Monday, June 30, 2008

Art Blog: Balance

I am not into astrology, metaphysics, or other modes of hocus pocus. I do believe in aliens and the idea of past lives is very intriguing. I just don’t base my life on the study of such phenomenon.
I keep talking about my “PERFECT DAYS” because I have become very conscious of when I am happy or not and what is happening when I am in either state of mind.
Today I read my horoscope and had a light bulb moment. It said:
“June 30, 2008
Balanced Success
Virgo Daily Horoscope
As your recent endeavors come together in a meaningful way today, you may realize that you are closer to achieving your outer world goals than ever before. This revelation can compel you to immerse yourself wholeheartedly in your labors to the exclusion of all else. You may hinder more than help yourself, however, by devoting yourself completely to a single element of your existence. If you make sure to nurture your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual selves as you pursue your ambitions today, you will likely find you can derive even more satisfaction from your triumphs. You can guarantee your soulful well-being by taking regular breaks in order to refocus your mental and physical energy on activities that bring you pleasure.”


YEP! This is the key. I know this very well and have for a long time. I just wasn’t putting it together with my so called perfect days. I realize now the reason those days seem so wonderful is because I have created and demonstrated balance. There is a little bit of something for all facets of my being. For example, yesterday I covered all bases. I ate well and went to the gym=PHYSICAL; I worked on the computer and organized some files=INTELLECT; I worked on my art=CREATIVITY; and I meditated about remembering to trust the Universe and stay calm=SPIRITUALITY. This is the reason why my perfect days feel so great. I am in balance.


For years, I have used this “Power Deck” as a game to cheer me up and lightly guide me. It is a deck of cards that basically tells you if you are out of balance and if so, in what direction. I drag these cards out when I feel really frazzled. It is fun to “read” the results. Just like reading your horoscope, this card deck is for fun entertainment purposes, but keeping balance in your life is very serious business. It really is.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Art Blog: Art Vlog

I decided to art VLOG instead of blog today. I had another perfect day! Hooray!!!


Art Blog: New Pet Peeve RANT

I am going to post an ART post later today. I just had to mention something. I have a new pet peeve.
I HATE BLOGS THAT HAVE MUSIC!!

LOL LOL It seems like a fad right now. All of a sudden, I noticed that a lot of blogs are adding music, LOUD music. This drives me nuts!! Why? There are a couple of reasons. First, it scares the crap out of me. Usually, there is a second or two before the music starts blaring. I will begin to read and BOOM!!! It seems to hit me in the face! La DEE DAH Too much noise! Of course, I turn the sound off, but by then the shock has already affected my body. The second reason I can't stand music on blogs is because it has an effect on how I interpret the posts. Music plays on your emotions. I have been to blogs that have sad, slow music and they are writing about something full of life and positive (or visa versa). I go to blogs to read them. This experience is very difficult while listening to the bloggers favorite songs. Maybe it is me, but JEEZ O PIZZO. Enough! I am deleting blog bookmarks that drown me in sound.
Thanks for enduring this rant. I feel better now.
:-)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Art Blog: Geez LOUISE!!

What a treat. James Kalm fought off Guggenheim security officers (LOL) just to film this overview of the Louise Bourgeois’ retrospective. Here is the video description:
“James Kalm battles Manhattan's morning rush hour, peddling twelve miles, to pay homage to the Grand Dame of the New York Art World, Louise Bourgeois. This remarkable retrospective gathers the most extensive selection of Bourgeois works to date, and features her major sculpture, installations, paintings, drawings and graphics. Viewers will see the arc of stylistic development form the early Surrealist to the Biomorphic, assemblage and the installations with sexually charged images that makes Bourgeois an essential Feminist artist. Part I presents works from the early 1940's till the mid 1960's. This exhibition is organized in association with the Tate Modern, London, and Center Pompidou, Paris.“
Thank you Mr. Kalm!!
Part One:

Part Two:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Art Blog: Art and the ECONOMY

I know about this. I have lived through it. I just posted a comment on another blog about the differences between the 70’s and 90’s recessions. Holy macaroni!!! Yes, I am old enough to know and understand all this because I lived through it!! Also I know this too shall pass.
Today I got an interesting email that included the following quote:
“During these hard economic times, the Gulf Coast Museum of Art understands that families in our community are being forced to make difficult choices with their money. Sometimes these choices involve the elimination of cultural and entertainment outings, in lieu of food, healthcare or gas. As a way to make some of these choices easier, the GCMA is pleased to announce that we will be offering free admission to our galleries during the month of July”.
This is exciting news even to me. I can go up to the GCMA and get in free. WOW. That is cool. I am going to do this. I really am. They have some interesting stuff up there. In fact, this museum is one of the BEST in this area, in my opinion. OK. So I am putting it on my calendar now. Go to The GCMA next week. (Maybe I can find a place to have a low cal lunch too???) Sounds like a date to me!! :-)


Click to Enlarge
Money, money, money!!
Anybody who says “Money doesn’t buy happiness” is full of SHIT!
You bet your bippy it makes a difference!
Every time I pay a bill, I laugh and smile. I know what it is like not to have ENOUGH money!
OPRAH, are you listening? It irks me to no end when OPRAH plays down her economic status. Oh yeah. RIGHT. Having money does matter, BIG TIME. Even though OPRAH pretends there are other things more important, I just laugh and say yeah dream on!
Oprah, huh?? Are you for real? Have you forgotten? Are you lost in Oprah LA LA LAND? It doesn't really matter if you hear me. You know I am right.

Art Blog: Perception and Fear

I am OK with getting older. I really am. Yes, my face is starting to look like a Shar pei puppy. In fact, I have been thinking a lot lately about how being in your fifties is very similar to being in your teens. All kinds of weird things start happening. You are not OLD. You are not YOUNG. You don’t feel or look like you fit in anymore. However, you can't really find the place you DO fit. So I guess me and a 14 year old should hang out together. It is all the same!
I just saw an ad or announcement of sorts on ARTSQUEEZE for studio space here in St. Petersburg:

“I am putting out feelers for established artists looking to share a modern space with a cutting edge vibe ala very SOHO style meets Greenwich hip.”

Ha! I have been thinking of adding another studio. I have a little studio attached to my home, but I realize this isn’t cutting it. I need to get out in public. I have even considered the cost. It would be like a car payment. However in the long run, it would be worth it. The surprising thing is that when I read this feeler, I immediately thought “I wouldn’t be approved. I am too old.”. OH MY GOODNESS! Sheree. Did you think this? YES!
Even though I have been making art, GOOD art for over thirty years, I now feel like I am not a part of the hip, new, cool, generation. I try so hard to keep up. I think I do a pretty good job. However, I am not just out of grad school. I am not young and lovely. I think I qualify as being “cutting edge and SOHO”, but she (the landlord) would decide that. This is kind of scary. However, it is the truth. Hype, hype, hype, young, young, young, hip, hip, hip. This seems to me the societal mantra now. The weird thing about all this is I have enough money and I am responsible enough to pay the RENT every month in a very timely manner. I am not sure if all those “cutting edge, SOHO types” can do this. It is kind of like the line from the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes”.
“I am older and have more insurance."

Well, this is true in many ways. LOL LOL One other thing to mention is I have tried very hard to keep up with the TIMES. I mean, if your own 20 something daughter emails you for computer advice, that must mean you a doing a pretty good job being up to date. Don't you think?
Hmmm….Just one more thing for me to think about.


I know about “cutting edge”. I was the curator of a show about “AIDS” back in the mid 80’s.
At that time, I was told by the gallery it was too close to Christmas time and this show would be too DEPRESSING. Well, I bitched and had a Sheree tantrum. I won. This was my piece in that show
“Children of the Night”
installation by Sheree Rensel
I know about being cutting edge.
All this reminds me of visiting a gallery a couple of years ago and the young gallery coordinator started to explain Soho, Tribeca, and REAL art to me. I stood there listening and just wanted to scream. I KNOW. I KNOW. I KNOW! I wanted to say back to him “Too bad you don’t really know.”.
I was a good girl. I remained silent. Go figure.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Art Blog: Art Life PERFECTION

Today was a perfect day. I love these kinds of days. I got up early and went to the gym for my orientation. I stayed after and worked out for an hour. I did the elliptical, leg lift machine, rowing machine, and the bike. It felt so good! Also, I met a really nice personal trainer. I am going to hire her for some sessions in the near future. I want to understand more about lifting weights.
I left the gym and headed for the grocery store. I bought all my healthy stuff to stock my empty cabinets and fridge. I had a quick lunch and began working on my art. I could not believe this little project was going to be so difficult and time consuming. I had collected bunches of digital files and printed them out on sticky paper. Then I cut out each element and began composing. After eight hours, I finished! Holy Macaroni! I was so excited to finish it. I took some quick photos, wrapped it up, and headed for the post office. It is on its way to a show. I will let you know more about this project in a few weeks. I don’t want to jinx myself. (Neurotic fear) LOL LOL
After returning from the post office, I made my salad and chicken dinner. It was so good! This is why it is so strange I don’t work out and eat right every day. When I do, I feel so energetic and enthusiastic. Maybe I have a thing about thriving on crisis, so I self sabotage. Who knows.
I am going to work to get to the bottom of these little, negative quirks. In fact, it was perfect timing when I saw a little journal made by Miz Katie. I found Katie online. She makes funky, colorful collages and I saw she had an Etsy store. When I went to her store, the first thing I saw was this little journal which had a collage made with vintage book illustrations. I was immediately struck by this “old lady with twelve geese”. I related to the picture. For some reason, I interpreted the geese as all the traits and idiosyncrasies that follow me around year after year after year. Of course, I make progress and grow. However, there are many little things that just hang on. If you read one of my journals from ten years ago, I am talking about some of the same stuff I still talk about! Arghhhhh!! There are both positive and negative traits that help or hinder me. Since I tend to do theme journals, I thought it would be perfect to buy this one from Katie and write about my twelve geese. Ironically I realized today, this is exactly what I have been doing in the past weeks in other ways. (new art, new life, new glasses, new teeth, new hair, etc.)

I have been busy getting all my ducks (geese?) in a row!


Collaged journal cover by Katherine Labbe

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Art Blog: TOP SECRET Project

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like showing unfinished work. I do YouTube videos about the process of making some of my pieces, but I don’t show the video until the piece is done. I am working on something right now that is TOP SECRET!! LOL
I have been collecting stuff for a few weeks and I am in the process of putting it all together now. So I woke up and worked on it all morning. Then, I went to the dentist again. I was sitting in that chair for THREE HOURS! It will be worth it though. He is doing a great job. Then, I went and had my “last supper”. I have to go to the gym tomorrow morning for my orientation. Tomorrow is the day I have to get real. So tonight, I took myself out to dinner and ordered a beer and a cheeseburger with fries. This is a Bon Voyage to my recent crappy food habits and sedentary ways. Starting tomorrow I am hopping back on the chicken breast, salad, and treadmill lifestyle. This is kind of like sitting in the dentist chair. It sucks, but it is worth it.
Then, I came home and began working on my art project. I can’t tell you much right now, but it has to do with the economy. Here is a sneak peak of some of the elements. I will show the finished work soon. This is just a teaser. LOL LOL


I will be so glad when this is done.
I love doing digital projects, but I want to go PAINT!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Art Blog: Moving On

This is so typical of me. I go low, low, low, and then I go high, high, high. Sound familiar? Well, today was the day I started to feel change. I went to my first dental appointment. I am having all my top front teeth capped. So far, they did the prep on one front tooth and put a temporary cap on it. I look like Bucky Beaver. LOL I am cool with that though. I know it will take about a month for my teeth to look normal, so I understand the transitional period.
I came home and did a little work on some art stuff. My daughter emailed me yesterday to ask about a computer problem. (Yep, it is always something. She only emails me when she needs something. Well, I am not complaining. At least she emailed me!!! LOL LOL) I answered her question and then asked her for her advice about a haircut for me. I want to get a shaggy, emo kind of cut. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I know I am too old for that, but I don’t give a SH**! I want the haircut I want and I don’t care if I look stupid to other people. Screw them. We traded examples and I was shocked that she sent me a few idea pics that were actually close to what I want. I feared she would send me a “Barbara Bush Blue Hair do” photo. She didn’t. We came to a very updated, hip agreement. I guess I taught my daughter well. Also, I realized when I cut my hair, have my new teeth, and get my new glasses, and if I can’t find a different job by August, the kids at my school will have to think of new insults. I will be incognito. They won’t recognize me!!!
THEN, I went and joined a gym. Yes! Even though I have exercise equipment at home and more fitness DVDs than I want to admit, “Free styling” it at home isn’t cutting it for me. I have to get out in public. I have to be among people. I have to be embarrassed and so humiliated about my body that I will actually workout. LOL So, I am a new member now. The coolest thing is they have a pool and a rock climbing wall. I can do neither of these things at this moment. I am one of those people who will not put on a bathing suit unless I look half way decent in it. Therefore, I will be using the pool in about 3-6 months from now. Also, the climbing wall is a super motivator for me. I sat and watched the little boys trying to climb and I wanted to be up there with them SO BAD. The only deterrent for me right now is I can’t stand the idea of the spotters looking up at my fat ass. So, I will be attempting the wall in ahhh……..maybe 4-6 months. Yeah. I think my butt will be in the OK range by then. LOL LOL
Remember: Keep moving!!! I know all this is a good sign. My art will flourish because I am in bloom.


Ahuh….I am getting older, but who cares. I am going to climb that wall if it KILLS me. LOL LOL
Just watch. I will have somebody hold my video camera and film me doing it.
It might take me six months to get to that place, but I will get there.
It will be such a great metaphor for what I am going through right now.
I love it!
Also, I always liked being up in a high place. I can remember climbing trees back in the day.
I would climb them; I would sit and eat green apples; then, I would throw the cores down on all the boys standing below. LOL
Gee, maybe things don't really change all that much after all. LOL LOL LOL

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Art Blog: Rattling the Bars

I think I have mentioned this before. Whenever I get into a state of impatience or frustration, I call it “rattling the bars”. This is how I describe what I am feeling when things aren’t going the way I want them to go or I just feel like I am going against the grain of life. It describes the vision of being in prison, grasping the jail cell bars, and giving it the best shake you can muster. Sometimes, it takes me a while to get to the point I feel the RATTLE. This morning I felt the vibrations very well.
I am still laughing about my quest to learn about what kind of art is selling right now. In fact, I got up early this morning and started doing more research. Do you know there are actually artists who have registered variations of the name “Happy Artist”? That is just an interesting side note. LOL LOL
Well this rattling the bars stuff sucks. I know better. I really do believe everything happens for a reason. I just don’t like not knowing the reasons while I am waiting for things to change. The irony about all this is I am a hippie dippy who believes in Universal principles and destiny. This philosophy has worked fine for me to this point, so I don’t know why I am having spiritual tantrums lately. I guess I am a faithful, spoiled brat.
When I whip myself into one of these frenzies, it is difficult for me to make art. I get confused. I am not sure of the direction to go. I find myself walking into artistic walls. I started work on my new Treasure Maps series yesterday and gave up in a huff. I thought “Why in the hell are you starting a new series when you have all this half done stuff lying around?” It is like I have artistic ADD. So, my goal this week is to put my blinders on and move forward. I have one deadline. This is for a specific piece, so I will have no choices in the matter. This is good. After that, I am going to start to finish the pieces that are half done.
Oh BTW, I have FOUR dental appointments this week. They are doing major reconstruction on my aging teeth. $$$$$$$$$$ So the blog posts should be very interesting. OUCH! LOL LOL LOL


Click to Enlarge
See even my birds look pissed off!! LOL
Stop rattling the bars and let things flow.
Remember to breath, work, and have faith
This is what will make you a truly happy artist!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Art Blog: Butterflies and Blue Birds

I am sitting here laughing out loud. After spending the last hour doing research online, I found myself giggling and seeing the humorous side of life. If you are a reader of this blog, you already know I tend to have a dark side. LOL LOL I don’t mean to sound dreary, it just comes out. The irony is I am just as silly and wacky as they come. Sometimes that side of me isn’t as apparent.
Anyway, I was doing research. I was trying for figure out what people buy. I mean handmade stuff. It seems like everybody and their brother has some kind of online art or craft shop. I wanted to see what people are actually buying. So I started snooping around.
This is what made me laugh. After viewing pages and pages of SOLD arts and crafts, my mind became overloaded with a continual stream of saccharine vocabulary words:
Butterflies, bluebirds, flowers, buttons, bows, baubles, hope, love, spirit, smile, tickle, bright, jolly, merry, peaceful, balloons, bubble gum, cookies, fairies, fluffy, bunny, snowflake, etc. etc.
You get the idea. Maybe I am stating the obvious, but people buy things that make them feel good. Then I thought, “Boy, am I in trouble!” LOL LOL I think of my bratty kids paintings and my gloomy tongue-in-cheek “Lost Souls” and realized I have to lighten up.
Oh my goodness Sheree, you make me laugh. Actually, the reason I started thinking about all this art marketing stuff was because years ago I sold simple, kitschy crafts like hats and jewelry. I stopped doing that because it seemed like too much work for too little money. However, I constantly have people ask me about making utilitarian kinds of artsy stuff. The last day of work, I walked in wearing a hat I made with some weird fringy stuff hanging over my eyes. Everyone kept saying “I want that hat!” This made me think. Maybe I should go back to making my hats or handmade papers or something. One thing is for sure. Whatever I do, it has to be HAPPY because I want to sell something!
LOL LOL


Think HAPPY Sheree

Ah yes: “The bluebirds and butterflies watched as the golden girl collected daisies as she danced and played in the shimmering sun.”
YEAH! That sounds good! Tee HEE HEE HEE

Friday, June 20, 2008

Art Blog: And the point is…?

This is how I get into trouble. I am notorious for this kind of SH**! Many will click off this page fast. They don’t want to read it. No! No! NO! It can’t be. This is too real! Yeah, it is real. It is honest. You know you have done this. Admit it.
Have you ever looked up at the sky and started a prayer to “GOD” or Buddha or Allah or the Universe or whatever you call it, and ask questions? Have you ever wondered why God made you an artist, gave you all the tools and intellect to do it well, but didn’t supply the needed support to keep you going in a “real world” manner? In other words, have you ever looked up and asked “Why did you make me an artist if nobody cares about the stuff I make?”
Oh, oh, oh……This leads to an entirely new conversation. “Well God, maybe I make crappy art. This is why nobody buys it. Is that right? If so, why did you make me a shitty artist and what should I do to change? What kind of art should I make so it will sell?”
Hmmmmmm, hoooooo, wwwaiting…..do I hear an answer????? Be quiet…shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….I know it is coming…..Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………..I don’t hear anything. Weird.

“Well, Ok. So God. You know my house is filled with too much stuff. I have made art. I have done the work. I always believed you have been right there with me. I thought I was doing quite well. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.”

OK, I will listen now again.

Nothing still.
“I realize you are very busy God. I know I am far down on the priority list as it should be. However, I just wanted to leave a message. Should I wait for the beep?....ahhhhh, Well…… I really don’t see the point. Why should I make more ART if I have all this ART taking up all the space of my house? Really. I am serious. I am trying to be logical. Why should I keep creating all this stuff that nobody wants? God? Why?
Listening again.


Still Silence


Yeah, I am speechless too.


If you feel this way sometimes, just click the pic.
You can join me in my prayer circle. LOL LOL LOL! (In other words, I am not trying to be a downer. I am just posing realistic questions. :-)

Art Blog: Left Brain/Right Brain

I just had such a grand revelation. I watched a TED video featuring Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. She presents the events which occurred when she had a stroke. She speaks about the left and right hemispheres of the brain. She describes the differences of each side of our brain and how we use them. Also, she describes what happened to her when her left hemisphere was rendered dysfunctional.
To hear her tell of this experience is amazing. However, it also helped me realize something about myself. One of the reasons I am so uncomfortable right now is because I am forcing myself to live in my own left brain world. If you watch the video, you will understand better than I can describe. However, I will try to explain the best I can.
Years ago, I took a test for a job which measured which hemisphere of my brain was dominant. Of course, I was at the far end of the right brain scale. I am an artist for goodness sakes! I have always known this. No surprises there. In fact, I have honed and worked diligently to bolster and strengthen my left brain skills because I always felt like I was flailing in my own dream world of right brain nirvana. I needed something to ground me. Left brain functions act as my anchor and prevent me from sinking into insanity. This is why I am such an avid student. I need some kind of order. I need some kind of organization. I need some kind of stability in my life. So I force my left brain to work.
The problem is I am stuck in LEFT brain mode right now. After worrying about the job situation, filling out forms, writing letters, plotting, planning, and trying to make order out of chaos, I have planted myself in a forest of linear, left brain activities. I have lost my way and can’t get out. I think this is the reason I was so happy at the concert a few days ago. Finally, I was back in right brain, “La La Land”, my home town!
I am not suggesting or recommend trying to live in a right brain world all the time. For me, that would be like being on a lifelong LSD trip. We have to live in reality sometimes. However, my artistic la la land is where I want to live for as much time as I can manage. Now all I have to do is find that trail of breadcrumbs leading back to my right hemisphere.

This TED video is fascinating. Let me warn you. It is long compared to most YouTube videos. However, it is worth the time if you are interested in understanding your brain and how it works. Very enlightening!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Art Blog: Depression Cure

Depression can be so insidious. I know because I have lived with it ALL my life. I came out of the womb in a grey haze. It is in my genes. I went the therapy route. I even tried antidepressant medications once. Nothing really worked. So, I just live day to day and dig through my lifelong bag of tricks to keep myself buoyant. I don’t think artists are more prone to depression. I believe this state of mind seems magnified because artists feel everything more intensely.
For any of you who understand what I am talking about and want to know a depression cure (or at least the best temporary medicine), it is to find something you really love doing and do it. Keep doing it. Now I know this is a sticky wicket. When you are depressed you don’t feel like doing anything. I always relate to the Joni Mitchell lyric “nothins any good”. I get that. Yet, you have to find at least one thing that makes you feel happy and surround yourself with it even if you don’t feel like doing that at the moment. You have to remember you will get motivated by doing. If you force yourself to get up and immerse yourself in something that makes you feel good, the feelings of gloom and doom will lift away. I promise.
Case in point: I love going to concerts. I had a ticket to go to the True Colors concert last night. In the afternoon, I dreaded getting ready to go. I was so lethargic. I forced myself because I spent a lot of money on this ticket. Also, I remembered that motivation comes with doing. So I went. OMG! I had such a wonderful time. It was fantastic. Carson Kressley was the host. Rosie O’Donnell did some stand up. B-52’s rocked the house, as did The Clics. Then, there was Cyndi Lauper. I have never been a Cyndi fan. I like her, but I never bought any of her songs. Last night, she was amazing. I love her now. What I love about her is her energy. She reminds me of me in a lot of ways. She is goofy and hyper. She bounced around the stage like an energizer bunny. As I watched her I realized I felt so, so happy. Optimism has returned. Now, I have to savor this feeling.
Watch Cyndi!!! I dare you NOT to smile!


She is right! GIRLS do just want to have FUN! At least I do! Sorry the camera is so shaky. I am only 4'8" tall. I was holding my camera above my head to get the shots. :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Art Blog: Just keep going = DMB

My only hobby is going to concerts. Things aren’t going so swell right now. I am hanging on by a thread emotionally due to all the crap life brings. However, I have my hobby. Tomorrow night, I am going to a concert to see the B-52s and Cyndi Lauper. That should be fun. However, I am holding on tight and waiting until July 9th. On that date, I will be able to experience my concert nirvana. I am going to see Dave Matthews Band.
I am not one to bow to celebrity. I am not even sure how I became a DMB groupie. This band isn’t of my era. I do remember sitting in the car one day and a Dave song came on the radio. I was hooked. I bought all their CDs. I started going to DMB concerts. I have lost count as to how many I have attended. It is quite funny actually. I am the old lady in the crowd. I jump up and down; scream and rant; then give high 5’s to the twenty somethings behind me. It is all good. They laugh and smile. Every time I go to a DMB concert, it is like my heaven. I am so stoked and the music washes me in a bath of ecstasy.
The real draw is BOYD TINSLEY.
He is the guy with the long dreads. He plays electric violin. He never fails to bring me to the point of total insanity as I watch and listen. He is beyond cool. OMG!
So I just have to wait three more weeks. I will be there again. I can’t wait. I am holding on. This date is what is keeping me going right now.


CLICK PIC!
Here is some bootleg video from last year’s concert.
I was there.
I remember it with every cell of my body.
Just keep going Sheree.
In three weeks, you will be there again.
BOYD, I can hear and see you now!

Art Blog: The “Unveiling”

This is such perfect timing! After I spoke of being anti-social yesterday, I woke up to a quilt unveiling video from atree3. You see, atree3 (Margaret Fabrizio) is a wonderful, wonderful woman. She is an artist of many media. She is a vlogger. Also, she just happens to be in her seventies. I have been following her vlog for six months. Recently, she started a series of videos about making a quilt. I am not a fiber artist and I have never made a quilt. Nor do I desire to anything like that. Even though my ”ONLINE: Lost Souls, Lonely Hearts series is fiber related, I approach these forms in a very na├»ve, primitive manner. I am sure fiber artists are horrified when they see my technique! LOL
Atree3 made an entire series of 32 videos about the making of the “Superquilt”. The last video shows her at an art party to celebrate the unveiling of the finished quilt. As I watched the video, I was in love with the way Margaret made the finished artwork an exciting event. Even though just the thought of having a party makes me feel like I am going to hyperventilate, it still think this looks like such fun! (Maybe being social IS a good thing?)
Oh and to all those interested in art marketing: Margaret includes the price of the finished piece in her YouTube video description, as well as mentions the DVDs of all the quilt making videos are available for $10.
You go girl!!!
Check it out!

“Superquilt” Unveiling
by Margaret Fabrizio
Click picture to view her unveiling video on YouTube
(Embedding was disabled)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Art Blog: Anti-Social

This is one of my BIGGEST problems. I tend to be anti-social. This may seem surprising to some. I tend to come off as gregarious and friendly in public. However, I am really shy and tend to be alone most of the time. I have tried and tried to be more out and about. It just hasn’t worked for me. I usually end up hugging a wall or sitting silent while others chat away. The entire time I sit thinking I wish I was at home.
I think this has affected my art life. Recently, I read a post by selftaughtartist titled “Clarity”. In it she speaks of asking for help with contacts and general art leads. She goes on to say that she shouldn't complain about certain things because she hasn’t given it her all. I feel this way a lot. I haven’t tried as hard as I could to make certain things happen.
Thinking about her post, I realized I have a pattern. I have seen it repeat itself year after year after year. When I moved to St. Petersburg, I immediately tried to be a part of the art community. I was so accustomed to living an active art life in Detroit. I entered shows, I went to openings, and I tried to make friends. As time passed, the pattern set in. I would start to retreat for one reason or another. Months later, I would be enthusiastic and try it again. The cycle repeats over and over again. Unfortunately, I haven’t wanted to be involved in the local art scene in recent years. I don’t go out. I don’t investigate openings. I don’t try to make art friends. I just stay here and work in my solitary studio, alone.
I am not sure being social would make a difference. I really don’t. I just know that seems to work for many artists. Maybe I should dive into the Tampa Bay art scene once again. At least, I wouldn’t feel so isolated. Just a thought.


“Lonely”
by Sheree Rensel
This is how I feel most of the time.
Shame on me!
Click photo to see more of my anti-social art! :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Art Blog: New, New, WORK!

FINALLY! I have some new stuff online. It isn’t my ordinary painting and mixed media work. It is a series I started a couple of years ago. It is called:
“ONLINE: Lost Souls, Lonely Hearts”
It is a collection of soft sculptures about people I meet online. The idea started when I would chat with people on message boards. I couldn’t see them, but their personalities started to blossom in my head. I started to make these sculptural figures and then write a “profile” of the individual on an attached “toe tag”. They are pretty funny.
I wanted to make 100 of them. I put fiber hooks on the back so they could be displayed on the wall. After working on them for months and months, I realized I will have to live to be 100 years old for me to make a 100 of these sculptures! Each time I would finish one, I would put it away fast. I didn’t want to see it for a while. Then, I would make another one. One of my summer goals was to get them online and SELL them. Even though they are precious to me, I just have to get over this issue of hoarding my own art. So, they are up online now. I plan to add them to my new Etsy store tomorrow. Check them out and giggle!!





This is one example. Her name is “BOOBALA” .
Look at her and read her tag.
Have you ever met someone like this before?



Click here to see the rest of the collection!
More to come soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Art Blog: Studio MESS!

How I spent my day. Hooray!!

Art Blog: Guest Artist Gig

OK. Today is the last day of my “vacation”. I intentionally have done nothing but sit around and worry, write blog posts, and watch TV for the past week. I allowed myself time to do this because I needed to decompress. Since I can’t afford a week on the French Riviera, I had my vacation here at the “Wizzlewolf Estate”. LOL LOL
Today I go back to work. I have to clean my studio and start painting! I will allow myself to worry about the job situation in little pockets of time in the next few weeks. One thing for sure is I have to get out and visit the world. I love being alone, but I can get super spooky after not speaking to another human being for days on end. Last night when I was photographing those flowers, some people were walking by my house and said something to me. I was so freaked out, I literally ran back into the house.
One thing I did accomplish this week was to go check out a part time job. I saw an announcement for a local arts agency that needs “guest artists”.
Creative Clay is a fantastic organization here in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is an art center for individuals with developmental disabilities. I am familiar with their work because back around 1995, I volunteered to work with them to satisfy some community service hours needed for a class I was taking at USF. Since then, I have known artists who have worked with the clients and they seemed to enjoy it. I could never fit it into my schedule due to working full time, raising my daughter, and working as an artist. I figured now would be a great time to work there. I have more time and it would expand my horizons.
I went to the Guest Artist orientation. The facility is wonderful. The clients are so talented and fun. The directors gave us the application materials while describing the job expectations. Guest artists are expected to work about 4 hours per week, but you wouldn’t be doing art during all those hours. Artists are expected to leave the center and take the clients on field trips around the community. Also, all guest artists were required to take medical training (i.e. CPR, First Aid, etc.). NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. I don’t do either of those things. I hate driving and I don’t even put band aids on other people. I am not a nurse. That is creepy to me. So I decided not to jump into that job because I cannot fulfill their expectations. I was disappointed. Oh well.

Click here to check out Creative Clay. It is a great non-profit organization. They do really great work there!!! If you have some spare change or time to give, look them up!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Art Blog: WEIRD Nature

No matter how long I live in Florida, the nature always amazes me. Years ago, I was visiting a friend and she mentioned it was the night her cactus would bloom. Not being a horticulturist or even a gardener, I said “HUH?” She showed me this cactus growing up her tree in the front yard. Sure enough there were these bizarre, fuzzy things hanging all over it. She told me they bloom only one night a year. How weird. When I bought my house, she gave me four little pieces of her cactus. I planted them next to my oak tree in my front yard. In five years, that cactus has grown up the tree at least twenty-five feet in the air. It didn’t start blooming until last year. However, I missed it!! I noticed it had bloomed the day after when I saw the dead, drooping blossoms.
Well, this year I was prepared and tonight I saw it in action!! Today I noticed all the hairy buds. I got my camera ready. I went out there almost on the hour. It is unbelievable how these flowers bloom so fast and in total darkness. The flowers are huge.
LOOK!!!


The buds are wooly, phallic forms. Each bud is between 6 and 8 inches long. The blooms are over 12 inches wide! These two pics were taken at 6:00 PM

7:00 PM


10:00 PM

11:00 PM

12:00 AM
I put a soda can next to it so you can see the scale of these beauties!
Tomorrow morning they will be all gone.


P.S. Thanks to STEVE, I know (now) this plant is called "Night Blooming Cirrus". Thanks Steve!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Art Blog: Psychology of WHY

This blog is really for me. It provides me an outlet to speak and saves money on SHRINK bills. It is icing on the cake that others read and respond. Although, it would be just fine if it laid silent. I hear my own Yak-Yak-Yak. I am one of my own readers. It might take a day or two, but I log on and read all this drival. It is a way to make my thoughts concrete and visible. Even though I am a visual artist, I am a very wordy girl too. I was always encouraged to be a writer in high school. My English teachers gave a nod to my art, but thought writing would be a more practical occupation. Obviously, I didn’t listen to them either.
This little mini makeover is turning out to be so interesting for me. I was thinking about my “personal responsibility” post and started to put 2 + 2 together. I wondered why I have stayed at my job at the crazy school for so long. Besides doing what we WANT like I mentioned in my last post, we also do what we NEED. Of course, I needed a job. Of course, I liked the perks. However, I also wanted to fulfill my psychological needs through this kind of work. I see it as unfinished business. I grew up in a chaotic situation. As soon as I began working with emotionally disturbed kids (who I absolutely adore), I had this understanding of some of their quirks and idiosyncrasies. Also working in an unpredictable, loud, emotionally charged environment has been a comfort zone all my life (until now).
For the past 50 years, I would live out the pandemonium, then run to my bedroom (or some room) and hide. I would paint or make stuff or play TEACHER (by myself) to drown out the crazymakers. For the past 15 years, I have done exactly what I did as a kid. I set myself up in situation matching my childhood memories and then I would run home, hide, and make my art. This house is like a big, grown up hiding place.
FINALLY, I have had a monumental revelation. This is BIG. I don’t need to do this anymore. When I started teaching at this special ed school, I was depressed and felt the commonality. I am not like that anymore. I am over it. I don’t hold my childhood memories close to my breast or have the desire to relive the trauma. Oh my goodness. I realized I have perpetuated this for too many decades. It is done now. It is over. I don’t need trauma and chaos anymore. That is a huge thing for me to realize. I am actually a happy person and want to work in a happy environment. Geeeeeeesh. For me, that idea is HUGE. Do you know how much money I would have to pay therapists to realize this???? LOL LOL LOL


Click Pic to Enlarge
“Stepfather”
Acrylic/Copper on wood
Sheree Rensel, ARTIST

Click here to enlarge and read ”Stepfather” text
I have created very few art works that relate directly to my childhood.
It is a long story. All I can say is there are still people living.
I have always wanted it to stay a secret.
This is one of the few pieces I have created relating to a childhood thought.
No, I didn’t want him dead.
It was just all too normal for things to be this weird.
That’s all.

Art Blog: Personal Responsibility

WE DO WHAT WE WANT TO DO!
This was the subject of a recent atree3 YouTube video response to a comment I left for her on another video. My comment whined about wanting another job and trying to survive as an artist, etc. etc. She responded with a video telling people we do what we WANT in our lives. In other words, if you are feeling discomfort, why do you keep doing what you are doing? It is like pounding yourself in the head hoping to get a different reaction. NOPE. It hurts every time. The life lesson is you have to stop bopping yourself in the head and then the pain stops!!! DUH!!
In her video to me, she mentioned thinking of things differently. She said that we are responsible for our situations and how our lives are run. She told me to realize what this job has given me. She said to think how teaching has affected my art. I do. I do. I do. I do realize it all. The ironic part of this series of YouTube correspondence is during my “defining moment” mentioned a few posts ago; I actually said those exact words. I turned to a colleague at work and said
“I don’t WANT to do this anymore!”

I made this thank you video for atree3. It is cathartic to hear myself say the things that are bopping me in the head. I am ready to put the hammer down. Ooooo, that feels good!! LOL


This is my response video to atree3
She reminded me of what I already know and have always embraced.
I just needed a little kick in the head to jog my brain cells.
Oh yeah, now I remember ME.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Art Blog: Artist SPIRIT

Shockingly, I actually feel really confident right now. All of sudden I realized I have the start of a “PLAN”. It happened kind of unexpectedly. I did a little more research on the geographic area I planned to move and it didn’t appeal to me at all. Nope. I am not going there. Also, I know for sure I don’t want to sell this house. I felt a bit panicked about school starting in August. That deadline is feeding my anxiety. Soooooooooo, I decided to start purging some of the stuff around here to make room for my school equipment. At the end of July, I want to pick up my school stuff and store it here at home. If I can’t find a local job by August, I will go back to teaching until I do find another kind of job OR the time rolls around to be able to transfer to another school. Hey!! That sounds like a plan!!! Just being able to make any kind of decision is a relief!
I have started my summer reading. I have a stack of books waiting for me. I picked up the first one and just flipped it open. Here is the first thing I read:


Geesh….That is so weird that I read this passage first thing. Bizarre. I love it when stuff like this happens. The book is titled “The Mission of Art” by Alex Grey.

The author is a phenomenal artist. I have always loved and envied his work. Also, the philosophy behind his art is akin to my own in many ways. I can’t wait to start reading this book. However, I know it will be one of those books in which I will read a page and then have to think about the passages for a while.
With another quick flip through the book, I quickly read the Afterword. Grey’s six year old daughter wrote and illustrated an artist’s mission statement of sorts. I loved this coupling of youthful words of wisdom.


PERFECT!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Art Blog: Addendum

No picnic today.

Art Blog: Chillin’

Yes. Today I am just “chillin” or at least trying to. I am sitting out in “Wizzlewolf Park”. (My backyard) I am trying not to think of the job thing. It isn’t working very well, but it is the thought that counts. I went to the store and bought groceries for a picnic. I am going to make a cheeseburger and corn on the cob for dinner. I haven’t done anything like that for a long time.
A dear friend came over yesterday to help me with yard work. He knows my current job situation well. He works there too. However, he doesn’t have to be with the kids all day. He understands what I am going through and he understands why I am so frazzled. He gave me some great advice. He told me to take a few weeks off to relax, recuperate, and then, start to plan. I love his advice. I think he is correct. It is just hard for me to relax when I know things need to get done.
I do have some art projects to do. Remember ART? I have until the end of this month to meet those deadlines.
So today I am going to be as happy as I can be and think of the great things in my life. “Wizzlewolf Park” is one of them. I must be Xeriscaping without knowing it. I NEVER water or fertilize anything. I figure if it grows with no help from me it can be in my yard. I have always been frugal. I don’t like spending loads of money on landscaping and then have it die off because I didn’t spend more money trying to make it survive. Well, this is what has happened. I have a little Florida jungle living without any help from me. Cool!






Do you ever get so accustomed to your surroundings you don’t SEE it anymore?

Boy, oh boy, I am guilty of this!
It is time to stop and take inventory of where I am at and where I want to go. Being so hyperactive and neurotic makes it difficult for me to do this. However, I am forcing myself to just be still and make the right decisions. Gee, does anybody have some rope so I can tie myself down so I can just be still for a few moments? In the meantime, I did notice my backyard ANGEL. I love her. She has been there for me for the past seven years. I believe in her. I went out and patted her head. I asked her to help me through this.
I think she smiled (?)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Art Blog: HOLD YOUR HORSES!

I read somewhere the idiom “Hold your horses” comes from the days of the circus coming to town. As they began to unload the elephants, someone would yell “HOLD YOUR HORSES!!” to all those onlookers who watched sitting in their saddles. Sounds plausible to me. I heard that warning in my head yesterday as I started cleaning my house. Things are happening too fast and I feel anxious. Trying to figure all this out will take time and even as I toil away trying to make my environment more orderly, my mind is working too. It is trying to make order out of what should happen next.
My moods change from hour to hour. One minute, I am hopeful and enthusiastic. An hour later, I am thinking about going to the store, getting enough alcohol to put me in a coma, and calling it a life. Of course, I didn’t do that because I realize right now I need to be as clear headed as ever so I can figure out what my plan of action should be.
My last post asked “What will make me a happy artist?” As I washed dishes and did laundry, I started making a mental list. What makes me happy now? One thing that makes me joyful is my little house. I love this little bungalow. It is the first home I have ever owned and it feels like MINE. Also, I love St. Petersburg. No, it is not an art mecca by a long shot, but it is so nice here. OK, that is two points for happiness. It is my job I hate.
After working all day on my house, I started to settle down and watch some evening TV. No sooner did I get comfortable and a bolt of lightning hit something in the neighborhood. The whole street turned dark. I got my little battery operated radio out and listened to oldies. As I waited and waited for the lights to turn back on, I had to time to really stop and think. It occurred to me that I have always had the knack of making money. I have always been able to get a job. I have had hundreds of NON-teaching jobs and paid my bills with the proceeds. So, I need time to think about this more. Maybe I could stay here and do something like work at a hardware store or something. To use another idiom, I want to think this through thoroughly because I don’t want to
“throw the baby out with the bath water!”


I want to leave my job.
I don’t want to leave the good parts of my life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Art Blog: So NOW what?

Today was the last day of my “day job”. I don’t have to report back to duty until August whatever. I have a good eight weeks to find a new life or at least, keep the wheels moving. It was so strange today. I was alone in my school art room and I was packing up MY stuff and THEIR stuff. I wanted to make sure I got most of my own possessions separated and put in special spot because I am coming for it. (I HOPE!) I don’t even like saying it that way. It implies I might be back there to work. I know, I know….eight weeks isn’t a long time to get a new life going. There is a possibility I might have to go back. I don’t even want to think of that right now. I am staying positive and just moving on thought-wise. When I arrived home from work, I could feel the stress lift off me only to be replaced by the question “Now WHAT?”
My “To Do” list is ever growing. It is so ironic I had planned on being immersed in a painting frenzy this summer. I wanted to work in my studio EVERY DAY! As I left school, even the janitor who doesn't know what is going on in my life said to me "Have a great summer! Don't paint TOO MUCH!!". I laughed and smiled as I walked away. Oddly enough, the first week of my “list” doesn’t include art at all. This is so horrible. Also, I am sure many of you artists will relate. Life happens. I have to prep stuff for job interviews. Try to find (dust off) some outfit to wear that are “interview worthy”. (This should be interesting since I haven’t applied for a job in umpteen years!) I have to try to make sense of my house and studio which looks like the county dump site due to bringing home so much crap from my job and the list goes on………….
I must say, writing a blog does help. I want to find my true self again. Time and comfort zones have made me far too complacent. Yesterday’s post helped me to start thinking outside of the box. It started to give me my courage back. I am finally letting all kinds of possibilities enter my mind. Now, all I have to do is figure out what I truly want. I know the quick answer: “I want to be a happy artist!” So, I guess the real question is “What will it take to make that happen Shereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee???”"
Click for larger view

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Art Blog: Hello SHEREE!

OK. No matter how old or young you are, no matter what kind of artist you are, or no matter what your situation is right now, get out your paper and pencil. Take notes. I want you to record how I am either going to screw up ROYAL or triumph beyond odds.
Oh don’t worry. I haven’t burnt my house down or filled my backpack and started walking yet. I am still applying to teaching jobs all over the place. I must admit, the jobs I have been applying for are SAFE. That means, I can continue my (kind of) middle class life, have benefits, and a little retirement fund while living somewhere in Podunkville. Oh that is really gutsy, right?
I am a ballsy woman. I have always been like this. I have always done what I want to do when I wanted to do it. It never mattered if someone said “You can’t!”; I did it anyway. Luckily for me, it has always worked out. This is how I got to this little spot on the ground. I am doing OK. However, I am so unhappy right now. I gotta make waves.
While looking for teaching jobs last night, I saw one for Brooklyn. I sat and gazed at the computer screen. I thought WOW. Then, I began to make excuses. I can’t move there. I would lose my retirement and my tenure. It is too scary up there. OH MY GOODNESS, the excuses were flying! Yet the bottom line is I always wanted to live in NY. I just never took that step. As I read the screen and thought “Maybe in another life…” I realized SHEREE wasn’t speaking. Sheree would have said “Go for it!” Somehow Sheree has turned into this timid, little woman afraid to do what she wants to do. Sense and stability are too prominent in her thoughts right now. Then, I saw a vision. Oh, Sheree didn’t appear full force. Nope! I just saw Sheree peeking out from a fleece blanket. I saw her eye looking at me. I heard her voice. Quietly and calmly, I heard the words “Why not?”
Hello Sheree! I heard you. I am not saying I am starting to pack my bags right now. I am not even saying I am going to move out of state. I am saying, I want to be the brave Sheree again! The moral of this story is never limit your possibilities. I don’t want to hold myself back. I want to allow all my ideas to flourish, not just the safe, predictable ones. I want be a little ballsy again. Hey, that could happen!






There are few of my art works that I will never sell. This is one.
”New Start” is like my logo. It is hung center stage in my living room.
I look at it every day. It reminds me that each day is new and fresh.
I can work with that.
In fact, I have to go look at it again right now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Art Blog: Just Keep MOVING

Oh My Goodness!!! Now bear with me here. I know. I know. I am yapping on like a blithering idiot! I can’t help it. I am human. I am going through changes. I need to express what I am feeling and what I am going to do about it.
As you know, the job change process is in motion. It occurred to me today: THIS IS HAPPENING! I had a couple of opportunities to speak with prospective employers today. This is what made me realize all these desires CAN come to fruition. They really can.
I am feeling so much stress and anxiety. CHANGE is a really weird thing. I am so distressed right now. What will happen?? What will I be doing next year?? Who knows.
Today, I spoke with a friend about seeking a new life. I told them of my anxiety. They listened like good friends do. A few days ago I saw a post calling for artists to become “guest artists” who wanted to work via art with mentally handicapped adults. Even though this is really not my area of expertise, I sent an email of interest. I guess this response is a tribute to my Uncle Bobby. (See the video link below) This is something new and will keep me moving until the change transforms. Really, I don’t know what else to do. I just want to keep moving. I want new experiences. I want to keep busy.
All this will help me make the transition. Transition to what? I don’t know. I have no clue. I am asking the Universe to give me a sign. I am looking up right now. As I gaze toward the sky, I don’t see anything yet.
Maybe soon?


This is a tribute to my Uncle Bobby.
I didn’t get into the Special Education biz by accident.
I have a family history of all kinds of maladies.
I chose to work with individuals with emotional disorders.
This is very different from working with mentally handicapped students.
My students think just fine and are capable of having an average I.Q.
It is their emotions that are out of control.
They need to learn how to cope and control their emotions.
I can teach that well.
However, my roots belong to my Uncle Bobby who had Downs Syndrome.
Surely having him in my life played a role in my interest in working with disabled individuals.
Life works in strange ways.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Art Blog: Studio Issue

I feel like I am at the mall trying on new clothes. The difference is I am trying on a new LIFE. When you look for a new job and new life, you have to research all the possibilities. Now that I have gotten my feet wet and started submitting applications, I research bunches of things. This is a “just in case” action. It is the Girl Scout in me telling me to “be prepared”. Before and after making contact with new job situations, I read information about the place at which I might work; I look at the geographic area; and I read the Chamber of Commerce page. Also, I research housing costs.
It is kind of sad in a way. I have always made art. It didn’t matter if I had to make it in a closet, basement, or kitchen table, or wherever, I still made art. Years ago, I rented a studio in the downtown area of St. Petersburg. I felt I MADE IT. However, I bought this house a couple of years later. When I looked at this house, it was like a dream come true. There is an addition that I quickly turned into a nice, functional, working art studio. It even has its own entry door. It is like a little, stand alone studio. I have loved this so much. The problem is an entire house is just too much for me to handle. If I were just a teacher, I think I could manage it. However, to work all day, come home to make art AND take care of a house….it is just too much for me. I can’t stand wanting to paint while peering out the window at my yard, plumbing, deck, roof, and general repairs which need attention. I need to downsize. I want to get a condo or townhouse. This way, someone else can deal with outside maintenance. This sounds good to me. Also I will have the amenities I had similar to those when I rented. I want a POOL!!
As I look at the possibilities, I realize my studio is fizzling away with each thought. However, if I can get a new mortgage for a little less than I pay now, I can go back to renting a studio away from home. This is an apples and oranges issue. I love having my studio at home because it is convenient. However, I tend to be a hermit and very agoraphobic. Having my studio at home exacerbates these conditions. If I rent a studio in a place with other artists, this might be a good thing for me.
Thinking out loud here.
Every minute now is full of wonder. What is going to happen? Seriously. I would love to know what will be happening six months from now.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Art Blog: Defining Moments

It is really happening. I have finished two applications. I have sent the stuff, done my online application thingys, and asked (begged) people for references. I am on a roll now.
I am still feeling very confused and disoriented. Leaving a comfort zone is not easy. However, I am not going to let these moments of anxiety lead me astray. My new mantra is “It will be OK Sheree; it will be OK.” In fact, I am determined to stay the course. I need to move on. I will move on.
Thoughts are racing. I am trying to deal with this in a controlled manner. I am reliving my past to see my future. This is when I thought about “defining moments”. When I lived in Detroit, I thought about moving away. I kicked the dirt and thought about it for years. Getting laid off from my college teaching jobs put the fire under my butt. I was destitute and working as a waitress at Casa Lupita Mexican Restaurant. Holy Crap. I had an M.F.A. and I was serving tacos to business men. The horror!
I had a defining moment that came in the form of a near tragic auto accident. I was in my brand new truck. I was on I-94. I hit an ice patch and started to spin. I watched the steering wheel spin back and forth and back and forth. As I held my hands up in the air knowing I was helpless, I made a promise. As my truck spun around the expressway, I vowed “If I get out of this alive, I am moving to Florida!” A moment after this thought, I hit a snow bank. No damage. Still alive. Started to plan the move.
This time is different, but just as effective. This week I was walking down the hall of my school and redirected a high school student (politely). He got up in my face so close I could feel the spit. I will always remember the fire in his eyes as he said:
“You p*ssy *ss who*e f*ckin white cracker b*tch get out a my face! You p*ssy *ss who*e f*ckin white cracker b*tch get out a my face! Who do you think you are? You p*ssy *ss who*e f*ckin white cracker b*tch get out a my face!” “F*ck you! F*ck you!” over and over again.
I was totally shocked he didn’t hit me. (If any of you are offended, I apologize. However, this is the kind of thing I have had to listen to EVERY DAY for the past 15 years. Yes, some kids do talk this way.) This vicious banter continued the length of the hallway. As I listened to his tirade and looked at his evil expression, I thought “I don’t want to do this anymore.” The End


Sometimes it takes just one moment that gives
you the courage to change your life.
Have you ever had a defining moment?
I have.
I am SPINNING again.