Last night I dreamt I saw the car. It belonged to my best friend, Dick Clayman of York PA who died in 2001. He left the car to me and I kept it for years but eventually sold it because keeping an antique car running can be too expensive.
The car was the symbol of our friendship. He was an old man, I was a young chick. He talked constantly but he was trying to impart his wisdom to me since he and his wife didn’t have any kids. They kind of adopted me. His wife was very kind. They had me over to eat every day when I was in art school. They were my neighbors. Dick drove me all around PA. MD. and VA. in the TR6. We enjoyed each others company. He was an opera singer, a tenor, and he often sang arias while we were driving around in the country with the top down. La Boheme was his favorite. He’d sing in Italian then ask me if I knew what it meant. I didn’t but he told me what the words meant. He brainwashed me on how to be an artist. He taught me more than anyone else. That’s where I got my attitude. (from a tenor)
In my dream, I was going to the mall with another friend and when I saw the car I ran back inside looking for Dick. He was in the bathroom. I called in, “Can I come in, Dick?” He said, ” Wait a minute.”.
I guess I was in the land of the dead in my dream and he didn’t want me to go in too soon.
I’m not afraid of dying. There’s a chance I could see Dick again. I might live a long time. My Mom’s 98 but she has dementia now and is being well taken care of in a luxurious old folks home. She didn’t want me to live with her and take care of her. Now I know it would have been too hard for me to do that. She needs professional care givers. Anyway, I hope I don’t live to be 98 because I won’t be able to drive. And I love driving thanks to Dick.
This is just a little snippet of my weird life. It was always weird and I thought of starting to write it down when I knew Dick but he told me not to. He said. “That path is yours alone and it might not be a good idea to write it down.” It’s for me to learn from and no one else will get the lessons from it. So this is all I’m writing.
He’s dead 20 years now. I had a lot of other friends but none like Dick.
2001 was the worst year of my life. I feel much better now but back then I could only get off the sofa to go to open studio figure drawing once or twice a week. I thought the black paper was appropriate for my mood and it makes a dramatic looking drawing. Notice the look on the model’s face. hahahah
Last night I had a dream that I was painting at home because it’s cold and windy out and I spilled paint on the rug. It was some special hand woven antique imported rug, not mine. I wanted to escape before they saw the paint and I had to climb out of there over these timbers that were spanning a huge dark pit. The timbers were burned or rotted so it was dangerous. Finally I managed to haul my butt out of there and it was great!
Now, I’m not really feeling the Christmas spirit this year and that’s ok. Feeling apathetic is a big improvement over the stress of so many Christmases past.
I did buy a poinsettia for myself. That’s my one decoration. That’s all I want. Maybe I can paint it. Every year I want to paint a poinsettia and have never done it.
It was 2005. I was practicing figure drawing at open studio every week but didn’t go out to draw in plein air yet.
My daughter, Sarah went to Perth, Australia as an exchange student. She stayed 3 months, I went along and stayed 3 weeks. We did some sight seeing before her classes started. Before we left I was thinking how cool it would be to hear and see a kookaburra. I must have had my hands on the rungs of my headboard that night because I dreamt I had a hold of a huge bird by the legs. I thought, this isn’t a kookaburra, what is it? Oh No! It’s a phoenix! The bird lifted me off the ground and I hung on.
This is my watercolor illustration of my dream.
The phoenix went above the clouds. I saw strange constellations in the Southern Hemisphere. I dipped my toes in the clouds.
This is my pastel illustration of my dream.
I almost lost these two when my art got stolen but was happy to see them when I got my stuff back, even though they might not be my best work, since I did them from my imagination.
I woke up from a dream of the desert. It felt like my subconscious came to some profound understanding about the places of strange beauty and the places of strange mystery.
This photo came from a tour book of sites for the plein air artists.
I don’t know if I can express it in words, but I’ll try.
The time I spent at the Ghost Ranch and the time I spent on the road must have had an effect on me. I was glad I took the time to sit there and stare at it. One thing about the plein air week was that the artists are expected to make lasting friendships and go to another plein air event to feel part of the plein air family, but I didn’t do that, alas. The group was rushing around to as many beautiful places and whipping out as many oil or watercolor sketches as they could every day and I, with my weak social skills and slow way of working, still kept to myself too much. I didn’t want to try to go fast with it like they did. I wanted to sit there in the beautiful spots and commune with nature every day as I worked on my painting.
How can an artist get the most out of it if they hurry through it? How can they pick up the vibe of the desert if they’re socializing with so many people? Can they see the mystery in the empty spaces if they fly over it? When I woke up I felt like out of all the 100 or so artists at the event, I was definitely the slowest, but something else. I have my doubts that any of the others felt it like I did. Could I ever give up painting the way I do so that I could fit in better socially? Should I change my style? Should I do unfinished paintings that are sketchy and have no depth or detail? No. I remember it well, at least for now. It’s not a fast food hamburger, it’s a piece of prime rib to be savored. Do you know what I mean?