From the Errant Easel Holiday Gathering

Blah blah blah…Merry Christmas…blah blah blah…Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Holiday Thoughts

The holidays are upon us.  Christmas, New Year’s – I love this time of year.  Giving gifts to family and friends, seeing if I got it right; there is nothing quite like it.  The promise of a new beginning, a chance to get things right “this time;” priceless hope.  Yes, this is the best time of the year for me.  It’s when those moments that weren’t that great over the course of the year fade into the fog of memory and replaced by glowing embers of times golden.  Granted, this euphoria doesn’t last – it isn’t something that is sustained constantly over the two weeks that encompass Christmas and New Year’s – but at least it’s there and that’s really all I need.

In the midst of enjoying my first day of break, I had several moments to reflect on what this year has meant to me.  When I think about it, the word “change” is the constant refrain.  At the beginning of the year I was engaged, now I’m not.  At the beginning of the year, I lived in another part of the state, now I live somewhere else.  At the beginning of the year I taught Art in Kentucky, now I don’t (I teach Art in West Virginia – didn’t want you to think I was out of a job).  Those are the big changes, but other, nicer things happened as well.  I made new friends at my new job (I like to believe I am STEM approved!) that I care for very much.  I live near my family and get to spend quality time with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, brother, and Mom and Dad.  I’m happy, I have crushes on cute boys (sorry, men – I’m not 12), and I have hope – something I didn’t have for a while.

Now, I could go on again about how all the changes, particularly the hard ones, were rough and at times still are: but those times are fewer and fewer.  It doesn’t pay to harp about the wrongs I feel were done.  I wouldn’t even call them wrongs – I like to believe that all of the decisions, good/bad/whatever, have been lessons that needed to be learned.  What’s the phrase, you can’t enjoy the highs if you’ve never had the lows?  Something like that.  Anyways, all of those moments have brought me here to my couch, watching Burn Notice (B.A. by the way – B. A.) with my cat Ralphie and I’m fine with it.  The only regret I have this year is that I didn’t kiss a handsome man goodnight but that’s another story for another day.

So, now that my Pete Townshend style rambling is at an end, here are some resolutions I have for the coming year because, believe it or not, I had resolutions last year about making changes in my life and honestly, they worked out.

Here it goes:

Resolution 1 – Never give up the tshirt love, but wear dress clothes more often.   Dammit, I’m a girl and I like to look pretty! Seriously though, I have some awesome tshirts and I’ll never give them up – NEVER!!

Resolution 2 – Keep up the jogging/exercise routine.  Yes, I ended up enjoying jogging.  Guess I had to do it for myself after all.

Resolution 3Be better about blogging.  My 1/3 of Errant Easel should be attended to more often.  It will keep me on track with my Art too.

Resolution 4Become more outgoing.  States itself.

On that note, Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year everyone.  I hope my little writings reach some of you, or give those of you I know a little more insight to my thought process.  It helps me to get it all out there and if it can help someone else – to at least know you aren’t the only one – then alrighty.

See you next year unless something spectacular, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt giving up on models and actress to court an Art teacher from Appalachia, happens.

It's not a Christmas pic, but he's wearing red so..close enough! Merry Christmas!

It’s not a Christmas pic, but he’s wearing red so..close enough! Merry Christmas!



hitRECord Collaborations

Summer is near an end and I find myself (again!) scrambling for some type of stable footing.  Last year at this time, it was lack of a  job and my relationship that was sending me into fits.  This year, it’s finding a home and starting up some type of stable business/creative outlet for myself.  Along with Errant Easel, I plan on showcasing my work on my own website AND branch out to HitRecord. is a collaborative website where artist of various interests share their work and, yes, collaborate to create a variety of products.  You are able to propose collaborations or participate in them.  You can even just put some work up to share – which is what I did this evening.  I hope to one day participate in a collaboration, but small steps.  Please check out my records under the name staciagain.  Anyhoo…..

Here is my submission for



The above figure was drawn using Sketchbook Pro.  While I’m not yet proficient with the program, I feel pretty comfortable with the tools and like the finish product.  I hope to eventually use this program to create other such works and have them printed at a local print shop to sell.  Look out Pike County Artisans – I’m coming!

PS: Thanks to Joseph Gordon-Levitt for his investment in and his support, along with his team, of artists everywhere.  You rock!

A 99.9% Chance You’ll Like This Film

I just love the tag line - that's part of what sold me on seeing this film

I’m a nail biter and yes, I realize it’s a disgusting habit that I should quit.  I really only do it when I’m nervous…it just happens that I’m nervous an awful lot of the time (especially of late).  So, when a movie starts with a main character who just happens to be a nail biter as well, I’m interested.  That’s how the movie, 50/50, began for me this evening.

Initially I wanted to see this film because I had heard it received good reviews and I happen to enjoy the work of both Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon Levitt.  I didn’t know much more about it than it was a dramedy that was based on someone’s life (Seth Rogen’s friend, and writer of the film, Will Reiser) and battle with cancer.  Yes, it’s not your average, well-worn story – and it never feels that way.  It feels exceptionally real.  Okay, you could argue that “Staci, it’s based on real life events of course it seems real,” but a lot of movies based on real life events are easy to relate to.  This movie does and kudos are due to the cast for bringing a fantastic script to, for lack of a better work, life.

I haven’t felt this much of an emotional connection to a film in a really long time.  It is both funny, sad, and, at times, out right tragic.  Gordon-Levitt is phenomenal as the lead character and Seth Rogen is a wonderful counterpart.  Angelica Huston plays Adam’s (Gordon-Levitt) mom and does a wonderful job of being both overbearing and loving (things we adult children have to deal with from time to time).  In the end, it’s not just about one young man’s struggle with cancer – it’s about how he and his relationships evolve due to this unpredictable, unrelenting attack by the body against itself.

At the end of the day, just like with Art, it’s how we, the viewer relates to the image/story/piece.  We all bring so much of our own background/baggage to what we see.  When movies like this that are so realistic and so well done, it touches something that maybe we don’t even recognize – or want to recognize for that matter.  I have never had to deal with a close friend or family member having a 50/50 chance at surviving a disease that strikes without warning and doesn’t discriminate like cancer does.  Still, I have lost friends – I know what that is like.  I’ve lost family – watched them succumb to Parkinson’s and dementia.  Everyone has had some type of loss…we have also laughed with those that were sick….we have made bad jokes to ease the tension….we’ve all told them to look at the bright side…we’ve all LIVED with them.  Life is like that – good with bad.  All we can do is keep going forward and not give up – not on ourselves, not on each other.

At least that’s what I took from this film….. and while I can’t guarantee you’ll like this film – I think the majority of you out there will really dig it and feel a connection to it.

Go watch this film – take a friend to this film (a real friend, someone you can love whole heartedly but still acknowledge what an ass they can be from time to time) – and enjoy it   *SPOILER ALERT!!!! There is a happy ending which also happens in real life from time to time*

Here’s to living and loving…and maybe, MAYBE, not biting our nails any more.