Monday, December 30, 2013

doing lots of this lately

oil, portrait, painting, artist
8" x 10 ", oil on canvas

"..she always had that about her,
that look of otherness,
of eyes that see things much too far,
and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.."                      
                             ---  joanne harris

figurative painting, oils, portrait, black and white, monochromatic,
11" x 14", acrylic on canvas, WIP

"...take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.."
               --- frida khalo

Saturday, December 21, 2013


the newest member to the di leo clan:

oscar diego ignacio paco di leo
born november 12, 2013

he comes home to us on december 31st.  and yes, that's his full name because we couldn't decide on just one.

he's a chihuahua and won't grow to be more than 5 - 7 lbs (if that), which is why we chose him.  it sort of just happened over the weekend.  we've know for a while that we wanted another puppy, the rest of the family were waiting for me to give the go-ahead.  i needed time to grieve samson, and to not feel as if we were replacing him.  i wanted time to be ready for a new little guy.

not sure how this is gonna be having such a little munchkin after being so used to a 95 lbs galoot running around the house.  i do know that samson would have loved having a little companion, he was such a gentle giant.  i never really understood why people seemed so scared of him.  he wouldn't hurt a fly, well, unless of course you tried to rob my house, or hurt any one of his family members, well then, yes, he would have torn you apart.  but really, he was such a good boy.

we have so much to prepare for oscar.. his crate, his bed, his blankies, his food bowls, and of course his sweaters for the cold.  chi's need their sweaters in the winter. and of course, it has to be angora for my little schmuckers.

let the potty training begin!  '...just when i thought i was out, they pull me back in...'  ;)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

press on

i was reminded this morning of something very powerful.

i remember, back in the day,  tucking this quote in my text books during my university days as a reminder that i could do it :

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. 
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

nothing can take the place of persistence and determination.  

i always distributed this quote to my students during my high school teaching days (at the beginning/middle/end of term.  i'd make them read it, and understand it, and told them to tuck it into their books as reminders to them.  if they failed a test, they had the 'choice' to either continue to fail or to 'keep on' studying, trying, putting some sweat into it to improve.  it gave them the choice of whether they wanted to pass or fail, as opposed to thinking they weren't 'smart enough'.  it gave them the 'choice' to do better.

and then on facebook i saw this TED talk that was posted, and would you look at that!  calvin coolidge and i were on to something....  here they call persistence and determination, 'grit':

now i apply this to all areas of my life.

if you want to do better you will do better.  just 'press on', and it will come.

and so should you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

the 12th house in aquarius

venus will be touring my 12th house for many weeks...

the 12th house in astrology is the house of secrets and things hidden.

apparently, "i may be a closet artist who finds it difficult to exhibit my work or tell others about my creative passions while at the same time indulge in fantasies about being validated in my creative work and experiencing success as an artist".

hmmmm.  yeah... that just might be true.

and that "i seek love, vibrant abundant soul love, that transcends the physical body.  i want to meet my soul mate, i want someone who can touch my spiritual self and i want to speak to them on a soul level.  i tend to fall in love with love or to love the image or ideal rather than the whole person.  i am attracted to the inner qualities of a person and to the fleeting glimpses i have of their soul, i often ignore the realities that would undercut the romance that I seek.  my concept of love, which is likely unrealistic, may be so unconscious that i continually confuse fantasy with reality, deluding myself about my partner and making the same mistakes over and over again".

ok.  i'm listening.

off to read some more on this 12th house thing.  they may be on to something.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

i straightened my crown and walked away like a boss

it's that time of year again where i need to sit and ponder my goals and intentions for 2014.  spilling my big dreams from my head into the world to let them co-mingle and devise a way to make them happen.  the universe is good that way.  it listens, when you speak.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth 
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”

----- Rumi

i am inviting the following

a working studio (in progress)
work BIG, like really BIG in that new working studio
getting messy on a regular basis
creating a body of work
back to gallery hopping
introducing / exposing / rise / show / myself and my work to the toronto art world
take more risks
MORE travel (Italy, and Paris in particular)
moving beyond the fear and doing it anyway
freedom to make mistakes, and then make a few more, until you get it right
dedicate a day / evenings of the week to create that body of work
dedicate more time for family fun - more laughter, more joy, more ease
less computer time, more doing (reading, playing, walking, dancing, daydreaming, being still, frolicking)
more photography - back to taking my camera everywhere
less soda, less coffee, more juicing

my one little word for 2014

these words kept coming to me:  develop, materialize, rise, show, surface, flow, become visible, become apparent, come forth, come on the scene, make appearance.

but none of them felt particularly right until this word came to me EMERGE, 'coming forth from a place shut off from view, or from concealment'.  

and here i bid 2013 adieu

Dear 2013, you literally kicked my ass from the get-go.  You you were a very difficult year both personally and professionally.  You were the year my mother died.  You were also the year my Samson died (the same month after my mother).  And the same year that saw many changes at work, with new bosses, and a new location.  Nothing was the same..  It was hard to process it all. It was the year I learned that I was strong even through the tears.  That I could move past the sadness and find beauty.  That all that is gone is not ever lost.  It was the first year of my life without a living parent.  And the first time in 12 years without a dog in our home.  I'm still adjusting to their absence, but 2013, the sadness no longer overwhelms me like a tsunami, but more like gentle waves that come and go.

Thanks 2013 for it taught me how to walk away like a boss.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

everything carries me to you

painting is the perfect calling for me.  it allows me time to indulge in my own imagination, to run away without actually leaving home, and give me time to breathe;  in silence, with my own thoughts.  nothing is more appealing to me than that moment, when you lose yourself, becoming one with your brush and nothing else exists.  being pulled out of your trance by interruptions is so disturbing when you're in the zone making the reentry so hard.

i figure if i wasn't called to paint, i'd probably be a writer.  another very solitary way to revel in imagination and play, and getting lost in words.... words like these, by pablo neruda (1904 - 1973)

If You Forget Me
I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
(and here's that part that speaks to me, i know this feeling well ::))
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

funny that it took me so long to realize i'm not shy, i'm just an introvert.

i can get up in front of a classroom and give a speech like no other, rather i choose not to...  and that's why painting and writing appeal to me.  it's a solitary activity that requires nobody but me.

introvert, shy, quiet,
google image

i didn't realize how very much of an introvert i was until i went to north carolina to be with some friends and take a class.  being with people all day in a tiny classroom, and then going out to dinner with lots of people i hardly knew, and having to socialize all day was absolutely killing me.  i couldn't excuse myself because there wasn't any place else to go.  i remember sitting at the dinner table with about 15 lovely women at a nice restaurant, and there was lots of chatting and laughing and drinking wine and making merry.... and the entire while, i was planning my escape.  how the hell do i get outta here.  the talking and the laughing became so incredibly loud, that everything became a blur.  at that point i just totally zoned out thinking of all the other things i would have rather been doing.

introversion, bukowski,
google image

i'm sure the ladies thought i was a snob, or socially inept, or worse.  but it wasn't anything against any one, but for the fact i had had too much talking, and socializing for one day, and just needed time to retreat.  it was no wonder i was getting wicked headaches.

introversion, introvert problems
google image

being an introvert doesn't mean i don't like being social.  I like to be social.... for a little while, but i also really love getting back home to be still.  i hate the feeling of having to be 'on' all the time.  i find it so fucking exhausting, mentally and physically.

introversion, adrian michael,
google image

oh but nothing kills me more then when people ask me, 'are you ok?  are you sure?', or 'come on cheer up, smile'. huhhhh...  who said i was unhappy... or that something was wrong.

and please... please don't ask me to small talk.  haaaaate small talk.  so pointless and boring.  if i don't have anything interesting to say to you than i won't say it.  that's all.  i'm not being rude, or arrogant i just don't want to waste either of our energy on the banality of small talk.

google image

i really dislike, like most introverts,  having to explain myself.

google image

i am what i am.

it is what it is.

whatever it is.

got it?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

the art of truth

i'm becoming a social media snob.  there.  i've said it.

and i don't give a fuck, really.

i'm just getting  nauseated of seeing so much crap on all these social media platforms.  really folks, why is it (and i'm fully guilty of this), that as soon as we finish a project, and even if it's a work in progress, and even if the work sucks, do we have this inordinate fascination with posting it to social media... as if to say, 'look what i can do, isn't it grand'.  we have this excessive self-love of what we're producing and then proceed to prostitute via the web.  is it not sickening?  am i the only one who is really getting so sick and tired of all the self love and promotion?

i think i may be becoming a bit of a snob.  or perhaps i've always been a snob.  there are some really, truly talented artists out there who don't post their work, but post links to their openings, and shows, but you don't see them posting works as they're creating them.  they keep them close and release only the works that they feel represents their best work...  i have such a deep admiration and respect for those artists.

i'm the first to say that i've been guilty of this egocentrism.  before you send your hate mail, let me say it again, I'M THE FIRST TO SAY I'M GUILTY OF THIS excessive need for self-promotion. i was lured and sucked into the social media vortex.

perhaps i thought it necessary early in my artistic journey because i needed the confidence boost.  i needed to hear my 'friends' 'liked' it.  i needed some kind of permission, or approval, or encouragement, whatever you wanna call it to keep going.  but really folks, how many times have i 'liked' something that i truly did not. how many times have you done that?  let's be real here.

in hindsight, i would have started my journey differently.  i would have started a fb group with real live friends, and post my work to them if i really wanted sincere and constructive criticism.  i would have taken professional classes sooner. i would NOT have posted so much crap to social media...  god i have so much crap of my work out there. a lot of it was experimentation; it was about growth, and learning, and morphing into the artist i'm still working on becoming.  i want to show a body of work, not just bits and bobs to solicit likes.  i want to create real and meaningful work without having to 'sell' it to the fb world in order for it to be seen.

so much change required in the days to come in how i present myself as an artist.

so much passion to release into my work.

redefining my truth.