Sunday, 31 January 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma

A couple of weeks ago Grandma was sent to the emergency department hemhorraging and was almost dead.  It was touch and go. 

We knew she was getting better when she called the nurses lazy and the doctors dummies and children of dogs.  I learned a whole lot more French spending many hours at the French hospital in town sitting with her.  Most of it I probably won't use elsewhere, but it's always good to know I guess.  You never know when I might want to tell somebody how useless they are, or threaten to call the Prime Minister when I feel I'm being mistreated.  (The nurses reply to that one was he wouldn't come to see her anyways even if she called because he doesn't like to get kicked.  She had just taken a chunk out of an orderly with her nails.)

Well, it's been two weeks and we descended on mass to her hospital room today to wish her a happy 97th Birthday.  She looked better today than she has in months.  She wasn't sure how old she was and at one point was guessing 30.  Probably didn't help that my Father kept telling her she was 29.  Later she guessed "somewhere around 100?"

Anyhow, it was nice to see her have a more clear mind for her Birthday and looking so fine.  I don't know how many days she has left, but it's nice to see her happy and have a glimmer of her old pre-dementia self for a few hours.

Happy Birthday Grandma.  I'm glad you're not dead!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Perpetual Chocoholic's Logo

I was lying in bed at 2:48am this morning...well, actually 2:44am....the clock is 4 minutes fast but I haven't gotten around to changing it....thinking about what my logo and catch phrase would be if I were a corporation.  Nike's phrase kept running through my head...."Just Do It!"  And then they have their little check mark like logo.  Simple but successful.  They have Tiger Woods as one of their spokespeople and he certainly does live their catch phrase to the best of his ability...."Just Do It!"  Maybe that was his defense to his wife.  Nike made me "Just Do It!"

What would my phrase be?  It wasn't long before a word popped into my head.  Procrastination.  Now "Hot Chocolate" and I have had conversations about our extended family's tendancies to procrastinate.  (He's my cousin.)  We come from a long line of procrastinators.  Half finished projects strewn about.  As of yet unfullfilled promises hanging in the air (a coloured pencil drawing class is one of mine, right?)  So procrastinate is a good one.

Perpetual Chocoholic
Procrastinate Now or Later's Good Too!

I fell asleep before I got the logo design.  Maybe something in the shape of an anchor was forming before I drifted off.  I'll have to wait until I see what pops into my head tonight before I can decide on the logo design.  Maybe, I don't know....we'll see.

Mr. P on the otherhand would have a totally different logo.  I just realized this as I watched him running down the laneway after the garbage truck to make sure they emptied the cans properly.  Instantaneously two were yelled out from the family;

Now Is Too Late!
It's My Way or the Highway!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in his case either.  I suppose we are all a product of our upbringing.

Now who would my spokesperson be.......

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Substitutes For Wednesday's Expressive Drawing Class....Sorry!

Mr. Spotty

Mr. Hunter

Due to unforseen circumstances there are no drawings to show for this weeks Expressive Figure Drawing class.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.  I realize I had promised another week of "Pseudo Kurt, " but alas, others were exposing themselves to me today (well, at least their stomach contents)and I had to stay home to draw water instead of people.

I leave you instead with some photos of other talented male models I've worked with in the past.  I hope they are a suitable substitute for your viewing pleasure.

Until Next week then, when it's expected to be a female model.  (Sorry Emma!)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I'm Done with the stomach flu....maybe

I"m done with the stomach flu.  Hurling, puking, vomiting, spewing, throwing up, up chucking,  barfing, call it what you will....I'm done with it.  Emesis.  I don't remember eating that!  Mom, why's it green?  I'm done with green.  Buckets, toilet hugging, gurgling stomachs, I'm done with those.....well, maybe not quite yet.....excuse m.........

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I'm Just Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I quit!

Art....especially art, blogging, cleaning, cooking, baking, banking, chaufeuring, homework supervision, laundry, trying to find matching pairs for 500 single socks and mittens.  Eating, sleeping, dragging half comatose people out of bed in the morning. 

Cleaning rat cages, pulling a humping dog off of everything with four legs at the dog park, spending hours separating goldfish eggs and baby fish from carnivous parents, cleaning and balancing aquarium water, feeding fish, buying fish supplies.

Art....did I mention art?  Art classes, art shows, selling art, other artists, art magazines, art books.  Trying to figure out what makes art art and an artist an artist.  (I have four paintings left, any takers?)  Painting, drawing, sketching, coloured pencils, photographing, seeing, understanding, interpreting.  ART!  

Volunteer work, pizza days, parent council meetings, library trips, field trips, sleepovers.  

Taking out the garbage and making f***ing sure that every scrap is divided into glass, plastic, paper, compost, electronics, lawn and special waste and who the **** knows what other categories they'll come up with

I'm done with t.v. radio, newspapers and the news in general.  The myth of global warming, the scare tactics re: mutant killing flu virus' and the demise of the human population in 2012.  (Oh please!) Politicians, clergy, the population as a whole.  The environment. 

Coffee, coffee shops, drawing in coffee shops, being polite to the ignorant self absorbed people in coffee shops. 

Blogger that keeps screwing up this rant, ranting, reading rants, ranting about rants.  

Spending money, shopping for clothes, food, art supplies, misc. items. Renovations and allergies due to renovations.  Mold, dust and cats.  I hate cats!

I'm done with being polite, politically correct and agreeable in public. 

I'm done with cold weather and winter, cloudy days, freezing rain, rain, snow and shoveling snow.

Nursing, knowing medical stuff. Libraries, books.  Not working and working for no money.  Computers, cell phones and making sure they're charged, video games.

Vitamins, healthy living, vegetables and fruits and low fat poultry and meats.  Anti-depressants for Anxiety disorder that make me depressed and sleepy all the friggin' time.  Annual checkups.

People asking for money, scamming for money, whining about low membership in their organization and lack of dollars then having the nerve to have telemarketers call trying to get me to join.  Wanting me, a stay at home parent with zero salary to pay $80 a year to visit their gallery.  Finding out that the head of said organization reportedly spent $76,000.00 on travel and hospitality expenses last year.  I'm not done with saying BITE ME!

Sucking!  I'm finished with sucking at life.  And don't feed me that line about "I'm a winner because my sperm out of thousands made it" 'cause I'm done with that saying too!

Chocolate.  I'm done with chocolate.  Chocolate bars, cakes, cookies, drinks, mocha coffee,  chocolate chocolate.


Wow!  I feel better now.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

More Baby Goldfish....Again!!!

A couple of weeks ago we had a tank meltdown.  Thanks to our city water all of my mature goldfish in their 33 gallon tank were turning white.  When I moved them to the 20 gallon tank where I hadn't changed the water, they started eating all of the baby goldfish that are now about the size of a guppy.  I brought all of my babies over to "White Mocha's" house to put in her baby goldfish tank. 

As I went to repair the water problem in my 33 gallon tank some of the glass crumbled off the bottom.  It's an old tank, about 25 years old, and the glass was done.  I bought a 40 gallon to replace it and the fish store guy told me all of my mature fish will almost certainly die if they are sloughing off skin as I described.  (They lost the entire top layer of skin including the top layer of their eyes.)

Eventually I moved them to the 40 gallon after a few days when the biological filter had started to kick in and I was sure they wouldn't burn off another layer of skin when the water treatment had kicked in.  Well guess what.....not only did they not die, but they bred....again.  And again.  We left the eggs in the tank until they hatched this time and then rescued them using a small plastic cup so that they wouldn't be exposed to the air.

In that entire experience we only lost one mature 7 or 8 year old  goldfish.  We still have 8 adults of varying age (the oldest now is probably about 5 years old) and size, approx. 40 jeuveniles and who knows how many newborns.  Anybody need goldfish?  Their free!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Pseudo Kurt and the Fire Alarm

Yesterday I mentioned that there was a fire alarm during our expressive drawing class.  With all of the comments on "model pseudo Kurt's" butt it reminded me of what my art teacher told the fire fighters who arrived on the scene.  She let them know we had a nude model dressing before leaving the building.  He couldn't show his stuff to non-paying customers after all.  The firefigher asked if it was a man or a woman.  When she let him know it was a man he replied, "darn, if it was a women we'd be up there double quick!"

But had they known about the butt, even the straight guys may have wanted to take a look....right Kurt?  (if anybody doesn't know what I mean by the straight guys comment it's because you didn't subscribe to the OPE zine.  It's never too early to sign up for the next issue;-)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

"Kurt's" double again....

This is the first model for this semester.  Uh oh!  It was the Kurt (from OPE blog)  look-a-like again.  He will also be back next week apparently.  He has a heavy upper crust accent.  British perhaps?  He's also an actor.  I think a few of the models are.

Things were coming along nicely in the second drawing when the fire alarm went off.  We weren't able to complete that drawing and had to move onto the next when we were allowed back into the building, so it's in it's midddle stages with some oddities still showing that I would have worked into the drawing more.

This class is made up of many whom haven't taken drawing classes before, but they seem to be one of the more talented groups I've been among.  I feel a bit like I'm at the bottom of the heap.  I usually do feel that way during the first classes of the semester, but become more confident as we go on.  I know others were feeling a bit at odds, not realizing how talented they are.

I stopped at the art store on the way home and saw Patrick Mills buying canvas and primer.  I started laughing when I saw him walk up the the cash with a basket full of large jars of gesso and a whole large bolt of canvas.  It was almost as tall as I was.  I asked him how many he'd get out of a roll and he couldn't say exactly.  Many of his pieces are huge, filling up a whole wall.  He often paints outside in the coldest days of winter from what I've heard.  That seems to be one of his things.

Now all of that being said, I've been exposed to many various types of art and artists in the last month or so and I've got to tell you....I still don't feel much closer to figuring out what makes art either good or bad and what makes one an artist.  Above all else, I still haven't figured out where I fit in to this puzzle and if possibly I'm just an extra piece that's gotten shuffled to the wrong puzzle box.

Some days I feel like I just want to go home, but I don't know where that is.  I suppose once you leave childhood, you never really feel at home anywhere ever again.  Maybe that's what heaven is.  A place that feels like home.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Almost done.  Now I complete the remaining hand and touch up and darken areas that need it.  Oh, and her hair has work to be done on it.  Still another few hours to go, but I'm looking forward to the end of this painting.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Reviews of the Latest OPE zine

"This isssue of the OPE zine is a most excellent assortment of intellectual humor only to be surpassed possibly by the next issue.  It was so good that it made me wish I could hump Kurt's leg."
Hunter the dog, Contributor on Perpetual Chocoholic's Blog

"Seriously Dude, Jeff Bridges?  If I were a straight man thinking gayly he'd be my last pick."
Perp the human, Contributor on Perpetual Chocoholic's Blog

Sunday, 10 January 2010

I don't have access to my e-mail for a few days so if you need to get a hold of me you can leave me a comment on this blog or the other (family) or just pick up the phone and do it the old fashioned way, although with teenagers in the house good luck trying to get through.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Art Heaven

It's been a most wonderful 24 hours.  Sometimes you need to get out and experience other artists work to help inspire your own.  You can see what sells and what people are interested in.  You can watch the reaction of the patrons to see how the pieces effect them and the techniques the artist used to capture their audiences attention.

Last evening "Adventurer" and I attended an opening at the Patrick John Mills Gallery in Hintonburg.  I don't know the title of the art show, but it featured a number of contemporary artists.  It was quite incredible!  There was a number or mixed media pieces, sculptures, and of course paintings.  They had a darker theme and there were a lot of paintings of skeletons, body parts, etc....  Love it!  It never ceases to amaze me how oil paintings can "glow" and have such depth over other medium.  I definately need to take up this medium next September when the new school year starts at the art school!

Today "Hot Chocolate" and I visited the National Gallery of Canada.  If you ever get a chance to see an exhibit by David Hoffos, GO!  He builds miniature sets then uses video to project images of people into the small scenes.  It's quite friggin' freaky actually! 

In one in particular piece/model (I'm not quite sure how to describe the works) "Hot Chocolate" told me there was a man peering out of the living room window of the model.  When I looked through the opening I saw a woman with a pony tail peeking through.  It was then we figured the artist had a live feed attached to this piece that projected our own miniature images into the dwelling.  Incredible!

SERENA; Hey Serena, not a dumb question you asked in the comments section.  The ones bottom up are either not yet sharpened or are Derwent and/or possibly Faber-Castell pencils.  They have a finished end that makes it easier to locate the colour when standing bottoms up. 

The ones I have in jars and on my desk are the colours in the current painting only.  Once I'm done I put them all away in the cases, tidy up my desk and start from scratch.  The above pictured multi-level cases are all of the various colours I'm not using this time around.  The case that is more empty houses my greys and browns which are a big part of this picture.  I don't remember having this much trouble locating a specific colour when I worked with paints;-)

And if  I could make my acrylics work like you do yours I'd spend more time doing that!  If you were  to work in pencils you'd kick butt!

Well, finally I feel re-energized and getting away from the newly renovated house has cleared my allergies.  I expect things will continue to improve once the dust finishes settling.  It was nice to be headache and sneezing  free for a day.

Finally, I'm considering turning over some control of my blog to Hot Chocolate so he can post some pictures.  If he gets carried away I may have to post a few of my own of him;-)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Slowly Getting There

(click to enlarge)


You can tell the level of frustration with the painting by how many pencils are sitting on my art desk.  Usually there's 4 or 5 at a time.  At most.  There's a whole lot more there today.  Even my pencil jars are a mess.  There are so many colours in this painting that it's a challenge to keep the whereabouts of each pencil known.  I do have a system, but it's pretty much gone out the window as of this week.

I still have just the first layers on some parts of the painting.  I continue to spread the background up.  At this point I have not been using my reference photo quite as much.  I'm making changes to the background so that it will be a better composition which is better balanced.  The original photo is way to heavy on one side of the picture.

What is that?  Is that a light at the end of the tunnel I see?
No, not yet, but hopefully soon.

Who was is again who decided this would be a good picture to paint with all of it's many little details and multicoloured rocks and mosses?  What was it you said to me?  You "picked it as a challenge to bring my art to a new level?" Oh  FIONA!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

OPE zine - Annual Death/Christmas Issue Is Out!

To answer Mrsupole's question in the comment section....

Kurt over at Other People Exist does indeed have a real, live hard copy OPE zine that his bizzare, twisted creative brain creates.  He writes it's, draws the cartoons for it, does his own photography, does the layout for it, prints it, picks the colour for the cover, staples it, addresses the envelopes, puts on the stamps and probably even licks the envelopes shut (steady Emma! )  At least I think he does.  Who knows, I've never actually met him.  I have actually received the previous edition in the mail.

You can contact him at according to his blog.  Or at least, what's left of his blog.  I believe it's $4 an issue or $24 for 6 issues, but don't quote me on that. 

Go for it.  Support an artist for only $24 a year.  With that money he will be provided with clean clothes, water and an education....oh wait, that's another organization.  Just do it to support an artist.

Happy New Year

I want to start off apologizing for my cranky post yesterday.  That's not how a New Years post should start.  I was browsing through first posts of the year for other bloggers. 

VE's fist post of the year was about his blogroll.  If you get on his blogroll he pays money to those commenting regularily over a certain number of times, if you choose to request it.

 Kurt's was about getting a part for his copier so he could provide his OPE zine readers with their latest copy of the magazine.  You can subscribe to Kurt's OPE zine.  Just visit his site for details.  He's one of those artist's I was talking about yesterday that we should be supporting!!!  His zine is funny.  Subscribe.  He still suck's for quitting his blog though and deleting all of his archives.  I suppose it's his way of protesting the lack of respect for artistic talent and showing us that if we want to enjoy good art we should support the artist.   

Over at I'd Rather Be Blogging, she talks about her inability to discern between the body wash and shampoo in the shower.  A post on the "old fogie" brain syndrome.  A riviting piece.

Serena has pictures of dying insects.  She received some devastating family news and has been sad.  Okay, maybe that wasn't a happy post, but she has a positive outlook for the new year.  I wish her the best with whatever the crisis is. 

BumbleVee has THE cutest little itty bitty hand made bear rolling in the snow.  I want one. NOW! 

Fuzzy Dragons she has her goals for the year, artistically speaking.  They have lots of snow in the part of Scotland where she is. 

There are a lot more wonderful posts.  Those are the ones I read this morning though.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Goodnight Fiona!

In the past week I've been called Stacey, Louise, Cathy and Fiona and something much worse.  The people who have called me this know my actual name, or at least should.  (Except the one that called me worse.That was a bus driver who cut me off.  The one that called me Cathy also is forgiven since I couldn't remember her name;-)  I know these were innocent mistakes, BUT.....

My name is Sandra Fletcher.  I am worth something.  If you want something from me from now , you're going to have to pay me for it.  Maybe then you'll take me more seriously and remember my name. 

(That by the way includes as a partent volunteer.  If you're making $90 grand a year, don't tell me it's not your shift to cover lunch and leave a classroom full of 6 year olds alone to potentially choke on their pizza!  Get your ass in the room until you do find out who's covering.  Don't expect the volunteer delivering the food to drop everything and care for the class.  If you want me to do your job, then you can pay me to do your job.  This isn't the first time teachers have taken advantage!)

I tend to gravitate towards careers with little respect.  I don't know why, but I do.

As a nurse about 15 years ago, the pay wasn't great.  I was physically and verbally abused by patients numerous times.  Nurses took it.  Things have changed for the better in some ways.  Nurses no longer have to submit to the abuse they once took in stride.  They are getting paid better from what I hear, but their working conditions aren't good and they are hard pressed to get a full-time job.  Most are forced to work part-time or casual so as the system doesn't have to pay them the same benefits.

As a library technician I was looked down on by the librarians.  Different class you see.

Being a stay at home Mom is also a lower class of worker.  You really ought to be ashamed of yourself you see, because you don't have you child in formal daycare, which is "better for them" so the liberal minded individuals of our society say.

Artist.  Haaaaaa!  I've talked about this before.  "I'll pay you $100.00 and you should be greatful to get it!"   Never mind that the frame cost a hundred and supplies another $20 at least.  Why would I want to get paid for the 40 to 100 hours I've worked on the piece.  Silly me!  I'm an artist!  It's not like a real job, it's a "hobby."  "A nice little past time" I was once told.

The classes I'm interested in at the art school may get canceled this semester due to lack of interest and low enrollment.  Again, of what importance is art. 

You can go to the local mall and buy a cheap framed print made in China for $20 to match your sofa.  Why buy real art.  It's disposable so that when you remodel your room you can just discard and change it to something new.  Many of the same people who think this way are also on the global climate change band wagon.  Re-use, recycle?  Huh?  Ring a bell.  Instead of buying garbage, why not consider an investment that will last and won't just end up polluting the planet.  Doesn't have to be my art.  Just buy some real art from an artist you like.  Make their day and help support them in the process.  When you remodel change the frame.  Voila!  New art.

Think about what your world would look like without visual art.  No photography, paintings, sculptures, architecture.  Perhaps a communist country?  Everybody could live in little grey boxes.  Is that the way you want to live?  Art makes our lives richer.  Let the artists around you know you appreciate them for that.

Now that I've established that I'm worth something, and I'm charging for my time, the price of the piece I'm working on has just gone up.  I'm now asking $1K.  If you don't like the price I'll gladly dismember the piece into little itty bitty tiny little pieces.  Heck, I'll even post it on You-tube!  What fun!  You say you like it, but are you willing to pay for me to finish it?

Oh, and .... GOODNIGHT FIONA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Guess who said that one!  Maybe the person who's getting charged the $1K?)