Welcome to my blog! I am so excited to share my art and adventures as an administrator with others. Thank you for making the time to view my blog and giving me your input.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yesterday, I created this piece which I was hoping to use as the cover of the program for my mother's services. Her services are this Saturday. The photo is of Mom as a twenty-something, right before she and Dad met. Almost all of today was spent creating the program/brochure. My younger brother, Michael, came by and spent a good chunk of the day at my place. We put the program together and once I had completed a first draft, I decided to go back to a more conservative cover (translated: something simple with just the photo of Mom, not the enhanced, colorful version above). I told Michael and Mike (my husband) I don't want to offend her family... an "interesting" group of folks! Anyway, my brother is now the owner of this painting. I think he is the best suited person in the family to have it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is 1 of my favorite pieces from a few years ago! Today is the 1 year anniversary of my blog. Happy birthday, "An Artist's Life"! In thinking back to the launching of my blog, it took me forever to put it together. But, even in its infant stages, I wanted my blog to be a reflection of me. I have thought about sending my blog info to Somerset's blogging quarterly, but I don't think my blog will "fit in". However, I have NEVER concerned myself with fitting in. These 2 pages sum up my life best: I can only be me. And if what I write or create offends someone, I am sorry, but I must be true to myself.
My mom died on Friday, September 19, @ about 1:30 a.m. The last 2 weeks were especially hard on all of us. This past Friday night was the first time in 2 weeks that I actually slept throughout the night. I have had a very hard time sleeping for the last 2 weeks. This photo is from the party we threw our mother about a month ago. I have always had a thing about hands, hearts, and red roses and since I am going to be working on the program/brochure for her services, I am looking to incorporate this picture into it somehow. Maybe this picture will be on the back cover of the program.

Last Sunday, I took over these flowers to Mom's house. As we were driving over to her house, I clutched these flowers closely, knowing very well that this would be the last time I would give my mother flowers while she was alive. When we got to Mom's, I went into her bedroom to see if she was awake. She was. I showed her the flowers and she told me, "They are so beautiful." I found a vase and filled it with water, then I put the flowers on her dresser so that each time she opened her eyes, she would see the beauty of the roses. Ever since I was a baby, my mother has always associated roses with me. Maybe because of my name or who knows, maybe something else. I never needed a reason or special occasion to give her flowers. These flowers outlived her. They are still blooming in her bedroom...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Edvard Munch, the Norwegian expressionist painter, is 1 of my favorite artists. I have been in LOVE with his work for almost 30 years! This painting, "The Dance of Life", is my favorite of his paintings. I learned about Munch's work when I was a college student and dating my husband. My husband was taking a literature class and 1 of Munch's paintings was on the cover of the book he was using for that class. Mike was reading a collection of August Strindberg's plays,
and in my curiosity, I decided to find out more about Munch. Like me, Mike is also a BIG fan of Munch's work. When we were newlyweds, I bought Mike a book that was a collection of Munch's artwork. "The Dance of Life" was on the cover of the book. Being college students and newlyweds was an instant recipe for being poor and trying to make ends meet. I saved and saved to get him that book and a couple of other gifts (sounds like "The Gift of the Magi"!). And we had that book in our book collection until we had the fire back in 2004. Yesterday, I had my hair trimmed and my stylist, Bertha, and I got into a discussion about Frida Kahlo. Bertha was telling me that recently, she and her mother went to the Frida exhibit in San Francisco. Those of you who know how I feel about Frida know that we 2 women had a lot to say about her, as well as the show! I told Bertha that 2 of my other favorite artists are Edvard Munch and Francisco Goya. When I woke up this morning, I could hardly wait to post some of Munch's work on my blog! So, here are a few of his pieces.
"Madonna" had a HUGE fan in Andy Warhol! He painted his version of Munch's piece.

This is probably Munch's most famous painting. It is called "The Scream". I have felt the intensity of this little guy's helplessness quite a bit in the last few weeks. I LOVE the colors and patterns in the background - the swirls, straight lines, curves, etc. This painting has always reminded me of Van Gogh's work.

This painting is called "Separation". When I was teaching full-time, my students who were in my American Literature classes were given a mini-lesson on Edvard Munch when it was time to study Edgar Allan Poe' s short stories and poetry. As artists, the 2 men had a lot in common and their works focused heavily on life and death and the 2 worlds colliding.

Monday, September 8, 2008

You can really feel the changing of the seasons. Fall is in the air, especially in the arroyo! The fall is fast becoming my favorite season. I LOVE the coming of Halloween and el dia de los muertos! I spent part of tonight getting some more art supplies together so I can begin working on the coffins I am making for my calaveras. Also, I stopped at the neighborhood Ralph's to pick up 2 boxes of wax paper, so now, I won't have any excuse to not paint those coffins. In a couple of weeks, you will definitely be able to see the altars and displays for el dia de los muertos come alive throughout the city and beyond. If you are interested in any of the upcoming activities, here are some local places to check out: The Folk Tree, in Pasadena, Olvera Street, in the downtown area of Los Angeles, and Self-Help Graphics, in Boyle Heights. This Virgin Mary is part of a niche that is in the back of the building Self-Help Graphics is housed in - the statue is in the parking lot. I have photographed this statue many times over the course of the last 10 years. My next post will be about some of the activities that will be going on to prepare, as well as to celebrate, our beloved dead on November 2.
These pages are from some of my journals. Since it is an "election" year, I thought I would stick to posting work that comes together by theme. So, after several years of war and no real evidence of weapons of mass destruction, this is my reaction to the violence that continues to erupt throughout the Middle East and once again, Afghanistan. The "collateral" damage that usually occurs has to do with innocent bystanders such as women and children.

Over the weekend, there was an airstrike in Afghanistan, that included children who were killed in the attack. I will just let my artwork tell the story rather than give my 2 cents.

With the presidential election less than 2 months away, I must say I am very concerned about what the outcome may be. To continue on the same course of action is a very dangerous plan. I believe if Obama is elected, maybe he and Joe Biden will be able to mend a lot of those delicate bridges that were destroyed by the Bush administration during these last 8 years.
I am in a "hands" mood! These 2 and the last 2 shots are some of my pages that feature hands. The hands on the red pages are actually my hands. I can still remember creating these pages. I had red and orange paint all over my hands and nails. The 2 of these pieces really fit well together. The top piece is called "I Won't Compromise". This has been my mantra all of my professional life. And maybe it is a BIG reason why I can't seem to go anywhere in the district I am in. But if it means compromising my beliefs to get that fucking promotion, then I would rather stay where I am.

Tonight, I tried to work on some new artwork. Much of my art supplies are still in boxes, in the garage. But I do have most of my paints organized and available in my studio. I am hoping to start a few new pieces that are actually boxes I am turning into coffins! Yes, you read right! I am getting ready for "el dia de los muertos", the day of the dead, which is fast becoming my 2nd favorite day of the year, right behind Valentine's Day. I was going to paint the boxes and realized I couldn't find any of the boxes of waxed paper I have. I use wax paper as a palette and also as a surface to dry my artwork on. Well, since I couldn't find the wax paper, I decided to work on a new page in 1 of my current jourals. Because all of the pages are already painted, I can work on collaging and/or writing in it. So, after all that, I worked on a new page tonight and that was the BIG extent of creating new art.
I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I last blogged! The last 2 weeks have been brutal! We finally moved into our new place. And we have settled into the space pretty well. The first 2 days were pretty chaotic with an endless sea of boxes every which way you turned. In the last 2 weeks, besides the BIG move, we have been dealing with my mother's declining health. My mom was in the hospital for 2 weeks. This last Tuesday, we brought her home. She is now doing a hospice at home. Because of her frail health, there is not much that the doctors can do for her except make her as comfortable as possible. Besides the move and my mother being in and out of the hospital, a friend and colleague from Garfield died too. I attended his funeral this past week. Luis was 36 and had been battling a brain tumor/cancer for the last 2 years. He was a very special young man and just a terrific human being.

The other BIG stories of the last 2 weeks included a 2nd interview for a principal's position. I was 1 of 3 finalists and I actually interviewed with the local district's superintendent. Since school started on Tuesday, and although I have yet to receive 1 of those "Thanks for applying, but..." letters, I think it is safe to say I didn't get the job! Being an assistant principal these last few days has been a killer! I keep telling myself that all this experience is going to pay off 1 day!