This picture is called Levitating Oranges of Borneo, and is a portrait of one of my best friends Debra. She not knowing I’d immortalized her in crayon, came to visit one day and recognized herself on our wall.
I’ve been wondering for years, “What makes a successful portrait?” I could draw John’s face animated in a goofy grin, but that’s not always him. Picture him with a frown or with his mouth open crunching potato chips. Perhaps I should compromise, as many artists do, and show him sedentary but then I haven’t shown his noisy mind. Do I express the “real” John by depicting his possessions, interests, or past activities?
Perhaps I should draw him at age eight. He’s been eight much longer than he was fifty- two as far as I can see. He’s been eight every year I’ve known him as well as all his bearded years.
Here I’ve tried to show the Real Debra and she seems to think I was successful. nancymauerman.com
Levitating Oranges Of Borneo In Mink – Framed
Two rabbits danced on a floor of sparkling snow under a big round moon. I was seven leaning on my mother’s yellow kitchen window sill and thought, “I should watch longer because I’ll never see a sight like this again,” so I watched the blue rabbits dance in a blue diamond world three more seconds and went back to the toys I’d played with a hundred times. I wondered the next day if they’d left my yard together so I went outside but too much snow had fallen during the night.
Yea, kids are curious because the world is new, but new is also uncomfortable. Within a year of the rabbits my goal was to grow up as fast as I could so I could quit learning and always be comfortable. Luckily my parents exemplified the joy for learning discomfort. The easier I made my life the more boring it became so I developed a longer attention span hoping to be like my parents who were always reading, making furniture, painting pictures or photographing, finding, grinding and polishing stones, making lost wax jewelry, taking geology classes, camping, gardening, and more.
My kids are also my example with Anna studying MMA. The more I study the bigger and therefore newer my world becomes. I’m probably more curious now than I ever have been before in all my life. All that time since the age of seven and I’ve wondered and been plagued by the rabbit dance. I wish I’d been an older six and watched until the rabbits stopped dancing. How long did they dance and how did it end? What did the rabbits do when they stopped? Did they hop off together or in different directions? How far did they hop to get home? Where did they live?
Sometimes the plague of not knowing can cause new thoughts also. nancymauerman.com
If there was a rule available to be broken, I’d find it. Without knowing the rules for High Art or good taste, I’d break them. I seemed to find this opportunity in every single class I attended. By a month into most of my classes, the teacher laughed each and every time he got to my piece hanging on the wall. He had so many teaching opportunities! He’d start, “Don’t do what Nancy did here…” then he’d point out the no no then teach correct principles. I felt like the standing dead but I LOVED how much faster I was learning than the others. The teachers also explained to me many strengths I hadn’t realized. I always got an A.
Soon all the thirty- five to forty students laughed as soon as the teacher came to my pictures; they’d never had so much fun with art! Then, when they were comfortable expressing their anticipation for the up coming fun learning, they laughed as soon as I pinned my picture to the wall! They didn’t know what was wrong with it, but they knew several things would be, the strong favorable comments weren’t as funny.
Once our assignment was to spend two hundred hours pencil drawing a life sized spoon and thought, “I’m going to hang this thing over my couch when I’m done.” so I matted it in a rusty, red barn, color to match my furniture.Oh boy did I get a lecture! Evidently pictures I created were not decorations for a couches but were to shatter the world with profound and exquisite new looks at life!
I and the world was to buy a new couch to decorate my picture!!!
Several people have said they loved my work but didn’t know where they hang it so didn’t buy the picture that moved them. Guess what I told them? Would you be afraid to hang a Van Gogh? Buy a new couch or for that matter a new house to suit the art. nancymauerman.com
John got me again. “I fixed climate change.” he told me today.
He often does have profound insights so I said, “How?”
“I turned on the heater.”
I dream of a time when a simple energy force surrounds me to keep me warm or cool. I’ll wear a sun dress in the snow and place a force around my plants in the winter to warm them. Why heat the entire house?
I expect cars, or personal transporting device to float high so we can turn all the roads into long and linking parks.
While I planning the future I’d like to wear chicken shoes. They have three long toes in front and one behind as a high heal. The heal will have drawers for small items and the toes will be so long they’ll be functional in some way. Do you have any ideas?nancymauerman.com
Sally’s wearing chicken shoes and she’s very happy about it.nancymauerman.com
Sally – Framed
Chicken’s In Birthday Suits, as an EBook, is free for a few more days. The story is based on one of my friend’s traditions and great memory; birthday parties for each of their household’s egg layers.
Most of my children’s books are based on family traditions. When I was a kid many mothers created seasonal craft items and used over them and over every year. Weekly our family, and every other one I knew, gathered around the TV set every Friday for the Flintstones and every Sunday night for The Disney Hour. All kids acted out Davy Crockett, Swamp Fox or Scarecrow in our school yard and front lawns because we’d all seen the same stories Sunday nights.
Some of the memories, my strange mother created, were a little uncomfortable at the time. My brother, Don, and I were taken downtown on first Saturdays; big sale days. We didn’t mind watching her shop, or even being there an hour early. What we did mind was following her up and down, almost empty sidewalks, as she filled up her large special paper bag on handles. She’d painted two bright, colorful, circular National Litterbug symbols, about the size of a turkey platters. She glued one each to both sides of her litter bag, filled up, dumped it in a trash can and went at it again. Don and I followed at a “respectful” twenty paces behind her.
Making sweet and mildly embarrassing memories binds us together and anchors us to our families. nancymauerman.com
Make a fun family memory, sing together and tell your young one stories about your singing when you were young. I bet you can remember singing on a school bus or in scouts to make time fly. May I suggest my kindle book, Old Mac Donald Has a Haunted House.
My mother, born on a Nebraska farm, told me that every Sunday, after their various churches services, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents met at Little Great Great Grandma’s house. They ate the food they’d all brought from home and spent hours and hours walking up and down hills of her farm.
The rules for Sunday were; no laughing and singing only church songs. I see in my mind groups of family, some of one age, other of all ages, walking hand in hand, wrapping arms around each others waist, and chris- crossing arms in front and linking hands.nancymauerman.com
John’s been taking pictures of his big water blisters and rashes, results of chemo therapy. We bought a new high resolution camera for my art work so I’d paint and draw pictures for my children’s books then photograph them in clumps. In between batches of art John photographed his blisters. Amy comes to our house and down loads the photo and starts the process of putting my books together for Amazon. Her mind is thinking numerically, and about size, color, digital quality, then suddenly there’s a 8 1/2 X 11 water blister on the screen! It makes her screams.
She’s a well behaved visitor in our home but she’s put her foot down. John is not allowed to use the new camera. All boo boos are on his camera, but I do miss her periodic screams.nancymauerman.com
After chemo, John broke out with a progressive rash. If it continues much more he’ll be solid red. He’s fascinated by it, miserable, but fascinated and takes pictures several times a day.nancymauerman.com
This piece is called Man of Sorrow and reminds me of loyalty. Christ’s to us and ours to him. As a child loyalty to my mother took the form not trading the sandwiches she made with other kids. Their mouths were drooling for her home made bread. Don, my brother, and I had many opportunities to trade and would have loved to have store bought bread as a change and treat.
As Don and I grew so did the depth of our loyalties.nancymauerman.com