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Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Work



I am calling this one finished. This is painted from memory of the way the sky appeared a couple of months ago.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Halfway

I think it is about halfway through my partial fast. I think I'm okay now with not having caffeine. That is, I don't miss it and not having it doesn't have anymore negative effects, no headaches, I wake up easily enough, and so on. Now I am noticing the effect of the absence of refined sugar. I allow myself to have some on weekends between Saturday evening and Sunday evening. I am starting to see how much of an effect it has on mood and on appetite. The more sugar I eat the more sugar I want and the more food I want to eat in general the next day or so. And not drinking coffee and not eating refined sugar allows me to feel calmer. However, if anything goes wrong, I still feel like compensating with a cookie.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Neuroaesthetics

I learned a new word today....neuroaesthetics, which is the science of the biological basis of aesthetic experience. In other words the brain is wired to know and appreciate beauty.

I found some interesting writing on this, including 10 principles of art from The Science of Art, by V.S. Ramachandran, written with William Hirstein. This science seems to explore the idea that there are universals in art that cross cultural and/or religious boundaries.

I haven't read all the material but it has me wondering, what about the new? What about culture? Didn't Gombrich already cover much of this? And so on.

Also, the Getty Research Institute will be having a lecture about neuroaesthetics in the near future.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring?

The calendar tells me that today is the vernal equinox which indicates the beginning of spring. I do hear a lot of little chirping birds, however the breeze is cold and the sky is cloudy, although the daffodils are blooming, so, we'll see.......

I'm glad that the daylight hours are increasing-more painting!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Day Off

Went for a hike yesterday, and in the daytime for a change. We hiked up to Amir's Garden in Griffith Park. I have been there before, but never in the daytime. It was a treat. Growing there are, among other things, succulents, geraniums, jasmine and I think I even saw an olive tree.

On the way up there were plenty of wild mustard flowers growing along the trail. I like to eat them, they taste like little, tender, spicy broccolli. We also saw a hawk of impressive size, an alligator lizard tail, and a drummer under a tree with a full drum set.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hail, or snow, or slush, or....



...something that fell from the sky that's still out there.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

New Work



Not yet titled. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

No Caffeine-Creative Chaos

It has taken a full week, but today is the first day that I had absolutely no caffeine. After last week's big headache I decided to withdraw gradually, adding less and less real coffee to the morning brew. Today I just forgot to put it in, but it would only have been a few grains anyway. So far no headache.

I am having artistic chaos. Everything in my studio is nearly finished, although I will probably add finishing touches for quite awhile. I have been playing with some new ideas and I am at that point where nothing will take form. Ideas are swinging wildly from one extreme to another and what moved me yesterday is lukewarm today.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tax Deductable Art Donations

I do have taxes on my brain these past few days.

I recently heard about a new tax amendment that has been proposed that would allow living artists to deduct the full value (based on appraisal) of donated work. I actually hadn't been aware that this wasn't already the case. As it is now, only the cost of the materials can be deducted on donated work. This change seems like a good idea to me. Art-Exchange.com has an online petition for signing in support of passing the new law.

"Whereas, works of art are valuable to the United States and its citizens;
Whereas, museums and other institutions that promote art are worthy of support;
Whereas, the most direct support that an artist can give a museum is a donation of artwork;
Whereas, the value of art far exceeds the costs of the input materials;
We the undersigned support the provision for allowing donated artwork to be deducted at full value for tax purposes."

I feel a priceless ad coming on....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sleep, Cats, Dreams

I've been backing off of coffee gradually and the caffeine withdrawal headaches have gone away. It does seem as if I sleep better, although it can be hard to tell. The dog woke me up barking and growling at something and since he was positioned at the top of the stairs and not at a door or window I thought I really ought to find out what all the fuss was about. As it turned out a stray cat had come in through the cat door. It took off when it saw me and one of my cats took off chasing it. At least they left the premises and I went back to sleep.

I had several dreams. In one of them I was struggling to get a party dress on over my head and in the same dream I had a present that was gift wrapped, but I didn't think the color of the wrapping paper was right so I was smearing jelly on it to alter the color. I was annoyed because it was taking so long.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Caffeine Withdrawal

It's fasting season and I am doing a partial fast which includes not drinking coffee-caffeinated coffee, since I will still drink decaf. I am also avoiding foods with refined sugar. So far it has been a lot easier to not indulge in sweets, probably because there is always fruit as an alternative. Not drinking coffee was okay for the first 24 hours and then a stubborn headache kicked in. I nursed it along for several hours and then finally had some decaf with a little bit of real caffeine added. I guess I will have to let go of coffee gradually.