Monthly Archives: July 2014

Anxiously Seeking Significance

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andy-goldsworthy-2art by Andy Goldsworthy

 

I find my life has become mundane. Where my most exciting moments are about my crazy cat or my aging mother. I don’t often talk about the office because, let’s face it, it’s just another office. I love the people I work with I really do. If I had a magic wand I would be making a living in art. I just haven’t had the balls to do that yet.

I have this empty space in my mind, heart and soul right now and I am looking for something significant to fill it up with. I’m still single so it could be that I’m seeking companionship. I’ve really been neglecting my studio so maybe I need to immerse myself for an entire week. I miss my son but I won’t see him for quite some time yet. I’ve started working on my health and have lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks. All of these things are not that inspiring to me. There is something else missing.

I need a cause, perhaps a higher purpose. I need some depth in my life because at the moment I feel I could be blown away by the slightest breeze. I don’t feel like I am contributing anything meaningful.

This void, this void, what is this void?

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Taming another beast

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Mondo-Where-the-Wild-Things-Are-Ken-Taylor-Poster-Regular-2

As many of you already know and for those who don’t, I quit smoking a few years back. December 8, 2010 to be exact. It was a birthday present to my son who begged me for years to quit. In December I will have been smoke free for four years. In those four years I have been through my mother moving in with me, tons of stress at work and my son getting married and leaving the province. As you can see, it’s been a chaotic four years. But I managed to keep myself from reaching for my bestest friend, the cigarette. I feel so much better lung wise but I’ve gained a ton of weight and that is the next beast to tame.

Three weeks ago I signed up for Sparkpeople.com. My friend Mimma turned me onto this amazing website that supports a healthy lifestyle FOR FREE! I am committed to loosing weight but I am not committed to spending a load of money to do so. I’m not even joining a gym this time. I know I can accomplish this goal with only minor expenses such as higher food bills (quality costs more) and perhaps a scale and some weights. That is all I am putting out. I have a bike and two feet that can do the rest.

It’s pretty ironic that I quit smoking to save my life. I wanted to breath better and stop coughing. Here’s the ironic part, now I cough because of acid reflux and I breath heavy because I’m obese. Helluva trade off there isn’t it? Well, NO MORE. I’m taking my life in my hands once more and the next health problem I want to have is muscle strain or exhaustion from a marathon or ..well, you get the point.

Which brings me to my art. It’s suffering because I’m taking so long adjusting to this new lifestyle. I’m trying to find the balance of workouts, work, chores and life in general. I work out before I make dinner but I’ve also promised my sister that I would start eating my dinner earlier than 8pm so I’m finding a conflict here. I think the sacrifice I’m going to have to make is getting up a half hour earlier and working out before breakfast. UGH…..I’ve actually never done this in my life so it might be a new GREAT HABIT to develop. That way I can take off from work to the studio and not have to worry about working out. I just need to get home at a decent hour and/or pack a dinner for the studio while I paint. Oh, and I’m also getting in a second workout by biking to and from the studio and climbing five flights of stairs to get to my studio. Ya! That sounds doable right?

One thing about healthy eating…it takes a lot of prep! So, Sunday afternoons, after my weekly group sesh with the O-Town Bombers, will be committed to prepping food for the week. This means more menu planning etc.

It’s more than just dieting, I am changing my entire lifestyle. I want to live to see my grandchild and maybe even a great grandchild or two. I want to be able to run, jump and skip like I did 10 years ago. I want to have a great sex life again, something that is very difficult when you can’t  bend for a friend. I tried Pilates last night and was horrified how locked up my body is by all this fat. I used to be able to sit in the lotus position, now I look like a lotus pad!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter or pointing the finger of blame at anyone but myself. I got me into this and I can get me out. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m not miserable but I am lonely. I haven’t felt good about myself for years so I haven’t even dated in the past three years. I don’t want to get into a position and not be able to get out of it, literally. I don’t like my body like this. I know what I have to do and I am clearly on the right path to getting er done! With Mimma and Sparkpeople I know I can nail this demon too.

And when I am at a healthy weight and feeling good….O-Town boys better get to steppin cuz I just might morph into a little cougar! meow!

Neglect? No more!

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I’ve actually stayed away from the studio for 2 entire weeks. In those two weeks I basically ate, slept and crocheted. Oh, had to work my day job as well. Yes, I still have the day job. I’m pretty grateful for it ….most days.

So I forced myself to hit the studio last Saturday. I had every intention of getting an early start in the morning but I stalled all the way to noon. I’m very good at stalling. But I kicked my butt into gear, packed a picnic, strapped my saddle bags to the bike and made it to the studio with only two stops along the way. One was at this wonderful new little place on Gladstone right beside Detroit Soul Food. It’s called From Seed to Sausage and if I was a little more flush with cash I would have purchased something. It was a tad pricey but it’s all hand made products. You can get anything from jam to sausage to cheese and crackers and homemade extra hot horseradish. Very cool set up, like a small deli and the smells were great too. I will be stopping in again when I have moe monay. The second stop was at Cardamom and Cloves. I promised myself after I purchased all those wonderful herbs and spices for my father on Father’s Day that I would treat myself next time I went to the studio. And I did. I bought Baharat spice blend (good for grilled veggies and lamb), Long Pepper (looks like tiny black pinecones that you crush in your pestle and mortar), Thai Spice Blend (freeking amazing on shrimp and veggies in a wok, then simmer with some coconut milk..nummmm), and finally I bought some Garlic Granules (much better than powder or salt). My saddle bags smelled heavenly for days!

At the studio I struggled with where to begin. I have this huge easel to work on but no big canvases yet. I haven’t quite figured out how to get them to the studio after I purchase them. Oh yeah, I also have to budget myself to purchase them. It’s all a bit daunting at the moment but I will get there. I found these four tiny little 6″x6″ canvases that I had already primed in black. I was going to paint something else on them but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet so I went with another idea I had two days ago. I started to put the canvas on my giant easel and giggled how stupid it looked. It didn’t even stay it place because it was so small. No, these paintings were going to be done sitting at my table because anything else would be ludicrous!

So here is what I came up with. It’s just the beginning but it will be built upon to create a 3-D effect. Some glow in the dark paint and yarn will be added and then I’ll share more with you! Weeeee heee….Felt good to spend the day in the studio again. I went home when it was dark out. I almost did not want to leave.

bluetree fourtrees whitetree

 

Oh and as a post script…..I purchased my domain on WordPress today so now you can find me just by hitting the ole justydennis.com! Wooooooooohoooooooo