When progress goes kaput…

Sometimes I liken my moods to a plane and I’m the pilot.

I’ve been really motivated recently. I’ve been getting a lot done, maintaining my house
really well, being very creative and focused. I’ve been keeping up my various social media accounts, updating them with pictures of what I’m currently working on. I’ve just been doing really well.

About the plane… For the past 2 days I’ve felt a descent. Not a gradual descent. More like
my engines suddenly failed. I woke up and the colors weren’t nearly as bright and vivid as they have been. Never a good sign.

A few things can happen. I quickly descend in a very rough way, unsure about the landing. Or I quickly descend in a graceful way, unsure about the landing, but able to control the plane enough that I have a chance of not crashing. Maybe I have time to plan. There’s still that uncertainty, though.

When I get close to land, I might be able to land the plane in a relatively safe way.
Certainly some turbulence and discomfort. The seat belt will undoubtedly dig into my thighs and leave some bruises, but I’ll be okay. Shaken up, but okay. Or I crash and burn. The plane is wrecked and cleanup will take some time.

I think I’ve been hypomanic. I want to believe that all of this progress I’ve been making,
all of this focus and drive is 100% me. I did this. I created and maintained this. I am
doing great. The way the plane is shaking, though, I think it might’ve been hypomania and I’m getting ready to descend.

So far, my descension isn’t reckless, so I’m definitely ahead. I’m noticing it rather than
my engines bursting into flames. I’m getting little warnings here and there, letting me
know something’s amiss.

I have a feeling I’ll land with some grace. My fear is that everything I’ve been doing will
stop. The motivation will stay gone. I remember, though, that the desire has not left.
That’s a great sign! Maybe I can work with that.

In the meantime, here’s a photo of my oldest boy, Patrick. He’s 15 and a professional. What is he a professional of? I’m not sure, he won’t tell me. It’s clearly something really
important, though.

Patrick1 (Large)

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I’m still proscrastinating…

…but the year is almost over, so it’s okay.  Maybe I’m getting a jump on 2015?!

For the past few months I’ve tied myself up with artwork (creating, not literally).  I’m not at my computer (thus, this might be short and stuffed with typos) so I only have one photo to post that is semi-clear.  I promise, I’ll show you more next year.  I’ll also write more about what I’ve been doing.  And will practice *technology* so I can write proper posts on my tablet or phone! 

So, here is the clearest pic of any of the pieces I’ve worked on.  It was done for a play called “Scenes from the Cliff” written by Nina Childs, first run will be in January 2015.

Thanks for reading!

image

I am lame…

There is a very good, and lame, reason why I haven’t posted anything in nearly a month (that makes me want to faint). I’ve been depressed. Not the manic-mix where I am depressed but getting a variety of things (some questionable) done, but the kind where it is difficult to breathe.

However, as the wise man who was once a newt said: “I got better” (written in my most-bestest peasant English accent)

I am feeling better. Unfortunately I have nothing…not one damn thing…to show for my absence. It would be great if I had painted something awful on that giant blank canvas hanging on my wall, but the only thing I did to it was scooch it up the wall because my arm kept hitting it when I sat on my sofa-thing. Progress!

I’m looking forward to this coming Illustration Friday’s word. I have no idea what last week’s was and while I still have 2 days to scratch something out, I think I might just wait until the end of this week.

So…yeah. Sorry for my lameness and what makes me feel even more sorry is that there have been views and yet I haven’t produced entries. So…thanks for still viewing in my absence. I do appreciate it 🙂

Off to find some steam so I can pick it up! (could you imagine trying to pick up steam? Literally, I mean. Like hoarding handfuls of steam and quickly shoving it in your pockets… I like the image in my head…someone draw a person shoving steam in their pockets and link me to it!)

Whitney, Whitney, Whitney…

First, I should say that I have very little interest in celebrity news, gossip, or general goings-on. I don’t care who shaved their head, flashed their undies (or lack of), cheated on this one with that one, or ate a live zebra (okay, if that happened it might pique my interest…a little). I am, however, interested in who volunteered their time/money here or there, supported this or that cause, made an incredibly nice gesture, and ate a live zebra. My interest in these things isn’t limited to celebrities, though I’m interested in anyone that does this stuff.

Now that I’ve said all that, I decided that it would be appropriate to write an entry about the death of Whitney Houston. I’ve never owned an album of hers, but I remember hearing her music while growing up. I also remember hearing about her issues with drugs and relationships. Since this is an art-related blog and Whitney Houston was a musical artist, I figured it was relevant.

Beyond her music or personal issues, I know nothing of her. I don’t know what/if she did anything to help other people, I don’t know what her interests were, or what causes or issues touched her heart. I know that at one point she was placed on this fantastic pedestal to eventually be yanked off of it once her flaws out shined her voice.

It should be of no surprise that since her death, that negativity continues: Crack-this-that-jokes, She deserved to die, I’m glad she’s dead, etc… that is what I’ve been reading on FB, Twitter, and various other places online. I don’t understand the point.

She was a celebrity, but she was a human one. Just as real as you or I, simply playing on a different stage. Long ago I realized that celebrities are portrayed as cheap products that function poorly, are given horrible reviews, yet people keep buying them. There are expectations set for them that don’t make sense, nor would I wish them upon anyone. I don’t think I could handle feeling relatively secure as a person and, as soon as I make a mistake or do something that is seen as a mistake, everyone tears me apart as if I was less than human. In fact, this did happen to me, and I’m a nobody it was awful to deal with. There are always understanding voices trying to shout over the mob, but they’re drowned out by venomous comments, teasing, and bullying. Whether you’re a celebrity, public figure, or average Joe, this happens. Of course, with people in the public eye, it happens on a vastly larger scale than in a small town. It doesn’t mean it hurts any less, though. Truthfully it seems like cruelty, not love, knows no bounds.

Was I incredibly saddened to hear she died? Honestly, no. I think any death is sad, some more than others. I felt bad for her family, as I would with anyone that lost someone. I don’t think the world lost a hero, I don’t think her death will spark a revolution or a create major shift in anything (with the exception of her family). She was another person that, throughout her life succumbed to various things that affect people, eventually died for whatever reason, and that is sad. Of course, to her massive amount of fans, it’s probably a tragedy, and that’s okay too. Sometimes I think fans create this sort of familial relationship, so when the center of that family dies, they all take it hard. I’m sure that if Steve Martin goes before I do, I will feel very sad. I felt shocked and sad when Michael Jackson died, not because he was a performer, but because of what I knew about his upbringing and every event that followed him throughout his life. I feel deeply sad when I hear of a soldier dying, even though in order to hear about those deaths, you have to sift through a lot of other stuff…

Death is an incredible occurrence that can shake foundations and traumatize anyone. So is cruelty. Combining the two will never lead to anything good. For the ones being unkind to the ones receiving it nothing good, no one benefits. I know I’m not alone in my thinking, but I often feel like I’m trying to shout over the mob.

A thank you post…

Those that know me know that I can get really mushy sometimes and the level of mush depends on the circumstances and how I’m feeling. People that aren’t familiar with me either think that I’m being “sweet” or that I’m being disingenuous (those that think this tend to be the most cynical about everything) or a sort of sycophant. When it comes time for me to offer a thank you, I tend to get nervous because of the very reasons I mentioned.

There is this feeling inside my torso that I get when I’m really, really grateful for something (this happens a lot). If I don’t acknowledge it, the feeling builds and that’s where the level of mushiness really comes into play. If I let it build too much, I become this sobbing blob of fat that blubbers about how wonderful this or that is (this really happens) and it actually becomes physically painful…like I want to explode and allow rainbows and glitter to shoot out of my disintegrating viscera…or something equally exciting. Rather than that awesomeness happening, I just cry REALLY hard for a few minutes, and then I’m over it and can get on with making horrific drawings or ridiculous cartoons.

SO, now that all of you are aware of these truly embarrassing things about me (things I don’t share, mind you) I want to say:

THANK YOU FOR READING!

I think it’s terrific that people read this blog (for whatever reason) and like it enough to “Like” it and even follow! I’m grateful for that. So, thank you!

I also think it’s neat that the people who Like/follow the blog are so similar to one another – we all seem to share the same sense of humor/writing style/interest in art/etc… So, of course, if you spot a fellow Liker on a post, click on them and see what their deal is if you don’t already do that! It’s almost like watching a video on YouTube and then continually clicking on the suggested videos until you end up in an unknown land that may or may not traumatize you. Almost.

Prepare for a long post…

I’m seriously, you guys.

I’ve noticed how lax I’ve been in updating my blog. I’m not sure what the deal is, but I’m looking into remedying it. I write out a list of possible posts and then don’t get to them or, I see them, but don’t remember what I was going to say. I figured that today I would write about a recurring issue I have that sort of ties into my work: My name. Yes, my name is an issue.

I have gone through more casual name changes than I want to admit. I’ve changed for a variety of reasons: paranoia, boredom, spelling problems, anger/spite, and simply not feeling right about my name.

I have only gone through 1 legal name change: I was adopted. I went through several years of one easy-to-spell surname and then it changed to a rather fantastic, albeit hard to spell/pronounce, surname. Like old songs or movies, names can be triggers to past memories, good or bad. My last name made me think of bad things, so I wanted to change it. My first name did the same, so I wanted to get rid of that too. And then it started.

In high school, I toyed with the spelling of my first name. I was usually called “Jenni”, so I continually changed the spelling of that until one day my Federal Government teacher pronounced my newly spelled “Jenee” as “Juh-NEE”. I knew I had a problem.

Early adulthood I signed my work with a symbol that I still use once in a while. I refused to sign my name because I still couldn’t accept it.

Then, as mentioned in the Explanation section of my blog, I went through several years of being ridiculously crazy and became obsessed with changing my name. I continually changed my online usernames or created new ones because I was scared that I would be found. Now when I see those names they seem so foreign – I don’t even recognize some of them.

Last year I created a whole new name: Morgan Dreag. I love the name Morgan. I think the letter “M” is beautiful, I have a massive connection to the sea, and I think Morgan sounds like such a strong name. I needed some strength. And “Dreag”…well, I kept that part. I like writing it. I believe it’s Old English for “apparition” and since I had spent most of my life feeling like I was a ghost, I thought it was suitable.

I used Morgan for a while. I look like a Morgan, so it seemed pretty natural. The family and friends I chose to tell about the name assured me that they wouldn’t say anything because they understood my fear of being found (it’s not a completely irrational fear…just mostly). Unfortunately, someone did mention it to another person and that name lost its power for me. The illusion of strength and protection was gone. The name hunt resumed…

Trying to find a name that not only fit me, but also matched my work was becoming a hassle. Here I had the documents ready to start the legal change – I just needed a name to put on them! I tried various names on, typed them out in different fonts, wrote them out by hand, entered them on forms, signed quick drawings with them; all to see how they looked and felt when doing that. Still, nothing.

I went back to look at my real name. My surname is relatively unique, so I don’t have the problem of being lost in a list, but it also makes me easy to find for those that know the name. During my name-hunt, I went through countless name meaning sites and books, typing and looking up each name that popped in my head. Of course I repeatedly researched “Jennifer”. In doing this I found that “Jennifer” also has connections to water and apparitions. For reals. Once again I already had something I wanted, I just needed to go the l o n g way to figure that out (can you tell that this happens a LOT?).

I’m sure that eventually I will, once more, become bored with my name or if I become mentally unwell again, I will feel the need to change everything, but I have a feeling by posting all these things that I’ve rarely said out loud, it will allow me to be okay with keeping what I got.

There is also the possibility of hitting the “Publish” button and eventually seeing a shadowy figure standing outside my window…