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

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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.

it was a dark & stormy night…

as tornadoes and thunderstorms tear up an early december evening in illinois, i contemplate my newfound faith in myself.

it turns out that i am not content to take myself seriously solely an artist. the writer inside of me is also demanding attention.

whenever i start reading a lot of fiction (which i have been doing lately,) my inner writer gets stirred up. anymore, i can’t help but to take a story apart as i read it to see what works & what does not. this is actually a trait that has only recently developed in me. it used to be i got so lost in a story i didn’t know which way was up. which–it turns out–is a bit of a handicap as a writer.
being able to now analyze and dissect stories has me thinking i should be reading more of my own writings.
like this pile of works from the late 80s & early 90s. two books, some short stories, and flash fiction pieces written before i knew there was such a thing as flash fiction. 
my sister bound the one up like that. it is 300 some pages of double spaceed content–so not as huge as it appears.
note that i was using yet another version of my name for that one.

so!
the minions are away. i have two art commissions to work on. other than that, i will be poring through short stories, forgotten novels, and journals & journals & more journals with the crazy idea that i might have not one story to tell but three? four? more?

i know, you’re thinking “baby steps!” but i think i am just going to jump on into the deep end–you know, knowing how much i love a challenge. 
(i am my favorite challenge)
plus as a gloriously blooming late bloomer, i got some ground to cover to get to where i need to get to.

i am…alone

i am
sylvia plath
i am
vincent van gogh
i am
the bronte sisters
yes
all three
trapped on the moors
watching 
the moon
blow across
a sky full of stars
blown
by a relentless
wind
worlds exploding
within our imaginations
while loneliness
feasts
on our souls.

you are due a little break after this one. an optimistic-ish upturn as it were. i mean, it’s not hearts & flowers…but less doom & gloom. i am the moon after all. i wax & wane most gloriously.

i have not yet tackled the task of going through my journals for “poems” & art work to be put together in a collection.
i have been a bit down on myself (no! me??) and prone to comparing myself to others to whom success seems an easier venture…and hating them most enthusiastically….
but i am going to do it. i’m going to put together a collection. i’m going to publish it. and i will have my own group of people who enthusiastically hate me for it.
also, i need to start the cards i was commissioned to do.
and i am waiting to hear back from the one who commissioned this

as they have told me they want eleven more illustrations. 

plus, you know, searching for a new home…raising four minions…preparing for winter…training a puppy…deciding what to do with livestock who won’t stop being naughty…oh! & apparently bartering with the father of my children to see if he is “willing” to pay more than $200 a month child support so i can take proper care of his four children…just the normal to do. 

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.

flower ninja evolution

original ninja

i drew this picture sitting at my kitchen table, while still in high school, apparently before i developed my aversion to pencils. there was a vase of dying flowers on the table. and i was a bit into creating whimsical characters (shocking, right?) so this happened.

then, in my late 30s, living in a cooperative, getting ready to go back to school to study art & writing, i did another version of her in ink & art marker, titling it “flower ninja.”

flower ninja yellow

i have her posted on a page…probably the ancient art by me page…where she was admired & then requested only for me to realize i am pretty sure i gave her to dusty who also admired her. god only knows where she is now.
hence the latest version where i went bigger & updated her per my own evolution as an artist.

i think high school me would be delighted that something she drew at the kitchen table would one day evolve into a work that someone would actually pay for.
of course, high school me would also be utterly pissed off to find out that she is not a world-famous author by now.
“and what’s up with the ex-husband collection–why all the jerks?” she might wonder–albeit somewhat relieved that we did manage to get laid….

hmmm. i think maybe it is for the best if we do not tell high school me very much of what we know of current me.
it’ll just be our little secret.

update: on my desk

having art to work on
really helps that urge
to just disappear

i have started a new page of moses jones. oddly, it is very similar to some panels in the first episode. i did not do that on purpose, but it creates a nice continuity? maybe?

also! someone has commissioned work from me! well, he wanted three pieces of art, but only one of them was actually available. one is a journal page & one is a piece i am pretty sure i gave to dusty a long time back?
so!
i am re-creating both pieces. which is both fun & daunting because i have that “don’t fuck up!” voice in my ear & 13 minions (actually four but with the combined chaos score of 13) literally bouncing off of me as i am poised with a brush full of ink trying to make a straight line. and i’m all in my head saying, “fucking michelangelo didn’t have to put up with this shit.”

maybe i should strap myself to the ceiling & do all my artwork suspended in the air.

part of the charm of my work is all the fuck-ups & messy bits, right?

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