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Lizards and Potato Bugs

Posted on October 30, 2016 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (1)


 So.... I learned what a Potato Bug is. I don't want to again! LOL. Stepping in stocking feet into the garage in Auburn, I halted mid-stride as my husband, Rob exclaimed,"WHAT is THAT?" Geez! Talk about a heart attack! It looked prehistoric and had come in out of the rain storm. He took it outside and we went finger tripping thru pics on the internet on our cells to find out what the huge 2-3 inch ant-thingy was. They are actually quite harmless and eat bad bugs for dinner so I am ok with with them now, though, I really don't want to share my house with them.

 I would rather share my rock house with the birds and lizards. I was hoping to find them here as they are a happy part of my yard in So Cali. The thought of lizards scurrying up my walls in the garden makes me smile. I love the little push-ups they do as they hesitate in the sun and then run off under the shutters cool shade. Directly behind our new property is a canal, and a reservoir with a couple 12-15 acre farms are behind our back hill. The open canal and the land lends itself to wildlife and we already have encountered a few skunks, a coyote and a deer on the property. I was quite amazed at how a coyote can climb a fence. I really didn't believe they could but have a friend who has seen it. I grew up with coyotes around and chickens and septic tanks and orange groves galore. Wells and potato bugs and deer are a whole new thing. So life is wild! We'll have to keep our dalmation-lab Cookie, in at night, but she is loving the huge yard we have brought her too. She misses the cat, who is here at home and we are of the thought she needs a companion, even after we bring our old farm cat, Diva, up north to live.

One doesn't really know what a huge part of your life a pet becomes until you own pets that are part of the family. That are smart and have personalities and so unmistakenly love you. Cookie is one of those. A free puppy from outside our Target store, my daughter, Summer, and I picked her up and she immediately snuggled up. I don't think she's allowed us to let her down since. Of course, at 90 lbs its a bit hard nowdays! She does think she fits under the bed and on our laps but there is no denying the love she brings and the bond between my husband and that furry heap of wagging tail. Diva, the cat, on the other hand- is just that. A diva. We brought her home from the pumpkin patch owners litter of kittens when the kids were young. She has definitely retained her rights to languish on sofas and beds and walk, tail twitching, through all these years of slumber parties, puppies, soccer equiptment, art work and house remodeling. One can't argue with her divinity or knowledge that she owns part of the house and this family! Though I do wish she would stay off the clean laundry.

Sometimes we forget all the crazy, wild wonder around us. Seeing only traffic and work and bills. Travel to and from and just getting by. Even the "ewww" bugs have a place and our pets are furry teachers of loyalty and love. They depend on us and give us an unconditionality we cannot argue with and sometimes we don't take the time to see. A trust that we will care for them as they simply exist in our busy households. I'm hoping to slow down a bit up north. To touch a bit of that trusting, calmer existance. To gain more lizard push up "style" and Diva-ness and Cookie joy. In that realization, I hope I can stop my stress on things that do not matter and to learn to let the good in. To accept the peace that is always there offered to me in the spiritual universe and be more of that type of example to the ones I love. Those who constantly also remind me of how amazingly wonderful is the gift of children and family and friends.

Thinking under the Stars

Posted on August 1, 2016 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The night sky in Southern California is a a cooler woman than her daytime sister. Dark skinned,lazily sexy, with a throat pierced of stars. Sprinkled and sparkling. I rock quietly in the back yard at the patio set. The pool pump turns on, spilling water from the spa into the pool. Waterfall noises and I am drifting and relaxing. Thinking about how the things I need to do, want to do and feel I have to do, and then, in the midst of that- I come to a soft quiet place. Of Thankfulness. 


I think about the last year, my wreck, new friends, new adventures, a wonderful therapist that gave me wings back, as I had lost mine. Good thing, (says me husband (in my head) that you didn't loose your marbles like one of the Lost Boys in Neverland. Too late! LOL I think to myself- marbles gone. Replaced with the self defeating idiocies of adulthood. I have so much to learn, but actually, I am finally starting to feel like a grown up. That my super powers have expanded to take in respect for survival, appreciation of family and friends and whimsy. I think you have to mature and then go back and pick that one up. To make it ok with all the "responsibilities". To know that just being in the moment is ok, in fact its rather wonderful. Last, but never least, my mind spun on certain friends who have shown up at just the right time. Muses on the physical plain to help guide me and shake me out of my bad thoughts and self heart hurting behaviors. To help me practice my journey not only with armour but with laughter and strength and openess. To help me believe in myself, my own feelings and truth and my art.

 I want to say to them;

"You help protect me from myself by calling me back to who I should be-"    Jana July 2016

The stars whispered that to me last night and I smiled. The truth of it. You know who you are- thank you.

 I have a wonderful family that laughs and loves and deals. We are a team and we depend on that love to get us thru, but those outside friends who become family in our hearts. They are in a special section,  where I can never say thanks enough and hope I do the same for them. They are gifts for the journey- physically and mentally. I am so glad we recongnized each other- that we are part of the same tribe, and that our paths will continue to converge far into the future. Whoo hoo for rockin ladies!

Deer in the Headlights- our limiting fears...

Posted on July 12, 2016 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

My heart pounds, eyes darting from side to side in my inner self. My fingers wiggle, back and forth. A frantic, fearful countdown to the silent inner dash for safety I feel coming on. The lion in me has become a hesitant and frightened doe and I am about to step out into traffic.

All this because I don't always remember that I am strong. That it's ok to be myself and that I am accepted-that I am a unique soul in a world of lost souls and that I shine--

and what am I fearful of? Can I name it? Most is un-nameable and if I could name it, thenI would see it as it is. A waste of time, a fraud and nothing to be tense and worried about. Just another ghost in Jana's head.

I know this. Realizing my only concern is not of the unknown. Something so many are afraid of, or the approval of others. Of financial or earthly physical things but rather can I ;

Rise to my next best level of myself. 

Will I grow? Inwardly? Outwardly-physically better?

I am still feeling like a deer, but the air becomes less thick. The view more clear. I feel more-solid in my stance. A spirit and an earthling combined.

 I only need to accept what I already know-pull it out in front of me and my scared ghosts of insecurity that haunt me inside.

Let my ROAR become bigger- and my hoof become a paw...

Pouring Medium

Posted on June 2, 2016 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I have a new love. Not a person but a thing. POURING MEDIUM. having caught a video on Youtube by Michele, an artist and her demo (which is concise and fun to watch- so many ramble and don't show you much for the ammount of time viewed), I became enthralled and ordered some on Amazon. That, after a search through Michael's, Jo ann's, Hobby Lobby and other local art supply stores. Liquitex makes it and maybe some other brands but I haven't found them yet. About 30$ for 946 ML (about a pint?) I found I can do around 3-4 canvases with this amount and still have fun. Used in conjunction with acrylics or paint inks/dyes its a fun, and good looking way to get abstraction in your work or with backgrounds, This is how I use it- though a couple canvases have turned out so well with just the medium that I won't touch them.  

"Wave" acrylics and Pouring Medium on gallery wrapped canvas- J Furzer 2016

You lose a cetain amount of control, which is a wonderful thing. You can decide colors or angles to a certain extent but really, they create themselves which i love and then I wait for the canvas to "speak" to me. (Sounds so cryptic) and after a bit, or sometimes right away, I see things in them and I respond to it with what I paint on top.

"See Turtle" Acrylics and Pouring Medium on Canvas. 2016- This is available on Fine Art America.

Or "Octopus"

Also Available in prints. Originals are part of individual patron collections.

I "pour" the mixed medium (mixed with color, either inks or acrylics) from squeeze bottles and tilt and run them at angles and then set them out to dry raised on little plastic cups over plastic. Trash bags  in the case of this photo or a section of plastic roll or painters drop cloth. Afterwards you can burrito up the plastic to throw away or use again. They take about 24-30 hours to dry but so worth it. A nice sheen too. Part of my attraction is the very slight sheen, almost a flat, that my artist's acrylics have against the sheen of the medium. The contrast to me is a plus. I am a big fan of collage too and i can see a relationship between that and my liking the almost cut out feel of the subjects upon the backgrounds. This new series is called "Poured with Life'. (i made that up- LOL)

So here it is- my newest discovery; Go get some and have fun!


On the Road Again- New wheels

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

 


So I'm almost on the road again! Out looking for a new tow vehicle after my jack knife and flip! It takes the edge off having found a used '08 Tacoma with full Sport pkg and tow package. I have a sibling with miles and miles on his Tundra and all I hear and see are good things on the Toyota trucks so I'm happy. The tow pkg gives me extra cooling and allows me to tow 6500 lbs- something I'll never do but I am covered for my 2300 lb Ken-craft and anything I bring along! My truck doesn't feel too big and I love the extra full bench seat in back. I would totally recommend Top Notch Auto in Temecula,CA. A great experience for me. They are locators as well as sellers and polite and wonderful when it comes to customer service and finding you that perfect car. I told them what and why and even my color wishes and they tracked down my new baby! New tires, brakes, packed bearings and waterlines run- I'm almost on the road with my "California Wildflower" too. Temecula RV to the rescue with again, great service and communication!

Reflections on Self Discovery

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

2015 was a wild wonderful crazy year for me; experiences good and bad. Self journeys and much learning.

My weeks on the road doing Rte 66 halfway (Amarillo TX) gave me beautiful photos to use in my studio and inspire paintings. New friends, new adventure. My heart would get so full at the sights.


Oh, the places I went and the things- in those reflections- that I discovered; myself for one thing-and I want to discover more. So much more. Don't we all? Isn't that the profound question in a Life? Who we are?

Though I can say I was lucky enough to be raised well, I find I still often react to things dependant on how my parents would see the situation.  I'm gosh darn 56 years old and still do that. Time for this bird to fly the coop. Not due to them- but due to myself. My swinging of arms on the edge of my mental family nest- never quite jumping off to fly.  I pay my bills, work, graduate college, get married,raise a family and i still can feel like a kid in a sandstorm. Lost, confused and looking for mom to save the day. I suppose most people are like that  in many ways. Realizing that, well it's a start. And if I was raised right, have a set of morals, beliefs and a good heart- why am I not using my own feelings and trusting my wants and choices to be right.? I do, but theirs sneak in. Am I still looking for acceptance and acknowledgement from others that are now in my care or gone? Is there something wrong with my feelings and likes and dislikes. Why the doubting? Why are mine not as legit and more so- it is my life after all, shouldn't I be myself by now?

Not my Mom's kid or my family's daughter or sister; though I certainly am molded and swayed by those. Not just a Mom and wife- though those are the fiercely proud badges I wear and have earned and love having on my sleeve. I found I am still the child who wonders in awe, still the warrior ready to take on the world, still the artist seeking to explain with pen and brush what I feel when I see. That the lover in me still beats with a heart that is easily overloaded with emotion, and the muse- well, she's typing....

Learning to Navigate the Ocean.

Posted on July 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

( This is one of mine; "Marsea Mermaid" 24x30 acrylic on canvas)

My daughter has a friend that blogs and writes beautifully. Tommie recently expressed herself again in her wonderous relateable way about breathing in Life and not holding back. Her words spoke volumes and attached themselves in my heart and to my own thirst for room to breathe. For mutual understanding that holding back and not living to your full potencial can suffocate on many levels. In my universe it's my artwork- by painting what I think I should paint. what I think would sell, what I think is accepted. That has turned me into a craftsman (woman) for many years rather than an artist. For continually chasing that elusive ghost of acceptance by family and others. By not just finally finally seeing that I am not others and they are not me. I cannot expect them to be and my growth is not dependant on their understanding of it. It's a frightening thing to let go of that net I have created and held so tightly to for all of my life. To swim in an open sea. I feel like I'm still floating timidly in the harbor- but at least, at the very least- I jumped in off the dock, and swam.

I smile thinking of it that way. Being in the pool with the other silly swimmers for so long and not realizing that we were in a tank. Not realizing that there were others like me- yearning and growing and on their own journey. I salute that now- so much more than I ever have. I raise my cup in praise and bow in respect. Its a hard swim and in the midst of a stroke here and a floating break there- we look over, and recognize each other. Same tribe- same quest. Different words and struggles, but the same.

 

I'd like to see all of "us" as mermaidians- unique and beautiful. Maybe that's why I paint them. Mystic storybook creatures that can do things that I cannot do. Ha. I'm sure if they existed that they'd have their own dramas. Oh, but the thought of it- the seamless swim through the waves or dance with the dolphins and whales. I like that idea. Much better than drought ridden land here in Southern Cali and freeways and stressed out unaware people who take no time to be kind to others or to themselves.




   

Thoughts While Walking....

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 As I walked Cookie, our dalmation lab mix, in the field across the street I was struck by how clean and crisp the air was. How etched the mountains in their blue distance. How clean the drying field grass was- and, how many foxtails were poking me through my socks! Its early summer, or late spring depending on how you look at things in hot, dry Southern CA. I love that little bit of green that lasts for a month or two around here. Fields that look like great rolling lawns before they have to turn them under for fire protection. 

Little birds flit expertly from tall grasses to sage. Weedy trees try to stretch fingers of branches skyward. Mice and rabbits live here, a little haven from the tract homes encroaching on their lands. Cookie thinks she will catch a rabbit one day. I don't think so but it's amazing to watch her, muscles in motion-full tilt as she runs after them. I think she'd probably wait for them to play if she ever cornered one. No biting, just right up in their faces like she does our cat, Diva. They'd die of a heart attack and then she'd really be confused! Ha.

I call my Dad. I check to see if he's taken his pills, "behaved himself' (that answer is always no)  and tell him I love him. He's 89 this year- Wow. Going strong, except he talks more about his childhood or Korea or WWII. No one can hear me visit on speakerphone out here and I can walk and visit and enjoy the sky.  I can't help but think of him. Of Mom, who's been gone since 89, of my childhood among the orange groves and hills of Riverside. My heart visits climbing trees and riding bikes. endless days in the pool and waterlogged afternoons where we sat at the bottom of the driveway. waitng in suits and towels for the ice cream man, begging Mom for quarters. I think I was lucky to grow up out here when I did. The 60's and 70's. it was busy but still beautiful. You could get to the beach in 40 minutes or the mountains or the desert. The hills were green, the weatjer hot but not insane. The style Mod! The homes mid-century.  Skaters were still new, very West Coast and cool. Surfing, boogie boards. The smell of Bain De soliel and coppertone in the air. Yeah- it was better.

Washing Brushes

Posted on July 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 The rest of the household is sleeping as I  warm up the water and gather brushes left in paint water overnight. Way too long for someone who knows better. An artist "sin" to leave them that way and I am a big culprit.

The morning coffee is starting to seep that nutty yummy smell across the kitchen and I fold lengths of paper towel and place it next to me on the counter. Brushes, how long have I been doing this? Maybe 35 to 40 years. Working the paint out, cleaning the handles, laying them on the towels to dry before I put them away in their little storage buckets in the studio. Warm suds and water- there is a certain therapy to that. Looking out the kitchen window at a still early dawn and the trees around the pool area. This is my life. Kids and husbands and dogs and old farm cats. Birds in the corner tree like a condo complex with too many residents. Paintings swirling in my head that sometimes never get painted, and others that intimidate and make me wish my skill set was bigger.

 

A quick run at the laundry before the A/C and the afternoon heat of our weather changing drought ridden California. Coffee and yogurt with granola and raisins. It's Sunday, and I flash on a moment in church years ago, my hands still small, where I am folding, folding, folding the service handout. Rubbing the paper and seeing if I can make it feel  like fabric. You almost can by the end of a long service, and keep yourself quiet and as still as you can be next to the watchful eye of a parent. Dad gives me a mint and a pen with a new index card to draw on. I wonder if he even remembers doing that? At 85 this year, he has gone backward into speaking only of complaints and his time in the military. Almost as if our raising and the man who taught me to saw and hammer and change the oil in my Datsun pickup- never extisted. I've actually tried to bring it up, it's kind of a lost time for him. Perhaps he just assumes I know that he loves us all- which I do, but it would be nice to hear him say that our childhood is part of his memories. Inside myself, I feel sad that he seems to hold on to such short happenings, and the main part of his life- that with my Mom- is lost to him. Like a suppressed hurt or a drifting leaf in the stream. I don't want to be that way. My interaction with my family, the laughter, the play, the learning we have done, is all so vital to who I am. Their understanding of my artwork and my heart.

I've brought them with me on so many jobs- all of them. I hope that it is all good memories overall. Built on love and family.

The brushes are done. My fingers are wrinkley from the water, I apply lotion and smile at the coconut smell that drifts up from my skin. Remembering a weekend in Palm Springs with Rob when we bought it. Time for another day.....

Dancing under the Moon

Posted on May 10, 2014 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

   Laying awake in the cool night, I am restless and my thoughts are going a million miles an hour. Next week I paint, as a "live artist" at the Joshua Tree Music Fest. What, where, when range my skull. How is what makes it's permanent mark first. The process is something I can concentrate on. The building, the painting, the style. The images almost come after, though there is always that central theme or idea.

   I noticed, in drifting off, having that moment or two of just "building". I often use that to get myself to sleep- creating that dream home, that trailer, that gypsy wagon (newest spurt of interest) As I did so, my heart laughed at what my mind was doing. There was a full moon in my design and I recalled so many, many times of my father taking me outside to see the "ring around the moon" as a young girl. That meant, the elves and fairies were dancing. The gnomes and brownies too probably but not as much. Gnomes are like grouchy old men many times, they don't dance much, but love to watch from the shadows. I, of course, had this on good authority as I did have the Elves & Fairies book, and my Dad of course. Mom helped out with that too- always there with her expertise on building twig homes or sewing tiny blankets and pillows. (If you left them in the homes, they often disappeared- to my delight- I am sure my Mom had something to do with that) I smiled to myself- thinking how I still noticed that glow around the moon if it was there. My art still tends to go in that direction.  I paint mermaids and imaginary realism in so many of my works. I still favor children's book illustration. I still love Peter Pan and The Jungle Book.

( This illustration is from my very worn and official book by the way)


   I know the harsh, hard realities of the world around me. I read it every day. I see it on the roads and in the eyes and on the lips of so many. What a sad sad thing- I think it would be nice to believe in true heroes, chivalry and happy ever afters. I know a couple personally and they make me smile and make my heart proud at knowing them. The world should take notice- we should push back at those who try to take belief in honesty and loyalty away. Those who want to live in death and hate. As simple as a child's thought, we should take back our wonderment- solidly and completely. Throw away the gross, the crude, the war mongers and the whiners. Demand that they change- give them a taste of what they all really want in life. A dance, under the moon.

I know that's not possible, but it's nice to imagine.


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