Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Dark glasses on, listening to the Pet Shop Boys “ Positive Role Model” on my CD walkman, decadently plopped in the most comfortable chair
I have been in- in ages ...
I wasn’t going to indulge, there were two other ladies sitting in the other two, and one was vacant, with the remote control sitting on the empty seat.
My curiosity egged me on...
Well, I sat down, sat back and started to play with the controls...
Ye-aaaaaaaah, mon... !
I mean this chair can do some serious massage.
It starts at the base of the spine and works its way up to your neck, not missing anything along the way-
Start over, and back again, and again...
I hesitated to get on up off of that chair, lemme tell you.
There was no one waiting to use it,
I probably could’ve sat there till closing time ...
I just went to replenish my mint and sap green gouache supply,
and I wind up in massage heaven...
It's made by this company called OMRON.
It's called "P-ISU", and, at 79,998 yen plus tax,
it's definately a stocking stuffer...
You'd think they could have come up with a better name, though...
My sister Debbie sent me this today.
It’s called: "Where’s Nemo?"
Today is my youngest sister’s birthday.
I have three beautiful sisters.
Happy Birthday Bonnie Blue Eyes!
Till next time... ‘Mela
Monday, September 29, 2003
The painting goes well...
It's been days now, and today I notice I've reached the point where it starts to "fit".
It is a puzzle to me, painting...
I see abstract shapes- chunks and dots of color...
I guess I have always seen things in an abstract way.
As a kid I used to spend a lot of time alone in the woods.
I loved the silence of the place I used to visit the most:
A group of rocks with hickory trees surrounding it.
I'd sit there at a huge rock used as a table with a big rock in one hand, and a small pile of hickory nuts in the other.
The birds and squirrels were my only visitors.
I used to love to look up into the trees and see the colors the sun would make on the leaves.
I still look for that "place".
There is a point in all my paintings where I can "see" it come together.
I use some forms of navigation; sketches, photos, etc.,
but those are only loose guides-
The trick is putting my focus to where ever it leads...
A kind of "spirit" takes over, and transports me to another place.
This is why I paint.
I go AWAY when I paint.
I leave the premises-
If only for a few hours,
but it's like going back to that "place" I loved as a child.
Back to work...
"In the big rock candy mountains
all the cops have wooden legs
the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
and the hens lay soft boiled eggs..." -Harry "Mac" McClintock
Till next time... 'Mela
Thursday, September 25, 2003
I forgot to mention my trip to HMV.
I got three new CD's:
The Chemical Brothers - " Singles '93-'03 "
Django Rheinhardt [and his quintet at the HOT CLUB of FRANCE,
featuring Stephane Grappelli on violin]
Paolo Conte- "Reveries"
AND new headphones for my CD walkman player- no more dirty looks from annoyed train riders, I am SOUND PROOF now, ma cherie...
I didn't know when I painted this scene,
that I would create a historic picture...
I painted "October Night", in 1995.
The world where I live was simpler then.
Roads were almost like bicycle paths,
and rice paddies stretched out across a wide open terrain.
This scene is now changed.
Apartment buildings are now standing on what was once farmland,
and concrete lines the waterways, and expands the roads...
It is progress, no?
In any event, I have this picture as a testament
to what once was...
The good news is since I've gone broadband
and downloaded "real audio",
I am able to hook up to the most excellent online radio shows:
my beloved listener supported WBGO coming in from Newark,NJ
with the jazz I've been missing to my soul.
It now plays on my computer.
Along with the whimsy of WFMU coming out of Jersey City, NJ,
the funky New Orleans scene coming in from WWOZ-
and a new station [and radio host] I recently got hip to by a blues/jazz aficionado friend of mine from Oregon,
he told me of "Mama Jazz",
the radio host at WMUB/FM
coming out of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
She's a wonder, that's for sure.
I hope to be appearing on a playlist there...
The days and nights have gotten abruptly cooler...
I love this time of year,
my only concern is that in the past,
the Indian Summers seemed to stretch into mid-October,
and the leaves would not turn and fall till November.
With things speeding up, maybe this autumn won't last as long...
"The naked Ginko tree
raises its fists to old man Winter:
"You stole my clothes!"
Till next time... 'Mela
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Whenever I get a big urge to cut my hair,
I just draw a picture of it instead.
This is "Soleil", my new computer art piece.
What would I do with my vast collection of hair combs,
with short hair?
But baby, it's cold outside...
The rain continues...
Not enough light to work in.
I can't paint in artificial light, the colors look poly-esterish.
Now there's a word for Scrabble...
Michio turns 17 and a half today.
"The leaves of brown came falling down, remember?
That September, in the rain...
The sun went out just like a dying ember,
that September, in the rain..."
-Harry Warren, Al Dubin
Till next time... 'Mela
Friday, September 19, 2003
I was blog surfing, a thing that I like to do when I have time.
I especially like to read the blogs of young people, school age.
It takes me back to my own days at school.
This one girl was saying how in her high school, they were now in the process of voting for a homecoming queen...
It brought me back to that time when I was in "court".
I remember every day the "potential candidates" list
would get shorter and shorter,
until there were only 5 names left,
and I was one of them.
I was completely flabbergasted by this-
I wasn't Miss Popularity,
but I was friendly,
I was pretty, but not popular with boys,
I was smart, but not a "preppie"...
I remember that weekend of the bonfire;
the event where the winners were to be announced.
I hated the whole idea of standing around a fire waiting for a name to be called, it all seemed so dire.
I got out of there, got out on the highway and stuck out my thumb.
I caught a ride to see my high school buddy in the next town, who had left school.
I tried to convince her to come to this thing that I didn't want to be at either, I thought if she was there, it might be good for some laughs- but alas, no dice.
Her boyfriend gave me a ride back.
When I got back,
Everyone was gone.
Just a pile of smoking embers
where the bonfire had been.
All I kept thinking was " Did I win ?"
Sure didn't, but I was in COURT, cherie.
The Queen and 4 of us lesser mortals got a chauffeured convertable caddy ride onto the football field.
but I liked the car ride...
High School silliness.
I remember the "groups":
Heads, [ party people;basement musicians, smokers, jokers] Greasers,[ having fun with gasoline and oil, and VERY pointed shoes] Farmers, [YEE-HAW] Jocks, [the sports snorts set] Motorheads, [kind of like Greasers, but with more horse power] Arty Farty's,[spent most of their time in the art room] the Nerds,[ the audio-visual, wood & metal shop crowd ] the Brains, [Regents, honor rolls, everything academic, bub...]
the Outlaws[ kind of like the Heads, but with ummmmph]
Then there was the thee-ata group- DAHLING...[Outta my way, peasant]
I had a finger in all of the pies,
it kept it interesting.
Well that was a nice trip down memory lane...
The light is good today and has been for the last few days.
I am back to work on my canvas.
"I learned the truth at 17
that love was meant for beauty queens
and high school girls with clear skin smiles
who married young and then retired..."
- Janis Ian
Till next time... 'Mela
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
I was just thinking about a few people I knew in the past,
that I would love to be able to contact.
I am going to create a list of people I would love to say hello to-
but can't, because we've lost touch.
Maybe they'll see it-
Richard Bruin, fender rhodes/piano player, we were bandmates
Ana Hernandez, trumpet player,we were bandmates
Jay Benson, we went to art college together
Robbin Slocum, we went to art college together
Mike Ross, an old friend
James Delaune, an old friend
Carol Wiik, downhill racer,an old friend
Eddie Palladino, my first date
We don't know of each other anymore, but you stay on with me, in a song, a moment, a smile, an old joke- even tears...
'Till next time... 'Mela
Monday, September 08, 2003
"Give me red lipstick
and a poppy red rouge
a shinglebob haircut
and a shot of good booze"
"Richland Woman Blues"
- Mississippi John Hurt
This is my new computer art piece.
To see more, go here...
I originally started to draw these as "mood journals."
I was imagining the look of that day...
I absolutely love the "jazz age" look.
Next week, in most towns throughout Japan, the neighborhood Jinja's [Shinto shrines] will have the annual event to bring about good luck for a plentiful harvest of rice.
In my town, there will be banging of drums, sake and beer, and members of the local shrine will man the floats,
to be paraded around the beat.
I have watched this for a few years now.
I have even banged the huge drum, with a baton the size of a baseball bat.
The parade begins and ends at the shrine, which is in my backyard, so when they beat the drum, my windows shake.
The year I painted this,
I was mesmerized by this little boy;
on that hot, early evening in September- with his oversized t-shirt and flip flops on.
The light sources.
And of course, the float performers.
I was trying to catch the feeling I got from this:
The boy is transfixed to the dragon puppet, as he pulls in angst at his t'shirt.
The light sources; from the twilight sky, the lantern lights of the float, and the eerie neon blue/green of the vending machines ...
The little girls dressed in yukata looking on as the grown ups perform on the flute, drums, and percussion instruments.
And of course, the dragon puppeteer...
My son Michio helped me with the Kanji for the lanterns.
I haven't sold this painting, as it is a very special memory of my time here.
Till next time... 'Mela
Sunday, September 07, 2003
* * * * * * *
Emails from old friends,
and new ones...
A cloudy day that spares me the light.
Frankincense and Myrr.
A cup of tea.
A phone call.
I will bake an apple pie...
It's autumn at last.
Friday, September 05, 2003
I saw a movie yesterday called "Fried Green Tomatoes".
The screenplay was written by that fabulous
red- headed Southern Belle, Fanny Flagg.
I remember her from the "Hollywood Squares" show.
Her and Paul Lynde were my faves.
This film was wonderful.
It featured Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart-Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Chris O'Donnell,
and Cicely Tyson.
What a great story.
Beside the story, the part that got me, was a particular scene where there was a "snowball tree" in the yard.
It brought me back home to my mother's house in upstate N.Y., where I painted this painting,
"The Snowball Tree".
© 1995 Pamela MacCarthy
My dear friend Kenji now owns the painting.
This movie had the same effect a visit home would...
A well told story, it left me feeling that the world is not as cold and cynical a place as some of the people inhabiting it would have me think.
We need more of these types of movies today.
"Everyone wants to feel superior, it's customary to show proof "
Till next time... 'Mela
Monday, September 01, 2003
The first day of school today...
It's cool and cloudy, as I remember the weather in Seattle.
My son donned his high school uniform and on his bicycle headed out to his new school semester.
I will get my canvas today.
September is here,
bringing the gradual changes that come along with it.
I remember the Septembers of my childhood;
new leather shoes, plaid dresses
and wool sweaters-
Loose leaf binders and yellow pencils with pink erasers.
Looking at all my classmates that I hadn't seen all summer
and thinking "they've grown" over the vacation.
And trying to get in the groove of school again.
Although I liked school and all the mischief making I participated in,
I've had reoccurring nightmares of being trapped in my senior year at high school,
anxious to finally graduate...
I am going to do a large painting this time.
I have a vision of it already finished, in a frame.
Isn't that weird?
I already see it.
I'm going to create a "Lotus Pond"...
Yesterday, I went broadband.
Really nice not to have them NTT bastards
waiting for their blood money for my old dial up connection.
They charged a phone call fee for each "dial up" connection
online, and at a snail's pace to boot...
This is one corporation I would like to see go KAPUT.
This cool September morning,
I am reflecting on this summer that was so different from past ones.
It had it's own charm.
Not much swimming-
The summer in the rain.
The good times came in small concentrated doses-
I could only know that now that the summer is all but over.
And so now I can lollygag online and not have to sweat out the NTT bill...
Till next time, 'Mela