Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This drawing is 20x24 inches large, the exact measurement of the canvass. This is the way to read the drawing. There is a tree on the left and its branch extends out over the top of the painting. Coiled around the trunk of the tree and its branch are two thing; a garland of flowers and leaves and a black piece of rope. The black rope is just a line, but it ends up forming the sides of the swing and suspending the cat in mid air. A piece of the flower garland hangs down off the branch on the right of the drawing.

On the swing is a model wearing a Balenciaga suit. On her head is a black hat made out of long feathers. Her feet on the swing are bare. On the ground is another model wearing a Balenciaga evening gown with black gloves on her hands and a gold necklace around her neck. A bullet has just entered her forehead and exited in a red mess through the back of her head.

All the cats will be shades of grey and black. The hat is black, as is the cape on the evening gown. All the space between the cats and the models looks empty, however, I will fill it with shades of blue and perhaps shades of pink and orange at the horizon line. I really don't want any empty space in this picture, I want it to be as dense as the garlands of flowers, so brushwork, auras, and glazing and scrubbing of paint will all be happening, I mean to make this painting as busy as possible with as much texture and color as possible. The only spot where the color red will be used is to signify the blood coming out of the model's head. This isn't a steadfast rule, because I may get tempted to use a shade of red (pink, purple) on some of the flowers. However, the painting might be more powerful if there were only one place where red is used.

I won't begin work on this painting for a little while. I have another painting that is dry and ready to have some rolling hills of green put in.

Its just warm enough to work without the propane heat on. But if I'm suffering I'll put the heat on. Wearing wool sweaters and layers of shirts. Cherry Blossom is sometimes loath to be cooped up in the bedroom, the only place where there is heat. But baby has to adjust. Today when I finished the drawing "Bullet" I did it while in bed. Took pity on Cherry and went for a walk with her in the rain before the drawing was done - exercise didn't seem to lesson my concentration when I got back and this surprised me. I had an umbrella, but Cherry got wet. Didn't seem to faze her. Its been raining for hours, and I may take Cherry for a second walk this evening, my husband has to work very late tonight.

I've still got my table easel on the kitchen table and this table is a mess with all of the stacks of my visual reference books used during the planning or execution of three different paintings. Oh, and there's a Bible, CD's, brushes, potted violets that are half dead and a large tin full of paints and a box for a new camera with camera instructions too. My husband doesn't complain about the mess, bless his good nature. But I'll be glad to be back in the art room and put a table cloth, candles, and cut flowers on the kitchen table, making it lovely as usual. I'm back in the art room probably by this weekend. Have to clean that place too. We've got too many books. And I've got an electric blue coat that I don't know whether to put in my closet or donate it to the Salvation Army. Am I too old to wear electric blue fur? My gut says yes. My mother gave me a box of glass crystal and silver candle sticks. These heirlooms are designated to go on a shelf that has yet to be built, so for lack of space they got put on my art room sofa - where the electric blue coat lies as well. Maybe this weekend I'll have my husband build that shelf.

Just bought in a second hand book store a small book on Hieronymus Bosch and a large book on Magritte. I don't have much in common with Magritte, but it was published by Taschen which is my favorite book publisher and it was in mint condition. Bosch will definitely be used for inspiration. And on second thought, maybe Magritte will inspire.

Yesterday very sick, but managed to work on the drawing never-the-less. I'm having suicidal thoughts and it occurred to me that "Bullet" was planned while I was feeling perfectly well, and yet, it has a fantasy of violence that mirrors my own when I am sick. I see my art coming from a disturbed mind, even when that mind is serene or merry, the themes in my art are sick. I showed an earlier version of "Bullet" to my mother and my best friend while they were over for lunch and they said, "Take it away, take it away!" They couldn't bear to look at it. My best friend really, really likes cats, she likes cats better than most people, so what I had done to a cat upset her. I said to her "at least the rope isn't around its neck, what's so bad about rope under its armpits?". It's ironic because I'm trying to make "Bullet" as beautiful a work as I can. All those carefully drawn blooms and leaves. Stylish ladies.

Last night my husband said there were white circles around my eyes, like a raccoon in reverse. And he said that my aura was about as gray as he's ever seen it. He was rubbing my feet, and we were talking about the book Walden (hate it so far, I'll explain once I've read a little more, but when he said in the beginning that he has learned nothing from older people, and that there is nothing at all to learn from the experience of your elders - that really pissed me off, since my favorite people are the wise little old ladies from church) so you've got foot rubbing, intellectual conversation, and I'm thinking about cutting my wrists. My husband said, "if you really want to be punished and hurt I'll spank your bottom really good" but I wasn't even tempted. Instead I got in the car and drove to McDonalds and got a large chocolate milk shake. Right before they made my milk shake they had made a mint milk shake for someone else, but the ice cream got contaminated in my milk shake so I had a chocolate mint milk shake and it was really, really good.

No suicidal thoughts today, it seems I have my feet back under me.

1 comment:

  1. Karen, about the suicidal thoughts, I was thinking maybe you should go back to church and visit with those little old ladies. They seem to give you a better, healthier perspective. You don't have to go every week, but at least once in a while. I remember a few months back you were really into praying. Have you done much praying lately? I like your drawing and I love the cats because I am a cat person as you know. Despite the suicidal thoughts and the drawing of the woman with the bullet through her head and the hanging cat, I really find a definite streak of humor in it all, playfulness within the precision. I am very excited to see your work in color because I love your choice and application of color. If I were wealthier, I would ask to buy one of your paintings!

    All my love,

    Kate : )


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