Posts Tagged ‘ybonesy doodles’

Mano Poderosa (Omnipotent Hand), gouache painting and etching
on wood, retablo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

heart to head to hand:
what am i willing to bleed?
the risk of writing

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)

-related to post, WRITING TOPIC – TAKE A RISK

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For anyone who lived in New Mexico in 2001, you will remember the “Madonna in a Bikini” controversy. Artist Alma Lopez depicted the Virgen de Guadalupe as a real woman wearing a bikini of flowers.

Many Catholics were offended, and even the Catholic Church protested, claiming that Lopez had turned the Holy Mother into “a tart.” Reactions were violent and hostile. Lopez received threats, and the image was later censored.

You can read Lopez’s words about “the Controversy” and how she responded to it. Clearly, this event shaped Lopez as an artist — perhaps as a person.

Artists and writers take risks all the time. They mix sexuality and religious iconography. They divulge family secrets. They make political statements.

Natalie Goldberg, in her rules of Writing Practice (paraphrased in red Ravine), tells us to Go for the jugular. In her book Wild Mind – Living The Writer’s Life, she describes it this way:

If something scary comes up, go for it. That’s where the energy is. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time writing around whatever makes you nervous. It will probably be abstract, bland writing because you’re avoiding the truth. Hemingway said, ‘Write hard and clear about what hurts’. Don’t avoid it. It has all the energy. Don’t worry, no one ever died of it. You might cry or laugh, but not die.

Going for the jugular is one of the ways writers take risks — your version of Madonna in a bikini.


When I was in my mid-20s, living in Granada, Spain, I drew the most outrageous pictures. I look at them today — more than 20 years later — and I know what I was trying to say.

I took so many risks then. Moved to Spain alone with $6,000 and no plans to return. Dropped out of the local university, which provided at least some structure in my life. Sat in a small, hot room and drew. Drank wine. Got depressed. Wrote every day, not even knowing that what I wanted to do with the rest of my life was to write and make art.

Where is that person now? I want to hear from her.

I want you to hear from the bold person inside of you. Take a risk with your writing. Go for the jugular. Be controversial, if that’s what you have to be.

Set your timer for 15 minutes. At the top of your page, write this: I take a risk when I write about… Then go.

When you’re done, if you’ve only touched the surface of what it is that puts you out there, write about it again. And again and again.

Take a risk with your writing every day.

Penis Worship, unfinished pencil and color pencil drawing from ~1986,
Granada, Spain (updated recently with pen and ink), drawing
© 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Untitled, old watercolor doodle of spoon and ball, © 2007
by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

QuoinMonkey’s photo earlier this week of Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-1988, which came out in red Ravine post “White Elephants on Art,” reminded me of a fascination I once had with spoons. Their shape and size, the way they have a roundish end and a straightish end. How they are made to fit into other spaces.

Spoons. I like spoons. I prefer spoons to forks and knifes. If I were stuck on a desert island with only one of these utensils, I might just choose a shapely spoon. I could dig.


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Pig in a Cornfield, Christmas card from 1993, linocut and ink wooden spoon print © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

My poor mother-in-law. For years and years, she received pig-everything for Christmas. Pig statues, flying pigs, pig art, pig earrings, pig containers. Jim and I single-handedly contributed to at least a fourth of her vast pig collection.

It sat in a corner in her kitchen. The carved pig folk art piece that I thought was so adorable stood on the floor, next to the iron pig shoe scraper. Other pig paraphernalia congregated there, too, as if queuing for entry into a pig convention.

And then there were the two old wooden coke bottle trays whose many stalls were filled with mini-pigs. Plastic squishy pigs, glass pigs, porcelain pigs, metal and wood. She even had half a black walnut shell that someone noticed resembled exactly the snout of a pig and, thus, gave it to her.

I once asked my mother-in-law how she came to love pigs. She told me that she didn’t actually love pigs at all, but rather someone had given her one as a joke. Shortly thereafter the pigs started coming.

Even when she told me this story I blanked out the part of her not loving pigs. Instead I glommed onto the idea that from there on out and forever more, I knew what to buy my mother-in-law for Christmas, Mother’s Day, and birthdays.

It wasn’t until my in-laws moved to a new home a few years ago that the pigs were banished. My mother-in-law made it clear that she didn’t want any more pig gifts.

So far, only one unsuspecting neighbor has given her a pig. I, on the other hand, now take the time to find the kind of cotton or denim shirt that I notice she likes to wear.

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Sitting Pear-ty, Christmas card from 1993, linocut and ink
wooden spoon print © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Dear Person Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

Do you plan to never make eye contact? I thought I was a cold traveler, but you take the cake.

BTW, that haircut is kind of silly. It’s so David Schwimmer on Friends.



Dear Person Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

Why did you have to take *this* middle seat? There was one available three rows up.

Wait a second, is that you who smells like garlic?? My God, did you take a bath in garlic oil?

Ah, I see. Someone packed you dinner for the ride. How nice of them. Mmm, garlic chicken. Yum. Ooo, garlic mashed potatoes. Wow, you just squeeze them out of the baggie into your mouth. That’s attractive.

P.U. I could do without the smell of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. I see you can’t.

Em, excuse me but the airline attendant is trying to pass me my peanuts. Yes, thanks. This is my dinner tonight. Not that you care.


Dear Drunk Man Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

Don’t you think you’ve had enough to drink? I mean, they fill those glasses pretty full.

Really now, do you honestly need two Baileys-and-coffee after four glasses of red wine??

I mean it, you’d better be able to hold your liquor or I’m never sitting next to you again.


Dear Couple Sitting Next to Me on the Plane,

I take it you’re newlyweds. Sweet how you hold hands during the entire flight.

You guys are so young to spend the entire hour reading quietly like that. Gosh, you already seem to be like an old married couple.

Not that it’s any of my business.


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Day of the Dead Gathering 2, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle © 2007-2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Green Sweater and Tunic, my current fashion obsession, pen and
pencil doodle © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

I was one of those girls in high school who latched on to a particular look and didn’t drop it for a couple of years. My devices back then: painter pants, waffle stompers, and any one of my brother’s flannel shirts.

I still remember a pair of olive green trousers that became my signature article of clothing when I was in my early twenties. They were gabardine with tiny knots of wool, tight and narrow at the waist and legs yet super baggy in the lap. I wore them all fall and winter for three years, often with black lace-up Victorian-style shoes.

Later, I graduated to cowboy boots and oversized long-sleeved t-shirts and long skirts. I stuck with the boots until everyone and their mother started wearing them, at which point I promptly parted ways with my inner cowgirl.

My thirties were spent traipsing around in tight-fitting clothes. I was size 2 or 4 for most the decade, and I loved showing off my hips and waist. Short tops, fitted blouses, strappy sandals, leg-hugging black go-go boots.

I still have a bag of clothing from that era, but besides not being able to fit into any of it I worry that I’d resemble a middle-aged prostitute if I actually attempted wearing anything from back then.

These days my uniform is a tunic topped with a short, tight sweater. Preferably the green sweater I got two years ago at Target, made by that designer Isaac somebody. It’s wash and wear, and the color has held up remarkably well until just recently given that I throw it in the dryer each week.

It’s the kind of uniform that satisfies the Gemini in me. Long and flowing yet short and fitted. The tunics I’ve picked up all over the place — Marshalls in Phoenix or Ross Dress-for-Less on Coors. A couple are vintage, from Buffalo Exchange (which I frequent when I’m not mad at the “buyers” for turning up their noses at my used clothing).

At the moment I’m wishing I would have bought two or three of my beloved Target sweaters, as mine is finally (finally!) fading around its ribbed edges. I wish I would have bought it in pink, my next favorite color after green.

It dawns on me that once my sweater dies, I might have to figure out a new look. Nothing too saucy or young-looking. Nothing frumpy. (God forbid frumpy.) It’s a delicate balance for a woman my age. If anyone has suggestions, I’m open.

What should be my next signature piece? Or do I quick, search for a green sweater replacement? And what of tattoos for women in their mid-forties? Are they as desperate-seeming as I think they are? And while on the topic, can someone tell me, do men work on their looks? (Because Jim’s aging hippie thang seems to come completely naturally to him.)

Geez, all this and frizzy hair, to boot. It’s amazing I made it to work today.


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Alberto Gonzalofishe, former Attorney General (appointed by George W. Bush) depicted as a fish on a plaque, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

-Inspired by PRACTICE: Fish Out Of Water – 15mins

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what if merv were chicano?
Merv García, pen and ink and pencil on graph paper, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

Merv Griffin: OK, my little pajaritos, do we have any requests?

Someone in audience: Y volver, volver, volver…

Someone else in audience: …a mis brazos otra vez…

MG: Coños, babies, come on, I’m not Al Hurricane…let me play you una cancioncita about my lovely bunch of coco-nuts…

Someone in audience: Al Hurricane? I thought you were Tony Bennett, oyé!

Someone else in audience: ¿Qué cosa Tony Bennett? ¡Oralé, he’s Engulburk Humperdink!

what if merv were chicano?what if merv were chicano?what if merv were chicano?what if merv were chicano?what if merv were chicano?

-Related to posts What If The Southwest Guy Were Chicano? and What If Madge Were Chicana?

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what if the southwest guy were chicano?

Southwest Guy: Oyé, ven aquí por tu regalo gratís…

Traveler: ¿Qué cosa gratís?

Southwest Guy: Es un t-shirt *muy* bonita…que te doy después de que you fill out esté application de tarjeta crédito…

Traveler: ¡No quiero un feo t-shirt de Southwest, hombre!

Southwest Guy: Espera, hombre, you can die it black, man, and wear it camping!

-Related to post What If Madge Were Chicana

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what if madge were a chicana?
You’re Soaking in it, pen and ink doodle on graph paper, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

Madge: Ei, alá, you’re so-king in it…

Client: ¡Chale! ¿De véras?

Madge: Sí, hombre, te digo la verdad.

Client: ¡Oralé! ¿Qué pasó? Was there a ganga at Dollar Store?

Madge: Bitche, how did you know??

-Inspired by Topic post, Cleanliness.
-Related to post, Everything I Know About Cleaning I Learned From My Mother.

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womanly santa koshari
Womanly and Santa Koshari, doodles © 2000-2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Half-baked Chicken, a paper mache-in-progress chicken started years ago, photo © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

I have a retablo painting I did of Santa Lucia carrying her eyeballs on a plate. Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the blind, the saint to invoke for clarity. Vision. She is my favorite saint, possibly because of those perfectly round eyeballs that sit like a teacup on a saucer (and the fact that she walks around not with empty sockets but rather with another set of seemingly perfectly functioning eyes).

Unfortunately, I haven’t finished my painting of Saint Lucy. I started it about four years ago. She’s gone through several metamorphoses. A high-collared purple tunic. A low-collared maroon tunic. A low-collared maroon tunic and cleavage. (Scandalous!)

The clarity she’s given me is that I’ve always struggled to finish my art.

I’m trying to figure out where this comes from. I don’t not finish my work projects. But my work projects have deadlines and people checking to see if I’m meeting my deadlines. I complete most my daily chores — making breakfast and packing lunches, doing dishes after dinner, posting on the blog. If someone is relying on me for something — a letter to the editor or an appearance at a political event — I almost never let that someone down. Yet, I let myself down all the time.

On the shelf across from Saint Lucy is a half-finished chicken. I made its body out of the torn-off corner of an empty dog food bag. It’s a paper mache project I started five years ago. I wanted to paint it bright blues and pinks and greens and shellack the whole thing into a shiny, festive piece of folk art. I even made the feet, although I couldn’t figure out how to attach them to the body. I have everything I need — the paint, the wire, even the shellack. I just need Me. To. Finish.

Personally, I’d like to blame it on my air sign. I am, apparently, mercurial. I’m supposed to not be able to stick with any one thing. Yet, I’ve always done art and writing, and I’ve always seemed reliable when it came to not finishing my art and my writing. I can’t get more stable than that.

Maybe my parents did it to me. Except, Dad has completed everything he ever set out to do. Years before he retired he started a list of Things To Do When I Retire. He was worried he might run out of ideas, so he grew his list for several pages of his pocket-sized memo pad. As far as I can tell, he’s done them all. Learned to oil-paint and completed many of the historic churches of New Mexico. Wrote his memoirs. Perfected his golf swing. Went to Spain. Built a patio deck and raised all the flowers he loved as a child.

Mom was much lazier. She watched As The World Turns and read National Enquirer, eventually graduating to Harlequin Romance. I could say it’s her fault. In fact, I will. And tomorrow when I call to tell her, she’ll remind me that while she might have put off the ironing and never made us breakfast, she did finish big projects. She and Dad refinished three large pieces of furniture, I now remember, including transforming our formal dining room table into a coffee table by chopping off its legs.

No, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all mine. I don’t show up for me.

My two mentor teachers, Juanito and Natalie, finish everything they start. I’ve asked them. More than once just to make sure they answer the same way every time. They do.

So I’m making an effort to do the same. When I drew Bethanny, I hated her. Where did she come from? She just showed up on the page, and that smile of hers. And who was the guy in the picture frame. Bethanny wasn’t like any of my other doodles, and I wanted to skip over and start a new drawing. Which is what I did. And if it weren’t for the fact that I disliked that one even more — you should see him; he’s got a long neck and goofy glasses — I wouldn’t have gone back and finished poor Bethanny. But you know what? I did finish her, and I kind of like how she turned out. How’s that for clarity?

Saint Lucy, how do you work your magic when your shoes aren’t even filled in? The shawl on your shoulder was supposed to be yellow, I think. I notice that your pose is almost exactly the same as Bethanny’s. She’s got a grapefruit; you’ve got eyeballs. What a combination. I hadn’t even noticed until I started this post. I’d like to promise I’ll go back and finish you, but the truth is, it’s hard to go back. My style has changed. Plus, maybe you’re a better beacon unfinished than you are fully done. Maybe that makes you vulnerable like me. Me, you, and the uncooked chicken. Looking at what’s in front of us. A blank page to fill.

Santa Lucía, unfinished arcryllic on wood retablo of Saint Lucy,
painting © 2000-2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Bethanny and Grapefruit, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle
© 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Las Dos Chicas, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved
Las Dos Chicas, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy.
All rights reserved.

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Breakfast At Beto’s, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved
Breakfast at Beto’s, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle © 2007
by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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