Abstract Painting Book

I bought this wonderful book on abstract painting techniques last summer. But before I could really start using it I suddenly became very angry, depressed, and discouraged about my creative process and I sold all my paints and painting supplies, along with a lot of other art supplies. I had bought all those paint the intention of really learning what to do and I had a huge number of them and I just got rid of them. But creatively I think I have healed since then and now I’m getting back into it, but I have had to start from the beginning with my paints. Starting out in painting is expensive. I had to buy all the bases to get paint texture, as well as gesso and palettes – on top of buying different colors of paint since I got rid of over seventy colors.

I am returning to this book to learn some techniques. I’m so glad I at least kept the book. I basically never throw out a book, and it looked so cool. I just wish that I hadn’t given up on Visual Arts back then. I would know so much more than I do now and I wouldn’t have lost money. Sometimes I just get angry and disenchanted. I’m not sure why. Maybe I was feeling untalented and upset about that. But I don’t know that that’s the case because I have never claimed to be a visual artist. I am merely someone who loves to experiment with color and texture. I am not a painter. I’m a writer. I may have been frustrated with everything at the time. Sometimes I just get angry or hopeless. Other times I tried to narrow the focus in my life, only to discover that I am not a person who can narrow focus. Despite being driven to create visually as well as verbally, I can feel extremely stymied. Like I’m just hitting a wall over and over again. But knock on wood that isn’t happening again so far. I’m beginning to get into the visual again with photo editing and with painting. And I may add some other things to my list as well. I will have to see. I feel like it improves my writing to work on the visual arts. That way my brain is kept sharp and creative all day long without focusing on my writing to the point of burnout or having nothing to say. So while I am not and never will be a painter, I can improve my writing with painting.

Tired, Productive

I barely got any sleep last night, so getting up this morning was a struggle. Luckily I did get up on time to get Angelica to Vacation Bible School. She enjoyed it and at the end of the day I picked her up and watch the little closing ceremony. She refused to take part though and decided to sit with me instead, so there wasn’t much for me to see. She did show up on the slideshow once, but it was a picture of her back.

While Angelica spent the morning at Vacation Bible School, I did actually get stuff done. I won’t say it was a hugely productive day but I did some cleaning and some laundry. And as tired as I felt I am pretty proud of that. I also did some reading. And when I picked Angelica up we did homeschooling together. Despite a low mood I managed to clean, do laundry, get Angelica to and from vacation bible school and sit through the closing ceremony, and homeschool. Then we took her to the speech therapist, but that is the subject of another post. So all in all I would say it was a successful day. I will be able to cross out most of the tasks in my productivity Journal. I was too tired to write and every time I attempted painting my mind would just blank out. So I wasn’t able to do very much of the creative stuff. But I covered the essential daily tasks.

Disorder

It is only a general diagnosis, but today we received Angelica’s evaluation from the speech therapist. Angelica has expressive and receptive language disorder. She is delayed. On the bell curve there are three categories of delay. Mild, moderate, and severe. She is moderately delayed. She is in about the 6th percentile for her age.

Angelica will begin speech therapy next Wednesday morning. I really hope it helps her. Last year speech therapy didn’t seem to make a lasting impact. At first it didn’t seem to help at all. Then it seems like it helped a little bit maybe. And then as soon as I had to pull her out of speech for our move, the progress was immediately lost. Overall I would say it just didn’t help her. But this speech therapist is hopefully going to do different things, and she’s going to be focusing on language rather than pronunciation, so hopefully we will see some results.

Angelica is very bright. She loves to talk to people and she loves it when I read her stories. She is actively engaged with everything around her and interested in so many things. Angelica is highly creative, compassionate, and communicative. But she just has a hard time with certain elements of communication. I have suspected that something was wrong for a while. Hence the fact I had her in speech therapy for a year back in Virginia. This confirms what I had feared. But hopefully she will get a lot of help from the speech therapist and maybe she can make great strides this year.

We also have appointments set up with a developmental pediatrician for an evaluation, and we are being referred to an OT.

Officially having it in writing that she is delayed and by how much has giving me mixed feelings. It confirms my fears, which gives me a sinking feeling. At the same time now maybe we can get people to help her and we will see some improvements. But her diagnosis is really a general diagnosis and not specific. The problem with that is that when we look up how to teach her to read or how to teach her to do math we don’t know what to put in the search engines to tell us how to teach her. If she has auditory processing disorder teaching is difficult but there are some things you can do to help. For a variety of other delays and disorders there are different things you can do to teach your child and improve their odds at a positive outcome. But without knowing what specifically it is it’s very hard to determine what to do. Hopefully the developmental pediatrician will be able to shed some light on that issue and give us a direction to go in. Homeschooling is not going well. It’s still early so I’m holding out hope, but she is definitely having a hard time and not catching on. Language arts is her strong suit, but even there she is not doing as well as I had hoped. And math is an absolute no-go.

For the next couple of months we’re going to keep pushing through as we are and reviewing the lessons in our curriculum. I’m going to do my best to teach her and encourage her to keep trying even though it is difficult. The receptive language issue is really holding her back. In a couple of months if we see no progress, we will likely hire a tutor when we get back from vacation. And hopefully by then too we will have the evaluation results from the developmental pediatrician and we’ll have more to go on in figuring out how to help Angelica. So we can maybe get a tutor who can help her and we may have some new tools in our toolbox to help her ourselves as well.

Inside

Taupe travel traipsing over
someone else’s days,
bypassing my breath.
In the heady blood of surgery,
The resurgence of hunger.

The twirls of terrain beyond
the tips of my last resort skin
eddy with earthy puns –
something about guarding a garden.

No woman goes beyond the
rough hewn fence,
the fossils beyond still snaggle
jawed and just.

Guide the Leopard Home

With rainbow ease I
sew my image on the mirror.
I have not blinked in days,
and now I see through
clouds to the dancing dead
shimmering in copper.

When I was born
(between songs)
my self was already old
and imprinted in glass.
When my face begins to crack
the glass will implode.

My self was born some time
between yesterday and
happily never after.

I need mirrors to make me remember
the things I once had memorized,
the monotheistic candle wicks
I must light,
To guide the leopard home
through the silo of night.

Self so stiff and soft,
stitched ad infinitum
in eternity.