Thursday, September 12, 2019


Our dear Antonia... I knew there could be nothing in the world she would want more than to be surrounded by family, especially the youngest, her bisnietos... her great-grandchildren. And so, I believe, she enjoyed a happy celebration of her 100th birthday. It was a relaxed day (for us guests, at least) and thoughtfully arranged, with beautiful flowers, and good things to eat, and family happily gathered in honor of a beloved woman.

The next day, I resumed my experiments with paint and the stamps I am carving. I am trying to figure out economical and safe ways of using the paints, and cleaning up. It's probably not a great activity for our septic system, so my goal is to reduce, as much as possible, how much cleaning up leads to paint down the drain. It means being a bit more deliberate and mindful about how I use the paint rollers, so I am trying to print as much as I can in one color before moving on to another color. This sort of challenges me to set aside my free and loose art-brain, and be orderly and systematic, which is in a less readily accessed area of my noggin! Yeah, part of me wants to dash from "red hearts" to "Pink, purple, marigold, rainbow hearts," and just print away with wild artsy abandon. But to do this well, and to be careful with my resources, I need to slow down and plan... the results are satisfying, though!

I think I've talked about this before... each new medium I work with, each new art lesson I absorb, makes me see the world in new ways. With watercolor painting, I saw new colors, and thought about the color wheel, how everything is ratios of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, or blank. Oil painting made me notice values and forms, shapes. With printmaking and carving, I think about negative space... what is there, and what is not there. I love these fresh ways of seeing the world, of relating to what is before me and how I can interpret it. The Torrey pines at sunset have always been a beautiful sight, and now they give me more to wonder at, and appreciate.

I declared this a Cairo Day. He was being particularly sweet and charming, affectionate. I left him cozy and drowsy in my bed, when I left to take Maria to school, and he was there, still when I returned. Later, he joined me in our attic space, where I have been diligently dusting, sorting, and organizing our books and stuff. I have been super-heroic and kick-ass in this mission... greatly reducing our collection, and dutifully whipping things into shape. Cairo roused himself and came to inspect... which largely involved sleeping on my stacks, visiting the cleared shelves, and moving dust bunnies with his tail. I was happy for the company.

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