i am mati rose mcdonough and i don’t use caps when i write in my blog. i have conflicting feelings about this, but mainly i think it is cuter and petite. i’m inspired by kim to join this self-portrait tues introduce yourself challenge.

i am an artist. fiancé/girlfriend. 30. student. tall. constant changer of hair colors and styles. currently red outgrowing. in love with off colors and bright colors together and loopy pattern and have recently begun to collect colors in a notebook. i’m just myself, mati. how to explain?

i feel defined by different things daily. today it was falling into hysterics on the couch this morning over the fact that hugh{the love of my life} said my name in a nervous way and led me to our key hanger and looked at me quizzically. keys keys and more keys are hanging off of our cute little holder.

i have maybe 35-50 keys hanging, and some in my pocket. i don’t know where they go to or where they came from. i don’t think i pick them up on the street, but then again, i may be crazier than i thought.

today i’m crazy key lady.

that’s just the thing about hugh. he makes me laugh. hard. which is important in a long term relationship. i feel i can be a bit serious and shy (am shedding this as I grow) and he is a good compliment to this. hugh thinks me calm and grounded, so it works both ways.

another thing that occurred to me today when writing my 2 best college friends about our 10k this weekend, and my fear that i’ll be able to run ONE mile, if that. it is partly the not having trained enough, but mainly i don’t like competition. i like harmony.

does that also make me lazy? slow. or too nice? perhaps. but i don’t like these labels. i am harmonious. and a crazy key lady.

i do like running because it forces me to lay in the grass and stretch and pet dogs that come on my lap. and smell the lilac tree on my route.

sometimes my feet barely touch the ground i am doing sooo much, and other days i just laze around living in my imagination and brainstorming good ideas.

i think the biggest part of turning thirty this year was coming to some sort of acceptance of who i am, even those contradictions. i am hesitant and a worrier and an over planner of the small things with a big side of what the fuck– JUST hop on a plane and go to brazil with $100 because it will be inspiring, but you may not have a job when you come back or even be able to get back. i’m learning to balance this a bit.

also within the last few years i’ve really embraced the idea of being an artist. it is my work. it is my life. it is not just something i do “on the side”. it is something i am taking seriously and investing a lot of $ and time and energy. it is something i need support with: mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, family wise, friend wise, you name it, but at the end of the day i will still be an artist on my own with or with out outright support. this feels selfish, delicious, scary, excellent, indulgent, confusing and i think my calling.

beyond that, i have a wonderful family of an awesome almost 15 year old half-bro andrew (who just went to Spain!), a 30 year old step-sister jesse who lives in beautiful cobble stoned Beacon Hill in Boston with her fiancé tom and snuffly dog dulce, mom wanda & step-dad michael who live in Maine and have chickens, a great community of friends and are building their dream house in Vermont next to my uncle’s dairy farm. And hugh’s family of 3 amazing older sisters: nina, janet, amy in Berkeley and Oakland and their great husbands tom & ivor and adorable children: nora who just turned 4, smiley nate and the newest of them all lily. and their wonderful parents diane and roy in San Diego and Connecticut respectively. i feel grateful to have all of them in my life.

i wrestle with constantly the idea of being on the west coast with my family in maine on the east. i would love to have a home in both… i guess i do with visiting rights and my old bedroom.

i have many friends in my life who i adore to the end of the world and back.

no cats, i am allergic. children? sometimes i want to gobble them up i am so biologically hungry and most times i think 5 years. a pug would be a dear thing, but i hear they have “difficulties”.

Blogging has become an important part of my practice of writing and inspiration saving and processing and gathering momentum while in school and out.

i was looking backwards in my blog to last year and i listed my influences throughout as the clayton brothers, finger puppets, old bird books, mexico, giselle potter, my neighborhood- the mission, frida kahlo, e.e. cummings, pablo neruda, modigliani, friends: hugh (of course), sabrina ward harrison, ali douglass, katherine tillotson & joel el rod and my teacher friends: mira reisberg, jason jagel & barron storey.

lately i have been pouring over books & publications by and would like to add to the list: margaret killgallan, jim hauser, kiki smith, grady mcferrin, beatriz milhazes, jose arenas, brian calvin, matisse’s textiles, letters from vincent van gough, dr. zhivago, pride & predjudice, sara jo friedan, jeana sohn, souther salazar and you people i link to on my blog.

today i am lucky to be surrounded by artists in our studio compound 21 painting the day away to iron & wine.