It is now 15 days until my first art show, so I needed to do something about my hair. Using the flat iron to calm down the frizz really made it more damaged, so I've been wearing it in a ponytail for quite some time. It looked healthier that way, but I never felt polished with that big puff in the back. Plus my head would hurt from my always being up. I felt like I fell into a dull routine with no bright hair in my future.
Yes I love long hair, but I wasn't going to continue growing hair that was so damaged. And dude, I'm tired of *doing* my hair. I want the freedom boys have. I want to get up, wash up, and get on with it. So here I am. Miss Pixie once again.
Do you know, where you're going to? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The future is going to look like today if you don't drastically do something different. TASK- Get rid of the clutter: in your mind, in your house, in all of your life.
Until there is nothing left but you and the object of your desire sitting in an empty room together, you are never going to have the life you want. You may have it, but you will have all this other crap too, piled so high you won't be able to see your beloved at all.
It's not easy though. Easy is ice-cream. Easy is cute little white dogs and Sunday mornings. Not easy is living in the Empty Space between where you have been and where you want to go. Do you want a life overfilled with the mediocre, or just enough of what truly nourishes you?
It's your choice, but you must choose. If not, life will choose for you.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
The more people I know who’ve died, the greater my resolve is to live. I can easily get trapped in the depression of ‘OMG, I’m Never Going To See Them Again,’ but I won’t allow it. Well, maybe for a night or three, but then that’s it. No more indulging in long afternoons of Wishing They Were Here.
Ariana Guarino, aka Goog, died from a stroke a few days ago. She was only 33 years old. She leaves behind a husband and young son. She was far too young and vital to die.
I knew her quite well online for 4 years before eventually meeting her in person, and actually ended up moving to live near her in Cold-Ass Minnesota for a few months in 2012. I traded the bitter cold of Eden Prairie for Salt Lake City in December of 2012, and am still here, writing this post.
The thing about Goog, before I get into death, is that she created a space around her where it was okay to wear paint-smeared pajamas, eat Pop Tarts for dinner, and not comb your hair - and not feel bad about it. She was lost, like we all are, and even more so when her best friend, Tami, died from a heart attack awhile ago, but she never stressed out about it. She had no clue, and was the first to admit it, and around her I didn’t have to pretend that I had a clue either, because I don’t. The difference between Googie and myself, however, is that all of my own lostness and cluelessness resulted in hourly existential crises. OH, GOLLY ANOTHER DAY I’M NOT GETTING AHEAD, I AM NOT EVEN GOING BACKWARDS, I AM STUCK IN AN ENDLESS GROUNDHOG DAY OF PAINT-SMEARED HANDS AND WEARING AN OUTFIT THAT DOESN’T GO TOGETHER.
But Googaliscious, just as much of a self-appointed misfit as I was, not only refused to feel bad about her lack of put-together-ness, she reveled in it. She wore it all on her sleeve, with her endless selfies of bed head and sleepy smiles.
When faced with the stark reality of her death, my body shook and I cried for days, and now I’m done. Stashing my grief into a well-worn shoebox and covering it, I will allow myself to feel pain now and again, but not all the time. I refuse to die inside before I have to. I refuse to lay in bed and stare at the wall and curse the unfairness of it all. The dead would love to have a few days back, so instead of getting whiney, I am going to fucking live and smile and watch Hemlock Grove and eat Licorice and paint today. It is another day for the living, and that is what we do. We live and we go on. But it’s entirely up to us. We can choose to be the walking dead or we can be courageous and choose to live.
I’ve decided to choose life, and to keep choosing it, no matter who the fuck dies next.
As a person in recovery, I work regularly on the blocks in my life that keep me from being happy, such as noticing how tense I get when someone is impatient with me or intentionally hurtful, or trying to be kind to myself when I don’t think I own enough nice things. I used to drink whenever I got a resentment or felt crappy about my life, so it’s something I watch out for. Not that drinking actually made me feel any better. I felt good for only an hour before I drank way too much, and then felt really, really bad. But drinking did do something that I had a hard time doing on my own - it helped me to not care.
The block that has been keeping me from being happy that I have been working on most recently concerns what I have been doing over the last several years to earn a living - teaching others to make art.
I first started creating paintings many years ago as my own way to grieve, to heal, to express both love and sorrow, and to talk to the divine. To me, all artistic expression is prayer. If we are spiritual beings having a human experience, art is what our soul gets out of it. Art turns the mundane into the sacred, and suddenly the simplest things become the most beautiful. Even though teaching others how to express this magnificence within themselves is an honorable endeavor, I no longer had the time or energy to create the paintings my soul needed to create. My visual prayers ceased because I was simplifying techniques in order to explain them to others, something I was good at. But there is danger when we follow money instead of our spirit.
I am now a full-time artist. I pray while I paint. I never leave my beloved. Instead of focusing on the world and the happiness and acceptance of others, I am looking toward my own. My pencils are spiritual. My paper is holy. My intent is omnipresent. I am fearless. I am in love. I am an artist.
The girl wears a shirt that says 'Be Yourself', and on the right I wrote about how at my core I never feel like just myself is Good Enough. We all feel that I know, but I still tell myself that I feel it more than others. My mom used to tell me I did not look 'finished' without a lot of eye make-up on, and the line 'it's not her fault' is for her. She was told that, and so it goes - this cycle of generation after generation looking into mirrors and letting out a sigh, "If only I were....."
So if you feel this way, know I do too.
New Cover for Dylusions Journal!
This is a soft journal cover Lisa made for me last year. I am planning on fitting my Dylusions journal inside of it.
I will be able to sew the journal into the binding of the cloth cover because the Dylusions binding is like an according when it's open, and YAY THAT MAKES ME HAPPY. It is now a journal of collaberation. I'll make a video when I do.
AMOR VINCINT OMNIA = Latin for Love Conquers all. It is the name of a painting by Carravaggio
and my second tattoo. In the painting Cupid tramples over violins, papers, all sorts of human and creative things. When we create we can be very hard on ourselves. We try so hard but what we make sometimes doesn't look so great. This can be anything we 'create', be it a home, a hairstyle, or a relationship. We get caught up in the way something should be, and if how we live or what we are doing isn't perfect or doesn't meausure up, we loose site of what is most important.
No matter what the circumstances, Self Love will save you. Whenever something is not working and doesn't feel good, immediately see how you can better love yourself in the moment. Regardless of the situation, no one can hurt you if you are loving toward yourself. How you treat yourself is most important, not how others treat you.
Women have been trained to put everyone's needs ahead of their own.
self - ish: having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people
But a woman who is happy, with her own plate full, her needs well taken care of, is happy and able to then support others. If you feel like how you feel and what you want comes in 2nd to everyone around you, you are not loving yourself. AND GYPSY ART GIRLS LOVE THEMSELVES. If you do not know how to yet, that is ok, you need to practice. In any situation that feels bad, take a step back and ask, "What can I do, for myself, to love myself, regardless of how others are acting?" Then do what you came up with. Often this means saying no to what others want, or not tolerating lame behavior. Showing love to yourself to people who are used to putting you last will not go over too well in the beginning. And it may never. But this is more than ok. As you make loving yourself a motto of how you treat yourself, you will no longer accept anything less from others. You may not be popular at first, but you will set the stage the love you will feel from here on out. And if only you gives it to you? So be it. it will be temporary. When you are happy you will attract happiness to you. You will be like the sun shining on anyone who sees your beauty and wants to be near it.
I was ten and at the kitchen table pouring sugar over a bowl of cocoa pebbles. A tablespoon full of white powdery crystals layed briefly over crispy baked chocolate, then sank down into milk and settled on the bottom of the bowl. Mom sat to my right smoking a ciggarette and watched a morning show.
It has been 7 days since I have had an espresso a cupcake or a candy bar. I have had spinach raspberry smoothies kale chips walnut meat tacos.
I feel really good, not crazy manic high, nor do I crash. Every minute meanders into the next. My hands do not shake. and my mood stays the same. But, when life becomes dificult I reach. Alcohol is not my problem, it is reaching for anything that will change my mood quickly. Life gets hard and I shake for a poptart, literally. My breathing gets slow as I chew, and as I swallow I remember why it's okay to be alive. I can live for poptarts. Poptarts will get me though the day.
But there is a drop, later, further below where I started and I cry and yell at harmless questions and once again I reach into the air for something.
to save me. and so it goes.
What worked then does not work now and I want better than that. So it's not just hey sue have coffee with me, have a piece of cake. It is the same as lining up the shots. One is too many and a thousand is never enough. My reach is never satisfied.You will be there for the coffee but you won't be in my body later when I feel horrible. Telling me to have some in moderation is like telling me to just moderate the air I breathe. When you give me what I reach for I will suck it in until there is no more. Then I will pass out. I'm a crackhead. It's what I do.
An alcoholic always knows where the booze is at a party. A sugar addict always knows where the cookies are.
Probably because I skipped yoga tonight. I'll have to do some sun salutations to make up for my really shitty mood but all of a sudden, I just couldn't take it any longer. See, I'm grieving. People used to wear black for a year so they'd remember and not put it off but, when you are struggling to survive, allowing yourself to feel too much to the point where you want to puke kinda gets in the way of, you know, survival. A year and a half later I sit on a futon in my studio. Lights out and sunlight trickling in through the one small window. Finney snores. I just ate some angel food cake. I spent two days crying non stop out of nowhere, crying like a little kid does with big heavy sobs and shallow breaths. I made a page in my journal the day after.
I'm reading a book on grief and mindfulness and it helps. But I will tell you, grieving changes you. I am not the Suzi you knew a year and a half ago. I am a new Suzi.
If you thought my capacity to put up with bullshit was low before, it's below sea level now. The one person I cared for more than anything is gone so I have nothing to lose. I am now that Suzi. I tried. I did, to be mainstream. Whatever that means. For me it entailed wearing clothes without paint on them and smiling big to industry people. I don't know, I thought it would make my parents proud, if I was among the rest of the world. It was exceedingly obvious to anyone though, that I hated it. It felt exactly like wearing nylons, or clothes that didn't fit - underwear up my ass and a baggy grandma shirt. And I'll tell you this, industry people. networking ladies...fuck off. Seriously, I don't need your products, I'm not going to push your shit, you don't give a shit about art. It is only about money, or fake popularity.
I started all of this when no one did, no one was out here, telling the truth on camera. I was pleading with women to get out the kitchen and follow their dreams. Because this is real to me. Not a hobby. I am a feminist with a captial Fk You to taking away women's rights. Being a full time artists IS my mission statement. I do it and create a space where you, if you want, can do it too. Somedays I wash my hair, most days I wake up and go straight to the easel. And you know what, its gonna just get more intense from here. I'm writing a book that I am going to publish, myself, little me in her little studio cave in SLC. I am going to paint giant canvas and BE. AN ARTIST.
This mixed media community we have is special but you industry chicks, you leaders in the field, (except Pam Carriker she is the only one I truely respect, and if I left someone out and you are cool then you know I respect you. So don't get all crazy.) But omg, this craft community that has collided with the fine art community, of which could be a rEally good thing, becasue its made up of all women, except tim holtz but he's so distant on his own little planet and doesn't bother anyone. The craft community is like high school and I don't even want to try to fit in. Not anymore. I do what I do for the girl, for the woman, alone like me, in her cave, reaching out to her. Right now, I am talking to you, and I'm ignoring the chicks that comment here only to promote their blogs, their art, yadda yadda wtf who cares.
If you are in the craft industry, if you are in the mixed media world, and you dare to put DREAM BIG on your art and post it, and then fight against women's reproductive CIVIL rights, or against the rights of gay marriage a CIVIL RIGHT, don't. Make art that truly reflects how you feel. Don't post instagram aged photos of your tidy art room and make everyone think your life is awesome. post your hate. Say what you mean. Don't hide behind a tiarra and fake smile and tell the rest of us to Live Our Dreams....
Maybe it's the grief talking but I'm glad it finally is. I am an Artist. I speak my mind. I have balls you haven't even begun to see yet. They are slipping out of my shorts, just a peek. But they are huge under there. This isn't about business, this isn't about blogging. I get disgusted, seriously, nauseated, when I see E-classes - 'Learn How To Blog For Business.' Dude, give us a break, blog because you have something to say or something to show me. Show me your real life. Make me want to read. Give me a fucking reason to get up in the morning. I don't give a fuck if your little article is just to get me into your shop. It better have something real to say. If you waste my time I will never forgive you and I will never read you again.
Aren't you all sick of the phoney shit? These industry chicks, all kissey kissey, pimp me, I'll pimp you, la la la. fuck off.
K Im done. Don't blame it on my period either cause I take pills so I don't get that shit anymore.
“Hey Mom, I was in Somerset studio magazine this month.” “That’s great! So, have you met a guy yet? I worry about you.” I
like guys, I really do. They are cute and sexy, and usually know how to
put up shelves that don’t fall down, but a relationship with one is
something I’m not ready for. I’ve had boyfriends but as I get older,
the less bullshit I am willing to put up with and the more I enjoy my
own company, and the company of my dogs and friends. I’d like to fall
in love again, someday. Not today. Today I’m gonna read, and paint,
and write about feminism. Society,
including my mom, thinks life for women doesn’t really start until they
get married. It’s not so easy to convince all of the women who are now
41 percent of first marriages end in divorce. 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce. 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
is always amazing to me when I bring up feminism and women say, “Hell
no, I don’t hate men!” Feminism has nothing whatsoever to do with the
liking or disliking of men. It is the establishment of an equal place
for women in society. In the workforce, in politics, and social rights.
of the past, eh? If your only knowledge of feminists is angry women
ranting that men should be eliminated from the planet, you need to get a
cup of coffee and listen to me. Because this is very important. It’s
not about opening doors, it is about money. Today, women college
graduates earn approximately 65 cents for every dollar a college
graduate man earns, working full time.
Traditional values tell us that men are the heads of households and therefore need to get raises and promotions. But in reality, 84% of custodial single parents are mothers. And 24% of those families headed by single mothers are living below the poverty level. This means millions of children are living in poverty. If you are a woman who is taken care of and feels these issues do not affect you, all I can say is, your mantra should be THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I. Because anything can happen. You may find yourself single or worse, single and older, and out there with the rest of us making 40% less than men for the exact same work.
THIS is feminism - the desire for women to be valued by society every bit as much as men. If we were paid the same as men, then it wouldn’t matter if a guy didn't pick up the check.
Gender roles are socially constructed and formed through early learning patterns that are continually reinforced by both men and women. Gender roles hurt men as well as women, so it’s not just about getting men to understand, it is about educating women, too. Society pits women against one another. It says, sure you can have a great job, but you better look like a fashion model while doing it. And, if you are a woman in a powerful position, sexist jokes are to be endured, lest you start believing that you really ARE equal.
Women comprise only 20% of the Senate.
Women comprise only 17% of the House of Representatives.
And yet women comprise 50.8% of the U.S. population. That’s approximately 7 million more women in the United States, according to the 2011 census.
not that there aren’t any women in high offices, anymore than there
aren't minorities in high offices. There are a token few. The day has
hopefully arrived already when we all would say “this is my friend,
Tanya,” rather than “my black friend, Tanya.” Feminism won't be as much
of an issue when everyone - men, women, and minorities - are equally
represented in high-ranking positions. Statistically right now, the
vast majority of the power brokers are all rich white men in their
Princess = Daughter of a Monarch
giving up dedicating one’s life to finding the perfect guy to buy us
stuff really taking away a girl's childhood? What if Prince Charming
never comes? What if you grow up and get date raped instead? Children
should have stories but ones that are empowering. One where the girl
wears glitter and is a Fairy in charge of all the other fairies. Who is
president of fairy land, not waiting for the boy fairy to keep her
locked in a castle while he makes important, princely decisions all day
I like glitter and pink. Unlike society and the media would have us believe,
feminism is NOT about giving up one’s femininity. It’s about demanding
respect and fair treatment. It’s about the idea girls are bombarded
with since the time they are born to grow up and be taken care of. Can
we have equality and still wear red lipstick? Look, I spend way too
much time thinking that if my clothes looked better and my hair were
shinier, the world would value me more. And if I watch any amount of
television, these self-deprecating thoughts are reinforced. Yes, we
women need to rein in this whole physical appearance self-improvement
crap and RADICALLY love ourselves, right now, just the way we are. We
need to love and value MORE the person we are once the makeup comes off.
about when you were a kid. I liked playing house, too, but how much of
that was trying to be like mommy, the woman who meant more to me than
anything else in the world at that time? Did I really want to pretend
to be baking cakes or was I just trying to emulate my mom because I
thought that was what was expected of me? (Let’s see, I’m 45 now and I
hate to cook. You figure it out).
roles are culturally learned and change over time. Gender roles help
form who we think we are, in daily life, in politics, in what we wear,
how we walk, how we talk. It is our identity, and the identity of
others. How wonderful would it be if children were allowed to follow
their own hearts and abilities even at play? Perhaps then girls
wouldn’t always be expected to take what is deemed the subservient role
later in life but be treated as true equals in the workplace, both in
value placed upon them as employees and in wage equity.