Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On The Range

I love animals. Doesn't everyone? I wish I could live out on the range; Listen to the birds, see the stars, read in the grass. I guess I shouldn't mention mosquitoes, snakes, spiders and all those creatures that make some cringe. It's a small price to pay once you're in their house. Plus, it's diversity. They all interact and when one species keels off, there's a domino. It's interesting and scary. I think about all the things I missed seeing and will not get to see again (like dinosaurs or dodo birds) but the prospects of the future are even more exciting!

I ramble, but in short, these drawings exhibit my infatuate with animals. In each drawing I threw in a couple of my favorite things (fur and cupcakes) to make a statement about westernizing nature. The poor furries. I'm sure every X-mas they ask Santa that those pesky humans be granted some humility. I'm working on it. Dreaming of symbiosis on the prairie, outside of these office walls, basking in the sunshine...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Half Century

Today is my dad's 50th birthday. I can't believe it! 5-0. Lately we haven't seen eye to eye but he still deserves a shout out. I love you, dad. Don't know where I'd be without you. You've always run a tight ship and I admire the solid ground you stand on, old man. Fifty cheers for my Pa!
Our football fan.

Our bargain shoppers (runs in the family).

THE parents. My "go-to guys." Obligatory family shot. 50 years and lots to show.

My brother and I pitched in and renewed his favorite magazine subscription-Hemmings Motor News. I sacrificed my lunch break to run over to the bakery to buy him some sweet treats. I also managed to customize the box. I ran home, pulled out the water colors and managed to bust this out in about five minutes. Inside? Mini-coconut creme pie and a creme horn! If I would have had time to stop and think, I would have thrown some candles inside. Damn. I hope the pastries make up for being last minute.

One last time, Happy Birthday! You sure are something! Can't wait to celebrate proper this summer!

Weekend Workers

Since the weather was up and down and there was a lull in 'art happenings,' T and I spent most of last weekend inside. She managed to knock out a few projects while I played. I was doodling. I've been experimenting with technique and process. Consuming the kitchen table. "Bill's special"-Cape Cod with 100% Cranberry Pomegranate. My domain. "Lady Pescetarian." I'm going to spill a bit (because you're trustworthy), I'm on my way to becoming a Pescetarian. I haven't completely kicked the meats but they have been heavily restricted as of lately. I can't completely void them but they are reserved for dire situations (where I have no other options). Now, do I have any fisherman in my audience? Any up for giving lessons? Hire? "Birds of Prey." They're evolving. "Oppositions." Coffee and Bikes like peas and carrots. What if you reverse their function?

These were all done in a low grade sketch pad and I'm sorry. Yesterday, I decided it was time to invest in some durable paper. What a difference! I'm off to a new start, there are more to come but I must warn, they only get edgier. Stay tuned!

Swap, Please

More swapdoodles will be hitting the mailbox soon. In between larger paintings, I would doodle these guys. They were done on the fly, very therapeutic. Inspired by Zola attempting to distract me and align with the center of the world. Something about devouring beauty, defying age, youth, evil, etc. I have no idea where this came from. Guilt or resentment, feeling guilty because of unjustified resentment? Wishing I could just eat my words? You choose.

These were all done on artist trading cards so the scale is meager. Even if these don't stike your fancy you should really contribute to the Swapdoodle projects. Art, community and fun, just cost you postage!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Green Thumb

I decided to try my hand at gardening this year. In the past, I've not been much for high maintenance landscaping but I figure (potentially) harvesting homegrown vegetables is worth the work. Friday I purchased all the goods, weeded and tilled and prepared to plant. The little Mantis is my secret weapon. He's perfect for small, soft beds that just need a little turning. Potted herbs: cilantro, thyme, dill and oregano. THE garden. This is where I get in trouble. I did some research (probably not enough) but I decided since we're right in the middle of cool and warm season, I mixed crops. I have some cool veggies and some warm. The cool tend to be more hardy so I figured they may be better for a beginner like me? I also failed to test the soil. It's brown, soft, eh, it's good.

I may be the worst gardener ever. My stock includes, red/green bell peppers. Several 'hot' peppers, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, swiss chard and tomatoes. I hope you aren't cringing at my inabilities. If you are send me some feedback, ears open. All-in-all I've invested 3-4 hours and $35. Not to shabby even if it's just for entertainment.
video
So now, I wait and water (sometimes the shirt comes off). Today is beautiful, I wish I could spend it outside with my new, green babies!

Friday Night Art

Friday was beautiful. The weather was stunning (a sure sign that spring still exists). I began my garden and that evening I cleaned the dirt from my fingernails and hit Oklahoma city. Gardner by day, art whore by night. "Function and Design" closing part at Untitled Artspace. I'm very happy I caught this show before it closed. It was incredible. The art was beautiful and it was interesting to see the audience interacting with it on a functional level. A winner! With the city comes cupcakes. ALWAYS! I was blackberry maple. After a relatively short visit it was back to Norman. I plopped down at the coffee bar. It was staring me in the face. I had to draw it. Afterward, I took it home and hit it with some watercolors and a sharpie. A mild and semi-productive Friday night. Its fun to mix it up. Come summer, life's going to be crazy packed. A move, one less job, new place and who knows when I'll have time to really work. I have to pull every ounce of daylight I can. Work, work!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Misses

Spring and summer are full of sex, sunshine,new life, green grass and love? The wedding invitations are already pouring in. With the invitations comes lots of gift giving. I despise gift registries. While practical for the blossoming family, I prefer to give something more personalized. Kate, one of my good pals from art school, is getting married at the end of May. I had not begun thinking about their wedding gift but low and behold! she gave me the best idea:Kate sent me a message requesting a commission for custom, chair sashes for the MRS. and MR. I got so excited with the possibilities that I turned down the money and elected to give them as a wedding gift. She gave me a couple of vague requirements and left the rest to me. Such trust demands everything I've got. Today I came up with several rough drafts for the bride-to-be.

1.)
2.)
3.)
4.)
It's all up to her but I would like your input. Which is your pick? The colors are still in the works but I'm up for ideas as to the design layout.

The sashes will be made of elegant, bridal/special occasion fabric and I plan on combining embroidery and paint for the text and imagery. I'm also seeking advice on how to use these mediums on satin/synthetic fabric. Comments are encouraged and will be closely considered. Many thanks to my faithful viewers! X0X0.

Checkmate

I have to much on my mind to even think about compiling an organized blog but I wanted to share yesterday's watercolor before I drift into the weekend. I have so many life altering decisions in front of me, I feel like I might combust. Forget Pragmatism. I've decided that Zola and I will just hop a train and join the circus. Last night I sketched our final act. I think it will be a real crowd pleaser!

I've got a lot of ground to cover (and uncover) this weekend. I'm hoping to ease the mind if only for a instant. Here's to a great weekend full of libations and sunshine, Cheers!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ritual

My Wednesdays are brutal. I work 7am-7pm. The week's midway mark is always dreadful. The bright side, I only work 7-noon on Fridays. Always makes me smile. Yesterday afternoon I was told the I would now be working until 8pm in stead of 7. UGH!

It's all over now, it didn't even leave a scar. I shouldn't really complain. a.) I'm lucky to have a job b.) Those extra hours allow me to stick my nose in a book after the rest of the staff heads home (Sh!). I didn't make it home until half past 8 but I still managed to bust out a quick water color. I had several things on my mind. Sometimes it helps to just throw all of them into one sketch. I think this is a pretty silly outcome.

The scoop (if you're interested):
he v. she
us v. them
old v. new
geometric v. organic
light v. dark
nature v. development
etc.

That's a lot of "versues." I guess I'm craving a battle/challenge. It can only be a result of mounting decisions and the need to defend them. To lighten the air, I paint dinosaurs and pink track-hoes. I've decided a water color a day keeps the demons away. It shall be my new ritual, indicative of this red letter year!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Creative Sessions

Between my roommate and I, there are a lot of creative sessions. We consult one another about works in progress or just chat about upcoming pieces nearly everyday. Sadly, it has been awhile since we pulled out all the stops and filled the kitchen table with art supplies. It's been a busy year. Yesterday, I got off work and was blessed with a gorgeous afternoon. The weather really lit my fire. I threw on a tank top, some shorts and mowed my lawn, washed my car, and walked Zola. Phew! Wait, the fun doesn't stop there! During my outdoor excursions, T was working on her latest creation. I cooked some dinner, had a glass of wine and decide it was high time to pull out my sketchbook as well. There's nothing like working with another artist. The energy is high and motivating . Teaming up is a good measure once in awhile-equivalent to class critiques in art school. It can be stressful sitting alone in the studio day-in and day-out, fretting over details and deadlines. It's important to take a breather, talk to a real person instead of constantly staring at an unfinished piece. Aside from needing social interaction, it's also great for developing plans. I drummed up yet another rough draft for my 'venom healer' series. I also ran with some strange and humorous fetish known as 'pedal.' Google? Lastly, as I watch T. tediously fill an 18x24" sheet of paper with a colored pencil, I tried to convince her to consider the power of watercolor by doing a demo. She seemed enthused, so finger's crossed I've helped her broaden her artistic breadth. Either way, it's always fun to sit down artist-y-artist and laugh. I look forward to many more a-creative sessions. Wine and art, can't beat it! Come join?

Fuel

I'm not a morning person, AT ALL. I have to be at work by 7 and I drag my feet until about 9am. In order to get my brain going I do a lot of image browsing each morning. This morning I found these images over at Behance. Have you heard? Aren't these illustrations brilliantly wild?

Just a shout out to behance and all the fabulous artist/designers for being a much needed source of inspiration and motivation. Nothing like a huge lot of talented artist/designers concetrated on one site. When I'm feeling blue, or lackadaisical, this has been my latest remedy. Give it a try!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This and That

I began a little spring cleaning but, in a flash, I was side tracked. As I collected bits of thread and sundry articles strewn throughout my studio, I felt like a bird. I'm not preparing a nest but it was the first thing that popped into my head. Nature is always on my mind (especially while I'm stuck in an office all day) but my current read has really heightened my cravings. If you like nonfiction about nature/science check out Hannah Holmes' "Suburban Safari:A Year on the Lawn."
So here you have it: A birds nest with Robin's eggs. I used some scrap vinyl and short pieces of embroidery floss/thread. I worked with random stitches and no pattern. I like my needlework like I like my paint-fluid and loose. It's fun experimenting. The fabric matrix is from some sample books I acquired from a friend. And, lastly, I used a marker to add some contrast. This was an all around 'green' piece. The addition of the soda tab has sparked some new ideas so there may be some variations of this piece in the future.

Moving on to the wild. In the previous post I mention my fascination with venom healers. Following my embroidery session, I did some sketching, added some watercolors and BAM! This is a rough draft. It has a strangely, erotic and somewhat phallic undertone which I haven't seen in my work for awhile. In art school, it wasn't uncommon for my paintings to evoke a dark, sexual feel. After school I moved away from the figure. It feels too safe. I dig risk and throwing myself into new/challenging situations so I kicked what was familiar. That's not to say I'm an ace at proportions or technique, it's just that I don't feel very innovative painting bodies. Strictly a personal preference. Now that I've made that disclaimer, I will let you decide. Is she in agony or does she enjoy it? Is she sadistic or is that venom saving her life?

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Conclusion

I finished these pieces last weekend. I found a pile of old frames at Habitat for Humanity and they were a steal at $3. There were several that measured 3x4" so I rolled with those limitations. It can be difficult to be restricted by size but it is great practice and framed work just sells better. Bottom line-sometimes you have to submit. Cows jump over the moon while fish jump over the bridge. My first ride. 1970 El Camino. Mom's toy-1967 Nova SS. Dad's ride. 1967 Chevelle SS (yellow is inaccurate but black isn't a color.) Native meets the West.

In conclusion, I painted the glass and overall, they are rather folky. It's growing on me. Pair 'em with a little Arlo Guthrie and they could hang in Alice's Restaurant.

Towing the Line

I was quite productive this weekend. Sorry for bragging but I just have to give myself a pat on the back. Since it was snowing and frigid, I decided to spend the weekend couped up. In turn, I finished up some projects, started some new and even managed to complete them! A clean slate, Yipee! To make up for it, I have two big, art-filled weekends ahead of me. There are several upcoming shows and calls for entry. Like life, art blooms in the spring and summer. I didn't let the weather deter me from being productive-Take that Mr. Winter! This is the piece I started early yesterday. I was looking back through my sketchbook and I found some notes on 'monster healers;' Reptiles and fish that have potent and sometimes deadly bites but their venom has phenomenal medicinal benefits. I decided to paint a Gila monster. Their saliva is used in a drug called 'Byetta' Which is used to aid in managing type 2 diabetes. Amazing.

Aside from the the subject matter, the new piece was more about experimenting with a new process of image transferring. This piece is 18x24" and I transferred the type from plain paper (printed by an inkjet printer) onto a piece of muslin. I used a different acrylic medium (Golden's GAC-100. A acrylic polymer glaze)than what I'm accustom and I prefer this effect. I proceeded to watercolor, and acrylic this guy and then embellish with him with some embroidery. Phew! What a day. Just wait, it's not over:This one was a revamp. Animal trophies are my thing. Looking back, I think it all began with my BFF's taxidermy pheasant that perched atop her entertainment center. From there, it has only ballooned. I've made several stencils of fauna and paired them with contrasting fabrics. Currently, they hang in my living room. Yesterday I pulled one down and decided to take it further. I think blood and guts is the end of the road. The trophy now sports a funeral wreath and shall forever be honored in blue.

Now that I've covered the messy stuff, how about today? Here,the sun is all aglow and I should be riding my bike. Soup's on in a few, maybe tomorrow? Hope your Monday has been a winner as well!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Sprung

Hi! Day number one of Spring-writing while the snow blows- all signs of life seems to be ducking back into hibernation (including yours truly). I had travel plans today but I reconsidered. They were just for fun, no reason to risk me or my ride. I spent most of today inside, working in the studio and snuggling with Zola. I've pondered many things, concluded some projects and settled into being perplexed:

"How did that glass continuously cut me without me noticing?"
"I hate shuffle. How come I have yet to arrange a playlist?"
" Why do humans try to categorize everything?"
" Why are we here?"
" I can't remember the last time I had coffee?"
" I wonder what would happen if I added cilantro to this?"
" I could use some coffee."
and so on...
[If you have answers to any of these questions, I'll meet you in Vegas. We'll elope! HA!]

Sorry for blabbering. I have had a lot run through my head today. In return for your attention, I leave you with t his photo: I mentioned a veggie garden this year. Maybe I'm forcing a 'green thumb?' It's merely dedication. Afterall, 'tis the first day of what we call, 'Spring.'

Friday, March 19, 2010

SwapDoodle

I created these post-it doodles yesterday for Swapdoodle. It's such a great project. I haven't mailed them out yet but I can't wait to see what I get in return. Just as a reference and a little bit of a hint, here's where some of my inspiration for the doodles began. I've got some big plans for this weekend, hope I don't get snowed in. C'mon Oklahoma, you've been good to me, throw me a bone! Wishing you sunshine!