Sunday, September 23, 2007

Plein, plane or plain?

The title sounds like a foreign language idiom. Fear not trusted blog viewers! Plein-air painting (pronounced “plehn”) is painting outside, on location! The goal is to capture the changes in light upon a subject. Remember Impressionism? Out of the studio and into the world!!! Sweet creativity!

Saturday, I ventured out with the Plein Air Painters of Chicago. I created my first painting ever! I’ve done work with paints and drawings but never a full out painting. I really suck. (I also didn’t finish my painting). When critique-time came around I proudly (although with trepidation - wanting to hide behind the largest tree I could find) displayed my painting with the others (it stuck out like a child’s drawing among masterpieces). I have to start somewhere! I did not finish the painting and this lends to it’s appearing elementary. Feel the fear and do it anyways! I jumped in with both feet. Actually I like that scary feeling when beginning something new. It’s tough but it tingles in a good way. Like something important is on the way! After all the things I’ve done in my life, I’m wondering why the heck I get fearful anyways.

Now, being self-reflective I learned that it’s important to have people around you who support you. Rob, my husband, gave me enough “slack” to allow me to hang out with the painting set this weekend without complaint. He also listened when I reflected back on the experience. Oh, and babysat the gorgeous girls all weekend.

I got some GREAT advice from the very gracious and welcoming Chicago Plein air Painters. They really rock! They are displaying their artwork at the Edgewater Historical Society in Andersonville, Fri-Sun Oct. 5-7, 2007. There will be paintings for sale. They will be affordable. My strong recommendation is to get one now. I feel Plein Air painting is really going to take off in Chicago and now may be the only time you can make such a luxurious purchase for a nominal amount! If you’ve never seen Plein air artists in action, check it out. It’s so neat to see them work. Children love it! They have weekly (Sat from 8:30-Noon) paint outs throughout Chicagoland. It’s so cool to see them scattered over an area painting and improving the vibe around them. Check their blog for more info! Or contact me!

I challenge you all to try something new this week. Feel some fear this week - and do it anyways! Then tell me about it!


Friday, September 21, 2007

What Ancient Language are YOU?

I took a test to see what ancient language I was. Older Futhark!

Language of the Norse, Older Futhark! Thirty symbols, all told. And no hardier, more warrior-like tongue has ever graced the longships of the Viki or left the Celts and Saxons in such quivering fear.

Ooo, don't I sound impressive? Never heard of it. It's Norse. Does that make me blonde and blue eyed or a bad-ass Viking? The language died out about 800 years ago. I wonder if this is the language my daughters spoke to me in their pre-verbal years. Heck, even now I think they throw some Older Futhark into their rants just to keep me on my toes! Arrg!

Take the test at:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Kids are Gorgeous!

Gosh, these photos are proof positive -- My kids are just gorgeous! They are flat out hiliarious too. Just today Aislin (14 months) ate the tips off of 3 markers! Pink, black and gray. How 1980's of her. The real art came out in her dirty diaper! Ahh, green poopie (Wanna see? j/k). Can you see the clouds in Aislin's cool blue eyes? Sorry boys, no dowry's accepted.

Indigo is a budding little darling full of fire and personality. She likes to make silly faces for the camera. Anyone have any straight forward shots of Indigo? I can't seem to get one these days. Tell me it's a phase!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Running is for flightless birds

Did you know that Ostrich's are flightless birds? They can RUN at speeds up to 45 mph! I bet they don't care. They're birds. They're probably depressed because they can't fly like their cronies. And they're really ugly. Poor ostriches.

Some of you know that I am a former college athlete and former mile runner. I never liked running. It just seemed to suit me. Like stink on ugly. I never appreciated it. Running sucks. Just ask my friend, Roxanne, a marathon-runner-in-training. Shuh, you can ask anyone and you'd probably get the same response. Running blows! Regardless of how I feel, I made some running goals this summer. First train and run a 10K (6.2 mi) in 1 hour.

Check, did it! Next, earn my Chick's Run technical tee from racking up 50 miles. Earned only each Wed night at Fleet Feet Sports. Check that!. Most recently I ran 10 miles with Rox who was running 20 (the mile marker says 8.5 mi, but we started 1.5 miles before the marked path began).

Good lawd and oy vey. It was a sympathy run for Roxanne/a much needed fitness goal for me. Poor Wox had 20 miles to run for her marathon training. Previously during one of her longer runs her mp3 player ran out of battery power 1 hour into a 3 hour run. I thought, the rubber is meeting the road with our friendship, I can help with the 20 miles. I can talk incessantly to her 10 of those lonely miles! Hey, what are friends for? :-) It could only motivate her to finish - and fast! Just kidding. As I traveled back to my car on the "L" Rox called. Yes, she called me - around mile 18, while running. She could still speak.

10 consecutive, non-stop miles was a new accomplishment for me completed in the wee early morning hours this past Saturday morning. Woo hoo. I don't think I've made peace with running yet. I'm toying with perhaps trying to once again run a 5 minute mile (1500m). Not sure my osteoporotic bones can handle the jarring, or my boobs, for that matter. But I have duct tape for both. Or maybe, I'm just a like the flightless bird; I want to soar but have to settle for running fast.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Toxic or Truth?

I secretly delight in my guilty pleasure of dorkiness. I'm a dorklette.

I also love color! I love wearing bright colors. I love seeing bright colors. I also like interesting perspectives; visual, philosophical or flat-out mental. When I first saw this photograph I was drawn like a moth to an open flame! Like George Hamilton to unfiltered sunlight! What the heck was I looking at?

I made a pencil drawing, a water color painting, a color printout onto a large transparency from my painting. I'm obsessed! (The photo was taken underwater where a hot spring (green) meets a river, colored brown, from tannins. Apparently, it's also a nice place to swim).

I had ideas to create an art installation based on this image! Until --I showed it to my artsy friends (very nice and very artsy). They thought it looked "toxic!". Hmmm. Gosh I never thought of that! I was seduced by the color and perspective that I failed to notice the obvious... it looks like burnt-black silhouettes floating on tubes in nuclear sludge. However, perhaps because I knew what I was looking at, I saw something much more philosophical. I saw the brown of an old river merging with the fresh, deep waters of it's source. Kind of like meeting it's maker. Only the light of the sun could bring out the truth of this visual dicotomy. My question is: How can we even see the colors? Why aren't the colors obscurred or merky? The photographer must be in a place unaffected by the merge - unmerged! Otherwise it would appear as if we're looking through a brown filter, no? Kinda difficult being that it's all the "same" water!

My thoughts go to God. We are fallen sinners, submerged in the toxic water of sin. Some submerged in the water, some barely have their heads above water. Some are merely floating just above the water. Nonetheless we are tainted by the water. The sun is the light of God illuminating the truth of the situation. Do you think the swimmers know what they are swimming in? I think they are too close to it and can't dicipher it. But the photographer can see it! From some place, she sees it and captures it's truth in film. She had to get into the toxic-looking water to do this. Perhaps putting herself at some personal risk (claustrophobia for sure!). Maybe in this analogy (and I'm just thinking out loud here) Jesus is the photographer.

Jesus submerged himself into humanity by coming to earth to be our propitiation. He did not come to abolish sin (that would take away our free choice, possibly), he came to pay the penalty for OUR sin. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we accept it or not. Jesus submerged in the wretched world saw the truth (how empathetic of him), submerged himself anyways and then gave us the greatest gift of love; reconciliation with God. The only bridge between God and Man. God and me. God and you.

I may be thinking about this waaaaay too much. But I like this shot, even accepting it's toxicity. It's getting displayed in some form, somewhere in my house. I vote for the bathroom! Go Toxic!

I told you I'm a dorklette. Thanks to National Geographic's picture of the day for providing fodder for my otherwise pre-occupied mind!


Map of U.S. nuclear waste containment sites