Friday, May 30, 2008

Back to art already

Nothing like a impending surgery to get one motivated to complete a few tasks, say, in the studio? I'm in the final crunch on time before my hand gets cut open, so I'm really getting some canvases ready for their next steps and it has made an already efficient painter (me) even more so. the studio looks even more what my friend D once called an "art factory" as I have about 20 paintings leaning against any available surface, all in some form of doneness.
I must also say that when one starts blogging about patios on their blog, the blog begins to be littered with patio ads. Yuk.
So, I can't type that P word anymore, dearies.
If you recall from previous posts, before I became obsessed with a P, I'm actually a working artist, so I'm going to get back to business and put the business of my hand on the back burner as it were.
In preparation of said surgery, I've been practicing using my left hand in various tasks, some more successfully than others.
Eating, check.
brushing teeth, check.
.....ok, the list isn't that long, but I can eat and brush my teeth. Oh boy. Still working on the other stuff, like writing and painting.
Recovery time is about 4 weeks, the first one to two the most critical so of course typing on the computer isn't going to be any picnic. The horror!
Stay tuned for my "left hand" period of art. Who knows, maybe I'll tap into a part of my brain unused and find a new "voice" to paint by.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

but what about the patio??

Forget the hand, what about the haze on the patio? No luck, people. I hate to break it to J, the rep that came back with a gallon of concentrated paver cleaner: Makes up to 7 gallons, I mixed out a proportion of about 4 so it would be concentrated. No difference.
Used it straight out of the container: sorry.
This part of the project is officially over. The next move is a visit to the landscaping supply and getting sealer which claims to impart a finish over the top of the paver which can be anywhere from matte to high gloss, or a wet look.
Sounds good to me.

In the meantime, my hand feels horrible. I need to take a few chapters from Margie's story and suck it up already but this is my blog so hence, my pity party.
Boo Hoo.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

where to go with this??

first off, the pictures below are irrelevant to the blog. had to use this site to host posting pictures on another site.

Back to me:
Hand specialist yesterday due to what I now call "patio hand". I'm sure that term will me a new entry into medical textbooks.
Here's the diagnosis, followed by a side of surgery: "advanced carpal tunnel syndrome"

Many thoughts about this, I can barely get my head together, but I'll try here. Here's the top ten list of why this is so wrong:

10. That I didn't stop when I was in so much pain building a retaining wall and then a patio
9. The way I was brought up, our message we heard was always to "just do it" or "push through the pain" It's always been that way in our family- Yes, this comment smacks of blaming it all on the parents, and we're a hard working people, but I'm just tossing it out there. I'm so this way.
8.If we'd just hired someone to do it, they'd be having surgery not me
7. I'll never, ever take on a project like this again. Ever.
6. This throws a real wrench into my tight painting schedule for Napa Valley Open studios event. I absolutely won't cancel it, but I'm feeling a bit challenged right now on how to accomplish some of the goals I have.
5. the world is not set up for a mom with a toddler to be dragging him into medical appointments: 8 follow up physical therapy appointments post surgery. Are they kidding?
4. Now realizing what dead weight my other hand is. When I'm practicing getting used to using it for a while, all I can think is,
"what the hell have you been doing my whole life, just hanging there??" I need to work on getting lefty into fighting shape.
3. I'm seriously thinking about teaching myself to write and paint left handed
2. I can't wait to see what my left hand can paint. Oh boy
1. What a shame: a very preventable injury, but I had to learn the hard way

Saturday, May 10, 2008

did I say "done"?

Ever heard of Polymeric Sand? I didn't think so. Neither did I until a few weeks ago. Sure, I get the whole poly=plastic, sand = sand thing. This is the latest thing in the patio paver stone world for working into the joints once all of the pavers have been put down. Why? cause the poly part, once moistened, with no less than four "mistings", acts like a glue mixed with the sand, so that the joint sand hardens and acts to help the patio become the more solid as a rock surface that I'd like.

Isn't there an expression out there about finishing a project and then there's always something else?
So, I emailed the company (that invented this thing), and was contacted via email by several (really) people, all concerned about what happened after I used the polymeric sand. What happened? The polymeric imparted a white haze to my pavers, thats what.
So, the patio now has an inconsistent white-wash look to it. Not caring for it at all. Supposed to be done with this. Have things to do. (like get back to my life)

Rep from company came over to see said haze, bringing a gallon of same company paver cleaner. Tried small area in corner. MMMM..... ok, I guess. Still doesn't look like what my pavers once were and what my pavers look like say, over in that corner.
(you get that there is a lot of inconsistent "hazing" going on?)

Spent next day with gallon of paver cleaner, following directions, kicking out my toddler from the project. Hmmmm. Not great.
Really, folks, want this to work- badly.

emailed said rep. telling him of inconsistent and not particularly satisfactory results. Need a couple more gallons, don't you think.
I'll keep this blog posted as to the progress.
This projects been going on for weeks and weeks, I've got three lovely pots to plant, a patio set I'd like to relax in and like I said, a life (mainly painting) I'd like to get back to.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

all pau!

Ok, "pau" means done or complete in Hawaiian.

What's all pau? The patio of course. It is what I have been essentially obsessed with for the last 10 weeks or so. What a lot of work. Physically so taxing and once a person gets started on such a project, even with injury (yes) one cannot stop. I had no intention of dragging this along and into the 100 plus degree heat of the summer.
By the numbers:
8 loads of foundation gravel
3 loads of sand
2,457 pavers
10 yards of soil (I am being generous describing the clay around here as "soil")
one wheel barrow
2 shovels
1 large jar of motrin
uncountable number of hours my son Q was with his new babysitter Spongbob Squarepants so that he wouldn't "help" My apologies to all parents out there that think this is a great developmental experience for a toddler. It aint. And if you say it is, you're lying.
1 doctors appointment next week to find out what's wrong with my right (painting) hand.

I think you get the picture: Oyvey

In the meantime, what's happening in the world of art? (take lofty tone here...) The Napa Valley open studios, of course!
I was recently juried in, as here in the valley, it's a juried event. (say: ooooooh!)
The last two weekends of september, I'll be pretending that I have a studio in Napa, shared in a warehouse with about 10 other artists, but will be a terrific venue as it's centrally located, shared space and lots of parking. I'm a former city dweller, so that is always on my mind when it comes to making it easy for clients to visit.

So, I'm under the assumption that my hand will make a full recovery and I'll be painting happily from now till august, at which time 2 dozen or so highly sought after paintings will be drying and being prepared to make their debut into the world of Napa Valley art, by way of open studios.

With all that the above statement brings to mind in the way of sheer glamour, I am off to take the trash bins in from the curb.