Unable to Friday

psychasthenia: A sudden collapse in someone’s mental health or stability of mind

After a five-day weekend last week and a mere three-day workweek, I would never have suspected that Friday would be the day that did me in. But Friday morning, by 7:15am, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to cope.

  • Issue 1: I had a rash. My neck, chin, and upper chest were covered in a rash. I was too warm and itchy.
  • Issue 2: The day before I had a minor headache and wanted to take an “asprin”. But a new medication came with a big warning about not taking asprin. So I called the doctor to find out what I could take. They never got back to me. I still had a little headache (and knee ache).
  • Issue 3: My hair was too long. It had been five months since my last haircut.
  • Issue 4: The door attacked my wrist and it was hurting a lot.

I tried. I swear, I did. But there comes a point (usually when I’m crying about wanting to become a dolphin or similar and completely rational things) that I realize that I just can’t expect the world to deal with me today. I’m willing to get out the magic wand and turn you all into butterflies.

So, I called in sick.

I sent a note to my doctor about the rash (I am so tired of doctors) and took a nap. The phone rang a couple hours later; it was the doctor with the news I could take acetaminophen and that my rash was probably simple contact dermatitis and if I smeared on some hydrocortizone it would probably clear up. (I should also find the source of the irritation and stop using it.) I took a Tylenol. After snooping around, I realized that my laundry detergent (labeled “free and clear for sensitive skin” had changed it’s label and also what was in it.) I had started this new bottle a week or so ago, so that seemed like the culprit.

As I had to go out for new laundry detergent and hydrocortizine cream, it seemed like a haircut was do-able. By 11 my hair was shorter, my headache had cleared up, I was smothered in HC cream, and the laundry was going. I felt significantly better, but completely worn out.

Eventually I began to think beyond immediate problems and decided to do something fun with my sick day. I wasn’t feeling great and looked silly with HC cream, so I decided to watch a short demo by one of my favorite artists, Lesley Humphrey.

This was so inspiring that I wandered to my workbench to push around my own paint. I let the painting dry overnight.

Saturday (cracking-up)

Saturday morning I woke up and my first thought was, “Oh my gosh, I feel so much better.” On this note, I took Key to check out the sunrise at St. Louis Ponds. Key, for one, needed it. He “zoomied” about for the first mile of the two mile hike. After that, he ran in a normal fashion (fast, but not wild.)

I had a good time as well. I brought out my camera AND my binoculars and it was a good call.

After we returned, I puttered around the house, then pulled out the paintings from the day before. After some consideration, I decided they needed some basic tweaks and a little weirdness. After quizzing a few Facebook friends, I added polka dots to one. The other… well, it was all my idea.

P.H.A.T. (Polka Hippo Always Tempting)
Tramp Stamp

I’m trying to decide if they are done.

After that, I looked through some photos of Smith Rock to satisfy a question that had come up during the week. This got me inspired enough to try a painting.

Once again, I’m pondering if it’s finished (I think not).

I fooled around a little with a few other things, then made the final adjustments to “Your Shoes, Your Story” which is my submission for this year’s Salem Reads.

“Your Shoes, Your Story” – 10 x 8 mixed media

With that task finished, I cleaned out my email box and entered into the ISEA and NWWS shows. By next weekend I need to enter WSO, so show entries are fast and furious around here!

Sunday (Render, Rain, and Rest)

I woke up Sunday thinking it would be repeat of the cold, bright Saturday morning. Instead, the rain had come in. We took a drive out to Basket Slough, but all sensible birds were tucked up in their nests.

Un-amused red-tail hawk

I returned and sat down to paint.

I returned to “Shine”. I had been pondering this piece for a while and I had decided to enhance the idea of a golden mean in the image. With that in mind, I had measured and sketched out some areas, but I had been unable to decide how. So, I tried to scrub out some areas.

That didn’t get me where I hoped.

I’ve learned a lot from Ruth Armitage in the last few months about using digital tools to figure out a painting, so I tried to do some work on the computer.


Moving on, I plunged into a completely new painting, working to incorporate what I had learned about analogous color last weekend.


It’s not finished, but I think this weekend is. I’m going to do the things I’ve been neglecting, like dishes and laundry. Wish me luck in keeping my “sane” mask on this week!