Friday, January 30, 2009


Yesterday Steve and I reacted to each other and I behaved like an ass. Later I went to my room, shut the door and cried. Lots. How can I care so much about how I behave and then behave so carelessly? I felt the feeling of being totally utterly trapped. The only option is to walk the line. And the line feels like it's on fire! As my eyes got tired out I saw a golden circle that radiated, superimposed within the Angel. And with the Angel was a moving tide... beside it rose a funeral procession akin to this for Phillipe Pot, Duke of Burgundy. Two crows looped around the Angel and parted: one to the sky, the other to the underworld. Is funny these days- there's a weirdness that gives me peace. An intensity, a gripping-at-the-throat-choking by the Hounds of Love.

This painting is darker than my recent stuff. Thank God, I'm glad I can finally paint this way. Last night we had a really special dinner at Anne's house with dear friends. Here we are:

Amazing company! When we came home I danced a little bit in the bathroom, then went to bed. And what before my eyes should appear but... more crazy images! Dancing men in blue and legions upon legions of yelling people. There was a peace to their total wildness. There were more visceral things I could see- more people that were... if they were in a movie they'd be that thing in The Mummy that comes back to life. Just- really intense. Normally I'd respond to a presence like that saying, "Okay thanks! Go away now!" But... do you feel what I mean- saying that the veil is softening? That the skin between the muscle/bone and the fluttering breeze is thinning? It's as if even these ghosts of blood lust housing every earthen quake possible in their sinews have just as much an etheric right as any other being. I tell myself, "Do not lose your focus. The game is so on." That's partially why there is a golden compass over His left eye.

Maybe s/he's not Lucifer anymore. I'm don't really know who it is!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is my work at the beginning, then close of last night.

Lucifer. I was painting this man with a furtive desperate glance and thinking maybe he was a somewhat exhausted angel, and maybe he was kind of a she and she was kind of a he. So I went on painting like that... and who should appear but a someone who got left out.

It was late at night when I looked at him and saw, "Oh. You're Lucifer?" and I said to him, "Well, I don't really know you. What are you like?" Immediately I saw freaky things in my minds eye with wild grotesque heads, bulls, dripping mucousy hatred spilling off of a too-vividly blue and blooded tormented face. I leaned over with my head in the sink. "Thanks," I whispered, "That's enough for now." I felt his torment from being ignored, cast away, and how that slight has been echoing throughout our us. Before asking about him I had thought that Lucifer and the Devil were two different beings. How could a beautiful angel fall that far into misery? I read once in middle school that Hell is horrible because in Hell there is no love. And hence no God. I see that it's not that Lucifer made a Hell up; he is there as a figurehead for the horror, for the anguish... that is dismissal. Yesterday I read an article about teenage sex habits. It said that it's the young women and men who are somewhat lost with low hopes for their future that are the ones who don't use contraceptives. Big surprise.

Once I was at a party with the cool people in high school (I wasn't usually invited to them, but my date to the dance was in the crowd). I was sitting in a tightly crowded living room on the couch talking to Matt, who was older than me and plenty goofy. I was staring up at the ceiling for a bit, and then I lowered my head... and there was no one there! The house had totally cleared out in moments! Except for Matt next to me. I asked, "What the... what just happened?" I didn't hear a thing, but everyone was gone! He said, "Oh, this is when they go outside and smoke pot, etc." I went quiet because I didn't want to reveal my level of clueless-ness. We both just sat there. AWK-ward. Later everyone comes streaming into the house, rolling and lolling with smoothness and smiles. I had a good friend in fifth grade, and we would go to the beach together. She was so pretty and when she talked to you she would hold your arm like a little child. Somewhere around the age of 13 she started taking some drugs, and then some other kinds of drugs. I don't know what kind, but I could guess. Her eyes became different and I could see her shudder sometimes in seventh grade science class. Whatever she was doing after school, she needed that, in a way... but I knew then that she needed it because she wasn't getting something she needed more. So anyways, she was at that party: this once dear friend who I still saw everyday, Monday through Friday, yet hadn't spoken to in years. Not because we were ignoring each other, but because there was nothing to say. When the crowd rolled back into the house, she came in too, and as she approached me maybe I was a bit surprised. She leaned into my face eye to eye and said strongly with wide eyes, "Shannon McCarthy, if you ever touch this shit, I will kill you." I shall never forget her kindness.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I've added a Playlist gadget to the blog here- hopefully to enrich the experience (rather than, say, to annoy). I'll be changing it from time to time- my intent is to set the scene as much as possible so that I can offer an experience here. To adjust the music in any way, you'll find the music player at the very bottom of this page, and you can skip, repeat, or stop the music there.

Perhaps I ought to mention that I listen to musicians like I listen to prophets. I never put them by the wayside. Many of those who sing are speaking a significance, and that's why I've put some on my blog!

If you like, when you're done reading the blog, you can still keep the window open and let the tunes play as you work! If, of course, that's how you roll... Happy travels!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bloom (We Never Say Never)

I painted this last night!

I ran over to show it to Kate, Chris, James, and Michael this morning. Michael, 4, said, "Is so prettyful, Aunt Shani!" Then he ran away and yelled, "I gonna go make something!" He came downstairs from his room a few minutes later with a pencil picture of a rose. Katie and I said how much we liked it and then Michael yelled to his brother James across the house, "James you wanna see my rose?!" James was about 30 feet away and the picture was about 3 inches high. James looked out from brushing his teeth and said so sweetly, "That looks good, Michael!" Michael smiled proud, stuck his belly out, and ran off to play with something else.

I did this painting in a few hours last night, so I don't have any in-process pictures. Actually, I didn't think it would amount to much until the very end when it began to come together and I realized that I really liked the looks of it! How appropriate for a piece called Bloom. While painting, I listened to this song over and over: Forever Young, by Alphaville

I've been wanting to acquire that song for about 10 years. It was part of the soundtrack in our sorority Rush video. It would have been easy for me to have access to it, the song, but though I wanted to listen to it I just couldn't in a way. Part of me hated that it was superficial, like the sorority, and upon finally listening to it last night- I realized that it is more than that, like people, like anything. There's always a heart involved- can't get away from that one. And if it doesn't make me cry now, I'll cry later. What to do?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharing Pictures

Sitting in the tub last night I realized it was time to post some of my little drawings. Here's some from my sketchbook!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eggs and Sleep

How are we supposed to find that golden casket?
How was I supposed to seal myself into dead ecstasy?
With the blood pulsing in my feet and hands,
She said, “Hmmm…”
I said, “What about? What about? What is it?”

Hadn’t stopped to consider anything before she said, “Hmmm”

When I was small I wrote a letter to God and I put it on top of the trashcan for him to get it.
How fitting.
There was the creek that ran through our neighborhood and I would watch that yellow water but only long enough to know that it was pretty deep there- best not to jump across at that moment of point.

The flock of mourning doves in the sky-
Why do they cry?
Why do they cry?

Peter the little leprechaun has a sprout garden.
Why do you always eat sprouts, Peter?
“Because meself I am much like a sprout that’s whot I am is what I is!”
Don’t the bunnies bother you how they nibble at your garden?
“Bunnies?! Why’d I bother meself for a mess of furry teeth, eh?”
Thump. Thump thump.

Said they found my trophy.
Someone had drowned it in the river?
All filled with mud.
The divers saw the glimmer, apparently.
But I still don’t have that shiny thing.
It’s being held.
“For what?”
I ask but they don’t say.

I found once a gold ring. I also found a silk sash.
One went buried in the ground and the other was on the sidewalk in New York.
I would listen to rappers tell me I could make it.
And that poor black man saw me sad on my way to work dressed like I tried too hard.
As we passed he said gentle, “Don’t let ‘em make your day, darlin’. You make your day.”

Every other year when I get myself silly on wine I like to walk around the party like an heiress dripping with diamonds- jutting out her hips to say, “Dahling do leave the wine on the floor and don’t clean it like a plebian. Whither the mess!”

Last year I met the charming man whose company if kept too long might bring one into a sneezing fit. CHOO to the dust of you! But he engaged. He said, “Lovely Lady…” though with his eyes he said, “I bet you’re drunk enough for me to get into that skirt.” And again with his mouth he spoke, “If you could be anywhere in the world aside from here, where would you be?” I grabbed his shoulder firm with my hand and said, “This is ground control to Major Tom. Your circuit’s dead. There’s something wrong. Can you hear me?”

Don't believe in cocaine
Got a speed-ball in my head
I could cut and crack you open
Do you hear what I said
Don't believe them when they tell me
There ain't no cure
The rich stay healthy
While the sick stay poor
I...I believe in love


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chair for Charity

The chairs were auctioned off last night to a lovely gathering of people. The Beaufort High School choir is headed down to Florida to compete in a jazz competition, and the monies collected are going to help keep them singing. Here they are performing last night:

Here's me with the chair I did right before it went out the door.

The Beaufort High School Choir does a fundraiser each year in which local artists are given donated chairs to paint. The painted chairs are auctioned off, and the money given to the choir. I lucked out this year since I was given a very beautiful chair to begin with! Steve sanded it down for me, and this is where I am today:
Here's a picture of the chair I did last year:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Here it is! I'm pleased and delighted! Delivered it this morning to my dear patrons. Below are some symbolism thoughts. Or lack of!

A most amazing discovery! Turtles and Roses have the same number of legs/ petals. I was making Mary's heart jewels here as simplified roses, and realized that I was also making little turtles. This is so cool! Because? Because roses are favorite pals of mine- just like sea turtles! And now I see that they are the same, somehow. Five parts, one center. And some say this world began on the back of a turtle. And another says if we just stare at a flower long enough we'll be brighter.

Hummingbird. This little hummingbird came to visit a few days ago in a dream. He was this blue and much fluffier, and so so tiny. He flew by me and I was like, "What th-.... Hey! Whatcha doing?!" And in response he wiggled and smiled like a puppy that could not contain himself, to the point where it seemed possible that he might not survive his glee. He didn't say anything, but his visit was so sweet and cute that I wanted to put him in this picture. Unfortunately he looks a bit trapped, but not to worry, he's a friend of the lady, and she's just holding him there for a bit so she can let him fly about at precisely the right moment.

In the original painting by Georges de La Tour, Mary is holding a skull. That didn't sing to me, so I painted her with a jar. A transparent container! And with our little blue fluttering pal it shows how she delicately contains the big tinyness of timelessness.

I admire how Mr. de La Tours spoke with her skirt. It's poofing on Mary's belly, it's crimson red, and striped with gold. To me that says: she can bare children, is carrying one now, and the line is golden.
All these gold strands and stuff is one way I see the invisible communion of love. Mary is watching her man post-crucifixion. What woman hasn't seen that? Seen her man get nailed down? Often there's nothing to do but keep watch with him, let that heart bleed a little. Many men are getting strung up now with layoffs, collapsing investments, etc. Some of rightly being crucified as thieves. Jesus was crucified with two thieves- the first saw his own errors, the second made fun of Jesus. I just hope I follow the example of the first.

Yellow Rose. (Hey Nana!) Just above the rose is the base of a jellyfish. My Uncle Jim gave us a book of pictures from Archipelago, and in it has all these amazing sea creatures, one of which is a jellyfish that has fringes of lace snowflakes. So this is part of the jellyfish I saw.
That violet flower is a morning glory. Morning Glories... open for the Sun! The baby sea turtle is surfing the waves of the sky, going to give a little kiss to the Main Man. Sea turtles are amazing in that no matter how far from home they go in the entire wide ocean, they can find their way back home. May we too!
He asked, "Who do you say I am?"

I've been wondering about stars. Yesterday I was looking at the rainbow puddles at the gas station then the warm glowing votive candles at the mission, and thought how nice it would be to swallow them both into my heart. Do you think that's how the stars did it? Did they just put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up? I bet they did!
Hopefully I can make this insane enough to be unbelievable. Mary Magdalene is having a look here at the scene. The major challenge right now is that Jesus is dead, which is like a half-truth. I am out on my errand to buy purple paint because I ran out. Just got it. Now I'm in a fast food restaurant with free wifi drinking coffee in a shopping center and... do you ever look around and say, "What the hell is this place?" You know the Leon song- "Stranger in a Strange Land"? Yup. Last night I got that throw-up feeling looking at my painting. I had just read a little bit from The Book of Hopi. About what the Spanish priests did to the peaceful people? Jesus Christ. What a bunch of Satanic men. So I'm endeavoring some sort of balance here with Mary. I don't know, we'll see. Thank goodness for the ocean. I will go back to her today.

Thankfully I now have a 3 x 5 foot canvas here at the house in St Augustine, thanks to Dad and his truck. I've a week to create and complete this piece before heading back up to Beaufort next Tuesday. This morning wild parrots, sand pipers, and a breakfast-seeking osprey were all out and about at the beach. I'll paint inside with the windows open.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chasing a Greased Piggie

Yesterday I was talking to my pal Roger about making movies and he said, "You know, if I could just translate everything in my mind to the film.... that's the hardest part." I agreed fully with him. I have an attitude I've been keeping- that the most challenging part about painting pictures is being accurate about how I see God. My sad song about it goes like this:
O woe is meeeeeeeee
How shall I ever paint

Folding laundry last night it came to me that it's not about accuracy- it's something entirely different- it's..... A Greased Pig Chase! In a greased pig chase, otherwise self-respecting people will grease a piggie, gather in a large field as a group, and... chase the pig. Now there's one thing you oughtta know if you plan to do this, and that is- that you can't catch a greased pig! Little pigger goes squeeling around and even if you get your hands on him he screams wee wee wee and squiggles out from your fingers. And what happens then is people start diving for the pig- missing him- landing their face in a cow paddie- and greasing up their own bellies.

Of course, the whole fun of a greased pig chase is that you can't win!

Today Steve and I go down to St Augustine, Florida to visit with Dad. I'm going to stay down there for another week and paint the "Rose Swirl Pieta" beginning Monday. I'll keep you posted!