The Best Commission Ever

This painting is very sentimental to me.  I happened to be visiting my folks back in October around when my mom’s birthday was.  My dad commissioned me to create a painting for my mom.  This was such a sweet and wonderful thing for him to ask of me.  I let my mom pick out the image she wanted me to paint from.  She chose one of my images from my summer trip to Veracruz, MX.  I couldn’t be happier with the way this piece came out.  To me it feels of happiness and love.  I hope it brings both of my folks both joy and pride.  I love you mom and dad.

Echo XXV, Oil on linen, 42″ x 60″

Observations of a Cub Scout Mom

For weeks my youngest son asked me over and over if I was going on the Cub Scout camping trip.  Okay, in my mind I really like the idea of camping, getting back to nature.  The reality of getting dirty, smelling like campfire, and sleeping on an air mattress in the cold in a damp tent is far from the beautiful experience I have in my mind.  But he batted his big eyes at me and “pleeeeeeeeassssssed” me non stop till I broke down, gave in, and agreed to go.  One night of suffering for his happiness wouldn’t be so bad.  And, it actually turned out even better than I thought.

Okay, chaos makes me nervous.  25 boys ranging in ages from 6 to 10 and a lack of mothers can make for a tremendous amount of quasi supervised chaos.  As a mom, I found it fascinating, watching how the dad’s pretty much let the kids run wild.  Talking to my husband, he explained it as kind of like “Lord of the Flies” with “some” parental supervision.  So there were only three moms (including me) on the trip, the rest were boys and dads.  At the beginning of the trip I fought my impulse to control, and by the end I was able to mostly sat back and watch.

I know that my boys are young for such a short time.  These moments and opportunities to create lifetime memories can slip through my hands like the sand.  Looking back, I know I have missed so many of these moments already.  What else is life, but moments captured and others missed and to always make the best with what we have.

Two Deaths in 24 Hours

Yesterday as I was driving home from my studio I received a call on my cell phone from my oldest son.  He was wondering why there was an ambulance, a fire truck and a police car parked in front of our house.  Pretty sure that it wasn’t my house on fire I turned the corner and sure enough, there must have been a 911 call because there were all the emergency vehicles.  When my husband got home from work, he stopped to talk to one of our neighbors and got the news.  We live in a townhouse community and as it turned out one of our neighbor’s grown kid (20 something?) had shot himself with a rifle in the head.  So sad.  It’s hard to imagine, or maybe not, what can make a person so desperate to end their life.

And then this morning I witnessed something I never expected.  As I was driving to work there were cars stopped in the road.  It was bizarre because there didn’t appear to be any kind of accident.  Then I saw a policeman get out of his car, stand in the middle of the road, point his gun and take two shots at a deer.  I’m guessing he was trying to put the deer out of it’s misery from being hit by a car.  I was still feeling pretty shaken from what happened the day before and this kind of freaked me out.  We are on, then we are off, forever.

Thinking about how depressed that poor kid who killed himself must have been, made me remember when I was kid in middle school and how tough it was.  I was not a gifted athlete, I was a chubby kid, and was 12 when my family moved to New Orleans.  Talk about a deck stacked against me.  Every day I dreaded going to school, facing the bullies and the humiliation that ensued.  I felt so incredibly alone, and yes, I had thoughts about killing myself back then.  I also had hope.  I had to believe that things would get better.  In the eighth grade things had gotten so bad I could hardly stand it.  Then, one day when I was riding my bike home from a friend’s house, I was hit by a car.  It was bad and I mean bad.  I had a serious head injury and was laid up in the hospital for almost 2 weeks.  I was out of school for about a month and had lost a ton of weight during that time.  When I came back I looked like a new person.  Not even the vicious asshole bully bothered me anymore.

Weird thing is, during those really hard times when I felt like I had no friends and the world was against me,  I always saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Though the tunnel was so damn long, I always felt like I had some kind of destiny, whatever that meant.  My one solace was that I had my art.  I had always believed in myself as an artist and no one could take that from me.

The Beginning of Echo XXIV

Okay folks, here’s an opportunity to watch as another of my paintings evolves from blank panels to a finished work of art. This painting, Echo XXIV is on two square panels and it’s total measure is 72″ wide by 36″ tall. This piece is also inspired by my trip to Mexico last summer.

I’ve had a fabulous day of painting, so here is day two…
Echo XXIV day two

Rainy Days

My oldest son lost a tooth yesterday, one of his molars.  Since the tooth fairy still visits the house, he found $5 under his pillow.  I’m not sure how many more teeth he has to lose, but at the age of 12, I don’t think it’s many more.

Well, I’m still home since I’m not much of a painter on a rainy day.  It’s really kind of a bummer, but rain really effects my mood and my creativity.  So up here in Maryland, and it seems all along the Eastern Seaboard we’re having a particularly wet day.  I’m quite a go getter and I hate not feeling productive, so on days like this it really becomes about the house and the laundry.  I think I’m going to whip up a good chicken and sausage gumbo too, it’s a perfect day for that.

I’ll be heading back down to Louisiana in November, something which I always look forward to.  Lots of work to do for Frederick l’Ecole.  So many good things are happening with the organization.  It will be exciting when I can actually talk about some of these things as they come to fruition.

Back in August during the fundraiser “New-Nu’s is Better than No-Nu’s” at The Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette, the hosts of the event got the idea to create a video that would “speak” to the producers of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”.  Of course the hope is that they will see what we have lost when our building burnt down and hopefully they will also see the great deal of community support we have for our organization.  If you feel so inclined, please share this with your friends.  It’s pretty amazing.