Painting with Betty and Dot

“If thou couldst, doctor, cast The water of my land, find her disease, And purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo, That should applaud you again.”


Yeah, I have cancer. Charlemagne has this theory. Tell absolutely everyone I know and meet that I have cancer and they’ll give me presents. Wouldn’t that be cool? I’m not quite as outgoing and adorable as he is however, so I have done just about the exact opposite. Told only a few of my close art friends. Told Guardcat. Told all of the Internet and well, that’s just about it. I think that’s enough. For one thing, I don’t want pity. That is unless I’m in charge of how I distribute it.

Like today, I had a pretty full day…for me. I’m slowly recovering from last week’s first round of chemotherapy. I went to my once-a-month food pantry visit and some rich old Biddy was bitching and moaning from the time I stepped in the door. “Oh, its so cold in here.” I said, “Well, its really cold outside”. Her: “Its just as cold in here. Brrr!” Me: (in my head) “Doubtful, ya stupid whiner”.

So then she started walking me around the pantry, you know, since I look like such a bad ass gangsta, (i.e., ready to steal one of those nearly expired can of peas). And she continued to bitch about this and that. “Oh those carts are crappy”. “I wish this was better”, “I wish that was better”, “I wish my husband made $759,000 a year instead only $679,000.” blah, blah, blah.

Anyways, by time we got to the canned meats, which really made my stomach roil (I’m still not eating much), I decided to give her some really sad news….you know the “C” word…(not THAT one, you pervs!)… I told her I wouldn’t really be needing much from the pantry this month since…well you know….I was just starting chemotherapy and feeling quite sick.

Shut the bitch right up. She didn’t say one more Whining Thing and she even carried my bags out to my car and wished me a Merry Christmas. Imagine! See Charlemagne….that’s how I like to “use” my cancer.

High five, bitches!

I do still have a life however. About 10 days ago I went to three art events in 2 days. I knew I would be starting chemo that Monday so I decided to cram a bunch of stuff into a short period of  time. Thursday night I went to a small art opening here in the village. My Spanish friend from this summer had drunk IM’d me the night before saying: “Yos met me at art show tomoro“. She had told me she was sick, but rather than taking any cold medicine she was drinking vodka. She never showed up, so I was wandering around yet another art show with large canvases painted in monotone colors priced at $900. Oh, the sheer lack of creativity of it all.

The following day was a full day craft fair at the place I used to work. Last year I had totally tanked selling only one item in six hours. So this year I decided to do a lot better. I made about 20 collaged bookmarks (each one totally original, cuz that’s how I roll!) as well as a couple of drawings and small paintings. I didn’t really keep track like I should have, but I think I sold about 8-9 bookmarks, a framed collage and one pastel drawing of  some sunflowers. I was asking $12.50 for it and the guy gave me $15. I love when that happens.

Chemo  last week was pretty nasty. Was pretty sick all week. And depressed. And I’ll be doing this once a month for…well, I don’t exactly know to be honest.

In the meantime my aunt had called  last week and told me that her senior center was going to be having free art classes on Tuesdays. The first one was last week. I did go, despite being really nauseous. There was no art, just chatting with the oldies. But I went again today, because as you might guess, anytime there’s the word FREE in it, witty will be there.

I do have this problem however. I sometimes leave my house without brushing my hair. And then sometimes I’ll brush my hair and still look like Janis Joplin after a rough night on the tour bus. Its genetics, people.  You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Let me explain.

Today when I walked into the auditorium, the woman who runs the program, warmly welcomed me but then leaned in and whispered, “Are you going to be doing Modern Art today? We’re not really used to that.”

Did I really look that Out There? The crazy, scruffy uncombed hair? The 1970’s black corduroy pants? The black mis-buttoned sweater? The black Nikes with a green neon stripe? The thirty-seven bracelets and large black nerd glasses? I didn’t do it on purpose! And I totally promise not to paint any crazy Salvador Dali paintings with exploding hamsters in tutus!! Honest!

I guess I looked reliable enough. And she does know my Aunt, who is the most normal person in the entire universe. How I sprang from the same gene pool, I’m not sure. Oh, I remember…I grew up in California in the late 60’s and 70’s where almost everyone in my high school  grew pot (not me of course. Oh dear, no. I didn’t even try it until college, which is an absolute freaking miracle ).

So she showed me what she had done in regards of today’s possible lesson plan: “Christmas card art”. Blergh! She then showed me the art supplies and  I found a spot along one of the long tables with one of the many women named either Betty or Dot. What? You think I’m kidding? I could just say, “Hey Betty, where’s the bathroom?” and 23 women would look up and start giving me directions. It was weird.

I paint really fast. Its from all my years at my drawing class. I’m sort of a get’er done type of person once I start a painting. I haven’t painted much this Fall. I did one painting for my Group Art Show and then one a couple of days ago since I’ve really been slipping quickly into depression. And if anything, I should be advocating for myself. Art heals, remember witty? So I started painting at the table with all the Bettys and Dots.

Behind me was a long table full of people making pine cone wreaths.  My table had about 6-8 people including the lone male Bill, the absolute art superstar according to my aunt. He had had a painting at the library for goodness sakes! And what a jokester!  I had hoped he would sit closer, so I could hear his one liners, a’la Lou Costello. But alas, he was way down at the far end of the table, painting  his Grant Wood thingie.

Instead I was sitting next to Dot. Little Dot who had drawn a bird who was too big. And about every 6-7 minutes she would make a joke about her bird. Good thing she was cute and I was still weak from chemo, otherwise I might have found a reason to flip her upside down and shake all her bingo markers out of her pockets. Yes Dot, we-know-your-bird-is- too- big.

The woman leading the group walked by several times and gave me several nice compliments. I think she just was secretly relieved I wasn’t painting some extravagant 24 foot long painting of a dingo having sex with Rod Stewart. You know. MODERN ART.

A couple came in late and sat next to me. Or almost on top of me. The woman actually set stuff on my paints. They had their own art supplies. oh….artists. La de da!

No wonder they were rude.

She started drawing some and then looked over at my painting. I could tell I made her feel…well, you know…inadequate. She crumpled up the paper and threw it away. She started a new one and became one of my least favorite types of people. The “I’m Crummy, This-Is-Terrible, I-Hope-You-Will-Compliment-Me” person.


It was then I almost told her I had cancer.

This is my MODERN ART goose. Note: No dingos.


16 Responses to “Painting with Betty and Dot”

  1. Anna Says:

    You’re a wild woman – this isn’t news!! Did you have a picture to copy or did you just summon that lovely goose out of your imagination? Or were you thinking mmm Christmas dinner?

    • awittykitty Says:

      No Anna, I was copying the image from a calendar. Mine is a simpler version. Theirs had a bunch of geese swimming in the water and buildings on the distant shore.

  2. artgnome Says:

    your painting is lovely. way to play the C card too, lady, I’m high fiving ya on that one! Here’s to more good health and less need for chemo! xo

  3. goatbarnwitch Says:

    Love the goose! I sure hope the chemo thing is over quickly but while it lasts work it.

  4. freshhell Says:

    God, I love that goose. Beautiful. Hang in there.

  5. enfinblue Says:

    I really, really, really hope you feel better soon and that the chemo works magic and is done soon. That is a lovely goose, although dingos having sex with Rod St3wart would be worth seeing. Maybe a swan having sex with Rod St3wart, so you could refer to it as a gay version of the Leda myth. I’m serious, witty – I know you don’t know me, but I live not too far away from you (I mean, in Canada, but still), and if there is anything I can do to cheer you up please let me know.

  6. DanjerusKurves Says:

    Maybe you can persuade Charlemagne to stand by the freeway with a cardboard sign on your behalf. I mean, come on witty, if you’re going to work it, then WORK IT! xoxox
    p.s., and yes, your painting is quite lovely.

  7. stepfordtart Says:

    We have a goose for Christmas. It doesnt look much like that one – are you sure you’ve got it right? Ours barely has any legs or wings at all and definitely no head. Oh, and its wrapped in cellophane and is in my freezer. I’ll let you have a look at it if you want to have another go at making yours a bit more realistic. Happy thoughts your way, dear. s x PS Can L add you as a friend on FB?

  8. crankygirl Says:

    Nice goose. Also if I were you I would probably tell everyone so they would be less annoying than they really are. You’re doing great with the C card.

  9. poolagirl Says:

    Love the goose and love the stories! I hope you feel better soon. I think about you every day!

  10. LA Says:

    Awesome goose, you can tell by its eyes it really, really wants to have sex with Rod Stewart. Covert kink amongst the unsuspecting seniors, well done!

    I know how you feel about broadcasting the personal stuff (says the chick on the internet), be it good or bad I don’t like using my life’s issues as a way of getting others to behave. That said, I agree with the others and Charlemagne, you should play the C card any time you want to. Not only so you get the help you need but so others might learn. Look at Whiny Lady. Sometimes a reality check is just what someone needs. ~LA

  11. teranika Says:

    I’m new to your blog, witty, but I love it when you have the time to write. Am I the only one who thought dirty thoughts when that Lou Costello guy started painting his Grant Wood thingie? Modern Art, indeed. Where will he display it?

  12. warcrygirl Says:

    Hello sweetie, long time no comment. I totally hear you on the hair thing, my hair gets really frizzy when it’s humid but when I put stuff on it to calm it down it looks greasy. I just never win. WTG shutting up the rich bitch at the pantry; it’s all about having your priorities straight. Too cold? Be thankful you’re around to feel it.

  13. Scott Says:

    I know this is a crappy road you’re walking, right now… but I hope you get this all behind you for 2010. Besides, your work rate with your art is inspirational to those of us who have no excuse. Merry(ier) Christmas.

  14. elizabeth Says:

    Witty-it’s always good to hear from you. I think of you often, and send good energy your way. Keep on keepin’ on, girl!

  15. Cesar Says:

    I am the lone Canadian on the beer12 site.
    Hang in there!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: