Ba-di-yah . . . say do you remember . . . dancin' in September . . . never was a cloudy day

Or else it was always a cloudy day. Wait -- that was this past weekend. Cloudy every day. Last week we had some sun, but it was cold. We're just teetering at the top of the meteorological rollercoaster and waiting to go
screaming down the hill. I've got that peculiar fall-should-be-beautiful-this-should-be-fun-
feeling in my stomach.
Roller coaster tummy.

This could explain why I check the Albuquerque weather forecast every single day.

It's either to remember that the sun
is shining somewhere else or to just feel
worse when it's not shining here . . .

wait a minute, that didn't sound very positive . . .

honestly, it could be to spend a minute thinking about sopapillas, because I really love sopapillas. And if you must have cold weather or no sun, at least have some deep fried bread products to shine a light in your life.

Looking around my studio, I realize I may have a sun fixation of some kind. I have a big plaster sun above my desk that I painted (a little creepy . . . sort of an unintentional transvestite vibe going on there). No current pic but since it's my early work, here it is, shining away in my Seattle studio, ca. 199_?*:

(*My current studio is positively spare compared to this picture. But the sun remains.)

I have childhood artwork from Hannah:

and from Chelsea (oops -- I think that's a moon but it's still a shiny sky-orb):

On my bulletin board I have a rather extensive tribute to Lisa Smith, whose subjects often have sun-like things going on around their heads:

Even if there were no sun-heads, isn't her work fantastic?

I never connected it until now, but perhaps her work inspired my own self-portrait,
Mary Sunshine:

Many years have gone by under the plaster sun, and still a lot of my work seems to involve sunshine. And where there are suns, there are of course "bluebirds of happiness". That's only logical, right?

Growing up we had an old player-piano and my brother and I would take turns pumping the pedals to play the rolls of music for hours. One day my mom found some old rolls in an antique store and brought them home to see if they'd play (one was called "Plantation Lullabye" -- I'm talking old songs). From those rolls I learned what became my favorite player-piano song. The chorus was:

Somewhere the bluebird is singing
and somewhere the skies are blue . . .
Somewhere the hours are scented with flowers
that bloom for you . . .
Lift up your eyes to the skies and be happy
for this is true . . .
Somewhere the bluebird is singing and winging
his way to you!

So I guess that's why I've always had a "bluebird of happiness" thread running through my work. And this picture above my desk:

Oh yes -- and in case you're curious, here's the additional 10% that completed the current "bluebird of happiness" installment, greensong:

Someone once commented at a show that I must be the happiest person in the world because all of my work is so gosh-darn-happy! I laughed loudly
(guffawed is the word, actually)
and explained that it was more of a wishful-thinking kind of thing.

Unfortunately I don't have a great
think-before-I-let-it-all-hang-out filter.
It probably wasn't the right place to talk about
living with anxiety and depression
-- but I sensed a kindred spirit, so I did --
or the stomach ache I get every September
(and every night around 5pm)
because I know it's going to get dark.

I just hope my suns and bluebirds help make somebody happy.
In my mind, the bluebird is always singing
and winging his way through an endlessly blue sky.

I can't seem to stop making them, so they must be medicine for me.
Or would you believe optimism?

Okay . . . we'll settle on irony.
I can live with that.

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