Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I'm going back to school.

I'm turning 35 in two days.

I'm not sure yet how quickly I'll be able to do it, but I'm going to complete a BFA in painting... and I get to do it for free!

I saw my husband's name in the course catalog when I picked out my classes. (I'm not taking his class, though I secretly kind of want to: he's teaching one on MONSTERS.)

I went to the orientation for transfer students, and the Fashions of the Youth -- my god. The '80's are back.

I had to submit a portfolio for review, in order to waive the basics like Drawing 101, and to qualify for the BFA program. I had lots of work left over from figure-drawing classes of years past, and of course lots of my own personal work, and of course all of my portraits too. I enrolled in a design class, because I've never taken design, and I want to dork out on font styles and learn how to do, you know, hi-tek stuff on the computer. And I was absolutely certain I would not have to take Drawing 101.

But the professors who reviewed my work gave me credit for the design class. And credit for the figure-drawing class. And not for Drawing 101.

At first I felt righteously indignant, like, Do you know who I am? I am an Accomplished Artiste, and I shall not stoop down to your two-point perspectives and still lifes with plastic bottles painted gray! I voiced my indignation on Facebook, and got some responses from friends that really surprised me. One said, Don't Take It Personally, and the other said, I Think Everyone Should Take Drawing 101 Again and Again Forever.

And then I remembered something my high school physics teacher wrote in my senior yearbook: "Can you calculate the altitude of that attitude?"

So I promptly got over myself. I realized that school is only going to enrich me if I allow it to, and also that I have a lot to bring to a Drawing 101 class. And I also googled the professor, who is himself an accomplished artist and whose work is amazing, and suddenly it didn't seem so bad to be hunkered in a basement studio with a motley bunch of 18-year-old Art Education majors.

Stay tuned for some value studies of apples, people!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Back in the spring I hatched this harebrained idea that my dad & step-mom would drive to Providence in early July, and the kids and I would ride back to Michigan with them and spend a few glorious weeks there. I knew Jason would not want to be gone that long, and I knew I would not be satisfied with anything less... so he joined us mid-way into our vacation, and we all rode back to the east coast together.

I have a lot of harebrained ideas, but most of them never come to fruition. This one, I'm happy to say, worked perfectly. And it also featured lots of glittery water and naked children:

Long hot days at the beach, discovering Uncle Matt's REAL bow and arrow at the cabin, lazy naps on nana, real live sink baths, outdoor concerts, hanging out with both my siblings, fireflies, sleeping in late, seeing my kids and their grandparents so in love with each other...  I want to go back and do it again because I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough while we were actually doing it.

I'm not mentioning the sporadic crabbiness or how hard it was to operate without Jason for 10 days, or Isla's total pre-nap-meltdown-pee-on-the-floor incident at the store, because despite all those things this vacation was Perfect.

I also surprised myself by truly missing Providence. It was good to realize that I've made friends here, settled in to a nice rhythm. I guess the only thing to do is find out who to petition to remove all those pesky states between here and there that make these visits few and far between.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

blue skies

I painted this one, my friend's daughter, back in March.

My palette is so confusing right now with 37 different hues including 14 varieties of purple that I wanted to look back on simpler times. Simpler brushwork.

I feel like I'm tripping over my own efforts to "get better," when really, the first portraits I did are the ones I like the most. The ones where I wasn't trying so hard.

How do you try not to try so hard?  Riddle me that.