Thursday, December 31, 2009

In a Blue Moon, In a New Year

From my home to yours, may you have a happy, happy new year. I'll be looking through eyes of admiration and wonder at all of the stunning work you make in the coming year, learning all I can from each of you, hoping to keep up.

Be well. Be strong.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Grand Canyon, Grand Year, Grand Hopes

From my point of reference today, a thought: When looking toward the future and what it may bring, try, try, try to remember how much you've survived, how much you've overcome, and how strong and confident it has made you. Let the year that has been, and your dreams for the next year, be filled with child-like joy and anticipation--while not losing any of your hard earned wisdom! The best of both worlds, yes? The sky is gray now, cloudy and cool. It's wonderful for sun bleached eyes needing a shady day. It feels like sunset at 4 PM. Lovely. It feels like a year ending. Here is another segment of the Grand Canyon painting from my work this afternoon. This is about 2 1/2' x 1 1/2' in the upper right quadrant. I can't tell you how therapeutic it is to paint this. But, I'll guess that as you ponder nature with all of its specific beauty (in your region and mine), you are often delighted when given the chance to wander or gaze unmolested by the trappings of cities and culture. Ah. Best wishes for a better new year wherever you are, whatever your circumstance. I don't make resolutions, but I do hope to continue to paint often. You, dear fellow artist bloggers, keep me sane, disciplined and optimistic!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stepping Back from the Abyss: Grand Canyon Painting

The holidays are always freighted with conflicting emotions, new resolves, past remembrances--good and not so good, don't you think? It must seem as though time is flying by as we all think about the end of the year and our interest in the future. Sometimes it all looks like an abyss into which our lives fall until the new year. Well, here I am thinking about all of that and offering up a more pleasant abyss, from the edge--a safe place. This section of the monster is in the center of the painting. As you can see, I'm still traveling its depths, navigating the scenery and making it into paint. This segment is probably about 2' x 4.' Hope you're all warm and well as you attempt to stay above the fray!

Monday, December 7, 2009

From the Forest: Some Trees, Some Rain, a Few Square Feet

Chapter three of, Monsters and Grand Spaces of Paint. I realized that one of the things that happens when painting large is that when you rest for the day, it may not look as though you've painted much of anything. But, when looking at the square footage of painted area, it turns out to be significant and acceptable for the day. Have you had this experience? It really has been a brain tickling journey as I paint up close, get lost, step back and see that it's okay after all; or, step back and see that more layers are needed. I keep thinking that I'll be done with this canvas soon, but now, no sé. From the forest...I see some trees. And, the Tucson area is about to get a ginormous storm tonight with high winds, snow on the mountains and rain. Wow. We're not used to all of this cold weather, but we're loving the opportunity to wear Icelandic wool sweaters today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Monster is Back Plus Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain

We opened the water harvesting barrels yesterday in eager anticipation of rain, glorious rain, and sure enough, in the middle of night, thunder and mud soaking rain! I hear Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing, Rain, Rain Beautiful Rain! Late this afternoon, I finished another mailart piece and began painting on the monster painting of the Grand Canyon (a link back to an earlier post) that has been lingering and nagging me for a year. Funny thing, I read a really good article about traveling and hiking in the Grand Canyon in the NY Times this morning. I took that as a broad hint to get in there and work. Here is a view of it from afar. Then the close-up follows. How many artists out there have hiked the Grand Canyon? I've only visited the rim. The Grand Canyon is beyond spectacular when it's snowing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mailart #7: The Health Issue

What do you say to a young, "immortal" twenty-something who has lived a healthy life, not knowing age or illness? Oh, I hear you and I do. I tell him to take at least 2000 IUs of Vitamin D3, eat the prickly pear fruit and mesquite flour I sent him, take the multi-vitamins, drink some tea, get as much sleep as possible, etc., etc.. Today, I've got a mailart piece that I made for my college boy last March. I know. The American love affair with the car is over. Yet, I don't have a new lexicon from which I can make an allegory or metaphor for the preciousness our bodies hold and the ever changing medical information and issues that currently face us. So, I chose the image of one of the fastest cars made and the image of a dashboard to convey my motherly hope for my son's good health, both physical and psychological. Tucked into the "glove box" are 4th grade notes his classmates wrote years ago. This piece does have some naughty words in German that were fun to include. Just a note of warning because moms don't approve of such things on a regular basis. 

The message: I am like a Mercedes-Benz I am like an SLR McLaren I am like a Mercedes-Benz I am like an SLR McLaren I will be careful with fuel...I like to be fine-tuned I am like an SLR McLaren I am liking proper maintenance... Racing toward 20 !! 

 If a year were a mile You wouldn't want to rush to/at 20 miles an hour, kmh 
You'd want to walk Slowly As much as possible Looking, tasting, enjoying Every step Tacking, west-toward a quarter of a century Racing up that way Shift down Cruise Control Double clutch Once in awhile Drawn from mile to mile Walk: With Beauty Draw: Smudge lines Line the path* 
There are arrows Everywhere to direct you 
Erase where necessary Ask yourself: What memories will fill my odometer? What kind of tread will I burn...and/or bridges too? 
Love, mom © M. S. Esparza 

A few of the polite,funny German auto terms I found: INDICATORS Die Blinkenleiten Tickentocken CLUTCH Die Kuplink mit achlippen und schaken PUNCTURE Die Phlatt mit Bludymucken FUEL GAUGE Der Walletemptyung Meter TRAFFIC JAM Die Bluddinmuckin Dammundblast BACKFIRE Der Lowdenbangermekkenjumpen

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tucson Open Studio Tour, Perfect Weather, Perfect Days

The Tucson Open Studio Tour was a resounding success! The weather was cool to warm--flawless really. In so many ways, on so many levels, this event added good mortar to the bricks already lain, building this art sanctuary. It has solidified my commitment to the process.

Many thanks to everyone who visited! I'm remembering you today: The nice couple who bought the first painting. The artists who are on the path back to art making--seeing that they can start again. The woman dynamo and her thoughtful husband, who offered good advice about art marketing and who bought the largest painting. The kind strangers who came here after seeing my work in the 801 Gallery and the TPAC calendar and, finally, the ONLY art supply store in town (!), and one of the sponsors of the event, Sarnoff Art Supplies.

Then there are those art patrons who have stood by me, never wavering in their straight-forward, level headed support. Kirk--who can draw and paint circles around me. Linda--who is currently working on her second masterpiece as she raises another brilliant and good hearted boy. Nathanael--who is art walking, with quiet confidence and a gentle heart. Didn't we have fun?!!

A special thanks to you, my fellow art bloggers, whose presence I felt all weekend: Kathryn (whose Caran D'Ache made an appearance to inspire yet another artist), Barbara Muir (whose friendship and presentation advice have been priceless), Karen (whose discipline, encouragement and work keep me grounded), Silvina (whose wit and wisdom are matchless) and Linny D. Vine(whose work and kindness inspire me to dream).

And, well, that Mr. Artyfice out-did himself--My fellow artist and companion who kindly called me "Melindiva," and who raced around making sure I had cards, postcards, signs, food...and, on...and on...and--while I shouted "Brush!" All this he did with two broken fingers on the mend and very little sleep.

Now for a little chat with that falcon...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tucson Open Studio Tour November 14th, 15th

The Tucson Open Studio Tour takes place this coming weekend, November 14th and 15th, from 11 AM to 5 PM. The Tucson Pima Arts Council has brought together over 167 artists to participate in the fall event.

Whew! Yes, I signed up a few months ago and am readying the studio for this weekend's excitement (trauma?)--which reminds me of the following quote from Mark Twain, "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." (from Taking the Leap, Cay Lang) Hope you're taking leaps forward even if they're a bit scary.

Here is the postcard that we have been handing out and, if you'd like, the link above will take you to the website that shows links and maps to the artists' studios. You can take a gander at what other artists are up to in this burg.

How I wish you all could attend. For now, I'm not in the studio to paint, but hope to be very soon.

In the meantime, I've got a couple of photos of the neighborhood falcon crying out..."Go back to your studio! Go back to your studio"! (?) and a view over the fence.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dia de Los Muertos y Aquellos Viviendo

Little Yellow Zinnias, oil on linen panel, 3"x5"
I read the most beautiful obituary this weekend in the New York Times. Does this mean I'm an elderly person? Yeah, maybe. Yet, the NYT's Obits are so well written! They are like great short stories that leave you asking questions, curious to know more.

In the past few weeks, there have been several artists who have past away. I didn't know any of their names.

There were these: Nancy Spero, Ruth Duckworth, Amos Ferguson and, an actor from way back--Lou Jacobi

And then there was Albert York. As the author of the obit, Roberta Smith, wrote, he was "...a painter of small mysterious landscapes who shunned the art world yet had a fervent following within it." He was so uninterested in fame and glory that his one and only gallery representative quietly, and mostly without his knowledge, exhibited and handled his work. What I found so endearing and profound were the following:

He worked at his own pace.
He was emotionally engaged with his subject.
He kept on painting even though he had to work a 'real' job.
He didn't quit painting despite being "perpetually dissatisfied with his work, prone to scraping down his wood panels..."

Sound familiar?

In Tucson, Dia de Los Muertos is a pretty big deal. I like that we honor those who have died with a parade and celebration of their lives. I also like honoring the living by encouraging perseverance.

Now, I couldn't resist including Lou Jacobi. He was one of those character actors everyone recognized, but rarely could name. As one critic wrote, "Mr. Barnes... added: “He has a face of sublime weariness and the manner of a man who has seen everything, done nothing and is now only worried about his heartburn."" Wow. Can you imagine being so good as to convey such nuance? He was a funny, and serious man who, in real life, did everything he could to live well.

May we all endeavor to do the same, even if we scrape off a few paintings now and again.

This small, 4" x 6," oil on panel, is from an image of yellow zinnias from this summer. The flowers are now dying, but I still remember.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tucson Weekly, Watering Dirt, Santana's "Smooth" Southwest October

What is uniquely desert behavior on a perfect October day? Dancing shamelessly in the sun to the sounds of Santana's song, "Smooth" (Supernatural), while wielding a garden hose, spraying a quarter of an acre of in-town dirt as clouds race overhead making curly-cue shapes, the way one might picture the bended notes of a great Santana riff.

I'm not alone. In Renée Downing's opinion piece in the local alternative news weekly, Tucson Weekly, she writes about this kind of collective giddiness when October hits the Old Pueblo. We know that we're going to have eight months of balmy days, cool days, and a few days in which we can actually wear sweaters.

I put down that hose long enough to paint this painting: Harvest, (16" x 20," oil on artists' board).

Hope you're having a great week, wherever you are, from behind cool sunglasses.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mighty Vole Hunts Ubiquitous Cactus Fruit

What a mouthful this title is! Just for fun, I thought I'd paint from my imagination and see what developed. This one is painted on a Dick Blick Artist's Board, 16" x 20," with Winsor & Newton Artisan (water miscible) paints.

I've been absolutely enamored of prickly pear fruit this summer and have spent days boiling and processing the fruits we collected last month. We drove out to the desert northwest of Tucson and collected four large buckets full of the tunas. We tapped our buckets with large tongs to alert any rattlesnakes, and we kept our eyes to the ground for scurrying scorpions. I can't tell you how fun it was...truly. I felt a connection to the earth as we harvested a little bit of its bounty.

So, I guess I'm the little desert vole seeking fruit that will last through the winter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tucson Museum of Art and "Street Cred"

Breathe in. Breathe out. Start again. I know. It's been a long time since I've posted anything. I want to thank Barbara, Linny and Jala for their encouraging notes. I feel immensely inspired, edified, and motivated, to continue posting because of these artists' dedication and passion for art. Here's my little watercolor of happiness today (2 1/2" x 3," in moleskine notebook).
  The Arizona Biennial '09 has ended at the Tucson Museum of Art and my little painting is back home, symbol of more than I can put into words. But...I'll try. 

Since each of us live parallel lives as artists and citizens, when do we come to terms with being fully grown, both as humans in community and artists with credibility? Is it when we are famous (locally/nationally) as artists? Is it when we make money from our work, and how much is enough? Is it when we've spent years working for a stable neighborhood, participating as volunteers, learning and acquiring the tools to shape and change things for the better? We do this shaping thing with each of our canvasses and art careers, too. My point, and I do have one (remember that line?), is that we decide, we decide, we decide our standing--through quiet reflection, honest assessment and healthy humility, irrespective of public acknowledgment. 

That said, I was walking around our 'hood the other day, remembering all that we've worked on to make it better around here. It reminded me of the big event from last year. We were targeted by some gang members who decided to shoot up our place. We happened to be huddled outside at the time, up against the studio, in fact. Both of our cars took bullets and one to the house over my son's room. Later, a friend said that our vehicles now have some "street cred." You know, we did chuckle at that. Why? How could we? Because we survived and eventually got the gang out of the neighborhood (major hard work). We won.

Art has been like this, too. It's been more than thirty years since I had my epiphany/vision to become an artist. There have been delays, setbacks, loss, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and personal triumph. I'll bet you have experienced similar things. I haven't achieved fame or fortune--yet (smiling here), but I have reached a goal by being in the Tucson Museum of Art! That was pretty fantastic when I think of where I was way back then. I'd say I've got a little "street cred."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Imagine and Paint

The dog days of summer are starting to get to me. It's hard to know where these experiments are coming from, but here's another one. It's an 8" x 8," on artists' board. Untitled.

I read once or twice that not having a defined style can be the mark of an immature artist. Then again, I read a few more times that an artist with several approaches is one that merely has a diversity of styles. You can probably guess where these two perspectives come from...and from where they don't.

Naturally, I like the second observation. This painting is a landscape straight from the tips of my fingers, using up paint from the tube, wondering what would happen if I didn't have a plan--kind of a challenge from an artist who usually likes to have one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Almost Los Alamos

Just a short post today. I found this painting hiding behind some other canvasses and did a little touch up on it. I'm not sure this is finished. That mid-ground red is pretty intense. I remember when I painted the sky, I was admiring a bit of pointillist work and some contemporary Impressionists that I've been seeing in the Southwest. I probably won't continue in this manner...But, this painting expresses my feeling of driving the road up the hill to Los Alamos, New Mexico, and how awestruck I was seeing the mesas and the valley below. Almost Los Alamos, 30" x 30," oil on canvas.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Painting Texas Canyon, Arizona Rest Stop

My approach this last week was to try for some more layering and scraping, but after slathering on paint in a most haphazard, cavalier way, I decided to stop here and take a rest. 

When we traveled to New Mexico this summer, we stopped at one of the last Arizona rest stops before the long haul to Lordsburg, NM, called Texas Canyon. Sorry, I can't for the life of me tell you why it's named Texas Canyon. This is oil on artist's board, 12" x 12." 

More water damage at home,. This time it happened to our adobe walls. It's so much fun seeing the studios, homes and nature at other artists' blogs, that I thought you might enjoy seeing my environment. The following shows our home back in the early 1970s (called Home Sweet Home) before all of the additions, and the next photo is the same view today. The small window in today's photo corresponds to the window in the 1970s house. The edge of my studio (the red wall) is on the left. Over the years, soil and dips in the soil have built up around the perimeter. Water has begun to puddle along the other side of this little adobe. As I walked to the kitchen the other day, I saw a chunk of plaster on the floor and a small mound of sand flow out like sand in an hour glass. Yikes. You can see a close up showing the adobe bricks behind the old lime plaster. Now we'll have to work on patching this with the retrieved dirt, sand and some cactus pad juice for glue. What's with all of this water lately?! We had a major monsoon storm yesterday and we were outside with shovels re-directing water away from the house while it was pouring. Kinda fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Paradise Lost and Found, Plus a Palimpsest

Having gone through over a hundred prints and drawings, bleaching, drying and re-packing work in archival bags, things are settling down just a bit.

The thing about an accidental water event is that things turn up, things thought to have been lost forever. Many years ago, I was given two old books which I found recently, while cleaning up. One is Dante Alighieri's, Dante's Inferno, and the other is Milton's Paradise Lost. These books are nearly trashed, but the illustrations are spectacular. I've approximated the age of these tomes to be c. 1878-83. If you click on the title link, you can view some of the incredible illustrations by Gustave Doré.

We had a great storm here yesterday. A wonderful monsoonal moment. And, this reminded me of the first illustration in Paradise Lost:

"Now storming fury rose
And clamor, such as heard in heaven till now
Was never"

Yes, that's like a sudden monsoon in Tucson.

But why the word 'palimpsest'?
One of the paintings being posted here today is of a small work that I've worked and worked, until I could work no more. I took it to the woodshed (I mean, studio!) and decided to scrape off all of the paint. I stopped half way through. I kinda liked this thing.

Catalinas Layered (5" x 7") oil on Artboard.

Mr. Artyfice
said, "Oh, that reminds me of my favorite word--palimpsest! I just love a palimpsest." Whah? Now, I was brought up with a vocabulary loving British mum. So, it's hard to surprise me with an unusual word. Gotta hand it to that Artyfice...but then, he had a foreign born mom, too.

Trust me. He doesn't talk that way all the time.

I really like the comparison to parchment rubbed/scraped and added to. Yes, that's what happened here and I hope to try this again. I wonder if this is possible because I used water miscible oil paint. Hmmm.

I finished this second painting just after Catalina Layered and thought I'd include it. Plans for a mine in the Rosemont Canyon area is still being hotly debated--more stormy weather, and this is a snapshot of the beautiful rolling hills. I hope they will remain untouched. Rosemont Sonoita (8" x 8") oil on cradled artboard.

I hope you are all staying cool and enjoying a summer full of good finds.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recipe for a Vicarious Desert Experience

The monsoon has taken a break here in Arizona. We're getting temperatures of 107 to 109 degrees (41.6 to 42.7 Celsius). It's brutally hot. For those of you unaccustomed to these extremes, I have a way for you to simulate the desert in the height of summer heat from the comfort of your own home:

Melinda's Tangy Summer Salsa
or Oh, Yeah, It's a Dry Heat Fajita

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (148.8 Celsius).
Wait ten minutes.
Open oven door.
Lean in, placing arms one third of the way into said oven, taking care not to touch any metal baking racks.
Hold still, with face at the edge of heat, and count to fifteen.
When you feel a kind of stinging/burning sensation on your arms and face...scream bloody hell and...
Remove pained limbs, and transformed countenance, and splash with cold water.
Dry with a soft towel.
Fix a soothing libation of your choice and,
Give thanks that you are in a cooler climate.

Patagonia Shadow (6" x 8") oil on art board.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thrill is Gone, Grounded Once Again

You know it's just not possible to float indefinitely in the land of art euphoria. Yup. It's true. I know you know this. We've had a major computer virus that lasted a few days--that kept us all hoppin' and waiting. Now fix-ed, as you can see. Whew. Then, a few days ago, as I was about to start a new painting, I noticed that the window AC was leaking water over my art storage cabinet. This is the tough part. There were losses. Only a few pieces were beyond saving, but some monotypes will have to be trimmed down to the images because of the mold damage. Tonight, the salvageable work is in the bathtub soaking in a bit of bleach water. Oh yeah, my nice, black 3/4 sleeve, boatneck shirt is now decorated with bleach stains. Oh well, I've re-dyed clothing before. So, back to work and back to earth after a few days of high flying fun at the museum. Traveling around today, looking at all the great work at your blogs, is so encouraging that I'm not seriously disturbed by any of this. Just delayed. But, I do have the following abstract that offers a direction as things dry out. Study for "Moticos" #1 (36" x 36," oil on canvas) Wishing you better archiving!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tucson Museum of Art and the Arizona Biennial '09

There are a few moments in one's life that are so meaningful that the details, large and small, converge into a kind of storm, a bit like the welcomed monsoon lightning that surrounded the glass walls of the Tucson Museum of Art tonight, bringing a rain of clear moments to a lifetime of dreams--and work with hands and paint. Twenty-four years ago I was cleaning pools for a living (just out of college). Each week I cleaned the TMA's fountain (just outside the west door from the museum). I distinctly remember standing out there sweating in the summer heat, losing prime on the pump, fighting with the skimmer and the crappy suction of the damn fountain, looking wistfully toward the cool, air conditioned comfort of the museum. As I turned to look at the entrance doors, I wished then that I could be inside. Tonight, I got that wish. I stood there with friends and family of forty years, eight years, and a  few years, and looked across the entrance hall toward that fountain and smiled across the distance. Here are a few photos from tonight's reception. It was a delight to see so many people attend. When they stood in front of my painting....whoa, I was in a dream. When they read my statement, I was grateful and happy that they were not bored. I heard the words again, "Success is not a function of individual talent. It's the steady accumulation of advantages." --Malcom Gladwell

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sans Cicadas, New Mexico Sings

Oh, how I love New Mexico. For weeks after returning from a trip there, I look out of my own windows and tell myself that this place is actually New Mexico. I mean, it's the same region and the ancestors traveled these parts as well, calling it all one land. Then I get a bit snippy. What is it about NM anyway? There aren't any saguaros--no cholla or ocotillo, and the few prickly pear cacti look hassled by the junipers. Oh, but I do love the chamisa and the junipers on the hills and, of course, the light. There is something else I've noticed about New Mexico. It almost seems impossible to take a bad photograph. If you ever get a chance to travel to the region, don't worry about composition or light, or subject (just make sure it's daytime). The enchantment always shows up when the photo is reviewed. Amazing. Here are two photos of the rainbow over the hills east of where we stayed and the butte to the northwest. Doesn't it seem like New Mexico poses for visitors, never disappointing? We had a fun time, an exhausting time, and a tiring time on this adventure. We all got lots done. My boy worked on a math problem that required quiet. Mr. Artyfice painted an oil painting, and I painted a watercolor. I challenged him to switch media just to see how we'd fair. Today, the cicadas are buzzing outside, telling me to keep cool in the dark of our cave-like adobe/straw bale room. But, in New Mexico, there was a cacophony of bird song that soothed and delighted us during our stay.
  This is the watercolor that I was surprised I could do. It's approximately 4" x 6" of the butte to the northwest of our casita.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tucson Museum of Art's Arizona Biennial '09 & Ich Bin Ein Artist

Yesterday, I sent out the first invitations and postcards to the upcoming Tucson Museum of Art's Arizona Biennial '09 and this got me to thinking about validation, confidence, hard work and the power of other artists' support through blogging. Because of your visits here, I have grown, experimented, and learned so much. Thank you, everyone. I am very grateful. I wish you could all attend the event and exhibit. Here is a link to some pre-buzz on the show and to Mat Bevel's page. Also, here is a link to another artist, Monica Aissa Martinez, in the show. Most of all, I hope that you will read the following and appropriate the message for yourselves. I recently received permission to share a mail art piece that I made for my son, Ell, last September 2008. Yes, I know. The sentence, "Ich bin ein Artist", is grammatically incorrect. However, I found this jewel in the New York Times Magazine in an article featuring a young artist. In this mailart (I painted a watercolor image of a ceramic fox that he made years ago and used copies of his inked stamps of an Icelandic flag and a dragon along the bottom), I wanted to let him know that we often don't see ourselves as others do. We are so much harder on ourselves than we need to be. Certainly, we are far more critical than our friends are. Why not treat ourselves as kindly as we treat our dearest friends? The words: In everyone else's eyes, you are always more creative than you think. When you make something with your hands, you have a process & a dialogue with yourself. First, an amorphous blob dares you to begin. Pulling the clay, asking yourself Questions: How do I make a fox? How large should it be? What are its proportions. Your hands work. The body is the foundation. The legs come next, one by one, Supporting the whole. The head and tail are developed last like the punctuation in a lovely paragraph. There is an observer present who says, "You're tired and this doesn't look like a fox. Quit now. This is not good--not at all like a picture, not at all like I imagined, not at all like... An allegory, an analogy, your life begins too, as an amorphous form, slowly developed thru a lifetime of questions--never turning out exactly as planned. Yet, the energy and movement that is the artwork of your life is more than you can see from the middle. Page two: Blurry from here, but clear on the outside...You can see there is a code, a secret message Back page: Albert Einstein said, "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." ....Be true to yourself, think about quieting the 'censor' and seek an honest, loving image of yourself. "A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind." Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Here's a link to my new website. Thank you, Mr. Artyfice!