Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Friday, September 30, 2005

On (not) being an artist

During the Scorsese film about Bob Dylan, Bobby Neuwirth, talking about what it was like in the 60s, said art wasn’t dollar-driven like it is today, but was judged by what the artist had to say – and it hit me all over again that because at age 19, I had nothing to say - and knew it - I let that stop me. (There was also mention of having a command of your material, genius being the combination of both.)

Actually, I think it was more complicated, but the central tenet, that I had to have a message, was a show-stopper.

I remember my then husband’s dream about his old roommate telling him to just “keep painting.” And he did - sometimes on my canvases.

Now that I'm older, I could if I wish return to it, but for many years I’ve not really cared. It’s only when I see works done by my old classmates and teachers from the Art Institute that I wonder what might have been had I kept painting. I once asked Joan Brown, who was also a wife and mother, how she kept working and she said she went to the studio every day just as if it was a job, whether she felt like it or not, and just kept painting.

That was another, not happy, life. I'm actually really, really happy now and don't want to mess with that; it's not as if I've mastered my medium with years of practice and I still have nothing much to say - which is painfully obvious, isn't it?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Back from SLO

Friday, Judy and I drove to San Luis Obispo in my newly painted Mazda, carrying our road bikes on back, to ride in the Lighthouse Metric Century on Saturday. We got up early, had breakfast at Denney's (not bad, especially for the money, though the coffee wasn't very good), and were on the road, Highway 1, by 8:00. The route was a simple out and back, our furthest north point was just above Cambria. We know that road well. It couldn't have been a prettier day: lots of sun, pelicans, no big wind, nice pavement and great, really great food. That club sure knows how to feed a crowd.
Aside from a terrific ride on Saturday, when we got there on Friday we walked around downtown SLO, checking out the creekside walk, and ended up having a nice dinner alongside the creek. Saturday evening we just watched a movie on our Motel 6 T.V., "Selena," and had vending machine chips and candy for dinner (didn't even need that after the plentiful food from the ride).
Nice weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hugged your turtle today?

I once had a sweet pond turtle named Cleo. She got to be the size of a dinner plate and weighed over six pounds. Cleo actually liked people and would behave much more like a dog than a turtle. And she was pretty smart, too, unlike the Freds I have now who are really, really dumb; there are lots of Cleo stories I could tell. Sadly, Cleo died several years ago. She was over 30 years old.

Within a very long, complicated dream this morning about working in the Gulf Coast rescue, Cleo came walking up to me from underneath some bus seats. I picked her up and - this is the amazing part - she had a strange deformation on one side of her face; she'd had a stroke. Her horny mouth was drooping and caved in on one side. One eye was low. Her face would morph back to normal, then droop again. The doctors I was with were all very interested and between us we decided she should be taken to the hospital in Davis.

I was still on my way with her when I finally, grudgingly, got up this morning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Another week

Last Monday I put Sibyl in her travel cage, bungied to the table in the camper, and we took off for a trip up the coast. We stopped for lunch at Julia's in Sebastopol and then set up camp at Bodega Dunes.

Sibyl really likes her picture window.

Once we're there I have to switch gears from getting-there mode. I look around. And sit. And sit some more. And "wonder where it is I've really got. "

But I do love just hanging out inside the camper, doing nothing much. I read. I cook dinner and eat. I write a bit and I read some more. Then we pack up the next morning and drive a short way to our next campground and do it again. Nice.

After visiting Ft. Ross we stopped the second night at Manchester State Beach where we were nearly alone. Quiet. I left Sib in her cage and went for a long walk on the beach at sunset. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

It was a very short drive from there to Mendocino so I went on to Ft. Bragg and the Headlands Cafe for a waffle and latte breakfast. When I got to Barb & Larry's in Mendocino, Barb had gone to San Francisco to try and buy a table from a closing business, so I visited with Larry and did some more reading.

I was out of touch with the world for several days so it wasn't until late in the week that I knew about the horrendous events on the Gulf coast. I've wept a lot since then, knowing what I long suspected was true: we are no better than anyone else in dealing with massive chaos; we have finally seen we are not exempt.