part of the "competition" issue, but honestly, it has held me back more than once.

So, ok, I'm 54 and I'm still trying to get it through my head that I am ok as I am and it is ok to express myself. It is valid and my point of view is of value. No one says or does things quite like me, so what I put out there is ok. Very, very ok.

And that's the junk in my head that I want to clear out so I can get on with things.

I have sooooooo very much to say. And I feel the clock ticking. A sketch a day should be a minimum requirement for the likes of me. I've known I was an artist since I was eight years old. That's 46 years or more than 16,000 days ago. Imagine if I had a drawing for each of those days!! No matter what they were of, or what caliber, that would be a mighty statement!

Going forward - it is a drawing a day whenever possible. (Can you tell I don't like absolute rules??) Hey, maybe I can do make-up work when necessary!! If I miss a day, then double up! Whatever - I am driven to expression.

another day, another drawing...

sounds good to me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

joining Everyday Matters

I recently got a Danny Gregory book and joined this group called Everyday Matters. It's all about art and journaling, which I've been doing for a very long time, but it will be interesting to meet some new people who like to do what I do. And so, to join, I made a sketch this evening to share. It's an odd sketch for me, actually, but it is something everyday. It's my foot.

First of all, it is not how I would usually introduce myself. So that's a plus!! Let's cut to the chase here and be artistic!! Let's be real and unpretentious!! My God, I've tried to put the best face on things my whole life and I'm so tired of that! Or maybe I'm just tired overall because of the work situation I've been in for the past month. At any rate, I'm tired, but I need refreshment and re-creation and for me, that always means creativity.

Hi, I'm Starr. I have awful feet. They've caused me no end of trouble, but they've gotten me wherever I wanted to go, so I have to give them that.

I'd love to be part of this group. Please join me in starr's world and I'll join you in yours.

Thanks so much,

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Crazy Girly-Girl

yep, this is crazy times for me. and the upshot of it all is that I am having a girly-girl attack. I happen to think that is amazing!!

Here I am, beginning to think that 12 hour workdays are SHORT, worrying about how my NAILS look!! Fingernails!!! You heard me right - fingernails! It doesn't get more girly-girl than that!!

For years I have coveted the look of a fake french manicure. Totally ridiculous, I know -and all the more-so since I have a bunch of great nails on the ends of my fingers - but there it is. I'm a fake-nail-wannabe. I have refrained because I am the sensitive type - allergies, you know. And I figured if I blew a bunch of bucks on a full set, I'd be at home in the bathroom, peeling them off by candlelight and crying over the money spent to get them put on.

But after working double-time for the past couple weeks and finally getting a day off, I was overcome with the idea of a pedicure and a fake french manicure. It took some arranging...

First of all, my day off was a Sunday and I called all over and couldn't get an appointment anywhere. Well, there was always that place at the mall, ya know... And I got online and researched the manicure thing.

I found out that press-on nails are quite the rage and have improved tremendously. That helped me out a lot. Now all I had to do was walk-in to the mall salon for the pedicure and go to the local beauty supply for the hand/nail stash. It was easily accomplished.

I found the requisite fake fingernails in french-style (60 nails for $5.99!!) and bought a couple nail files for good measure. Then I headed to the mall. I had my Sudoku puzzle and a pair of sandals packed, but they were ready for me! As fast as I could say "pedicure", I was in a black vibrating chair with a supremely bored technician working on my feet!! No matter - the chair was divine. It gave me a better neck massage than my former husband of 23 years and it was amusing to watch the nail tech go through the motions of a pedicure. The most important thing was that I had chosen a flattering shade of polish and it looked great when she was done. The price was a bargain and my feet felt like they had gained new life after being encased in steel-toed boots for the past couple weeks. I couldn't wait to get home and glue on the new fake-o nails.

Needless to say, they worked out great and I am still walking around staring at them. I don't have the commitment and price and odor of a full set of acrylics, and I can rid myself of these press-ons the moment I get bored. But right now I am pondering trashy designs like air-brushed roses or dragonflies with rhinestone bodies or glittery shapes like metallic blue stars...

Once a girly girl. the urge never leaves...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ready, Set, Start Blogging...

ok, the blog is started. now I want to start saying some stuff. And I gots lots of stuff to say. Where shall I start? With the current crap, I guess. Number one, the enter button is not working here, so I can't start a new paragraph. bummer. It's all gonna run together. Ok, that's fine. So number one, this was my first day off this month. That sucks bigtime because I've had to work an average of 13 hours a day for a couple weeks. The Union Contract was up where I work and they did not have a settlement ready, so the Company locked the Union out. That means, of course, that the salary force would keep the place running by working wherever needed and forever how long it takes. That includes me, and I have been working solid until today, my first day off since this started. Boy did this day go fast!! The first thing I did was stay up half the night since I haven't had an evening to myself in a whle. Then I slept and slept. And then I got up and did only the most necessary things. First, I got something to eat. Then I colored my hair (the gray roots were really showing!) Then I went to the mall and got a pedicure. Usually, that is an extreme luxury for me, but my feet were throbbing from wearing steel-toed workboots for a week and they needed some attention badly! So I went to the mall (where I almost never go!!) and walked into the nail place and asked for a pedicure. The price was $25 - reasonable on my current overtime pay, and I was lead to a vibrating chair with a tub of water in front of it. All of the workers in the salon were Asian, and very disinterested in any personal connection, so I climbed into the chair and submersed my feet. It was divine. 30 minutes later I was headed to my car in sandals with a decent pedicure completed on my feet. From there I got a snack and went home for a nap. I did up my laundry, made a couple phone calls and turned the tv on for while. Suddenly the day is gone. Now I need to get to bed to start the whole process over again tomorrow. I'll be back to blog because this is by no means complete. Stay tuned...

Initial Post to the New Blog

Hello! I am at a very weird time in my life. So what better time to start a blog?

I am Starr, thus I am starrgirl, and this is starrgirl's world. Shall it be open to interpretation? Hmmmmm... I think not. I think I shall just post whatever I want and leave it go at that. Your interpretation might be valid to you, but not to me and vice versa. So I say, screw interpretation. I plan to just post as I see fit and have no formal interpretation. It will be whatever I want it to be and I shall change my mind whenever I please.

Journalistic freedom! It is now possible! Long live the old broads (over 50!) who can call a spade a spade, or say what they think and not care about the feedback!

Welcome to starrgirl's world.