Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Done graduated. . . .now for the current story

Here I am again; just when you thought it was safe to go in the water.

It's been a FULL eleven months since I left the 'hallowed halls' of Alfred University.

Did you wonder how things turned out?

So far:

1. I graduated with honors (3.56 GPA) Yes! Yes! I got to wear the coveted tassel. . .
2. My brother, sister-in-law, Sister and brother-in-law, (that's NOT a typo) niece and nephew made it to my graduation (and, I was deeply honored.)
3. I had yet another surgery on my right-hand middle finger and thumb
4. I made several visits to see my Mom and Dad who were not able to make it to my graduation due to my long suffering father's multiple illnesses
5. Immersed myself in yet another beautiful Summer in upper New York State
6. I went to the family wake and funeral of a (too young) cousin-in-law
7. But, nothing compares to the ability to be present for my family during the death of my father on January 8th 2011.

How can I say this?

I can say this because I learned the true meaning of love and surrender as I watched my father reveal his pure soul and his undying love for my mother. I watched with an open heart, several days before he slipped into eternity, the transforming power of love as my mother bent over my father's bed and there faces seemed illuminated and rejuvenated (as if years of age had been erased) while they gazed into each others' eyes.

I felt that, up until this moment, I never truly felt the depth, the glory of God, the preciousness of human life and the slender connection between life and eternity that surrounds us at every moment.

I had truly never known my father until just moments before he slipped peacefully away.

I am so grateful I got to see him reveal to me his pure, sweet, innocent soul.

What was the most transforming moment of my life?

Holding my father's frail, bruised hand, stroking his forehead, telling him I loved him.

I am so grateful to been a part of his blessed transition. I only hope that my death will be as holy as was his.

Goodnight Daddy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


So, today was another day where I didn't feel so well. I woke up at 5 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep so I had breakfast. Then I went back to bed by about 7 because I just didn't feel like I could stay up. My stomach was feeling really badly. So, I went back to bed and slept until about noon.

That's just the truth. A lot of times I just don't write about how crappy I'm feeling. I never know when I'm going to have a good day or a bad day. I had few days in a row where I actually felt a bit better, was planning on starting to exercise, but now I'm aching and, bah. . . .

But, I did get another painting almost completed today. It should be done tomorrow.

George started talking with me about selling the house (as much as I want to move out of here I know he won't be left with much to put down on another house and I really don't want to move lower down on the socio-economic ladder than I already have to go to school.)

But then, I guess you can't go lower than below poverty level.

O.K., so now it's almost 2:20 a.m. and I really do have to get up tomorrow and get something done. So, it's off to oxygen bed with me.

Everything's gonna be O.K., I just have to put my trust in God again, and again, and again.

I'm up! Don't ask me why.

At almost 7:30 in the morning (a Sunday morning) I am wide awake and my back is already killing me.

Oh well, I imagine I will find something to do to take my mind off that (since my BFA show is in about a month and I need to make more paintings to fill those gallery walls.)

I just love painting.

Right now, I'm working on a self-portrait from 1989. Back then, I was a svelte, tan, long-haired babe. And, I looked so fabo in my strapless silk dress and big, gaudy rhinestone earrings. What a great time in my life this was. I felt good and I looked good too! A winning combo for sure.

George and I were in Orlando, Florida, at the time this painting will reference, attending a convention. I remember going to the convention and then hanging around for an extra week to visit Universal and Sea World.

I'd have to get in shape now to do all that walking . . .

I'm glad I have an appreciation for that now that I'm slowly decomposing (while I compose on the canvas.)

O.K., enough complaining about my cranky body and off to the paint!

Friday, March 26, 2010

So, the latest painting

I finally took a picture of this painting that I meant to post last night.

This oldie but goodie is from 1963, and my first communion.

Here goes . . . .

I know the colors don't come across on the monitor as they look in person. I think this painting is my favorite yet . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Bad Day in Art School Is Still Better Than a Good Day in the Cubicle!

I got to the studio around 1:30 p.m. and started to work on my latest self-portrait; a pic of me from back in 1963, when I made my first communion.

My dad, bless his heart, is not the best of photographers. And, true to form, my eyes are half closed in the original picture.

On top of that, being that it was an old black and white photo, it's all scratched and dented, so to speak. But, I was able to transform it into a living-color-self-portrait and it kind of freaked me out.

Why? Well, because it felt the closest to conveying a feeling that any of my other work has.

And, I'm sorry to leave you all (who ever you are) in suspense, but I forgot to bring my camera with me to the studio today so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see a picture.

And, that's just as well, since I need to add some finishing touches tomorrow anyway.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday night . . . Work In Progress

I'm still wrapping up the wonder years. . . but I guess I'm getting a bit too obsessed about the clothes in this portrait. Stripes! Yikes!

Here's the latest:

I had a good, if short, day in the studio.

Now that I take a closer look at it, compared to my source photo, I've got to go back and reshape a part of the head. . . . .dang!

So, I'm going to head up to bed, turn on the oxygen and hopefully get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Problems with Oxygen

So, I've got this oxygen tank in my bedroom now and apparently I still haven't figured out how to properly use it. How do I know this? Well, if I have the thing hooked up properly before I go to sleep at night I awake in the morning feeling refreshed, and, if I don't have it hooked up properly then I don't wake up in the morning, I end up waking up in the afternoon, feeling half-dead, which makes my day all screwed up according to the chronological clock by which the rest of the world works.

So, today I did the latter which is why I'm typing this blog at 5:15 p.m. (after just having had my morning cereal and tea.)

I've got exactly 7 weeks until my senior show at Alfred University. I'm not freaking out though. It seems as though my health problems have come as a sort of blessing (no surprise there) that takes my mind off my first exhibition and makes it seem unimportant in the greater schemes of survival.

Not that I'm not putting my full effort into my show, it's just that I've learned to trust that all will be O.K., just as it always has turned out to be.

Case in point: I submitted my senior show application without a partner and got my own PRIVATE (or semi-private) exhibition space! I don't know of anyone else who has a space to themselves. . . well maybe one other person.

My plans are to complete three more 16 by 20 self-portraits and then one larger one of me standing, clad in my graduation day outfit that overlooks the whole exhibition.

And yes, I know what I am wearing to graduation and my senior show.

Today's task is to get to the market and pick up a few things, come home and paint and pack up some stuff to take to the studio tomorrow.

Think I can do it? Oh yes.