Flying Saucers, Evolution of an Abstract, and Losing My Ruby: A Couple of Unrelated Stories that Turn Out Totally OK in the End.

So in spite of everything that has happened in my life lately, including a rather embarrassing extreme close encounter with some rather unyielding asphalt last night, an experience that left this blogger somewhat bruised and disoriented if only momentarily, followed by this crazy headache left over, skinned knees and sore palms. ..sigh. ..

Grainy B&W image of supposed UFO, Passoria, Ne...

Image via Wikipedia

all of these atrocities giving way to a small revelation which, I should also own up to having posted on the installment plan in my Facebook status, admittedly a very lame attempt at garnering some single girl sympathy. . .AGAIN. . .after a very long string of episodes involving some very weird luck. . .

enclosed please find installment number 1:

Note to my Dansko clogs: Dear shoes with soles that squeak like the wheels on a trojan rabbit. ..and take me from home to work and vice versa going on four years. ..I love and adore your loyalty, truly I have no idea what I would do without it. . .but please TRY and remember that superpowers are for comic books. . . and that yours truly will fall on her big fat keyster . . .especially if you let go of the asphalt long enough to make my legs go airborne. . . knees and hands ouch!!!!

Installment 2:

I am thankful I did not break my noggin last night when I fell on the asphalt.  And hoping I will be able to find the stone for my ring when I go searching the street for it this morning.  🙂  Wish me luck!

And the ending:

You guys!  I found the stone!!! I just combed the corner where I fell, seeing all that dark stuff. ..thinking I’d never find it. ..and there it was in the middle, scratched. . . but found!  My neighbor had  super-glue too so it’s all fixed.  Sticky with glue on our fingers but fixed!  🙂

And IN SPITE OF ALL THAT STUFF, including the awesomeness about finding my stone. . .which I learned is a ruby, a North American unfaceted ruby. ..

(Note: these are cheap so artists can afford them and have a circulatory healing stone as well. ..)

In spite of all that stuff, I was still able to get some art making accomplished this week. . .and a new listing for my Etsy shop too.

And the story is, I began staring at a beautiful (and yes professional. . . yay inspiration, man!) photo of white flowers against stems and a dark sky. . .and then loading up my palette with paints. ..moving the brush around a little bit and getting down with the greens and red maroons

then mixing up some yellow white and ecru, ivory. ..

Oddly enough and much to my own surprise, I somehow ended up with a mass of lavender scribbles at the pause point:

Tess Farnham, work in progress, 8x8 Mixed media on canvas

But sadly, when I took this piece outside to see how it behaved in the daylight, I was rather disappointed at the washing out of much of this color. So after going back inside, I got to work, sort of getting lost in the memory of this beautiful shiny work of jewelry I’d seen at a fair-trade place, one incorporating pearls, amethyst and amber. I ended up collaging more lace into this and adding a few of the flowers from the photograph. And here it is now listed and ready to be adopted into a kind and loving environment:

Tess Farnham, untitled mixed media on artist's panel, 8x8.

and alas, artists gotta eat too:


More Cowbell

It is early morning.  Your throat is dry.

Your bladder is full and all you can do is lie there and pray the sky falls

or an earthquake, anything to keep you from having to cross the room and risk the stuff on the other side of coffee.

It is on a morning like this you literally must take it one step at a time.  Literally.  One.  Step.  at.  a. time.

And you just can’t do it on your own without some kind of propeller. . .one you can put your finger on and spin it. ..

for this you need a mantra of some sort.

Mine has always been fairly simple. I put no thought into it whatsover.  It just happened as I was dragging my fanny perpendicular down the steps so do some laundry I’d been avoiding. ..

And it goes like this.

foot down

foot down

foot down

(that’s it.)

foot down

foot down.


OUCH goddmanit.  (sorry, mom.  sorry, god)



And after I get tired of that, the invisible sisyphus in my head just keeps droning until all I am saying is a lot of syllables that have about as much logic as that step on a crack stuff.

And likewise, mantra as phrase to drive away fear in its most basic manifestations.

Fear of not having anything to say in front of strangers.   (Thus the repetition of  those same basic syllables over and over ad nauseum. . .)

Fear of having too much in front of strangers. ( Thus the idea of keeping the overall message short and sweet.)

Fear of strangers in general. (Thus the intense focus on the sidwalk in order to avoid their x-ray  eye contact.. .Especially once you become self-aware enough to realize you’re talking to yourself without a cellphone.)

But then there are the very real fears left over from childhood, fears that just made you scream till three in the morning, taking a break from it just long enough to ask for a glass of water.

Fear of other kinds of falls besides the sidewalk stuff, falls from forgetting where the imaginary island ended. ..and the imaginary water began. ..

Fear of falling into the toilet

Fear of seeing the dust monster under the bed, the one who liked to send messages in morse code. . .

and of course stop typing the moment your parents came in the room,

even though he was probably just waiting on an answer from the zombie outside the window . . .

fear of flunking the physics quiz. . .fear of unidentifiable bugs. ..

And what kept  you going forward

in the face of all those things

is what amounted to more fear .

Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back. 

Step on a hole and the answer to that is just too awful for me to mention.

Which simply suggests to me

that there is comfort in knowing that if you faux pas over something small and insignificant

in the grand scheme of things, you must pay a very high toll to keep on going.

I imagine even Sisyphus in his bondage to that rolling stone must have had a mantra of sorts or he would have burst into flames or something.

“Foot down.  Foot down.  Foot down.”

Foot down.

Foot down.

Foot down.

Rock up

Rock up

Rock up

Foot down

Foot down.

Rock down.

Rock down.


Step on a crack, you break your mother’s back.

Foot down

Foot down

Foot down

Foot down

Foot down

Foot down

Rock up

Rock on

(i totally stole the teacups pic from this website:

And the Answer to Yesterday’s Quiz Question Is. . .

Always a Work in Progress

Bringing it all Back Home

I began my last post by talking about cutting and collecting images for collage projects.  Later I shared a photo of a collage, a tiny work  initially crafted as an artist’s trading card (enlarged through the magic of WordPress).  Afterwards I promised to post a photo of the finished pastel painting inspired by the collage.

(I also provided a quiz question but more about that later, I promise.)

“What is it you want to say?”

Our last painting instructor was always asking us that question. .. and to be perfectly honest, I admit I always had trouble answering it. . .

but in the interest of personal growth and self-reflection, I’ll take another scissor point to it.

I guess at some other point, I decided the collage had been an attempt at creating a loose biographical narrative, one that also let me pretend I was someone from a fairytale, someone significantly more graceful and confident than I actually am. perhaps in this way, I am able to re-write my own script somehow . . .and create an image of the person I hoped I could always be.  So anyway, you will notice that I changed the haircolor of the most prominent figure and I also put a wreath of red roses on her head.  . .perhaps this was another wish coming forward as red roses symbolize true love, another thing I would someday like to include in my own story, I suppose.  You might also notice I left out the giant diamond on the roseholder’s hand. ..a pink rose. ..I think that’s  maybe about an innocent kind of love in the language of flowers. . .

I suppose I maybe did it to say something about the way I feel about diamonds as gifts in general.  Pretty to look at. . .and sometimes enviable, but kind of non-existent on my personal to do list (and perhaps that could be a fox and grapes kind of thing underneath as well, but for now I just sort of idealize friendship and sharing a common bond. . .equality I guess. ..and if asked how I feel about it. ..I would have to say that I disagree with the diamond industry’s suggestion that three months salary is enough to show a woman “that you love her.”

Three months of laughter and joyful sharing, on the other hand I believe, really IS something to include on one’s to do list. ..

though I know many women who might think it’s low self esteem talking when someone says that, which I actually can’t deny and yet. .. )   But also I sort of wanted to say that our story continues beyond the boundaries of these modest creations, beyond the limits of what our imaginations can conjure.

Back to the Nuts and Bolts and Whatnot

OK so you might also note in reading the details from the photo that I’m actually sort of cheating by working from grids, which I learned in studying the old masters who practiced this method all the time (I like that word practice. . .because I feel that’s the stage I’ll be in for the rest of my life. . .practice, practice, practice.)  Apparently it’s easier for our brains to read images that carry no pre-conceived opinions formed in our heads. . .

so to in order to accomodate for that, we record our impressions of abstract lines and shapes within the boundaries of these small boxes.

(Recently I also learned that artists who work in photo-realism oftentimes use projectors. ..actually draw and paint in the dark by the light of the magic lantern.)


And the answer to my quiz question is:

Kaloma, who is often mistaken for the Josie Earp, wife of Wyatt.



And as promised, here is the finished pastel painting made from the collage:

First the collage:

And now the painting, shown with closeups and side views:

Have an awesomest day . . .peace shalom. . .namaste!  Go and create~


Quiz for next time:  Name the inspirational female artist whose pastel appears taped to my drafting table.  Name the work so much the better!

Hint: Degas made a painting of her holding a poker hand


Oh, hayall  no.  Just look these golfball- sized hailstones!  Some were as big as baseballs though.  And the sound of them falling all around sent Lily, my cat, scampering to the basement!  As per my usual, I just grabbed my camera and started snapping pics.  (I am the moron behind the door trying to keep my camera from getting zinged!)

So anyway, this scene kind of reminds me of this photo from a work in progress.  It began as a collage, which I translated into a pastel painting.  It was zen-like to draw all the little fish in this painting.

Here is a link to the collage:

I will save the finished painting to show you later.  My trip to the museum was most delightful.  I lingered near the Impressionists, trying to follow the strokes of Renoir and Modigliani. . .such seamlessness and so much delicate texture in the former and spirituality in the latter. ..

and also spent some time studying this Gerhard Richter painting:  The texture of her fleecy jacket is almost palpable. . .and it takes all your concentration not to try and touch this piece!

Afterwards, I strolled around Forest Park, just taking in the lovely overcast day.  At one point while I was walking along the gravel path, I found a message scratched in the stones, “For a good time call (insert your phone number here).”

Made me wonder if somebody had peed there first!  🙂

Today I’m going to work on my iris painting.  See you soon.