Saturday, July 25, 2009

write now

Last week I was asked to use my calligraphy skillz.

And I was like whaaaa? Good handwriting? I has none.

Oh sure, I have all the accoutrement of a person with fancy writin capabilities-

Fancy pens, ink in little bottles, pens with little notches in the tip...

And I use all of it.

Just not for writing.

I use them mostly for things like this: (Birds On A Wire; ink on acrylic on polyurethane, on feathers, on acrylic, on wood).

My handwriting has always been a little aWkwArD. In fact signing my name on a painting is often the most stressful part.

That's right, I'm not even comfortable signing my own name.

How the heck did that happen?

24 years of living... ugh.

So I decided to work on it.

I puled up some fancy fonts on the 'puter and got out some of my fancy ink in fancy bottles and after several not so pretty practices, I made some fancy little things to hang around the house. Half of everyone I know has this framed somewhere in their house. It looks extremely grown up hanging around with all my other art made of feathers and whatnot.

btw- the FBFPP lives on. the next installment is coming, so hang in there, I'm getting to you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's Saturday for 15 more minutes, so there.

July 18, 2009

Yesterday I promised that I'd have the second installment of the Facebook Friend Photo Project today.

If I hadn't of said that, the Facebook Friend Photo Project probably would have died an untimely death.

Yesterday I thought it would be no prob to have the second photo done today since I already had the preliminary sketch done, but today... oh today.

The creative spark was not kind.

No color seemed accurate.

No shape correct, or even human looking.

The wind blew my papers away.

The paper got little blotches on it, making awkward shading choices necessary.

Oh, art. Why dost thou forsake me? I love you so much. Yet some days you are nothing but cruel.

I would have given up altogether on painting from photos today if I hadn't already committed myself to it in writing not once, but twice (here and on FB).

So I must say, Thank You, Blog. You have, for once, served a purpose.

I'm still horribly displeased with the finished product, but I'll keep the FB.F.P.P. going because I now I feel like no image I choose can be as aggravating to finish as this one was.

And to the lady in the picture, good luck recognizing yourself.

Here's to better art tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A fool falling from the sky.

Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son, as a means to escape the Island of Crete where they had been in exile. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos. This mixed media illustration of Icarus flying too close to the sun is painted on a vintage wood tray.

The feathers are just that... feathers, held in place- as Icarus's were- by big heavy droplets of wax.

The entire painting is covered in a light coat of pure beeswax, which not only preserves the paint, but also gives it a very gritty look.

Just like your expensive deconstructed jeans, this painting has many flaws, which was my intention. They could easily be "fixed" but it would take away from the overall feel of the piece. This is one of my favorite things I've ever created.

The second portrait from my facebook friend photo project will be posted tomorrow, (July 18) so stay tuned :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Phacebook phriend photo project

July 16, 2009

I posted this on Facebook, earlier today

"More and more people keep asking me if I could paint a particular photo. The truth is... yes, I can. But I don't like to.

Painting from life= not difficult.

Painting from a photo= difficult.

Why? because it's not something I do very often. It's something I need to practice. So here's what I'magonna do. I'll be sifting through YOUR facebook pics, and picking out the cutest/sweetest/ strangest photo to paint. THEN I'll post the finished piece up on my blog ( and talk a little bit about it.

Claim it within the first THREE days and I will mail it to you, no matter where in the world you are.

To claim it, all you have to do is leave a comment, saying something along the lines of, "hey, that's my photo!"

The photos I pick will be utterly random, and NOT based on how much I love you.

Even if we haven't spoken in years you have as much of a chance as getting a painting as someone I talk to every day.

*One little aside: If there is a particular photo of yours that you think would be a particularly great painting, just tag me somewhere in it, so I'll be sure to see it. Folks with babies or cute pets have a slightly higher likelihood of getting picked.

**Also, I'm intentionally NOT going to paint any photos taken by artist friends- I don't want to commit intellectual property theft- this is about fun and growing as an artist. If you're an artist (valarie, jane, Alissa, Gerri etc) and DO want to be considered, just let me know you don't mind.

***Oh, also, some will be sketches (like color studies) some will be in acrylic, some in water color, some on paper, some on canvas. I'm eXpErImEnTiNg!!!!!"

And here's the first one!

It's a watercolor/pencil of an infant at 1 month old ( think he's about a month old, here).

I picked this picture because he is just a GORGEOUS little guy. His coloring is just so delicate and sweet, and I love the repeating color pattern of his blanket.

Who could it be now?

Oh, who could it beeeee now?

a southern fried fourth of July

Have you ever celebrated the fourth of July in Dawson County Georgia?

If you haven't, let me tell you, you are missing out, boy howdy.

I guarantee you it is unlike any fourth of July celebration in America.

First there's a steam engine parade.

That's right, a big line of what amounts to steam powered tractors rollin down main street pulling trailers full of little league baseball players, doing their darnedest to hit your face with hard candy and hubba bubba.

Just in case you aren't impressed by steam engines, don't worry- they're decorated!

Check out the flags on this beauty!

What? The Sons of the Confederacy don't march on the fourth of July in your home town?This one makes sense because clearly the best way to express your love of country is to celebrate breaking away from it.

After the parade was over and my purse was filled with broken mints, bubble gum, and other bits of Kiddie Mix candy we headed over to Concord Baptist for my family's big annual pot luck dinner.

I love that part. Seriously.

I love all the home grown veggies, almost as much as I love the homemade lemonade served out of a big wash tub.

(Correctly pronounced "wursh tub").

Eventually, we left the beautiful backward hills of Dawson County for the subtle sophistication of Gainesville, Georgia.

To go even further in the extreme opposite direction, we went to Chateau Elan, a pseudo-french winery/restaurant/hotel.

We spread out a blanket and pulled out the lawn chairs, marveling at the fact that Chateau security didn't seem to have a problem with folks pulling their mega trucks up on the carefully tended sod.

I had kiddie cousins running all over the place.

It was beautiful and the fireworks were great! The fourth of July this year really did serve to reinforce my belief that to truly appreciate the south, you've got to leave it, at least for a while.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hey moon please forget to fall down!

If all our life is but a dream
Fantastic posing greed
Then we should feed our jewelry to the sea
For diamonds do appear to be
Just like broken glass to me

The ink is running toward the page
It's chasin' off the days
Look back at both feet
And that winding knee
I missed your skin when you were east

You clicked your heels and wished for me Panic! really needs to get back together. Like... now.

I swear, all you really need to make me love something is to make it unavailable. I don't really care that MJ died, but the fact that I can never go to a Panic! concert makes me miserable.

(Don't worry, it's just a tiny bit of miserable- the kind necessary for maintaining my malcontent status quo.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

a place less DaNgErOuS

I recall being in one of my contemplative moods a few weeks ago, and pondering on what percentage of my life is personal, and what percentage I allow to be seen by the public.

Probably 90% public and 10% private I recall concluding.

Now, though, I must correct myself- I think it must be the other way around; 10% public, and 90% private because the things that really bother me will probably never be talked about, much less blogged about. I would never speak out loud the things that wrench my guts so it is beyond extraordinairily unlikely that I would turn it into a one-liner for my Facebook status.

This personal revelation is all the more confounding because I spend 90% of my time amongst others, but it's the 10% that's kept to myself that's the genuine article.

The only time I ever release the muck inside my head is when I'm painting, because the truth is so deeply disguised in color and imagery that it's the only safe way to discuss the things that trouble me most. The only person who could dicipher the code is, well, myself, which makes canvas a very safe place to talk.

How about you?

What percent is public and what percent is private?