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Friday, April 28, 2006

Green Fountain




The sago palm in context. I think by the time we come back from France, it will be down like the other fronds. Today it looks like a green fountain.

Taking Responsibility

I have been thinking over my post of Tuesday about painting. There were several things I could have done to make this shipment easier on myself.

My options are below (my excuses are in parentheses)

1. I could have sent it last week (I kept hoping I would finish the other painting I am working on, but that dang shadow looks funny to me), and it would have cost less to ship.
2. I could have packed the painting myself (it is very physically taxing, having to cut boxes down to the right size, etc.) which would have made the package smaller, as I do not use that thick bubble pack. The size is one reason it was so expensive to ship.
3. I could have kept trying to find a local gallery, and I am planning to pursue this in the future.
4. I could have gotten the estimate the UPS woman offered me on shipping costs, and altered the type of packing they were using.

Rather than blaming UPS, the gas companies, the Iraq War, and of course, GW Bush, I could be doing something to help myself.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Messenger from the Blessed Animals of the Earth

In the process of my daily healing meditation, I bless all the animals of the planet. Right after I did that today, I heard a noise against the window behind me. I turned and it was a bluejay. It felt like he/she was confirming that the animals had received my blessing.

Last year, my husband and I had a bluejay trapped in our garage, too exhausted and confused to fly back out the door. It kept trying to fly upward, where there is a vent in the roof, but the vent is too small for a bird to fly out of. We wet the bird down as gently as we could with our hose, and finally captured it in a towel and released it outside.

Also, at the burial of Frankie, my mother-in-law, there was a bluejay right next to us with its cockade folded back, observing who attended. We always thought it was a messenger from Frankie, who was always curious about who attended church, and even sat in the back to make sure she saw who was there!

Photo from the Humane Society of Canada

Sago Palm Progress




Only two days later, and the leaves are much wider, unfurled, and spreading out. I had to step back a bit to take it all in, so it may not look terribly much larger in relation to the picture frame, but it is amazing. I watered yesterday, and it rained last night -- cooling rain. Today it is cool and cloudy. All the plants are sighing happily.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Self-Delusion Thy Name is Painting

I have tried for many many years to make and sell paintings that I hoped made people feel good. I have painted hundreds and hundreds of paintings. Most years I have broken even, financially, whether I painted a lot or a little. Many years ago I felt I could have the money, or the time, to paint, but never both at the same time. Now I have both time and money, but cannot sell my work, and when I do sell it, I cannot make any money.

I underpriced my work in hopes of getting "known". Not only did I not make money on it, it was an expensive habit.

I am thinking I was an idiot ever to become a painter. If it were not for my husband, I could not afford to paint much at all. Plus, it takes tremendous emotional and spiritual effort to do this sort of work, and people feel they can freely criticize an artist's work as if it were not coming from the heart and soul.

My heart is breaking today. I deluded myself into thinking I could continue doing as I have been for years, painting and shipping and having a few sales. That is a foolish notion.

I am probably never going to be terribly well-known. My website has never sold even ONE painting. All my efforts in going to art fairs resulted in me spending more money than I ever took in. Besides that, I was out in the weather, having to pay for food and water, with porta-johns and no place to wash my hands.

It is harder to paint every year, because it is so discouraging. I take photos, do sketches, buy materials, do paintings, make slides, send out slides, ship paintings to galleries, and when they sell I get half of the selling price. I sent out slides for years, and found only a few galleries were interested in my work. It is not "cutting edge", but it is not "commercial" either. Well what IS it then?

Friends urge me to paint. Why should I? Give me one good reason. I need to make a living too. See post below for precipitating event for this existential crisis.

Shipping Eats ElleCoyote's Lunch





I just shipped this painting, framed, via UPS, for over $200, to the gallery in NY State. It has to be there by Friday. If it could have arrived on Monday, the price would have been $128, which still is more than twice what I used to pay.

The situation for artists is pretty grim. Most galleries take 50% of the selling price, and the artists pay for the shipping both ways, the framing, the materials, and ... well, after that, there is usually nothing left for labor. In fact, I am paying to ATTEMPT to sell this thing. I guess when it cost $50 for shipping, I could justify it, but now I wonder if this is a form of insanity.

Art buyers have the belief that art is overpriced because the artists are egotistical and think they are above the buyer. That is simply a myth. Galleries have overhead, so they need part of the price, and artists have all the costs of production, framing and shipping. If it does not sell, the artist pays to ship it back home (bad painting! go lie down!). Dismal.

Monday, April 24, 2006

St. Brigid's Flame

Turns out my yoga teacher is multi-talented, and plays music with a band called St. Brigid's Flame! I know this only because I looked her up on Google, and saw the picture, which must be her. How could there be two Constance Bradens in Houston who have long blonde hair and a long oval face? Check out the site, if you like Celtic music.

Sago Palm 2



OK it IS a lot bigger today, and it is starting to spread out. The remains of the flower thingie are at the base, along with a lot of dead leaves.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sago Palm Sprout




The sago palm in the back yard is sprouting. I SWEAR it was less than half this height yesterday. I will take a photo again on Monday. Last year it did not sprout, but had a weird fleshy flower thing in the middle.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I love you too, Robyn!




Here is my wonderful sister Robyn when she had dyed her hair dark brown. She looks beautiful sitting on the kitchen floor smoking. She told me the story of why her eyes are so sad, which gives this image a lot of depth for me. The cigarette holder still cracks me up, though!

Robyn let me know if I can put up a more recent photo of you, taken by me when I visited you.

Don't Look if You are SQUEAMISH




Last summer it was very wet on the green space, and one warm evening I saw something very much like this on the sidewalk. Two of them, in fact. I did not know what they were. Now I have found out they were Land Planarians, or flatworms that live outside of water itself, but can only live in very wet conditions. The ones I saw were about a foot long, the thickness of spaghetti, with flat heads the shape of arrows. Gross, eh? Photo from the University of Florida.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Not Bad for an Old Broad




Same angle I think, no teeth in smile, no makeup, but this is the difference of about 20 years. A friend recently said, "not bad, for an old broad".

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Wolf Tee for Elle Coyote




Osprey gave me a tee shirt with a wolf on it, saying it was as close to a coyote as she could find. It was created by one of her students (I think).

Dirty Pleasures













I haveI have been playing in the dirt this morning. I watered the garden yesterday, so the ground was very receptive to my potted plants. A couple of years ago, I bought the gardenia (top photo) in a pot and loved it so much I could not bear to throw it out after it finished blooming. When I put it in the ground, I had read "never put hothouse gardenias in the ground. It is hopeless, and they will never bloom." Well, so much for gardening books!


I put in my yellow impatiens (middle photo), next to the formerly potted begonias left here by the former owners. These things never seem to last very long, but they appear to be perennials here!

Here in Houston, the climate resembles a hothouse. I have planted in the shade, so that the plants can receive the heat and moisture without being burned up by our intense sun.

Gordon received the plant in the bottom photo when he was recovering from his sinus surgery. I planted it in the garden today finally. It was incredibly pot-bound. There really was nothing but roots in the pot! Poor thing must be very relieved to be in the ground.

The Culture of Pills

Many times I have heard the argument that because our soil in the USA is depleted, the vegetables we eat do not contain all the vitamins we need, therefore we must take vitamin pills.

Isn't there something specious in this logic? We are spending probably billions on vitamin pills, and get cranky when we have to pay a little more for organically grown fruits and vegetables, and in particular, for meat from animals who were raised properly, with fresh air, freedom to walk around and exercise their muscles, grass and grain that grew fed by their droppings, and who were not injected with hormones to make them grow bigger and faster, and who were not given antibiotics routinely.

If we look at it another way, maybe the money is better spent on naturally raised fruits, vegetables and animals. Maybe we would not need to then spend a ton of our money on PILLS. The earth recovers her natural fertility when she is treated properly. Our fruits and vegetables will be full of life-enhancing vitamins and minerals. Our animals can be treated well while they are alive and give us the nourishment of their flesh when they are humanely slaughtered, as they have been for thousands of years. What madness we are living!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Grinches Stole My Second Life Again





A bad thing happened to me in Second Life today. I was calmly speaking in IM to Salazar and suddenly my entire gallery blew up and I was thrown into the night sky.

On attempted re-entry to SL I captured this image of my experience of flailing helplessly, skates useless, high above Palomarian.

Apparently this was the moment of another global attack by the idiot grinches who want to destroy anything delightful.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Patrick's Blog

I have now created a blog specifically for Patrick's drawings. I have uploaded all the ones I have, and emailed everyone who may be interested in the drawings. Please feel free to visit and view his drawings! the blog is on my Links -- Patrick's Drawings.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Running Wild through Blogger

Every day I am online I go from my blog to whatever blog appears when I click "next blog". It is always a different blog, so I am wandering around unsupervised through masses of blogs, some in other languages, some just babbling, and some not that interesting to me personally. Every now and then I run into one that I find worth reading past the first few words, and I add it to my LINKS. It is one way to pass the time in paradise. The most recent addition is "Rhymes with Maria".

Friday, April 07, 2006

Patrick's Drawing "Anybody seen my riding glasses?"



Patrick did another self portrait, this one from a photo. He said he has hidden 20-30 messages in it. I found one so far.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006




Although Jean Frolic (seen here in her new Ava Box, and portrayed by Eileen McTeague) has already embarrassed herself by appearing on Second Life Art News, here she is again.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rubber Cojones




I know you can't really see this, but look at the truck ahead of my car. Under the license plate there is a white thing hanging down between the tires. It is a SET of RUBBER COJONES. I KID YOU NOT! I guess someone has something to prove.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Oh, that is SO much better, Fuzzy. Now you ARE Henry!

Fuzzy does Eraserhead




Fuzzy is a great friend of Enjah's, and he wanted to try doing a "Tab" box of his own. He was in costume at this point, portraying Henry in the David Lean movie "Eraserhead". I think the pose looks good, but . . . well, Fuzzy, wouldn't you like other accessories? I suggest a radiator, and . . . hmmm, a chicken?