Tag Archives: gouache

morning pages and cultivating roots…

Jan3CultivateRoot

(pencil undersketch penned over and painted with tube gouache. #30DayJournalProject)

Slow. Rain. Comfort. Coffee. Dream fragments. Hunger pangs. Hair and clothes that need washing. Lists made. Things to be done. All folding into this space and time of semi-wakefulness. This moment. WHAT do I want? What do I want to DO? Besides sleep some more. Oh sleep, how I love thee. It took months before I broke out of the cycle of awakening early every morning, filled with anxiety as though I’d missed the alarm. My rhythms are different now… back to what they naturally are inclined to do – late nights and not wakening until it’s light, which on these shortened winter days is late. Ah, yes… light. Not much of it again, these days. I think that I ought to go for a run and try fitness again but all I want to do is sleep. Keep warm and cozy and dry. Definitely not wet. Why do people like running in the cold rain?

It’s almost 10am and I am only just dragging myself up and about.  It’s grey outside and the grumbling in my stomach reminds me to put the kettle on. Coffee first. Then, when there are enough neurons firing, something else… food. Yogourt and granola. Love this granola but seriously – $8 for the bag made me cringe, but I got it anyway because it has Good Stuff in it, and I don’t have much Good Stuff so I need to make it count. I have a sort of dietic apathy.  I love food but the preparing and cooking of it doesn’t interest me, so quick and convenient (which usually doesn’t mean healthy). I did buy some pita bread and will experiment with making my own chips (*must steep fresh rosemary in olive oil*). I do like the experimental aspect of it. And when people enjoy what I make. There’s only the two of us and it gets old always being the one to be doing the cooking.

*pausing to make some coffee*

The smell of coffee is still on my hands. I love how it smells. How it tastes, too, but the smell is what brings it all together – the scent, the taste, the way it’s warmth spreads as it progresses down to my belly.

I had an image come to me this morning, for my art journal page, as I laid in bed with my arms clasped together over my lower abdomen, feeling it rise and fall with each breath. The awareness of my breath made me focus on it even more, and I breathed relaxation into it. I saw it as if it was burning, like a fire enlivened by the wind from the bellows. I had until now thought that my creativity stemmed from the root chakra, the elemental connection of our bodily selves to the spark that materialized us, but I see now that it’s at the second chakra where my breath is feeding the raging fires that it births from.

I made plans. I wrote them out (in my Notes, on the iPhone).

One is to do these… morning pages. To write for an hour. Another is to write on one of my stories. I haven’t touched the Telescope story in a while, and I feel it’s time to revisit it again. I’m just going to write. What else can I do but write it out? Yet another to-do item is to research freelance opportunities for writers and artists. I want to know where the markets are, what they require, so that I can build a repertoire of material that will likely be attractive. Targeted work. I always thought that making “art” to order would take away from my creative process, but I think in some ways it will fuel it, make me stretch in ways I would not have had it just been for me and my being left to my own devices. I hope it makes me a better writer and artist.

And then there is the roast for dinner. I am going to put it in the oven around 4PM. It’s a mammoth rolled pork blade roast, and I now realize that I will have to return to the grocery store because I think it needs to be accompanied by brussels sprouts. Yes, definitely. It will be poked and inserted with slivers of garlic and resemble Pinhead – Clive would be proud. I wish I had some rendered fat to rub on its surface. I have some duck fat and it works well as a fat for many things but it just doesn’t sound like it would taste right with the pork, which is lighter and more subtle in flavour and the duck fat doesn’t ever quite lose that wildness. I wish I could find some juniper berries. Not tons.. just a bit. I had a recipe call for some and it’s not something that regularly shows up between the peppercorn and nutmeg and turmeric.  I have a serious spice hoarding issue. Well… not hoarding – collecting. But I use them. I’m the one who makes lavender and thyme shortbread cookies. I love lavender. In food. Well, in anything, Period.

*pauses to go grab the mail that just got violently shoved through the mail slot by the postal carrier – it always startles me*

Nothing particularly exciting, though Organic Gardening was in there, and I know that preparing for the next growing season isn’t all that far off. I’m so grateful that Tyler and Amanda are keen gardeners and that they allow me to stick my hands into the dirt here, and also reap some of the bounty. I’ve been thinking that perhaps my (two boxes of!) paper making supplies could be put to use during this lull and that I make some seeded paper to sell. On etsy, maybe. I always wonder about whether it’s worth opening up an etsy storefront or not. Whether it’s more trouble than it’s worth; whether you need the demand already in place for the supply to be worth the trouble. Not quite buying the “if you build it they will come” paradigm. But who knows.

Well, the hour is about up. I’m ready for some granola and yogourt. Maybe another coffee, and then I’ll tackle something else on my list. One of which should be to take a shower.

The blues…


“Once in a Blue Moon”
Watercolor, gouache

I worked on my blue postcards this weekend and finished them up. These are all similar (though not exactly the same, since they’re all originals). They took considerably less time than I usually spend on these projects. I don’t know why I feel compelled to create little mini masterpieces each month… well, I do know… I’m neurotic, is all, when it comes to my artwork. I’m trying to finish up old stuff… mail out things that have been sitting here for eons, and have yet to be taken care of. It almost seems like I can’t move ON and take the next steps before I close out some of the old things that have been hanging around and being ignored.

I have to share this from Anahata Katkin’s blog (we share the same astrological sign), since it almost exactly sums up how I”ve been feeling lately:

For the astrology buffs out there, my official Saturn Return is in about a week. For the rest of you -and for me- that means I feel like a complete dork and I’m having a real time of it. I have the dreaded feeling that suddenly I’m going to get swallowed up by the grumpy old man that is hanging around in my head. I can be intense, yes. My friends and family would all easily enjoy a good jab at my stubbornness and shall we say over enthusiasm. But grumpy has not been one of my Brownie stripes until lately. It’s all comical since there is no apparent reason for discomfort in my life. Sailing along and some how missing ME. You know. The real me. (Do you have a real you that seems like a kid you accidently forgot at the pool and then suddenly remembered when you got to the grocery store!?) I have that sinking feeling that I better find the missing pieces before I begin this next chapter in my life. As I was saying the other day-everything in life feels up for renegotiation. (I know classic Saturn Return BS.) Here is what old Brezny says this week to help me with my vague attitude:
“It’s the Season of Burning, Churning Yearning. Here are three of the most important things I’ve ever told you about how to get what you need. (1) If you don’t precisely articulate your conscious desires, your unconscious patterns will come true instead. (2) If you want your conscious desires to trump your unconscious patterns, speak or write your conscious desires every day. (3) It’s better to have three huge, soaring, potent desires than 25 puny, scrabbling, half-assed desires.”

Woo-hoo! Time to figure out my three huge, soaring, potent desires rather than 25 puny, scrabbing, half-assed ones! [Hmmm… wonder if dinner with Keanu would count as a former or a latter desire… hmmm…]

And finally… I’ve been a grumpy butt lately (though not always unjustifiably)… just having one of those LAST STRAW moments… SO if I’ve offended you in some way, or hurt your feelings, I ask for your forgiveness and request your indulgence… and if it was something you said… I’ll forgive you and seeing that my memory is like a colander, there is a pretty good chance that I’ll forget about it too.