Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cereus, 8x10

This is my second lefthanded painting, and of all my weird plants, it is one of the weirdest. It blooms at night and is pollinated by bats. As long as I am painting lefthanded, I am going to call it my Sinistra Series. In Latin, dextra is righthanded and sinistra is lefthanded. Very unfair to lefties, I have always thought, using the root word for "sinister" to describe them, where "dextra" implies dexterity. So I proudly join the sinistra and hope for more dexterity as time goes by.

This painting is an oil, and I have to have so much help from Hap to set up and clean up. I can't even wash parts of my hand alone. A fixed stationary brush I could scrub on would be good, I think. I have three acquaintances born with one arm and I admire them even more than I already did. But I am very pumped about this painting, just to find that it is possible to do it! Watch for more in the Sinistra Series.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lefty Woman

This is my first lefthanded painting and I am pretty pleased. It is unbelievably awkward, but maybe it will get better. My blog will be chronicling my improvement or lack of.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day After

Had a fun day after Christmas at Stef's house. Hap made a great pecan pie, and Stef had tons of good food. I wore the beautiful bracelet she brought me from Hawaii and, distinctively, one large earring. I worked so hard getting it in my ear, I just gave up on the other ear and decided it gave me a certain flair. Tomorrow I will join my Pieces of 8 peeps to paint. I have not been brave enough to try yet. I will do watercolors for now and see how it goes. This painting is a little watercolor I did last year. It is a tiny 5x8.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Primavera, 8x10

I guess I will be doing a lot of abstracts now. This one was done while I still had my right hand, and it is rather exhilarating to paint this loosely.

 My good news is that my X-rays show I am healing properly. My family practice doctor said my surgeon, Dr Ashberg, did a fabulous job. The bad news is I will be in a cast 8 weeks. My husband cooked our Christmas brunch by himself and we had five people over and all agreed it was delicious. So, more positives about my broken wrist; Hap learns to cook. He is a man who can do anything; if he had to build the stove to cook it on, he could probably do that too.

My friends in the Pieces of Eight brought us delicious food last week and it really saved the day. We were still adjusting to this situation. I also got a Crabtree and Evelyn care package from a member who is away. Lovely! Things like this help so much. Great for morale too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We went out yesterday for our Chinese Auction gifts and some clothes I can get into with this fat arm. The saleslady at Macy's was so kind and was literally dressing me (Hap got a break). We play games at Xmas and Hap suggested Pictionary (ha ha). I can't even draw a stick figure with my left hand, but I will get better. The least activity leaves me tired but getting better each day. Here is a painting I did before I broke myself. My granddaughter Halie, who is always a good model.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Letter of Advice from My Friend Cindy

Poor Carmen!  This will slow her down but let’s not count her out!!  I actually sold a painting I did with my left hand while my right had pins in it and a cast to my elbow!

Once the pain wears off Carmen (a few miserable days) you will be amazed at the brain stretching that goes on in figuring out how to do everything.  The absolute worse is dressing, hair care and bathroom stuff….(no need for details).  I went to the Beall’s Outlet, old lady section, and bought 2-3 pairs of pants with elastic waistbands….no zippers, no buttons, no jeans!!  You will need shirts to pull on over your head and if it means several of Hap’s so be it.  I wore these two pair til I was sick of them and gave them to Goodwill when the cast came off!

Bathing started to be a chore but once we got it down pat I milked it for all it is worth:  fill the tub (might as well add some bubble or salts…NO OILS!!!, pull a newspaper plastic bag over the bandages and have Hal escort you to the tub holding onto your good arm…arm, not hand!  This too is important.  Lower down carefully while he is still there and then soak away while he gets dinner on.  Call out romantically to him when you are ready to be scrubbed.  It’s a cross between return to your childhood and the best “first night” ever….you both can fill in this part.  Now, no matter how excited or relaxed you are getting out is tricky.  Again have him support you with your good arm, stand, he can help you step out…then insist he dry you off…Very hard to do with one hand!!  Truthfully!!

Now before all you others rush out to break your wrists the down side is hair care….I usually leaned back in the tub and had Bob do it, not ideal, but it gets the job done.  Every couple of weeks my mother would take me to the chain (ie cheap) hair cuttery and I would have them do it professionally: HEAVEN!!  (Maybe I can take you for such in lieu of a casserole….) Forget blow drying: men don’t get it.  Forget make-up, men (real men) can’t do it.  

Last piece of advice (for now): I too had a busted wrist (2 of the 3 were during holidays so what does that tell you about us being overloaded) and being the artist I was (and you are) I decided to spiff up my cast by gluing a rhinestone bracelet on it.  Well, pieces and parts that looked like a bracelet…gave me an entre to talk to everyone and keep my spirits up….So bring your left over beads and stones and we can build Carmen a lovely piece of fine jewelry for the holidays…with her permission of course!!

I am so, so sorry Carmen…I’m not making light of the situation at all…but gee, I never got an ambulance ride!!  And being the Pollyanna of the group I had to share the good parts…we will look forward to seeing you Monday (good thing Transf painting is done….remind me to drag mine out as preventative meds).


Monday, December 21, 2009

Typing Lefthanded

Well, I’ve done it now. On Tuesday my husband and I were painting a set for the Christmas play at Church and I Steven Tyler’d off the edge of the stage. Or, for you older people, I Ann-Margret’d off the edge of the stage. So stupid. I landed on my wrist, and an artist’s paintbrush literally flashed before my eyes when I looked at my mangled wrist. It was a sable with a black handle. I couldn’t even stand, I was faint. My husband Hap called 911 and they came and asked me if I wanted to have my husband drive me, and I said no, you take me. I found out an ambulance is a rough ride. That seems wrong. Also wrong is the hours of suffering in the emergency room before they give you relief. Why? They were not busy.

Six hours later I went into surgery. That anesthesia was quite welcome and the anesthesiologist is my new BFF.

Leading up to the fall, we had a series of things break: the pool pump, garage door, Hap’s glasses; at the church I commented that I wondered what would break next. (Hap says his new glasses are Sarah Palin style and now he can see Russia.)

My friends Denette and Mary brought food, which really helps so much. Hap is taking good care of me, he is the kindest person you’ll ever meet and I am very fortunate.

Hap did complete the work on the stage set, and we got to see the play Saturday night. It was wonderful. I can’t believe the amount of talent in River Run Christian Church, including a fabulous band. We both had a sense of accomplishment in spite of everything. In six weeks I should be able to paint again. God bless us every one!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mountain Majesty, 5x7

This is a companion piece to Summer Meadow, my previous entry. It looks so refreshing, as I am sitting here in the muggy heat, wondering what happened to the Florida winters of my childhood. I have a frangipani tree that is so confused, it has no leaves at all, it's just a stick, yet there is a bloom right on top. I am thankful to not be knee-deep in snow, but I'm getting pretty sick of my summer clothes. Could we at least go down to 70 degrees?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Summer Meadow, 5x7

This picture came from a visit to the Pacific Northwest to visit my family in the Seattle area. What a beautiful place that is. We were in Mt. Rainier National Park when I took this. The trees are big, the mountains are big, the sky is big. You can see snow and flowers at the same time. We also went to the market in Seattle, a wondrous place where huge, glorious bouquets can be bought for small prices. It's also the place where they throw large salmon at each other. It's quite entertaining. Seattle has a flavor all its own. Hmmm...I might need to go back there soon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Peppers and Garlic, 5x7

Time to get back to the easel, at least until Christmas preparation intervenes. If I don't paint today I'm going to explode. I don't know how I ever got any painting done back when I had a full-time job. Of course, the art creation was very sporadic then, what with raising children and working outside the home. Perhaps when I'm very very old, they will find me at my easel, slapping on the paint, Alizarin Crimson on my face, Titanium White in my hair, surrounded by dust and hoarded newspapers and magazines and thousands of brushes, still trying to achieve perfection.

This little picture is your standard Paint-It-Then-Eat-It still life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

This is my Good News post. Yesterday the Pieces of 8 were one of the studios on the Winter Studio Tour, and though the weather was miserable and rainy, we had people coming all day, and lots of sales. It was great fun. I can't believe how prolific our group has been this year, and there were many wonderful paintings to choose from. I'm so proud of my Sisters in Paint!

In other good news, my painting, "The Graduate," won an Award of Excellence at the Florida State Association of the National League of American Pen Women in Sarasota. Besides that excitement, when I went to the Sarasota Art Center where my painting was exhibited, I found a Dean Mitchell watercolor exhibit there also, so I got to see the great painter's work up close. I've been an admirer of that wonderful Florida artist for many years. It was a good day all round.