Coming full circle?

17 02 2010

My friend Cam just finished a painting class with Joseph Melancon at the Art Center of Sarasota. Like me, Cam makes her living as a graphic designer, too. While she has dabbled in acrylic painting just a bit in the past few years, I think her work is really evolving and she is definitely growing as a painter! I photographed this recent painting in her home in Siesta Key a few weeks ago. You can view the work of her instructor, Joseph Melancon, here. She is now enrolled in an abstract painting course at the Art Center of Sarasota.

Kudos, Cam—I do hope you keep at it. I remember being completely absorbed in the process back in my teen years. That’s why I chose to major in art in college. I couldn’t imagine making a living doing anything not creative.

I remember my very sage father asking me, “how will you make a living with your painting?” He was not trying to discourage me; both my parents have been incredibly supportive of all my creative endeavors. I replied, “why, I’ll sell my paintings, of course.” He then asked, “what if no one buys your paintings?” Huh? That one certainly stumped me. I hadn’t imagined that I might not be able to sell my work! It had nothing to do with talent or lack thereof—it was a practical monetary issue. That’s where fantasy and reality collided.

Then I discovered graphic design. Ah…so here was a potential career where you could actually make art, get paid, and not be the quintessential “starving artist.” It made complete sense, so I enrolled in the “Commercial Art” program at Pan American University (now University of Texas Pan American). While I still painted and sketched, I was more focused on a career where I could actually make a living (practically guaranteed). Hey, Sonya and Mary—remember hand-lettering “Make Your Rum Ron Rico” in design class? Yes, hand-lettering. Rapidograph pens, ink and bristol board. Remember waxers, amberlith, rubylith, and sticky registration dots? Jeez, I feel old just typing this. Remember our instructor (Phillip somebody-or-the-other)? He was always working on his own freelance projects, with an exacto knife in one hand and a cigarette in the other, when he was supposed to be teaching us. That should have been a clue to us—here he was teaching and freelancing just to pay the bills. And he was old…why, he was at least 45! Bald on top with gray fringe around the ears. Still having to work two jobs. How did we not question that set-up and run screaming to the career counselor to change our majors? I want a refund!

Fast forward…all these years after, I’m still a graphic designer…and not entirely unhappy with my chosen profession…but somehow both Cam and I are back at the “what if we could paint (or craft or photograph or something else creative) and sell our results to make a living?” mode. We both daydream about that possibility. Life, full circle, perhaps—back to our roots—if only in our imaginations at the moment. Makes me want to drop everything (not possible) and start painting again. I certainly have the arsenal of supplies with which to do so…sigh…some day. But today? Today a newsletter, trade show banner and business card design beckon. Back to the (electronic) drawing board.





31 days to spring…just gimme some color!

17 02 2010

Enough with this gray and white and cold! Revisiting some of my favorite images…





Self-diagnosed SAD

16 02 2010

Yep, that’s me. I proclaim myself a victim of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). According to Wikipedia: SAD, also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter.

As I look out my studio window this afternoon, I see more snow coming down. Projection: 4 inches of the inconvenient stuff. White stuff on top of older white stuff. It was pretty the first time it snowed this winter (Dec. 19), but after the first 4 inches, enough was enough. It was 26.4 inches total for that first snowfall alone. I think it has snowed at least six times since then, including the 30″ we got over February 5. Fortunately, we were in sunny Florida during that blizzard, but we came home to the aftermath, followed by the additional 10.5 inches we got two days later on February 10. Ah yes, it was pretty the first time. Now it is just a pain. If I wanted this kind of snowfall, I would have already moved to any one of those snowy states starting with the letter “M”—Maine, Montana, Minnesota or Michigan.

_________________________________________

Well, whaddyaknow—there is actually a named disorder for the SAD condition experienced in summer—Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is accompanied by anxiety (come experience an oppressively hot D.C. summer and you’ll know what they’re talking about!)

_________________________________________

Hmmmm…what cheers me up? The promise of spring (32 days and counting, although by the looks of things, I beg to differ). And gardening. And lots of flowers to photograph. And on that note, I leave you (and temporarily, my SAD symptoms) with a series of collages of photos I shot in my Garden Club members’ gardens a few years ago. Sigh….somewhere under the “white crap accumulation,” there are bulbs hibernating and dormant plants dreaming of the sun. Keepin’ the faiiiiiiittttth, yay yay yay yay, keepin’ the faith…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Who-o-o, who-o-o

12 02 2010

I photographed this handsome (beautiful?) owl at a wildlife rehabilitation center near the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. I had to photograph him through a cage, so I’m surprised the resulting image was this good (couldn’t avoid the lumpy tree limb to the right, though). The rehabilitation center is free to walk through, but they take donations to help their cause.

I was researching how to spell the “hoot” sound that an owl makes and found this site here that lists superstitions associated with animals. (How in the world does one keep up with all of these superstitions?) They are from a book published in the 1920s—Kentucky Superstitions—by Daniel Lindsey Thomas and Lucy Blayney Thomas. Here are the ones I found concerning owls:

3617. If an owl hoots, someone will die. (Fortunately, this fella was a quiet one.)

3618. If an owl hoots on the top of a house, there will be a death in that household.

3619. It brings bad luck to imitate the hoot of an owl. (I must confess that I did utter, “who?” when I saw this owl, which prompted him to look me straight in the eyes. What does that mean??? Am I’m in trouble???)

3620. If an owl hoots at the door for three successive nights, the sound foretells a death in the house.

3621. An owl’s hoot about midnight is a sign that a member of the family will meet with an accident.

3622. Tie a knot in your dress or skirt to stop an owl’s hoot. (I was wearing jeans.)

3623. Avert the disaster of an owl’s hooting by turning an old shoe upside down. (Is it too late for me to turn an old shoe upside down to avert disaster?)

3624. To make an owl stop hooting, take off your left shoe and turn it over.

3625. An owl will stop hooting if you pull your shoes off and cross them.

3626. To stop an owl from hooting, turn the toes of your shoes to touch the wall. (What is it with owls and shoes?)

3627. To avert the disaster that follows the hoot of an owl, heat a poker until it is red hot. (Then what do you do with the red hot poker?)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lightning, lobsters and babes in the woods…

12 02 2010

My father (a.k.a. The King of Texas) just took a stroll down memory lane and wrote a recap of our six-day camping/road trip in the spring of 1985. I just added some of my scancafe.com slides from that trip to it and wanted to share this wonderful posting with you. Click on the red link below. Enjoy!

http://thekingoftexas.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/lobsters-lightning-and-babes-in-the-woods/





Love it!

11 02 2010

For more “What the Duck” fun, visit cartoonist Aaron Johnson’s website here.





Maaaaaa, make it stop!

11 02 2010

Hard to believe we were in sunny Sarasota just three days ago! Left: the view from my studio, with snow halfway up the back gate! Right: Michael shoveling snow off of the tool shed roof. Unbelievable. I may venture out in the morning to get a Currier & Ives shot for you. Cabin fever is coming soon, I just know it.