lesson for you young ones

You young ones lost down deep in the complexity of meaning, mired in eternal dark know this much, mind survival is a choice. Blackness is warranted due to the egregious and often unpredictable and intangible idea of “satisfaction.”  Happiness is more difficult to achieve than faith which takes a lot of singing. We–the elder who’ve been at this shit a bit longer harbor insecurities too. We’re no different. Your words were our utterances decades ago before additional years laid claim over our judgement. Long term attachments to our thoughts and deeds stretched and there was definitely some snapping.

Life as a noun is what we all are granted for however long it is ours to have. There is no fairness in this gambler’s roll. We–all of us–planet props. She decides when to pull the curtains and poll the audience. Cut roses might land at our polished toes for a short while but our ashes will blow like everyone else’s in the end.

Life as a verb is where things get interesting. We may fuck up our own lives. We may fuck up other lives. We may “fuck” (that’s not really very nice-insert “make love” if it fits) and make more lives. It’s all off-the-cuff as none of us know what we’re doing. It’s guesswork mixed with feasible traditions, doable effort and the ability to look or sound convincing. Some of us jump from planes, some rule cleaning supply closets while others drive cars. There are people who kiss and hold hands. There are those who laugh at flesh. Build sandboxes or pyramids. Walk on water or fly on drugs. These lists are endless when life is a verb.

While in the active form–you are more than a prop. Call yourself a writer, a student, a lost soul, an accountant or weather reporter–whatever role that satisfies. If you take this action and pull down blackout curtains you shorten the showtime. If “life” meaning has eluded you or you don’t see the sincerity you believe should be available, perhaps you need to practice a bit longer. Maybe try a different accent. Stand a bit taller or crawl.

The distance between life and death is but a few feet down. The difference between love and hate is measured on the same surface. The reason for your life is closer to you than anything else.

Dinophor

call it comets or divine intervention or whatever term you’d like to ascribe–”life” rolled them off the craps table
dinos created using Adobe Illustrator about 20 years ago-that pains me to say;)
sorry for the cussing in this one

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natural deselection

trexearth time past
folds before man laid claim
magnificent giants roamed
this planet’s hide
legged, tentacled, devoid of sense
spawning stuff of nightmares
breathing light of dreams
ambiguous
specific
cloaked
creatures of fantasy
bestowed as masterpieces
sharply enameled
horn heralded
club tailed
extraordinary strength
deselected
castrated by nature
on a sunless whim

t’rex duel created long ago while learning Adobe Illustrator, previously published

Dinophor

My Friends,

We lived as kings
none as fierce
We unleashed massive power
taking what we needed
Impenetrable as we were
we did not understand
our inability to punch through
the black clouds
We lived as kings…
TrexThank you. May you dream of blue skies and rainbows.
T’rex Battle created in the 1990’s using Adobe Illustrator and a mouse.

February 12 Birthday Call

My Friends,
Every year I call my youngest brother who was born on Lincoln’s birthday. I ask if he’s had his birthday cake. Each year on February 12, I think about Mr. Lincoln too. I often (more than I care to admit) pretend I’m part of the crowd in Sangamon County back in 1832 when a tall, awkward man delivered his first public speech. I wish Mr. Lincoln and I could have shared a slice of birthday cake.

“…But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.”
Your friend and fellow citizen – A. Lincoln.
March 9, 1832
abeThank you. May you dream of tall men wearing tall hats speaking of grand possibilities.

I created the computer portrait above using Adobe Illustrator and a mouse. At the time, Prentice Hall hadn’t purchased stylus pens or tablets. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I was learning enough with Adobe to be dangerous. This was done many years ago. 

Send Out a Clown

My Friends,
I’ve been ‘monstering’ day and night. I have only monster art right now and I don’t want to scare too many people all at once. So I was thinking: What’s less frightening than scaly hominids and gooey-mouthed creatures? Of course, the answer was as plain as the once-broken nose on my face!

My next thought was more of seeking out an appropriate image for this post with my less frightening theme in mind. It was then I remembered. Long ago, when I was at Prentice Hall there was a very exciting day. It was the day we received the Adobe Creative Suite. Well, I went to town and started playing around, learning enough to be dangerous.

I present to you my first and only glib stab at a political poster. Insert politician’s name of your choice. And, for those of you that graciously stop by my blogcabin – this is as political as I’ll ever get. Most days I try to keep anntogether a fun place to visit, where one can rest their feet and warmly chuckle.
send out clownThank you. May you dream of living free and having enough savings to enjoy your freedom.
Poster copy inspired by Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, Send In the Clowns.

You and Me Against the World

Dear Friends,
WARNING (SLIGHTLY LONGER POST INCLUDES LYRICS-SORRY)
I used to gently snicker at folks who appreciated Helen Reddy’s music. Yesterday, while fidgeting with the radio dial I heard, You and Me Against the World. In the beginning, a little child says, “Tell me again m’u’mmy.” I never appreciated the little voice – I thought it silly. This time, I listened to Helen’s song with the ears of a much wiser person (I also heard, Angie Baby – another Reddy song – on another station which is scary ’cause I haven’t heard any Reddy songs on the radio in years). The notes and the lyrics to, You and Me Against the World are really quite soulful. I’m sorry Helen Reddy for not appreciating your words until 2014.

You and me against the world
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world
When all the others turn their backs and walked away
You can count on me to stay
Remember when the circus came to town
And you were frightened by the clown

clown faceWasn’t it nice to be around someone that you knew
Someone who was big and strong and looking out for
You and me against the world

hulk Hat Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world
And for all the times we’ve cried I always felt that
God was on our side

And when one of us is gone
And one of us is left to carry on
Then remembering will have to do
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you
You and me against the world

I love you mummy
I love you too baby

Thank you. May your dreams be of large men, little women and all sorts in between…

Clown Face rendered way back in 1990 when Prentice Hall loaded Adobe Illustrator on their designers’ computers. I got to play. 
Hulk Hat – inspired by my love of all buff green men. Rendered August 10, 2014.

R.I.P Lauren ‘The Look’ Bacall
Line seductively throated in her first film (1944), “To Have and Have Not” –
“You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

O Captain! My Captain!

Dear friends,
Years ago, the giant husband worked for a large wholesale plant distributor. Every summer his company held a barbecue on Calf Island, Long Island Sound in Connecticut. As you are aware, a boat is often required when crossing water. It was during one of these barbecue voyages, I met the most ‘Captainish’ looking Captain I ever laid eyes on. His vessel pulled up to the dock and we party-goers hopped aboard. I asked if he wouldn’t mind my taking his picture. I had to paint this introspective face. His ocean eyes twinkled bright beneath his devil-may-care thick brows, his great silver beard shone white in the sun, and his old sea-dog straw hat reflected the brilliant yellow of his fisherman’s slicker-

The Captain/acrylic

The Captain/acrylic

“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring…”
Walt Whitman penned, “O Captain, my Captain,” a somber yet beautiful poem in homage to Abraham Lincoln. I too admire Abraham Lincoln. Whenever I create a Lincoln portrait, I dress his figure in present-day attire. This makes me feel a bit more connected to Mr. Lincoln-

lincoln full I created this computer image with Adobe Illustrator. Again this was one of my earlier computer efforts so I used the mouse, good old-fashioned hand-eye coordination and a lot of patience…

lincoln closeAfter that barbecue, I never saw the Captain again. I have his stoic, sea-worn painted face to remember him by. As for Abraham Lincoln, I think of him often and wonder what we would have chatted about over tea…

Darn that Steed with the Apple in Its Mouth

I admit to being somewhat tech-challenged. I know the reason why and I’m trying to face my fears. Almost sixteen years ago I held a corporate job. I loved nearly every aspect of that insane day-in-and day-out grind. I was the Art Director for Prentice Hall Education, High School Division. I came in at an entry-level position, working my way up the corporate rock wall and can tell you there is so much more to ten-pound textbooks than meets the eye.
inside credit page

We designers were using Pantone markers when from over the horizon a white steed with an Apple in its mouth and a saddle-sized CPU on its powerful back came charging. Our world was rocked. We all were gifted shiny, new Macs.

Horaffe/acrylic

Horaffe/acrylic

I learned how to navigate my way around easily enough. I was designing, enjoying and somewhat reckless in obtaining ‘real’ knowledge. My designs looked as they should. I didn’t worry about  production issues because there was a separate department for that and for serious computer issues there was yet another department filled with brilliant techies. As both these departments grew more  savvy, I went the other way. I was learning management stuff and was no longer hands-on.

I left Prentice Hall when my heart knew (as it had for some time) I wasn’t cut out for work and raising my first child. I’d overestimated my multitasking prowess. All the color-coding in the world couldn’t help me (though I did color-code my infant daughters toys for a while–I know, I know…).

Fast forward past two kiddies. Instead of a stay-at-home mom, I become a stay-near-home mom. I return to writing, drawing, painting and all things creative. I find my way back to the beginning of a new path. I return to the heavy, black Mac Powerbook G3 I’d proudly purchased before leaving Prentice Hall. I jumped into Word and tinkered around in Adobe. At the first sign of trouble I yelled out for Tech Support but no one came. I’ve been yelling ever since.