The obsession

I confess, I am obsessed. Artwork absorbs me to such an extent that I forget to eat; I mean it’s such a colossal annoyance to stop for a meal.  Seriously, I’d love to just strap on some intravenous, vitaminized gloop and carry on with my work.  Daily hygiene is also a necessary evil. I’d skip it altogether if not for the other people in the world (taking pity on their sense of smell, I occasionally sacrifice the time).
When I’m working, nothing is sacred…my kitchen egg-flipper still has chips of paint on it from some long-forgotten adventure in art. I gather household items around me like Pig-pen’s cloud, as I foment the latest creation. It’s an obsession. Fortunately, my obsession brings me joy not anxiety. And there’s no stigma attached to being an eccentric artist…my OCD is socially acceptable. Everyone knows artists are crazy.

For the last couple of years I’ve concentrated on photography and graphic art. These two hobbies shouldn’t generate much mess, right?  Ha! When I’m taking photos, I can’t just snap things in their current location and condition….that would be too neat and tidy. No, I have to decorate them with bits of lace, or outline them with light from sparklers or freeze them in ice. At the moment I have a piece of glass out on my patio(rescued from some old picture frame) where I’m taking advantage of the current cold snap to coat it with ice.  I’ll use it later, for better or worse, to create some new images under ice.
For as long as I can remember, one project or another has cluttered up my living space. The freaky thing is, disorder upsets my equilibrium so I compulsively clean today, and I’ll obsessively create a new mess tomorrow.

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, art is undeniably a jealous mistress (or in my case, mister). Relationships definitely suffer neglect when you’re wrapped up in paper mache and tubes of glitter….(unless you’re using them in novel ways outside my normal methods). People become extraneous and just as much an inconvenience as eating a meal… or more so…at least the meal doesn’t expect conversation.

Here is one of the harvests from my obsession. This one required burning sparklers in the kitchen, dropping remnants of ash in the kitchen sink, as well as coating the top of the range with dripping candle wax. I never notice the mess I’m making until I come out of the zone…..and then it’s back to compulsive tidying.

Photography Prints

and if I happen to scatter a little broken glass here and there, who’s to notice?

Art Prints

When I was younger, I tried to fit into society’s standard of a “normal” life…..someone else’s vision of normal. Now I’m old enough to understand that my life is normal….for me.

And it’s damn good.

Links to header images:

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/explosive-ideas-barbara-white.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/dreamscape-barbara-white.html

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Dammit, I’ve been ripped off!

Apparently, other people have something called a soul mate and I feel I’ve been cheated. Where’s mine then, huh?  How come, in all my long years, I’ve never bumped into anything that remotely resembled a soul mate.

Maybe it’s because I’m not sure what a soul mate is? Is it anything like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus?

Okay, I may be a tad cynical, but if there is a soul mate for everyone, mine is wandering around Tiffanys and I’m over here shuffling around WalMart (okay, I don’t really shuffle yet, but I’m sure I will be by the time he finds me).

Oh, by the way, Happy New Year.

This whole soul mate question began rankling me after watching “Crazy Stupid Love” with my kids over the holidays. One of my sons, who is now 38 years old, recommended it as one of his favorites. Now, biased mother opinions aside, he is a handsome, thoroughly masculine, hunky kinda guy with a ton of husband potential. Any guy sensitive and romantic enough to pick that movie, must have possibilities don’t you think? But he’s never met his soul mate. I have two other sons….same thing. No soul mates. Are we all delusional?

And when exactly did soul mates become a national objective? My parents never told me that a mysterious soul mate lurked in my future. It was supposed to be a knight in shining armour. Yes, I’m sure I remember that correctly. A clanking hunk on a white charger. Would have made for noisy sex, but hey, in those days you weren’t supposed to be doing it anyway. My siblings and I were all immaculate conceptions…..no rattling breastplates and crashing helmets in my parents bedroom; no need to even remove the gauntlets.

So, have I been duped? Was I watching for a white horse when my soul mate went charging by on a black stallion?

Or is the whole thing a myth propagated by the media to sell more movies and Valentine’s cards? What’s your opinion….do you still believe in the Easter Bunny? If you have met your soul mate, send me a picture.  I want some kinda proof that they exist.

Honestly, I’ve managed to have a wonderful life with no horse hockey messin’ up my yard…and I don’t have much interest in shopping at Tiffanys. But if you’re out there ‘soul mate’, and you’re not too senile to find it, drop by WalMart…I’ll be the little grey-haired lady causing a scene in the lingerie department. And hurry up, time is running out. I figure I might have twenty good years left in me, but after that you’re on your own.

 

The skeletons are out of the closet…

…and traipsing around England at the moment (click on picture for exact location).

Abbey Road Halloween

If you live in Canada, like I do, you’re probably safe for a couple more weeks. That’s when all the weirdos will come out to play…zombies, vampires, witches, and the odd (and I do mean odd) superhero. No silly,  not Saturday night on Granville Street. I’m talking super-freak night “HALLOWEEN”.

When I  grew up in the 50’s there weren’t any zombies for Halloween.  At least you didn’t see them much, they mostly kept to themselves.  I mean dead stuff mainly stayed in the cemetery were it belonged and we just didn’t spend much time there. And mom didn’t often say, “I’m just on my way to the cemetery dear, do you want anything?”

So we had boring old ghosts, and they didn’t do much except sort of float around immaterially and go “B0o”. Oooh, oooh, I’m so scared. Things are much more exciting  now with brain-eating zombies lurching around and blood-sucking vampires waiting to slurp your neck. Ahh, what a great time to be a kid. You can get the crap scared out of you and have nightmares enough to last ’til next Halloween.

And you won’t find any self-respecting youngster these days wearing a costume made from their sister’s old tutu..on no. Not when you can pick up a fake limb, including blood and mangled veins, at the local dollar store. Have you seen the Halloween goodies in the dollar store? Wow…it’s enough to make a 60-year-old woman want to trick herself up in blood-dripping wounds and hit the streets. Okay, 61, but don’t be niggly.

Just a brief word of caution:

If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language  which they should not know, shoot them immediately. It will save  you a lot of grief in the long run. However, it will probably take several  rounds to kill them, so be prepared. This also applies to kids who speak  with somebody else’s voice.

For the big night, find yourself a few other people who like to dress up in funny clothes (if your Uncle Joe fits that description, bless you, that’s family)…and have yourselves a party.

Or sit at home in the dark, hide behind the door and pretend no one’s home so you can eat all the Halloween treats yourself. No, of course I’ve never done that. I’m not some crazy old cat-lady you know.

I have been spending a lot of time in the dark but only to practice long exposure photography. You can see some new “painting with light” images on my photography website iiphotoArt including the picture in the header. And for some really unique Halloween fun, be sure to check out all the great artists at zazzle.com…see links in the sidebar.

I’ll talk to you again after things calm back down, when the skeletons are back in the closet and the bats are back in the belfry.

Is there an elephant in the room?

I was trying to decide on a topic for my next blog, and the word ‘elephant’ popped into my head. That’s just so totally random….and now there’s this big friggin’ elephant in the room.

Honestly, I tried to ignore it, but how do you ignore a seven-ton animal (that poops) in a two bedroom apartment? Go to the other room?
Might as well write the damn blog about elephants and get on with it.

Hey, think about this…how great would it be to be able to stick your nose in your mouth and smell your own breath? Okay, maybe not so great…but now that I think about it, elephants might have several advantages in the dating game.

For instance, they’ve got that yucky-green-stuff-in-the-teeth problem licked…no front teeth. And there’s none of that weight discrimination thing happening when everyone at the club is in the six-seven ton range. Have you always been self-conscious about your ears flapping in the wind?….mine are now looking rather dainty compared to dumbo’s. Even my wrinkly knees suddenly look kind of appealing.
Elephants do have their own set of problems I’m sure, for instance how often does your date put his nose in your plate and help himself to some of your french fries? (if you answered “all the time”, it’s time to have a relisten to “50 ways to leave your lover”).

And imagine if you accidentally sneezed while your nose was in your mouth?..you could blow the top of your head off. I don’t even want to contemplate the amount of snot a snozzola that size must produce.

But if size really does matter….weeeelllll hang on to your hat, we’re going to Georgia! (I have no idea what that means, but it sounded good).

Alrighty, I feel better now. The elephant in the room has been exorcized. I do feel obliged to tell at least one elephant joke before I go. Have you got a favorite? Remember this one?
How do you kill a blue elephant?
Shoot him with a blue elephant gun (insert groan here)
How do you kill a red elephant?
.. wait for it, wait for it….you choke him ’til he turns blue
and kill him with a blue elephant gun.

And here are a couple of the things I’ve been designing in the art department this week: (absolutely nothing to do with elephants, I’m over it) Click on the picture to go to my zazzle website.
I love these “Crazy About Polkadot” sneakers:

And this design called “Hot Metal” is available on business cards, greeting cards, mugs and more.

My photo website has been sadly ignored for a couple of weeks….taken lots of new photos but haven’t uploaded any yet. But there’s still lots of good stuff on there, so here’s the link: iiphotoArt

Are you a Dr. Dolittle…do the animals talk to you?

Do animals talk to you? I don’t mean the totally-whacked-out-voices-in-your-head kind of talk to you, but do you project human emotions and speech onto the animals you run into? I do. Because I can. It’s my blog and I can do whatever freakydeaky thing I want and hey, why not, it’s fun!

This gull for instance, in my feverish little brain, sounds just like my brother Neale, except with a sort of upperclass, English accent…slightly snooty and unfailingly polite.

And this handsome guy speaks to me in a Humphrey Bogartish kinda tone, oozing smooth and self-confidence…and he has an excellent pickup line.

But apparently, animals have a different mindset than us, because they say things that you just don’t hear in everyday conversation:

And are you like me? do you hover like a hungry lion over the card section in the drugstore …waiting to pounce on that perfect card? I could (and have) spent hours reading all the goofy animal cards. Mostly, I’m left feeling hungry. I end up looking at their cute little faces and have to write new lines for them because the cardwriters humour is just a little too bland for my tastes…I like something that packs a punch…maybe with a smidge of weirdness thrown in there for flavor.
Finally though, I have the perfect solution, I’m using my own photos and adding my own text…that means no more saccherine-sweet cards for Auntie Mable; no more lovey-dovey-googoo-gaga stuff for my sons’ birthdays. It’ll be nothing but poop and crunching birdbones from now on….now that I can talk to the animals and they are talking back.

For a visual treat, visit http://barbara-white.artistwebsites.com
and other fun gifts and stuff at iiphotoArt

How many ways do you know to skin a cat?

How many ways do you know to skin a cat?
My apologizes to all the cat lover’s for daring this gruesome question…but wait a minute…..don’t string me up yet!
 To reassure you, I do not know how to skin a cat. I have a distinct lack of knowledge in this area. I assume you could go from top to bottom, front to back maybe? tippytoes to tail? That would be strictly supposition of course…..I  have no personal experience with the situation.  It has got me thinking though, hmmmmm…..if I was going to, how would I…oh, sorry,that’s not really what I wanted to talk about.
The real question is, why in the world do I say ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat’?!!! Okay, granted, I don’t say it often, but I have said it. And I say it with such authority…as if I really did know what I was talking about!  I use that and other weird, home-grown expressions…without giving it much thought. 
Did this saying originate back-in-the-day when people really did skin cats??? Was there such a day? Ugggghhh. All right, I admit I have no love for cats…they’re just so darned snotty, but I don’t skin everything I take a disliking to. As a matter of fact, I’m humane enough to  transport spiders outside instead of squishing them.
 Ok,  I’m a humane, blathering idiot….and, like a cat, I’m curious. Curious about everything. Including skinning cats, including this strange language that pours unintentionally from my mouth. Yes, I know, curiousity killed the cat. But wait…..do I know that? Is it really dead? There are  certainly enough of them running around alive. There’s this big orange tomcat who turns up his nose at me every day as he blithely poopoos in my garden…and he’s certainly curious enough to be the one they mean.
On reflection though, I use too many of these old expressions…more than you can shake a stick at.
Why are you shaking a stick at me? You look really silly.

Nevermind, this blog has all gone to pot (and you can interpret that expression any way you want)
For more humour, check out some of the wacky truisms on my new site at zazzle. Lots of great gifts for that person who has everything (including a sense of humour).

And yes, I’m still busy with the photography too. The header image above is a composite image called “Vancouver Lightshow”…you can find this one and more on my photo website for iiphotoArt

Keep having fun! talk to you soon.

Barb

7 accurate acronyms to replace “l.o.l.”

Does anyone else  besides me find “lol” totally insufficient to express themselves?

I seldom lol, as a matter of fact it takes a pretty surprising  joke to get me to lol. Most of the time it’s a polite smile or a groan…depending on the quality of the humour and delivery of the jokester.


It kinda feels like I’m lying when I write “lol”…..it’s not really what I’m feeling and I’d like to express myself accurately, even on ‘twitter”. I’ve seen virtual fights break out when someone misreads the true emotions of a texter!


 This week, I was working hard to get a new store up and running at ‘zazzle.ca’, and I decided to remedy the “lol” dilemma. I came up with my own list of acronyms that work better for me. Feel free to appropriate any that might help keep your texting real.


I feel goooood about this! Maybe when word spreads, I will have helped people communicate and end some of those silly squabbles that are always cropping up on forums!…s.o.d.


Check out this and other new and twisted truisms at my new zazzle store

iiphotoArt at ZAZZLE

Oh!…and don’t miss more great photography at

iiphotoArt on FAA