Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thinking about art


 Not much happens around here from day to day.  I go nowhere and do nothing.  Nevertheless, I am content.  I spend my days doing a little housework, painting, reading, doing puzzles, writing, etc....all with the companionship of my puppy.  Elliot is always in my sight, his life being so very small and confined, yet he amuses himself with toys and with Leah, the cat. While I read, he sleeps by my feet or in my lap. I have been reading my old journals off and on, amazingly entertained by the old me.  There I am......wife, mother, social worker, needlepoint designer, art teacher, Art Society president, photo retoucher, courtroom artist, portrait painter, probably more I won't bother to drag out of my memory bank right now.  For most of those many years I was also an art student at the University of Maine.  I had a degree in Modern Languages from when I was a traditional student, but in the early 70's I went back to the University to study art.  My husband had just moved out, I had two small children.  My life was in turmoil.......but hasn't my life always been in turmoil?........up until now of course.  The only real problem I have now is lack of money.  Money is a small thing and my poverty does not bother me in the least.

The years I have spent since my marriage ended were at first tumultuous .  As an art student I worked out all my demons with the help of a wonderful art teacher and mentor.  Yesterday I was reading some of the notebooks and journals I kept then (an activity I enjoy several times a year) and looking at pictures of the rather shocking and bizarre paintings, prints, and sculptures I produced then.  It's quite obvious that I was in great turmoil and used art to manage my emotions as best I could.   My paintings are calm now.....I strive for technique, composition, color, beauty.  Nevertheless, I think of these paintings as a craft more than an art.  I am a designer of canvas rectangles that remind viewers of something in their own psyches....a place they once visited, a pet they loved, an event in their own lives.  They evaluate them using their own values, their own ideas of beauty, their own emotions.  They steal my work.

I hear the voices of those who sneer at the phrase "art for art's sake."  But I also hear the applause of the abstract expressionists, searching for the meaning of art once the camera was invented.



Friday, August 07, 2020

another postponement

 Well, my surgery was postponed again, at the last minute.  Apparently I am still anemic.  Now there is no date set.  I took this with very little grace, I admit, but now I am wilted from accepting the news.  I am  in limbo with an appointment for an "infusion" pending.  So I keep limping along as best I can.


Friday is a bad day for me anyway since I have to put out the trash for collection.  Trying to maneuver large trashcans and many cardboard boxes while using a walker is a challenge.  Today I found strange full garbage cans in front of the house,,,,,some neighbor must have decided to take advantage of my contract with Moose Island Trash Removal....... likely some temporary tenants in the house next door.  It doesn't bother me.  I have a pretty big pile of trash myself anyway because I have to order my pet supplies, as well as my groceries.  They all come in gigantic cardboard boxes that then have to be disposed of.  I cringe at the amount of trash I generate.  I'm embarrassed by it.  I called the company and they offered to consolidate the shipments, but now the boxes are too big for me to handle without herculean strength.  (Try hauling a box four feet high full of canned dogfood, catfood, bird food, bags of dry food, puppy pads, cat litter, chicken feed (50 pounds) from the curb, down a cement walk, up over two steps, and through a doorway with a hysterically barking puppy and a cat trying to get through the door....all while using a walker.


Well it will all be over at some point........at least I have to believe it will be.  And all things considered I am patting myself on the back for being so independent and capable in the face of my temporary handicap. I've tried to figure out some way to take a picture of myself struggling with this, but I guess I will have to wait for some stranger to walk by while I'm doing it.  Instead, I'll take another picture of my little puppy, who keeps a smile on my face no matter what else happens.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Good-bye Girls

Yesterday I published an entry about losing my chickens, but it has disappeared somehow.  I'll try again with much less emotion since I have weathered the worst of it now.  More neighbor complaints finally forced me to re-home my beloved chickens.  Yesterday they left for their new home with Mercedes, a new friend who lives in a fairly close town.  She has a farm with all kinds of animals. including chickens. They probably thought they had been transported to heaven since she took them away with a huge piece of watermelon in the cage.  They never looked back.

I can't blame my neighbors for not wanting the infestation of rats that the chickens caused, but the way they handled it irritates me.  These are summer residents, here for two months, who apparently feel that the way to solve problems is to call in the authorities. These neighbors have never said a word to me about the chickens.  I only know them from their constant warnings to me to not let the dogs "shit on my lawn.."  I have never not picked up after my dogs, so their attitude was very irritating, especially since I rarely go by their house. 

Well, since this was the second complaint, the police told me (very nicely and sympathetically) that the chickens had to go.  Actually, they contacted my landlord first.  Apparently it isn't part of their protocol to deal with the offender first.  She was very understanding and I was the picture of cooperation. 

So this is the end of my chicken era.  They have been part of my identity for so long that I feel I have lost part of myself.  Ever since I came to Eastport  over twenty years ago and the landlord I had then asked if he could leave his chickens with me, I have been smitten.  Many chickens have come and gone, and I've loved them all.

Friday, July 03, 2020

PS from yesterday

After trashing my garden in yesterday's post, I noticed this rose among the weeds along my front walk.  I planted five rose bushes in memory of my grandfather, who had a walk like mine to his front door.  Last year I thought they were all dead, but this morning  as I limped out to the sidewalk with my trash, I noticed two little roses peaking out from under the weeds..  I was delighted.  When I started to pull the weeds out around them, this blossom came with them, much to my chagrin. So I brought it in and gave it a special environment all its own.