Monday 8/1: Sunflowers

I started taking lots of sunflower photos for Beauty in the Beast so I put them in an album to post here. They’re my favorite flower and when I was doing a lot of flower paintings I started painting sunflowers. They’re flowers but they have a pretty/ugly side to them. Sometimes they seem like some kind of creature; they’re very strong and big, not wallflower flowers:


Sunday: Semi-Colons Done!

I have 3 left I haven’t finished; I turned in the other ones. I spent a lot of Friday redoing them and making new ones. These are the final ones:

One of my favorites; if you look closely there are lots of cracks and texture
I realized I could have a new take on the composition and not fit the image on the canvas!
7 finished ones
Inspired by a journal piece May 1998!

I think they’re are 9 finished and 3 in my studio left.

This one I realized wasn’t finished so:
Stage 2
Last iteration!

Lots of work but it paid off!

Tuesday Positivity

So far with semi-colon project

I had written a whole gratitude list on here that got erased! Also can’t figure out why the link to his blog doesn’t always work…

Monday July 25; The semi-colon


What is the symbol of the semi-colon? In grammar, when do you even use the semi- colon? Is there a way to justify it? Is it a circle over a comma? Why is the image of it in some fonts a period mark with the dash added to it and in others a circle and a slanted line? It all depends on the comma in terms of what it looks like.

Here’s one explanation:

“Think of semicolons as thoughtful pauses, as opposed to the full stop indicated by a period. Semicolons can fluidly link two complete ideas without the need for conjunctions. Semicolons are not only used to link main clauses. They can also be used in complicated lists.”

The semi-colon is complicated. It’s not a rules kind of creature. It asks you to be creative, and often it’s your best friend when you can’t stop writing long sentences. It comes in there to rescue you; it’s like you’re kind of cheating by being lazy., but the semi-colon is there to say, “I got you; You’re not so lazy; I think you’re full of ideas, and it’s ok that your mind is popping out of your brain; I’m here for you.”

This is starting to sound like the semi-colon was created for ADHD. Who needs to clean up long assed sentences? Us people who hate having to read over our writing more than maybe once.

The semi-colon doesn’t just understand the laziness of ADHD writers; it understands how bored we quickly get of our own topic and how we can’t stay on one topic for too long unless we are in hyper-focus; the semi-colon is also understanding of hyper-focus that is this post. I wasn’t thinking if the semi-colon and how fascinating it could be; I thought I’d just dash off a quick explanation of why you’d see a semi-colon tattoo on someone, and how intense that is, and all the things one of the simplest tattoos could be saying. And the show and tell part with the photos.

Besides a single dot, I can’t think of a simpler tattoo involving less marks; yet, it will tell you so much about a person, more than a huge back tattoo.

When you see a semi-colon on someone’s body, the first word that will come to mind once you know what it means is “suicide”. It doesn’t mean the person belonging to the body of that tattoo tried to commit suicide. It does mean that at some point they were thinking that they didn’t see their life continuing. Maybe they just thought that there was nothing more. Like, well, I’ve reached the point where nothing new is going to happen. I’ll just wake up every day knowing I’m just taking up space, and there will be no surprises or turns in the road: no semi-colon. The first explanation is that your life is a sentence that has reached the end where you put the period on and that’s it. You expect to be dead very soon and start planning your last word and the period end of your sentence; the other one is bad in another more subtle less horrific way, but it’s got it’s own pain, the dull pain of living every day waiting for your life to end. Maybe not actively waiting, worse, you’re passively waiting, going about your life pretending so well that nobody noticed the dull ache of a certain kind of depression. Not the kind where you stop brushing your teeth or cry on the subway for weeks. Just the quiet dull feeling some have who have run out of gas and allow life to happen to them. They don’t try to summon energy to make anything happen. Those are people whose life continues because their sentence has an ellipses at the end. The kind indicating a continuation of nothingness. Literally the ellipses can mean you’ve trailed off in thought or that it’s a continuous repetition that doesn’t even bear writing a sentence more than once…

The semi-colon is there to save the day. It means you’ve gone through a lot of invisible pain to do the almost impossible and agreed to STAY; once you’ve agreed to stay, you’ve actually become the subject of your sentence; maybe it starts out as a simple contract; sure, I’ll stay around, and that’s an agreement that I won’t end my own sentence or let it trail off forever. I’ll try. That’s all. I’ll try. This kind of trying is a heroic act usually at the beginning done for other people. It’s not true that you need to want to live for yourself. Often, the biggest motivation is to do it for others because you don’t want to hurt them in the worst way possible. Choosing to leave them forever. That semi-colon means you’re there and trying for someone else. That’s the biggest motivation there is for someone at the end of their rope. For a few, it’s their dog they can’t leave; for others, it’s kids, partners, family, friends…

That semi-colon speaks volumes; it might quietly be there for those of us with ADHD who want to write and hate their writing, or it’s there to keep someone going and give them a small hope that their chapter is ending because a new one is beginning. The “staying” and “trying” become a new chapter, a new kind of continuation.

So that’s why I’m making 9 or so little 5 x 7 canvas boards with semi-colons on them. For my friend’s non profit event for mental illness awareness. Her non-profit does different topics. Because if my ADHD I can’t explain it to you. I’ll get her website and post it. It’s ass backwards that I’m making these paintings but can’t explain her event in more detail. This time around it’s something I can make art for.

As per usual, I just started somewhere and then got somewhere else accidentally completely; meaning, despite my desire to make all these pieces that go together in some way, the only thing they have in common is that there are obvious images of a semi-colon; it’s annoying that my Adhd extends to such wishi washiness; on the other hand, if I for once wanted to sound positive about my work, it’s a cool process that mirrors the semi-colon itself; it’s seems simple and not that interesting and then it becomes more and more full of possibilities. I started with the boring idea of making a semi-colon in the center of the canvas; then I used duck tape and a mirror for the top period; a big moment was the realization that my panel could be horizontal and have lots of semi-colons all over; later I realized I could use magazine collage in a fun way; I’m not done yet; here are two of them:

Not a great photo of the piece but interesting as a photo itself with the shadow of the phone over the bottom part of the canvas.
This favorite one was fun using collage and paint pen with a central image of a shadow of a hand. Now I’m realizing the next ones need to express something with a shadow symbolizing the duality of the semi-colon.

These canvases are also going to, in their weird multi-personality all over the place pieces that don’t go together but have a through line, say as a whole something about the semi-colon; no two are the same; if each is a portrait of maybe the turning point and most important moment in someone’s life, none of them go together in an aesthetic good feeling way like the one people get when they see someone’s Instagram is so organized. The semi-colon is chaotic, or it’s very clear, or it’s something else we don’t know what.

To me it means both staying and trying. I don’t always brush my teeth in a way that makes sense. I’ll brush them then get hungry later and knowingly be lazy and not brush them again. I’m not going to lie. During the pandemic I realized I could workout and sweat a lot, then do other things and just conveniently forget to take a bath. I’d already long before discovered I could be lazy and skip days, something I never would have done maybe 5 years ago. Anyway life is hard, and sometimes you don’t bother brushing your teeth, or you actually forget that it’s time to do so. I’m trying to do a lot of things these days. I question my art more than ever before, and don’t do it every day. I try drawing and then collage and imagine paintings I haven’t made. Suddenly I can’t obsessively workout 6-7 days a week because I got bursitis in my elbow and can’t do most of the stuff I was doing. I don’t know what’s going on.

I feel like I need a reset button. Then I remember I’ve accomplished the impossible; I wake up early before my alarm, and most days I don’t eat a whole bunch of sweets; I got off gluten and hardly eat cheese and started eating fish instead of cookies, all accomplishments I thought were impossible. And, I’m going to edit this post now!

Sunday early

I woke up with no alarm clock at 7:55. We had been watching “How to Change Your Mind”. I had no idea of all the lsd experiments going on in the 50s similar to what’s going on today and ptsd. The were really finding out interesting stuff and then Nixon shit it all down making LSD illegal, part of his ignorant war on drugs.

I can’t stand when politicians do stupid things to get in the way of science. Even with Roe v Wade the same stupidity is present. Roe v Wade got overturned because of capitalism and racism and homophobia/transphobia more than sexism. It’s fucking obvious.

The science part is about IVF, freezing your eggs and reducing. They’re going to attack that next and I know a lot of great kind in this world that wouldn’t exist without it. They could block stem cell usage and research another thing that saves lives.

So LSD went underground and is now having a resurgence.

Another part of the movie was how the famous Bill of AA got off alcohol by doing LSD. I don’t think it’s widely known in 12 Step circles as I never hear clients talking about it. It seems like a travesty and betrayal. I haven’t read the big book but I would assume the 12 Step Program would be much more effective if everyone took LSD to get off drugs and alcohol before joining the program. The resividism rate would be markedly better. Luckily I know a lot of people micro dosing mushrooms and that’s an other new way to combat ptsd and depression.

I haven’t finished the first episode but the one annoying thing is that all the research was done by white male academics, scientists and probably CIA. They can be blamed for the shit down too. It seems their experiments went south with Timothy Leary. They were doing tests on army to maybe see if it could be a weapon of warfare. At the beginning a weird comparison was made between the atom bomb and LSD as they kind of coincided and they compare LSD as being a kind of bomb in your brain.

While watching I thought of my own one time LSD experience at Harvard my first year there. 3 of us did it together and wandered around together. I remember music sounding incredible like I could separate every note even though I’m ignorant about music. I also was convinced I’d discovered that to avoid dying you could just stay awake all the time. The trip ended intensely with me literally being Mother Earth and giving birth to the planet like it was a baby.

I think the government was experimenting with using LSD in warfare. You could freeze your enemy by dropping lsd capsules on them. What if they went to Ukraine and got lsd to the Russian army? Would everyone desert and refuse to do Purim’s bidding or would it just solidify Russia’s beliefs around doing the atrocity they’re doing.

I think the CIA figured out it could stop enemies from taking orders and that their soldiers became chaotic and lost interest in killing people but mostly in being told what to do. The Russians are ruthless and it could be they would just continue what their doing with cosmic justification.

I hope the CIA is still looking into LSD. What if it’s the answer to nuclear warfare. Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out. Get all of congress and the Supreme Court on acid. Do it to police departments at trainings too. Things couldn’t get much worse.

Run a red light get beaten

In your own house with your girlfriend yelling stop stop get off of him. Of course he was black. In Tennessee.

I’m going to my driving lesson. I’m going to ask if I ran a red light and kept driving with the cops in “pursuit “ would they come into my own home and beat me.

Who would ever get in a car again? Probably this man, knowing the cops were about to stop him, was so scared they we’re going g to shoot him that he kept driving to try to get home and get away from them. What would you do if you were a black man in Tennessee about yo be stopped by the cops for something minor. Would you risk pulling over and maybe getting beaten and/or shot or killed?

Luckily his girlfriend had it all in her phone to show on the morning news. They interviewed someone who must have been chief of police. The things he was saying were mostly disgusting. He said it was disturbing and talked about officers pursuing as though it was OJ.

Here we go again. What got this one on the morning news when it probably happened yesterday somewhere? Anyway it wasn’t shocking. It was horrific and already you could be thinking how these cops would get off with a warning instead of felonies and arrest. If it was a black guy maybe not a cop he’d probably be facing 20 years or more in jail.

I was already having woken up without an alarm clock. this was today’s alarm.

Ironically I’m headed to my driving lesson. I will ask him that question.


I removed the last two posts. Tonight at a Zoom session of artists I realized I’m still insecure about my art after 32 years of my artist career, that I’m totally confused about my writing and that I’ve been confused about my writing since 11th grade when I did my writer’s journal, probably the one thing I’ve lost that I would want back. That I now have even more ways I express myself which is good in terms of realizing I can’t be stuck if I’m making something. I was making a daily comic for a long time that I dropped; I’ve begun a photo essay that I kind of like but it’s in the early part of doing it and figuring out what it will be. I’ve been making TikTok puppet videos after work using hand made dolls. I’m making building drawings again; I’m sort of figuring out my mandala multimedia project. I for a few days felt like I gave no idea what I’m drawing and painting. I started abstract collage with drawing today and pulled out my oval construction piece.

I started writing something with words at least during the zoom. After the zoom which was hard to do; everyone had museum and gallery shows and coherent art about one concept. Luckily I just listened as I hadn’t contributed slides.

Somehow after I got very excited and inspired and realized just being in a group of artists talking about their process has a magical effect on me abd helps me get unstuck- I was surprised that after feeling small and weird and outsider artist of the bunch, not quite enjoying it, it had a great effect anyway.

I got out my big collage thing that isn’t sure if it’s a painting or mixed media or whatever and made a TikTok and left with a good feeling. I texted my new artist friend who couldn’t go to the zoom and was grateful that I have an awesome newish friend I met in an artist pairing and we hit it off. I can be myself with her and I love her art.

So there’s lots to be grateful for. My 14 year old came by the studio this afternoon and we did our nails and talked. I watched a lot of tv abd stayed up super later than my 10-12pm bedtime. I tried to upload a TikTok but it’s not working. Here’s a recent from my series. I hope it’s not a repeat. Good night!💤

Beauty is Truth. Truth Beauty.

A lot of these photos are about ugliness that produces beauty; I realized the plant outside the restaurant named happy in Italian had a grim backstory. That pretty out door table is a product of the horrific virus that ruthlessly continues to spread and kill.

All the photos are about that. The old stove from the 20s that I grew up with is a reminder of the change from happy innocent born in a bubble I return years later to things that are grim and a stove that no longer brings lots of people to an overflowing apartment. The apartment has become big, old, decaying, rooms sit empty of people.

Come take photos of the rest of it says my mother. The rooms are sad and quiet and remind me that everything gets old and withers.

These photos are my only real art. This drought feels different from others, just not making art more than maybe an hour or two a week, hating what I make, seeing other’s art and liking it, wondering how it is I can’t make anything that motivates. I feel like I’ve given up.

Tuesday 7/19

From a quick walk to get out of my office on my long day:

Preschool door
Same door

Daily photos of my swollen bursitis elbow to make sure it’s getting better plus a new fun dress!

Still improved

Actually the photo album seems to show it waxing and waning. It felt today improved from past days in pain and I was working out too much on it so I’ve adjusted my workouts and yoga. The concept of resting the body isn’t great for me since I’ve been into working out…