Parts Is Parts

Sophie is a monkey butt.

Monkey Butt

Don’t be fooled by that cute little face. Because behind it, somewhere in the ATTITUDE section of her little canine head, is a monkey butt. MONKEY BUTTTTTTTT……

I came in from the studio and caught her on the table today.  The dining room table. Like a cat. But she’s not a cat, she’s a D.O.G. 

It wasn’t the first time.

Disclaimer: The cat does NOT get on the table. Mostly never. Oh no, she gets on my shoulders while I’m sitting at the table. Like she’s auditioning for a future role as a fur wrap. Which she might be.

I just thought you should know.

And now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about ART!

This week was all about exhaling. About breathing deep and letting go of expectations. And commitments. About taking time for me.

I came home early from work one day, like 10 AM early. Wasn’t feeling well. I stretched out on the sofa and crashed for a couple of hours. When I woke up I put my feet on the coffee table, grabbed a notebook and started sketching.

And yes, the notebook already had notes in it but they were so…yesterday. Or maybe last year. Whatever. They had served their purpose and were talking up paper. So I drew right over them.


From the very first sketch, the one up above, I realized I had NO idea where I was going. I just began making marks.  Anatomically incorrect marks involving women with interesting parts.

I’m quite fond of lady parts, especially my own. So I just let it happen as I sketched merrily along.

A day or two later I picked up the notebook again (hereafter referred to as the Art Journal because it sounds so…arty) and decided to take the little sketches further. Thought charcoal for be nice for depth. And then fixative to keep the charcoal from breeding with the other pages. Spray Fix is something I recently discovered that I have cans and cans of, proving it pays to organize the supplies once in awhile.

Well, the charcoal was fun but blah. These suckers needed some punch. So I added pastels. And more fix. And then acrylic markers because they make everything pop. And some collage because why not?


Susan Lobb-Porter

Before I knew it these journal entries turned into mini-paintings. Or studies for future paintings that can be developed further, like maybe next week.

Surrender to Love Susan Lobb-Porter

Surrender to Love
Susan Lobb-Porter

Oh, my best, best, BEST beloveds…I can see you scratching your heads (heads, yes, you have at least two in my world) scratching your heads and saying but Susan, this is soooo not what you usually do.

And you would be right. 

So check back next week and see what happens. You might be surprised.


Spent so much time in the studio lately, Mr. Spouse almost put my picture on a milk carton. It was only the sound of loud music rattling the windows of Studio Grande that convinced him I hadn’t gone far.

Oh…if only he KNEW!!!

I went to Arty Life BLISS. I listened to music. Danced. Meditated in the comfy corner. And recycled all sorts of stuff.

recycle journal 1

Like old books and journals. Really, who needs to buy new when you can just gesso over the old stuff. Life is all about layers and textures anyway. The book up above was a journal from 20 years ago. A few pages of blah blah stuff about life back then before I got bored and stopped writing in it. So I gessoed and glued pages together and transformed it into what will be an art journal.

Ohhhh…but I used too much gesso. You can only paint one spread at a time. Rather than pour the gesso back into the bottle I started on  another book.

recycled art journal 2

This one is The Artist’s Way. I think turning it into an art journal is positively delicious.

recycling canvas

Then it was time to give new life to old canvases. I found a bunch of ’em  during the recent move/purge, Bunch as in they must’ve been breeding like bunnies because I swear, I NEVER made that many half-assed, half-finished crappy WHAT was I thinking??? paintings in my life. So I slapped on some gesso, tore up some paper for texture and scribbled with charcoal to get rid of the arctic blindness.

By the way, notice the tools. There’s a brush. There’s also a skewer and a credit card, two of my favorite mark making devices. Ummm…lemme see…and in the photo down below there’s that black circle thing I salvaged from a slide projector tray and the beige cone from a microwave angel cake pan. Nothing is safe when it comes to making marks.

Don’t be confused by the can of furniture polish. That doesn’t belong there.

blog 5_19 1

I ended up with a dozen repurposed canvases of different sizes. Here’s some of them ready and waiting for da muse.

Mr. Spouse

Somewhere around the middle of the R&B playlist (I Heard It Through the Grapevine) I looked out the window and saw Mr. Spouse working on his next project…Studio Grande’s soon-to-be patio. Can’t keep a good man away from concrete… Or maybe it was Marvin Gaye. Yes, I’m sure the musician in him was diggin’ Marvin.

Meanwhile, back in the studio I didn’t really have any idea or direction what I was going to do with all those canvases. Just started painting. Two of them told me what they wanted to be.

WIP 5_19

They’re still works in progress. I believe this will become a series of striped (pronounced strip-ed) animals. For an Etsy store. I don’t have an Etsy store yet but stay tuned.

Confession: Truth in Blogging Disclaimer

Oh my best beloved sweetums, a couple of months ago when I redesigned Arty Life, I made the grand proclamation that I would post something EVERY day.  Mwhahahaha! What. Was. I. Thinking???

I wasn’t thinking about my sanity, that’s for sure.

So I’m pulling back. I’ll be here a couple of days a week. Monday. Definitely Monday.  That’s when I’ll show you what went on in the studio over the past week and weekend. Later in the week there’ll be other stuff…photography or apps or musings about life. But right now I don’t have a schedule, only the sense of freedom that comes from knowing I’ll have that many more hours to paint. Or play.

I think it’s called SUMMER!


Pinch Me

Scary photo alert: If you have an aversion to other people’s messes go get a cuppa something and skip over the first few photos with your eyes closed.

For the past six weeks or so I’ve been playing this little game called moving stuff. What began as clearing Mama’s house out for the renter became just dump everything from the old studio into the new studio and it will sort itself out. Eventually. In due time.

Mwhahahahaha. Oh, excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Silly me, the Clutter Fairy must’ve lost my address. If you see her, snip off her wings, take away the crown (it’s from Burger King anyway) and tell her she’s been a baaaaaad fairy.

Tell her Susan says she sucks. Not personally sucks, because I don’t want to damage her tender little ego because I’m much too nice a person to do that, but her job performance is wanting.

Wanting. With a capital W.

clutter 1

Look at this. Just look at this. SEE WHAT I MEAN??? That sparkly little glitter-dusted effing fairy flew away and left me with this!

Clutter 2

And this!

Clutter 3

And one more because I want to burn it into your eyes. Imprint it on your brain–

Tidy 1

So that THIS will make you weep with joy. This working, functional ORGANIZED studio space will make you sigh with relief. 

SENSITIVE SOULS…You can come back and look at the pictures now.

tidy 2

Because everything that stayed, that didn’t go away,  has a place. A place that is logical to me. A place where I can find it. I know where everything is. And yes, I do have about eight cans of spray mount, six cans of varnish and enough canvases to keep me busy for a long time.

tidy 3

I also have a useable desk. Ignore the blue cord. It’s a power thing for some tool Mr. Spouse was using outside. It’s not really there.

tidy 4

And the comfy corner is once again a place to breathe. To be. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh….

It took a few weeks to get to this point, mostly because I was simultaneously doing the same thing to my house, another place the Clutter Fairy bailed on me. But it’s okay. The house is, oh my god, it’s wonderful!!! It’s like…do I even live here? Oh, I DO! Lucky me!!!

But the studio…having a functioning studio that wants me to be there, wants me to make art… That is the BEST thing of all!

I even painted today, yes I did. But that’s another post, a come back tomorrow post. Or maybe later in the week post. Because I might be too busy painting to blog.

We’ll see.

RIP Lana

RIP Lana

She’s gone.

ponies in the morning

Sweet pony was called home today.

I found sweet Lana lying by the gate today. She was dead. From the looks of things, she just keeled over. Ka-boom. Just. Like. That.

She wasn’t sick. Wasn’t in pain. And ever the sweet pony that she was, she didn’t put me in the heart wrenching position of having to make THAT decision.

She actually did me a favor dying like that.  An old horse, a very old horse, moving on to wherever it is old horses go. Leaving the body she no longer needed right there by the gate. By the gate…so we could get her out of there easy peasy. If you ever even contemplated moving a dead horse you’d know how considerate that is.

Oh God, I’m going to miss her so.

ponies in the morning


Going to miss that deep throaty nicker every time she caught sight of me. Her boundless enthusiasm as she cantered up to the fence for dinner. Or just to say hi, as recently as yesterday. Her kick-ass I’m the boss mare attitude towards the others in the herd. Her catch me if you can shennigans when the the mood was upon her.

ponies in the morning

Lovin’ on Lana

I’m going to miss her, oh how I’ll miss her. But she didn’t go before she taught me the lesson I needed to learn, that it’s okay to open your heart, okay to risk it all by loving someone. Even when you know that someone isn’t going to be around forever. Even though that love will someday break your heart.

I wrote all about that here.  And because of that lesson, I also know it’s okay to feel what I’m feeling now. Which is shitty.

Really, it’s okay.

Because shitty will pass. And when it does, the lesson learned will be stronger than ever. It’s okay to love. To feel deeply. To be vulnerable. And it’s okay to feel good again.


Thank you Lana, for teaching me that. Happy trails. Namaste. And while you’re galloping around up in pony heaven, say hi to Roy and Dale and Jesus for me.