2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

I think it is interesting to see what images wordpress picked to show. Clicking on one of my images will produce a string of pictures of my work from the past.

My NewYears Resolution in January 2012 was to blog for a year. I gave it a try. I made it though the year and had lots of fun along the way.

The busiest day for me was on On December 31st with 186 views.

To my followers, a big thank you for taking the time to check out my posts.

To others. Thanks for stopping by. Please come again.

What Are My True Feelings? Expressing them in Paint – Calistoga

‘May Feelings’ acrylic on canvas  about 4 x 5 feet   May 2012

click on images to enlarge

A ‘Red Line’ series is falling into place. It started over a year ago with this painting.

I was awake and wanted to paint. It was 2:00 in the morning. This happened during a workshop taught by  Leigh Hyams http://www.artsreal.com/. at Mountain Home Ranch in  Calistoga, California. I put some warm clothes on, took my  flashlight and went down to the studio. Turning on the lights I brought out a large roll of pre-gessoed canvas, cut off a piece and left it on the floor. I looked and looked, sat by it and walked around it. What am I going to paint? What is in you? Who are you? What do you want to paint about? What are your true feelings inside you. What have been your true feelings? What have you been dealing with? Ah ha! with that question I knew it was easy. I had just been diagnosed with throat cancer. How did I feel about that? What was inside me ? Not what had I been looking at in the real world.  So I put some limits on my painting, no familiar shapes or colors. The colors had to all come from within. The painting had to express how I felt about having cancer in me now. What color were my cancer feelings? They sure as hell weren’t pinks, peaches and cream, these colors being my familiar palette. I mixed up a mess of colors and started to paint. I painted with  my brushes, with a palette knife, my hands. I didn’t stop until I was done. The painting needed something. I took a tube of red paint and made a red line. The painting was finished. I tacked it up on the wall and walked back up the road to my room as the morning light filled the outside space.

‘Rolled’ acrylic on canvas  4 x 5 feet      October 2012

The cancer is gone. New feelings come with new experiences.

Boost Your Creativity – Listen to ‘Speed’ and Eat !

We interrupt this travel series on Artist’s Books, poems and abstract art to bring you an up date on Radiation – 80 Drawings in 80 Days. Six months later and I thought I’d be rid of it all. Spinal accessory nerve injury from surgery resulted in trapezius paralysis and neck stiffness. I couldn’t move my arms up in front of me or up out to the side – not at all. Just finished physical therapy on that one. I graduated with honors.

My speech therapist has put me on a maintenance schedule for strengthening my swallowing. Hopefully, time will heal my voice a little more. I am to continue to let it rest and recuperate after increased usage. Don’t talk on the phone or in noisy resturants. Keep your vocal cords moist. Drink ginger tea. It is an anti-inflammatory treatment.  Along with a cancer tumor under the back of my tongue, 70 lymph nodes were taken out so liquids have become my saliva. My taste buds are coming back slowly, but I don’t like chocolate, spaghetti with parmesan cheese, wine, beer! I hope these taste buds comes back.

Listening to NPR I discovered a band called Stew and The Negro Problem. He wrote a song called ‘Speed.’ I weigh 94 pounds. Clothes look great on me. But, the docs want me to gain weight. (I’ve always had the opposite problem) Maybe it’s time to get a little cannabis, eat and  stay up late creating brilliant art.

Preparing for an Art Exhibit

Today I’m moving the 80 drawings out of the kitchen into my studio.

It’s more like 500 drawings, when I draw I don’t  make one drawing.

The first one is usually a little stiff. As I warm up the drawings get better.

It will be interesting  to see  the drawings up on the walls, in the order

I sketched them. I want to see how the radiation treatment for throat and neck cancer influenced these drawings. I can see already I’m ready to get back in the studio and start to paint. I am an oil painter, but need to get away from the toxic elements of oil painting.  I hear there is a water mixable oil color manufactured out there. Any suggestions?

History of my cancer – some numbers

In the year 2009 I started having sore throats that would come and then go away.

January 2010 I started taking Prilosec for Gerd after complaining about a sore throat.

January 2011 I started a journal of symptoms – tingly hands and feet, mouth numb, double vision, sore throat.

January 22 2011 Seattle Hospital found swollen lymph glands.

April 7 2011  I was diagnosed with tongue and neck cancer.

May 23 2011 I traveled to Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota .

May 24 2011 a cancer tumor under my tongue was removed.

70 lymph nodes were removed.

June 29 2011 seven weeks of radiation began.

Four months I ate no solid food.

I’ve lost 30 pounds. Clothes look great on me.

80 drawings in 80 days kept me on track with myself.

It’s the end of September and I have turned the corner.

Yesterday I went to a resturant and ate solid food.

I can eat, taste, talk and execute my Pilates routine.

Art heals.

What is Redder than Red?

The color red isn’t hot enough. Red doesn’t burn enough. Red doesn’t scream enough. Purple?  No, it is just a darker color. Add green as the complimentary color? nope – looks like Christmas. Maybe cobalt blue. When I was making sculpture with my acetylene torch I adjusted the cone of the flame to control the heat. The tip of the gas flame. Is it cool there? Or is that the hottest point?

Painting Cancer – Thinking About Chickens

So do I lay here in bed like a chicken or am I lying down like a person?  My mom always corrected my grammar. Does she know about my cancer? It’s 4 am. My throat is sore. If I get up I get nauseated.  Do I use the neti pot first to get rid of the mucus so I don’t vomit the hell out of me or do to I take oxycodone on an empty stomach or take it with that rice pudding that comes from Mexico. Probably will still get sick.  Next, diversion. Paint. I wet the paper, get out the pastels, india ink and  oil pastels and I paint – forget about my throat for awhile

How Does a Painting Happen?

Thick pads of transparent blueish mucus settle at the base of my tongue. I am continually expelling it from my body.

It’s three o’clock in the morning.

Time for distraction.

Time to paint.

No flowers around this morning to act as a base for a painting.

I remember my mother’s Chinese snuff bottles.

Among her collection of small objects,  I remember a transparent blue Chinese snuff bottle.

The painting process has started.


The painting tells me what to do.

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