Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Don't Be Stupid

The game Battle Shots is catching on as a new drinking game. At first, when I saw this picture going around on Facebook, I thought it was a joke, but no. There's actually a board game and people are playing it for real. See?

Oh, I remember drinking games in college. We played Quarters; Pass Out (another board game); Thumper; and Zoom, Schwartz, Profigliano. But these were all beer games (even Beer Pong is a beer game), and typically we did a "take a drink" as in sip, not chug a whole beer. So shots? I dunno. Count the "ships" on the board there--I can't imagine doing 16 shots in what? The thirty minutes it takes to play a round of Battleship?

Shots of beer, sure.

Shots of straight liquor, no way. At the height of my alcoholism, 15 drinks in an evening wasn't abnormal for me--it was actually more the norm--but they were spread out over about six to eight hours and I had a decent tolerance for alcohol.

I can see some dumb freshman during Rush Week sitting down to play Battle Shots; some kid who's used to maybe having two or three beers--okay, maybe even a six-pack; and stupidly downing 16 shots of whiskey in thirty minutes.

So, we are talking Emergency Room, puking, yeehaw, alcohol poisoning, possible death, what fun.

I don't mean to be a party pooper. (But every party has a pooper; that's why y'all invited me, right?) Responsible drinking is something I'm all for. (I just can't master that myself, having, apparently, no stop button installed.) So I'll just say this: Don't try to sink every ship playing this game. Quit before it's done. Or fill the shot glasses with beer instead of liquor.

Whatever you do, don't get the bright, alcoholic's idea of mixing things up, like the destroyers are vodka, the cruiser is rum, the battleship is tequila. You want sick? If you survive it, you'll be praying to the Porcelain Goddess for a couple days.

And remember: binge drinking, for males, is defined as five or more drinks in one sitting. For women, it's four. Don't make binge drinking a habit.

Your brain cells, your liver, and you will thank me one day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Moment of Silence

Rest in peace, a Prince of Peace, Mohandas Gandhi (Oct 2, 1869 - Jan 30, 1948), assassinated 64 years ago today by a religious extremist.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Dreaming

The night before last, I had a dream in which I was on some sort of journey that included stops off at sacred places. But it wasn't a lone journey; it was more like I was with a tourist group with a travel agency. We each received a brochure and map that described the significance of each stop, and the larger group broke off into smaller groups, scattering in different directions, different groups anxious to see certain sites more than other sites. I dallied behind and went to Stop One for the sole reason that few people had chosen it and it wouldn't be as crowded. But it wasn't very interesting. So then I got in line for Stop Two, which involved a larger group and a short boat ride to the site. There was mounting excitement as we approached the shore because it was one of the more popular sites on the trip.

I got off the boat and looked around at the landscape, and I thought, "These mountains look just like those mountains I crossed in that dream I had about Arizona that one time." It was then that I realized, in my dream, that I was dreaming again. In the dream I was trying to piece together what was significant about this particular landscape (mountains, red rocks, canyon) that would make it keep popping up in my dreams when Jerry the cat decided he'd had about enough of me sleeping and that it was time for me to wake up and give him food.

I love stuff like this. For me, the unconscious is this huge reservoir of stuff all mixed in together: memories of this life, imaginings either already imagined or not yet imagined until just now in the dream, past-life memories, and shared human recollections embedded in our DNA (think: Jung's collective unconscious). The unconscious is where the true heart of spirituality resides; we are offered glimpses into it mainly in dreams, in meditations, and in acts of creativity. Stuff that happens in dreams can be pretty powerful, and several I've had have stuck with me my entire life. Surely an emotional dream can affect your mood all day long.

I've had only a few lucid dreams, though, so at least beginning another (thanks but no thanks, Jerry!) was kind of a cool experience. The great thing about lucid dreams is that you turn into the director of your own dream. You know you're dreaming, so you can do "dream things" like fly or magically materialize somewhere on the other side of the globe--you're limited only by what you're unwilling to let out of your unconscious. They say you can't die in a dream because if you do, you'll never wake up in reality, but of course all that is hogwash. I've died in dreams and floated over my own body as spirit. Once I had a dream in which I experienced our 3rd dimension reality simultaneously with the astral plane because somebody I was with in the dream was trying to demonstrate the point to me that there are multiple dimensions, and, depending on where you are, that's the reality you see but not necessarily the whole picture. Heck, I've traveled in outer space and recognized places, feeling the glad relief of homecoming (explain that one). I probably sound crazy. But that's the unconscious mind. It's hard to go in there without sounding crazy.

I wake up; I realize it was a dream. I remain grounded here.

Yet I marvel. As old as the human race is (and maybe we're not really all that old, in a universe space-time sense), we have only just begun tapping into the secrets of the unconscious mind.

Credits: painting Dreamscape 2 by Ronald Peat

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jesus Jones: "Right Here Right Now"

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be.
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up . . . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Story of Jesus in India

This material will rattle the cages of evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Christians who take every word of the Bible literally. (My advice is to proceed no further since you will find all of this to be heretical, dangerous, the work of Satan, and, perhaps, you'll accuse me of collaborating with the New World Order Movement.)

With that disclaimer given, I think this is a fascinating story, even uplifting. I say this because, given the parallels between the stories of Krishna, Siddhartha, and Jesus (virgin births, temptation by the Devil, healings and miracles, the feeding of the masses, similar teachings, etc), one can conclude that God really is one God: the Hindus, the Buddhists, and the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Allah are all one and the same--each faith merely follows a different path, but they all lead to the same place.

The story of Jesus in India is apocryphal, of course, and the texts are contained in not only the gnostic teachings but also in ancient manuscripts that are scattered across India and Tibet. They "fill in gaps," so to speak. The story goes something like this: the missing years of Jesus (ages 13-29, when he began his ministry in modern day Israel) are missing because Jesus was traveling, learning from various gurus and religious sects across the East. He left Palestine at age 13 and followed the Silk Road. At one point he got into serious trouble with one sect of Brahmins because he wanted to share his teachings with the common people--which was a huge no-no in a land with a caste system of untouchables. His life was under threat, but he was warned, so he fled to another place. By the time Jesus returned to Israel, he was already used to people in positions of power being threatened by his messages of equality and social justice.

So, preaching to the Jewish people was much the same. He knew at some point his life would be threatened, and of course, it was. The Romans crucified him at the urging of the Jewish elders, who found Jesus a blasphemer.

Here is where the story departs radically from Christianity. Jesus, the story goes, didn't actually die on the cross. For one thing, he wasn't on it long enough to die (anywhere from 3-6 hours; the Gospels contradict themselves on this point). Crucifixions typically took days because a person didn't bleed to death (nails through the hands/wrists and feet are not mortal wounds); death was typically by slow suffocation because eventually the victim couldn't bear his own body weight and take in enough oxygen. Sometimes, if there was some hurry, the Romans would break the legs of the crucified person to hasten death (with the legs broken, they instantaneously can't bear their own weight, so they suffocate quickly). We know from the Gospels in the Bible that the Romans did not break Jesus' legs because they thought he was already dead. The centurion instead jabbed him with his spear to see if Jesus would react, and he didn't. But today we know that passing out from shock can make a person unresponsive. The fact that it's recorded that blood and fluids spurted from the wound in Jesus' side actually suggests he was still alive.

So Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus hastened to Joseph's tomb with Jesus' body, and, oddly, they carried with them a TON of herbs which turn out to be not embalming herbs, but the healing herbs myrrh and aloe. They treated him and who knows? In three days, Jesus wasn't to be found in the tomb. Christians claim he was resurrected from death. Those who believe the Jesus in India story say it was not so much a resurrection as a "resuscitation."

So, you know, the fact that Jesus appears to the apostles in the actual flesh--doubting Thomas touches him, and he is flesh, not spirit--underscores the possibility that he didn't actually die. But, he was certainly a wanted man, so he had to leave Israel, and that he did.

He wouldn't have gone west (into yet more Roman territory), so he logically went back East, along the Silk Road once again by way of Damascus, Persia, Afghanistan and so on, making his way back to India. Eventually he settled in Kashmir. Why this area? There was (and still is) a Jewish sect there. They claim to be descendents of one of the the Lost Tribes of Israel. He lived out the rest of his life there to the ripe old age of 80, preaching and performing healings, and is buried there in a tomb that pilgrims visit to this day. It's definitely First Century and the body is buried according to the Jewish customs.

It's a cool story. Do I believe it? Heck, I don't know. See, to me, it doesn't matter. What matters to me are Jesus' teachings. Here is a website that gives many more details about the story, and the video below is fascinating watching.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mitt the Ripper

Apologies if you like Mitt Romney, but this is just funny. John Lithgow narrates. Brought to you by the SuperPAC Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Relapsing: A Mistake, But Not the End of the World

A friend was telling me yesterday about one of her dear friends, a man who has been sober for two years now, who fell off the wagon. Life caught up with him, too much shit was going on, and he said "f*ck it." I know the feeling. I have relapsed many, many times. The first time I tried getting sober, I stayed sober for seven months and white knuckled it the whole time. This was because I had clung to the idea the entire seven months that I could learn to drink moderately. My partner at the time was persuaded by my success with sobriety and acceded to my commencing drinking again. It was a mistake.

There were other periods of attempted sobriety over the course of my twenty-nine-year drinking career, but the second serious time I tried to get sober, it was because I'd scared myself. I drank so much so quickly that I was yabbering away on my bar stool one moment, and a second later, my eyes rolled back in my head. I fell off the bar stool and to the floor, slamming my head in the process, and lay unconscious for a few more seconds. When I came to, I started puking my guts up. People swarmed around me, saying things; a friend pulled me to my feet and drag-walked me to the restroom to clean me up. An ambulance arrived. The EMTs couldn't believe that alcohol was the only thing in my system--there had to be something else. There was nothing. Nothing but booze. I was rushed off the hospital with alcohol poisoning, or, as my official diagnosis read: "acute alcohol intoxication."

Pretty "cute," all right.

It was horribly embarrassing. I was grateful the bar wasn't one I frequented, so only the couple people who were with me would know that fool had been me. The ER nurse suggested tartly that I "learn to change my habits." The cop taking the report was kind: "Too much to drink, huh?" A baffled, "I guess so," from me. I felt like crap for three whole days after that. The bill for the ER and the ambulance set me back two thousand bucks.

I stayed sober for three months, but since fear was the only thing keeping me sober, I went right back out.

And here's the thing. Fear isn't enough. A nagging spouse isn't enough. Nothing is enough to keep you sober until it's YOU who wants to be, and stay, sober. Until you give in to the fact that you are just one of those persons who can't drink, that alcohol does bizarre shit to you, and that you can NEVER drink, you will be doomed to one day pick the stuff up again.

The next step is: how to maintain this frame of mind for two, five, ten, twenty years, the rest of your life?

Some people keep a list of all the awful things that ever happened to them when they were drinking. If tempted to drink, they review that list. That reminds them why they decided to get sober in the first place. (After a few years, it can be easy to forget, especially since the addict in our brain is very good at reminding us of all the "fun" we had when we drank.)

For me personally, it's having a solid spiritual program that keeps me sober. My spirituality now drips over into virtually all aspects of my life: I meditate, I pray, I teach (helping others aligns with my spiritual program), I write and paint and play guitar (creativity aligns with my spiritual program). Basically every waking moment, I breathe and exude my own spirituality in some form or another. Bidden or unbidden, God is always present. With significance attached to every action, every moment is imbued with meaning. Drinking is irrelevant. Drinking is a huge interruption. Drinking is a backslide.

Problems become a spiritual challenge: I meditate, I think, I pray: "Show me. What shall I do? What should I do? Is it true? Is it right? Is it kind? What am I meant to learn from this? How can I turn this into something good?" And so on. There is no time for drinking. Escape is not the answer. I try to embrace problems. I have faith that, no matter what, I will grow. I know that painful emotions will not kill me. They are, after all, only feelings. Ride the wave; I simply must experience those rough feelings and see them through.

Some people are so embarrassed after a relapse that they are too humiliated to show their faces at their old AA meetings again, ashamed to sigh and say, "Hi, I'm Joe, I'm an alcoholic," when the meeting chair asks who is present who's been sober under 30 days. Hey, you can't save your butt and save face at the same time. 'Fess up. You'll feel better. Your fellow AAers tend to not judge relapses because we've all been there. Your sponsor will help you identify the causes of your relapse and help you come up with a plan for staving the next one off. It's not the end of the world; learn from your mistakes. Progress, after all; not perfection.

Brush off your jeans and hop back in the saddle. Welcome back.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Joyce's Tribute to Janis Joplin

Happy birthday, Janis, you wild thang. She'd be just pushing 70 had she not died, as oddly so many musicians have, at the age of 27. Read about her here.

Now I can't channel Joplin--can anyone?--but "Me and Bobby McGee" was her only number one hit.

ps: no laughing at my bloopers :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yosemite: Tunnel View

Here's my latest little painting on the last of the 8 x 6 canvas boards I got in the kit I received at Christmas. This is a classic view of Yosemite Valley from a pull-off known as "Tunnel View." On the right is El Capitan, in the middle in the background is a glimpse of Half Dome, and on the right is Bridalveil Fall.

This was an experiment in seeing how light changes the color of the granite and how the shadows from the clouds do the same. I remarked to Chelle yesterday that painting is starting to change the way I notice things. Whereas before, I'd have said: "A tree. You know, green leaves. Brown trunk," now I see multi shades of green and yellow, then brown, gray, and black. The mind oversimplifies things, of course, until you look at those things more closely. I suppose that's a lesson in life.

Just a Heads Up....

Tomorrow I'll be turning off the lights here at Hapless Tigger in protest of SOPA, the so-called "Stop Online Piracy Act." The bill is way too far-reaching and would have the effect of shutting down many Internet sites, for reasons as dumb as some blogger unwittingly posting something from Youtube that some corporate suit decides is copyright protected. We're talking not just removing the one questionable post, but taking down the WHOLE BLOG. SOPA would enable agencies to, essentially, shut down the entire Internet if they wanted to.

As a writer, I'm all for punishing plagiarists and people who violate copyright for their own profit, but this bill goes too far and is tantamount to censorship.

Read about SOPA here and contact your House representatives to tell them to vote "no" on HR.3261.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jim Croce: "Time in a Bottle"

Boy, what I would give to be able to play this! Alas, all I can manage are the chords.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Words for Friday the 13th

The past should be left in the past. 
Take lessons from the past; 
then leave the past behind.
Otherwise, it can destroy your future. 
Live life enjoying the NOW 
and for the things tomorrow has to offer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Best Prank Call to C-Span Evah!

Addressing voters' REAL priorities.

Two Things

I woke up early this morning from a bad dream. In it, there was a group of young men with a small sailboat, which had two sails. For some reason, the sails had to be linked together, usually with a short length of rope, but the boys had no rope. So, they used a cat instead, tying its tail to one sail and the cat's front paws to the other. I was so furious my own emotions startled me awake.

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals," wrote philosopher Immanuel Kant. Matthew 25:40 says, "Truly I say to you, Because you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Animals, of course, are (arguably) the "lesser" of us all--but they are still living creatures that feel pain. If you'd kick an animal, or use an animal without regard for its well-being, you'd do it to a person, too.

Which leads me to a thing that's been niggling at me lately, something a friend said to me a day or so after New Year's. I was so taken aback by what she said that I didn't even bother correcting her notion. I was too busy being astonished that anybody could think that way, much less me--until it occurred to me a few days later that she was projecting.

I've said it before, and it's worth saying again: whenever somebody accuses you of an action or motivation you know damn well you didn't do or didn't think, they are merely showing you what THEY would do or think. Realizing that, I felt sad for her.

Here is the gist of the conversation: we were talking about the new year and the old--2011 was a year of some changes, some ups and downs. I mentioned that my state of mind nowadays is generally good but that sometimes I just feel a tremendous sadness, not over anything specific--in some moments I simply feel sadness, loss, grief. (This doesn't bother me, incidentally; when I was drinking, this kind of thing did, but sober, I've learned to deal with my feelings. They're just feelings. I could have just as easily said in some moments I feel great ecstasy, especially lately as my spiritual and creative lives have lifted off.)

But she mistook my meaning, assumed I was talking about my marriage, and then said the astonishing thing: "I understand. Just stay put and stay secure until you find THE ONE."

This clashes so much with how I look at things and how I'd ever treat someone that I honestly didn't know what to say and finally I mumbled something lame about there not being any such a thing as a "one" and that I love my wife. (And by that I meant I don't think having an expectation about "THE ONE" is realistic: there are ONES who come into and out of your life, filling different needs at different times, some romantic relationships, most not; no single person can be all things at all times; marriage doesn't work that way--ultimately it is the marriage itself that keeps you together, a commitment to mutual regard and respect and to doing whatever it takes to make it work.)

Which is why I would never stay put in a relationship if I were looking to replace my partner. I can't think of anything more unfair. If I'm going to leave, I'm not going to let her think everything is just fine, and I'm not going to continue reaping the benefits of the relationship until there's a convenient time to depart (i.e., when I've found her replacement). If I've decided to leave, the only fair thing to do is leave, and leave now. Anything else is nothing but selfish.

Don't misunderstand me: I'm not judging women, say, who stay in a bad marriage temporarily because they don't have a job, or if there are kids to consider. In my case, there are no children, I'm gainfully employed, and I have enough savings to do just fine.

No, I stay in my marriage because I love my wife, and I choose her. This means I choose the downs with the ups, the bad with the good, the sickness and the health, all of it; and I don't have any "pie in the sky" expectations about "THE ONE"--perfection and a constant state of infatuation every waking moment. (At least I'm guessing this is what my friend means since at present she's in the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, having left a long-term partner for this new person.)

And so I wound up feeling sad for her, although now I think I may understand her better, why she tends to act out when she's angry or disappointed. I love her dearly, but I would hate to live in her head. Then again, she'd probably laugh and agree she doesn't always like being in her own head. Oh, well, we are each on our own different paths.

I read a letter this morning that John Steinbeck wrote to his son Thom after receiving a letter from the boy in which he'd confessed he'd fallen in love:
"There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had."
Acting out of love is the noblest thing a person can ever do, and Chelle brings this out of me all the time. With her, I have become a better person.

I would no sooner stay put with her, biding my time until I find someone else to "trade up" for, than I would tie a cat between two sails of a boat. There's not much difference between the two things. At least, not in my playbook.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Zenyatta Playing in the Snow

Well, I pronounce this painting done, unless something glares out at me tomorrow that needs fixing, assuming it's something fixable. I learned a lot in painting this. The biggest thing is that I really don't have the steady hand to be a complete realist. I can't make things look exactly as they are, so I let that idea go and allowed my feelings about this mare to reinterpret what my eye was seeing. If that makes any sense. Maybe not.

The other big thing I learned is that movement is everything. I think she looks flat because I didn't capture her movement and joy well enough. I think I needed more "swoop" in her neck and to put her head a little lower, stretching the neck out a bit more. I don't know that I "got down" the idea that in her next movement, she's going to plant her forelegs and kick.

But this was a fun and absorbing project, and I learned more about using the acrylics as well.

Below are pics of the painting in various stages.

Doug Smith: "Millenium Force"

Wanna see a guy play his fretboard with two hands?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Day with Rodin

This sculpture by Rodin, called Christ and Mary Magadelene, struck my eye today at the Legion of Honor here in San Francisco. It is unmistakably erotic, with Christ's arms nailed to the cross, so he cannot move, while a naked Mary Magadelene clings to him in grief.

Perhaps it's interesting to me because this is the era of the DaVinci Code and the reemergence of the gnostic gospels, where Mary is said to be an apostle and that Jesus kissed her often on her [mouth].

In any case, I found this video of the sculpture on Youtube, which shows it much better than my cell phone photo.

More information about the work is here.

And then, of course, I had to be a ham.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gorgeous Winter Day

What a gorgeous day in the city today! Chelle and I took a nice long walk along Ocean Beach, from the second windmill in Golden Gate Park all the way down to the Cliff House and back. It was so warm in the sun that I had to take off my sweatshirt and I was perfectly comfortable in a t-shirt, despite the breeze off the water.

The photo is a shot of the beach from the Cliff House.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Painting Zenyatta

Well, I'm done with tiny Egyptian gods and goddesses for awhile and have moved on to more ambitious things. I've decided to try my hand at a painting of Zenyatta playing in the snow at Lane's End. Now I'm not good enough a draftsman to make it totally realistic--not that I possess the skill and technique to do that anyway--so I'm just aiming for something that's kind of similar and is pleasing on the eye--more about creating a mood, I guess, one about how I feel when I think about the great Zenyatta finally getting to relax and be herself after thrilling us all, time after time, race after race, when she'd charge down the stretch to the wire and win by a head, drawing away.

At first I was making this video for a friend, and then it occurred to me to just put this on my blog for everybody to see.

Artists: all advice is welcome since this is my first painting like this, and honestly I'm just learning as I go along.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A State of Grace

Every now and then, something will happen that reminds me how different my life is now that I'm not drinking.

On her way out the door this morning, Chelle called, "Be back late tonight!"

I called back, "I'll be here!" Pause. "And, I'll be sober!"

She said, "I know"; the door closed, and she was on her way.

There's a game tonight, so Chelle works late.

These were the nights I used to get drunk. Towards the end of my drinking career, we'd fight about it. She'd plead with me, before leaving for work, to not drink. I'd promise, fully meaning it. Later in the day, I'd start feeling anxious. I need a drink. Now is the time to drink, when Chelle can't see how much I'm actually consuming. But I'd promised. But I need a drink. I'd feel resentful. My anxiety would rise even more. Okay, take a drink or two, but don't get drunk.

I'd wind up drunk. On better days, I'd just have a good buzz going and be in a good mood. On my worst days, I'd be incoherent, slurring, repeating myself, and stumbling around the house. Chelle always called before leaving work and heading home. Sometimes she'd be sad; sometimes she'd be angry. What I wasn't able to hear in her voice was the worry.

She worried that one night she'd come home and find me dead, from a fall or from passing out and choking on my own vomit or from a suicide. Sometimes, in tears, I'd threaten to shoot off my head. In drunken moments of clarity when I knew I couldn't stop, I could see no other way out.

There were nights she worked when I drank and I didn't even want to. I felt like I had to. It was my night and she'd be off the next few days. It was now or don't. And I couldn't go a handful of days without getting totally hammered.

So I'd drink.

I'd try to make it better by cleaning the house or carrying down the trash or doing laundry or preparing the next day's meals. I'd ride the recumbent bike with a bottle of Corona in the water bottle holder. Sometimes I'd start out a drinking session doing lesson plans, knowing it was time to stop when my scribbling got too manic.

"What do you do when you sit here and drink all night?" would be one question, and I couldn't answer it. After about six or seven or eight drinks, I'd keep going in a blackout and out of the fog, all I can recollect are vague snapshots of me talking to myself. Sometimes I put in headphones and listened to music. Sometimes, it was the same song, over and over. Often, the same song would put me in a happy reverie during one playing and then collapse me into tears, devastated, on the next.

Before she got home, I'd do a few quick shots, just to get as much booze in me as I could before she could take it away.

Writing this recaptures for me the emotions, the sickness of that place. I don't know how to describe it other than to say it was a living hell. And then you get so used to the hellishness you don't even know you're in hell.

Until you are, blessedly, mercifully, out of it.

My daily life--however mundane to some, however sacrilegious to others--is, to me, a continual state of grace.

What a blessed thing to be able to say, "I'll be sober," and to hear Chelle say, "I know," without giving it a second thought.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thoth's All Done!

At my father-in-law's suggestion, I added a light burnt sienna wash to the top of the painting to create an "aged" effect--that's a risky move, but actually I think it will work (once it's dry).

Next up: something bigger than a 3x3 canvas.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I have none! I already like the path I'm on: cutting carbs to get my cholesterol and weight down (it's working slowly but surely); increasing exercise with the same purpose; keep working on my spiritual program (I've been studying the gnostics lately); and make time for my creative side.

For Christmas (synchronicity? of course!), my in-laws got me some tiny canvases and a set of acrylic paints, and Chelle bought me a Brandi Carlile songbook. The guitar is now restrung and this past week I've been practicing again. As for the painting, well ... I've never used acrylics before, much less painted on canvas; so far, I'm just experimenting with how the paint acts and how canvas acts. It reminds me of putting, I have to say. You're making a line and suddenly the canvas (the green) has a bump or a dip or a blip and boom--the line (the golf ball) goes awry. Not a big deal with a big canvas, but devastating when the surface is tiny.

I've also been into the ancient Egyptian mystery schools lately, so I started with a tiny Ma'at (goddess of order, truth, and justice) and finished that yesterday. And this morning I sketched out her consort, Thoth (aka Hermes, god of wisdom and writing). His beak shows the typical "canvas bump" blooper--but I hope that gets straightened out when I add color.