shark guard

this is not poetry
i am not a poet
i cannot stress that enough
i never imagined myself poetic
never
ever
ever
it’s just that free verse
is such an easy way
to say
what i need
to say
nevermind the rhyme
i am not a poet
not
ever
ever
i just have a lot to say
a lot rattling around
in this brain of mine
& the easiest way
to get it out
is to
just
blurt
in free
verse.

so i got rejected for the second time by the sustainable arts awards for mother artists & writers.
poop
i really really could have used the money.
also, i can only find rentals that say “proof of employment!” telling me i need to be earning three times what the rent is.
the real world just fucking sucks sometimes.
but!
am i down?
am i out?
no. for some fucking rainbow shooting out of unicorn ass’s reason, all i feel is hope.
so fucking weird.

i wrote the above not-a-poem because one of the critiques of the portfolio i submitted to the sustainable arts foundation commented on my sub-par writing while complimenting my artwork.
so!
just trying to keep my spirits high…though, again, weirdly they are staying up all on their own.

the above image is what happened when i tried to do a commissioned seascape that included a mermaid. here is the same seascape yesterday before i changed it:

do you see what i did? i put in another shark. it occurred to me as i was trying to fall asleep, another shark would create a “guard” effect rather than suggesting the mermaid was in trouble. or, at least that is my take-away.

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works in progress

i survived mother’s day…just barely
noticing via instagram posts
that i cringe when husbands praise wives
& when i see daughters & mothers together
but am okay with sons & mothers
…hmmm
you don’t need to look twice
to see where my damage is….
but i survived
and will live to see
another
mother’s day
& maybe not be such a
train wreck
next
time….

here are some commissions i am working on. i realize, the more i ink, what my style is exactly–& i try to stay true to it.
i am excited to see how these will turn out…& hopefully the people who commissioned them will be just as excited.

and for those of you wondering about my patreon page:


weighing my heart to find my worth

so i ordered a painting from an artist i adore on instagram
she paints portraits of women from 1950s yearbooks 
but adds bruises & blood to their smiling faces
the piece i bought 
however
was a watercolor heart and a parrot
a very small piece
i did not realize how small until it arrived
but i did not regret the money i spent
because the painting makes me happy
& she included an additional small painting 
of a hawk
& she is a wonderful artist
with a unique eye

two days after i paid $45 for  her 3″x 3″ painting, i sold 10 of my sea creature cards for just $5 a card. 
granted, i sold them to a friend & had not agreed on a price before hand. 
but, i realized
i am totally worth more.

my kids yelled at me when i told them how much i paid for the watercolor–not because i spent money that we do not have on art–but because i am not asking for more for my own art. 

my problem is, i think i am worth the world, but i fear no one else feels that way.
which makes pricing my art, my creations, that much more difficult. 

in other news, my newest muse called for a squid to be added to my collection of sea creatures. 
i was skeptical. as much as i love squid they just remind me of penises (maybe that is why i love squid)
but i am totally in love with how this turned out.  

i miss you (do you miss me?)

the wonderful poet
& soon-to-be published fiction writer
mike ennenbach 
asked me to paint the portrait 
to be used in his book
(!!!!!!)
thus
infecting me with my own 
writing bug
so i have been absent
both
to paint his portrait
& to work on putting together a fiction collection
of my own….

but do know that i miss you & am sorry i have fallen so far behind on reading your posts.
you know i love you
& miss you like crazy.

wishes of fishes

morning coffee
to the screams 
of minions
as the world fogs over
on a cold morning
day
waiting for a plumber
to return my 
calls 
so i can stop
pooping
in the yard 
(i’m not really
pooping
in the yard)
i can tell you this
i finished 
my fish
cards

as my ink gently dries

these are fun to do because they don’t require a lot of thought. it’s kinda zen. just move the brush. wax on…wax off. and i am always amazed at what happens when you put ink on paper. the hardest part is being patient. 
this is step two (i posted step one a couple of days ago)
i still have a few more steps before they are done…but i have to be patient & wait for my ink to dry between steps.

also! i love my bamboo pen so much lately! 

too many fish in the sea

the minions are away so i can spread out
& take over
& work on all those projects i have been 
waiting 
to do.
someone commissioned some quixotic mama under the sea cards
my biggest problem?
picking the sea creatures to paint.
so many awesome sea creatures!
she only asked for 10 cards but i was all
“better do more…just in case”
and because i had too many fish 
i wanted to paint.
also! 
i am working on painting a portrait other than my own!
what? 
really. 
i was scared about it at first…as if my brain would not be able to
process
a face other than mine.
turns out, i am so enjoying it.
new lines
new shadows
new demons.

and if that were not enough.
i made a list of my top priorities right now.

that is just about as organized as i get. 
so exciting!
i am hoping i can get a rhythm going that i can maintain
even after the return of the minions…
without losing sight of my 
commitment to my kids.
time to don the tiara & grab my golden lasso & get to work.

progress

i am almost finished with this commissioned piece.
i like it. it reminds me of shel silverstein (who happens to be one of my favorite male artists.) so i felt happy about that. i also love being able to get messy with my ink.
i just emailed the people who requested it & quoted a price. then vowed to myself to start doing that before i accept a job.

so there’s that.

also! i find myself, when thinking of good things to come, thinking of artwork rather than relationships. which is a big step for me. i tried to express that in my last journal  page “a letter for me,” but i think maybe i didn’t say it the way i meant.
i am trying to explore these things further in my art journal, but i have just gotten started.
meanwhile…
my minions are back from their week at their dad’s and i am struck by how i go from living in an isolation tank to living in a house full of feral monkeys. it’s quite a shock to my system.
something i should maybe start preparing myself for…other than just buying alcohol.

yesterday i heard my ten year old boy (iggy) say of my seven year old girl, “misha is running a fight club–” i did not catch the rest of the conversation. i just hid.

then while i was doing yoga for ptsd , iggy & fidgit put on a movie i got for them and then iggy was in the doorway lamenting that the movie was black & white and how could i do that to him as i know he just hates black & white….
i assured him it would turn to color as it was not a black & white movie, and i kept doing my yoga.
fidgit then appeared in the doorway after some loud scuffling. he said something about iggy attacking & injuring him but all i could think to do was ask (of the movie) “is it colored yet?”
to which he replied, “no, but it will be soon.”
“good,” i answered right before he began wailing about my not caring that his bruise would soon have color.

for some reason that communication mix up really struck me as funny.  i started laughing & could not stop.
i would think i was losing my mind…but i am going to blame the yoga. yoga tends to release things for me. usually i cry. it felt nice to laugh like i did not know how to stop.

even though i probably further traumatized fidgit. (it still kind of makes me laugh though)

why i’m not a sex worker

so someone over on tumbr asked me to illustrate a story for his girlfriend’s book. this is the work in progress for that.
however, as usual, i said “yes” without agreeing on a rate/price for the artwork.
i mean, i love doing art.
i love seeing if i can illustrate someone else’s ideas.
it’s fun & challenging for me. i like fun. i like a challenge.
but, yes, i need to start being more professional & less quixotic sometimes. like…when i’m done with this, there is going to be that awkward email where i have to say, “um, in order to get the finished piece, i need money.”
and what if they are all–you never said it cost! and yes…they should know artists do not work for free nor donate their talent (except for a good cause.) but i still dread that point when i have to ask for a fee.
crap. i should have settled it sooner.
right?
i can’t afford to give it away for free.
(that’s what she said)

meanwhile, for another commission i am doing without settling on cost first, i am googling images of every cool sea creature i can think of to make a set of greeting cards and getting excited about painting them.
however, there is probably no way someone expects to pay as much as i think they should pay for a hand painted series of greeting cards.
and i do know this person–which makes it even harder for me to ask for what i feel my art is worth.

crap.
i need an agent.

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