Sabbatical: Day 13

Today Joe and I went to see an accountant this morning for our taxes. It was pretty painless. I slept too late and didn’t squeeze in yoga beforehand or a shower actually. I did walk for quite some time on my way to meet up with some friends for lunch so I did move my body a bit before I ate and ate and ate. It was good. Tomorrow (my birthday) I’ll be back to chaturangas galore. And cake.

I put in some time in the studio after my adventures. but I’m not sure about this composition. I may have a lot to do to this before it works or before I admit it’s never going to work. I’ll put it aside for now. How I feel about my paintings changes from day to day.


Sabbatical Log: Day 12

I made it up for yoga and remember thinking well at least I can check something off my list of accomplishments. I’m still fighting a cold and we had a birthday celebration for one of the roommates. It was again slow going to get out of the house. Eventually I did make it out after going back in 3 times to add layers of clothing and upgrade my coat. Just disbelief the wind could make it that cold. Spring is so tumultuous. Speaking of yesterday and today I saw a crowd of cops and ambulances on different corners as I made my way to the studio. Monday a man was on the ground with his satchel rubbing his head. 3 squad cars. Today a man in a stretcher 3 squad cars and a fire truck. I don’t know if there are more people out because of Spring or if there are more accidents in the neighborhood when I’ve historically been at work.  I always send good thoughts to the people involved in those types of scenes. All you can do most of the time.

Painting went pretty well today. Noticeable progress on three paintings and some hope that I’ll have a lot to show for this self-funded sabbatical. I suppose I’d like tangible as well as intangible results.

Sabbatical Log: Day 11

I have a bit of a cold. So I forced myself to do yoga, but I felt like setting my habit was important. I took it fairly easy, but that effort was enough that it took awhile before I eventually forced myself out of my house after an epic amount of puttering.

I brought back a few supplies to my studio and found time to draw out a new composition before I went to the oral surgeon appointment. I usually just sketch out compositions with paint, but today I used a sharpie. I surprise myself sometimes.

I took the train back and forth so my oral surgeon could poke around my implant for a total of 1.2 min. He gave me an a-ok and encouraged me to review him on Yelp. meh, maybe? So 5min waiting for the surgeon. 2min with surgeon. 60min on train to and from. 15min walking around Macy’s because I was early. It was so beautiful out, I minded nothing.

I came back after oral surgeon and did quite a bit more work but forgot to take a picture. Somewhere in the building a woman auditioned for a dramatic part. She sounded ok, but very much like a theatrical reading not like words she was saying. The guys auditioning her laughed nervously a lot, but everybody felt good about it I suppose.


Tomorrow I don’t have any dates so I expect it to be one long studio day. We’ll see.


Sabbatical 10: Flying free little bird

Friday I was fairly productive even fighting this persistent tickle in my throat with yoga and a spot of painting background patterns which is tedious, but also calm and meditative. I think maybe I’ll keep these surfaces at home and keep working on them when I have some downtime, but not a big enough stretch of downtime to go to my studio. That’s a great solution that came out of this trip home.

But the real excitement came from a blackbird. I was looking out the window and heard a lot of tapping and rustling in the fireplace. I called over my dad and he calmly said, yep happens every spring. I was excited and my dad was nonplussed. Apparently black birds try to nest in the chimney and they can’t fly straight up so they become trapped. No other bird is stupid enough to try it, black birds every time and this is about the 4th time. Then he said he’s worked out a system and went to the shed and brought back a clear bucket. I went to my room and got my camera.

The bucket is clear so the bird will see light when the flue is opened.


Then my dad slowly scooches a lid on top.


Here is our visitor in his relocation cell.

There He Is!

We walked him outside and sets him free.


That bird flew far and fast past the tree line and out of our sights. My dad coolly walked the container back to the shed

In other news I visited Gallery223 and checked out the rennovation progress. Kip and his cousin was scraping glue off the beautiful hard wood floor. Kip and Katrina have come a looong way since Thanksgiving.  I love reading home repair blogs so I was pretty into what they’ve done. We talked about my upcoming show. Details are still not solidified of course, these things take time especially when the remodel is still in progress.

Today (Sat) I’m taking the train back home, but first I’m going to check out the Cedarhust, which is the county’s cultural treasure.

Sabbatical Day 9

Ah. So yesterday I did yoga and hung out with my parents. We went to the Ina Antique Mall and checked out the old things on display. I’d like to be les of a rolling stone so I can start collecting things, but with the big move coming up, I had no intention buying anything of weight. I did consider a Hawaiian shirt. Nice muted colors with the classic palm trees and surf boards, nicely fitted. Maybe I’ll go back.

Then I met up with a good old friend. Met her newest little one and talked to her oldest who’s a rambunctious smart ball of 4yrs old. Then we had dinner and went bowling. The reigning champion of lowest scores (me) actually got over 100 on our last game. 3 games costs us $14, while back in Chicago 3 games cost me $40. Location, location, location.

I didn’t touch my paints on Day 10 but this trip is for people.

Sabbatical Day 8

So I’ve blown off working out for two days in a row. No excuses tomorrow morning. I’m putting that out on the blogosphere. I’ve been better on the art front. Painted base coats and patterns on surfaces. My dad and I did round 2 on the still life. We both did worse, but I’m going to try to get a drawing a day out of my dear old daddio.

Watched a blue jay, several robins, a cardinal, and several squirrels scamper about. The neighbor in the distance has a monster mower and a penchant for a precision lawn maintenance. I watched him spin about his giant yard. He was out on his practically a tractor with an umbrella top.

Felt like the yard is just as impatient for spring as I am. I’m ready to just go outside and eat some wild onions just to injest spring and growth.

My parents would frown on that.

In conclusion, a relaxing slow day at my parents and there aint nothing wrong with that.

Sabbatical Day 7: Home. Home on the range.

I’m listening to a freight train in the background as I type this and I just heard my dad clear his throat in the next room. I am in the new master bedroom above the new garage. It is bigger than most of my past apartments and far more comfortable. It is the house my dad built.

This morning I got up with an alarm very early to be right on time for the train. One man took a call on speaker. One lady was temporarily locked into the bathroom. Our train was delayed because of freight train traffic (they own the line, Amtrak just rents it). Which is to say everything went as well as expected given that driving is still the default choice.

I set up a little studio in an unused corner of the house and started painting background colors to the surfaces I brought. I might do some more work before I go to sleep. Mostly I’m hanging with my parents. Dad I drew a still life together he’s taking tentative steps into charcoal drawing which I think is pretty cool.

Better than any prior scenarious at their place.

My setup at my folk’s house.


I tried to throw this away in 2002ish and it boomeranged back to the house.

A Blast from the past


Sabbatical Day 6: my bike gets some air

Today I had a lot of correspondence to send. If I was a lady in the 19th century, I’d have sat in my dressing gown at my desk in the drawing room writing notes sealed in wax and then gone out leaving my calling card amongst society. Instead I sat in my sweaty yoga clothes writing emails. Modern times. Well I guess if I was totally current I’d send texts or some other application I don’t care to know about.

After lunch I dusted off my bike, aired up my tires and rode to the studio. It was freezing but the sun was bright. Turns out between fetching my bike, navigating traffic and locking up my bike the journey is only about 15min shorter.

My main goal was to pick up supplies for my trip home. I’ve been thinking about what to do while I’m home to keep the artwork flowing. I have some small surfaces and some ideas. i’ll give it a whirl. I did paint a bit.

See ya later studio

Biked home and made dinner for Joe and our roommates. The last of last summers pesto found in the back of the freezer.

Sabbatical Day 5

I finished another painting redo and took photos of the other redos that have been done for some time. Here’s a little parade of the redos:

Couple Holding Hands in park. Blue and Yellow

No before pic on this one. Lost in the ether.

Park. Green and Yellow

Older Version

Teenagers. Green and Yellow

Older Version

I also finished a tube of paint in the most satisfying way. I’ve had to toss a few tubes because the paint dried and that feels like a waste.

My trusty friend the tube roller.

I took down a painting I thought was done after finally admitting I didn’t like the painting anymore. Perhaps more before and afters to come.

Thursday I erased a third of painting and Friday I brought it back and then took it further. That took most of the day. Progress is not as fast as I would like, but this week I’m not inclined to work harder. Next full week that I have studio time, which will be in April I’ll ride my bike. The 2 mile walks to and fro were good thinker/decompression time but I just want to get to the studio now.

In other news I think I met the hound dog. It’s a beagle. Is a beagle a hound dog? I think so, but I won’t claim to be a dog expert. To me hounds go Bwoah bwoah bwooooah. The beagle was an old feller as I suspected. Mostly I heard a smaller dog. It amuses me to make up the scenes from the noises and conversations (muffled or less so) that I hear.

No posts about the weekend I decided. To weekend-y.

Maybe I'll make a little animation of these?!?

Day 5 Studio shot

My finished wall. Some more secure in their finished status than others.

Sabbatical Day 4: My BFF schools me

Yesterday I finished a revised painting. When i got settled into my studio several months ago I found I had several paintings that could be pushed further.  I also hung up paintings I think are done. Some of them are becoming less done as I work. Anyhow, this is the older version.

This is the completed version.

backstage circus

Yellow Trio

I have a few more finished reworked paintings I’ll try to document today on Day 5.

I had to paint over some progress on a new painting. That’s frustrating, but necessary. It’s an inner battle of (a) dead end, (b) just push it further, (c) good enough.

As I’ve done all week I did the morning yoga routine and the struggle to get out the door with calls and lunch made etc and then a walk to the studio. This time I decided to take the bus back and luck was on my side. I had to wait a long time for the bus which normally would be vexing but I took a lot of pictures of commuters heading home from their job. Best of all my best friend got on the same bus! A surprise delight. Then on my way home there were crowds of people watching the Swedish water tower come down and I took more pictures. Getting source images is a battle for me because I’m a vary shy and rather slow photographer.

On the bus ride, Chris poked fun of my journal saying it needed more events. Maybe I’ll share less often on the social networking sites. For this week though, I’ll keep it once a day. Might as well finish out the week.

Here’s my studio as I left it yesterday, time to get back to it.

Studio Day 4