Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Painting My Bathroom

I'm painting on my bathroom walls and lovin' having a paint brush in my hand again. I'm shamelessly appropriating Laura Stoddart. I'm thinking about going into the mural business.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Work

Here is some of my work. I can't put up one of my favorites yet. These were almost all done in college (1998-2001). They are not the best pictures of them. The one of the prophet Ezekiel (Joffre with scroll coming out of his mouth) looks really out of proportion (his head looks too small) because of the way I took the picture even though it is a bit out of proportion. I never got to finish the still life with the glasses and airplane which I always regretted. I forgot to measure them but the smallest is 18x24". The two with Joffre and myself in them are probably around 2x5'. Most are Max oils. The still life with the pot holder is acrylic.

Sequins and Nipples

Today I dressed Renata in a shirt with butterflies and flowers that have sequins and beads in the middle of them. I left the room and heard Renata say to her brother, "Don't touch the nipples, Joffre." I immediately hightailed it back into the room and said," What did you call those?" and pointed to the sequins. She looked up at me and said, "Oh, those are nipples, Mommy." I proceeded to sit down and have a short anatomy lesson with her. We had already taught her the names of our more modest parts, but her attempts to expound on her knowledge are so funny.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oatmeal M&M Bean Cookies And Limeade

Yep nothin' like oatmeal m&m bean cookies and a glass of limeade. I got The Daily Bean cookbook for Christmas and made oatmeal cookies with white beans (specifically navy) in them. They are quite good. White beans are so tasteless that you only taste a little difference in the consistency, a little more cake-like. The great part is added protein, calcium, and iron. My kids love them. I'm debating what to make next, the mocha lentil cake or the black bean fudge.

The Kids

Some photos for the fam. Renata and Joffre wanted to have a tea party. Joffre wolfed down crackers and Renata played "hostess" i.e. bossed her brother around.

Renata named her doll "Bojo" yesterday. Where did she get that one ?

Joffre spent all day talking into his toy keys. When I asked him what he was doing he said,
"Talking to Gamma Charla, Mom." Thought you'd like to hear that , Mom.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Wendell Berry

One of my favorite writers is Wendell Berry. His short stories are really super (Watch With Me and Fidelity are two collections) . I was given his newest book of poetry and a book of his agriarian essays for Christmas. I don't agree with all he has to say but quite a lot and I love his stories. Watch With Me is a collection of stories about a farming community in Kentucky during the Depression. It sounds like the stories would be very boring and depressing but they are very hopeful and refreshing. Here is a portion of a four page poem I really liked from his new book.

"And just as tenderly to be known
are the affections that make a woman and a man,
their household, and their homeland one.
These too, though known, cannot be told
to those who do not know them, and fewer
of us learn them, year by year,
loves that are leaving the world like the colors of extinct birds,
like the songs of a dead language.

Think of the genius of the animals,
every one truly what it is:
gnat, fox, minnow, swallow each made
of light and luminous within itself.
They know (better than we do) how
to live in the places where they live.
And so I would like to be a true
human being, dear reader- a choice
not altogether possible now."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Old Work

I found this old piece of mine saved on a floppy disk. It is a layered stencil of a scorpion entwined in thorns. I still like it.

Manure And Potty Training

I had a really great day today. I have created a leaf mold pile, dug out one of my 4 garden plots(actually Joffre did that part), and I have seeds popping out of my egg carton seed trays. I've put sand and goat manure in the plot and I'm trying to decide what to do with the extra plants from having planted too many seeds. (Anyone want a pumpkin plant?) I bought blackberry, strawberry, and blueberry plants. Life is good.

Speaking of manure, I went to Publix today and found M&Ms "buy one get one free" and took it as a sign from God to start potty training Joffre Jr. (M&Ms are our reward for going on the potty.) So as my mother-in-law hikes down the Grand Canyon this weekend (yes, the Grand Canyon) I will be eating a handful of M&Ms to console myself for all the pee and poo I've cleaned up during the day. Ah, the life of a mother of toddlers.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Decline of Art Criticism

I was reading an article in Art in America about the decline of art criticism in newspapers and magazines, and the increase in galleries and buying of art. As I was talking about the article with Joffre I was torn between rolling my eyes in exasperation and giggling. No one is writing about art because they don't understand it, but they're buying it because the elite artists have convinced them it is Art. According to the article art criticism is in decline because the people who know about art can't write(which I struggle with), people aren't interested in veiwing art ("they'd rather be watching a movie" [that they understand]), and art writers need to stop using "ambiguity, technical language, or hyperbole" ( that's prety hard when the work is absurdly ambiguous). After I was done reading the article I turned a few pages to some work showing at the new Denver Art Museum and was confronted with featherless chickens with the heads of human babies in cast bronze. A vegan pro-abortionist was my guess but, really, featherless chickens with the heads of human babies.

Grandma Charla and Renata

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Men in My Life

From left: George Swait, Joffre Swait Jr., Joffre Swait, Joffre Swait Jr.

Laura Stoddart

My husband got me a nifty book for my birthday as well as a subscription to Art in America . The book is The Sweet Life by Laura Stoddart. It is a collection of sayings about the home and garden with illustrations which are fantastic. She draws ellongated tiny people that look like they belong in children's books. Britain commissioned her to do stamps which I would have loved to see. She reminds me of one of my favorite children's book illustrators, Lisbeth Zwerger, especially in her color choices. I love whimsical looking drawings, innocent but shrewd in weirdness. Her trees really make me happy. I'm posting one of her illustrations from the book but it is not one of my favorites.

My newest son, George.