Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hoggle's Pest Control, #drawlloween day 3

I'm actively working on another drawing today, so I didn't have much time to dedicate to today's #drawlloween, "goblin".

BUT, I have had this idea rattling around in my head for the last two years, imagining a young Hoggle getting started in the goblin world, and decided tonight would be the perfect opportunity to capture it in a sketch!

I look forward to fleshing it out in the future (:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 2 Drawlloween: Devil

When I saw day 2's theme for drawlloween was "devil", I knew exactly which one I wanted:  My family are HUGE Futurama fans.

And I couldn't resist.

So here's "The (Robot) Devil Wears Prada", colors pencil and pen and ink on acrylic paper.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Pet Peeve, The start of another challenge

Today, I decided I'd participate in #drawlloween.  It's been a while since my last month long creative participation, and I like the idea of this one.

I don't have long each day to create, so they're going to be quick.

So without further ado, I give you "My Pet Peeve" acrylic on watercolor paper. For day 1 of #drawlloween 's ghost (:

My Pet Peeve
by Janin Wise

He was descended
of Egyptian Gods,
But not too proud
to bring me murder presents
for my birthday.

He was my Peeve,
But never my poltergeist.

He kept me company
for sixteen years,
But was always as spry as a kitten.

And when his time came,
his body passed quickly,
But his spirit lingered.

Waiting for me
to find another fur baby
to snuggle,
to rescue,
to love.

Waiting for me
to be ready
to say goodbye.

And on that night,
he snuggled close one last time,
then gently padded away,
giving his warm spot to our new cat.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Letter From The Future, Looking Back

One of the exercises for "The Artist's Way" last month was to write a letter to ourselves, at eighty, looking back with advise to us now, but we were instructed not to read our morning pages back.

Today, I was finally allowed to start reading my morning pages, and realize that future me is going to be wise, and funny, and worth sharing.

So here is 80 year old Janin writing back:

Dear Self,

Play with the boys more and try to be less critical.  You don't always have to have the last word.  And they're out of here so fast and on to lives of their own.  Remind them they are always welcome back.  Build the good memories.  I still turn to them and smile.

Don't worry so much about everything.  Things will happen as they ought.  Even the bad things.  You will change what you can; and what you can't will draw you closer to those you love - And they to you.

Stop hesitating!  Adore that woman's outfit- let her know!  That's one more smile today, and believe it or not, but a doorway to new friends.

Remember the Roustabouts.  Robin had it right.  In this world, we all need more, "Yes, and" and much less, "No, but."  Teach this to your boys.  They'll thank you for it.

Make love to Mark every opportunity you get!  That man is a god of a lover!  And once the boys move out, celebrate together with nude dancing, rechristening all the rooms and moving furniture around.  I love the upstairs studio!

Keep in touch with those who matter.  Take the time to sit down and figure out who that is.  You'll know.  It's worth it.  I promise.

And if your heart tells you that you need a barefoot moment alone with the moon, the trees, the sun - take it.  It's good to be reminded we are both insignificantly small and infinitely all encompassing.

And know that I love you.  And forgive you.  Forgive me.

We're human, you and I.  We're going to make mistakes.  It up to you to own up to them and set them right.  For both of us.

I'm counting on you.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Bring A Bard To Your Colonoscopy

When I was younger, I was prone to flights of whimsical fantasy.  I had such a moment today, because it's perfectly normal to turn your husband's minor surgery into a ballad of daring, right?

Here is the result:

As my beloved sits in a thigh high, green and purple floral mumu- tailored neither to fit nor male sensibility and dignity, barely tied at the back, I smile at the adorableness of his bared moon bright legs and little black socks.  A nurse enters, fee keeper of the surreal world you can only find within the walls of a hospital, come to take payment and tribute in two vials of his precious life blood.  She announced it's for tests, but we all know they'll be fed to the mechanical beasts of the lab- sated by the droplets of hundreds, if not thousands, in the course of a week.

Today is like a macabre holiday.  Fasting, a liquid diet, and hours of consuming unpalatable bowel clear have left my beloved resplendent and trim.  Starving and dehydration will apparently have that affect.  They could market this horrid stuff as a dietary fad.  Thankfully, they do not.

We entered the hospital, finding it not five minutes from our house, and parking suspiciously easy to locate.  Of our own volition, knowing the forthcoming violations my love will be subjected to, we walked through the unguarded sliding magic glass door.

The elevators beckoned like sirens, logically and simply placed, and I began to suspect competent designers of creating this place- a welcome and unexpected first experience regarding a hospital.

As the elevator disgorged us on the designated second floor, those illusions were quickly abated as we found ourselves surrounded by four doors- none of them the one we were seeking.

Choosing logically, we ventured forth through the door indicative of the rest of the hospital, passing through a glass and metal breezeway reminiscent of West Berlin military design, the beige with black trim a small step up aesthetically from the sickly olive green sported overseas and so long ago in my youth.

We passed unchallenged through the door at the other end, gliding past silent sentries who bore witness to our passage, and discovered an Alice in Wonderland like transformation:  We had entered that causeway on the second floor, but exited on the third!

Another set of logically placed elevators, that we shared with three friendly nurses, all clearly close companions, and were once again disgorged on the second floor.  This time, new construction and paint cans brought the walls ever close, hinting at future mazes, though the path was straight forward enough now, funneling us exactly where we needed to go.

As deep, soft, faux leather cushions welcomed the contours of my hiney, my Dragon took his place in the que- a voluntary challenger come to enter the lists.

He paid his entrance fee and emerged, his wrist sporting the required entry bracelet- one that each sentry posted along the path of the journey checks and requires he provide the right answers to the same riddle, continuing to prove his qualification to be here, to enter, to participate.

Shortly after the first nurse left the private room, a second enters, running him through the now common place bracelet test.  I notice that each brings with her the tools she needs for the next stage of his training.  They each bear a pleasant but slightly distant demeanor, sure in their competence and efficiency- and watching them from the side, I know such confidence is both well placed and earned.

Ah!  This one has been sent to explain the rules of the soon to be contest of digestive tract and skilled surgeons.  She runs him through a lightning fast round of questions, flipping expertly back and forth through her codex, tracking his answers and finding them approved.

The latest accoutrements capture his current vitals and final announcements are made.  This is the last checkpoint, the final moment, should a challenger decide to withdraw, before entering the medical arena.

My beloved sits fast in his resolve, quiet courage contained in the set of his face- and she finds him accepted.

She announces the stages: manual transportation to the final waiting area, more preparatory discussion with a magician called to place him under a sleeping spell, that he finally be ready to enter the doctor's arena.  A scant fifteen to twenty minutes will be dedicated to exploring my dragon's throat- He's endured this part before and knows the drill.  Thirty to forty minutes will be dedicated to the under tail exploration.  This is new, dark, unexplored territory, and the subject is mentioned discreetly and perfunctory.  If she can present it as routine and nothing to concern oneself with, the hope is that it will make it so.  We all embrace this supposition gladly.

And so enters the preparer, once more through the pleasantries of brief introduction and the passing of the bracelet challenge.  She tries to pierce his thick hide, finding no purchase in his claw, though she rooted around beneath the skin searching for a vein... In vein.

My love becomes speckled in cotton swabs and snippets of tape from previous punctures, until she finds purchase in his right arm, unfortunately nestled within a forest of fur- though my Dragon chuckles, "Such is hardly to be avoided."  And finally, cool, clear liquid slowly flows down a clear river, suspended through the air, and into his body, replenishing hydration he has been overtly denied this last ten hour.

She returns, raising the gates on both sides- escape no longer an option- though such never entered his mind.  She rolls him on.  The true quest, I cannot accompany him on, so I will wait, steadfast, knowing he will prevail and arrive on the other side victorious.

And so I sit, my duty to pay mark to the passage of time.  Entertaining myself with diverse distractions, not the least of which is the wide open door to the hall, and the glimpses at other participants en route to their own challenges, or back, successful victors.

Directly across the hall from me, a door proclaims, "Staff Only", and within the long standing open door, I am privy to supplies, tools, prizes?  Well lit and entirely unguarded.  Momentarily, the thought passed that were I a rogue, perhaps this would prove my own challenge.  But I am a storyteller, with no true passing interest in the contents.  I shall pay it no mind, and wait patiently for my true prize- the eventual return to me of my beloved.

And so I am rewarded!

The first sign, a voice in the hall I know as easily as my own, groggily proclaiming, "I'm starting to make more words now."  And he is delivered back to me, the gates still raised, this time for safety.

The lights dimmed and my dragon rests, his challenge complete.  She assures me he performed well, and provides photographic proof... The doctor will make more sense of them- as they may as well be of other worlds and foreign landscapes.  And in retrospect, they are, for until this moment I've never fathomed the human body from within.

Until then, I let my beloved sleep.  Resting.  Regaining his strength while he works to shed the last dregs of the grog that hold him still slightly sedated, a touch loopy and uncertain.

A cup of coke to clear the tongue and a brief visit by the doctor.

I wonder that you'd even try to carry on a conversation with the largely sedate.  I anticipate that's part of my role- to serve as functioning ears and memory until his are fully restored.

There were small battles fought within the jejunum, and a smaller still foe vanquished.  Evidence of long standing battles against the abrasive acids, expected within the belly of such a Dragon as mine, were found in both the duodenum and esophagus, but there are tests and medicines, both designed to win such battles and lay such strong acids to more confined rest.

Cognizance returning, but not yet hunger, my beloved is released, both from the confines of the liquid river into his veins, and the bars that contained him.

Soon we are released from the belly of the beast, the monstrously active arena of the hospital and returned, largely unharmed, back to the mundane.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Fun Little Poem

I wrote a quick little poem the other day while struck by a moment of a total -lack- of inspiration.  And thought I'd share it today (:

There is nothing that I'm drawn to,
So there's nothing that I'm drawing...
- save a blank.
No, it isn't quite a blank,
And I'm sure it's not a block,
Just a moment, just a second,
just a pause between thoughts...
I'm try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Artist's Prayer

It's been eight months since the last time I felt inspired to write a blog.  I was on my computer yesterday when I saw that I had a tab at the top for my blog and was reminded that I used to come here so often, I needed such a tab.

I took a brief moment to visit yesterday, and was surprised that so much time had passed.  And didn't have a single thought I considered worth sharing.

But this morning, as hard as I'm struggling with this week's directions, I thought I might.

I'm in week of 3 of trying out The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  A friend of mine on Facebook mentioned that he was doing it again and was really enjoying his artist's dates.  I was curious, so I ordered the book.

And it came in.

And I didn't even open it.

It sat, waiting, on a shelf for almost two months.

I had lost my love of reading somewhere between trying to slog through the ninth book in a row of the Wheel of Time, and feeling like there was a list of books I -had- to read to prove my love of reading before I would be allowed to get back to reading what I wanted to read...and for the first time in my life since learning to read, went over six months without touching a book.

I have been blessed with a lot of synchronicity in my life.  In fact, synchronicity, and the amazing connections of the world, are something I've grown up with and count on them in my life to remind me that I'm going in the right direction.  But even that started to go away.

Missing reading made me sad, but I could live with it.  Maybe I'd outgrown it.

But missing synchronicity was an entirely different matter-- it's part of the compass I use to find my way in the world.  And so I opened up the Artist's Way and jumped right in.

I'll not lie, I'm not taking this very easily.  In fact, each week presents its own challenges that I have to fight myself over to complete.  And there've already been a lot of tears.  But I'm committed to at least completing it.

And there ARE advantages.  Small changes.  I'm already making more art work than I was previously this year.  I'm remembering my dreams again.  I've read two books for the sheer joy of reading.

And that brings me to this week's challenge and this post:  This week, I'm not supposed to be reading.

After fighting so hard to be able to enjoy it, I have to go seven days intentionally not reading.  As much as I am able.  No subtitled movies.  No books for pleasure.  No interesting articles.  Some of these are easier than others.  Some, I'll admit I have cheated on-- as I can't give up facebook completely with most of my friends scattered across the globe.  And my job absolutely requires me to read and respond to emails for 8 hours a day.

But one of the gifts of this week was the assignment to write an Artist's Prayer.  And despite the admonishment not to read this week, the directions to read it every day.

I read it this morning.  And found it might be worth sharing:

Artist's Prayer

I am thankful for this new day.
The sensations of my skin.
The sincerity of my senses.
The safety of home that I may adventure out from and return to.
I am thankful for the ability to create.
May I use it for good.
To create meaningful memories.
Deeper, cherished connections with those I love.
New art, in whatever medium is called for.
May I be quick to wit and slow to anger.
Quick to forgive and slow to judge.
Not only of others, but of myself.

I hope it either helps you directly, or points you in the direction to write your own.