Thursday, April 29, 2010

Various & Sundry

Been a busy week here in Norman-town. Lots of social obligations and few hours to sleep. Luckily, I choose my company wisely, no regrets! Speaking of company, I've been baking love for everyone! Baking fills my house full of lovely aromas and makes me cozy, relaxed, just plain happy. And since it's impossible for me to consume all these carbs alone, I've discovered the beauty that is 'enlightened self interest.' It's made for a week of giving.

I've had several baking encounters this week but one of particular note, are some muffins I baked for the guys in the office. I like my coworkers (most of the time). For the most part, they're 'white collar good ol' boys' (a walking contradiction, I know, but believe it). We have some pretty interesting conversation but one thing we can never agree on is eating right. They snub their noses at people that attempt to make a conscious effort to eat right-"Food snobs" or "Health Nuts." I know it's just a coping mechanism for their ignorance and guilt so I try to play nice when addressing their increased risk for a sudden heart attack by making them 'healthy' baked goods. This week, I whipped these up (minus the turbinado sugar). These pair nicely with a dab of butter and some honey! It's so funny to see the guys stare at them as they scratch their heads. You could almost stir the obligation with a stick. I HOMEMADE them. YES, if you're not allergic, I demand you try one! One of them even went back for a second. Not bad! So next weeks baking endeavor is up in the air. Suggestions welcome!


Still on a somewhat domestic route, I also played in my garden a bit. Look at the roses. I despise these devils. As far as I'm concerned, they're worse than weeds. I mean really, they have thorns! I've tried so hard to kill these and they still manage to thrive. For fear of being reported to the EPA, I can't divulge the evil things I've done to try to eradicate these hideous, smelly flora. I know the sure answer is just to dig them up but that's easier said than done. And, if you disagree then I challenge you, come dig 'em! Short of dousing them with gasoline and lighting a match, I'm out of ideas. Where are all my rose murderers? I will admit, their blooms are pretty, especially in yellow. The fact that they can't be approached without being overwhelmed with a pungent odor kills the mood. When it comes to roses, I prefer the 2-D variety.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Norman Music Fest. 2010

The Norman Music Festival just exploded this year. Being my first time to attend, I can't really make a comparison but I've heard third year growth was exponential. They had an expansive and eclectic line-up. Luckily, we won on the weather. I didn't make it out the first day but the second day was just buzzing. It felt as though the entire population of Norman was downtown. Old, young, rugged and glamorous, you name it, they were there. I think I was more impressed by the cultural diversity and peaceful atmosphere than by the music. We're talking prime people watching territory here. I took my camera but only ended up with a handful of photos. Unusual for me but I figured this guy would take enough for the both of us and the quality would be unmatched. A real VIP, Doug had several bands to cover for various local publications. What a job! The one band I was set on seeing was 'Those Darlins." They're from a small town in Tennessee and boy are they a riot! I brought them a rotisserie chicken just to uphold Oklahoma, southern hospitality. When I purchased it they were half priced. Ringing in at a whopping $2.50, bonus! Enter-Doug+press pass+hillbilly girl rock=greatness! This photo really captures the essence of the band. Kelli Darlin'-all around Goldie Locks. And, lastly, Nikki, devouring that $2.50, greasy bird on stage-priceless!

I didn't spend much time at the music festival, Those Darlins were hard to top. I did catch a few tunes from Leon Russell and then headed out. It was quite a shindig. It's great to see Norman harboring the arts. If you're interested in some broad coverage check out Doug's photos here. Otherwise, I'm going to apologize for my minimal coverage and tell you music is an experience, Norman wants to see your face downtown for NMF IV!

Ps. Catch Those Darlins in Tulsa tomorrow at Eclipse Cultural House!

Artist at Work

I've been thinking a lot about composing this post. I've scanned the images several times and kept having problems narrowing them down (to see them all, follow my flikr). I wanted to create a list of my favorite artist from the OKC Festival of Arts but there were just too many amazing pieces, it became impossible! Instead, I decided to provide a glimpse of the process and craft that are responsible for the art.

It was great to see do many artist at work. It's not easy to take your work on the move so I have to give major props for their endeavors. Having done a demo this year at the festival, I know how hard it is working outside of the studio and with limited resources. The difference between the work I produced at the festival and the work of the 'booth artist' was huge. They were practically camping out for a week and yet their work still managed to impress me. Take a look: This girl did some amazingly detailed, photo-like sketches. She plopped down in the shade and proceeded like there was no one else around. These guys were next to my booth where the artist demos took place. They were both artist and craftsman. Their work was classic. Figurative sculptor. Sole Gourd weaver. The evening I attended there was a grafiitti demo. I have to admit, I wasn't impressed. I had high expectations but it just didn't hold my attention. The idea was solid but execution was lacking. Can't win 'em all. I do appreciate that people are becoming interested and even drawn to street art/graffiti.

Aside from all the eye candy, the weather was surprisingly super! Rain is notoriously paired with the Festival. This year, I was lucky enough to pick the perfect day-Sunshine and a breeze. Many thanks to all the beautiful artist and Oklahoma for providing the beautiful day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Anywhich Way

Howdy! First, this may read a bit scattered so I'm going to provide a disclaimer paired with an apology up front. Naked. I had a busy weekend proceeded by a surprisingly busy Monday. Looking back, I probably had time to throw up a haphazard post but my heart just wasn't ready to log in. Minutes ago, you could find me blasting John Mayer and sipping a cold one while working in my studio. I have a new piece in the works but again, I'm lacking the heart. My mind is dwelling on other things. Usually art puts my mind at ease but not this evening. I need to talk. To you!

Today I emailed my graduate adviser over at TU and told her I was ready to make the jump. Let's enroll! It's done, no recalling that message. While I was dreaming of the Tesla and listening to John Mayer serenade me with the notes of 'Stop this Train' I knew I had made the right decision.

Last night I hit downtown for the Norman Music Festival (more to come) with my buddy, Barb. Afterward, we had dinner and a nice chat. Barb is close to my parents age but without the biased, so she's easy to talk to. One thing I really value in my life and amongst my friends is generational diversity. Well, can't say I really identify with my group BUT, I do give them chances and they continue to baffle me. The one thing I hear all to often is 'Bj, you're just an old soul.' Maybe. I take it as a compliment none-the-less. I like being an old soul but I try to remain open as much as possible.

Barb and I discuss getting old quite a bit. She says 'it sucks.' Can't say I know. One thing I did tell her was that I attempt to live life in fourth gear so that I never have time to stop, look back and say, "I wish I would have done this or that, instead." Since 2010, so far-so good. John Mayer sings 'stop this train' and I think, 'shovel that coal, full steam ahead!" Tulsa bound!

Ok, well, back to the image transfers, the iron, my beer. Thanks for listening. Very soon, my dears, I will recap 'artist of the OKC Festival of Arts 2010,' and the 'Norman Music Festival.' In the meantime, I leave you with this solitary image (because I refuse to have a post void of photos). Me 'n my Tesla. In Oklahoma! I was amazed. Did you know Jay Leno cruises one of these? After this photo, a woman approached me and started asking me about this car. I spouted off some specs and she was surprised. She asked me if it was mine. I said it could be if I sold my house! Good times! Get yours today for a meager 90k!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Early Riser

Good morning to yous! A bit early and unusual for me to be posting on Saturday morn. Well, these days I'm an early bird. I think it's the oatmeal with blueberries and honey that sooner wakes the beast. Today is the beginning of the Norman Music Festival. This thing has had quite the hype over the last month. Should be of magnificent proportions. I plan on hitting it up tomorrow when they close down Norman's main street and really get to shakin'. In the meantime, I'm keepin' my skillet good and greasy! I've been hunting a skillet for awhile. I came across an oldie (made in the USA!) yesterday at my folks and they willingly handed it over to me. Some steel wool, elbow grease, away with the rust, and it's time to season! It's an oily Saturday morning over at casa de Bill. According to this site, it will be a week or so before my skillet is ready to be put into commission. I can hardly stand it, I wanted to defy wisdom and throw my fresh, okie eggs into it this morning. I used my better judgment. So while I'm waiting to catch Those Darlins on stage tomorrow evening, I'm also waiting to fry up deliciousness in my skillet!
I did make it back out to the OKC Festival of Arts yesterday so there will be photos and an breakdown of the "best."

Wild Weekend! Much Love!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reading List

As Many of you know, I've been attempting to read more. It may seem like a small task but it's really difficult for me to sit still long enough to turn a few pages. When I do read, I enjoy it. It's also very inspiring and thought provoking which feeds my work. Lately, I've been so overwhelmed with big decisions, show/commission obligations and fun that when I do have five minutes to spare I'd rather throw on my iPod and proceed to numbness.

Last week, my aunt Linda contacted me about a lecture that was being hosted by OU and asked me if I'd like to attend. Her and husband, Ted, drove up yesterday afternoon to hear the author of "Three Cups of Tea," Greg Mortenson and I tagged along. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the lecture, I also got a kick out of visiting with Linda and Ted. I don't usually get to sit down one-on-one with them so last night was a real treat. We had dinner at Pepe Delgados and chatted for awhile. Afterward I had a lot to think about and added another book to my reading list. Along with an interesting speaker, some good eats, and fabulous company, I also made out with some fresh eggs and spinach. My aunt, Linda has the greenest thumb I've seen. She's got a divine garden nestled upon acres and acres in Wellston, Oklahoma. I was surprised when she told me she had brought me some goodies! Oklahoma grown, organic and with love. What an evening!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OKC Festival of Art

First I'd like to give a loud shout out to my mom for tagging along for the ride (in love and support) and my roomie, T, for taking over 100 photographs while I worked. Last night went well. I set up shop and got to work. It was tons of fun. Lots of people, live music and no rain! No complaints. I do plan on heading back to the festival on Friday to check things out. My demo was from 7-8 so I didn't get to peruse the circuit. Pending the weather, I plan on doing a follow up of my trip through the OKC Art Festival 2010 early next week. In the meantime, here's a peek from last night. "See 'Brilliant Bill,' This way!" For starters, I cut the stencil. Waiting for paint to try and playing my hand as an entertainer. My mom and T got a kick out of all the pervy men stopping by to see me bend over. They were so amused they took photos. Moment of Truth! Done! Can of power. I got three pieces done in an hour. Nothing like being in front of a crowd AND being productive. Further instilled my dreams of being that crazy art teacher! For the love of art!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Artist Demonstration

Tonight I will be conducting an artist demonstration at the OKC Arts Festival. I'm going to be doing a live stencil/spray paint piece. Come check it out. Show love and support. Learn something? I thought about wearing a bikini for publicity measures but I'm not sure it would be considered 'family friendly.' Bikini or not, it will be a blast, see? Get excited and see these cut and painted!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Paper Love

More, more, more beautiful invitations and announcements in the mail each week. Getting mail is exciting in-and of itself but card stock, and vellum, screen-printed or letterpressed-even better. Makes me giddy. Also, believe it or not, I'm stoked about both of these weddings! My roomie, and date, on the other hand, speaks otherwise. She used her tears of dread to paint in watercolors. Nothing left to the imagination in this piece, just loathing. She's a good friend, Three cheers and two weddings, good sport!

Productivity

I was mildly productive last weekend. Given that my plans were rained out, I still didn't find much motivation to sit in the studio. I dallied a bit and manged to crank out a backlogged idea. This guy is painted on a piece of linen and sewn to a fabric sample with embroidered details. I'm crazy for free-hand embroidery and small scaled work these days. I love immediate gratification and this was done in a few hours, perfect! I have three or four of these little 'doodles' that will be avaliable for purchase at the upcoming Blue Dome Festival (more info. to follow). [Chandra, I WILL pay you!]

On top of some 'art' I also did some crafting. My roomie has this barrette that I adore. I've been stealing it from her drawer at least twice a week. When I told her she didn't seem enthused. Go figure! She did offer a plain clip that I could turn into my own. Voila! This one is my creation. Her clip is still miles faster than this one but now I don't have to worry about breaking her beloved Barrette and shattering our friendship. Win-win. Hair Model. Earlier this day a guy told me I had 'beautiful hair.' It was raining and hadn't been washed in a few days, I believe it was the clip.

Lastly, a bookmark. Art, craft, function. Friday I was eating lunch at a Tulsa joint and I dropped my favorite bookmark in the crevice of the booth. It was over, I almost shed a tear but luckily, the shrimp-mango spring rolls arrived just in time. I had to whip something up. A version of Eden. Element of surprise and true identity. The backside. It was done in colored pencils and laminated. Nothing fancy, a sketch, really. Even though I had to cope with failed plans last weekend, it felt good. Little pressure and no agenda-my Eden.

Boys in Town

Lazy Saturdays. Woke up late, made brunch, read, and finally jumped in the car and window shopped around OKC. That evening I went to the pub, had a beer and consumed my meat limit for the week-burger! Afterward, I hit up my lil brother who was at a Pub on the other side of town. When I arrived I was surprised to see a block party, rain or shine. They were printing free t-shirts on site. They also had games with promotional prizes. Always, cross marketing. Even the scrooge can be liquored into participation.

Sunday was also fairly skim. I hauled Zola to the Dachshund dash. She did surprisingly well without ultimatums. WIENIES DASH! I whipped up a fashion collar for her right before the shindig. Fit her bold personality to the 'T.'
The weather knocked me down a gear, but it was a nice weekend to refuel for the wild weekends ahead!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First Rides

In lieu of my Honda hitting 50k, I wanted to commemorate my first car. It's a bit tricky because I really had two cars upon getting my driver's license. I suppose the first car I really bought was a 1972, yellow VW bug. It wasn't much of a go-getter so I often resorted to flying in one of my parents classics. The 1970 El Camino. You have to love Chevrolet's unconventional and perhaps a bit clumsy nomenclature. El Camino- "The Walker" really? OR how about, Nova "No-go?" (a huge flop in Mexico, I might add). Anyway, I consider this scarlet harlot my first ride. She's big and heavy, just what a teenage girl needs, HA! We had some good times, it's a fun car. After running my Honda for six years I wouldn't go back. I look forward to another good 6 years and (at least) 50,000 miles with my new man, nothing like modern amenities when cruising the turnpike.

Today was suppose to be a drive to Meers/Lawton but what's a wildlife refuge in the rain? I don't feel like trekking through the mud, I'll leave that to the buffalo. We've postponed. Looks like I will get some much needed studio time after all. Stay tuned.

Professora Zorn

Someday. Hopefully in about three years that will be my title. Yesterday, I made a trip to TU to meet the printmaking professor and my future mentor, Michelle Martin. Still a little weary about giving up some recent opportunities here, I figured our meeting would help me determine if this is the appropriate time to take these risk. Low-and-behold, I was sold! I'm ready, she was easy going but with edge and discipline. She's a straight shooter. I look forward to jumping head first into the unknown, lithography! SCARY!It was a trip of magnificent proportion. I hit 50,000 miles,arrived in Tulsa as she was crying tears of joy. Joyful of my three year commitment to her.

In the next couple of days, as I dish out refusals, I'll feel the burn of commitment. I'm stressed. I can't sleep. I woke up at 5:30 am this morning, my stomach knotted,mind racing. I've talked it out with several people and I'm going to write it down here. I know it's my life, but, for the first time, I'm seeking approval. Those that know the entire situation and weight of my decision look at me like I'm insane when I tell them it's grad. school.

First of all, I've never really had clear, career ambitions. At 24, who does? In youth, it's hard to buy into a 35 year commitment. For an instant, I thought it was law school, politics, IT, but I've finally accepted I must wake up to a creative career. I've forgotten about making six figures. All I really need is the ability travel around on the weekends, drinking good coffee, and eating cupcakes, seeing the world. Experience. That's it. Just enough funds to explore a bit. I want to be a professor. I want to teach art. Preferably printmaking but really, just anything that involves creating. It's one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, seeking an end goal feels a little like giving up. Ideally, I'd like the life of a drifter, it's romantic but in reality it's a life of hardships. Hand me a steady pay check, a studio, some students and a retirement fund, I'm there. If only it were that easy. Faculty jobs are few and far between in art school. Drifter or not, I'm in for many struggles. Stiff competition, politics, tenure, DEBT, just thinking about it makes me want to pull out.

"NO!" It's time to grow up, harness my passion and hope the burdens don't outweigh the effort/risk. I'm going to be jumping through rings of fire for awhile. I have no practice. I'm leaving my support system against their advice and I'm worried. The last huge decision I made felt as though my world was crashing down. Turns out, I made the right decision. I'm happier and I'd like to think that this decision will also have a positive return. In the midst of summer, I have lots of ducks to align, I'll have to sacrifice playtime to make sure to approach this responsibly. Send me some good karma, chi, hugs,prayers, do what you do, wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More More

I've been doing tons of drawing lately. I have several needlework/mixed media projects waiting in the wings but I've been lacking in time and motivation. Needlework is intense. It's something I feel I have to devote at least three or four hours to and right now, I don't have that kind of time. Instead of doing nothing, I've been sketching and water coloring like mad. It seems I've developed an affinity for the southwest, truck stops and icons of 'the west.' I feel some highway miles boiling in my blood. Specifically, a trip to New Mexico. The SW is somewhere I haven't spent a lot of time, just short visits. I long for some solitude in the desert. I want to feel the burn, sleep on cacti. Perhaps I'll swing by a truckstop or two, I hear the ladies are warm and hospitable. I'd probably miss those dears and instead get some prick with boots and a big, flashy belt buckle. "Let me show you my 'pipes' little lady," he'd mutter in his southern swag. My luck is wasted. Ha! Anyway, this one was inspired by T. "Taming the beast" in reference to my unruly mut, Zola. We laughed pretty hard over this one. Good times!

This weekend is packed. Tomorrow is yet another jaunt to Tulsa to meet with some folks from TU. Saturday, a trip to Meers/Lawton-2lb burgers and buffalo are on the list. Then, Sunday, The Doxie Dash! Zola is not participating but she will attend and perhaps find a little lovin'. There are bound to be dozens of hot wienies strutting their stuff. She's ecstatic. I'm a bit worried she may eat one as a snack.

Right now, I'd give up all my belongings for more hours in the day. Since that's highly unlikely, I just have to make each hour worthwhile. I try not to stress to much. I'm a sadist, it's all self inflicted. At the end of the day I pour a drink, kick my feet up and draw. So what you see is a product of my winding down. There won't be much 'winding down' time this weekend but hopefully I can knock out some embroidery. I may be out for the next few days but you can bet there will be stories to tell. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Business

Another sale and another happy shopper! Felisha saw these little embroideries here and had to have them. They look great together! Thanks for shopping and enjoy! It's great knowing my pieces are going to good homes. You know you want some!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oddities

As you may have gathered, this weekend was packed to the brim. Since I need little sleep to run, I still managed to finish up some illustrations. This he/she was inspired from the last book I read. It's suppose to be a man, a botanist but he turned out pretty androgynous. This was also taken from the same book. The proportions are off but I think it adds whimsy. "Give me your tierd, your poor, huddled masses." And, they come by the masses! This is an idea evolved from a doodle in my sketchbook. I love fur. It's my lucky charm. Sometimes I feel bad about the poor animals I adorn and as a result, I envision remote controlled birds working for PETA ready to strike upon the wretched fur bearers. Next thing you know it's on paper, in watercolor!I can't take much credit for this one. Indeed, the illustration is mine but the original nugget was provided by T. I have many connections with the bee. We were sipping coffee a the Gray Owl and voila! When we get together it's pure gold or honey? Enough illustrations. The following is top secret stuff here. Feel privileged. Are you interested? Well, just wait it out, this one is big! I lounged outside Sunday afternoon, soaked up some sun and played with some porcelain. I was covered with white dust. I haven't worked out all the details of this endeavor but it's evolving. I want to spill but it's just to early. I shall return...

Freedom Lawn

Saturday was pretty lazy. Filled with sunshine, fruit, books and long bike treks. the last book I read was about lawns and how quick we are to disregard that they're teeming with life. In attempts to eat better, buy local and sustain all-around 'green living' I've been thinking a lot about landscaping/gardening. I long to be outside so why not use that urge to do something productive in the yard? It could potentially fulfill all my goals and provide cheap recreation! Win-win!Saturday I was on one of my many bike outings, and decided to check out the landscaping in my neighborhood. I even took some photos of my favorites. This lawn is always beautiful. Last year they reinterpreted xeriscaping and it paired nicely with the mid seventies ranch. This spring they went more traditional: redbud and tulips. While I appreciate the colors and plant variety, I prefer this: Minimal but well groomed. Simple impact. And, I'm thinking if I take the minimalist approach I can get away with throwing in some sculptural elements. Ha! I kid. This is to great to be left outside. It deserves a spot in the living room. [Spotted on Boyd St. just E of 24th SW.]

As of now, I'm taking the 'freedom lawn' approach. I've realized that even though it's a product of limited finances and laziness my lack of lawn care is really beneficial to the environment. I am also happy to report that most of the houses I passed have yet to apply chemicals. Maybe it's still early (I don't really keep up with lawn care methods) but I'm hoping that the freedom lawn approach is catching on. There is a laundry list of benefits. The first being fatter wallets-It cost less to do nothing. It saves and promotes cleaner water. It also sustains millions of vital microorganisms and other bug species (like bees and butterflies!). I will stop but really, just let the weeds grow. Live native, it's always the best medicine. Off my soap box and out to play with Zola!
video
We adore our weedy lawn, come join. Freedom!