Saturday, February 28, 2009

Speak To Me

I was going to do this whole thing about color today, and that led me to youtube, and that led me to the The Color Purple, and I got immersed in it. It remains one of the best movies ever, in my opinion. I am all up and down in this movie, my emotions flipping around, slamming into things. Wonderful, when a collaboration in art can make you feel so much. I first saw this movie when it was released, with my mother. At the time in my young life it was indeed powerful, but I didn't grasp all of its themes quite yet. (I must have been around twelve years old, so I think I may be excused)

But no matter how many times I watch this it is powerful. I can't really get over how it has such staying power, but it does. This is the bawlingest movie I will undoubtedly ever be privy to see. (A close second goes to The Joy Luck Club because of its heavy mother/daughter theme) Even the happy parts in The Color Purple are so incredibly elated and beautifully portrayed that they make me bawl. I normally spend over half of the movie in a state of tears and higher blood pressure. I'm pretty much done for, after her sister gets (literally) ripped from her. Most. Powerful. Scene. Ever. It's difficult to hard to watch, but so rewarding.

Two of the happiest parts:

That woman's voice is akin to a snifter of top shelf brandy.

This ever so vaguely ties in with my next piece, which will feature some words from 'Amazing Grace'. It's the one song in all the world that can make me weep no matter how badly it's sung.

The arts have power, they give voice.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Mournings

Okay, so after several more deer references in my life in the past few weeks, I realized I may not be done with the series (at least someone thinks so). Hmph. Well fine.
This is a bit smaller than the rest of the pieces, but I really liked the shape of this hardboard. The bit of writing I used on here is something you'd not normally find from me; a few select parts of the Star Spangled Banner. But I always thought it was quite the beautiful piece of poetry.

Here we go dears,

Postcard Meanderings...


I'm on it! (scroll down a few) This was super fun, and a good use of a slight amount of time, in my opinion. There are some other really wonderful postcards on the site, that she will have in her collection, please check them out. And, there's still time to send something yourself!

In the meantime, I have some other postcards to send...and if anyone wants one, please tell me.

Now, if y'all know of any upcoming feminist shows, or calls for artists, I'd be all set.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Broads Who Happen to Influence Me (Neko Case)

This is an interview/music snippet promo for her new album....which I just heard on NPR, and it's wonderful. I can't tell you how many times I've thrown in some Neko Case while I was painting. She's one of the top picks for me, creatively speaking. She seems like a fun broad...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Circle the Earth (2/19 to 2/25)

Weekly circles, y'all. Again, this/my week in circles was a very decent and interesting one. Some of these images feature the original potato stamps that I carved and documented a few posts ago (#s 36, 38, 39). I have made even more progress in exploring what I can do with the cheapo postcard paper, and I'm beginning to enjoy it more often than not for this 365 series. I like the effect I got on thirty-eight and thirty-nine immensely; wispy, yet dank backgrounds.

I'll be posting a little something extra in a few hours here, as well. Without further adieu...








ETA: I promised a lil somethin extra...
(changed it to a link)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I have always loved this song, I think Howie Day is a genius. I love that he builds the entire song in front of the audience and it's all him. Every sound is made by him. I think it's really exciting to watch him layer the song. This video has some good foot action so you can see what he's doing.

It's all about the layers, people.

(The bunny and the bear, animals abound today.)

Girl With a Bird

"Girl with a bird she found in the snow

that flew up her gown, and that's how she knows
that God made her eyes for crying at birth
then left the ground to circle the earth"

'Boy With A Coin', by Iron and Wine

Part of my series last year, a part that did not go into the final show, was a painting that included the first two lines of this Iron and Wine quote. It was a piece that was based on pregnancy, and another reason why I needed that frontal view of the model's belly. But at the time (and still) I was struck by the sadness in the melody of this song. What I enjoy about Iron and Wine in general, is that their songs give me a very earthy feel when listening. Boy With A Coin in no different, but whereas the emphasis is on the boy (from other lyrics/title in the song) I found that I was most drawn to the idea of the girl with a bird.

Right away, I thought of the Angel Gabriel and Mary (because of my Catholic background). The Annunciation. It's a perfect fit, where imagery is concerned; a bird that flew up her gown and that's how she knows. So I was ultimately painting about the innocence, and magic of pregnancy. And I was immediately charmed by the innocence of the model, even though she was older than I. She had a definite purity while pregnant, but she seemed a bit sad or lost. She gave me the impression of the sad melody of this song. She became, over the weeks, holy or sacred in my eyes, a modern day stand-in for Mary, if you will. In the end, she was even more; I think she became Earth incarnate.

And I don't think it's just a coincidence that I happened to run into this model (and her children) again at the Urban Ecology Center on Valentine's day either. Mother Nature, indeed.

Painting her pregnant, seeing her, has really made a huge impression on me. I think it always will because it was such a magical, rare experience for a mere 10 of us in that figure painting class. It was a great opportunity and joy to be able to paint her; a really special time period of my life.

So, I did complete several versions of 'Circle The Earth' for the Sanguine show, but I was not happy with any of them. Maybe one day I will get it right. But today, I wanted to hear that specific Iron and Wine song, and I found this video. It was interesting that despite its title, the video shows all women, as well; really beautiful, dancing women. I'll most assuredly continue to think of women whenever I hear Boy With A Coin now.

Circle the earth.


Deer reference number 53. (I have no idea if it is, in fact #53, but I'd really like to think so, as I've had so many already.)

Originally, I was going to start work on a new figurative be called 'looking down on myself'. It was going to be this really great commentary on the state of women's bodies in society. The title also includes the double meaning of the phrase 'looking down', as I would literally be glancing down at my own body for the model of the figures. However, I don't think I can do it right now. My body image is actually quite good, for once in my life, and I'd like not to impose any badness on my tranquility in this area. That series is clearly for another time.

Right now, I think I should continue with the deer. The photo (above) was found by me this morning. It was a tape cover that my friend Marty made for me, at least ten years ago. He was dubbing some music for me, and stylishly made me a home made cover for the tape as well. (The tape in question had Nirvana on one side, P.J. Harvey on the other. Perfect.) Anyway, I haven't so much as glanced at this in ten years....but today I saw it, and 'got' another deer reference.

I was recently talking to an artist about animal spirits, or spirit guides. I was told that they are sort of like guardian angels; your animal spirit 'helps' you. I have always associated my mother with a deer, because of the manner in which she died. Like, if she were an animal in life, she'd automatically have been a deer, in my head.

I think I have more to explore on this front, with the deer. I wasn't entirely sure that I was done with the Deer Hart (Dear Heart) series anyway. But this morning I received yet another irrefutable sign that I wasn't. I guess that Artemis will have her day with Orion, after all...

Back to the rack.

(And please check out Martin's music...Kicking At the Trunk.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Doors of Perception

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

(the animated version)

I was speaking to someone about this recently, and they were surprised that we were required to read this in art school, as well. I mentioned to her that the lesson was about perception, which can be a visual idea, as well as philosophical and social. I also feel that this allegory makes an interesting link to the idea of shadows. (I was speaking in an earlier post about 'loss shadows') What is the reality of the shadow? What is the perception of the shadow when one is in the cave?

It's one's reality.

My horoscope this week was as well, about projections/perceptions, and I was given this quote to ruminate upon and disprove: "The person one loves never really exists, but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion."- Arthur C. Clark

To dissolve and elude my perceptions...I didn't think I had accomplished that task. However, I then realized that my 365 circles are almost all related to the eyeball and perceptions, this week. All of the found papers are medical photos of diseased eyeballs. There's nothing more real than that. Those distortions are seen quite plainly; but I still think they are beautiful. My shadows are realities, my eyes become windows...I don't think I project very much anymore.
Is what it is, yo.









Random Postcards

While I am waiting for my 365 series from this week to dry, and you all are waiting for me to scan them in (which takes forever, btw because I'm a perfectionist and sometimes I have to literally give up without being satisfied), I hastily scanned in some other postcard images. These are terribly fast, terrible scans, so they really only give you a gist of things. But I have made tons of postcards already, and I think I may be nearing the end of my mad journey where they are concerned. We shall see.

Random postcards that are up for grabs if you send me a street address...

Fun with veggies! These are some of the results of the potato stamps. I also tried a really old cucumber I found in my fridge. It worked out pretty well. The seeds formed a very nice pattern...

Fun. Okay, now I begin the real scanning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"She's Crafty...

...and she's just my type." (Beastie Boys)

So yeah, I have been making some crafts. Several many kinds of crafts. I took photos so that you'd be forced to look at them.

First up is the soap, and it's sappy soap, at that. I made this for myself for Valentine's Day, thank you. There are two separate kinds here. One has safflower oil and glycerin in it, that's the pink. The other is my standard oatmeal, soy milk and honey. I had just run out, and I use that for exfoliating. The other is more of a sealer soap, and not for every day use. So I got these heart-shaped molds and I had to try them out...

I'm a dork.

Okay moving on, I had some left over red potatoes that are dead but still firm, as potatoes often are when left in the fridge for too long. I decided that I would make stamps out of them to use on the postcards. These are just the preliminary tester stamps, as I still have two more old potatoes. I used to make wrapping paper like this, and so it's more of a carry-over from my youth. One of these is a tree and the other is just an egg-like circular shape...

Next we have a box that I decorated for someone. I think it turned out super cool, and it's made from recycled magazine paper.

I love the junks!

Venus as a Porn Star

I meant to post this earlier...not only did I see this on Vag's link a dink a week back, but I also saw it on Reuters that day too. This really did have me fuming, although I was not surprised in the least, that the worst has finally happened.

The most horrendous thing, is that it is an art museum that did this, and a European museum, at that. (Okay, I take it back. I was surprised the museum wasn't in America, that's all) But these are the people that everyone trusts with fine art. Artists trust them with their fine art, we trust them to take care of the things that are precious to our collective history. This includes art, and it always has.

One can never understand the history of something without knowing its art. It is sociologically, very important to understanding the time. Artists have historically been important in political movements as well. History and art history parallel each other, and they always have. They should form a partnership, if nothing else. The point is, this museum is altering history. They think they have the right to alter history. More than that, they feel they have the right to alter the vision of an artist. And that they somehow know better than the artist did, hundreds of years before they were even born.

This museum, thinks it has the right: Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen.

The gall of these people! I'm not even going to get into the wrongness of the weight issue, because I honestly think that you can see for yourselves, which exactly is the more beautiful image of a woman. Click the link, take a look.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Beat of the Universe

Ah, Joseph Campbell quotes...

My favorite in this bunch:

"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe."

I think this way about the act of painting, that if I can synchronize myself with the universe it will all work out, I'll get a moment of bliss. Just maybe, if I can match my thought, my deed and my action, then I will be able to understand something more...something important. It's the only time I feel as if I even have a chance at grasping the universe's secrets. From my thesis paper:

"When I am truly in tune with the universe and when my brain is actively in tune with my hands, that is when I feel I will understand everything."

And speaking of the universe and her secrets....I think I may have cracked the code on the constant circles. I enjoy the shape, I do. But sometimes I wonder the root of it all, and although I have said before that a circle is the shape that makes the most sense in the universe to me, I still wondered why.

I was looking through my paintings, and one of my absolute favorites is something I did in figure painting class. For four weeks I stared directly and frontally at a very pregnant model. During the first week it was a type of torture for me, looking at something I couldn't have. As an artist, I had to even look beyond that, to find the beauty in it too. For four weeks, six hours at a pop, I painted this woman's belly. It was fascinating to me though, the roundness of it. I didn't even think about wanting a different angle of her either. Once I made peace with my own issues, I found a supreme tranquility in painting her pregnant belly at the end of every week. It was relaxing, but it was also something more undefinable.

In the meantime, I have connected it all; the universe, the woman, the circle. It's all right here again, in my thesis paper:

"I think that in the female lies the true mystery of the universe. I believe whole-heartedly that she is the key to the source. 'It's the female as the giver of forms. She is the one who gave life to the forms and she knows where they came from. It is from that which is beyond male and female. It is from that which is beyond being and nonbeing. It both is and is not. It neither is nor is not. It is beyond all categories of thought and the mind.' (Campbell)"

She's the key to the source of the circle:

I ran into Myra, the model of this piece, about two days ago while I was painting kid's faces at a Valentine's day festival. It was so random, so very coincidental, if not more. She had her baby with her...I recalled that when I painted her, she seemed much more powerful and elemental. I can only conclude that at the time she was with child, I was feeling the beat of the universe; the giver of forms. And it was bliss.

A Tough Cookie

I love this part. This is a small (yet brilliant) portion of "The Mona Lisa Curse".

Thank you, Robert Hughes.

An Hour With Robert Hughes

Oh man, I wish I really had one. This is an hour long interview with him on Charlie Rose.
He's just being an insightful old dude here. Not as much about art, as himself. But please do check out the "Mona Lisa Curse" with Robert Hughes. It's excellent! If I can find it, I will post it as well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stupid Art Prices and Even Stupider Artists

Yeah, I phrased it that way for a reason.

The first article is about the inflated price of art, and how it affects the mindset of struggling artists. It's a really good read. Stupid prices.

And in other art news, Damien Hirst continues his douchebaggery. It's real 'rich' when you've been sued for the exact same thing yourdamnself, Hirst! Here is another take on this ridiculousness from myartspace.

On Victimhood

This is a link courtesy of vag's jr. dink. Vag is a very wise woman.

She writes, "VICTIMHOOD: If being a victim is living with what someone else has done to you, why is “victim” such a dirty word?"


ETA: Since I have been volunteering in this area, I actually have spent a great deal of time thinking about this specific word and its often negative connotations. I am confused by that, but I think that 'victim' is a word that has a stigma attached to its meaning, and that's a shame. It's a shame that this factual word could be seen as shameful. It's about justice and consideration, as I see it. It's about getting your due.

Mail Mania

The greatest thing has happened. I sent out 5 postcards so far, and I have finally received something in return! It was a very exciting day, I'll tell ya what. I asked "Brown Hat" (as he would like to be known) if I could scan and post this postcard so that other people could see it too, since it's super intricate and awesome. (please click on the pic to see it larger. all. hand. drawn.) I also was fancy enough to get a bonus drawing on the back. Score. And by the looks of it, I will have to try harder on my own mail art. Color me impressed, Mr. Hat.

From Wes Way (he changed his mind on the name part)

And on the subject of mail...I am submitting pieces for an international call for postcards/mail art. I'll talk more about it later, but these are the two postcards that I am submitting/sending this week via snail mail...

Safe travels.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Dig the Cheap Stuff

...(the paper) for now. I've totally got my groove on with these postcard things. I mainly enjoy the difference in the paper. The fact that it does not easily allow for soaking gives me different effects. The paint lays down/sits differently too. The application of the paint is easier, for one thing. However, cheapo paper is much easier to tear, in a more accidental manner (see twenty-eight). So for the real hardcore pieces, I'll just have to keep using tougher paper, or its technical name, 'the good stuff'.

Here are the weekly 365 paintings. I have just finished today's.








Good stuff.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My New/Used Table

Before and after shots! Fun! I must confess that of all the furniture I have redone throughout the years, I have never remembered to take a shot of the original. Until now...this wretched beast is the original. I got it for free, on the side of the road. I even made my friend chuck it into the car for me too ("...since it's on your side."). But I spotted this coffee table/end table right away, out there in the snow. You have to look beyond much of the furniture you find on the side of the road...

as most of it is painted green.


Okay, so I decided that this would be my new computer table. Keep in mind that I have a lot of heavy dark wood, metal objects, and the color red prominent in my apartment. So this would (eventually) be perfect. I saw its future.

I tried to sand as much paint as I could off of this thing. In addition to its garishly painted green top, there were white paint splatters everywhere. Eveeeryyyywhere. I sanded my butt off. However, that green paint was apparently not gonna go out like that, so I had to come up with a different plan. The table top is somewhat ruined, as it is. It is riddled with nails of all shapes and sizes (which I spent considerable time hammering back in), and one corner has a sizable chunk that clearly fell off at one point and was nailed back on, shoddily. (*sigh*) I work with what I've got.

But if I put a computer on top of it, no one will be able to see that anyway. Right? Right. At the time, I was more concerned/thrilled with the metal knotted pieces that stick out on every side. This is the kind of detail I like, people! Especially since it will blend with my existing living room furniture much better than the table combination I have now. I painted those too, and they rule, but they just don't fit as well. They are for another room, and another time.

is the table of today!

There are some awesome wood knots in this table.

Isn't she beautiful? I used home made stain, put 6 thin coats of red paint on the top surface, and then poly.

I love recreating /refurbishing furniture! Seriously thrilling.


This is fun, I'm bringing it back. From Click the drip.


(also click to change colors once you are there)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Myspace Thinks My Blog Has 'Head Lice' II

They fixed the link, only to have it be disabled again, a week if I wouldn't notice.
Not true.
Also not true, are the derogatory remarks on a myspace 'warning' page that labels this blogspot addy/link as 'naughty' and 'spam', when clicking the link from my own myspace page.

Please scroll down about 5 posts to see the entirety of my tirade on here.

This is defamation of my character, people.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ashes and Snow

This is so's stillness. I would venture to say that at any point in this you could take a still shot/frame and it would be gorgeous. The way they shot this conveys such extreme amounts of calm.
This is one of those things, that steals my breath. The power in this calm is incredible. I felt like I was in another, more sacred world. And in this world every single second, every single detail was equally important. There is a physical touch/feel aspect that is both visual and visceral in this, for me as well. The mingling of the animals and the humans is very striking. Every moment in this is breathtakingly beautiful.
The small bits of narration really had me verklempt. This is incredible, literally astounding at times.
I felt I had to quiet yourself.

"...This letter breaks that silence. It marks the first of my 365 letters to you. One for each day of silence. I will never be more myself than in these letters...and they are all that I know to be true..."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Good Batch

Presenting... paintings fifteen through twenty-one of my 365 series. I've found that I love painting every day. I really really do. And I'm glad that I 'forced' myself into this year long exercise.

I am also quite enjoying the overall effect I am getting with the cheap postcard paper. (fifteen, eighteen, nineteen and twenty. Technically, I suppose those are all 'mail art' as well) The only real problem that I have with the paper now, is that it's not as stiff as I would like it to be. It's a little floppy, in fact (still working out the kinks on that).

So yeah, this was the last week for me, in circle form...








I think nineteen is the winner this week, if there were winners and losers involved, which there aren't. I also enjoy twenty-one's intensity. It's nice and spicy. *lick*