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A Butterfly Garden for Betty

Best thing about today: I got to write 1,000 words on my new manuscript. In it, Cornelius takes Betty to a plant nursery and buys everything he needs to build her a butterfly garden. See, Cornelius is a nice guy. There are reasons why Betty likes him. But everything is still complicated between them, as it often is in life. And in fiction as well.

I also got to go to the beach with a friend. We walked for two full hours. We needed it. We saw a beautiful sunset, saw flowers growing in the sand, ate avocado filled with shrimp and crab.

Still, on the drive back, one long and very dark stretch of Crystal Beach, I got mighty sad. The loneliness waiting for me in Beaumont, even though it’s only for tonight, was weighing heavy on me. The loneliness oppressed me, almost made me cry. I had to remind myself my dog was waiting for me, had to remind myself I’d get to draw Betty and her wildflowers. After all, Betty’s got trouble that’s a lot more complicated than mine.

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RIP Rhino

So sad to hear about the death of Sudan, the world’s last male Northern white rhino. Rest in peace, beautiful rhino!

Also, the dog and I drove to Beaumont. I went to class and all that. My students had some cool things to say, my favorite being the young woman who pointed out that not only is gender not binary, it’s a spectrum.

I took a walk, too, with my friend who has a big black dog. We walked by my former house and saw the two very noisy dogs in the yard. Holly showed no interest in the house, didn’t pull, or anything. It’s like she knows we no longer live there. She’s such a smart poochie.

It does seem surreal to be here though. Like visiting a former life. I can’t help it, I have to think about its detours, wonder how maybe things could have turned out differently. But in the end, I guess I’m just where I’m supposed to be. And while some paths have pretty much closed in on themselves, others have opened up.

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Memories of Madrid

I know I’ve said it before, but today was truly the bestest day! John set up a projector in the gallery and we watched Women on the Verge, my all-time favorite movie, while we painted and the dogs sat on us. We also laughed a lot, as usual, and we made fun of a lot of things, including my efforts to clean the gallery. With the movie running as background noise, I had no choice but to paint the Metropolis Building in Madrid. I really like the way it turned out, so that made for a happy day.

I also had a nice dinner with a friend, and we discussed the things we want to achieve as artists, and the things we need to overcome to get there. Those seemed like good things to talk about on the New Moon in Pisces, which is all about forgiveness and moving on.

I think one of the things I’m learning is to be open to receiving the stuff I want. In art but in other areas of life as well. I still choke a bit at the financial aspect of things, I still have trouble pricing my work right, asking for what it’s worth, staying firm, etc. I suppose confidence comes with practice. But confidence also attracts more good things. So it is something I am working at, something I’m learning. Also, it’s something John said, but also something my friend and I were discussing at dinner tonight: the right partner will probably come along when I’m successful. I kept thinking for years now that I wanted someone to be by my side and give me support through this early struggling phase, but it makes sense that actually one would be able to attract and receive the kind of love and support one wants when one is standing on a firm foundation and has become comfortable with abundance, with receiving.

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Never Give Up

So I seem to be on a powerful bovine kick. I realized that what appeals to me about cows, other than the fact that I’m a Taurus, is their stubborn nature. So I wrote ‘never give up’ all over the cow painting I made today.

I also made a painting of a house I like a lot in Bucharest. And I took two long walks in the Heights, one with my dog, one by myself. It was, all in all, a beautiful day. It might have started off muggy, infused with too much pollen, and with that mellow nostalgia that Sundays have, especially in spring, but I feel like I turned it all around. Even my dog had a good time, and that’s important.

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Cows and Art Events

Tonight was my last open studio event at Hardy and Nance Studios. It was a slow night, everybody thought my pieces were too expensive even with the generous moving sale, and Naz, my studio mate, whom I’ll miss, wasn’t there. I was bored, so I drew my self-portrait as a cow. You know I love cows and as a Taurus I identify strongly with them. They are beautiful and wise and all sorts of other stuff as well.

The cow drawing got the attention of two very nice people who have horses. They showed me a picture and decided to order a portrait commission. I’m so excited! This will be my first horse portrait! So yes, there was a happy takeaway from this otherwise slow evening.

I also gave a gallery talk at the VAA show this afternoon and that was sort of daunting. I don’t even know why. After all, I’m used to talking in front of people and comfortable talking about my piece. There’s something, though, about that specific setup, the VAA itself and the selection process, Blue Orange Gallery where the show was held (a friend used to live upstairs in what now seems like a different life), that made me nervous.

So yes, tonight I’m exhausted. But I’m happy to be reunited with my dog, happy to be safely home with these art events behind me, and happy mostly that I am moving on. These are things that I’ve tried in the past, things that I’ve learned from, grown from, but after a while if you keep doing the same old stuff you’re only treading water. So I am grateful for the new opportunities in my life, for my mentorship and my new studio at Sabine Street. I’ll keep y’all posted.

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In Which I Have Too Much Fun

And finally a totally enjoyable, completely delicious day in my spring break! I painted and made a mess with my mentor, had lunch with cat lady at Local Foods, and visited the amazing home of Lizzy Hargrove, where we got to meet her wonderful birds. The weather was warm and I was in a happy mood. Perhaps I am part lizard and cheer up when it’s nice outside. In any case, I was having all kinds of fun. And in between all this I even found time for Betty and her troubles! I wrote 1,000 words tonight, and it felt good.

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Spring Cleaning

I did it! I did the spring cleaning I’d been planning. It’s amazing how much the energy changes when you clean and get rid of clutter. I’m not completely done, I want to go in-depth, but I did make a lot of progress. I bought myself ranunculus to celebrate. I’ve decided that they’re my favorite flowers. It used to be tulips, but by now ranunculus and I have quite a history.

Also, my goddess is now completely dry and I find that I really like her. Betty’s wedding, on the other hand, will probably have to be completely painted over, and that’s ok. I’ve learned a few things about process from that mistake. Also, it’s a good reminder that I’ve neglected the real Betty, the character in my Galveston novel, and that I probably should get back to writing.

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Just Take a Nap

So it turns out that I totally ruined Betty’s wedding and broke the horn off the unicorn piƱata I bought for my friend’s birthday. What can one do on a day like today? I decided to just take a nap. The air is still nippy and I keep feeling cold, not knowing what to wear, not really liking anything. I decided to give up my midnight snacking habit, but that only improves life so much. I also decided to clean my apartment but I haven’t started yet.

I’m trying to get over the fact that the glue dried on Betty and her headless husband in a real ugly way. I had to scrape it off and ruined the whole thing. As to the unicorn, my friend can fix it. The injury is not so bad. But my whole day felt a little out of whack. Even after the nap.

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It was one of those spring days I didn’t quite know what to do with. Has spring ever made you sad? All that hope, all those little leaves unfurling. It seems like every cold day is such a menace, such a pocket of sadness. What do you do when the sun shines but the wind cuts through you?

I decided to take a nap with my dog. I’m reading a sad book and it’s making me sad. It’s also robbing me of my sleep, keeping me up at night. But of course, I know that’s not the whole truth. I’ve been through enough springs to know that for me it’s a melancholy season.

In the evening my mood improved, though. In the evening I painted with fellow Escapist Paula Hawkins. It was our first time painting together and it was great fun! We talked about all kinds of things. John and the dogs joined us for a while.

Tomorrow I have two fun outings planned, lunch with a friend, dinner with another. Hopefully it will also be a warm day. So that the brand new leaves and I do not feel blue.

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Dead Goddess Needs Marigolds

Today one of my goddesses was finally dry enough for me to continue my layered collage process. I decided to add marigolds. These have different symbolism in different cultures. They are important in India actually, but I decided to be playful and give my Indian-inspired goddess Mexican marigolds, marigolds for the dead.

I also drew a portrait of my dog looking malefic. She’s quite the feisty little monster and I find it funny that she can look so devious. I was also cracking up all day remembering John’s jokes from the party on Sunday. He basically told everyone I have special powers and can make flowers dry just by looking at them. I played along, of course, and admitted to putting a hex on everything I touch! I guess I got some of my evil powers from my dog.