Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WTF!

Pinky, 8 x 10", oils

I was jolted out of bed this morning by four screaming smoke detectors.

At first I thought Ellis bought the most horrible alarm clock ever! I rolled over and starting  slamming the off button, then it hit me that the screeching was coming from the smoke alarms. I jumped out bed yelling for Ellis.  The two of us ran around the house looking for  fire.  We found no smoke, no smoldering, no nothing.  The raucous blast continued. It was relentless--even after Ellis turned off the electrical power.  I stuck my fingers in my ears. He  called his electrician. He didn't answer. He called his rough carpenter. He didn't answer. And the alarms kept screaming, pumping up our heart rates. They didn't quit  till each  unit was down and all the batteries had been removed. The ringing hasn't quit in my ears yet.  WTF! -- GOOD MORNING AMERICA!

JD study with closed mouth grin, 8 x 10, pencil.
I am getting ready to give him a
three quarter body go on canvas.
Sitting here in the blessed silence waiting for my heart beat to slow,  I'm thinking what happened to my next-door neighbor who complained about my wind chimes? Did she go deaf?   I didn't hear a peep from her the whole hour we were under attack. I guess she finds only low pitched sounds annoying--or she's dead?

 Two heads up today. Pinky, a cute kid I saw while lunching at California Pizza Kitchens a while back  and a JD pencil study, in case next week, I'm busy icing
after my first post op physical therapy session on Monday.--then Wednesday--then Friday--and

After a few more tweeks to Pinky today, I'm hunting for a couple of reference photographs I can combine for a double portrait of my oldest and middle sons to use  for a pencil drawing on the couch  over the weekend. Drawing makes sessions with the neuromuscular stimulator
(a nifty little apparatus for strengthening the knee muscles and managing
pain) fly by. I did JD this last week sitting there with the electrodes inaudibly pummeling my muscles stronger for tomorrow's assault. It's these kind of occasions that  make me thrilled I have this gift. Art does  lift you up and away to a better place. I am blessed.

NOTE:  After one spends days reorganizing and cleaning one's studio,  one feels a bit inhibited when they resume painting. Spills and smears are immediately noticed and not appreciated. Consequently, cleaning and reorganizing must be done as little as possible in the artistic life. It's anti-art.




24 comments:

  1. Oh no! We had this happen to us too. It is the most horrendous noise - gets right to your bones. After having gas and electricity investigated, we discovered that accumulated dust can set them off so the advice from the manufacturer was to use a vacuum cleaner on the alarm sensors every week or so.

    Pinky looks like such an interesting little character. Reminds me of my younger brother at the age of about 12. :-)

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    1. It took half a day for me to settle down the noise was so horrendous and did leave me with tinnitus for the rest of the day. Okay, dust the things. Good idea, I don't know if I ever thought about that. But the odd thing was, we had lost power during the night for a split second. The loss only showed up on one television and the permanent phone--not on the microwave or the oven clocks or the auto timed coffee maker. Very weird. I was afraid when Ellis replaced the batteries, for our electrician said one of the units being bad could set off the others. I did not want to stay in the house in case there was a bad unit.

      Thanks. I love to photograph children involved in something. In this girls case she was reading the menu with her mom and deciding which pizza to order. Hard decisions. :-))

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  2. I LOVE 'Pinky'! I love your no nonsense approach to your subjects. You get the job done and she is gorgeous. How long did she take to paint? JD looking good too.
    Glad you survived the onslaught of the alarms...weird about the neighbour.
    You have the Van Gogh award too! Well Done!!

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    1. Thanks. Not long. You saw the thin lay in and then another couple of hours with the thicker stuff. She needs a tweek on her cheek--softening of a shadow, but that enough with her. I've decided these small canvases are not for me. I'm going to use them up on portraits like Pinky and move on to at least 16 x 12 inches and 16 X 20. I haven't found a gestural portrait artist yet who crams heads into little spaces that only allow the gesture of a little brush.

      Thank you. I was very honored by that award as I'm sure you were--and surprised too. Van Gogh was the epitome of passionate painters who painted from the heart no matter what the circumstances. Good company to be in.

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  3. Good to hear you are well in to your recovery routine and using your art for distraction. Like both pieces but the drawing is my favourite, beautiful mark making.

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    1. Not recouping yet, about this time tomorrow. I'm thinking ahead, but I've I'm making more out of this procedure than I should, so I've heard. That's fine with me. I just don't like any knives other than a palette knife. Thanks. I do come to painting through drawing. I'm looking forward to spending a few hours with my graphite materials over the weekend.

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  4. What an unnerving experience. I hope your heart and nerves have a chance to settle down before the knee procedure. And I must tell you - I adore your little Pinky painting! It seems so spontaneous and,even in the confined space, your marvelous brushwork is evident. Her hair and skin tones - exceptional!
    And, Linda, let me take a moment to thank you for your always encouraging and supportive comments on my blog. They mean more to me than you can imagine.

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    1. You are so welcome. Your work is outstanding, the stuff that keeps me striving. Thank you for your kindness. I didn't know there was anything special about my brushwork--just one mark after another. The skin tones are what moved me to paint this little girl. It was translucent under the lights of the restaurant. --Isn't it scary to think an artist could be scrutinizing us when we're out going about our lives?

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  5. After this the surgery should be nothing! My thoughts will be with you. I really like the JD study. And I love your remark about spills in the studio - so true!

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    1. At least it will be quiet for me. Poor Ellis has to sit there waiting. Thanks. This sketch of JD showed me I need to make more adjustments to make up for using a reference photo. Susan's figurative drawings underlined that observation. I might do him again? --Again today, I found myself mopping up as I painted. That kind of behavior is too neat for me!

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  6. Lordy, what a horrific way to wake up!!! I love "Pinky" - beautifully done! And I also agree about NOT cleaning the creative area too much. :)

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    1. Well my once a year cleaning spree is over. I do like it that I extracted all of the drawings and paintings I did over the last three years and sorted them. Some of them were keepers; most of them were disposable. The keepers have been relocated to a safer location. That was an accomplishment. I do get sloppy with them after I'm finished. What's next becomes all that matters.

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  7. What an alarming wake-up call! Hope your surgery goes well. Pinky is very well done, and so is JD. Look fwd to see what you share with us as you recuperate!

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    1. Thanks Minniemie. Pinky gives me hope that I'll get somewhere good with portraiture over this year.

      The op went fine till I got home and my chronic vertigo kicked in from too much saline in the anesthetic and nausea. What a day! The knee was fine, but the rest of me felt like I had the flu--dizziness, nausea, headache, scratchy throat. No drawing on the couch went on jus sleeping it off and wondering what drugs to take that wouldn't add any adverse effects to the drugs I already had. Horrible. My sense of humor hasn't. Kicked in yet.

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  8. Love the Pinky portrait. Such contemporary handling of the paint. Have you ever see the famous Pinky ib the Huntington Museum? http://austenauthors.net/pinkie-and-the-blue-boy It is hung next to Blue Boy so it has become famous through that. Little bit of trivia to keep your mind off the knee before/after surgery. Hope it goes well. I think of you as having a indomitable spirit and know you will do well. But sending cheers too.
    PS Does WTF mean what I think it does? Still laughing!

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    1. Thanks Julie. Pinky does show promise of what's to come this year. I do recall seeing the two portraits as a kid. They were my favorite trading cards in my portrait collection. Yes, WTF definitely means WTF. It was what came out of my mouth as we were running around the house looking for the fire. Not exactly lady-like, but fitting.

      I think my knee is fine, but they killed me with drugs.

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  9. Hi Linda,
    Good luck tomorrow. It'll be fine. I speak from experience!
    Sincerely,
    Gary.

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    1. Thanks Gary. Everybody said, don't worry, you'll walk out of there. I did not. I was over medicated. That caused a worse problem than my knee: a chronic vertigo attack. Better today, but not much.

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  10. Good job on both portraits....! I am sorry that you had such an awful morning...I confess your description of it all was pretty funny, however..so I had to laugh (a little!) The wind chime lady! lol!! I agree with you that drawing while "doing" stuff (like waiting for anything) is absolutely the best. Sometimes I am waiting at my Doctor's office and I draw--only to be "interrupted" when they want me to come in for the appointment. Man! I'd like to just stay in the waiting room and draw--forget the appointment--the time goes by so fast.
    Good luck with your upcoming surgery. I am sure you'll write more comedic things about THAT.

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    1. I don't have my sense of humor back yet, it may take a while. I'm aggravated at myself and the anesthesia doc.

      That's happened to me too. I usually finish what I was doing and then follow. They kt me waiting, they can wait a minute till I finish up the area I was working on.

      JD looks like I copied a photo. The drawing isn't spontaneous enough. I'll have to work on that--maybe graphite sticks?

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  11. Funny enough I did just what Celeste speaks about only yesterday waiting one and half hour for an endoscopy. I started drawing faces from magazines and it certainly helped my nerves and made the time go by. Good luck for your surgery and I like the drawings. I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I can get out in my garden studio. Unfortunately, no electricity in there so the light is bad as well as freezing, even with a calor gas heater.

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    1. I do that too and often get carried away. Love it. Drawing made my chemo treatments fly by and the colored pencil portraits I did is what launched my current interest. Out of bad comes good.

      I'm looking forward to spring myself. It would be okay with me if we skipped winter entirely. We're expecting 3" of snow today.

      The lighting in my toxic zone is the three bare bulbs the builder put in and a system I set up using my darkroom fixtures with 100 watt bulbs. The bare bulbs are on a switch, the photo lights are strung together with connectors and I have to plug them in. Very primitive. Track lighting would be great in there. Then the lights can be directed wherever you want. Lots of play. But so far so good. They do the job.

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  12. Ugh. I know that sound all too well and wtf indeed. Even worse than an alarm clock which at least you can smack into submission, but I guess that's the point. Lol about your neighbor - maybe obnoxious people prefer obnoxious noises?
    In other events, Pinky is loose, lively, lovely.

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    1. So yesterday I'm sitting around at 5:30 AM waiting to leave for hospital. So I sat down at the piano to pass the time. My husband comes in and says, don't you think it's a bit early. You'll disturb the neighbor. I thought he was out of his mind. If she didn't hear the smoke detectors, no way was she going to hear my Beethoven!

      Thanks. I think she indicates I'm headed in the right direction. I'm pleased with my progress.

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