October 21, 2016

COMMISSION STATUS: NO VACANCY

Not taking commissions until at least the New Year, but will entertain ideas for them from patrons for potential work this winter.

Here’s the last commission I did (prints will be available soon, click to enlarge):

Visit SunnyGrrrl.com for art/life stuff! Visit SunnylandStudio.com to buy art! Or @SunnyCrittenden for all my socials!

BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

<3 <3 <3

January 23, 2014

Things I Will Not Eat (Part One)

Almost every day around 3:30pm, I start looking at Pinterest for dinner ideas in time to e-mail Blake a grocery list so he can go to the grocery store on the way home usually if I get a list to him by 5:30pm, I’m good, but I usually call around 4:30 or 5pm to see where he is to determine how much time I have and the less time I have, the more stressed out I get and sometimes, quite often in fact, he just comes home and I’m in tears because I couldn’t think of anything in time. As I’ve said previously, I have massive issues with food, both physically and psychologically, but I do my best to have at least one meal a day. Or at least two snacks. And if sometimes those two snacks are cookies and strawberries with whipped cream, so be it and I thank you not to food shame me. When you’re on day 3 of not eating, even junky food is better than a 4th day. I mean, weight’s not a concern of mine, I try my best to go for nutrition, but again, when you’re on day 3, I’d argue that sugar is a nutrient. Blake said yesterday when we were talking about me and food that if he went to prison and they fed him nothing but bread and water, the bare minimum to survive, he’d be okay. But if it were me, I’d starve to death and die. And that’s really not too far from the god’s honest truth.

Anyway, “Sunny has issues with food” has been a story I’ve told a few times and I’ve also posted recently about how I’m at a loss as to what to eat because I either can’t eat something because of my health issues, won’t because I think it’s gross or I’m sick of it. Hence the mad scramble to Pinterest’s food board at around 3:30pm. I have a million beefs with Pinterest and pinners, like, actually clicking through the pin to look at the recipe, to see if there even IS a recipe upon click-through, but that’s not what this post is about. This is a running tally of things I will not eat. Most will be ingredients, but some will be full dishes. If I think the dish is particularly heinous, I’ll link it in case it’s something YOU’D eat.

Let’s begin…

– Nutella. I know, I know, “it’s the best thing evar!” except I just can’t justify eating chocolate on a spoon, I don’t like hazelnuts, and there’s no way in hell I’m putting it on bread. Just no. I was watching some reality show this one time where they cleaned up a bum off the streets, bought him new clothes, got him a hotel room for I think 3 nights, gave him some money and then they took him out to a meal at  a 5-star restaurant. They said, “the best dessert ever is waiting back at the hotel!”, so they bring the guy back, blindfold him, and the host of the show gave him a spoonful of Nutella. I would have been so pissed! We were at a 5-goddamn-star restaurant and you bring me back to my own house for chocolate spread on a spoon? There will never be a jar of Nutella in my house and if there ever is, you’ll know I’ve really lost my marbles. (And yes, I’m a total ingrate. If I were ever homeless (again), I would likewise starve to death and die.)

– Cream and cottage cheeses (also goat) and sour cream. On Pinterest there is cheese of some sort in every. single. goddamn. thing. Often multiple kinds, including cream and cottage and they sneak it in there, ya gotta be vigilant and not just fall for the pretty food porn, you have to click through to see if that shit is in the recipe. I have been disappointed so many times by seeing pictures of stuff that looks like it would be okay, but then I check the recipe and there be the white Devil. One of my childhood friends gave me the recipe for her mom’s Mississippi Mud Pie that I had once as a child and LOVED and was totally dismayed by the fact that there’s cream cheese in it. I’m still going to try to make it one day, but I make no promises of liking it again.

– Ground beef. I used to eat a lot of it because it was cheap and you can do lots of things with it, but it just grosses me out now and I can’t even have it in spaghetti sauce. It’s okay in lasagna as long as it’s a cheese-heavy lasagna as opposed to a meaty one (maybe that was obvious). I’ll eat a hamburger from South Street Burger Co. but nowhere else, not even home made. The smell of cooking ground beef makes me feel so sick, especially when combined with onions. It’s just one of the least appetizing scents on the planet to me.

– Chili. I just hate everything about it, the beef (or turkey, or TVP), the beans, the spices, the tomatoes – there is nothing I do not hate about chili. I *want* to like chili! I like the *idea* of chili! But the reality is just way too barftastic to contemplate. I’ve tried my whole life and it’s just a big huge “no”.

I dunno if I’ll stick with posts like these because they’re pretty negative…anyway, Blake’s home and we’re having steak, green beans and boiled potatoes (skins on) for dinner. I realize that boiling potatoes is probably the least nutrient efficient way of preparing them but it’s like, 7:30pm and we’d all like to eat before bedtime.

Sooooo yeah….

December 16, 2013

Hungry Like the Wolf

I have a problem with food. A problem I’ve touched on here, but it goes so much deeper than that and I’m starting to think maybe I have disordered eating of some sort.

Thinking about what to have for dinner is absolute torture. It is my nightly hell and most nights I just don’t even bother having dinner at all. I just can’t think of things to eat. I jokingly made this venn diagram and put it on my webcam, but really it’s true…

I look at the Pinterests trying to find things that look appealing, food porn basically, and stuff looks good but then I look at the ingredients and they’re either gross or really bad for you. We’ve exhausted the Jamie Oliver cookbook I think. I mean, there’s just not a chance in hell I’m eating curry. It’s just not happening. I don’t care how “lovely” it is. Just no.

I usually eat once a day. If it’s on my own during the day it’s one of the following things:

– P.L.T. (Peameal bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
– Sunny McMuffins (sauteed onions & garlic scrambled egg with cheese on an English muffin)
– Macaroni and cheese (homemade, Kraft Dinner’s pretty much off the table completely)
– Zoodles with bread and butter (Like Spaghetti-O’s but a billion times better and animal-shaped.)

Uh, yeah…and that’s pretty much it…and that’s only if we have the ingredients or if I feel like eating/making it, which often I just don’t. Cannabis is supposed to give you the munchies but it doesn’t for me. (Or at least most strains don’t) It makes me not feel sick and therefore that sort of stimulates appetite by default but it doesn’t make me hungry or really crave anything. I went through a phase where I ate Quiznos a lot, but that didn’t last long before I got sick of it. I can’t eat McFood anymore. It’s just not possible. The texture, the taste, it’s just vile, I can’t. We tried Wendy’s the other night because I’d never had it before and I wanted to try their chicken burger, plus they have sea salt fries that are supposedly hand-cut and Blake said they’re the best out of all the McFoods, so I wanted to try them.

Well.

It was eighteen fucking dollars. I couldn’t even believe it. For crappy fast food. Whatever.

So I try the fries and they have so much salt on them that to me, they were completely inedible. I took about 3 bites of my chicken burger and the texture was just off. I mean it was crunchy and spiced okay, but the chicken itself was sort of rubbery and untrustworthy. Sketchy. So we brought it home and Wes gladly ate it.

So all of the restaurants in the near vicinity that we know about are pretty much off the table:

– No subs. No Quiznos. No Mr. Sub. No Subway. This also applies to delis so my formerly-beloved Dino’s is off the menu too. And Fresh-A-Fare.
– No pizza. None of the local stuff, none of the chains (*gag* seriously), not even my beloved Pie. I just can’t eat it.
– No more breakfasts of eggs and a breakfast meat of some sort. I don’t like sausage, I don’t like ham, bacon’s too greasy/fatty/too little actual meat on it to be food and I’m kind of exhausting my (previously thought to be) die-hard love of peameal bacon.  I don’t like omelets. (I like making them for other people though. Sometimes.)
– McFood is out. This includes: Harvey’s (CDN chain), KFC (and any fried chicken, as it turns out), I wouldn’t eat Taco Bell if you paid me, Burger King is barfola, Wendy’s is obviously not happening…that’s all I can think of at the moment.
– Chinese food I am just over mostly. I only ever liked beef & broccoli stir-fry but now the beef in it grosses me out, and sweet and sour chicken balls but now I think they’re soggy and the chicken is gross, I used to like honey garlic ribs but they’re too fatty and kinda fall into the same category as bacon. I like the outsides of egg rolls. The insides are gross, I feed that crap to the dogs. So yeah, with one exception, which I’ll get to soo, Chinese food is out. Also “Double Happiness” in the next town over was not happiness at all, it was more like “Double Crappiness”. >:o(
– Boston Pizza is out with one exception. I just don’t like anything on their menu and I’ve tried a lot of it because there’s one 15 minutes from our house.
– Swiss Chalet’s ribs used to be half decent. Not good, but okay. Now they’re just fatty and gross, to the point where I wrote headquarters about it. So that’s out. And truthfully? When we went to Haugen’s last time I couldn’t eat my ribs there either because they just kinda skeeved me out and that’s my favourite restaurant. :o/

I can’t think of anymore places off the top of my head, but you see my dilemma. And it’s not like I only eat restaurant food, it’s just that those things give me ideas as to what we can eat at home. Or sometimes we do go to restaurants, especially if we have an appointment somewhere for someone.

Still on the menu:

South St. Burger Co. (just a small burger with ketchup so I get some protein; this shit’s gras fed, free range and tasty as fuck)
– Crazy bread from Little Caesar’s.
– Chicken fried rice from a couple of places.
– Mall teriyaki
– Caesar salad from Boston Pizza
– Yam rolls from Furusato (sushi)

And that is literally all I can think of. I mean talk about a first world problem. Oh no, I can’t eat at this plethora of restaurants. I know. But it’s seriously problematic for me. I go to the grocery store and I’m just completely lost because I don’t know how to make stuff that’s good for me that I’ll actually eat. I look at the grocery store sale flyer every week for inspiration but they either run out of what I want or there’s just nothing that seems appealing. I used to eat things from the freezer like TV dinners, noodle bowls, Hot Pocket type things, but now I can’t stand that processed shit.

So now I literally don’t know what to eat. My menu is so limited that I’m sick of everything but my “condition” or whatnot prevents me from trying new foods. Sort of. I’ve found that the cannabis *has* made me more adventurous when it comes to trying foods I normally wouldn’t eat, even if I’m pretty sure I won’t like it – like spanakopita last night – but only in small doses and so far nothing’s been successful.

I eat a lot of smashed potatoes or roasted potatoes and carrots. You boil them for a while and then you bake them; or with smashed potatoes, you smash them with a fork on cookie sheets and drizzle olive oil on them and sprinkle salt on them and then you bake them and they are very delicious – zero nutritional value though. So that sucks.

And that’s all I’ll eat in a day, like 10 baby smashed potatoes an hour before bed. It’s not healthy.  It’s fucked up that I will go days without food because I can’t think of anything to eat, right? Like I will starve for up to 3 or 4 days until I finally have to eat something NOW like Zoodles or Lipton chicken noodle soup or a peanut butter sandwich.

I don’t weigh 100 lbs so obviously I’m not anorexic but when I don’t eat, I get headaches and I have dropped a little bit of weight. Plus like I said, it’s not healthy, people need to eat, right?

I just dunno why I have such a huge issue with this. People usually know what they want to have for dinner within 5 minutes. If I haven’t eaten already, which is likely, I start thinking about it at about 2pm and I usually can’t think of anything until after Blake’s already home, if at all.

That’s part of the reason I’ve been trying to do more of the cooking, because theoretically I’m making things I like, but  the crockpot chicken teriyaki for example, I didn’t like it and didn’t have any. Blake and Wes ate the whole thing. I just think I don’t like chicken anymore at all, and I didn’t like the sauce, which is the whole point. But for another example, I like roast beef and that’s not something that can be made at 6:30pm when Blake gets home from work so unless it’s a weekend, if I want that, I have to make it myself and that requires planning.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m at my wit’s end. I go through the Pinterests every single day and very few things get repinned. I just don’t like, I don’t enjoy, eating. There is something functionally wrong with me. I’m defective.  I wish I knew how to fix this and be just like everyone else.

December 12, 2013

Song Lyrics Go Here

It’s so weird. Normally I start my posts with a title and normally they’re song lyrics because I’m completely unoriginal. I’ve been sitting here this morning listening to music with the WordPress window open, waiting for the perfect song to come on but none did, not even something super cliche like Cypress Hill (who I genuinely like and not just because they write songs about weed).

So Friday I got my prescription for medical cannabis and between then and Sunday afternoon, I started looking at the three growers listed on the Health Canada website. See what you have to do, which I now know because of Jackie Walters at Peace Naturals Inc. (one of the growing companies), who answered all my questions, is send them your original prescription copy, along with the grower’s paperwork which is just asking about your mailing address and your doctor’s info and just clerical stuff really, then they ask you about your ailments and symptoms and your experience with marijuana and then you fill out and sign a medical disclosure form that just states that they’re allowed to speak with your doctor about your condition. It’s actually a lot of paperwork but easy enough to fill out and Blake witnessed and signed the parts that needed it and yesterday before my shrink appointment we sent everything to Peace Naturals registered mail (because that prescription is valuable) and now we wait for them to approve me which they said would normally take 2 days or so after they received my package.

As it turns out, their PO box is like, 45 mins from our house which makes me wonder if their grow is too. It’d be cool to get a tour of the facility. I’ve never seen a weed farm before. I bet they’d say no but I’m going to be a client with them for the next year (pending the paperwork all goes through; I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t), can’t hurt to ask. Especially since Jackie seemed pretty eager for me to jump on board as a client, which isn’t surprising as they’re the latest addition to Health Canada’s 3 grower operation (not exactly the $3bil one we were promised, but it’s still soon).

On Friday we went and saw my grama and we had a good visit. When we get there she’s weepy, then while we’re there and having conversation she’s good, but when we leave she’s weepy again. She seems to be hanging in there okay. She’s pretty fucking skinny though and I really wish I could convince her to get a weed rx too because she’s not eating and she feels sick when she does. Man, if I were at the end of my life, I’d wanna go out eating. But that’s just me. And I don’t even like food all that much.

Speaking of food, I’m not much of a cook. This is common knowledge. In theory I *should* be a good cook because growing up I did so much of it with my gramas and stuff (“Cooking is an art, baking is a science.”) but after Wes was born and I’d taught Blake all the recipes I knew, I let him do the cooking. The reason for this is that ever since I became pregnant with Madison, cooking smells really bother me. You think I’m a picky eater? I’m an even pickier smeller. If I smell something cooking too long, I no longer want to eat it. I feel sick. That has only gotten worse since pancreatitis. However, I’ve  found that since I began medicating with cannabis and have had a better appetite, I have a better tolerance for cooking smells and so I’ve been trying to do a little bit of the cooking, which Blake is grateful for and my shrink is impressed by.

I started out small with just simple cheese omelets with sauteed garlic and onion, which I made for the whole family for a while. Then I started making Sunny McMuffins, a slight variation on the cheese omelet only this time with peameal bacon and on an English Muffin. Then one night I saw that we had pork chops in the freezer and Shake & Bake in the cupboard, along with two boxes of cheesy potatoes which are terrible for you but good sometimes, and Blake was going to be home late. So I made dinner and it was more or less ready as soon as her got home (by total fluke). I mean, that’s obviously a very simple meal that anyone could make but our oven’s tricky and getting the timing right so the potatoes would be done at the same time as the pork chops is hard and we also had peas, but those take 5 minutes in the microwave.

Yesterday I tried making these chocolate and peanut butter squares and I followed the recipe to the letter but they turned out so hard that they’re almost impossible to eat. Pinterest did me wrong!

Pinterest did me right last night when we made mini chicken pot pies with cream of chicken soup and Pillsbury biscuit dough in muffin tins. Madison’s vegetarian so I invented a version for her with tomato soup, cheddar cheese, corn, peppers, onions, garlic, basil and oregano and she was a big fan. I asked for other veggie ideas for this on Twitter and my friend Quelyn suggested a potato soup base and Deanna suggested broccoli soup, which would also work pending Madison likes broccoli soup (I don’t know that she’s ever had it). Anyway, everyone was a fan of those and everyone helped me make them. Wes grated cheese while I chopped veggies, Blake chopped up the chicken breast for ours because I really really dislike touching raw chicken. It seriously skeeves me out. I’ll do it, but I will bitch and moan the entire time. So he did it, then he went back to work. Then Madison put the dough in the tins and we each filled one (there were 10 biscuits per can and we used 2 cans for 2 kinds), then she sat in the kitchen and talked to me while we waited for the pies to bake.

Just now I finished putting in the ingredients for crock pot chicken teriyaki which will take about 5 hours to cook. Then I also have to make rice, which I’ve never done before so Madison will have to show me how to use the rice cooker. Then I also have to stir-fry the cabbage mix and bean sprouts we got for the occasion. I guess you would just stir-fry them in a bit of oil until they’re tender-crisp? That’s what it looks like they do at the mall. I told Madison I would make her extra stir-fry so she can make something similar using tofu and this jar of honey garlic sauce we have in the fridge.

I’m not becoming some domestic goddess housewife person or anything like that, I’m not about  to do anything crazy like clean something or vacuum or put away laundry. But for now making meals sometimes is working out okay so I’ll go with it. Truthfully I don’t even know if I’m going to eat any of this teriyaki because I don’t really like chicken but we’ll see.

Anyway, that’s all I really have to say.

You can still get free shipping in my shop for the next 4 days!

October 30, 2013

Les choses que nous apprenons…

yo yo, quoi de neuf?

Blake, as a new Canadian (did I mention he took his citizenship test and he passed and he was sworn in and can vote and everything now? well, that happened), has decided to take a French class. It started in September and goes until December so it seems like they’re going to cover a lot. He has flash cards and has to do tests and shit. Honestly he’s doing really well. I haven’t heard him speak much of it, I think he’s still unsure of his accent, but he’s showed me his tests and how they do it – I think – is that the teacher gives them a piece of paper with maybe 12 English phrases on it and they’re all numbered. Then the teacher says the first phrase en francais and the students are supposed to write down what they hear. I have no idea how they’re learning things like “est-ce que” (“is that”), which sounds like “eska” (more or less). I would never hear those two syllables and think “oh, that must be three words”. It was on Blake’s test a few times so they must be learning spelling and grammar as well, I just thought Blake told me the whole class is oral/aural. Maybe there’s more to it than that. I know there’s homework involved.

As a Canadian native, I started taking French in school in kindergarten and took it up until grade 9. French is written on everything here, so I know the words for a lot of things but it’s been so long since I used or heard it that I would probably be useless in Quebec and I know I can’t watch TV in French…I’m pretty sure by December, after one class, Blake will be more fluent than I am. C’est la vie!

So this means that on Wednesdays, the kids and I are on our own for dinner and I only see Blake in the morning while I’m working because he doesn’t get home until after I go to bed.

Oh look. Here comes Madison, bugging me for Halloween costume ideas at the last minute…as long as she doesn’t go as a scumbag teenager in normal clothes begging for candy, I *don’t care what she goes as. Also she’s had months to figure this out and it’s the night before, I’m scanning my brain for fucks to give…scanning….scanning…none found!

Awww she suckered me into helping her be Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. Damn me for having a ridiculous amount of pink clothing and a hoodie with ears that also happens to be pink! Wes, in case you were wondering, is being a werewolf. We went straight off the rack for his costume and he’s wearing a mask so unless he really wants me to I’m not going to take pics. I may have better luck with Madison.

This last week has been the pits, as far as first world problems, because we’re using shoddy wireless internet using the router built into the modem, so that’s issue #1. Issue #2 is that our ISP something something is having problems something something resolving DNS something something, which in layman’s terms means it takes me approximately 20 tries to load a webpage or upload anything because the internet won’t connect to the host. It’s like, “Connecting….” and then it says, “resolving host…” and then Chrome or whatever browser takes a shit and asks if I want to reload. Repeat literally 20 times or until you give up and try looking at it on your phone.

This DNS issue or whatever it is (Blake’s been on the phone with tech support a million times and they told us a couple of days ago to wait 72 hours to see if it got any better) really fucking sucks because I effectively can’t do part of my job because it involves a form to send e-mails to people and there’s an iFrame or something that tells me when the e-mail’s gone through. With this issue, that iFrame won’t load and tell me either way if the e-mail went through so if I click to send the e-mail again, did I really just send it again or did I now just send two? Oh. iFrame didn’t load again. What now? Possibly send three? There is a work-around I’ve found, but it takes something that already took a long time take ten times longer. What also sucks is that the site I do support for is super bandwidth intensive and I have to run it while I’m working. That’s my job. I can run it mostly okay during my early mornings when no one else is online but when we tried using the internet normally during my shift on Saturday, doing my job was just impossible so everyone was pretty much device-bound while I was the only one using the internet at all. And I was *still* having trouble. It sucked. It does suck.

 There’s also an itty bitty conspiracy theorist in me that thinks our cable company is messing with us because we have unlimited bandwidth now, just this month, and have been pretty liberal with it. But that’s probably crazy…right?

Blake and my brother just taught me how to use the bit torrents to download media and I barely even had a chance to try it out before the internet went down and then we were rendered mostly impotent. I was cut down in my youth. What kind of animals would do this to me?

Anyway, since Blake had French class today after work and didn’t come home in between and he works in the city tomorrow, the earliest he can try the troubleshooting process with tech support again is tomorrow night after taking Wes out to get candy. Like I said, my mornings are okay except for that one thing I can’t/is difficult to do, but on my Saturdays, that part of the job is pretty unavoidable so hopefully they fix our internet before then. I also have my work meeting on Friday which is through Skype so hopefully that’s not a nightmare.

So yeah, tonight we’re on our own. Madison and I each have a frozen pizza that we could eat, but Wes ate his last week so his options are grilled cheese with either Kraft Dinner or soup or neither or any one of those things alone or in conjunction with each other. Honestly, I’ve felt so barftastic today that I’m not sure I’ll eat at all, especially pizza. So we’ll see. I do have like, $50 worth of pharmaceuticals to take right now though and they should be taken with food so…yeah. We’ll see.

And with that, I think I’m off to take my pills, watch Weeds and go to bed.

PS. I mostly liked the new Carrie movie. Finally, some justice for Tommy Ross! Madison HATED the movie and says the original is her favourite movie right now. I expected to have the same reaction because Carrie (1976) is in my top 5 favourite movies and I hate two things: remakes and sequels. But nope, I thought it was actually pretty good. Nothing could ever live up to the piece of art that is the Brian De Palma film, but this new one is way better than any of the other Carrie-related efforts I’ve seen over the years. By miles.

And NOW I’m off to do that shit I said I was going to do 10 minutes ago…

(*mostly.)

February 11, 2013

In Heav-in, Everything Is Fine

You & me both, Hannah.

I’ve been up since about 3:30am. I dunno why I woke up at that time, I just did. I don’t know what I was dreaming about but I woke up with the sentence “we should have taken it to the edge” in my head. No idea what it means. I went to bed at 10pm after Walking Dead so if anything, I should have slept in. I’m not tired right now but my eyes hurt like they just haven’t been closed long enough in the past 24 hours, gritty, and my head is starting to hurt probably as a result.

I tried going back to sleep a few times but ultimately gave up at 5am. Then I watched last night’s Girls while I worked on my “golden girls” painting (not the old ladies) and started working out the idea for a new one. When we went to Michael’s last month I got a bunch of new papers for dresses and among them was this gorgeous matte and metallic copper damask and right above it was glitter cardstock in pretty much the same shade so I got them both with the idea of making a copper angel. I’ve made 2 angels in the past, a light skinned one and a dark skinned one and each of them have different wing shapes. The light skinned one is the only one of my paintings that I know for a fact belongs to a child and the dark skinned one is Madison’s favourite. Both of them though, are gold, because when I think of angels, I think of halos and halos are gold, right? And religious icons are often gold, the crosses and shit and there’s a lot of gold in the Pope’s robes sometimes etc etc etc, I just thought angels should be done in gold. But these papers are so beautiful and they really wouldn’t work for a fairy or a girl in a ball gown so an angel in robes just made sense since I really only do the 4 types of girl (angel, fairy, mermaid, princess) and then while I worked, the song “Pennies From Heaven” came into my head, so that’s what she’s going to be called.

When I do my backgrounds, I usually pick 3 or 4 complementary colours for the splatters with the main colour as the first layer so it shows through the crackle. Then I mix up to 4 different types/colours of glitter for the final background layer. The thing with copper is that not a whole lot goes with it, so I’ll be accenting the piece with a grey-ish green like the patina on really old copper and probably the metallic “espresso” that I have, which I’ll also be using for her hair. The green glitter is chunky and the copper glitter is fine. The piece may or may not have actual pennies on it, I’ll decide that when it’s almost finished. I use mulberry paper for my angel wings because it looks like feathers and I just so happen to have some in a peachy colour that’ll look good with all the copper.

This is what the angel looks like:

That was actually my SECOND drawing of the day because while I was unable to sleep last night, I still wasn’t totally all there so when I selected the papers (which is usually the first thing I do, but sometimes I pick the glitter first) and decided on what I was going to make, I knew in my brain what I was doing but my hand did something else completely and the first drawing I did was of a girl in a ball gown. I’ll use her for something else, but I was so annoyed that I spent over 2 hours drawing the wrong thing because there I was thinking I was being super productive and happy to be so and then my work amounted to nothing. At least I didn’t get to the shading stage, then I would have been flat out pissed off.

Anyway, while I worked on those two girls and started the process of making the background on the canvas, I watched the movies What To Expect When You’re Expecting (pretty much what I was expecting), one called The Fever with Vanessa Redgrave which was just weird and basically one long monologue and then I watched The Woman in Black which I thought visually was really well done but I am so over horror movies. They do nothing for me. I used to be really into them but now I just find the whole genre boring and predictable. I don’t even know why I watched that one. Probably because my friend Robert said it was the scariest movie he’s ever seen. I knew it wouldn’t be the scariest movie I’ve ever seen and I figured I probably wouldn’t even like it, it was just on the movie channel so I watched it.

I sent Mike from the artists guild all of the stuff he asked for for the website. This is my bio (Blake wrote most of it):

Sunny grew up in York and Durham Regions surrounded by art. Throughout her life, she has experimented and expressed herself using many different mediums from crayons to t-shirts to assemblage. Sunny moved to Elmvale in 2005 and works out of her home studio, kept company by her family and pets, loud music and way too much blogging.

Predominantly, Sunny currently works in mixed media painting, combining acrylic and watercolour paint and along with the masterful use of glitter she creates dream infused, magic-inspired fantasy girls. Her work is available online at http://www.SunnylandStudio.com

Blake’s also joining the artists guild as a supporter as opposed to an artist/artisan and that way he can come to meetings with me and be a part of things. So that’s cool.

Today it’s grey and rainy and all the snow is melting. Yesterday Blake and I went to the beach just because we’d never really seen it in winter and I’ll be editing the pics from that probably later today or tomorrow. Then Blake made teriyaki in the crock pot that looked pretty gross so I didn’t have any. When we were making the grocery list on Saturday (or more to the point when he and Madison were making the list while I was working), I told him to go on my Pinterest and find things he could make there and buy the stuff for that so he got the stuff for beef teriyaki (which I normally love but his sauce was really thick and dark, like molasses; they liked it though), beef & broccoli stir-fry and the stuff for me to make chicken soup which theoretically I should have done today but I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate cooking so much and it’s my day off and I don’t wanna. I realize putting stuff in the crockpot isn’t really “cooking” but it is to me because you have to chop all the stuff and cook the chicken and well, fuck that. That is not on the agenda, especially since if I was going to do it, I probably should have started 2 hours ago. Oh well.

Okay it looks like my paint is dry so I’m going to get back to work on this angel. I hope you’re having a quacktastic day.

August 27, 2012

So Many Thoughts…

Today Blake took me to see The Dark Knight Rises and he bought me popcorn (WITH  butter!), a giant drink and almond M&Ms because they came with the combo (I’m not a fan). Originally I was going to have to pay for my own drink, which would have been $4 – wait, hold up, I’m forgetting something important: today we were supposed to go to the Picasso exhibit in Toronto but admission was $25 EACH and then you had to rent this audio device for $5 EACH and my friend Mike, who went yesterday, warned me ahead of time that it was crazy crowded and being the last day of the show, I figured it would be in my best interest to avoid it, as much as I wanted to see it. I’m really disappointed that we didn’t go, but at the same time, I only had $60 to my name until I get paid in 2 weeks and I had to pay for Blake too, so that was the ultimate deciding factor.

Anyway, Blake said he’d buy my ticket and a medium popcorn (WITH BUTTER!) but I had to buy my own drink. Well, something many people don’t know about me is that I *have* to have a drink within reach at all times. To me there is absolutely nothing worse than being thirsty and I go to extreme lengths to avoid that particular discomfort so going to the movies and not having a drink would be unthinkable, particularly when there was salty popcorn involved, so my options were to buy a $4 pop or bring a can of diet Coke from home. Because that’s what we had. I only had $60 to my name and I had to buy things still for Squam so I asked on Facebook if anyone had ever snuck anything to a movie theatre because I never had and the overwhelming response was “yes” and that I should definitely do it. The problem was that I only had cans and I was afraid of two things: a) getting caught because of the sound of opening one and b) people in the theatre hearing me and thinking I was as ghetto as I was being. In the end, I just couldn’t do it because I would be mortified if discovered and then when I was reserved to spending 4 whole dollars on a drink, Blake surprised me with the combo he got – on him. So yay for Blake!

And just as an aside to this rambly rambly post, I totally cried at fucking Batman. I cannot even believe what an emotional wreck I am. I cry at the drop of a hat, I can’t control it and it is completely embarrassing. Also not that anyone cares about this non-fangirl’s opinion, I’m going to give it to you anyway: I think it was a really good end to this reboot. My only beef was that Bane (Bain?) was such a meathead. I just didn’t buy him as someone trained by the League of Shadows and the mastermind orchestrating the whole thing (NO SPOILERS FROM THIS GIRL! YOU’RE WELCOME!). Blake said that in the comics he was like that though so shows what I know. I just didn’t like him. I *did* love Scarecrow as the “judge” though. Cillian Murphy is so handsome. And that’s my thoughts on Batman.

(more…)

July 16, 2012

Polaroid 300 Camera With Holga Fisheye Lens (and other things)

Yesterday was a good day.

Yesterday afternoon, Ronny and Alex came over and Charlie and Blake cooked us all steaks, potatoes and baked beans for dinner, which was awesome. (Except I didn’t have beans because beans are evil, disgusting things from the fiery pits of hell but I bet they sure made Madison happy.)

While the menfolk were cooking, Alex and the kids and I went over to the park where I brought the Polaroid and we screwed around with the fisheye and wide lenses. I’m still working on a post about the wide and tele lenses because you’d think they’d be straight forward, but they’re not, really, so like I said I’m still working on that post but I figured that in the meantime, I’d do a post about the fisheye lens which I like a lot.

These pictures of Wes were actually taken about a week and a half ago and were my first foray into the fun and exciting world of fisheye lenses:

These are just the 3 pictures that turned out the best, there were plenty of outtakes with Wes but nowhere near as many as there was with Madison. With Wes the challenge was getting close enough. I’d never used the fisheye lens before so I had no idea how close I needed to be and unlike the rest of the lenses, there’s nothing written on the outside of the lens to indicate how close you should be so you just kinda have to guess.

With Wes (well, and with Madison since she’s on the slide too) I had tio get all the way to the top of the slide to take these pics. Like, I was standing on the ground and he was at the top of the slide and I was standing as close to the platform at the top of the slide as I could get.

With Madison yesterday, initially I was having light issues because we were under a severe thunderstorm warning and so the sky was that white, bright kinda of sky that you get on summer days when it’s supposed to rain. Like, it was bright outside, but the sun wasn’t directly shining on anything. Also because of where we were, the sun was right over top of us and that made lighting the slide just a little bit more difficult, especially when it’s metal and it reflects the light the way it does.

Once we got the lighting situation figured out, it was pretty easy to get decent shots with this lens. The key to it, I guess, is to be taking pictures from below your subject, but maybe there are other applications to the fisheye lens that I’m not aware of. I didn’t really research what to do with it, I just went with what I thought would make sense and it paid off.

This is the money shot, but the scan doesn’t do the image justice:

The actual photo is less washed out and is actually sort of a silvery toned image. I’m actually kinda proud of this one, especially since Madison was being sort of uncooperative (not knowing what to do/how to pose) so I sort of played around with her and tried to get her to make the face I wanted her to and when she finally did, I snapped the pic quick without even looking through the viewfinder because I didn’t want Madison to feel self-conscious that a photo was going to be taken at any moment.  And also because the viewfinder is wonky and most of the time I don’t use it because it’s actually better sometimes not to. What you see in the eyepiece and what your lens see are two completely different things and I find that my camera is off by a lot and it depends on the lens as to which way and how far off it is.

My only real beef with the Holga Fisheye Lens for the Polaroid 300 is that goddamn ring around each photo. It could be called a “vignette” I guess but really, it’s just that you’re taking a pic of the inside of the damn lens and that sucks, you lose so much of your photo space because of that and there’s nothing you can do about it! Is this poor craftsmanship? Because as far as I know, these lenses are only for the Polaroid 300 and the Fuji equivalent. In fact they’re actually made for the Fuji one but the Fuji one is supposedly identical to my Polaroid so I’m lefty thinking that the problem is with the lens itself. Is mine messed up? I dunno, there’s no blog posts about these lenses on the internet as far as Google’s concerned as I write this so there’s nothing for me to compare them to. I kinda don’t think mine’s a defect though, I think this is the way it is. I think it’s the tele lens that does the same thing and then the wide lens does it a bit on the right hand side. The macros did it.  I think that’s just the way they’re made, which is kind of a shame because I don’t imagine it would be too difficult to make a better product. I can practically hear Blake shrieking in my head that they’re shitty lenses for a shitty camera and I should quit expecting them to produce Digital Rebel quality images from them and I don’t really, but I do think it’s possible to take a GOOD photo with any instrument by fluke or by talent or by a little bit of both, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m colouring with ALL the crayons in the box and I fucking love instant photography. I wish it wasn’t so damn expensive but when you have a little but of room to play, it’s fucking FUN.

And I’m definitely taking the Polaroid and all the film I have here (90 pics) with me to the hospital where I’m going to be for like, 6 days with nothing to do. I’ll probably end up just taking a billion pictures of Blake’s sexy ass which is absolutely fine by me. I’ll keep those bad boys in my wallet for, y’know, uh, later…

Actually though, I have this really neat green binder that says “Polaroids! Yay!” on the front of it and then all of the little pictures are in baseball card sheets chronologically. I’m going to start marking the ones I think are actually good and worth potentially “selling”.

Madison’s my first customer! haha She’s buying 50% of the digital rights to the “money shot”, above, because I told her she could have the actual photo for $10 since my time, my skill, my equipment, that was all worth money and that was how you have to price the final piece of one-of-a-kind art and in my opinion, the original of that one is a damn good picture! Definitely the best one that I’ve taken so far out of like, 40 pictures! “Skill”, right? haha I was still learning!

So she wants me to scan that one (which I will do a better job of for her use) so she can use it as her Facebook profile picture and I’m charging her $2.50! I find this incredibly amusing but she thinks it’s a good deal so who am I to argue? I thought she’d tell me to go fuck myself when I told her the price and I was gonna laugh and tell her I’d give her my crappy site scan for free (she’d just steal it anyway!) and that would be that but she didn’t so hey, $2.50! I can totally buy TWO apple danishes from the bakery down the street AND I bet I could get Madison to go get them (I’d give her one, it’s only fair and I’d dig enough change out of my buddha bank so Wes could go with her and get one too because they are fucking awesome – also I am not a dick).

We went to see the house beside my mom’s new house on Saturday and hol-ee shit. It is beautiful and immaculate and while it’s not the perfect house, I don’t love it, I could grow to love it once I felt that it was okay to make it mine. For example, the stairs don’t have a banister and spindles really. The “spindles” are like paddles with hearts cut out of them and I hated them on sight. They are cutesy and hideous and it would be one of my first priorities to make them disappear and be replaced with many potential ideas not unlike some of the ones I have pinned on Pinterest.

The bedrooms were spacious. What would be Madison’s room is fucking beautiful and makes me so jealous because I would have loved that room 15 years ago. I forgot to look at closet space in all the rooms but I believe there was a closet in the Madison room and one in the room they used as a weird upstairs sitting room (that would be Wes’ room). Dunno about master bedroom because it was creepy as hell in there and I didn’t want to go in and investigate. The guy who owns the place is apparently like, 70 years old and he moved downstairs into the back addition part of the house because he’s not well so it’s not even like he used the master bedroom or anything but there was like, a respect thing that I couldn’t get over like, I dunno, you just don’t barge into someone else’s bedroom and look in their closets, especially when that person is like, you’re elder and stuff. That’s just plain rude. So I didn’t check that out.

I *did* have to go into the guy’s bedroom though because he’s using the back addition as his bedroom and we had to be shown that part of the house and the little office inside of it and the bathroom and the back door. Something I noticed was that the one bathroom, upstairs I think, had a clawfoot bathtub so that’s a HUGE fucking bonus, even though that could mean there are no showers in the house. I didn’t notice any, I just know that the bathroom with the tub ONLY has the tub, there’s no showering apparatus attached. I forget how many bathrooms the house had, like, which were full baths and which were half baths. I know there was the one full bath upstairs but with no shower and then there was the little half bath  (I think?) bathroom in the new addition area of the house. That new addition area of the house would be my office and Blake would take the smaller office inside the addition (yay! we’re gonna be roommates!).

That’s part of my problem with this house: I don’t like where my office would be. The light sucks, in that, there really wasn’t any. Or at least that was my vibe from it, maybe there were curtains drawn that I didn’t notice or something. In my dream house, there is room for plants to thrive in my office. This was not that office…again, I don’t think. I definitely need to see it again. The living room was fine, the dining room was fine, the kitchen was fine by me but Blake and my mom were already discussing ways to change it. All I know is that it has a dishwasher, which will make the kids very very happy, Madison in particular whose only requirement for a house over the years was that it have a dishwasher. Now it’s a dishwasher and internet. You’d think the latter would be a given but it totally isn’t in these old houses in old towns.

The only other real problem with the house is that it needs a new roof and we need a fenced yard for the dogs UNLESS we can all train ourselves to walk them at least twice a day and pick up their poop which could happen but only if I lead the way and I don’t want that kind of pressure. :o/ We’ll see how it goes. Madison has committed herself to walking one dog, twice a day, even in the winter, that’s how much she wants us to get this house. Maybe if I went with her we could do it together. Maybe we could drag my mom along with us and 3 generations of Crittenden women could take a walk around the block together.

I figure a new roof is going to be around $10k and a fence would probably be around $2500-$3k. I  believe the house is listed at $289k. I say we make our first offer like, $225k. That’s just what my gut says to put on the table at first, also considering that we’re going to roll our car into our mortgage so our monthly bills won’t be as high. There’s a lot of cosmetic stuff we have to do before we can list our house but Blake’s going to be working from home for the summer since I’ll be unable to lift en-nee-thing, to quote Dr. Hanrahan, and that means he’ll have more opportunity to do those things and work toward this house. Will it happen? I’m not sure. The guy could decide not to sell after all or someone could come in and buy the house before we can, these things happen. I figure if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen and if it’s not, that’s okay too. We’re looking in other areas as well. It would just be really really good to live next door to my mom, we all think. Xmas morning…! I think it’ll be good to get the children into the Durham Region Board of Education’s system. The Simcoe Board of Ed. here is ridiculously horrible. Like, the only book Madison’s class “read” this year was The Hunger Games – and guess what else! – it was read TO them. Yeah. In grade 8. By their teacher. And that was only to justify the class going on a field trip with “educational merit”. Blake wrote Madison’s teacher and asked her not to let Madison use a calculator and the teacher wrote back saying “okay…” Then we come to find out that Madison had been using a calculator in class anyway. Talk about lazy teaching. The high school Madison will be going to will be a lot more challenging, actually Wes’ school will be too probably. These are good things!

I suppose I should talk about surgery considering the fact that it’s on Thursday and I may not update until after it’s over (or I’m dead). I dunno what there is to really talk about. The surgery is called “repair of massive ventral hernia with mesh/component separation + cholecystectomy”. What Drs. Hanrahan and Ward will be doing is cutting me open down the middle from just under where my ribs meet all the way down to my waist and they will remove the gall bladder while rearranging my guts and putting them back where they’re supposed to be. Then they’ll shove all my guts back into my body and sew everything up tight. She said I may still have  a “bulge” where my guts may not have been able to have fit anywhere else but that’s a hell of a lot better than looking like, 8 months pregnant so I’ll take it.

I’m going to be having an epidural, which I’m pretty scared about because what if they mess up and paralyze me for the rest of my life? Or what if the fluid in my spine leaks out the epidural hole? That would probably be a bad thing, right? And how do they keep the epidural IN my spine? What’s to stop it from being pulled out?

I’m going to be knocked out for the surgery obviously, the epidural is just for pain afterward.

Tomorrow I have my preop in the morning so I’ll know more then, I suppose. I don’t know what a preop entails, hopefully not blood work, I’m so sick of being poked. I will definitely not miss that.

Anyway, Blake’s home so I better hit “post” on this sucker. I hope you had a wonderful day!

June 21, 2012

A Word From My Friend John.

April 21, 2012

Yellow Submarine

I love the Beatles. I’m not totally familiar with every song they’ve ever done but I really really love the ones I know. I love how, if everything is totally fucked and you just don’t know what to do with your life, your day, your minute, you can turn on the Beatles and just be like, “well whatever, fuck it” and everything will just be absolutely okay.

Is that just me? The Beatles are like, the safest music choice in the world because everyone loves them and the ones who don’t love them are just fucking crazy anyway so fuck those people because you believe with all your heart that “all you need is love”.

And kids love the Beatles too so it’s like, totally a nice, safe, family friendly band but not in a lame way because John Lennon was and will forever be one of the World’s Most Awesome People. Just look at this quote my cousin Haylie posted on Facebook last night or this morning or whenever the hell I checked FB this morning was:

For those who can’t see my images at work because my site’s blocked due to ~*PORNO ADVERTISEMENT*~, this is the quote:

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

Feel free to pin that on your Pinterest inspiration boards!

Speaking of Pinterest, I read an article in Forbes this week that said Pinterest is worth $7.7 BILLION. That is fucking crazy. It’s such a simple idea and they have no REVENUE yet so how are they worth that much? Same with Twitter and Instagram. Why are these companies worth so much when they have no revenue? What is their value to investors? What are their investors paying for? I feel like I should know the answer to this, but I don’t. This is like, beyond my knowledge base.

Anyway, I’d link the Forbes article but I tweeted it a few days ago and now I can’t find the link. Google it, it was interesting!

After seeing how much Pinterest was worth and that how “the little guy” means nothing in comparison and therefore my copyright claims are a gnat on the ass of an Elephant I think it’s time to not give a fuck about copyright on the internet. This may seem like a big “no duh” thing for a lot of you reading this but it’s an epiphany I’m just having so ride it out with me.

By someone pinning my art on their Pinterest inspiration board or even their DIY board, all that’s giving me is traffic and, since I think my girls are recognizable, a bit of a name. I don’t think my work is easily FORGED which is different than “copied”. Sure someone could copy my concept and if they’re satisfied with their work in the end then what do I care? That person wasn’t going to buy one of my paintings anyway.Them doing that doesn’t take away my right to make my girls or my rights to my girls’ images or any of those things. And if that person ends up making paintings like my girls for a living, who cares? Do you know how many people there are in the world to buy paintings? Like, a lot. She’s still not infringing on any of my rights. Etc etc etc. See copying is okay. I don’t see any issue with that, all artists do it and anyone who creates anything is an artist. The “truly original” person is a fucking MYTH.

If someone was forging my paintings, that would actually be pretty cool because that would mean I’m successful enough that people would actually care to do that. And that level of infamy is rare. I mean, I’m a normal person. I don’t have a degree in art. Here are the “contemporary” artists that I know of off the top of my head:

– Damien Hirst
– Andy Warhol
– Jackson Pollock (because of the movie)
– Jean Michel Basquiat (because of the movie)
– Frida Khalo (because of the movie)
– Pablo Picasso (because he’s fucking Picasso)

I only know that these are “contemporary” artists because I read that on Wikipedia in the last 6 months. The only one of MY lifetime (so to speak) is Damien Hirst and he only became popular when I was in grade 9 but I’d never even heard of him before 2 months ago.

So that is my “art knowledge”  as a regular, every day person with only a grade 9 education and the ability to use the internet. I think that’s pretty typical, the only real difference is that most people wouldn’t know that any of these people were popular within the last 100 years. Most people have no idea that Michelangelo and Picasso were of totally different eras (and I’m not talking about you guys, I’m talking about the average person in my town who also doesn’t know what a “blog” is).

That’s SIX PEOPLE in the last HUNDRED YEARS who I KNOW OF who have made any kind of money making art for a living in their lifetimes. Again, do you know how many people there are in the WORLD? Like over 6 billion. Do you know how many of them make art? Like, tons. Yet in a hundred fucking years, I can only name 6 who didn’t starve as a result. Does that make me ignorant? Absolutely. But can you also see why people are so afraid to try and be an artist and live their passions? This is why there are all these workshops by Willowing and Suzi Blu and all the people in the book I’m reading that really boil down to the same mantra: you are an artist. Have no shame in that.

Blake calls me utilitarian. And I am. But he also gets upset with me because I can’t relax and just BE. I have to be doing something productive or I feel completely unsuccessful and then that makes me feel like shit. Selling a painting is the BEST feeling in the world for me. Selling a painting means that what I do with my time isn’t completely worthless. And that makes me feel good because I’m utilitarian.

Pre-going crazy, I had no trouble whatsoever calling myself an artist and using my imagination. Post-going nuts I became afraid of my imagination and also of what people thought of me and I had a hard time calling myself an artist because “artist” was a fancy way of saying “unemployed”. That’s where Suzi Blu came in. I saw her videos on YouTube, encouraging me to be silly and funny and weird and quirky and an ARTIST and that was exactly the encouragement I needed. I could trust my medication so that I didn’t need to be afraid of my imagination anymore and this confident woman with the less-than-perfect-teeth-but-still-beautiful was practically shrieking at me and thousands of others on YouTube that it was a-okay to call yourself an artist and yes, you can make a living from doing this. Suzi Blu practically invented the art of the online art workshop via Ning that so many other artists have copied in the last few years. If you want to make a living by being an artist, is the message from Suzi and the mixed media artists online like her, then be a teacher. because “slinging paintings” as Suzi called it one night in chat, is not the way to go about it. That route is HARD. You have to have gallery representation and you have to kiss a lot of ass.

Or do you…?

How has the internet changed that dynamic or how is it changing that dynamic? I have galleries on my site, right here, where you can see my entire oeuvre and I can guarantee that more people are looking at those than I would get at any gallery in Toronto so why would I bother with a gallery in Toronto, especially when they would take 50% of my money for that privilege? I mean, in the age of the internet, who’s really doing all the work here, the artist or the gallery? The artist, if they want to stay authentic (that means writing your own tweets and updating your own Facebook fan page – there’s no reason a gallery should be doing that).

#Hashtag Gallery, the brand new gallery I’ve been watching for the past couple of weeks, tweeted the other day something to the effect of, “which local artists would you like to see at #Hashtag Gallery?” and I said something like, “why would you want local artists when your gallery is named after a component of the internet? you have the whole internet!” To which they replied “good point” and rephrased the question. They’re super green, but they’re learning. I really wish they’d get a goddamn website up though; you’re named after a major component of internet life and you don’t even have a website? Come on, shit or get off the pot. I still maintain that if your gallery is getting more foot traffic than your website, you’re doing something wrong.

The Square Foot Show signups started yesterday. It’s $20 to enter and you can submit up to 3 pieces, each 12 inches by 12 inches, and they’ll put your work up at AWOL Gallery in Toronto along with 600 other artists. You have to get your signup in SOON because space is limited and this year is their 10th anniversary.

I don’t know whether or not I should do this because it’s $20 and I’m slowly but surely learning the value of a dollar. You have to proce your work for $255, which would be totally fine by me because that’s what I charge for a 12 x 12 inch painting anyway (with shipping), but the gallery takes 50% of your money if you sell anything so I can’t figure out what the point is to doing this. To get “exposure”? Again, I don’t need “exposure”. I have a website. 3,000 people per month come look at it. The Square Foot Show isn’t going to compete with that. It’s not like they show your name with your painting or anything, people buy it purely on whether they like how it looks or what it says. I kinda like that aspect of it, I just don’t like parting with 50% of my money when it’s going to cost me so much to be in it. ($20 to enter, $15 to park at the event, $10 in gas, a day to prepare to go, a night to actually go to the gala, $25 to have dinner out if just Blake and I go.)

So I dunno. My mom thinks I should do it. She thinks she might want to do it. I’ll do it if she does it, I guess, then we can all go to the gala together and that would be worth it for me, but I don’t think I’ll do it any other way. Another benefit of doing it is to put it on my resume because the more gallery showings you have on your resume, the better your chances of getting a grant are.

I got turned down, again, for the OAC grant this year, which is no surprise and I’m actually glad I didn’t get it because I’m not doing my girls anymore and that was my entire artist statement. And if you don’t do what is in your artist statement within a year of receiving the grant, you have to give the grant back. I would hate to have to do girls when I wouldn’t want to just to get some money. I mean, I would have done it because $5,000 is a lot of money, but I wouldn’t be very happy about it at all.

That’s why I don’t think I’ll be applying next year. We’ll see how things go when the time comes around to do it and where I am artistically, but I think I’m still trying to figure out who I am right now and what to paint as a result and I don’t think I’ll have that figured out until after Squam and after Squam is too late to make enough pieces to enter for grant purposes. But we’ll see how it goes.

Getting sick and almost dying really messed with my world views and I feel like I’m on really shaky ground right now because I don’t know for sure how I feel about certain things. When you realize just how short life really is (and how long and condensed at the same time), I think it’s natural to need a while to figure things out.

The last thing I have to talk about, because I have to start work in like, 42 minutes, is the fact that the kids and I signed up for The Sketchbook Project 2013 and I think that’s pretty awesome. I’ve decided to (really this time) not treat my art supplies as being “precious” and I’m going to give them access to everything I have for their sketchbooks just to see what they’ll come up with. I know Wes has big platypi plans for the cover of his sketchbook and he’s been practicing in his *other* sketchbook in the time between signing up until the books actually arrive, but Madison has been quiet about her plans. If she has any. *I* certainly do not have a plan for mine.

I sent in my Sketchbook Limited Edition sketchbook a couple of weeks ago. I think I did a fucking great job on it, considering what I’m going through artistically right now. I think you guys are gonna really like it when it’s digitized. :oD

Tomorrow we’re going geocaching I think, after Blake goes to hot yoga for the first time. He’s got all next week off of work and he plans on going to hot yoga every day since the membership was like “$X for unlimited classes for the 1st month”. He’s gonna get even hotter and sexier when he starts doing hot yoga and then I’m gonna look like a fat, old goat herder beside him. :o( He just gets sexier by the moment though, even preparing for his venture into hot yoga. I mean, check this out:

That is Blake at the grocery store with his stylish new headband for hot yoga for all the soccer moms to drool over. In the background is Shaun/Sean/Shawn, our favourite Foodland employee.

Anyway, I have a million personal e-mails to go through so I’d better get on that before I have to start working on work e-mails. I hope you all had a fantastic April 20th yesterday and an even better 21st!

PS. I wrote this in an e-mail to Charlie yesterday, what do you guys think?

Y’know. I kind of envy your career. Not like, what you actually *do* for a living but the pace, the responsibility, the ability to manage underlings, the travel…if I wasn’t married with kids, I would probably have a job like that. Advertising was a lot like that but with less travel and I really enjoyed that. I want “projects”, dammit. That’s kinda why I think I want to start doing small commissions.

I think I want to paint in as many styles as I’m capable of to see how I really make art because I’m honestly not sure how I make art. I don’t think I have a signature style or themes or anything. I guess I “sort of” did with my girls, but that was more a marketing thing than an art thing, I think. I’m not saying that they weren’t or aren’t art, I just mean that they’re more decoration than “art” art.

I just think maybe doing commissions would open me up a little bit. Blake says they’re a bad idea because I’m terrible at deadlines and I end up hating what I do in the end (not the product but the process) but I think I’ve kind of evolved a little bit since the last time I took on a commission type project and I see art differently than I used to. I don’t really see it as a “commission” but as a collaboration. Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol had students and assistants doing the grunt work *for them* and they both also took/take commissions. I bet there’s a ton more examples of famous painters taking commissions.

I also think it’s a good way to practice techniques without it being “work”. (Like Suzi Blu had us make a grid on a piece of paper and draw eyes in each square. I did this for 10 pages. That was WORK and very very boring. Totally effective in the end, but still work.)

So what do you think? Would YOU commission me?

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