Saturday, December 2, 2017

MoFD I & MoFD II



MoFD I

MoFD II

Medium: Canvas, acrylic, tempera paint, egg whites
Title: MoFD I is painted over different leaves from the Piney Woods of East Texas near the Big Thicket
Title: MoFD II is painted using pine needles as a paintbrush
By: Clara G. Herrera


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dating post-divorce? There's an app for that, or so I'm told.

Clara G. Herrera

Title: Done
Funky things happen when you start a post-divorce blog to launch writing and art into the world after living life in virtual anonymity for decades.
For example, there seem to be many men - especially in the Ukraine, and in ships in the middle of the ocean - who “want to be friendship,” with me.


Bless their hearts. I imagine them spending many hours cruising the internet cutting and pasting that phrase.
A simple “No thank you. I don’t know you,” seems to help them scuttle off to the next endearing soul.
A few are a bit more persistent. Some dude complimented the way I look. I responded: “That’s not really me. I have missing teeth and a wooden peg leg.” That did not deter him as he still asked if we could move to private email to chat. I laughed and didn’t respond.
The Twitter followers with profile pictures are the best. When I follow back in amusement, the giveaway is the private message immediately sent back that starts out, “Hello Dear” and is peppered with bad grammar.

“Please bear with me am just an old fashion man,Im…”
I roll my eyes, chuckle, and write back. “I don’t know what country you’re from, but you better hope that dude doesn’t figure out you’re using his photo for your fake account.”
This is followed by “said gentlemen” unfollowing and blocking me.
It’s quite amusing. There seem to be a lot of money grubbing prey-on-desperate-women dudes out there.
Thankfully, I’m not a desperate woman.
After almost two years of officially being a solo artist, friends have begun asking me: “So, are you dating?”
Nope, is my response.
“Why not?“ asked a friend. “You can just “swipe,” she said as she waved her finger over an imaginary phone.
I had no idea what she meant and my thoughts immediately went to that Dora the Explorer kid cartoon show with the fox, “Swiper, No Swiping!”
She, of course, was talking about a dating app.
I ain’t into dating sites and once referred to one as Matchbook.com in a conversation, so that will give you a clue about my knowledge of internet dating.
One social media site I use has tailored ads because I’m a solo artist now.
I got sick of clicking the “not relevant to me” on the dating site ads with the smiling, debonair looking man. It’s always the same dude. Hasn’t he found someone yet?
So, I changed my birth date to 1905, thinking there aren’t many dating sites for centenarians. And, I figure, I can put up with the adult diaper and walker ads, no problem.
But, my all time favorite so far, aside from the ever present “Nigerian Prince from Africa,” was from someone touting a “doctor” who could put a hex on my former spouse so he’d return. Considering it was my choice to divorce after an almost 20-year marriage, I found that most amusing.
Done.
Personally, I find all of this freaking hilarious. Sometimes it’s the small comedies of life that make it worth living.
However, scientifically, I muse on the sadness of it.
For every divorced woman like me who guffas each time I see these, there are many women who bite. I know this because statistically scam artists wouldn’t waste time sending these out unless someone is biting.
I speculate that it is a lack of confidence by some women to feel comfortable in their own skin. Many women, divorced, widowed, alone, feel they need a man to validate their femininity and perhaps, their very existence.
Society teaches women that, in my opinion. I hope it’s changing.
Now, before you get your panties in a wad, I’m not bashing internet dating sites, relationships, soul mates, or any other ethereal conceptions a person may have. I think that’s all fine and dandy. I know some people who have found that wonderful person on a dating site.
Real, true, honest relationships, and love of any kind is wonderful.
I’m talking about the blinders folks wear to convince themselves to be in a relationship, even though their gut feeling, friends or family might tell them otherwise.
Having a true, honest, real relationship with yourself and your own needs are what keep you grounded. Confidence in yourself thwarts all the princes from Nigeria or even in your own town.
You are your own worst enemy if you don’t believe in yourself and your worth. If you don’t, then who will? It took me decades to realize this.
Sometimes you may feel alone, but who doesn’t? That’s the way life is. People in relationships even feel lonely. That’s not a reason to remain in a bad relationship or jump into them repeatedly.
My life has been pretty full lately, and I choose not to spend time cruising dating sites. It’s just not my thing.
Instead, I’ve been using my time to check personal goals off my list like painting, writing, travel, meeting people organically and having face to face conversations, decorating my home the way I want it, and getting rid of old stuff, like my marital mattress.
It’s quite liberating. Someday, I may find a dude to share life with me, but I ain’t gonna force it. Discovering the glories of life for myself, and my children is pretty dang cool.
But, I think I’m going to change my response about the dating thing from no to a yes. “I am dating someone!” I’ll start to respond. “They workout, like science, are quirky, write, and do funky art!”
Oh, yeah, that’s me. Maybe dating yourself is a great post-divorce experiment.
I never have to ask myself if I look fat in this dress. I can eat anywhere I want and not ask if I’m gluten-free or have any allergies. I don’t need to ask, “Hey baby what’s your sign” or try to impress myself because I already know what I like.
I can even make myself laugh.
Being alone doesn’t always have to mean you are lonely. Is it challenging? Yes. Can you do something about it? Yes.
Don’t be baited by the phishers or the fishing. Throw them back and catch the right one. Then take a picture of yourself with the big catch, even if that big catch is yourself.
(Enriching music: Respect Yourself, The Staple Singers; It’s Me, K.D. Lang and the Recliners)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Done




Title: Done

Medium: Acrylic paint, king-sized marital mattress dragged to the curb for bulk trash collection day

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Baseball Series II



Title: Homerun
Medium: canvas, old baseballs hit over the fence, 1940s baseball glove
Enriching music: Joltin' Joe DiMaggio

Baseball Series




Baseball series I. 
Medium: baseballs hit over the fence at Bowie High School

Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy baseball live. During a clean up day of the fields, I gathered all the balls over the fence to make several art pieces. I thought of how much joy they meant to boys because they hit a home run. 

Enriching music: Trace Adkins, Swing

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Signum Majoritatis


Title: Signum Majoritatis
Medium: canvas, acrylic, broken clear glass, glue
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Weightless, Marconi Union; 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Weird Is Relative, Everyone Discovers




Title: WIR,ED (Nerd alert: If you rearrange these letters, you can spell weird;)
Medium: Canvas, acrylic, toilet paper procured from a local art museum, wooden dowel, pencil, all linear except for the writing on the toilet paper 
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Wake Up, Arcade Fire; Wake Up, Rage Against the Machine; Wake Up and Live, Ella Fitzgerald)

Behind this piece: So my kids have acquiesced. They no longer question the art and writing. Weird leaves their lips and I say, eccentric and smile. If only they knew...It was during one of these conversations, that I thought, what is something that everyone uses, that is completely mundane and part of everyday life that I can turn into an artistic expression? Writing on toilet paper ain't that easy.

Reflection: I thought about the science behind this piece as I was creating it. All is linear except for the writing on the toilet paper. It is not written in a straight path, just like life is not. I thought it down to the letter size, punctuation and lack of it. I could have used other colors, but black and white were chosen for a reason. White is all the wavelengths of the color spectrum reflected equally. Black is the absorbing of all colors. In life, we are constantly reflecting on and absorbing all that is happening and has happened to us. The result, in my opinion, is gray. Our brains are gray.

Written mathematically, it would be W+B=G; If W>b=W/g; If w<B=B/g. 

Nomenclature broken down: If white and black are equal, the hue will be gray in equal proportions. If there is more white than black, the gray will be a lighter color. If there is less white than black, the resulting pigment will be a darker gray. However in all areas of life, at all times it is either black, white, or gray. Each includes all colors of the visible spectrum.

Gray is balance. It's like those clouds that shield the sky. It is that crisp wind that kicks up suddenly creating goosebumps on your skin. It is the light rain that follows quenching your epidermis for further growth. It is calming. It is peaceful. It is the day and night mixed together in the hues of life. 

It's a God Deal/Home


Title: It's a God Deal/Home
Medium: Canvas, acrylic, paper ashes from a letter written to God
By: Clara G. Herrera, for my son

(Enriching music: Welcome Home Son, Radical Face; Favorite Place, Black Books)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A midsummer's night




Yesterday was a day of creation. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and began painting and writing. This went on until about 3 a.m. this morning. My hands are green. There's paint all over the place. My house smells like acrylic. Art pieces started, four completed. My mind spills out as if an overflowing sink. It is a wonderful feeling, but also challenging.

I have given up trying to figure it out. My art friends just say go with it. So, I am. I figure God is trying to help get much of this out of my head and into production before I go back to school grading papers and teaching science. Two phrases have entered my mind as of late, "Production is everything. and Continue the Path."

In the midst of this painting frenzy last night, that is certainly not random, as each stroke, color, song I listen to as I'm creating has meaning and purpose, I told my daughter, "Can you imagine that there are some people who go through their whole lives never asking themselves, what will I create today? I can't imagine living my life that way." 

Creating for me isn't a want. It is a need. I don't know anyway to describe it except that I must do it.

I told a friend of mine the other day, I got a lot of art I want to throw out into the world but I have to wait because some of them are not very "teachery". Some day, that will come, I suppose. But for now, here are some tame ones from yesterday.


Title: The Dog Messed Up This Painting
Medium: acrylic and tempera
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Searching With My Good Eye Closed, Soundgarden)




Title: Red
Medium: acrylic and tempera
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Spring, Giuseppe Verdi; Hey Man Nice Shot, Filter) 







Title: Self Portrait 2017
Medium: acrylic, tempera, kissing the canvas (that's the red lips;), all painted with my fingers
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Nothing 'Bout Me, Sting: Korben Dallas, Eric Serra from the Fifth Element soundtrack)




Saturday, July 22, 2017

see ya later






Title: see ya later
Medium: alligator skull, sunflowers
By: Clara G. Herrera

(Enriching music: I Come From The Water, the Toadies; The Collector, NIN)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Discard/Reclaim



Title: Discard/Reclaim

Medium: neighbor's thrown out glass shower panel, burnt out blue light bulb, old broken wine goblets, crushed kid's sidewalk chalk, acrylic paint, glue

By: Clara G. Herrera

Thoughts: Sometimes the art just finds me. The truth is, I can't escape it. I pick up random things to turn into art like this glass shower panel. I figure these things will tell me what kind of art they want to become. This week, this one did.

(Enriching music: Let the River Run, Boston Gay Men's Chorus version; Show Me How To Live, Audioslave)

Details:

























Friday, July 14, 2017

SIL series


Title: SIL 1, an examination of light in shadow
Medium: white acrylic, canvas, wind, sunlight, trees
By: Clara G. Herrera
Concept: Over a period of an afternoon, while prepping the canvas or another piece I am creating, I discovered an art series, SIL, that can never be duplicated. Shadows and sunlight change. The tree creating the shadows will never have the same configuration due to branches and leaves falling. In conjunction with that, the wind won't be at the same velocity. I also took a series of still black and white photos that show the paintings created by nature. 
























Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Declaring Technology Independence?


I did it. It was more challenging than I thought. But, went to a baseball game with my kids and had a great catch with them and conversation.

Go to HuffPost for link or read it here without links.


I decided to try out this whole independence from technology thing on the 4th of July. I will unplug myself from all my personal devices, said the woman as she typed an internet post on the computer, that will be uploaded shortly with a photo taken with her phone.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t just become a hermit for a day and ignore the technology all around me.


Well, that’s not true. I guess I could pull a John the Baptist and go out in the desert and eat some bugs or something. However, I’m just not into that.


I think it’s more challenging to stay off tech when in the midst of it. So, I will try my hardest to abstain from my own techie stuff during a normal day. Might be quite a task.


Phones, computers, tablets, television, enable me to: listen to music to workout, play around on social media, check emails, texts, news, along with a plethora of other things.


At day’s end, I usually traverse down Wikipedia’s rabbit hole to learn something new. Did you know the original gummy bears were invented in 1922 Germany and were inspired by the trained dancing bears popular at festivals there? Everyone needs to know that!


Uneasiness enters my brain as I wonder if I can do this for 24 hours. I’m typing fast. I only have 30 more minutes.


Would it count if I just vow to stay off my phone and not other technology? I’m thinking, naw. That would be like someone on a diet saying, “I eat all desserts except for anything with chocolate. I’m on a diet.”


While I was reading this out loud. I got to what I thought was the end. I’d written, “Now the trick is, to get my kids to do it.”


My kids heard. They looked up with wild, scared eyes as if I’d just told them the world is going to end.

“We’re not doing that,” my son said. Science studies reveal limiting kids’ screen time is a beneficial, healthy rule. But, that’s my job as a parent, not my son’s.


It made me wonder what might be a growing market and career in the future. I think more therapists will specialize in generalized technology addiction. The problem already exists.


Not surprisingly, it’s got a name: Internet Use Disorder, or (IUD) which is kind of funny, considering the other type of IUD is birth control. So, they both are trying to control something one technological and the other biological.


Watch people walk down the street texting as they run into poles or people. See toddlers playing with iPads at grocery stores. Honk at someone because they were checking texts at a stop light lately?


Yep is the answer to all of these questions unless you haven’t noticed because you were looking on a device of your own.


My kids and students have never lived without Amazon (1994), Google (1998), YouTube (2005), iPhones, (2007) or Netflix (1997). Those are just a few.


Have you ever tried talking to a kid about video stores where you actually had to go out of your home, drive somewhere, and rent a movie on a freakin’ tape?


Their eyes glaze over. In their minds you morph into an old man sitting in a rocking chair smoking a pipe saying, “Sonny, let me tell you about them old days.”


On July 4th, I’ll dive in to get a snapshot of life before so many screens, if only for a moment. I’ll be looking up at the fireworks instead of down at memes of fireworks on my phone.

Though, I suspect like vampires to the light, I’ll be forced to shield my eyes from the light of technology anytime one of my kids or friends says, “Check out this cool meme on my phone!” I think I can handle it. Hopefully, I won’t turn into dust.  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pump Up The Volume

 
Title: Pump Up The Volume
Medium: Origami Paper Boxes
By Clara G. Herrera