Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clouds Get in My Way

Oh I wish it would rain...

Feeling gloomy in the sun is no good.

Poppets can be awfully good company on
days like this.

I'm going to the studio, where the outside world can
go away for a little while and I can make things.

It's what I do on days like this, when there are clouds on the inside.

What about you? What do you do when inside doesn't agree with out?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Math, art for Poppets and Verne's Poppet

Orion has begun his math homework. He has two pages. I promised a game of catch when he's done, so I'm going to stop fiddling with blogger, which is not cooperating much.

I'm grumpy today. Long hours with not nearly enough down time. I take a deep breath. I remind myself that lots of other humans are doing exactly this, and if the're not, they did, or they will, because it will be their turn as it is my turn now.

Things could be better.
Things could be worse.

Underlying anxiety. Truly watching the news is unhealthy. but I can't stop for longer than two weeks. Possibly time for another break.

Anyway. This box is finally photographed. It's been waiting for ages. And our undersea adventurer, though my camera (or my skills) don't come near Mimi Ko's.

Other things have been too. the list of waiting things is gradually getting smaller. The secret is not to add to the list, and to watch out for yaks.

That's some secret.

Often, when people are grumpy, they're not grumpy about the thing they're complaining about. And interestingly, it's usually something simple, like that they're hungry, or nervous, or their shoes don't fit right.

silly humans.

So, after catch, simple things and sleep.

Friday, April 24, 2009

More New stuff from the SOS

I like reading it, every few years, building upon the impressions and memories I've collected from previous readings. Still, sometimes I wish I could read it again for the first time.

Do you?

So many books, so little time...silly humans!

We're putting new stuff up all weekend on the ebay store. (Yes, we've been having too much fun.)

Poppet Honors Gaia
Bell Jar: Brain Food

Today was a battle of ego. Not the word 'ego' as misused to mean 'vanity,' but the ego, the one and original, of SELF.
It is difficult, with casualties and tears. Of course it's difficult---that's why they call it a battle.

Worry can be a catalyst for this focus on self---this feeling of the world on one's shoulders--likely that is the culprit in this particular instance. Still, it was a battle, not a war.

Funny thing about these powerful, intensely personal battles with ourselves---we all do it. Just like the epiphany---everyone thinks their own are special.

Same, samey same.

Kind of undoes the entire point of the battle. Hmm. Could'a thought of that sooner. So I made myself a little sign for next time that says "Same, samey same."

Anyway. The above resulted in the little bell jar, and the Poppet honoring Gaia.

Now back to the cave for photography. Our little fire-proofed Reading Poppet tells me she is ready for her close up. *

* updated photo at top


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Working, swimming, working more, cleaning, working.
(On that---working again with Larry Niven--yay! We've resumed work on the Strange series)

Victorian green is the color of copper patina. It looks good on Poppet, don't you think?

With a bit of thinking in the middle. Have so many things to catch up with you on. But today is a studio day and I must get to it. Saw Slumdog Millionaire last night. Amazing soundtrack. Really, truly a quality film. Orion and I will swim this afternoon. Possibly I'll find my brain in the pool---always the underlying angst. We're all feeling the effects of our world environment. I tell myself more often than usual not to panic, step back from the details, way back, no, a bit more. It's life. There will always be something to worry about, to force us to exercise new muscles, to become stronger, to separate the worry from the wonder, which can be obscured by our fears.
Wonder is always there, patiently waiting for us to notice.
Poppets know this. Silly humans!

Right. Just keep swimming.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

near capacity

Not to worry. We are here. We are moving fast , making things and shipping them, figuring things out, rediscovering the beauty of desert nights. It's very nearly all that a brain can carry at once. It's beautiful, dark blue and darting through cold water.

Anyway. Here's hello. I'll be back...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lavender Blue

Once I met a girl named Mary H., who lived in Atlanta. What I remember most about Mary is

that she liked cinnamon in her coffee (before we'd ever heard of Starbucks) and loved

the color lavender-blue. I asked her if lavender-blue wasn't a shade of purple, actually.

She explained that lavender blue, applied correctly, is lavender or blue, depending upon light, and perception.

She took me to her house, which had a lavender-blue room. Sure enough,

the walls changed with the light, and with our points of view.

I learned a bit about brushstrokes, and the nature of how paint reflects light

Lavender Blue Poppet is for Mary H.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pictures for words. We're walking. We're walking. We're Walking...

I could write, or I could go for a walk with Aubrey, on possibly the last truly brisk day of spring...
So, here we go, leaving you with photos of newest Poppets.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Study in Yellow

This was a truly warm day, a first portent of what lies ahead. Yesterday we hid eggs, cooked, ate way too much chocolate. There were kids running amuck. There were sticky Peeps with beady black eyes.

Today was mostly for catching up. Tomorrow will be for more catching up. Yes, your artist is playing whack-a-mole again. Sheesh.

so, a few notes, to catch up with you...

The Little Yellow Poppet, never before seen, has appeared. She makes me feel happy, a study in yellows, like pen and ink illustrations in books I remember fondly.

Pierrot has reappeared, done up in the same layered painting style, so that he looks most excellent with the new theater Poppet Marcelle and in the plethora of new masks we're busily working on for the whole troupe.

It seems I'll be Artist G of H at the World Fantasy Convention in October. I'll put up a link as soon as the information is posted on their site (my fault, yes. they're waiting for me to send stuff) but in the meantime, the convention is in San Jose and has limited membership, so here is your early notice.

And finally, I thought you might like this line from the Isak Dinesen story titled "Sorrow Acre."

The thin grey line of a road, winding across the plain and up and down hills, was the fixed materialisation of human longing, and of the human notion that it is better to be in one place than another.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Danger Will Robinson! Palm Springs Modern


I'm sitting by the pool as I write this. The palm trees sway and the breezes caress and whisper. The sun sparkles on the water. The desert seems Mother and today she is happy. My feet are bare. They enjoy the warm contour of the pool's edge. This deck chair is canvas, low and comfortable. Ah...mother desert. Really, what's the point of living in Palm Springs if this can't be my office?
Inside I hear faint music. Spencer's guitar. That would mean the armatures are all glued and drying. I don't glue things anymore, or pour resin, or mix epoxy. A few years ago, I began to react to them, even with proper ventilation, if truly such a thing exists. I accepted the burning and rash as a message from my body to my brain. STOP HUMAN. Enough with the glue already.
We driven, creative sorts tend to listen attentively to the most mundane pratter of the brain, yet we and ignore the body's earnest attempts at communication.

I begin to suspect that our bodies know the brains they carry around are moronic boobs. If I'm thinking to myself that my feet are screaming, I might want to consider that they might actually be screaming, "Sit down you idiot!" I shudder to think what my stomach might say.

So. Enough with the glue.

The music has stopped, the Roomba has started. My shoulders are becoming unhappily warm.

"I hear you, " I tell them, and I head indoors with Palm Springs Modern on my mind.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The one that got what?

Epiphanies are like assholes, everybody has one and everyone thinks his is special.

There's one for the bathroom mirror, before which epiphanies commonly occur. Vulgar, yes. I tried writing it without the "asshole," but it doesn't work.
Here's why:
"Asshole," is the humbling part, the undeniable, dirty, human reality. It forces us to admit that we are like every other human being. We all think our ideas are special, and unique.

Guess what. (drumroll) They are not.

I've talked about this before, on this blog and in convention rooms. I cannot emphasize enough how the grasp of this concept improves my life and my work. I say 'improves' instead of 'improved' because this sort of revelation is not easily mastered. These concepts are not tattoos and they can't be memorized like phone numbers.
They have to be integrated and exercised to become part of the dynamic of how we think and so can be applied to our approach to creating---and living.
So. Ideas.
.....are like assholes.

When I apply the above, I understand that every idea that occurs to me doesn't have to become a project. (You know what I'm talking about.) That every idea doesn't need to be written down. That it's not up to me and me alone to impart this particular wisdom to the world. It's a group effort. If I don't catch this one, someone else will. I let lots of mental clutter go.
I take a big, deep mental breath and let it out slowly. (Actually, while I'm at it, I take a big, deep physical breath and exhale slowly.) I hone in and focus on what I'm working on
now. I didn't make this up. It's old stuff, been said countless different ways. This is, at best, a reminder to myself and a framework I hope you'll help me fill in.
For we are indeed silly humans, stumbling toward the light.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wind, for Sure

We had some real wind yesterday. Up to 79 mph. So far it looks like no human casualties but some evacuations, lots of mess and some damage and a fire in north PS. Next door a palm tree snapped. We lost the little hummingbirds we've been watching for the last few weeks. That makes me sad.

This morning Aubrey and I drive to LA. So I'm off...

oh---a look at Marci, who joins Pierrot and Colette.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

pipe cleaners should be called something else

This morning Orion and I were very nearly late for school. I didn't hear my alarm, because it's my phone, which was forgotten in another part of the house and likely rang its duty loudly and earnestly for no one to hear. He wolfed down a bit of Apple Jacks, then we had to look for matching socks in a huge basket of laundry waiting to sorted.
On the way home I wondered about my inability to 'get myself together' on the details. I miss my girlfriends. I keep wanting to call to make a date for lunch or coffee. I keep putting it off until I find time for a manicure or to 'do something' with my hair. How do they do it? I ask them sometimes. They make it a priority, they say, and they say they're not artists, as though all artists have paint on their clothes, unfashionably long hair and manicures to be hidden behind their skirts. To be fair, I have to consider that neither of them has children. Still, each time we get together they do lovingly and laughingly point out the mess I am.
At home, I can only seem to keep one part of the house clean at a time. There are the open living spaces, then the bedrooms and baths, then the studio. The three are never ordered at once. It's like a game of whack-a-mole. I don't iron anything unless I absolutely can't find something to wear that doesn't need it. I'd thought about hiring a housekeeper, just before the economy took a dive and I had to let the gardener go. And in the studio I'm working twice as hard to make slightly less money. My lists have sub-lists.
This is beginning to sound like one big whine, but it's not actually. I don't feel bad---more like observant. Likely this reflection is brought on by Aubrey's talk of her plans for the future, the life she'll build, how she'll live it. I remember thinking those things. I'd assumed that in my grown-up-middle aged- established future I'd be organized and all my plastic containers would have matching lids. I suppose I thought I'd be someone else.
But I'm not. I'm still fairly in touch and sympathetic with the person I was at nine. Probably I'd be better at organizing if I didn't go off on creative tangents or spontaneous backyard adventures. Forget balance. Tried that. You can't balance tangents or spontaneity. Okay . I can't.
So we got to school before the bell and Orion had all his homework, his teeth were brushed and his hair was mostly not at right angles. And we could argue that 'almost late' means 'on time.'

You may think this little reflection is about me, but it's not. It's about us. Because I know enough to know that this is what we humans do---yes, I mean you. We project our ideas into a future that's usually different when we get there, then we wonder where exactly the hell they went.

Your turn.