Mondays are just not fun. Not many happy things happen on Mondays. It’s the day you have to reply to 1,393,293 emails and do the to-do list that you didn’t do on Friday afternoon. It was pouring rain outside this morning. Weezie and Frodo (my roommate’s sweet cat) were both curled up in my bed. Needless to say, I did not want to start my day. And I did have the 1,000+ things to do at my job today. But I did get to go out and take pictures at Fresh-Way Produce (family owned local produce shop in Jackson). I just couldn’t stop looking at all of the colors of the corn, pumpkins, and gourds. A-mazing. If this doesn’t make you happy looking at these photos I took, then I just don’t know what to say. It is incredible to look at all of these colors. Hope it brightens your Monday. I know it did mine.
There have been some terrible storms over the past month that have destroyed areas of the South. Hundreds have died, and many families have lost their homes. A lot of my friend’s hometowns have been ruined. This time last year my hometown Yazoo City was a trending topic on Twitter and on the front page of the New York Times because of a massive tornado.
I don’t know why the weather has been so bad. I don’t understand why this has been happening. It is haunting to see video footage of some of these tornados, like the one in Tuscaloosa. It has really made me appreciate it when the weather is nice outside. I don’t know about you, but I take it for granted far too often when the sun is shining and there is a light breeze blowing.
My prayers and thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and their homes in these storms. I am personally not a fan of giving out links to big non-profits (after seeing ineffective use of money during Hurricane Katrina). But I will say to contact your friends who live in these areas. Ask what you can do for them. Find one of the local churches and mail a check directly to help, to be used however they see fit. I know that First United Methodist in Yazoo City used every cent they were given with responsibility and care to go directly to those who needed it.
These are some photos I’ve taken out at Noxubee Refuge outside of Starkville.
Weezie has had to stay in my bedroom locked up because one of my mother’s cats really doesn’t like her. I had been opening my shutters so she could look out the window. But she could only sit on my bed to look out. She couldn’t get really close to the window. But I found a stool yesterday and put it by the window. Weezie now spends most of her day just staring out the window. And it was such a little thing to do for her. There is not a happier cat on the planet now.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about painting. I have not had the time to pick up a paintbrush IN A YEAR! Before I got really into intense Graphic Design classes, I took some painting courses. I took two watercolor classes with Brent Funderburk. I learn so much from him whenever I am around him, not just about art but about LIFE! Because art is life! I keep quotes of his that I scribbled during class.
I’m now looking at several of the jewels he gave me…
The hardest thing to do: we have to live like we are loved.
For my art to be universal, then I have to go deeper into my own understanding.
All I can know as an artist is to have a personal response.
Artists are always trying to heal our eyes.
I write all this to say that I felt so alive releasing something that was inside of me. For me, that’s what painting is. It is the best feeling taking one of my fancy brushes and putting down that intense Cadmium Yellow onto a blank piece of Arches paper. I have got to get back to painting. Moving home I do not have any space to paint. And Weezie (the cat!) likes to be up in everything. So I am not able to right now. I’m making do with sketchbook and pencils. But when I move somewhere where there’s space, I will get back to it. Because the simple act of putting paint onto paper is so little yet it is so big.
Below is two paintings (from a series of ten) exploring yellow squares. I painted these during Watercolor 2 with Brent. This series was very personal for me. I learned about myself. Brent turned to me in class one day and said “Kate, what yellow is your yellow?” Needless to say, I am still thinking about it. I do have an answer but it took a long time to get there! Ha!
These paintings are 15 x 22 in. Watercolor & acrylic. You can find a few more here.
And go view Brent’s amazing work.
I would have to say there are two redeeming things about the United States Post Office for me.
1. Vintage post office boxes. Love them. I always love to go look at the numbers and decoration on them.
2. Stamps. I love stamps. But let me refine that statement. I love pretty stamps. I always seem to hold up the ridiculously long line (why is there always a long line at the post office? If the post office had a better designed website, I guarantee there wouldn’t be anymore… anyhoo!) to ask “Do you have any cool stamps in?” Of course they do! And the thing I LOVE about the cool stamps is that you are paying the same price as the boring ones but you get a little bit of fabulousness that goes on your letter! It is something so little that just makes me so happy. There’s nothing like a Snoopy sticker, or pretty Christmas ones. NOTHING.
I’m mailing out self promos to everyone I can think of that I would want to work for. I have an awesome envelope and I *think* the contents are pretty. The shipping is $1.90 for each envelope. After my third visit to the Post Office, I realized I could just put at many stamps on it as I wanted as long as it equaled $1.90. (My teacher Jamie Mixon had given me that idea a few months ago). I think it makes is soooooo much more fun. Hopefully the people getting them will think so too.
Okay. I’m not a huge fan of that deer looking thing, but it was 17 cents! I’m in love with the 5 and 10 cent stamps. I think I’m going to address several with just that. That will be a lot of stamps and probably a lot of work for the Post Office. BUT that is what I’m paying them $1.90 to do, right?!
Okay. But let’s get to the good stuff. Obviously the Post Office in Yazoo City, Mississippi is not going to have very interesting stamps available to me. Thank goodness other people appreciate this kind of stuff. Go check out one of my favorite collections on flickr – Vintage Stamp Collection.
Here’s a sampling of her collection!!!! So good!