Monday, May 21, 2018

Such Is Life

I need to talk publicly about this...

I've suffered with depression for my entire adult life.  I've been on prozac/fluoxetine for the past 25 years, on a very low dose.  I had about three really good years, after the drug took six months to kick in, back in the mid-1990s.

The truth is, my life has always been an emotional roller coaster (if you've followed this blog for the last several years, you'll know why), exacerbated in the last 20 years, I now see, by the fact that that antidepressant wasn't really working for me, or stopped being totally effective, years ago.

I started taking it when I lived in San Francisco and had Kaiser insurance.  Since then, I've self-managed the medication, because I didn't have insurance (until Medicare) and couldn't afford psychiatric care (for medication management).  Also, being the self-reliant, "I can do it myself" type, it honestly never occurred to me, since I've been on Medicare, that I could seek a doctor's help with the depression.

There's also this thing when you're chronically depressed, that even if/when you have periods of emotional equilibrium, when those times end, you don't realize you're depressed again.  You think it's just who you are, to feel so bad inside.

Back in December of last year, I had the inkling to increase my dosage of prozac to 40mg/day from 20mg.  So January through March of this year, I felt really great, better than I'd ever felt.  Then I had a depressive crash in late March/early April, that I still haven't recovered from.  It was only last week, when my closest friend suggested maybe my medication wasn't working, that I had the big AHA moment.  It had just never crossed my mind previously.

Now I can see just how much time in the past 25 years (not to mention the preceding 20+ years) I spent in depressive periods, regardless of taking medication.  And I can see how many of my physical symptoms of the last few years are likely related either to the medication no longer working, or the depression itself, or both.  Shit.

I have an appointment with the MD at my clinic this Wednesday.  I can't do it alone anymore.  I need help managing the depression.  I also have no illusions that I'll ever stop needing ADs. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Hello dear friends,

I'm not really back...but since I've had several requests to see my collages, I decided to do this post to let you know your options.

I'm really happy not blogging anymore.  Really, it's a load off my mind.  It's a real hassle uploading photos from my phone to the blog, because it takes forever for them to upload.  Alternatively, I can download photos from my phone/GooglePhoto to Photoshop, resize them and then upload them to the blog, but that, too, is a hassle that I don't miss.

For a while I sent collage images to a friend via Messenger, but that felt much like blogging.  So, your option, if you want to see my collages, is to join Instagram.  I am uploading collages there several times a week.  It's just so easy -- I take the image on my phone, and I upload it to IG.  Period.  No need to setup my computer as I need to do if I'm going to upload images to the blog.

I've setup an IG widget on the top of the right side bar here on the blog.  Or, if you're already there, find me here, @connieandbeegee.

If you want to get in touch with me by other means, email me or get in touch via Messenger. Or we could be snailmates if you want, but you have to go first.  I always reply.  But I can't tell you how many people have asked to be my penpal, then I wrote first, and never heard back from them.

I love you all.  And I'm really enjoying life post-blogging. xx    

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Pace of Grace

I celebrated my 10th Blogiversary last passed me by without my realizing it.  Some of you have been reading me since the very start -- Thank You!

I find myself winding down now, retreating again into virtual obscurity.  I'm hardly online these days for all intents and purposes.  There are a few artists I'm following on Instagram, but I'm hardly posting there.

I've come to that place in life where I just want to live it, I don't want to talk about it.  There really isn't anything to say, and I hate to talk just to talk.

I'm happier than I've ever been before.  My life, just the way it is, is enough for me.  I have what I need to live exactly the way I want to.  I no longer need anyone else's approval, acceptance, accolades, applause or acknowledgement.  I'm totally free to be me.  I have no complaints, and a lot of gratitude.
I'm working at painting and drawing and collage.  Abstract, non-objective painting and drawing.  I'm going at my own pace, doing a little bit most days.  Some days I don't have the energy so I just rest and read.  I have no agenda, no deadlines, no have-tos, no obligations, no expectations of myself.

Life is peaceful, and full of grace.

Knowing me, it's possible I'll be back here, but I don't know when. I'm all about changing things up this year...and stepping away from any form of marketing of myself or my art is at the top of the list.

With age, I'm becoming more old-school, especially in this topsy-turvy world of ours where the truth has become a political lightning rod.  I can only live by my own truth now.

Peace and blessings to you all. xx

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Collages This Week

Enjoy these collages from this past week.  I'll start working in one of my recently handmade journals very shortly.

The 50 Percent OFF Everything Sale continues in my Etsy Shop for another week.  If you haven't checked it out, please do.

Otherwise, all is well.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

New Life in Old Studio

This is my new painting studio.  I'm really happy with it and have spent time this week getting used to working here.

I have my table easel set up on a height-adjustable rolling laptop table...and I also intend to use the easel on the big table on the right for larger pieces.  The drawer unit, also rolling, holds paper and all my supplies and a few tools; in fact, I still have a couple empty drawers.  The 3-tier cart, also rolling, slips under the big table on the right when not in use.

I moved all my old childrens' books to the top shelf above the big table where they're still easy to reach but out of the way.

I've got empty spaces on my shelves now, room to store a lot more work.

Thought I'd mention what I'm up to now re: painting.  I've really wanted to get back to acrylic painting, pretty much since I abandoned it two (or has it been three?) years ago.  Altho I'm still set up to do watercolors when the mood strikes.

I've already taken all the acrylic classes I wanted to take, have the books, etc., and now I will paint in virtual isolation.  No outside challenges, no classes with student blogs, no input or feedback from anyone else (hence no posting anywhere of my work). I am trusting my muse, my inner guidance from here on out.  I know what to do, and I'll be doing it.

I'll continue to post collages here, because I continue to make them.  It's something I really enjoy and I don't intend to stop.

As I do every year, I'll be closing my Etsy Shop soon, until I reopen later this year with new work.  So I'm having a 50 Percent OFF Everything Sale from now through Saturday February 3.

The items currently in the shop will not be available after February 3.  I won't relist them again.  So please, if there's anything there now that strikes your fancy, NOW is the time to purchase.  Go to the shop HERE.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Work in Progress

My studio upgrade is still in photos next week.  Every time I do this kind of thing, and as seldom as I've done it, it requires going through everything...getting rid of some stuff, moving other stuff around in the studio, and cleaning it all off before it's jettisoned or rearranged.

I actually love doing this kind of thing.  It's inspiring to go through all your stuff and weed through it.  Also exceptionally inspiring ~ finding work of your own that you love that you haven't seen in a while.  Work you want to go back to, in terms of genre, and pick up again and move forward with.

There's a 30% OFF Sale going on right now in my Etsy Shop, on Art Quilts and Paintings.  Through Wednesday, January 17.

Anyhoo, I'll leave you with my collages for the week.  xx

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Home Free

The new year has started off with a bang for me.  I haven't had a "word for the year" for a number of years, but "freedom" came to me about a week ago, so I'm going with that for 2018.

And it's very apt, because last year I finally put to rest issues that have been dogging me for eons.  And now I truly am free.

Free to live the rest of my life unimpeded by old crap.  Free to create every day exactly how I want it.  So free that I truly love, honor and respect myself, everything I am, everything I do, how I do my life in every way.  I'm who I've been waiting for.

I'm on a creative roll again.  I've taken up painting again, both watercolor and very soon acrylics.  I'm doing it now purely for my own enjoyment and pleasure.  I don't need to show or post my new work anywhere.  It's all for me, now.

I've reorganized and rearranged things in my studio, and after the couple of things I've ordered arrive, I'll be able to keep my easel set up by the north window...instead of the ironing board, which has been in that spot since I moved in nine years ago (sorry, BeeGee), being there.

And more storage for acrylic supplies so they're handy and accessible.  And more storage for lots of other stuff so I have more room to store finished canvasses and panels. 

I've also been getting rid of stuff I don't need, my continual-downsizing practice.  Every time I let go of something that no longer serves me, there's room for new, more appropriate stuff.

I feel in my bones that 2018 is going to be a great year.  I hope it is for all of us.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Beginner's Mind

Happy New Year!  Wishing more love, peace of mind, kindness and compassion 
for all of us in the new year.  Blessings xx

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Coptic Chops

I spent much of the past week making journals to collage in.  Despite all the books I've made in the past five years, these are actually the first that I made for myself with a distinct purpose in mind.

The two on the right in this photo are tall and narrow ~ they have virtually the same size paper as the Midori Travelers Notebook inserts I've been using to collage in.  I like that size ~ each spread is 8.5 x 8.5 (actually the Midori insert spread is 8.25 x 8.5).

The pages in the third journal are 8.5 x 5.5, a standard half-letter size page. This is slightly bigger than the handmade journal I'm also using now for collages (see last two photos below).  I also like this size to work in.

That handmade journal I just referred to, A Hermit's Wild Friends, that I made in a workshop a few years ago, was not designed to do all that collaging in.  The bound spine is/was not wide enough to accommodate adding all that ephemera, which has caused the fore edges to fan out to about four inches already...and I'm not finished with it yet.

Consequently, because the book was constructed with only heavy two-sided tape holding the covers onto the rest of the book, the covers started to pop off the book.  So I just pulled them all the way off a few months ago.  

When I'm finished with this journal, I'll glue the covers back on with PVA.  Or, I'll fashion covers out of something else, and use those cool vintage covers for another journal down the road...probably the latter.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend, whatever you celebrate. xx