DEEP DIVE:

how it feels to be ME…

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This is the call prospectus; I will somehow communicate visually to you (since I am a visual artist) the feeling of being Bipolar. My inner workings, tickings, thinkings: the fears and joys, ups and downs, backward-and-forward loves and hatesALL the fuzzies , and the rough edges, swirly thoughts and bumps in the road BLOCKS.

In living color. Will it be beautiful? Perhaps in the fact that I am pouring myself into the page, translating feelings like a electric current running thru my heart to yours. Can it be done? Yes, because that IS what I do, always, in my art. Not to say the feelings come across in all my work to each and every viewer, but it is ultimately what motivates me to create.

. I AM a Bipolar Creative, and I am compelled to create to express this state of being.

“Oh, it’s so easy for you to paint things.”

Is it? Anyone can learn to create a likeness, with practice and will.

But no one can squeeze their very essence into a creative work the way I do without strong emotion, taxing effort, mental strain, soaring delight and, at times, great agitation and even physical pain. Yes, I have heard other Artists, many technically great and successful who purport no emotional contortions are necessary to create great art.

That is not true for me.

My art soothes my frantic racing brain which runs away at breakneck speed when certain conditions are met. Or the melancholy, dark days when I seek the relief of soothing, deep blues and greens..

Yes, I do love this Bipolar life of mine, and I’m glad to be who I am. I am proud to share myself in my art. I hope it helps a friend some future day, to put their feelings on the page…

The Days of Trouble Begin

“…I will carry the Hurt. But it will NOT defeat me…)

A guy can be going along so well, everything chugging along, when suddenly; the bottom falls out of the world. Just when it seemed like smooth sailing.

Is that shocking to me? Shouldn’t be. I’ve felt like Wile. E Coyote many times. This time was different. This time is different.

Until the day comes that I can speak, I will paint. I will draw. And I will carry the Hurt. But it WILL NOT defeat me.

Inside I am safe, free, loved, cherished.

The Mural Dream of a Cool Kid

“I was high on life, and probably paint fumes and Columbian Gold…it felt cool…”

THE MURAL DREAM

Mural painting is fine art today. Just as great frescoes in the days of Michelangelo, and centuries before, large scale art is an artist’s dream. Is that why children inevitable write in crayon on the playroom walls?

I am sure of this: As long as I have been able to appreciate fine art and my burning desire to depict what I see thru it: I have wanted to paint murals. At times, in my youth, I exercised this need, painting in spray enamel on any available wall in the dead of night. “HELLO WORLD!” in six foot tall red letters over a grinning, fanged 30 foot tall caricature, scrawled on an underpass along I-95 southbound. Painted in 1985, before the Interstate had even made it to West Palm beach. Ah, what satisfaction to drive by it in the backseat of Dad’s Mazda, grinning silently.

These were days before I heard of graffiti culture, I was a transplant to the largely undeveloped east coast of Florida an hour north of Fort Lauderdale. These were the days when the County Sherriff had bricks of coke and bales of weed being dropped on his private airstrip a few miles north of my house. I hung out with a bunch of dudes who owned a race car shop, building mid-engine Mustangs and drag racing on Glades Cut-off Road.

Before Race-day one weekend, the boys let me use all the leftover spraypaint in the shop to paint huge murals of fire breathing dragons and heavy metal chicks everywhere. I was high on life, and probably paint fumes and Columbian gold. What a rush, the guys all in amazement at my grand design. Now I was a real artist, a legend at the shop, “The Girl Who Painted Barrel Road “. Now I knew how Michelangelo must have felt when he unveiled the Sistine Chapel for the Pope! (Unveiled it? How, exactly?) Well, anyway, it felt cool.

FASTFORWARD NOW, 25 years clean and sober, a professionally recognized fine artist in my own right. Now living in St. Petersburg, Florida which hosts the annual “SHINE” mural festival, an event which brings mural artists and fans from all over the globe, and I’m still dreaming.

I know it will happen, I will have a wall to call my own. I will keep pushing, keep striving, keep believing. After all, I was born on the sixth day of March- the same day as Michelangelo!

An Artist’s Realization:

“My dreams are NOT dead!…”

Stepping Off

What did I dream of then ? The freedom to create new art, better art than anyone had done before. I dreamt of sculpture, glorious-creamy-marble-gleamy sculpture. Human form expressed in visions of living flesh to make one weep.

Pushing the limits of what had gone before, finessing my gift to a razor fine point that would etch images so tantalizing that Albrecht Durer would be green with envy. I had no doubt in my teenage grandiosity that these goals were within my reach, I knew I was “that good”. All the tools were laid before me, I believed they would always be freely given by a grateful world, an appreciative audience who would grease my path to slide into the role of a modern day Michelangelo, only in female form.

Perhaps I dreamed a bit large, but how wonderful to entertain such beliefs! With no guardrails to hem in my imagination my art soared, with no thought to the cost of materials or the the limiting exhaustion that real world work brings.

Well, guess what? I am making those dreams a reality today. I found someone who is willing to give me a chance, an opportunity to learn from his experience. I gathered my courage and kept asking, even when it seemed like I was getting nowhere. After following up on a suggestion a local CAD artist made to seek out this artist (thank you Alex!); I am proud to say I am learning from metal artist Frank Strunk III.

My dreams are NOT dead, I AM following my passion. I have the drive and vision, now with a little funding I will be soaring again! Soaring! On riveted metal wings, in welded metal carriages, in sculpted hot-air balloons and on the backs of giant imaginary sea creatures! Watch me soar, man!!!

*UPDATE*Hello Fellow Fellows of Art

The Water Plant (sold) ©SusanTMartin2019

******To all my dear friends who were worrying about me, I am doing fine and I did have a Covid test 4 days after I first felt sick, and it came out negative! So, yay, for that, and yay for feeling so much better! I hope this finds you all doing well, coping with the turmoil around us by creating beautiful, strange and titillating works of art, in whatever manner your little hearts desire! (As long as no injury on any other living thing is involved!) I find that my art allows me to travel far beyond the confines of my tiny abode, far beyond the paltry and ordinary lives of the teeming hordes of addicts and vagabonds outside my door, far beyond the lunatic fringe…to a place so grand and majestic that even now-this very instant-I am transported to a wonderland, a vista of imagine-able delight. My imagination, my wonderland…show me, tell me, dance me…your vision!*****

Undercurrents by Susan Todd Martin

I have left you all hanging for a long time, and we were getting along famously… I hope we can again. I have been coping with some major health issues. An awful fall this past Monday night, a night in the hospital. Diagnosed with a ‘Wrenched Neck” which the Dr commented, ” You are the only person I’ve ever met whose neck is in worse shape than mine”. He had 3 levels fused at John’s Hopkins, I’m 3-7 at St. Lucie Med. Center.

Passed On©STMartin2010

He said I absolutely did the right thing calling the ambulance, the blow to the head and terrible twist of my neck could have been life threatening.

So there’s that.

Then, to add insult to near death experience, I contracted what I think may be Covid. It started Wednesday and has been beating me senseless ever since. Not like any flu, much more pain and headache, dizziness, stomach pain and toilet issues, terrible tiredness, bone aches, muscle spasms…I could go on but why? I’m not going to die, I had both shots thank God.

The Insomniac’s Dream by STodd Martin2021

I can definitely see how this could kill someone if the got the full on version. It has me whimpering. Its Sunday and my fever is down, and no funny smell in my nose or taste in my mouth. That was the first symptom, but it didn’t occur to me right away. I thought the neighbor was burning something, or I had a short somewhere. Then I had an awful taste in my mouth, nothing tasted right. Not even things I like.

That’s what cinched it for me, right before a truck hit me…of course it was Friday night when I was at the peak of whatever this is. And CDC advice said don’t go to hospital if you can get better at home. I took my phones to bed with me so I could call 911.

Even wrote a goodbye letter… Crazy, huh?

Chalk Painting, just for fun, on my driveway.8/3/2021

Gotta rest now. I’ll call my Doc and get tested tomorrow. Later…

Birds of Paradise

“…running to the window, still asleep, she fell thru the glass with a crash…”

A short story by Susan T. Martin…

She was never very confident. Her mother said she was ‘pretty’. She did not believe her. She didn’t want to be ‘pretty’, anyway. No. She wanted to be ‘breathtaking’, achingly ‘beautiful’, devastatingly ‘gorgeous’. A ‘real heartbreaker’, ‘homewrecker’, a ‘ten’. A ‘perfect’ ten.

Like Tracy. Her best friend with the huge blue eyes and pretty lips, nice hips and long, long hair. But she was none of those things that Tracy was. She had a sneaking suspicion that her mother was lying about ‘pretty’ as well.

The boys did not say she was pretty. Not that she liked them. Only one. Joey. He was super smart. Super duper smart. Almost as smart as she was. But smart didn’t rate very high in her circle of giggly little girlfriends. It especially didn’t rate with Tracy who thought being smart was ‘stupid’ and ‘a drag’. A drag with a roll of the eyes added on.

It seemed she was just doomed to be a ‘bookworm’, which was a term that also elicited an eye roll from Tracy and the gigglers.

Oh, how she loved her books. She longed to go to the exotic places depicted in her ‘National Geographic’ magazine that her dad had ordered for her. He thought she was beautiful, but not in the ‘Tracy’ way. No, dad said she was beautiful for her brains, her intelligence. This made her feel very good. Her and her dad would walk in the garden and he would point out different creatures and plants for her to name, from her study books in the library. Oh, that’s a salamander…or, That one is a chickadee. His eyes glistened when she got this right, especially his beloved songbirds. He could whistle just like them, he knew every call. She could not whistle, because her tooth was missing in the front. He said he would make sure the tooth fairy knew that she had to have a mouth that would whistle for her next birthday. It was coming up soon, so she was excited.

Something bad happened that next month, tho’. Her daddy had a heart attack and died, and mom said he had gone away to a better place, in heaven. She didn’t get to tell him that the tooth fairy gave her a whistle, or that she could now tweet, almost as good as he did. She didn’t believe that heaven business, her dad said that heaven was a place where the birds lived, not dead people.

She spent a lot of time alone that winter, walking alone in the garden. She would whistle all the time, and learn about new animals and birds. She dreamed about her father every night, sometimes she would sleepwalk.

One cold, rainy February night she had an especially bad night. In her dream her dad was locked out of the house. He was calling to her, from the garden, and in her dream she wanted to fly down to him, like a beautiful exotic bird. She knew if he saw her, all arrayed in bright and glorious feathers, that he would be saved, and they would be together again. If only she could just fly down there. She started whistling and flapping her arms, and running to the window, still asleep, she fell thru the glass with a crash, landing unconscious in the garden below. Her bedraggled wet little body, so twisted and broken, was rushed to the hospital.

They said she would not be the same if she ever woke up. But they did not know that deep inside her amazing little mind, she was just fine. Her and her dad had both learned how to fly, and they tweeted happy little birdsongs back and forth as they flitted about a magnificent garden.

‘my year as a bird’ digital painting ©Susan T. Martin 2021

Water Flowing thru My Art Life

Water…It gives life, it takes life. It’s waves hold the secrets of a million years…

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"Fish of a Different Feather" by Susan T. Martin
one fish two fish red fish blue fish

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Fish of a Different Feather

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Reaching Out, acrylic on canvas, Work in Progress, Susan T. Martin 2017

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The Passage

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Reaching Out, Acrylic on Canvas, Beginning Stages, Susan T. Martin 2017

KODAK Digital Still Camera
River in Red

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Portals to Peace ( The Legacy of Lunacy ) by Susan T. Martin2016

Water…Healing. Soothing. Cleansing. Renewing. Refreshing. Constant. Relaxing

Tempestuous. Raging. Running. Crashing. Tumultuous. Freeing.

It Gives Life, It Takes Life. It’s Waves Hold the Secrets of a Million Years.

Voyages Undertaken, Trips Made, Sailing into the Unknown, New Lives Across

Rolling Seas.

Ever Present, Ever Changing the Landscapes of Our Lives.

Flowing Over the Ragged Edges So We Can Make Land Safely.

Crashing Over Our Bow to Sink Us on Reefs of Folly.

Water.

Water.

Everywhere.

S. T. M. 2020

I Miss What I Imagined I would Miss

…the room seems to awaken with her…golden rays fall…like the petals of an opening rose…

this isolation is kind of nice, (she thought), it gives me time to explore my thoughts. But too much pondering of self is no good, (she thought to herself), it can get messy. Really, it is messy, all this thinking in isolation, (she remembered), because it makes me so sleepy, (she yawned), not doing the dishes, nor combing my hair, (she sighs), flummoxed, just flummoxed. I should try to eat something, (she groans), but there’s nothing here I want, (she moans) it all takes too much energy… e-n-e-r-g-y…(she sleeps…)Izzy's 3rd Litter Dec 16,2011 5am 026footsteps recede, door closes. 

Ahhhh, fresh air… Curtains of pale yellow blow in the morning breeze. We know it’s morning, hear the cardinals breakfasting at the feeder. A nuzzle of cold snout under the hand leads to the opening of an eye: Here is Izzy, the proud mom, ready to show us her new brood.100_0306

” Good Girl Za-Za!”, we exclaim, thrilled now to sit up, taking a long draw on the crystal glass of water at our bedside.

. “Hey, Kiki old-man! You gonna show us the grand babies?”3D0E4E9E-4112-4873-9B74-C8D27E8CE8F0

.  Swing the legs over the side and stretch, then again before standing…

“Show me!”.

.  With that, off they dash as we stumble along behind, into the hall then into the den. We can already hear the tiny grunts and squeals as the teeny pups angrily demand breakfast.

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“Get in there, Izzy!” She’s already in the basket, dutifully cleaning little backsides as they squirm and nuzzle in for a teat. “Good Za!”

.  She gives us a look of pure bliss, eyes narrow and smiling with a mother’s pride. Not to be outdone, Uncle Kiko, gives a little nose-nudge to the basket as if to say, “I helped too!!”

.  ” Good Boy Kiko, you’re a trooper, indeed!”

In the quiet of the morning the scent of brewing coffee tantalizes our senses, and as we look up into the kitchen, there is Dad, in his Dad chair, reading the newspaper as he’s done ten thousand mornings before. He glances up from his cup, mid-sip, to wink and smile, mouthing a silent ‘good-morning’.

.   We move down the hall towards Mom’s bedroom, still closed as she slumbers on. We can’t resist a peek, gently opening the door and gliding over to stand and caress her sleeping face with our eyes. She is so beautiful in her repose, a wisp of brown hair touseled over her brow. We must have made a sound, she stirs and the room seems to awaken with her, the birds chirp louder, the golden rays fall around her like the petals of an opening rose. She stretches, smiling, her hand reaches out to touch ours…

It’s just a dream, just a dream. But it will be a reality soon. I miss you, Mom and Dad.

 

 

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“INSIDE VOICE” a New Series of Works

“…look into this inner world and I promise I will use my “INSIDE VOICE”.

Hello again, and welcome to the big show! I have begun what will become a Major Series of New Works entitled , “INSIDE VOICE” a series of works that speak to my inner battle with Bipolar Disorder’s lows and maniac highs, my way to shout out how the battle rages on inside even when silence prevails outside.

Many people who meet me may be uncomfortable being near a person diagnosed with mental illness, such as Bipolar Disorder. However, they are often surprised at how “normal” I seem. It has been my experience both with my current diagnosis, and with my original diagnosis of Chronic Depression, that friends and family are amazed that I don’t run around slathering at the mouth, or beating my head against the wall. They often try denial on, “No…not you…” or, ” You seem so happy, normal, well adjusted, calm, smart …”

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Dysfunction Junction ©Susan T. Martin, 2015 Best of the Best Juried Show entry, Sold.

Some have even gone so far as to comment on my family tree, as in, ” Well your Grandpa was a little odd.” Or the opposite, “Nothing like this has ever been on my side of the family…” In my family, on my Mom’s side, my Grandpa and his Brothers had come to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from Woodbury, Tennessee because there were good jobs to be had at the State Hospital, which was what insane asylums were called in the early 20th Century in the U.S. The treatment of mental illness was a whole different ballgame back then, my relatives saw many terrible and terrifying things, indeed.

Their positions within these huge hospitals required them to live on the Hospital Grounds in Dormitories, where they could hear the “lunatics” screaming and carrying on all day and night. It’s no wonder they were aghast at the idea that their kin were somehow linked  to those poor souls in the “Looney Bin”. I am so glad to live in this century, and I am very grateful to all the poor souls who were the subject of many ghastly experiments and treatments, who helped behavioral science and the Mental Health Community to become what it is today. As a “50 Something” woman who was not properly diagnosed till the age of 32, my life now is a dream compared to the suicide attempts, the self medicating, the self debasing promiscuity, the manic spending, the jail time, the fate-tempting, death-defying thrill-seeking, mayhem-causing pain I lived thru before. The sheer energy it would take to put up a happy, smiling front…man, I needed a eight ball just to keep it up for a weekend.

But it would all unravel in the end. I was not OK. I was really, really not OK. Inside my head I was screaming, and my thoughts were rolling at warp speed. I was that cat on the electric floor in that Steven King movie, running up the walls. I would try to hold down a job, and this is after a year of sobriety, after a few hours I would go to the loo and hide, shaking like a leaf. After about a year and a half clean and sober, I got my hands on my first credit card and inheritance at the same time and bought 5 acres in the wilderness, had it cleared and levelled, had a well dug, fenced it and then went to the mall and purchased a bunch of tanzanite and diamond jewelry, winding up spending  over 20 grand in 2 weeks(and ultimately filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy).

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Mania Illuminata, sold

Interspersed between those bouts of mania, where I seemed so “normal”, I would cry. And cry. And Finally I just couldn’t take the pain anymore, so a dear friend said I should go to a local Mental Health Facility, called New Horizons. I was given this ancient psychiatrist who looked wizened, emaciated and nearly blind. But, bless her heart, she had me pegged. With her help, with my determination to stick with my med trials, with a great therapist and social worker, I have been able to stay alive there past 23 years, now clean and sober for 21 of them, come September.

.  So, anyway…(whew, that was quite a tirade!)…I am painting this series to let you look inside a person with this illness, look into this inner world and I promise I will use my “INSIDE VOICE”.

.                                              Susan T. Martin, August 1, 2020

INSIDE VOICE #1
“INSIDE VOICE #1″©Susan T. Martin/12″x12″Acrylic on Canvas

LANDFALL(In the Garden of my Father)

…see what this work has gone thru on it’s journey to fruition…

.  You know I like to keep working on my paintings, don’t you? I believe it comes from not having enough money for canvases , as well as not sketching out my paintings first, as well as total and complete impatience to put my idea down fast, for gratification. So I thought I would make a brief compilation to see what this work has gone thru on it’s journey to fruition… I will make a better video tomorrow… No sleep for me (again) last night…Can you say, “MANIA!!!!” It may Hurt later, but right now it’s SO EXCITING!! PAINT PAINT PAINT!!!

The Journey, a Debut Art Video

 

.  This project was a couple years in the making for me, and was born from the bottomless grief I was dealing with then. As caregiver to both of my parents after a 23 year-long active addiction, and after a devestating breakup of my marriage when my ex went to Federal Prison, I was an emotional train wreck. I had not been creating visual art except for private sketches and some mural work, but I made a smart move during those early years back home with my parents by purchasing a Surface Pro in 2006 with all the bells and whistles. As a result, I did have a creative outlet in the new digital editing and photographic capabilities of this amazing device.

.  During the  long illness of my Mom, who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2007 (after years of passing blood but afraid to get a colonoscopy!!!!), I had much pent up emotion to release. Any moment of freedom I had was spent exploring the new medium I now possessed. I think I was at an advantage due to the fact that I knew no rules about photography, so I was very free to experiment and play. As a computer illiterate during my long years away from civilization, this was both hell and Utopia as I navigated thru the most basic techie stuff. But I was enthralled. I could take a photo and make it a work of art!

.  Alas, my next 9 years were so pain-filled, as Mom’s cancer progressed she and I had to navigate colostomy’s and ileostomy’s and her suffering was so acutely mine that I wanted to die with her. And a huge part of me did, on the first day of spring in 2010, her birthday and day of death. I wrote endless prose and poetry, keeping her alive in words and rivers of tears.

.   That seemed like a joy ride compared to nursing my father until his death. Dad developed dementia even before Mom died, and it became full blown Alzheimer’s afterwards. He also had prostate cancer which had been diagnosed 20years before but had never been treated. Years of violent outbursts and vile language and hate filled conversation poured out of my Father for the better part of Six years, and out of my warped sense of love for my mean Dad I determined in my heart to never let him go to a nursing home.

During those years I had a catastrophic fall which injured my brain, neck, back, shoulder, hip and knee, causing me to undergo a 12 hour double neck and back operation so that I would only have one recovery and could be up and about within weeks to caregive again. Wow. Five levels in my neck were fused and a previous 3 level lumbar fusion was repaired and taken up another level. I had torn major cartilage in my hip, needed arthroscopic surgery there and in my shoulder, and also was left with a type if vertigo that still effects me on a regular basis 7years later! Oh, my. Need I mention my mental illness battles with rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder and  PTSD from a history full of childhood sexual abuse, violent sexual assault and rape as an adolescent and severe emotional and physical abuse due to 7plus years of Domestic Violence? No, I really had given myself a heavy, heavy load to carry with Daddy. But somehow I did it.

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For Our Lost Ones, “Cry Me a River” detail of larger work©susant

.   I cannot describe the last weeks of his life, as there was a lawsuit and a non disclosure agreement with the establishment that hastened his death. But his last night was spent in a hospital bed at home, alone with me, while he screamed and pleaded with God and me to help him. For hours. And hours. The morphine did absolutely nothing so I covered my ears with my fists and screamed with him.

 

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.  During this unimaginably daunting, heart-wrenching and overwhelming time in my life there was a story on the news that just planted itself in my brain, because it was so horrific. A group of 27 immigrants were being smuggled into this country from South America. My video is my interpretation of what they went thru, and also a cry for compassion towards all who suffer such indignities and trauma.

.                                                                                 Susan T. Martin

Keep Your Head…and Mine Too

…crack a smile or frown a frown…about the wonderful gift of creativity!

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You open your eyes in the morning, and briefly it feels like a regular day. A “before” day. We need a name for that now, something catchy, that we don’t mind saying. I do mind saying “before the Pandemic”, “before Covid”, I suppose because I am on sensory overload about the ” situation”. I want to be safe, follow the guidelines, but I also want to talk less about it!!! 

I am getting used to the “new normal”, a phrase that seems to be a paradox. If it is “normal”,  the very definition suggests it is not “new”. I just want to ‘breathe’, and ‘let go’ of all the must do’s and need to’s, to float above it all mentally. Isn’t that a lovely thought?

.  Remember the movie “UP”? I hope you’ve seen it, if you can be your inner Child while you watch; you will love it. The whole premise of a bunch of balloons carrying one away into the sky… Did you ever have a scary moment as a kid when your older brother told you to hold onto something or you’d float away? I kept imagining that I wouldn’t be able to hang on when I was so high the fall to earth would smush me, and that I’d be afraid to let go when I was still low enough to survive. What a lack of confidence in oneself, even in an imaginary setting!!!

.  Who was the cartoon character who said, “What a Maroon!” every time the main character did something ‘dumb’? I’m thinking it was Barney on the “Flintstones”. It was said so often that it became this background sound, and up until today I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say about Fred. Now that I sounded out the word to type it, I am thinking he was calling Fred a Moron.

I’m a wee bit disgusted about not being paid my winnings yet for recent painting, nor have I received payment for the sale of it. The Show and sale ended May 30th, and here it is July whatever…Poo. The organizers must know we are all starving.

. Anyhoo… I still have time to draw a line or make a dot. So I’ll write words again afterwards. Words. Just not the “P” word, or the “C” word, or “19”.  I’m going to share some of my digital art with you tonight, hope you crack a smile or frown a frown, just have a thought about the wonderful gift of creativity! Goodnight all.

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Am I a Brave Artist?

I must push myself to new heights. I want to. I am still th

thWIN_20200104_22_03_58_Pro (4)_LI  I used to think so. Especially in High School. My mind was ablaze with boundary pushing content, just under my skin and ready to burst out in neon glory. Most days it did, and if I had a dollar for every cool doodle I left in that building I would have at least 500 dollars . I was going to say a million, but….

.  No, seriously-why am I so stuck? So careful? Who really cares if I am different anymore? In the Arts it is desirable to be different! Many artists feel they need a gimmick or a persona to excite interest. That is not always the case, however it really helped me drop my self-consciousness.

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The Party’s Over©Susan T. Martin 2018

NOTE TO SELF: Take pride in uniqueness, courage to explore, new and untried substrate and media. I must push myself to new heights. I want to. I am still that artist.

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Climbing Out (Detail of Larger Work) ©Susan T. Martin

It is beginning to pain me, keeping all my hair in a nice, neat ponytail. It is time to set the locks free, jump up and down, scream like a banshee!! Roll myself up in Saran-Wrap and hug the world! Paint my body, paint my face, paint! Paint!

.            PAINT!! PAINT!! PAINT, GIRL!!!

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I applied for a new grant today, and I have some prize money coming soon from the 2nd place award I won in “The Art of Possiblities” Show and Sale. These are certainly lean times for all of us. I am heartened by all the offers for grants and loans that can be found for all artists online, with just a few minutes searching. My advice is to just “Apply, Apply, Apply!!!” Fill out applications till your pointy finger turns blue!

Also, I have committed to walking more, getting outside and seeing! I will also write down 3 things I am grateful for each night before bed, and draw them. We mustn’t let our mind’s stagnate!!!

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Brave?detail, self portrait©STMartin2014

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Flashback 937(detail)©STMartin2017

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Susan Past ©STM2018

Sick, Sick, SICK OF IT…

…this post is winding itself around my consciousness like my fairy python-mother…

That’s a cheery title, eh? Yes, I’ve been wallowing again, in me muck. (as the Brits’ say.) I guess that’s what they would say, actually, because I have never heard Benedict  Cumberbatch say he was wallowing in his muck. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I spelled that dashing young man’s name properly either… So now I can really wallow in it…me Muck, that is. (why this godawful computer wants to capitalize Muck is way beyond me, it also capitalizes Young. See?

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“A Wee Bit Peckish”,detail

By now you have most likely discerned that this post is winding itself around my consciousness like my fairy python-mother, to the end of pinching my head off like you would a bug. Not me, I don’t pinch bugs’ heads off, no way. I freeze them. Especially grasshoppers which grow to monstrous  dimensions here in South Swampland. I do not freeze them out of malice, or hunger, just a matter of survival for my broad leaved tropicals and dahlias.

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.  In actuality I find grasshoppers rather endearing and one of my first works of art in 5th grade was of a lovely grasshopper. That was before I moved from the Allegheny Mountains just north of the Mason Dixon line to South Florida’s semi-tropical jungle of behemoth bugs. It really fakes you out down here, cause the hundred tiny-baby black and yellow-striped grasshoppers you see in your yard today are tomorrows’ five-inch long yellow-green monster’s that decimated your mango trees in ten minutes flat.

My hunting technique is to take a few (10) plastic grocery bags and race around my property swiping those suckers off my plants with ninja-like swiftness until I have about 20 to 30 per bag. Then, whoosh, seal it up real quick before they can turn those bottomless black orbs of eyes towards you to make your will turn to water. They plead in tiny high pitched squeaks: “noooooo” and “pleeeeze”. Don’t listen, whatever you do, because it’s all lies, if you looked like a plant they’d mascerate you like it was their aim in life.

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.  After the big seal of the bag, I dash into the kitchen and whisk them into the freezer and slam the door. Then I get another bag and do it all over again until grasshopperville is no more. It may seem cruel, but when I used to raise saltwater fish and animals, the really top fish guys said that is a humane way to euthanize a fish, so I just assumed it would work as well with my grasshopper friends.

.  The only downside is when you tell your auntie to help herself to a glass of iced tea and she reaches in your freezer for some ice cubes. When you hear her unearthly screams you know one of your critters has escaped his grocery bag tomb and decided to gasp his last in the ice cube bin. Sometimes you pull out the whole carcass, other times it’s just a random leg in the bottom of your glass.

.  Ok…any questions? That’s where I’m at, I hope y’all are keeping as tight a grip on your sanity as I am! On that note, Cheers and Bottoms Up!

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my idea of an artistic selfie!

 

The Unveiling!

Shall I call it “UNBAGGING”? I told you that you would never guess my source photo, in the last post’s images. Well here it is:

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Can you SEE now?

.  Here’s the deal: I was ready to take Kleo for her daily walk, mask on, prepared to face the outside world. I had just finished watching (another) horrible newscast about the indescribable suffering going on all around the world.  They had pinpointed the lack of PPE(initials we now know by heart that stand for Personal Protective Equipment), and the total disregard for life being shown by leaders who shall remain nameless,. The glaring situation that faces those on the frontlines who work to save the sick and dying was very much on my mind, so when Kleo and I stepped onto the street I was shocked by what I saw.

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.  Up and down my street, in front of every house, were little pink plastic bags, big enough to slip a hand into. And they held a single folded newsprint page with a small sheaf of advertisements tucked inside. I had been upset by these exo-system destroying little plastic bags before, being tossed all over the ground by secret eco terrorists each night under the cover of darkness. I mean- No ONE HAD ASKED FOR THESE! NO ONE HAD ORDERED THESE, OR REQUESTED THEY BE SCATTERED ALL OVER CREATION!!!!

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Well , excuse me, there was SOMEONE…

Like I said, this had already bothered me, but now? NOW?!?

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.  I had just viewed nurses in New York City going to work using “gloves” fashioned using sterilized newspaper bags, shopping bags ( using clean garbage bags for goodness sakes) to shield themselves, and their CHILDREN, AND PARENTS, AND STAFF, AND NEIGHBORS, AND YOU AND ME from the virus!!! So here I was, rushing up and down the street, very angry, very sad, and self-righteous over this waste. I wanted to SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS AT THE INJUSTICE OF IT ALL!!

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I may actually have screamed something, or at least shouted into my frayed cloth mask, which successfully muffled my words…I marched home with Kleo falling behind, tilting her head curiously, as if to say, “Mommy, I didn’t poop yet!?!”.

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But why, Mom?

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coooooookkkie!!

I paid her no mind, but kept up my March all the way to my couch where I threw the offending bags on my couch, and made an angry video about the whole mess of emotions I was feeling!

.  Then I watched said video, and the old, grouchy Lady with the pink bandana (who was wielding pink plastic bags like a weapon) -well, she just looked pathetic. Very Ineffective.

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Trying to look very old…

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Great Grandma Alzira Angeline Alexander

Therefore  I did what artists do best:I made meaningful art, and in doing so I made a statement, a loud statement… A SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS, A SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY PHOTO EDITING VOICE!!! 

“HERE YOU MONSTERS! Here you UNTHINKING BOOBS!!!!”    “SEE WHAT I THINK OF YOU!!”

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“THERE WILL BE A RECKONING” Because my friends, it’s not up to me with my little pictures… No, the GREATEST ARTIST, the One True God, says in the BIBLE

” …AND HE WILL BRING TO RUIN THOSE RUINING THE EARTH!”, Revelation 11:18B

.     Now with the situation reframed, and with me letting go of a job that my Higher Power is doing, way, WAY better than I ever could, I can be happy again. I can use the little pink bags for doo-doo bags for my Ragamuffin Dogs, and be eco-illiterate myself…or, I can make a collage with them and use the adverts also! Ooooo, this will keep me going till nightfall, anyway!!! Then I will have to search for a new, fresh bee to toss into my bonnet! Another vital quest for justice for little furry creatures!!!

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.  ONWARD, AND UPWARD MY FRIENDS!  Let us keep pushing on to better tomorrows!!!

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