My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fledglings & Shoulder Update

This year's fledglings are starting to appear. Here's a very short video of a mother cardinal feeding a chick in my backyard yesterday evening;

There were 2 mothers feeding 3 chicks (2 presumably female & one clearly male.) Here are a few more pictures;

This morning I saw a red-bellied woodpecker chick (following a parent around,) but I have yet to get a photo of it. We've also had young crows around for a while now, but it's difficult to distinguish them from the adults. We had a group of 4 that became a group of 7. Here's 5 of them out back this morning;

Shoulder news; The recent X-rays I had do indicate a possible labral tear. An MRI has been scheduled for this coming Friday. The anti-inflammatory medication the new doctor put me on last week has been helping quite a bit. I'm still being careful not to overdo it with that arm, however.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Mind-Body Connection

I've spent some time talking things over with loved ones & thinking about what's been affecting me for a while now. There are a few things at work, some worse than others, but the biggest, baddest problem in the basket (which ties a bunch of the other things together,) is my left shoulder.
My regular readers are aware of pain I've had for about 3 years now. I've posted before about how my "doctor" (& I use that term very loosely,) had diagnosed me with bursitis (without any examination or investigation,) & said he wouldn't do anything until the pain became unbearable. I was already at that point, of course. I don't run to doctors for every, little thing. I only see them when I really need to.
Unfortunately my "doctor" didn't see patients, he saw dollar signs. The faster he got people in & out, the more the register went cha-CHING! Even the receptionist who set up my first appointment inadvertantly tipped me off, assuring me (or perhaps she trying to convince me,) that I'd like him; "He really listens & cares." If that were true, why did she feel some need to bring it up? Wouldn't I realize it through the level of care I received? I should have run when she waved the red flag in my face. I won't make that mistake again.
In untreated, fairly constant pain, I had to make huge adjustments to my life. I could no longer lie comfortably when I slept, resulting in only 2 full nights of sleep in 3 years (making me irritable & increasing my stress, to say the least.) I was forced to give up drumming (which had been a great way to relieve stress.) Although I'm a "lefty," I had to stop using that arm (for the most part,) & learn how to live as a "righty." There's only so much you can do with only one arm, unfortunately. The pain caused problems with getting dressed, brushing my hair/teeth, showering, physical tasks at work & even steering my car. I've lost a lot of strength in that arm due to non-use & in having to readjust movements around it, I started putting too much strain on my elbow & my right shoulder & arm. Even painting often caused me physical pain. Exercise has certainly not been possible & my body, overall, has started to suffer too much for that.
So I finally made an appointment to see yet another doctor. Ever the cynic (& not having much luck with doctors so far,) I must admit that I wasn't terribly hopeful about the process. I'm pleased to report that I seem to have finally found a good doctor. She listened, asked questions & suggested that it might not be bursitis after all, but rather a labral tear. She's written prescriptions to help with the pain & inflammation & she's set up tests required to determine the cause of the problem. If it turns out to be bursitis, after all, she's prepared to treat that, as well. Perhaps the most reassuring was her simple statement when I was getting ready to leave; "Don't worry, girl. We'll take care of this!" This time I honestly believe it.
Even hope, alone, can make a person feel a whole lot better.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On Second Thought...

I quit all of the art/photography, forever. Most people assume that I have some kind of innate, creative "drive" &/or that my creative attempts made me "happy" or brought me some kind of "pleasure." Most people are wrong. (Please note that I'm not pointing fingers or assigning any kind of blame. I'm just making a statement.)
I may continue this blog, but I doubt it...right now I can't say.
Thanks to my patrons for truly appreciating my art. Thanks to everyone for the visits & comments.
For now...peace out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Painting (Updated)

24x12" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

I did a quick study of this last October, but the idea still kicked around in my head, begging for more detail. This final version is the result of a lot of long, hard work.
Unseen in this scan are various light effects that cause the painting to change subtly as one moves around it in "real" life. Irridescent paint catches the light in the sunbeams and nebula, on highlights on the mermaids & the edge of the planet. With gloss varnish, it also creates some of the stars. Metallic gold paint creates similar effects in the nebula and the comet's tail.
(Update, Jul. 2009; Published in Anthology of Friends; An Original Collection, Vol. 4. Sold Nov. 7, 2009.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Long Delay...

Apologies for the long delay since my last post, but I've had a lot on my plate.
For a while now I've been giving serious thought to quitting art altogether, for the 3rd and last time. I've spent an incredible amount of time, money and energy (both publicly and privately,) for what appears to be nothing. It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. If so, continuing down this path was truly insane.
On the other hand, if I quit it all, how would I fill my time? For a few days I went into "productive action" mode, focused mainly in keeping the house nice & clean. It does feel good to have things organized and tidied up, but once it's done, maintenance isn't half as fulfilling. I considered getting back into shape, but I have my reasons for not wanting to go there. I ended up doing a lot of nothing. Feeling depressed, sitting on the couch, exhausted all the time & crying a lot.
Fortunately everything seemed to spontaneously improve a little while back & I realized in retrospect that a variety of factors had contributed to the "perfect storm" of my recent downturn; hormonal changes, physical illness, work stress, etc., etc. Although I was glad for that, I know that the approach to my art still has to change.
Since my resources are wasted on the business side of art, I'm quitting "the biz" (at least temporarily,) & going back to enjoying the creative process. Not that I won't engage in "the biz" if someone contacts me about it. I just need a break from all of the pointless runaround, so I'm no longer pursuing most of the outlets that I have been (local shows, publications, galleries, contests, markets, etc., etc.)
The room full of my paintings, photos, etc. that have been collecting dust (& those yet to collect dust,) will make great gifts for friends & family.
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