The Right Half of my Brain

July 1, 2017


I know the theory that the right side of the brain is creative and the left side is scientific has recently been discredited. For the purposes of this piece and of life in general, I’m going to ignore that. I don’t trust scientific evidence. Last week, it was on the news that coconut oil is bad for you and the next day, that it was good. Phooey! The only oil I feel safe with is olive oil. THAT has never been criticized. But …you can’t use it to make a cake, and every now and then, something compels me to make a cake. So, I keep a bottle of canola just in case a need for it arises.

But I digress. I started sewing by making doll clothes on my little red Singer. I turned the wheel and it really sewed. That was the only interest I ever had in dolls. At four years of age, I was a seamstress already. I got it from my Aunt Dorothy. God knows, my mother couldn’t sew a lick, and by the time I came along, both grandmothers had given up sewing. Back in their day, they had to make everything without a machine. No wonder they gave it up.

I also loved drawing. I had coloring books and used the glorious big box of Crayolas to shade my colors and make the pictures more life-like. A rose might take six shades of red and pink to satisfy me. When I was given a drawing pad without lines, I thought I was in right-brain heaven.

Sewing remained my chief interest. I made almost everything my daughter and I wore for decades. After my youngest went to school, I returned to the workforce and was forced to be bi-brainal. (I just invented that word …I think)

I used both sides of my brain for a long time, working in sales and sewing and drawing or painting. At Venice Stationers, where I worked for fifteen years for Ellie Hamilton, the absolute best boss ever, I had very good luck selling my art. When I became active in the Venice Little Theatre and the designer, Joan Dillon, taught me to make costumes, she literally changed my life.

I came to Vegas to make costumes. What fun, and they gave me money! I retired from the store and pretty much gave up using the left side of my brain. The costumes led to my first book, which led to my second. Now, I have twenty finished and on the market, and two in various stages of progress in my computer.

You would think that would be enough, but a friend recently gave me four huge, 48” x 48” canvases. (Is the inch mark ‘or “? I don’t remember, and it seems too much like math for me to care at this point in my life. I have better things to do than think about math.)

I hadn’t painted for several years. I dragged out my art supplies and found my acrylics were shot, so I bought new ones. I know oils are preferred by true painters, but do they have two nosy cats in their home that won’t stay out of anything? I don’t think so!

Anyway, it got me to painting again, and I did some works of various Vegas weather phenomenon. I REALLY enjoyed myself. My daughter asked me to make duplicates for her, so I did. She took them right to the store, where they priced them at $299 and hung them on their wall.

So gratifying, to know that someone outside the family thought they were good enough to hang and sell!! I was so excited. I’m now working on three more paintings at the same time I’m sewing slipcovers for daughter’s barstools. Her cats shredded the covers that came on them.

So, I spend my days writing, sewing, and painting. I don’t have much time left over to mop the floors or balance a checkbook.  It seems my poor left-brain has to starve. I feed the right. If the left is going to get any nourishment at all, it will have to come from my endless pursuit of a grocery-store coupon that will actually do me some good. As far as I can see, that’s the only true science I need.

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