Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Monday, April 26, 2010

"HEY! WHAT'S IN HERE??" the street thief cried.


The Rogue Speaks:
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O.k, so most people don't put much stuff on the fridge any more. I got some really funny stuff, but not as much as I though I would. BUT, I bet you have a lot of useless clutter in your wallets, pockets, and purses!
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I really don't have a lot of oddball stuff in my purse--6 or 8 ball point pens, wallet, change purse with 38 cents in it, check-book, a comb, a lipstick, and an odd assortment of store receipts, all pretty current. Nothing bizarre or exciting. Oh, I almost forgot! I have a miniature metal measuring tape attached to my key chain. I used to carry a little set of tiny hand tools like screw drivers and stuff, and a pair nail clippers, but I lost them. When the kids were little, I had crayons, one baby sock, and a pacifier covered in lint. Oh, and maybe some squashed saltines in those little packets.
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My sweet and saintly 95 year old mother-in-law, on the other hand, has a purse HEAVY with the most odd collection of STUFF. The last time she came to visit us and stayed for three months, her suitcase was an amazement to me. She brought two, and the big one was filled with yarn, some neatly wound, and some not so much. She had a portable DVD player in there, a very large assortment of make-up, and one white linen skirt. The smaller suitcase contained her pajamas, many of the silk lounging kind, her robe, and two pair of summer shoes, one of which looked like it had been eaten by a dog. I was furious that none of her daughters had overseen the packing of her bags--not even the one who LIVES with her! When I brought this up to that one, she told me that Mum brought what she WANTED to bring! Do you EVEN BELIEVE THAT????
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It was January here, and not warm enough for a linen skirt. So I took her shopping and bought some cozy clothes for her to keep her shrinking 95 year old body warm. While on the shopping trip she complained that her purse was making her tired. I offered to carry it for her, and when I took it, my knees almost buckled. "Mum," I asked, "No wonder you're tired! This thing must way at least 10 pounds."
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After dinner that night, I took on the task of cleaning out her purse so it was manageable. Mum was safely ensconced in Rod's big leather chair, all warm and cozy in her new clothes, drinking a glass of wine, with our dog Precious at her feet in case she dropped something edible. I dumped the purse contents out on her bed. Then I just stared at it for several minutes in wonder and amazement.
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"Rod! Can you come here for a minute?" He came in and stared at the heap of STUFF on the bed. "What did you do? Dump out the junk drawer?" "No," I said quietly. "I'm cleaning out Mum's purse." He backed out of the bedroom with a stunned look on his face.
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O.k.,now this is what I recovered from the bowels of Mum's purse: one flashlight, a pair of scissors, a screwdriver, a battery charger, a battery tester I used to check the 15 AA batteries (all dead), two wallets, a change purse that weighed at least two pounds, a change counter with one dime in the dime slot, four tubes of lipstick, a pretty little box containing 4 ivory tooth picks from her trip to the Far East in the mid-seventies, a HUGE manicure set in a leather pouch, an adapter, twenty used kleenex, a 1970 copy of "The Upper Room," a wrist watch with a broken blue plastic band that she got from a charity for the blind, that talks to tell you the time, OR it crows! She is deaf, even with her hearing aids. Then came an assortment of receipts dating back to 1980, recipes cut out of a 1950 Woman's Day magazine, 40 or 50 hair pins, and last, but not least, a date book from 1941. There! Top that!
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Let me tell you, in no uncertain terms, this woman is the salt of the earth. She is sweet, loving, devoted to her children, and she reads her Bible every day. She is a child of the depression, and has difficulty throwing even the smallest item away because even if it is dead as a post, it might one day be of use. I am blessed to have her in my life.
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HOWEVER, we are not from her era. We have no excuse for the stuff we drag around. In our "disposable" world, none of us would dream of keeping the items she clings to. She even tries to re-use her Depends. I had to sneak into her room every night and confiscate it. God love her! She never even noticed. Can you imagine trying to recycle disposable diapers or sanitary---uh--you know. We are too busy with other things to be bothered to save or even purge, unless things begin to get seriously out of hand. Thank goodness, we do recycle the important stuff, though.
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Tell me what you carry around that is strange, bizarre, useless, or just plain funny. Not only that, tell my WHY!! This is a challenge! GO!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

A SECRET LIFE EXPOSED!!


The Rogues Speak:

Whenever the Guild has exhibits, there is always a book of bios of the participating artists, so the patrons can read about their favorites. The following is all about the art life of my Best Friend Artist. If she one day updates this bio, I will print it, and everyone will know about all the wild, illegal, and dangerous stuff in which she has involved me over the years. Enjoy:


D i a n e L o v i n g

artladyloving@comcast.net

Born the illegitimate daughter of Pablo Picasso and his eighty-fourth mistress, Diane Loving was forced to flee Paris after what has been called internationally “L’Incident du Louvre,” where she insisted upon “prettifying” her father’s works by cutting out facial features on his portraits and pasting them back on…properly. I mean, whoever heard of some lady having 2 eyes on one side of her upside down nose ?

Diane lived briefly in New York until the fateful night of the “Warhol Incident,” when she took a can opener to several of Andy’s famous Campbell Soup silkscreens. Though she was hailed by some critics, several members of Warhol’s Factory bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles where she thrived designing masterpieces sprayed onto buildings in the dead of night. This became known as the “Spray Paint Incident,” if only in Diane’s own head. She escaped to Tucson 2 steps ahead of the law.

The colors of the desert inspired Diane to paint canvases in beige, ecru, eggshell, brown, tan and dirt tones. She fought this inspiration however, and settled for exploring the intricacies of filigree with pen and black ink.

Diane’s works can be seen locally in galleries in Tucson and Tubac, and someday her works may re-appear in Italy, if the Vatican Council ever issues a pardon for the “Sistine Chapel Ceiling Incident.”

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yikes! I'm in The Snake Pit!!

The Rogue Speaks:

I think I seriously aged myself with that title, because unless you are an old movie buff, you have probably never heard of the film to which I am referring. The Snake Pit, a 1948 four star film, tells the story of a woman who finds herself in an insane asylum, but doesn't know how she got there.

I felt like I was in that psychological "thriller" at the reception for The Monsters That Made Us art exhibit at the Holy Joe Studio on Friday night. The curator had asked each artist to explain in writing just what their paintings were meant to portray. I think I told you I lied my way into the show with my descriptions of my work. My friend, Mordecai, who was also in the show, wrote something not nearly as scary about his own work, and his portrayal was way better than my lies, and a lot more accurate. His actually made sense, and in a very nice way, too.

About thirty minutes into the reception, the curator began his explanation of each piece. This was supposed to be done according to what the artist had written. HAHAHAHAHAHA! NOT EVEN! If all the stuff he said was true, we would all be locked up in the state hospital. There were 125 pieces in the show and there was no way I was staying there to hear about every one. I think each artist only hung around long enough to hear what he had to say about his/her work. I didn't even do that. My Best Friend Artist and her Sweet Sister came to the reception to support me, and when we realized just where the night was going, we slipped out and Rod took us all to dinner!

I saw Mordecai at a critique on Saturday morning, and I asked him if he had stayed for the whole thing. Well, that was a silly question! He and his wife left after the curator described his work as schizophrenic. Mordecai is about as far from schizophrenic as Obama is from the RNC.

According to my Best Friend Artist, receptions should be carefully planned to keep the patrons there for as long as possible, by plying them with good food and lots of wine. If they get a little mellow, they are far more likely to buy something. They may wonder the next day, "What the hell have I done?!," but Baccus had worked his magic once again!

Thank God I brought one of my best appetizers! As soon as I put it down, guests started clustering around my end of the table. Cheese and crackers is not my idea of reception food. And only ONE bottle of wine? Well, how long do you think that lasted after I showed up??

One of the drawbacks of having a reception down town at night is that occasionally people from the street wander in to get a free snack. In this particular show, it would be hard to tell the artists from the street people, because the artists were supposed to be filled with angst and suffering over their craft, and dressed accordingly. That's why Mordecai had on that crisp seersucker shirt, and I had on a really cute outfit from Chico's. My Best Friend Artist came floating in on a sea of chiffon, just like Auntie Mame, only younger.

BFA and I are known for causing a stir whenever we show up together at Guild exhibits, but on Friday night we instinctively knew that we had better mind our manners so we could slip out quickly without any fanfare. When we all had enough of Mr. Blahblah, we gave "the look" to each other, and one by one, we slipped out. No flood lights, no barking dogs, no siren, a clean getaway!

If I ever, in the future, mention anything about an upcoming show with a bizarre name, remind me of this post. The Snake Pit was a great story, but I don't want to live it again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

THE ORANGEBLOSSOM SPECIAL


The Rogue Speaks:
Just as I was finishing this post, Rod came home from the golf course. He noticed that our little girl, Precious, had peed on the tile floor. She is 13, which is 91 in dog years. Whenever this happens, which is more frequently the older she gets, we put Clorox in the grout lines, then wait a few minutes and mop the floor with Fabuluso limpiador multiuso(remember that we are only 85 miles from Mexico). Clorox is pretty strong stuff, and not something we use on a daily basis. In fact, we only use it for pee stains on the tile. The odor gets in your nose and makes your eyes burn. It is NOT eco-friendly!
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After I finished, I thought I would go outside to try and get the odor of Clorox out of my head. This is not an easy task. It gets into your mucus membranes and hangs on for dear life. As I sat there trying to clear my nose of that noxious odor, I remembered a field trip that our 4th grade class in Atlanta, Georgia took to the Kraft Food Company. It was pretty interesting, I guess, but the thing that I will never forget ever is the smell of Velveeta cheese being made. This is not a pleasant smell, even though the cheese makes pretty good queso when mixed with Rotel.
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My point is that I have NEVER forgotten the smell of that cheese factory, nor have I forgotten the smell of salted pistachios my parents used to buy when I was VERY small. Our noses can bring back memories like no other organs in our bodies.
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I remember the smell of the salt marshes off the coast of Georgia, where we vacationed when we were children. I love that place! Whenever we go back for a quick trip to our old summer stomping grounds, the first smell of the marshes brings such peace to my soul.
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I still remember the smell of a dear friend's aftershave when we were in high school. He was always a lot of fun! We used to play the piano together, and dance latin dances in my living room, and make up stories about giant cockroaches trying to take over the planet--all the usual things you do with your friends. He even took me to get my driver's license after I failed the test the first time and my dad told me I was on my own the next go-round. Whenever I smell that aftershave, I think of him. He died of aids several years ago, but he is still alive in my mind.
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I remember, too, the smell of my babies after their baths--the smell of Johnson's baby lotion and powder that gets into the creases of their little necks and releases that clean aroma when you nuzzle them, just before you put them down for the night.
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I know you thought that The Orangeblossom Special was a song about a train, or whatever. To me it is the breeze that shows up in Tucson about this time of year when the citrus trees are blooming. It wafts over southern Arizona, bringing with it the most wonderful fragrance! You cannot go anywhere around town these days without that aroma filling your nostrils.
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The pastel pictured above, "Lemons in a Blue Bowl," really doesn't do justice to that fragrance. The canvas would be HUGE and covered with vivid blue skies, glossy green leaves, and splashes of yellows, oranges, and creamy whites. I did paint a pastel of oranges on a silver tray, but didn't photograph it before it sold, so the lemons will just have to do.
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If there were a blue bowl in the painting, it would be the biggest one you have ever seen! We don't have any citrus trees in our little yard, but they are all around us. Our neighbors and friends give us bags and bags of citrus, on a weekly basis. We eat it fresh, squeeze it, and freeze it for pies in the winter. We pile the lemons, oranges, and grapefruits in bowls on our counter and dinner table. Some of our friends make marmalade, but quite frankly, I am just not that ambitious. Besides, we only buy a five pound bag of sugar maybe only every two years, if even that often.
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But getting back to that aroma--the reason I am writing this. It will be here for a couple more weeks, but then that fragrance will be replaced with the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle for a while. This time of year always makes me feel especially good, because my olfactory senses are bombarded in such a way that it goes straight to my brain and settles there until the monsoon comes and replaces it with the smell of the creosote bush after the rains come.
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When I am very old, like 95 maybe, and I smell the aroma of citrus blossoms, I will remember my life here, and how wonderful it was, and how creative I became, and just how fulfilling the southwest has been for me.
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I hope that whoever cares for me when I am old, will put a little Johnson's lotion on my tissue-paper skin, so I will remember the aroma of my babies. On second thought, I don't think I will need Johnson's for that.
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("Lemons in a Blue Bowl" is in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Cummings)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Other Life




The Rogue Speaks:

I know it is hard to believe, but I actually do have another life outside of the art world. You probably thought that all I ever do is teach art, talk about art, make art, and encourage art. Well, you are in for a shock. I actually play golf in my spare time, and yes, I do have spare time which I have created for the sole purpose of playing golf.
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I played in a two-day golf tournament earlier this week, and had a great time. My partner and I had played in one other tournament together and we WON! We didn't win this week, but it wasn't for lack of trying. We really had lots of fun, especially on Sunday at the pre-game party. The theme for the tourney was "Silks and Roses" in honor of the Kentucky Derby. We had a hat contest on Sunday. We didn't win that either. I borrowed a hat from my Best Friend Artist, and was clearly the most elegant participant on Sunday. I know that because everyone who saw me in my hat said the same thing--"You look so elegant!!" You all know that I am anything but elegant, but I smiled gracefully and accepted the compliments. The first picture above is of me, in all my elegance, and my partner. I am the one on the left and Ursula is on the right.
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Before the game started on Monday morning at 8 f****** o'clock in the morning, they were serving Bloody Marys. Of course I declined because even though the sun was over the yard-arm somewhere in the world, I was not awake enough to figure out just where that was. Instead, I let my partner have mine. She was grateful. Unfortunately, it didn't help. We shot a net 68, which tied with another team for LAST place
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The next day, we actually did worse. HOWEVER, we did decorate our cart (second picture) and got lots of laughs and compliments. I really don't give a rat's ass that we didn't win. It got me out in the sunshine and fresh air for a while, and I really needed that.
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Creating art is a solitary process. One needs, on occasion, to get out in the real world and mingle with people who actually live normal lives. It keeps one grounded. I am glad I have another life. In fact, I have more than one other life, but I will tell you about that later.