Saturday, September 27, 2008

Red alert... octopus!

We went to the beach tonight for the sunset.  The kids decided it would be a good thing to bring their snorkeling equipment.  Tommy found a shell and brought it back to me and put it in our shell container.  I'm sitting quietly sketching when a little octopus emerges from the shell.  I guess he was wondering where all that water went.  He was sweet and cute and totally reminded me of a similar time when I was at the beach with my dad and he found a tiny octopus living in a shell.  I still remember the feeling of holding it with each suction opening and closing on my fingers.  I called to the whole family, "Come quick!!" They probably thought that was really weird but I yelled, "You caught an octopus." And they all came running.  Including everyone else standing around on the beach.  I'm sure that's the most attention that a Stony Field farms yogurt container has had in a long time.  Everyone was so excited to see this tiny part of God's great creation.  I was thrilled myself.  I posted one video of Lulu holding it.  (Don't know why they make you post all those other videos too...)  We looked at him and then let him crawl back into his shell and we hand delivered him to a safe spot back at home in the Gulf of Mexico.  We sure had a lot to talk about on the way home. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dale Chihuly Ground breaking today!

Hi! Today we had the joy of seeing Dale Chihuly at the groundbreaking for the new museum in St. Petersburg, FL.  How cool is that?  I wish I could of met him and shook his hand but it wasn't that kind of event.  Still it's cool to be in the presence of a great artist.  That doesn't happen everyday.  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So are we tripping into economic oblivion?

Here is an article about how the French are surviving the credit crunch. This bank thing is a worldwide problem. Frugal living and not living above your means and not spending money that you don't have, not using credit cards, and here is a novel thought... saving money. We all could use a few lessons from the French. (Did I just say that? Yes, I did.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008



Sunset on Lake Maggorie

Today was unusually fally for a September day. Breezes so breezy that I had to open all the windows in the house and turn off the beast. Ahh, back to days of low monthly electric bills. Perhaps at least until the next hot front creeps from the South. Damn that global warming. The equator should be covered in snow this time of year. This lake is infested with alligators so please don't walk your small dogs near it. Seriously.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cancer and Cobb salad

I made our favorite dinner--cobb salad. It's an easy meal and healthy if you leave out the bacon. I always use turkey bacon since I don't eat the other white meat! This weekend was crazy for me. I didn't know weather to go to IL to visit my aunt or stay home. I ended up staying home and then felt really bad when I heard that she was asking for me. She is at the end of her cancer journey. I so hate cancer. So hate it. Today she seems to be doing better but I don't know if it's really better or just cancer's sick little joke. Two things make me happy these days--creating art--and going to the beach for the sunset. Both are one-of-a-kind events in my life. Today I rec'd a letter from Richard Canard. I think he's a pretty cool mail artist. He said i was a "breath of fresh air." I don't know exactly what that means. If you like fresh air--i guess it's good. If you are a dorito breath liker--then probably not. ha ha. I don't eat doritos. I don't eat at McDonalds. I don't smoke, do drugs. I'm trying to be healthy cause I've got the cancer gene. Did you know there was one? I don't even have to have the test--I know i have the cancer gene. I don't want to fear cancer. I want to fight it. I want to make as much art as possible now. I want to leave something behind--even if it's just a letter in a mail box.
Here are more photos of Saturday night... enjoying a free concert at Gulfport!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Toula, Rebecca, ME!

OH what a night!

Had a lovely evening at the Gulfport art walk. Usually we go for the visual art but tonight we went for the music! Rebecca Zapen played a delightful array of mostly her own tunes! She is fabulous! Check her out at: You can also look her up on myspace and utube. We brought all three of our crumb cakes and two extra morsels! So that's five kids enjoying the music from the porch! I met some other delightful ladies tonight--Goody of who does her own i-net radio show and Toula Bonie who is a violinist for the Florida Orchestra. I won't mention that Toula used to babysit Rebecca! IT's a small world isn't it? A small and sometimes absolutely Delightful world. Thank you lovely ladies for gracing our evening!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hi: here are some websites that have my mail art! click--Last show, click--Jennifer Zoellner do a search, "Jennifer Zoellner"

Perhaps there are others out there who have posted my work via the i-net. I haven't done a full search. lol. Still it's neat to see your work on the i-net.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jellyfish and lone sunsets

Tonight I ventured to my favorite beach alone. I did something on the lavish side and got a mint chocolate chip milk shake from my favorite sweet shop. They don't make the best sundaes or milk shakes but they have location, location, location. The kid who works there finally cut his hair. The full mane is down to a marine look. It looks much better. He was getting lost in those curly locks. It's amazing how much more masculine he looks too. Would I look more feminine with longer hair? If I could just get over that in-between stage I would do it--forsake the Aveada teaching salon--which I love so much. At the beach alone. It was nice to be alone--to be happy to be by myself. I sipped and crunched my mcc milkshake. I watched the waves, the gulls, terns, sand pipers, pelicans. I decided to go into the water and I really wanted to swim. I was in about chest high when I saw a weird do-nut shape floating in the water... I swam-walked over to it to see it was a jellyfish and that it was deflated in the middle. I'm guessing it was dead as later I saw them littered all over the beach like unwanted breast implants. I drew a few of them in my sketch book. I did not know if they were the stinging variety. It was one thing to be enjoying life at the beach alone and yet another to be stung by a jellyfish all alone. Really that is not what got me out of the water... it was the something huge that jumped right next to me... it was a huge splash. Perhaps it was just a mullet but I wasn't going to wait and find out. I was out of the water to settle into a little place in the sand to rest my soul. I was actually chilled by the breeze and I wrapped my towel around me. I drew the jellyfish, the gulls, the clouds. I made peace with the setting sun and wondered why. I wish I knew how to tell if a jellyfish was alive. One couple attempted to throw some of them back to sea. I don't know why she thought that throwing a jellyfish 5 feet into the waves would really help it's plight. Still, it's the thought that counts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hello. Hello. Hello. Got a really neat piece of Mail art from Test Tower! Thank you so much! I think it's the first piece of mail art that I've received since the mail art show this year. I do love the mail art.

Also befri Karen is having her paintings in a show in Tyler, TX. Way to go Karen. We've known each other since age 8 or so. Hope you check out the blog and see this KAREN!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

meatloaf and chickens

So what do meatloaf and chickens have in common? Probably not that much... But today we adopted two chickens. Mostly as pets... pets that will give us eggs.

I made a delicious meatloaf today. Earlier this week I made roasted turkey sausage with a myriad of vegetables. (that was a main stay meal when I was on weight watchers and lost 30 pounds!) So I took the left overs of that meal--put them in the food processor, added some oats and a pound of organic beef. I mixed it all together with my fingers--put it in the vintage orange cookware and baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour. Oh, I added ketchup on the top before I baked it. It's a great meal if you want your kids to eat squash, onions, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, etc--oatmeal too... cause they don't realize they are eating all those veges. Love it--the healthy trick. It was a smashing success.

i found a piece of my mail art on the i-net click on "last show" then click on my name, "Jennifer Zoellner." I was jazzed about that! My dad said, "You've gone international!" Hee hee, I've sent some mail art to other countries too--I told him.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Neil Diamond is going through my head...

Hello again, hello
Just called to say hello
I couldnt sleep at all tonight
And I know its late
But I couldnt wait

Hello, my friend, hello
Just called to let you know
I think about you every night
When Im here alone
And youre there at home

Maybe its been crazy
And maybe Im to blame
But I put my heart above my head
Weve been thru it all
And you loved me just the same
And when youre not there
I just need to hear

Hello, my friend, hello
Its good to need you so
Its good to love you like I do
And to feel this way
When I hear you say

Hello, my friend, hello
Just called to let you know
I think about you every night
And I know its late
But I couldnt wait

Saturday, September 6, 2008

ANGST defeated?

For all the crap I gave myself over the last couple of days... everything worked out beautifully. The show at the Arts Center was wonderful. I was so NERVOUS. I hunted around the galleries until I found my piece. There she was in all her glory. I was able to be a fly on the wall... and could hear strangers commenting on it. This in itself was really neat since there were so many people and so many works of art--I was thrilled that people were looking at it. I even heard two girls discussing the painting in a real art critic way. Blows my mind. Yet, do you think I'll have the same nerves next time. Yes, I will because it's the nature of putting yourself "out there." It will always come with nerves and tension. I talked to a former art teacher last night. He's a professional artist. He says he still has that nervous jitter. A friend of mine, Jorge said, "Jennifer Zoellner, I've been hearing good comments about your painting all day!" It was a highlight of my night. I know I'm a small drop of dew in a sea of artists but I'm still happy. (in a sort-of lunatic way...) Photos to come...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

am i great am i dirt?

I often struggle with the question of me. Who am I? Am I what I want to be? Am I delusional? As an artist and really every area of my life... I strive to achieve my best. I strive to live up to the high standards and expectations that I carry with me like old heavy luggage. I compare myself with others, I wonder if I'm doing enough, doing too much, am I good enough? These feelings are compounded when it comes time for something like an art show. I entered a piece into the Art Center's Member September. It's the piece at the bottom of my blog.... very bottom. It's a portrait of my daughter. It's really green. I tend to work with not-so-normal colors because at the time that is the way I see the image. It's how I paint. It's how I've always painted. So to put myself out there in such a way is a huge RISK. My worst fear is that they don't even hang the painting. I'm going to the opening anyway... despite fear of rejection and humiliation. I know that may sound pretty kooky but it's what's been going through my head all day. I was even tempted to email a friend who works at the Arts Center and ask if the painting was hung. And I almost stopped by to take a peek myself. It's hard to know whether people like my art. No one really says either way. So I'm left in the middle of the swinging bridge between two mountains--hope and utter sadness. I wish people could say how they felt without feeling compromised. I've made a personal pledge to do just that--tell people how i feel in the moment--stranger, family, friend--to say how I feel--about them or their work--of course all in a positive light. The negative can sometimes be left unsaid. Of course sometimes you have to say what you'd rather not. I once ask a friend what he thought of my art. There was really silence from him. It broke my heart. Again I said, "If I'm no good at this could someone please tell me so that I can move on to something that I am good at?" Again, silence. He was not going to be my supporter. I met a lady--a painter--very successful--lives in O'Keeffe country. I asked her if she had someone who supports her art--the way that Georgia O'Keeffe had Stieglitz. She said no and that she was self-supported like most modern women artists. The days of a nurturing man who supports the woman artist are over. Stieglitz pushed Georgia to paint, to be her best self. I wonder if I push myself for nothing?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

day in the life

  • wake up
  • get out of bed
  • drag myself to the bathroom
  • (I guess you thought I was going to drag a comb across my head!)
  • Brush teeth and other duties, get dressed
  • downstairs for email check and a bowl of organic purely Os
  • Yell to the kids to 1)get dressed 2)eat breakfast 3)start homeschool at 9am
  • Homeschool... which means monitoring the kids in all there schooly duties...
  • reading, writing, rithmatic, science, chemistry, (yes--we are often doing two sciences), and such
  • Special days we have Chem or American History (alternating weekly)
  • Then time for... running to Nature's finest, Publix, Jo-Ann Fabrics, the printer, the Globe, the man who sells stamps, art museums, beach, napping, making lots of groovy art or mail art.
  • 5 PM Eat DINNER
  • 5:45 Do dishes and clean-up dinner
  • Clean up around the house
  • Ted puts the kids to bed and READS to them--hopefully that book on THINKING that I gave him.
  • Then I have some MMEEEE time... sewing, painting, writing my zine... drawing.
  • 8 PM or SO perhaps a movie with Ted, perhaps time alone, perhaps we'll read to each other.
  • And that's it. That's average day and I like it.