Mushrooms, Memory, and Poor Decision-Making.

Mushroom. Acrylic. 10"x10" Brandi Malarkey, artist.


So the odd side-effect of having been remarkably non-functional this year, and failing to take out my camera and go hunting for ideas and inspiration, is that I have been wandering through the hundreds of pictures I randomly take with my phone, or a friend has posted online, or someone else’s art I thought was interesting. I take images all the time and put them in my inspiration file—which I then never open or look at ever again. However, apparently images don’t actually go there to die, because I opened it and actually started to look through and have found some fun and interesting things.

I am still keeping to very simple paintings. Ones where I mostly don’t try to blend. I just sort of put the color on the canvas and decide that if it wants to blend, it is welcome to figure that out on its own. In the same theme of “clearing things out” I am using the square canvases I purchased for alcohol inks, and acrylic paints that are left over from college and are therefore over 20 years old. Instead of looking ahead, I am looking around. If it works, I am not going to get in my own way by over thinking it.

A friend of mine who is a writer, a photographer, and a cook (her blog is the Frenzied Wren) took this image and shared it on Facebook:

I immediately fell in love with all the textures and lines. So with permission, I have turned it into this:

It’s very simple, but it makes me smile.

For those of you who like my misadventures, here is the latest in “Brandi’s brain isn’t working today” moments.

I get a migraine about once a month. They are evil, and it is incredibly hard to function with them, and taking Advil or Tylenol doesn’t make a dent. It explodes behind my right eye, and if I can get away with it, I spend the entire day in bed. However, I have recently discovered Excedrin Migraine medication, and it was recommended that I take that with a Coke.


My migraine goes away for about 6 hours during which I can function, and it is a glorious and beautiful thing.

It doesn’t make sense. If you look at the ingredients it is a combination of Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin, and caffeine. Maybe they don’t work separately, but the combo does? Whatever. I am willing to go with it.

I tried it without chasing the pills with a Coke, because while I used to be addicted to them, I don’t drink soda anymore, usually, and I don’t actually like the taste of Coke anymore besides. Also, caffeine is on the ingredient list. However, just the meds don’t work. The meds with the Coke do work. I don’t know why. Maybe its that whole placebo effect thing. Frankly, I don’t care. If I am fooling myself out of a migraine, I am all for it.

I don’t need a 20-ounce soda to get the effects, but fortunately for me they sell these adorable mini-cans:

Which is less than half. Yay! They come in the cutest six-packs ever. I was down to my last one and went to the store and the store was OUT.  I panicked. What if I got two migraines this month? How would I function? The fact that I could buy a 20oz at any convenience store at any time not being of any importance whatever to this internal discussion. After perusing my choices I ended up getting a four-pack of glass bottled Cokes, which also have about 7oz in them:

But they didn’t fit in my spot for them in the pantry and that made me cranky, so I put them on a different shelf, but out of sight and sorta out of mind. This should last me five months.

Some significant time later I went to the grocery store again, and remembered I didn’t have my mini-cans. They were still out, but they had these 12oz mini-bottles:

I hemmed and hawed because they are smaller than the 20oz, but larger than the mini-cans, but they have the advantage of having a cap, unlike a full-sized can of Coke, and so (in theory) I could drink half of it, put the cap on and leave the other half for the next time I get a migraine. This seemed reasonable, so I bought them.

By the way, I don’t know what I was thinking. I never eat or drink half of anything. If it is there, I will finish it. This is why I simply don’t have junk in my house.

The little bottles do not fit in the designated mini-coke can spot, so in a fit of annoyance I left them out in the main shelf where I would see them and get irritated at them for being in my way and not what I wanted every time I open the pantry door. Because that was logical.

Then, yesterday, I had to stop at the store and there was a big display right by the check out with—mini-cans! I gleefully purchased a mini-can six-pack and went home feeling like I had won the lottery. The mini-cans went into the mini-can space, and I took the mini-bottles out of the pantry and decided to put them in the back closet with my extra cans of tomatoes where they would quit irritating me. Out of sight and out of mind.

You know what I found sitting with the cans of tomatoes in my back closet? This:

Yep. That is exactly what it looks like.

Apparently past me had known I was running out of mini-cans and purchased this 10 can box, which should last me a year. And put it in the back closet with the tomatoes. So at least I am consistent in my hiding places.

So now I have a six-pack of mini cans, a 10-pack of mini-cans, 4 glass bottles, and 8 mini-bottles of Coke.

Should there be a soda shortage, I am totally set. I have two years worth of medicinal coke (ha! There’s a fun sounding phrase) to ward off migraines, with a side helping of exasperated “oh, my gosh, seriously?!” to accompany it.

3 Responses

  1. So glad you found something that stops your migraines! Sounds kind of crazy but it’s a pretty tasty remedy…according to me!
    Love your mushroom painting too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.





Purchase Original

Interested in buying an original piece of art? My work is on display and available for purchase at  Gallery 4 located at 115 Roberts Street, Fargo, ND.

If you’d like to commission an original piece, please use the following form to contact me.

Looking forward to hearing from you!