Passions of an Odd Chick

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old Art OUT- New Show COMING IN

They cut our cornfield down this week. Truckload after truckload, it was carried off to a dairy 3 miles down the road and dumped in a silage pit to be processed into feed. It totally changes the landscape when I step onto my front porch. Day before it was a 17 foot wall of cornstalks totally blocking the view to the north. And now. It's like someone took the curtains down from the window. Scottie, my large outside dog, has been running through the field all day like someone just gave her her own park for a present. I also love that my view changes when I walk outside on my front porch. It's like Someone hangs a new landscape painting for me to view every 2 or 3 months. Next week, my dearest farmer will plant a grain crop and I will have a carpet of Windsor green (blue shade) to contrast the rosy orange in the New Mexico sky and it will have a Fall influence to the composition. Maybe I should send out postcards from FARM WIFE's GALLERY and announce the opening of this new show!

Scottie & Cash in the cornfield in June 2008 Grandsons and Scottie checking the corn

Friday, August 29, 2008


I hate housework.
You dust,
you make the bed,
you do the dishes,
and six months later
you have to start all over again.
(my blue guestroom)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Evening with Picasso

Hey, Mr. Picasso, what do you think about my sketch? I tried to copy your style. I'm afraid I fell far short.
Picasso: "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. "
Odd Chick: So.. you don't mind that I tried to copy?
Picasso: "To copy others is necessary, but to copy oneself is pathetic".
Odd Chick: Okay...good.. I was hoping you would say that.. but my little sketch appears so child-like....
Picasso: "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
Odd Chick: That's inspiring. I have been so inspired by you.
Picasso: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
Odd Chick: I am working, I want to paint, but I don't have much spare time.
Picasso: "Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time."
Odd Chick: wow, I wish I could borrow your mind for a day.
Picasso: "If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes."
Odd Chick: So great painting comes from our "seeing"?
Picasso: "Painting is a blind man's profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen."
Odd Chick: So great painting comes from our feelings or emotions about what we see, our imagination?
Picasso: "Everything you can imagine is real".
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web".
Odd Chick: so I paint from my emotions?
Picasso: "I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them".
Odd Chick: I'm confused - you mix a lot of truths. So the truth is that art comes from the soul and the mind?
Picasso: "If there was only one truth, you couldn't paint a hundred canvases on the same theme."
Picasso: "We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth, at least the truth that is given to us to understand."
Odd Chick: You've given me a lot to think about...
Picasso: "Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success."
Odd Chick: Okay, I'll think and work.... how's that?
Picasso: The older you get the stronger the wind gets - and it's always in your face.
Odd Chick: thanks a lot...... i think.
Picasso: Is there anything more dangerous than sympathetic understanding?

Monday, August 25, 2008


I gathered my two trusty companions, Annie and Allie, (miniature Aussies) and headed for the hay field. They love to cut hay as much as I do. They know how to settle into the quietness.

Though it was almost a hundred acres today, this is more like cutting a person's very large yard.

It's a really beautiful day -butterflies and birds patrolling the field in front of me, and I'm listening to the music you're hearing now (I have the whole album). I've got a fruit drink, and a good air-conditioner, and I am floating on an air-cushioned seat. The phone never rings. There are no other sounds but the quiet droning of the engine, and my music. You will never hear me complain about this job. In the solitude of this great machine, I just try to mow perfectly straight winnows and I think. I think about my dear husband, my kids, my home, my art... and I try to just breathe in the moment, the fresh hay, the sunshine, my companions, my music, my life......and suddenly what would appear to be the mundane becomes a very spacious, gracious place to be in. I want it to last forever. And I realize my mind took me there, with the things I chose to bring along, and that's the gift -not this great job, not this great day, not this great life, but a grateful heart and a peaceful mind, that can take me to a restful place no matter what I'm doing or where I am. No one can ever take that away from you. Your inner space, His dwelling place.

This strange reflection appeared after several hours and I wondered if my camera would capture it. I took it to Flickr and enhanced some colors so you could see it. It captured my reflective day. There is a girl, with earrings, looking back at me, taking a picture... of her very happy day.

(My view from the cab of the winnower)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Praying Things

I like praying things. I think I've mentioned that before- like monks, sunflower heads, swans, and this praying mantis. It's a symbol that comes up over and over in my art. I think because a bowed head is such a humble posture- like you really know you don't have all the answers - that somehow you must look to the One who created you and it is in that connection that answers are found.

This is a large watercolor (and colored pencil) I did earlier this summer. He needs something more to be finished but for the life of me I can't figure it out. I would love comments from my artists friends, and my non-painting friends (because you guys sometimes think outside the box). And plus, it's just fun for me to hear ideas from all over the world and I might get to see your creative endeavors in exchange. And I might be able to finish "Mr. Mantis Praying".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I am entering the world of altered books - wish me luck! It is only the two little boys (my grandsons) featured in the above re-constituted book cover, that could challenge me to take this trip.

I have read to them since they were very small and my hope is to make a scrap-book type, hero comic, adventure book of their real life adventures at the farm. I expect it to take me several years to fill all the pages, but I have for several months been taking pictures of certain events to begin the story.

It will be a labor of love and I hope, a keepsake and treasure for their older, more reflective years, and maybe, even a story to tell to their children. Wow, wouldn't that be cool -for some little darling creature, who bears my genes, 50-100 years from now, who is reading this book, who thinks, "she left this for me, she left a piece of life and love and legacy for me"? Now, that would make this a best-seller in my book of life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The way of champions

(flickr enhanced image)
I don't know if anyone noticed the slow-motion image at the end of the Women's 100 meter in the Olympics but it was quite a ballet of motion. It was so beautiful that I recorded it on my T.V. and then paused it and just stared and wondered if I could capture it somehow to keep and cherish. And then in an after-race interview, the winner, Shelly-Ann Fraser said, "..... It wasn't do or die. Nobody expected anything from me. So I went out there and proved it to myself". It was then I knew I had to try to sketch even if everything I had been doing was not turning out well, I figured no one expects anything of me, so I have to prove it to myself. I was very shaky and reluctant and my drawing shows it, but it also shows that I won't give up on myself anytime soon.
Whatever we are going after today, we must prove to ourselves, first, it is worth achieving and second, to expect great things from ourselves. A 21-year-old woman from Jamaica, the youngest, smallest woman there, who had no one telling her she was first place stuff, pulled out far ahead of all the known ones, only because she had a gold medal heart of determination and a bold belief in herself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I haven't been able to sketch anything lately. Everything I try to do comes out looking like crap. So I decided to go with it. Graffiti. If I could spray paint big angry words on the side of a train today I would because that's the way I feel. Pissed off. Searing hurt. Unheard.

This crap looks like my junior high book covers but you get my point.

Okay, I'm not sure I feel any better. But now I've dumped my trash in your blog yard-visit, thank goodness I didn't paint it on your fence. (truly, forgive me for being a little piss ant).

Graffiti can be interesting stuff - at least in other parts of the world, and not on your property. I couldn't find my Africa pictures that I took of their graffiti, but graffiti in Swahili is very wild and speaks of wanting peace and unity. They really do have a lot of crap to be angry about. (I know I've used the word crap a lot, but my other angry words would reeeally offend and it goes along with my immaturity at the moment)

Graffiti in Greece -it was everywhere and since I don't have to clean it up or own any property over there I can say it had a certain class. Anything written in Greek .. it reminded me of fraternity houses.

Do you have any graffiti handy? Send me some, send me there.
It's really helping me feel better. I feel heard already.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Out Of This World

Today I took Auggie and Cash to the UFO Museum in Roswell. I knew the trip was coming- because now the older one can read and he asked me if I would take him today when he saw the sign. Well, you have to know, I'm not that crazy about the whole thing. Not because I don't believe in aliens, because I think it's entirely possible, but this whole hype thing that Roswell has going... and then when you get in the museum, it's like a bad -junior -high- science- fair set-up. And you wouldn't believe the crowd it brings to Roswell during the festival - not your normal, touristy type - no- these are trekees and star warsies and aliens of all types. I really shouldn't be so negative because it's a good thing for Roswell, but as a native Roswellite, it's not my favorite thing.

But Auggie loved it.

He asked a million questions and we had good talks about other planets and the possibilities of life out there.

That just goes to show you - we lose our ability to be wowed somewhere along the way. It takes more and more to impress us as we get older. We're not cheap dates anymore, hell.... you've got to add real sophistication to the mix or you've seen one... you've seen em all......, our expectations just reach a level of certain disappointment in a thing... in a day, in a place... in a life.

Seeing things through their eyes... brings freshness to everything - you see the lights, you hear the sounds again, like it's a first time. Take a little kid somewhere - let them remind you of how to be wowed again. Have a close encounter of the third kind.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

MY Top TWELVE list


1. That Papa Greg really is as interesting as I think he is.

2. That you can wear mixed-match socks all day and no one notices until bath-time.

3. That there is no shame in running around the house naked.

4. That a couple of lemon slices and some weird faces can crack up a whole table of adults, including the waitress.

5. That if you are less than 3 ft tall, you can expose yourself at the park, even if you walk out behind the tree with your pants around your ankles in front of the park superintendent.

6. That you can round up ducks like a border collie and they will forget and forgive as soon as you pull your french fries out of the bag.

7. That you can be having so much fun that you can't even stop to pee.

8. That moving equipment from one farm to another never gets boring.

9. That a can of foaming soap is the best way to get your face clean, and then if you turn the jets on the hot tub, the rest of your body (and bathtub enclosure) will be covered in foaming soap bubbles.

10. That if you get up reeaaaly early and run all day, and ride your bike to the end of the road several times, that after a bath and a glass of milk, you can be out in 2.2 seconds for the night.

11. That Wiii baseball is a really good sport to play at 6:00 in the morning when no one else is in the mood for sports.

12. That when a 3 year old says an open-eyed prayer and ask God to take care of you and Papa Greg, that you realize, He already has.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Longhorn on Caffeine

This lively little watercolor I did recently does not reflect the tired, exhausted soul I am tonight. But, she does have that "this ain't my first rodeo" attitude about her.
I'm keeping my grandsons who are 6 and 3 and they woke me up when the sun came up and we headed out on the farmyard to ride anything that would start and we haven't quit all day. I just cleaned up my favorite pottery bowl in pieces off my tile floor along with chocolate pebbles and milk! The dogs helped me out with the cleaning as Auggie apologized even though it was an accident. Don't ask me why I put his cereal in my favorite handmade pottery bowl? I guess grandmothers have short memories about some things.

But I do remember that this time is short, and I only have them for a couple of weeks in the summer, and even if it takes me days to recover, I'm hanging in for this whole week and will play and follow like a 6 year old and squeeze everything out of this blessing, learn from them, and give of myself, like there is no tomorrow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A day with my darlin'

I got invited to spend a day with my handsome husband and he took me to a farm auction. YAHOO. I think a couple of other girls and I, were the only females there. I actually felt honored to be invited to this man's cultural event.
Greg had just visited my art show and reception and mingled with that crowd perfectly comfortable -so in a way - this was his art show and he was looking at art to buy, and it was my time to mingle. It's not really that different when you think about it.
My hunky farm boy wanted to buy a certain piece of equipment but we found out it would be hours before it was up for bid so I entertained myself with my camera.

I got interested in the posture and poses of these old farmers. The hard work and labor shows in their faces, bodies and stances: stooped shoulders, bent backs, bowed legs, missing fingers and arms, burnt wrinkled skin.

I sat down by this old fellow and he offered his story. Did you know he's a newlywed?
And no one stands quite like a farmer except maybe an old rancher who has been horseback most of his life.

I got itchy to get my sketch book out, but hubby came and took me to lunch.
He didn't get the piece of equipment he wanted but we had a fun day together. This time of year, while the farm is busy, you value any time you have together as a couple. I'm lucky to have all kinds of side entertainment when the men meet to cuss and discuss the latest news.
And I'm happy that I can go from high heels at an art reception to cowboy boots and he can go from his dressy boots to his John Deere work boots all in the same weekend. Me thinks we make an odd, but good pair.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I know my blogging channel has been rather quiet but my real life has been very hectic. I (and 3 other com padres) spent the last four days re-decorating some very boring classrooms at the museum for the reception of our annual art show. It took less than 45 minutes to tear it down last night. But we had about 350-400 people show up for the opening of our art show so I call it a success. Someone asked me if I was a professional "installation artist" and I said no rather quickly. Even though I was flattered, I don't think I would be interested in making a job out of it.
My Greek horse, "World Traveler" won no prizes but I still feel honored to have had it juried in and for it to hang in our very prestigious museum for the next 10 days.

Below are some of my favorites from the show.

Aren't these adorable?

This bust is an example of some of our student art pieces. The boy who created this was 18.
There are many, many more incredible images that I wish I could share.
If anyone has a real interest in the ones I have shown here, they are all for sale and I can get you any information you may need to acquire the piece.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hundertwasser Houses

Back to my sketchbook.. and btw.. thanks to everyone who helped me with the last painting.
This goofy little sketch was inspired by HUNDERTWASSER . Someone brought one of his books to an art class and I got about 50 seconds to look at it as it was passed down a line, and that was all it took. Those images stuck in my mind. His fantastic paintings made me want houses made with color, and then I drew a town of circles and symbols, trying to capture even a small blot of the memory left to me by the book.
And I'm listening to Schulz & Peanuts, a biography by David Michaelis, on my IPOD so Snoopy had to show up. I love this story, how Sparky was a sketch artist who went on to make millions!
And then the goofy little doodle on the left came from a new book, Keys to Drawing With Imagination. So this sketch represents an onion skin layer of my busy mind, I suppose. This was one of those sketches where my mind is really too tired to create, it just had to dump what was whirling around.
I hope I don't bore my non-painting friends. I visit blogs to learn new things and that's why I enjoy writer's blogs, ranch girl's blogs, photography, etc. This blogging world is like a big talking encyclopedia to me. I hope my blog can inspire you to paint if you have any inclination, but more than that - to learn and grow and find interesting things to marinate within your head and enrich your life. You all have certainly inspired me, that's for certain.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Seller of Purses in Athens

I loved the streets of Athens, Greece. It is the most vibrant city. I have never lived in a city of any size, so visiting there and experiencing the energy and restlessness made me breathless, really. When I saw this older man hanging his purses in his shop, I had to stop. I knew he would make a good watercolor. In fact, I said out loud on the streets of Athens, "That's my watercolor". I have had a photograph since March. It has haunted me. I knew somehow, with much more skill than I could muster, my photo should translate into a beautiful painting. But I didn't want to paint it, until I could paint it the way I needed to. I wanted an old world style. But I had no idea how to bring that about. But I couldn't wait any longer.
What I would give to have a mentor. No one in my family paints or in my close circle of friends. I belong to an art guild but sometimes I feel like they keep their comments tight and close and are afraid that they might actually teach me something.
Is anyone out there willing to teach me something with this painting and my reference photo? It would be invaluable to me. I will paint it again and again if I have to. .... geez, I sound so pitiful.. surely someone will help...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fresh Flowers?

I finished my amaryllis. I'm trying to paint fresh. Without fear. Trust my instincts. I don't want to do ho-hum, flowers. (i'm not sure I even like flower paintings??) Believe that what is inside my head is good enough to put on paper. To make it dark, darker, darker but then, keep the whites and lights... and make sure your corners are different and your center of interest is actually your center of interest, keep things directly out of the center, etc. etc....

Oh heck, finally I just enjoyed it and painted it like no one cared but me.

I ran into a friend today. She has been feeling really bad. She said, "have you ever had a panic attack? It feels like your insides are shaking". OMG ....I felt so so bad for her. That must be horrible. I've never been that anxious... yet.

Fear and anxiety. Why do we feel so much fear about living our lives, painting our canvas? Are our rules too restrictive? Our standards too high? Do we worry about what other people will think too much? Why are our insides shaking???

I have all the colors, paper, and tools I need to make a good painting and to enjoy my life. With more time and more practice, someday... you'll see... I'll cross over that mountain in front of me.... but I realize that I have to travel with Fear, Anxiety, Discouragement. I have to make them my friend. They can't hold me back, they won't keep me still, they won't even slow me down . I"M HIKIN THIS HILL. They can walk with me but I set the boundaries on what they will do with me on this journey.

The heart breaks and breaks

and lives by breaking.

It is necessary to go through dark and deeper dark

and not to turn from the Testing Tree. by Stan Kimitz


If you hear a voice within you say, "You cannot paint". Then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh.

I wonder if it would help my friend to paint??