This is not the post I thought I was going to write tonight. That one was about art. Imagine that! This being an art blog and all.

And then I saw something FirstBorn posted on FaceBook.

Himself, my handsome brave crazy-ass son, legs dangling from an amusement park ride, the sole purpose of which is to go straight up. And then…STRAIGHT DOWNNNNNNNNNNNN. As fast fast FAST as possible.

The kind of ride you do not go on immediately after lunch.

The kind of ride I do not go on EVER. Ever ever ever NEVER.

The kind of ride my adrenalin junkie son has loved since he was tall enough for The. Sign.

I looked at the photo and saw his legs hanging down. Yep, I’d recognize them anywhere. Then I saw a pair of legs next to his. Teeny tiny little legs that didn’t hang down so much as stuck out. And I realized holy effing crap! That’s my GRANDAUGHTER on the ride with him. My too-young-for-kindergarden-for-at-least-another-year granddaughter.

Who apparently has her Daddy’s gravity defying fearlessness. Because she likes it so much they went back the next weekend and rode it at least 10 more times.

Are you dizzy yet?

There’s a piece of me, the grandma part, that screams nooooooooooooo! It’s dangerous. Someone could get hurt. She should stick to the Merry-Go-Round. Or better yet, stay home and color. Something safe.

But there’s another piece of me, another grandma part, that is jumping up and down whistling and clapping and doing hand springs and back flips because I’m thrilled, positively absolutely thrilled that this girl-child is being allowed, encouraged, to be FEARLESS.

It’s easy to raise a fearful child. Just tell them they’re too young, too small, not ready yet. Tell them they can do something later, when they’re older. I was raised that way. I was the youngest, the baby of the family. Never able to do what the big kids did because, well, they were bigger. Older. More capable.

And so I grew up never believing I was ready for anything. Other people published novels, wrote the screenplay, started the company. Other people who were more…grown up.

I’m finally figuring out how wrong that inner programming was. Finally. And it’s about time.

Does this mean there’s a totally insanely scary amusement park ride in my future? Hell no. But I will gladly wave to my granddaughter from down below. Will take photographs and blow kisses and never, ever let her know that it scares the shit out of me.

I will never hold her back from being fearless.

And I WILL finish that novel. Count on it.

Painting by Da Rulz

This week I went waaaay beyond my creative comfort zone. To the place that has rulz.

Rulz? Really??? Mwahahahahaha…YES!!!

I kid you not!

I stayed within the lines. Gasp! Did not drip on the floor. Ohhhhhhhh… No Springsteen, no air guitar, no jumping around with fully charged brush in my hands. WHAT??? And no scribbling. Oh nooooo, say it ain’t sooooo!!!

I was BORED out of my ever lovin’ mind. It was torture. Every minute of it was nothing less than fingernails on the chalkboard painful. It was the ultimate stick-a-fork-in-the–eye experience.

But…and this is a BIG but, a HUGE but…the walls of my bedroom are now painted. YAY!!! They’re clean.  And fresh. And some flavor of khaki. Yes, I think you could call it khaki. Sort of.

bedroom walls

Even tho the photo looks yellow. Trust me, it’s a more earthy color with a slight gray note. Khaki. Definitely.

Which brings me to my next point…picking the color was whack me upside the head crazy making H.A.R.D. After hours of swatches and samples and indecisive color wheel impotence, I took three paint chips up to the counter and asked the kid behind the register which one he liked best. He looked at them for–oh hell, I don’t think he even looked at them at all, he just pointed to one.

And I said great, I’ll take a couple gallons of that. Even tho it was my LEAST FAVORITE of the three. I took his advice because I went to art school and I can’t pick WALL paint to save my ass.

And I like it just fine. Because now it’s all done I can crank up the music, bounce around the studio and and go back to painting like this.


And make things like this.

Ahhhh…. And I know the perfect wall to hang this on, until the next show, that is.











Go Figure

Oh. My. Goodness! Where did this week’s post go? Where???

It went…AWAY. Poof! Just. Like. That. To the interwebs away place, wherever that may be.

I didn’t discover it was missing until this morning. I thought maybe it was just a crappy post and you, my best beloveds, were insulted that I put it out there. Insulted enough not to comment here or like on FaceBook.

Just one of those things, y’know. I’m a big girl, I can take rejection.

But after two days of cyber silence this little worm of an idea began squirming around inside my head (under my hair, the place where magic happens). The little worm said, ummm…did you hit publish?

What a silly question! I’ve been blogging almost two years now. I know ALL about the Publish button. The Save Draft  button. The Move to Trash button.


And now I know all about the Publish in a Parallel Universe button. 

Yes, Parallel Universe. You have to trust me on this. It would also help if you were a theoretical mathematician and/or physicist. But mind-altering drugs, drinking too much and listening to this episode of Science Friday will get you there too. ‘There’ being parallel-land where parallel-you is reading the original post and snorting your coffee out your nose because it’s so damn good. The post, not your coffee. Although I hope the parallel-you indulges in decent coffee too.

And of course parallel-you leaves pithy comments and shares Arty-Life around the parallel-interwebs.

Just like you do here, right?

Okay, are you sufficiently confused yet? Good. Then I guess it’s time to climb off the dog ate my homework wagon and share a little ART with you now.

Oo Lala the Arty Life

Bottom of the Bowl # 1
Susan Lobb Porter

This, my best beloveds, is the beginning of a new photo/digital series I’m calling The Bottom of the Bowl. I realized one morning that the marks left on the bottom of the bowl of yoghurt were akin to the marks I leave on canvas. Imagine that! The original photo was all white and boring but then again, so’s a blank canvas. Right? But thanks to cyber-fairies and technology ART can happen even from dirty dishes.

Stay tuned for more. And please, tell me what the parallel-you would think of this. I’d really like to know.


Cool App Lemonade

There are MANY photos in this post. Really, LOTS. It’s all about COOL APPS. YAY!!! But like all good things, you have to be patient because I have a story to tell you first. Okay? Good, then let’s get to it. 

We’ve got an old sofa. It’s the most COMFORTABLE sofa on the planet. In the entire universe. In the entire spread-your-arms-this-big realm of existence.

Really, I am NOT exaggerating. Except it’s not really a sofa, it’s a sectional. Which means there’s this long part you can lie down on, an adult can sleep on and not wake up with a back that’s all catty-wumpus. Which makes it even better.

God made this sofa. I would not lie about that.

But after 14 years, 2 kids, many, many, many sleepovers, 4 dogs and 2 cats…well, it’s looking a wee bit worn around the edges. Which isn’t too big a problem because the sofa itself is sound. Solid. And slipcovered. That’s the way it was made and over the years all I’ve had to do when someone peed, puked or spilled wine was unzip and throw it in the wash.

It’s not only comfortable and attractive, it’s practical.

It’s also time for a new slipcover.

Problem is, the store we bought it from is no longer around. The nearest store that had the manufacturer’s swatches was up in Lake Tahoe. Well, not in the lake but right there on the edge. So Mr. Spouse and I ran up there yesterday. Not quite as dramatic as it sounds, we’re only an hour away. Although considering the way Mr. Spouse takes those mountain curves, umm…well, it was dramatic enough from my point of view.

After picking the fabric we had an hour to kill before dinner. An hour with scenery–gorgeous gorgeous UNBELIEVABLE scenery and a camera. Ahhhh, for an artist who likes to take pictures it doesn’t get much better than that.

Except for some reason, some unfathomable reason, most all the photos came out crappy. Especially the ones that featured my index finger–of which there were many.

Must’ve been the altitude.

So today’s post is about taking a crappy photo and making it better. Or at least interesting. Making lemonade out of a lemon.

It involves apps. And Photoshop. And MAGIC!

Tahoe original

This is the original photo. See what I mean? Meh. Shrug. Boring! Really, like for this I went to art school?

tahoe HDR

Here it is with a little help from the JixiPix app Simply HDR. It punches up the color, evens out the shadows. I consider this the base for further play.

At this point I shift over to Photoshop. JixiPix apps also come as Photoshop plugins so I can continue what I began with the iPhone. 

tahoe oil

A  painterly look with Artista Oil.

tahoe vintage

Now vintage. But not just any vintage. This is a combination of JixiPix Vintage and a whole bunch of effects from onOne software. From here on that’s what I’ll be doing, combining apps and effects from different companies. A bit of this, a bit of that. I’m sorry I can’t tell you the exact recipes because I just start playing. 

I cook the same way.

tahoe romantic WEB

Ummm… I think this is from JixiPix Romantic Photo. Something brooding about this one, like an English novel.

tahoe MK WEB

This one is straight Moku Hanga, again from JixiPix. It’s supposed to give the effect of a Japanese woodblock.

tahoe grunge

And this one is starts with JixiPix Grunge and ends up a few more layers in  onOne. It’s one of my favorites.

But not all of the photos needed editing.

Tahoe dessert

Like this one. This thing was monster huge and heavy on the Macadamia nuts, hot fudge and whipped cream. Yes, we shared. And even left a little on the plate.

So, excluding the obvious draw of the fancy-ass hot fudge Sundae, which of the altered photos is your favorite?  You can tell me in the comments below.

And I’d love to hear about any favorite apps or Photoshop plugins you may have.

As always, my best beloveds…xoxo