Friday, May 16, 2008

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Painting Isn't Real Exercise, like maybe swimming



My lose-weight diet has helped me gain three pounds, not what I wanted. This morning, I was disgusted and depressed just after weighing myself, but I'm feeling better now because I kept a journal (on-line) of what I ate and the calorie count. I'm expecting to lose. I hope I'm right.This has been a long haul; I've fought my weight gain for a couple of years, always giving up or forgetting. With my medical reports which I may have read wrong, (hopefully), I'm afraid of the currently mild serious problems becomeing stroke or heart attack worthy. All those bowls of ice cream and candy bars are catching up to me. I haven't lost one ounce not eating them, and I forget why I'm not. The hard candy sits in my drawer, I hope, to go stale and be thrown out.
My knee is still a problem and my other knee threatens to become one. That horrible shot stopped the pain under my kneecap but not on the left side. I stand at the easel and paint--I'm almost finished a new one!--and my feet burn. That may be my weight. I'll know only if I eventually return to a normal weight. I hope for me painting is like meditating because I never remember to meditate. My big activities are reading the paper, painting, and reading books. They're my favorites. I eat while reading and reading is the only thing that makes the treadmill bearable. I do lots of other stuff including gardening, but other than caring for my children, cats, and friends, painting is my most important activity. Life isn't right without painting in the mix.
Lately, I'm using up my sable oil painting brushes. I guess I used to paint at a much slower rate. I'm worried about spending all my very hard earned painting money on a studio gallery. I may have none left for painting supplies. Cadmiums that run $30 a tube. Art supplies were basically robbery before the price of oil shot up. I think I'm being careful cleaning the brushes, but they're deteriorating. Some of my big brushes from art school--back in 1975--are still around. I'm sure a bunch of them are from as far back as 1971. It's a shame I don't paint those huge canvases anymore using the fat brushes.
The painting I'm finishing is what I call a mandala. It's far from a normal mandala. It's one of those tight designs that I do. It's different painting every day; I think the frequency pushes freedom and experimentation. A lot of the time now, I fool around and just see what comes out. It's like coloring as a kid. It's exciting and not one quarter as stressful as painting used to be for me. It's fun with a tiny bit of worry. For me, it's nothing. I don't know why I'm saying this. It's fun. The two other paintings I'm working on are a little figurative. I'm still beginning them. I think the small one is on it's way though. That's the hard part--finding the road. Seeing where it's heading.
My friend William was bothering me yesterday about not being ambitious or feeling pushed to make money as an artist. I just want to paint. I think marketing is a job. William thinks I should put high prices on my paintings and that they'd sell faster and better that way. I have no idea if he's right, except that I haven't sold anything for more than $650, I don't think. I'm just not getting to wealthy patrons. So far, the people who've bought paintings from me are working people who wouldn't have $1200 to spend on a painting. At least, I don't think so. Pricing artwork is difficult anytime. All the time.
That's the Dot Abstract, the last painting I finished. It's about 18 x 24", oil on canvas.

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