Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Girl Stands Up To Me Now

I decided to illustrate a few lyrics from Jonathan Richman's brilliant song The Girl Stands Up To Me Now (I can't find the song on YouTube, but I suggest you check it out). It was a fun project. I enjoyed coming up with images that tried to push the humor of the song further. Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think.

(click image to view)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Photo Journal (with art to come!)

Being on a farm will help you appreciate the natural cycle of life and death. A few weeks ago, with the upmost solemn respect, we slaughtered 13 chickens for meat. For me, having never killed more than an insect, it was a slightly jarring experience, and gruesome for sure. Though I chopped off a few heads myself, something in me rebelled at every step of the process. It certainly made me reconsider being an omnivore. In our society we're so disconnected from our food production I think many people can live their entire lives without questioning their diet. I wish more people had first hand experience. It would certainly lead to more conscious food choices (not just about meat, but about things like pesticides, animal treatment, genetically modified food, etc...).

John and Deb: Cold-blooded killers

But of course, with death comes life. We recently had 5 adorable chicks hatch. I feel especially happy for the mama hen. You see, most chickens (around here at least) lay their eggs and leave them unattended, off pursuing their own business. A few rare chickens become broody and sit on their eggs trying to get them to hatch. The mama of these chicks would sit on her eggs come hell or high water. For months I've had to grab her and lift her up in order to obtain her goods. Well we finally decided to let her sit on them, and her heartfelt desire for children has finally been realized.

She makes a great mama too. She follows them around and teaches them things like how to scratch for food. Very cute!

I think I've had poison oak on alternating parts of my body for the last 2 1/2 months straight. So with great delight I've been watching my arch-nemesis change color, its leaves slowly becoming impotent. You LOSE, poison oak!

But you sure have a beautiful way of surrendering.

With the growing season winding down, I've had time to pursue more pleasurable projects like sculpting artwork with mud plaster and working my stick:

AKA: Making curtain rods

All was going well until I went and stepped on a big, fat, rusty nail. Definitely one of the less enjoyable moments of my life.

Tetanus shots are for wimps.

And while it still hurts, at least I've had some down time to recover. I've used to opportunity to work on my art, creating a mini-project I'll be unveiling soon. It should be posted within the next few days, so stop on by again, ya hear!?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prelude to Cabin Fever

Autumn has arrived in Oregon -- with it the rain. After months of continuous sunshine, three consecutive days of cold, dreary showers has come as a shock. Isn't that how it is with life? You have something good and warm and nourishing, its presence secured, its face so familiar you begin to scorn its loyalty, then *poof* it's gone before you realized what you had? Perhaps you even begin to wish you had savored it longer, been more present, done something different. There's not much to be done now, however, so you decide to adapt because it's better than being bulldozed by sadness.

This weather reminds me of Vancouver. The way low hanging clouds engulf mountains and tendrils of smokey fog reach into valleys to caress their depths before curling again towards the sky. After painfully long periods of grey, I like how the sun will peek out for brief seconds, as if to say "hello" and "I'm still here." I like walking through wet, dripping forests. I like engorged rivers.

I don't know where my home is again. Sitting at the window overlooking Hope Mountain, I ponder staying here, huddled up for the winter, reading, writing, drawing, living the gospel of Thoreau: loneliness is good for the soul. Peeking back at Austin, it all seems like vanity and distraction, a repulsive thought for a self-righteous puritan who secretly delights in not having looked in the mirror for days, weeks even.

That reminds me, I should probably trim my nose hair.