It is just a small part of a mural that is painted on a building located in the Pomona Art Colony. A friend of mine was showing a couple of her paintings in the Pomona Valley Art Association so my hubby and I went down there to see them. Wish I could show them to you but not allowed to take photos.
My husband took a lot of other photos of this area and this mural was one of them. It's so large he couldn't take a photo of the whole thing without having to go so far back that you wouldn't really be able to see the details, so he photographed parts of it.
This was my favorite figure in the mural. Here is a close up:
Still not anywhere as magnificent as if you saw it in person.
Wish I could list the artist but couldn't find the name.
Whoever you are, you are fantastic!
If you're ever in the area, go check it out. There's lots of galleries and cool campy boutiques.
I know that is sissy weather for many of you who are in areas that are honest to goodness freezing. But for us here in Los Angeles it is freezing!
Yes, when it comes to weather, we are sissies.
But looking at this painting with its brilliant warm colors makes me feel nice and toasty!
(Colors more brilliant in person).
I am sitting here in my room with the curtains open wide and I am bundled in my socks and sweats to keep warm, but even though it's cold, the sun is shining in so bright! It's clear and beautiful outside, so yes, I am grateful.
Hope everything is good for you.
And yes, cousin Karen, when you are spending your Christmas truly freezing in the Northeast, I will be thinking of you here in Sunny L.A!
I have been having a great time with this new style of painting.
New to me, that is.
What I am working on in life, as well as in my painting.
I started out with this background:
Actually went through several transformations.
It is teaching me not to be afraid of making a mistake.
Instead of hesitating, afraid to make one "wrong" brush mark, backing away in fear and putting the work aside, I now go for it, painting what I feel, and if it doesn't work, painting over it and working it again.
Now to do that in life!
I added my person:
The painting is too big to scan so the colors are not exact, but you get the idea.
It is over two and a half months since my mother died.
But I am having a hard time because my feelings are stuck and I can't get that it's real.
So I live in this land where I wander around like maybe there's something wrong but I don't know what.
Yesterday was not a very good day.
So this morning I wrote a letter to my mom, hoping it will help.
I am posting it here.
It is very early in the morning, when it is still dark outside and when things seem ok that might not seem ok later on when it gets light.
But I'm going to put it here anyway, hoping that if I send it out in cyberspace it might make it seem more real than when I sit here with my feelings, all by myself in the dark.
Forgive me if it seems too personal or if what I am saying sounds weird.
I am just trying to get myself to understand.
Why did you die?
I don't know what to think.
I couldn't stand seeing you die.
I couldn't stand seeing you suffer.
I know you aren't suffering anymore, but I still see when you were suffering and there was nothing I could do.
At the same time things are bugging me because I can't see that you really died.
I can't see it as having happened at all.
I keep thinking you are just off visiting Aunt Alice and that you haven't come back yet and now it's getting later and later and where are you?
How come you haven't come back?
Dad is lonely and needs you.
But you aren't coming back, are you?
You really honestly died and are buried in the ground and you are not coming back.
And yet, even as I write this I just can't see it as being true, which is why this is such a bug for me because I am stuck in this feeling that you are off visiting your sister and when are you coming back?
But you are not coming back, are you?
Are you really in heaven?
Are you really with God?
Are you really with Jesus?
Is it all really real?
Are you happy being there?
I think I miss you.
My pants aren't hemmed.
I need them for work and my pants aren't hemmed because you aren't here.
You aren't going to be here for Thanksgiving, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Joe's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Janine's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Christmas, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Dionna's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here for Dad's birthday, are you?
And you aren't going to be here for Mother's Day, are you?
What am I going to do then, if I don't have a mother?
You aren't going to be here for Eric's birthday, are you?
You aren't going to be here when Eric and Janine finally get married and have your great-grandbabies, are you?
And you aren't going to be here for my birthday, are you?
My cousin wrote to me about a big change she is going through.
Right when she thought things were headed in the direction she had hoped and planned for, things changed.
Not for the better.
At least, not the way it looks on the outside.
But she said that because there is nothing she can do, she will wait and have faith that it will all work out.
Deeper than that.
As in, really seeking God and waiting for His direction.
I was very torn.
My long spiritual journey has been a roller coaster.
There have been times when things were great.
Not just circumstances. But also the times when things were not so great, and yet I had faith and saw wonderful miracles happen.
And then there have been times when I get sick of waiting, like a beggar waiting for crumbs that never come.
Then I am furious and say "the hell with this!" Why am I trying to be a nice little girl, tap dancing away, hoping I'll finally be good enough for someone to give their approval, when everyone else does whatever they want to do and seemingly get everything they want?
Then I thrash and rage until everything falls apart.
And I have to pick myself up, battered and bruised, take a deep breath, and attempt the road of peace all over again.
Ever since my mother passed, I have been angry and confused and defiant, intending to do things my way.
But I am not at peace.
When my cousin wrote me those words I was torn, wanting to shake her and tell her "Right when you were getting closer to your dreams, you're going to just let them slip away? Why don't you fight? Enough is enough!"
But I know she is right.
She is not letting her dreams slip away.
She is allowing herself to be guided toward the dreams she was meant for along an even better path than she could have ever imagined.
It doesn't look like it right now.
But I can bet, because of her faithfulness, that it is true.
When it is time for me to move in a new direction, little signs start popping up everywhere in perfect harmony.
Those signs have been coming again.
Those signs to brush off the rage and anger, take a deep breath, and start on that path of peace once again.
I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. I was finally doing pretty good and now it has been forever.
Not that I wasn't painting. In fact, I was so busy on a particular painting that I was consumed and so did not post.
The above painting is not the one I had been working on. This is another painting.
When I was looking for a painting to post, I found this one in my computer's photo library. The funny thing is that I had forgotten I had painted this and found that I really liked it, and yet it actually no longer exists because I painted over it. I did not care for it at the time, and now I am bummed that I painted over it.
But that's ok.
We start again.
But anyway, all these days that I was not posting I was working on this particular painting and was so consumed that I did not take photos because I kept changing it and changing it and was never satisfied so kept changing it again. It's a good thing I didn't bother to take photos because I changed it so many times all the photos would take forever to post. It was starting to turn into a design I liked and then it nose dived again.
So I have put it aside for now.
That's ok. I'll try it again some other time.
Meanwhile, I have really missed being here.
I often tell myself, "what do you have to post today? Maybe the work I have or my words are not enough so you shouldn't bother."
But I get very anxious and I realize, dammit, I just want to be here, and that's good enough.
I am trying to remember that word.
I thought I was such a committed person in every area of my life and I have been shocked at the revelations that have been revealing themselves to me.
I like the thought of writing about that here. It could make me more accountable on my walk along that road.
I have been learning the method "if you don't like it, paint over it and paint again."
It is so liberating.
I had a fun time swishing a bunch of colors on my surface. Then I looked at it and thought, "oh man, what a mess. I'll never be able to do anything with this."
I walked away, wondering where I had gone wrong.
When I came back I thought I saw an image. I took an oil pastel and painted the image on the surface.
Now, I started off by not listening to my own advice that I said in my last post of taking a photo of every step. So first look at this photo and picture it without the outline (my first step) and then look at it again for my second step with the outlined image:
I painted around the image:
Then added a few details:
Is that cool, or what?!
It was a lot of fun outlining an image and then painting around it to get this fantastic "pattern" for the image.
What was more remarkable was that a painting that started off so terribly that I almost ditched it turned out to be a painting that I really love.
It taught me that when you begin to doubt yourself, shut off the thoughts and jump in.
I'm trying to remember to take photos of all the steps I do of a painting. I was starting to get the hang of it but sometimes I still forget. I know it comes from when, back in the day before digital cameras were around, if you took a picture of something then it had to be developed whether you liked it or not and you had to pay for the development of each photo, even if they came out terrible. So back in that day you were more careful of what you took photos of because you didn't want to have to pay for crap.
Of course, now you don't have to worry about that. You can take a photo of whatever you want, and if it doesn't come out, all you have to do is hit delete. Not problem, no cost. Wonderful marvel, only I haven't gotten the hang of that concept yet. I think, no, I don't want to take a picture of that background or that step because what if I don't end up posting that painting? Then I will be wasting, having taken that photo for nothing.
Well, duh, I keep forgetting we are not back in that day, but more technically advanced, although I do keep getting better all the time, but don't ask my daughter, "So, I heard your mom is getting more technically advanced," because she will just give you that look and make a funny snorting sound. Or more like a cat coughing up a fur ball.
Anyway, so I forgot to take a photo of my first step, where I wrote all over the paper with a pencil in handwriting like a big journal which was great fun. Then I painted over it for the background. Then I painted an outline of a face. Then I started painting the face and hair with off the wall colors and came up with this:
Then I decided to play with more colors and I got this:
Wanting to see how I can paint "normal" things without using "normal" colors.
As you can see, domestic violence is a subject that really gets to me.
As I mentioned, there have been times, especially when there was a bad story on the news, when I wanted to speak about the subject but did not. And my thought was, what if there was someone reading my blog and they were in an abusive relationship or were about to enter an abusive relationship and they were troubled about it but confused and so they stayed and something bad happened to them that maybe would not have happened if I had only said something?
That thought haunts me.
And when I heard that story, I had to speak.
Maybe it would have been better if I had written it later, when I was more calm, but maybe by then I would have been so calm I would have said nothing, just like all the other times.
There is a saying;
Silence Breeds Domestic Violence.
That is so true.
You have to speak up.
I know how hard it is and I know how confusing it is because of a million different reasons.
I hope there is not anyone out there who is experiencing this, but if there is I am glad I wrote this because I am talking to you.
And to those who are putting up with unacceptable crap from your partner, I am also talking to you.
That is the thing about abuse.
They tell you you deserve it because of whatever and you really start to believe you deserve it because, after all, you did forget to do this or that or blah, blah, blah, a million other reasons.
But no one deserves abuse of any kind.
Definitely not violence of any kind, and no, you NEVER deserve it.
But also being humiliated and constantly criticized and put down.
There are a lot of us who would never consider that abuse
BUT IT IS.
To get a detailed description of what abuse is, find a book, google the info, talk to someone on a hotline, or even write to me.
But if you are in a relationship where you constantly feel put down and not good enough then NO, YOU DO NOT DESERVE THAT. THAT IS ABUSE AND YOU NEED TO GET OUT BECAUSE IT ALWAYS ESCALATES AND GETS WORSE.
And you do not want to die a long, slow death because of it.
Feel uncomfortable in your relationship?
Look it up and see if it is abuse.
Then GET OUT.
You deserve a better life than that.
It all starts with Loving Yourself.
And despite the misguided information many of us have had growing up,
it is NOT a sin to love yourself and take care of yourself and PUT YOURSELF FIRST so that you are then whole enough to truly love others, and to know whether or not someone truly loves you.
It is ironic that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and there have been so many murders against women that have shown up in the news this month.
Even the horrible massacre that happened at a beauty salon in Seal Beach here in Southern California made the national news.
Not that this doesn't happen everyday.
It's just that I heard another one today, about how on Saturday an EX-BOYFRIEND burned his former girlfriend alive in front of her children. She died yesterday.
This subject has been itching at me for years and after hearing this kind of story for the millionth time I just could not be quiet anymore.
Because I am a survivor of domestic violence this is an especially hot button topic for me.
My current husband is wonderful, the first non-abusive man I have ever had in my life.
Because of my former attraction to "Bad Boys" all the former men in my life have ranged from verbal and emotional abuse to physical violence.
I was just one of the lucky ones that got away.
But not without the emotional scars.
There are many facets to this topic, too many to mention now.
I am writing this post to say just one thing.
If you are in a relationship with one of these kind of guys
Don't be fooled.
Bad Boys are exactly what they are; BAD.
And I don't mean bad as in cool, even though that is what you might think at first, whether you learned it from the movies or romance novels or wherever that makes "Bad Boys" seem cool.
IT IS ALL A LIE!!
The neighbors of that woman who was burned on Saturday tried to stop her from burning and in a news interview a neighbor said that in the parking lot where she had run out of her apartment where she was then lying on the ground, her two children were over her body, crying and trying to talk to her while her body smoldered.
I know it is so horrible to be writing this, but every time I hear a story like this I want to scream out and tell women that if they are in a relationship like this to get out!
And then I calm down and don't say anything after all and I go on with everyday life and then I hear this story again.
I hope that no one reading this is going through this kind of relationship, but if you are
Please hear me now before the news tells another story like this.
Be honestly aware of what the person you are involved with is like.
Take care of yourself.
If you know someone else that is in a relationship like this you cannot make them leave but be there for them.
Here is another portrait I did using Crayola Crayons. Is this a kick or what? I have bought tons of art supplies, always seeking for something more unusual and exciting. Then I come back to Crayola Crayons and I am having a ball! Not that more expensive art supplies aren't wonderful. I'm just talking about people like me who have put off doing the work until I find the perfect supplies or the perfect paper/canvas, or the perfect time to work. I am thinking that everyone except me already knows that there is no such thing as "perfect." It's all about just doing the work, baby! I hope you are having a great time doing the work that you know is you! 'Til later, Carol B.
Can you believe I did this with good old Crayola Crayons?
I have to admit I have a huge stash of art materials that I hoard, afraid they are going to run out. This is absolutely ridiculous because I have so much. It's a habit I have from when I was a little girl brought up to think in terms of lack instead of abundance, a way of thinking that has to go!
I decided to bring out all my stuff and use them all up because yes, I can buy more!
But just to make sure ;) I started with my Crayola Crayons because even kids can afford to use Crayola Crayons. I thought I would scribble some simple design but I have to say, I think this came out great!
Back in the day I mostly painted on large canvases. Usually 16x24. I would set up the easel and paint standing up, swinging a brush full of paint, working to my heart's content.
Since I had been hanging around online and working on art journals and such I got used to sitting down at a table, working on much smaller surfaces.
To tell you the truth, I was not crazy about it at first.
Don't get me wrong. I love working on art journals. It's just that I always felt something was missing.
The problem was I was not listening to my own art spirit and was instead doing mostly what others were doing.
Again, nothing wrong with learning from others, but in the end you have to do what you know is right for you.
For the longest time I had been itching to work on a larger surface.
Today I finally pulled out a large 18x24 sketchbook, placed it on an easel, pulled out the brushes and paints and painted standing up, the adrenaline flowing through me as I slammed paint across the surface, excited to see what would happen.
It was the best feeling ever!
Just started this painting, playing with ideas.
Who knows exactly how it will turn out.
For now I am just happy, playing with the paint, following my heart.
For those of you too young to know, this is Tom Jones, a singer who rose to fame in the later 60's (mind you, I was a little girl!).
Really, I was young, which is why I was not into him at the time.
Oh, I liked his music, songs like "It's Not Unusual" and "She's A Lady."
But I was not into him, as a man.
At that time my whole world consisted of my mad passion for the Beatles and their boyishness, unlike Tom Jones, who was, well, as you can see, not very boyish.
He was too "manly" and I was too young to understand his sex appeal, unlike other women, who used to throw their panties at him while he romanced them onstage.
All these years later I became reacquainted with him and his music, which is when I found this picture.
It's all Janini's fault, my hurry-up-and-be-my-daughter-in-law.
Several days ago she came over and she was singing a line from one of his songs, "What's New, Pussycat?"
She would just sing that one line, really loud.
"WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? WHOA, WHOA, WHOA."
Not that she's into Tom Jones.
She's just loves her cat, and cats in general.
I hadn't heard that song in ages, which made me think about it again.
And then I started thinking about the lyrics,
and how wonderfully sexy and enticing they are, along with the seductive passion in his voice.
It's a long story, but suddenly my passion for life, and the beautiful things in life, which had begun of late to grow dim, suddenly ignited with a burning flame.
Or maybe it was just be that picture.
Which, by the way, my daughter said was disgusting when I showed it to her, wiping the drool off my laptop screen.
When I also blasted away the song "What' New, Pussycat?" that I had just bought on iTunes, she told me to turn it off because that was also disgusting.
I know. There's that word.
But we'll forget about that.
Anyway, if it's bad that I'm obsessing about this man I'll blame it on Janini.
But look at him.
Can you blame me?
Of course, that was taken a long time ago.
He is so much older.
But, as is often true with men, even though he is now 70, he still handsome and sexy.
Now, is that unfair, or what?
But for now, I will go back to my art room, take out the sketches I've been working on, put "What's New, Pussycat?" to continually repeat on iTunes, as I think of him, and try not to drool all over my work.