Idea: Business Proposal for “Color Yourself Happy”

This is seriously the kind of business I would quit my private practice to own while continuing to be an “artist in residence” at my own bar! Why not dream big to spread a little color and glitter to this sometimes grey world!

What: Color Yourself Happy will be a kind of “bar” atmosphere where people over 18 come and can purchase coloring pages and pens/pencils and materials of their choice to sit at the bar or in the lounge area and color.  It will have a cozy feel to it with tables, booths and a bar with stools. Non alcoholic beverages and limited healthy snacks available for it to feel more like a “social” creative atmosphere. You have the option of bringing in your own materials, but there is a fee for spending time in this very creative comfortable atmosphere. Doodling and large communal coloring murals also an option. There’s a coloring menu!

Why: A lot of adults like to color in beautiful mandalas and other types of designs, such as in the very popular “Secret Garden” coloring book, by Johanna Basford, sold over a million copies. 

Many people who choose to fill themselves with drugs, food, alcohol, sex, unhealthy relationships, etc. could come here to do something that is soothing and feels good but feels better for your health. We fill the empty hole with extremes, sometimes even exercise. Now when you’re lonely about to go buy a bottle of wine or whatever filler, you pass by the coloring bar and can go in there and spend an hour or more coloring and even meet other people. Depressed and isolating yourself? Instead of drinking or doing drugs alone or after or before indulging, come here and sit alone coloring among other people. They will leave you alone if you want, but you get to leave your house and add color to your dark sad daily life.

You can’t overdose on coloring. It’s cheaper than other forms of coping; it’s a healthy habit and it feels like you’re going to a cool neighborhood bar. Drop by after a 12 step meeting to relax. Stop by after work to have some healthy time to yourself. Stop by before or after partying. No judgments about what you do outside of here!

When: when you feel desperate, when you feel fine and want to have fun, when you’ve been out and still want to stay out or to get out of your house. The bar opens around 3pm in the afternoons and is open until 3am (maybe?) and more on weekends. Weekends will have a 1-5pm children and families allowed time. Rest of the time only adults.

Who: It’s for anyone, unless you’re too drunk or dangerous to come in. Otherwise all who can pay are welcome. Prices range from 10$ up, depending on what you order. Who works there? The owner is me, an art therapist and artist. I will hire artists, art therapists, art students and art therapy students. There will be an option for those who want to go to a private booth, not for a lap dance, but for an informal art therapy session in private with an art therapist or an art therapist in training. Sessions 20 minutes, half hour, or 50 minutes. Range of prices. 

But mostly it’s a coloring bar. There will be some music, perhaps live but always quiet, allowing for people to converse. 

There will also be a private room for parties and celebrations. You can have an adult birthday party, a baby shower; parties have options for bringing your own food and beverages. All art and coloring materials supplied. Parties will have options for other materials like painting and collage.

The bar will also have materials for doodling and making your own art as well as ways to collect your pages and make your own book for a fee if you come often and want to.

I would also have rotating art on the walls by unknow artists and people who work there as well as patrons!

Would you come here this evening? What would make you want to try it out? What would you want to do in here? Would you be alone or with others?

Where: downtown NYC somewhere!

Serially Lost: How many beautiful pens by Retro 51 will I lose?

  Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk
Limited Batch 2003
Full-Time Flavor 2004-2012

“From the moment that this oatmeal went
There’s been no end to fans’ lament.
If you’d “sowed more oats” before the reap
We wouldn’t have buried it quite so deep.”

This is all in the context of my misplacing things a lot, and, it seems to be very particular things. The Retro 51 pens are the most crazy. I discovered this pen many years ago when another pen enthusiastmily in my fa gave me a couple of them on different occasions. At some point, I got excited about them. At that point I had an old red marbleized one, a cork pen and matching cork pencil, and a very pretty bubblegum pink one. Then I found a leopard print one and started to get obsessed with these pens. the design is simple, retro and beautiful, and they keep coming up with cool patterns and textures for them. The first one I lost was the bubblegum pink one. I got that one when my gifted gave me a shiny red one. I didn’t like the red color and already had a red one, so I went to the Fountain Pen Hospital, cool pen store down the street from me and exchanged it for this great pink one. I remember losing that one mostly because I remember frantically looking on the internet for a replacement one as I loved the color so much, and it had become my favorite pen. I snagged one probably on Ebay and payed around 28$ to replace it. I had my head on with that one, as I at some point decided to leave it in my studio and use it there. It is in my studio and with the leopard print one it stays there, the only place these pens are safe from being lost.

I now cannot find a photo of it, but here is a photo of the cork ones, which I never lost, mostly because I forgot about it for a few years and only recently got it out with it’s pencil partner when looking for several other ones in a frantic attempt to find a few of them: This pen now resides in my studio, and the pencil is precariously traveling with me in my bag, in great danger of getting lost! This is an old set, and they are of course out of stock, so I luckily have a rare set that I have yet to lose

http://www.monstermarketplace.com/pens-and-leather-executive-gifts/retro-1951-tornado-deluxe-vino-pen-and-pencil-set

Coninuint my saga of my growing relationship with Retro 51 pens, a few years ago, I found a really cool Limited Edition “Bloom” pen, which I gave as a gift to my Retro 51 family member; I liked it so much, I ordered one for myself. I think I lost that one twice; I have memories of frantic searches and snagging a replacement, but get this: I lost the replacement one. I can’t even remember when or how I lost it, but I was so annoyed with myself; I had to give up. By then I had expert skills at trolling the internet and knew all the pen stores and pen blog sites,so I gave up. Recently I found the Retro 51 blog and commented on a post. The guy from the company actually gave me a phone number to call, so I called them, still a year or so later desperate to find this beautiful red pen with flowers on it. A person from the company actually called me back and did a search for me to no avail. I then confess that about two weeks ago, I texted the family member I gave it to and described it, asking her if she wanted to trade it for a different one. Rightly so, she said she likes it and wants to keep it. I’m the fool who gave it to her and then gave myself two copies of it! Here’s a photo of this pen that feels like The Pen in my life; the one that got away…
There are only 500 of these that exist, so I am very jealous of the 498 ones out there and the two that I lost:

Continuing my ridiculous saga of this pen obsession, which you can understand more when you look at their website: this company has something cool going on with their retro look. Limited Editions have become a big thing in the past few years. I’ve actually gotten obsessed with the concept of the “limited” edition. Ben and Jerry has Limited Edition Ice cream flavors. I still remember one of them that I got obsessive about finding and figuring out which places still carried that flavor. Ben and Jeryy actually have a “graveyard” filled with their Limited Edition flavors, what a great idea to have a “graveyard” for objects that are purposefully “ended”, as a way to torture the consumer and make the obsessive collector happy they have something special! This week Target had a crazy crash on their website due to the new designer they are collaborating with,; it was similar to the 2011 fall Missoni for Target, which was very limited. I confess to loving Missoni, and I scored on that one as I was very crazy, went online the moment it came out, and even as late as a year ago, found a pair of gloves from them under the 20$ or so they charged just by looking on Ebay. I was happyy to read about this craze from a distance, and to not have had any interest in running to Target or their website for this round of Crazy Designer Collaboration. Here’s the Ben and Jerry graveyard: the little poem at the top is about the flavor I obsessed about for a few years of its existence! They not only have the graveyard with tombstones of ice cream flavors, they have a separate link to the most missed flavors. They have a great flair for feeling the enjoyment of the Limited Edition: There is something almost sexual about this whole idea of tasting something, or having something, that then becomes extinct and gets taken away, that only a select few get to keep!
http://www.benjerry.com/flavors/flavor-graveyard

Retro 51 have a series of Limited Edition pens. Since the “Bloom” pen incident, I have bought a few more of these pens, mostly in the past six months or so. The next one I remember getting was the Pinball one, called a “Popper” pen, this one is “Flipper”. I think the Popper series is one of Limited Editions. So this one is still hanging out on Amazon and in other stores. There are 750 of them, of which I have now bought two.

I got this one a while ago, very excited as Pinball itself is a very vintage retro game that I loved playing in college. I manage to keep this one for a while, during which I discovered another “Popper” called “Splat” Snapper. It immediately seduced me as it is a comic book graphics design. There are 750 of them out there. I resisted buying one, as I felt guilty about my recent purchase of the Flipper, so I decided to ask one of my relatives to give it to me for a holiday present, which ended up being a late birthday present that i just recently scored. This cool pen which you actually push down to open instead of rotating the top, I have managed to take with me on my spring vacation and kept in two different bags without losing it. Since losing the Flipper one right after my vacation, I put this one in my studio. IT’s there right now, and I think I need to leave it there until I learn how to hold on to these pend hns.

These limited edition pens are their Pop series and have a history which they explain on their blog, if you’re actually crazy like me to want to know about this idea of torturing people with a 500 or so limit!
http://retro51blog.com/2012/01/31/the-tornado-pop-series/
Right before getting the Splat gift pen I had suddenly realized I lost another pen recently purchased. This one is from another Retro 51 collection named “Vintage Metalsmith”. I bought the “Roosevelt” when I was obsession about trying to get the Bloom Popper and failing; it was meant as kind of a replacement pen, some device I invented to feel less guilty about spending so much time and money on these pens and losing them constantly. I’m not sure how long I had the Roosevelt, as I actually lost it but did not even notice I lost it until a while later by which time I had no ideaa where it was. I had taken it on my week off in December I think but it disappeared at some point. Meanwhile I found out about the “monochromatic” ones. As an artist, this appealed to me that the pen is dipped in color and the whole thing is that color. OF course I got the bubblegum pink one:
http://www.retro51.com/fwi_tor_vintage.html
By the time I had my spring break upstate a few weeks ago, I had spent a frystrating time looking for the Roosevelt and the flower one and getting those last two. So I brought a bunch of pens and art supplies on my trip, including the Pow, the Flipper and the monochromatic pink one, as well as my newly dug up cork pencil; I knew I was tempting the Fates. Could I hold on to that many Retro 51s and carefully use them?

The answer was no. I got home and as usual, had “forgotten” about “checking” that I had them all until some time last week when I realized I had lost my Flipper pinball pen. I was so enraged at myself that I shared my loss with a patient who has a lot of so-called “anger management” issues; the share was about me being annoyed at myself and super frustrated and feeling angry right before seeing this patient, who I’m sure was amused to see me so pissed off because he commented on it.

I then in secret proceeded to find one of the 750 online that I think cost a few dollars less than the first one I got. I received it in the mail this monday at my studio and it has not left my studio.

I am happyy to report that i have refrained from getting the following other Retro 51 pens that tempt me. The bamboo one: that was hard; I almost bought one but managed to stop myself!
http://www.retro51.com/fwi_tor_bamboo.html
The “stealth which is kind of monochromatic black one:
http://www.retro51.com/fwi_tor_deluxe.html

And I now almost lost this whole post, which I better save or I will go nuts!

writing this post caused me to really look at their whole website, and I discovered just now that they have started making tiny little pens, so cute. I will not buy one. I will not buy one. I will not buy one. I will just check how much they cost…
http://www.retro51.com/fwi_tor_elitebpandpc.html

Worst of all, going to the blog post on their website about the Limited Edition Popper series, I saw the very first ones, so pretty and floral, and now I’m thinking, where the heck could you find one of those?

Luckily the pen industry seems to have no graveyard, no place to get second hand pens. Ebay sells Retro 51 pens, but only the ones that are recently out. No pen collector seems to want to part with their old Retro 51s.

So anyway, now I am trying to hold on to the lovely pens I have, the pink, the leopard print, the cork pair, the old red one I left in my house, and the special Flipper and Splat. I am attempting to keep the monochromatic pink one in my bag with the cork pencil. Who knows how long I can hold on to them, but I like to draw and write in my just found journal with these writing implements, so I will carry only one or two on me, and keep the rest safe. I will attempt to avoid purchasing any more for at least six months. Let’s see if that lasts…

Blogging 101 Assignment: Lost and Found in Neverland…

I haven’t been doing the assignments this week, as I was busy and not very inspired to follow any of the assignments until Today’s Prompt: write about finding something, in a series of posts like last week’s posts about losing something. I used poetry in three posts about losing things, serious loss like death, losing everyday objects, and silly or funny poems about loss.

So, I got excited about this idea of writing about finding things; really I was thinking about losing and finding things, how I misplace things all the time, I kind of “hide” things from myself, very unconscious. Most obvious is how I “hid” most of the recent pages of my graphic novel in progress from myself. I remember putting it in a box thinking, I need it to be in a safe place where it won’t get ruined. Then the box went somewhere, and one day, I was in the mood to look at it and work more on it, and I couldn’t find it anywhere.
Or, I could write about my Retro 51 pen loss problem. The are my favorite pens and I have lost a lot of them, replaced some on Ebay or other sites; it becomes an obsession.

Then I remembered losing my Hello Kitty hat and what that was all about and I got excited to try writing a kind of prose poem, as the one poem I didn’t write while in the Poetry Blog class was the prose poem. I wanted to write it in my journal first, and this afternoon I had a little time and started writing that poem in my current journal. That was the inspiration for the idea of a “lost and found” in “Neverland”, which I won’t explain right now, because almost too uncanny, the perfectly ridiculous thing happened today.

I lost the very journal that I was writing this post in! Life could not be more ridiculous!

I had to hurry from my studio to do something this very afternoon, and it must have dropout out of my bag on the way out of my building. I did not realize I had lost it until several hours later when I remembered I had written in my journal and looked around in my bag for it. (This is the current journal of the journals that I do end of the month photo posts on this blog.) Oh shit, I thought. I either lost this journal or left it in the studio. A minute later, really maybe half a minute, I heard a text. It was from a number that had called me twice and left no message. These days if I see a number I don’t recognize, I don’t answer the phone in case it’s companies calling or some kind of scam or whatever. So I looked at my phone and it was from a guy who had found my journal! Turns out it must have fallen out right on my block on Franklin Street, as he was from the art place about two doors west from me on my block. The other weird thing was that it was only a few days ago that I was looking in the journal and wrote my name and phone number in it. How much synchronicity, for once I only spend half a minute getting anxious about misplacing/losing yet another lost object and it almost magically gets found.

So I knew I had a post to write on this as it was just too ironic.

Next post will be about an actual series of losses of this kind of pen I’ve gotten obsessed with, Retro 51. The issue with these Retro 51 Pens as this has plagued me for a long time and raises the basic question, how do I manage to keep losing my favorite pens? why do I not learn? this is indeed serial losing, obsessing and frantically trying to replace something I guess I am “collecting”. It’s definitely pathological and makes me feel crazy, so a whole post can be devoted to it. What kind of person repeatedly loses the same kind of object, something special and important and loved, used to make art even? What is it that I cannot learn from my past mistakes?

The third post will happen after I get my journal back tomorrow morning and find the poem I started writing about the loss of the Hello Kitty hat! Part of the assignment involves how you connect the posts, and the weirdness of losing the journal with the poem about losing the hat gave me the connection out of the clear b

Random Acts of Art Adventure Wraps Up International Tour!

Natasha Shapiro, ATR-BC, LCAT:

Such a cool idea!!!

Originally posted on 6 Degrees of Creativity:

Greetings from 6 Degrees of Creativity’s Random Acts of Art Adventure!

After an awesome 10 month tour of 13 stops overseas to the UK, Italy, India, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand the project is on its way back to the US for its final 15 stops in the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, Southwest, and back to the Midwest before returning to 6 Degrees of Creativity Headquarters!

Random Acts of Art Adventure Wraps Up International Tour! | 6 Degrees of Creativity

Random Acts of Art Adventure Wraps Up International Tour! | 6 Degrees of CreativityThe project’s canvas pouch packed with creative goodness just visited New Zealand for stops 45 and 46:

Random Acts of Art Adventure: New Zealand | 6 Degrees of Creativity Stop #45 with Janet

And today, the adventure makes the 7,000 mile journey to Seattle, Washington:

Random Acts of Art Adventure | 6 Degrees of CreativityHooray!  Thank you to everyone who participated in this very special part of the project: Janette, Louise, Bernadette, Lizzie, Michela, Tia, Karen, Shana, Fiona, Sarah, Kiley, Janet, and Catherine.  Together the project survived address changes, Visa delays, month long postal delivery times, and more to keep this adventure going!

To catch…

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Newspaper Reporting Once Again Ranks Below Pest Control as “Worst Job”: Links You Need to See

Natasha Shapiro, ATR-BC, LCAT:

This says it all pretty well. There’s still hope that there’s some kindness left over in the universe after all this cruelty and typically short sided doesn’t make sense behavior of the human species…

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

Today is many things. It’s both #TaxDay and the day in history that the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic. It’s the day when CareerCast’s new rankings are making the rounds, and “newspaper reporter” yet again edges out everyone else for first place on the Worst Jobs Ever list. No longer revered as the Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins of the world, reporters are now on the down and out, below funeral directors, garbage collectors, and pest control workers. I should have listened to my parents, who advised me that the world will, after all, always need morticians.

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Writing 101 Day 7: Give and Take, A Dialogue

Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.

I just saw a movie about Multiple Personalities, (Frankie and Alice, 2010), so it sort of got me going… Everyone feels kind of crazy dealing with the people inside them now and then…

My Current Problem, Solved by a sort of fight:

Me: I don’t know what I want to do anymore. I like drawing. I like sewing. I can find art made by other people I want to copy, but I can’t seem to find what I want to do. This never happened before.

Art: Fuck you. You’re a fucking artist. Stop making lame excuses. It’s not about words. It’s about doing it. Remember what DeCredico said, “Drawing is making marks on paper.”

Me: I can’t find something. I usually find some kind of world that I control. It first finds me, then it tells me what I can use and what the limits are, the conditions, but it’s not a cage; usually it frees me to follow it, and it makes sense without any explanations. There’s a direction to go in, particular materials to use, sometimes very few, just black pen and paper, other times, lots of different materials that get put together. It’s like finding a recipe, but you don’t have to follow it exactly. You can’t mess it up or burn it because it’s not food.”

Art: that sounds like a bunch of bullshit. You just pick up whatever is nearby and handy and do something. It’s actions, not reactions. You’re not in control. What kidn of hypocrite you are. You help people make messes but you fight your own mess. You tell people to be nice to themselves but you’re kind of an asshole. No wonder she doesn’t know what to do. Let her figure it out.

ME: but who’s her. Who is she? ISn’t she me?

Art: she’s the you that you’re trapping up and locking up. Stop caging her. You’re the one who’s acting crazy. She just wants to make stuff. She doesn’t care what it is and she likes it because it’s there. You wouldn’t have a baby and then try to put it back! You’re fucked up. Get the fuck out of her way. You’re standing in the way. She needs to get through.

Me: I think I lost something I had all these years. I don’t trust anymore.

Art: Well stop wasting time. You’re going to die just like everyone else. You don’t really know when. Get the hell out of her way. You’re going to strangle her. She can’t breathe. You’re blocking the light. She can’t see. She’ll draw anyway even in the dark. Stop taking stuff from her. Just leave her alone. Shut up. You’re making too much noise. She can’t focus with all your words and noise. And stop choking her. Just shut the fuck up already, asshole! Usually you leave her alone. I don’t know or care why you’re taking up so much space and blocking her light and pushing her under a table. Just go away. She can draw under the table. She can draw in the corner. She just needs you to get out.

Me: Ok. I guess I’m not wanted here. I’m leaving. Goodbye.
Art: Good. Now she’s free to come out. It’s ok. She’s gone. She was crazy and it was smart of you to hide, but I got her out of here. She can’t do anything to you now. There’s nothing to be afraid of. You’re ok. Here’s some stuff. Go ahead. Make anything you want…

Her: Ok. Thank you. I will.

Writing 101 Day Six: A character building experience

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met this year?

Obviously, the true answer would be too personal for this blog, so I’m picking a fictional character, a superhero, the one with the most “character” flaws! I thought after I picked him, of picking a real life female artist discovery, but decided to go with this one anyway, because it’s irreverent. I’m picking the character Ironman, who is also known as Tony Starks. I also didn’t “meet” him this year. I saw the Ironman movies last year and probably maybe the year before or a few years ago. I remember when the first one came out, I had no interest in it, so I didn’t get excited about them til recently. Anyway, I’m writing about Ironman, as I can’t think of anyone else of interest that’s not too personal and I find him fascinating…

(Spoiler alert: lots of talk about these three movies, especially the last, Ironman 3 which is by far the best.) Note: Ironman 3 is just so kickass, it’s the best of the three, which in itself is pretty cool, as I don’t know any other movies where the third one is so great and the best. Despicable Me 2 is better than number 1, but it’s only number 2.

Tony Starks does not go through the “typical” transformation that other superheroes go through. He does not come from another planet like Superman and has no magical powers, beyond what he builds. He can’t fly without his Ironman suit. Unlike many others, even Batman, he wears human regular clothes all the time, even when in his Ironman suit. So he has no cape or spandex outfit like Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Robin, Cat woman, Supergirl, etc.

Unlike the other superheroes who are human, he does not have the typical inner conflict split or outside duality of concealing his superhero identity and acting like a human, the way Clark Kent is for Superman  (even though Superman isn’t human, Clark Kent is his “human” costume), and Batman has an alter human ego. So does Spiderman.

So I’ve said what Ironman isn’t. Now what is he instead? He’s a person, mortal, human, flawed, sarcastic, sometimes an asshole even, not such a great boyfriend, but he at least has the balls to just have a girlfriend instead of getting all conflicted about worrying that by being his girlfriend, she will be put in danger, which she is, especially in Ironman 3. He also does stuff other squeaky clean superheroes don’t do. He gets drunk at his own birthday party and acts like a jerk. He’s a bad drunk, a showoff and ignores his girlfriend. He flirts with other women. He develops a mental illness, Panic Disorder, by Ironman 3, and he isn’t nice and squishy sweet with kids (Ironman 3). He gets a kid to help him and doesn’t care that the kid has no dad and doesn’t try to be a dad figure. He treats the kid like an adult, asks him for stuff and doesn’t care that much about him at first. By the end he’s formed a pretty cool relationship with the boy, but on a real level, not like a typical superhero. He does “get” right away that the kid is bullied in school and uses it as a bargaining chip to get what he needs from him. He even gets the kid’s help when he’s in the middle of a panic attack.

The other great thing about Ironman, is that Tony is not like his dad. He knows a lot of science and math but he’s really almost an “artist”; he’s a “mechanic”, meaning at his heart and soul, he just needs to get “stuff” and build things with his hands. He has a fancy computer that helps him with stuff, but he can go to a hardware store and buy a bunch of stuff to rebuild an Ironman suit. He “tinkers”. He likes to use his hands and his brain. So no matter how sophisticated the computer equipment and gadgets, he can just take a bunch of “stuff” and get to work with his hands. I find that very compelling as a person who uses my hands to make stuff and no computer involvement. I like paper and pens, sewing by hand, using real materials. In Ironman 3, he is figuring out the coolest aspect of the suit, how to summon it from far away, so the different parts rush over to him and cover his body, which he puts to use in a grand exciting way at the end. But what is really endearing is that he can take over the kid’s garage with a few things and get going in the middle of nowhere.

He also doesn’t sleep enough and spends too much time “tinkering” and not enough time with his girlfriend Pepper Potts. Despite being a jerk, he wants to be a better person for her, and he has his moments of humility and his moments of really expressing how much he loves her. He also does silly things like give her silly gifts she has no interest in. The big bunny in Ironman 3 was so great, I really had a fantasy of wanting to be his girlfriend and get that gigantic blowup bunny in the driveway. I’d prefer to be more like the character Scarlett Johanson plays starting in the second movie. She speaks a lot of languages and holds her own with him, pretty much challenges him and is way smarter than him and could probably take him down with her martial arts talents in a minute.

It might just be that Robert Downey Jr. knows how to play this guy as a real person, someone you can relate to. I loved the moment at the end of Ironman 1, it’s the anti-superhero moment. He’s having a press conference where you expect him to bullshit about Ironman’s mysterious identity like Superman or the others would; they would never own up to their other identity. But just when the people in the know expect him to keep the cover up, he gets that mischevious look and announces with a lot of hutspa and the grandiosity of a five year old, “I am Ironman!”

There you have it. The anti- superhero. He can’t keep it secret; he likes the attention. He can be full of himself, but then he’s really sweet and way more thoughtgul than you’d imagine. His real cover up is his sort of don’t care asshole exterior, when at heart he is a sweet romantic, which comes out at the right moments.

The other thing I identify with is that he likes to work on his own. He’s not a “team player.” He may help others, but he prefers to work by himself. He doesn’t want a Robin, and he doesn’t want to be part of a team. He would never work at a newspaprer like Clark Kent. In the Avengers, when they are trying to recruit him to join the others, he initially right away says no to saving the world with the other Avengers, explaining, “I don’t play well with others.” Me too. I work in my studio by myself. I don’t have anyone help with my art or “assistants”, and I don’t partner up as an art therapist. I like being alone. I don’t like being in groups of more than a few people. He joins the Avengers anyway, but he deosnt’ work well with others and gets in the way a lot and makes himself a nuicaance but a useful one anyway. I confess I am very excited to see Avengers 2, really only because RDJ will be playing Ironman, probably for the last time. I hope they don’t make an Ironman 4 with someone else, because after the first 3, there just is nobody else who could really be this guy.

I could go on but you get the general idea. Ironman is a total original, an anti-superhero who still does good stuff and saves people, but on his terms with his mistakes and foibles, and with no cover ups or secrets. Sometimes it’s a good thing to not be able to keep secret who you are. He is Tony and Ironman and a mechanic who tinkers all at once. He is truly his own person…

 

The Boring One Now Got Nothin’

I usually am always making something, always working on a series of art pieces, often works on paper. I always have drawings going on in my journal or mixed media as people see in my monthly journal post. For over a year I bored myself with just using thin black sharpie on paper manking similar lines and shapes. I spent a year drawing weird figures, warrior dolls. I got addicted to and obsessed with altering books. Many years ago it was oil psinykngs. I have painted, collages, drawn through the World Trade Center falling down a few blocks from my home and not far from my studio. Sudden terrible deaths, nothing stopped me. Hardly a day without a line. Id be so obsessed with repeating something over and over what I call, getting into the boredom, staying excited about repeating lines, shapes, colors.

For the past couple of weeks it’s been brewing: I have no direction, no interst in any materials, no direction, no new rules of my own to follow. I’m swimming in nothingness. Disinterest. I draw, I use paint, I see but nothing’s really happening. I keep going anyway but for the first time in years maybe since I discovered drawing my second year of college, I’m stumped, blocked, whatever it’s called. I watch my patients be creative. I look on pinterest and the Internet at other artists work. I find work I wish I could copy, I try things, but it’s not working.

I’m not sure how to get through this. I can help other people get through blocks but I’ve never felt this way. Usually it’s something I’m compelled to do and feel like, if I don’t have even twenty minutes to work on my current series I could die. It’s been my lifeline.

This is a terrible feeling. I’ve felt awful about real life tragedies but it didn’t ever stop my going back to the creative well and drawing up the water. I think my well is dry for the first time..,,

What’s hard to explain is that it’s not that I am making nothing or not picking up a pen or colored gel pen or whatever. I drew in my journal on vacation. Today my first day back at work, I drew something. At the end of my day I cut paper and sewed it, trying to get excited about it. I dropped a bunch of liquid watercolor bottles and the Orange red one fell all over a floor right when a patient arrived. I managed to put most of the paint on some collages I’d lost interest in.

I can’t not do something. But I’m trapped anyway because nothing leads me to any discovery. If I really just stopped it would have to be that I’m dead. Even as I write this I want to draw in my journal just to be ok with myself even if I’m not into it.

I still need that feeling of making marks on paper with some kind of tool. I am grateful that I’m not stopped,just feeling empty, emptified.. 

These are photos from today’s spill and my sewed paper. I think doing those art cards for creative deed 365 was a way of covering up this empty feeling…

         

Serially Lost: Post 3, Poetry about Loss: Ghosts

In writing these posts, I’ve realized it’s hard to find poems about loss that aren’t about death. In the second lost poems post I managed to find some fun posts about objects and misplacing things, lighter “loss” poems. For this last ones, I wanted to find some poems from the perpective of the lost person, the dead one. Are there any interesting poems out there written from the point of view of a corpse, a ghost, a spirit?

Not an easy task to find the kind of poem I am looking for but here is a great one!

by Mary Elizabeth Frye:

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/do-not-stand-by-my-grave-and-weep#ixzz3X1eDkUJa

Here’s one about ghosts

Unbidden

Rae Armantrout1947
The ghosts swarm.
They speak as one
person. Each
loves you. Each
has left something
undone.

          •

Did the palo verde
blush yellow
all at once?

Today’s edges
are so sharp

they might cut
anything that moved.

          •

The way a lost 
word

will come back
unbidden.

You’re not interested
in it now,

only
in knowing
where it’s been.

Rae Armantrout, “Unbidden” from Versed. Copyright © 2009 by Rae Armantrout.

Lastly to end on a funny note, I actually googled “I thought I saw A Ghost” and found this great funny poem. Please go to the link to read it:

http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poem.aspx?PoemID=400&CategoryID=18

Serially Lost from Day 4: Post 2, National Poetry Month: Loss: Master The Art of Losing!

Trying to find poems about loss that are funny…

Found a great one!
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Here is another:
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Another one:
Compendium of Lost Objects
Nicole Cooley

Not the butterfly wing, the semiprecious stones,
the shard of mirror,

not the cabinet of curiosities built with secret drawers
to reveal and conceal its contents,

but the batture, the rope swing, the rusted barge
sunk at the water’s edge

or the park’s Live Oaks you walked through
with the forbidden man

or the pink-shuttered house on the streetcar line
where you were married

or the green shock of land off I-10, road leading
you away from home.

Not any of this
but a cot at the Superdome sunk in a dumpster

and lace valances from a Lakeview kitchen where water
rose six feet high inside

and a refrigerator wrapped in duct tape lying
in the dirt of a once-yard

and a Blue Roof and a house marked 0 and a

kitchen clock stopped at the time the hurricane hit.

Because, look, none of this fits
in a dark wood cabinet for safekeeping.

This is an installation
for dismantling
—never seen again.

This one by Numi Who is a different twist on loss and everyday objects; she says an apology for leaving abandoning the pencil!
Oh Pencil

Oh pencil,
whereforartthouhavebeentheeelsewhile
while I was away, neglecting you,
leaving you forlorn in the dark recesses of a forgotten drawer?

I have been remiss, a wayward ram
that had strayed from the womb of the flock
and was fleeced – and now,
here I return to you, and ask for your forgiveness –
will you forgive me, Pencil?

I have had my fling or two, or three, or four
and I have realized the error of my ways –
and I have found that it is you I need –
your gentle caresses, your smooth yellow skin
unmatched in firm suppleness,
unreserved in sensual touch,
giving without taking, obeying without demand…

If you will not have me back, I will understand –
and know – my head will never again rise,
my heart will never again soar,
and my mind will forever be shrouded in gloomy overcast –

and yet I would wish you such brightness,
and a perpetually sharp point,
in the grip of a large, thick hand
attached to an even thicker narrowly-focused mind
with a walnut-sized heart
as cold as an arctic floe –
for you know as well as I
that is how dismal and distant
your next best choice will be…

It is true I became enthralled with the gel pen –
its wonderfully tactile fluidness;
and with the highlighter –
able to swash instant rainbows across a page;
and the permanent marker –
indelibly recording my every intention…

but only you, Pencil,
can carry me back in time,
back to my very childhood
when the smell of No. 2 Yellows filled the air,
an air already scented with the soft mounds of pencil shavings
and trails eraser crumblings that belied our trysts,
strewn across the nightly waxed classroom tiled floors
upon which our rendezvous’ were made
and the dreams of ‘us’ lay waiting
for mutual steps and racing hearts…

Let me hold you once again,
that is all I ask,
and if the universe does not return us to our beginnings,
then cast me into oblivion –
for I would not wish to exist without thee
wherehaps I would have sharedeth
a long and loving life of literary essences with you.