Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Tale Of The Hungry Handbag

I used to carry a backpack instead of a purse.
When I lived in the Caribbean
and drove a cherry red 125cc Savage.

When I moved to NYC I started carrying a purse again because it was impossible to walk into a store wearing a backpack without being constantly followed by a suspicious employee.

Today I walked out to my car in a dimly lit parking lot,
reached into my very pretty pink purse only to realize
my keys weren't there.

I panicked.
I checked all my pockets,
turned my purse upside down and dumped it out right there on my hood as onlookers gawked at my manic searching.
I walked back to the building and retraced my steps.
Not in the bathroom.
Not at the vending machine.
Not at the table where I'd sat.

I went back out to my car and used my cell phone light to search the inside of my locked car to determine which window I should try to fish through. They weren't in the car, at least not anywhere they could be seen.

I paced around the car in circles half hoping I'd find them on the ground there, and half contemplating what I should do, but mostly wishing I was still driving the Saturn I had in highschool that I could break into with the flick of a wrist and any thin foot-long object.
Locked myself out of that car a lot.
Luckily, Saturns are easy to break into without doing any damage.
Pontiacs, not so much.

Finally I decided to call Dr A.
Only, now my cell phone was gone.
For a solid minute I freaked out.
How could I have possibly lost my cell phone in such a brief, but admittedly frenzied, amount of time?

I slid to the ground in the now empty parking lot,
and dumped my bag out for the second time in less than half an hour.
This time angrily,
on the ground,
creating a cloud of coupons and loose change.
I shook it until it was empty
and when it was empty I shook it again.
It still jingled.

My empty bag was jingling.
That's when I realized that the leopard print lining had ripped and had managed to swallow up the only two things I use on a daily basis.

I carefully fished around for my lost things,
and by carefully I mean I completely ripped the dumb lining out,
revealing not only my keys and phone, but also a twenty I'd been kicking myself for losing for two weeks.

Tomorrow I'm digging out my old backpack.
Black canvas and leather beats pink vinyl and silk. period.

Remember the painting I made with poke berries?
I remade it
this time using paint
(but the same basic sketch).
I really truly love it.
You know I mean it because I framed it and hung it up.
(But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to sell it.)

"A Better Look" $125 unframed or $175 framed watercolor on paper

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blame it or praise it...

"There is no denying the wild horse in us."

-Virginia Woolf
TDDP #13 ink on paper doily $25
I've been working on some of my bigger paintings, so I haven't been paying as much attention to the Daily Doily project as I was, but I was doing some reading and a quote jumped out at me, that inspired this piece. I thought it would look particularly great with the quote on it, so I'm going to make it available as a print. Usually originals are much more expensive than prints, but since I'm pricing the originals so cheaply, the prints are the same price; $25
TDDP #13 PRINT $25

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

For Jamie

Dear Jamie,
For some reason my addled mind thought vintage bottle caps looked good as a mount.
Seeing it scanned, I realize it does not.
Luckily, the back of the paper is pretty and purple,
so when you get this,
do me a favor and turn it around.
I think I was being overly deep and making some association between hummingbirds looking for nectar, and soda being full of sugar...
or something.
This was my third attempt, by the way-
the first one came out too line-y and made the hummingbird look more like some kind of parrot.
The second one was a little too art nouveau and kind of looked like a mock up of a stained glass window.
Luckily I still have about 99999999999 more post-its so trial and error is the name of the game. I thought this one came out fairly nice. Well balanced between too busy and too plain.
The post-it is much more green in real life.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Love Stories

I really like paintings that can stand alone and hold their own weight,
but I love paintings that you can put together to create a dialogue.
This pair is interesting because if you put them together one way
it seems like they are parting ways, with one looking back.
If you switch them around it's an entirely different story
about a coy courtship, 
or an unrequited love.
“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.”
 ― Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca, Blood Wedding and Yerma
 "Love Stories" acrylic on canvas $175 each
“Because what's worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”
― James Patterson, The Angel Experiment

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More Than The Sum

One of the magical things about art is that it is so so so much more than the sum of it's parts.
(Like people.)
It's canvas and oil or acrylic or clay
and water
and energy
but it is also more.
Humans are meat.
...bones and sinew
with big round skulls full of wrinkly gray matter
(some admittedly less full than other)
we're kidneys and intestines and
one magnificently tempestuous heart
we are organ tissue 
we are cells
we are so much more
we can be so much more. 
"In Distance" vegetation on paper, unframed, $175

This painting is of mountains, but it is much more than a painting.
It is literally the Earth it represents.
(because of what went into it's creation)
For it's portrait I used materials actually from the place;
Poke berries for the vibrant fuchsia hues.
A paint-like poultice from crushed leaves.
And for the orange...
distilled dirt
(also known as mud)
bright and rich as the orange clay that comprises the hills 
because it is orange clay.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


The Daily Doily Project is fun, but I'm trying to reign in my focus a little spend more time on those things which are more likely to help me meet my goals.
One of which is to finish all the projects I've started.
One of which is this fairly large painting:

"Migratory" Acrylic on Canvas $275

An excerpt from John Keats' 
"Ode to a Nightingale"
MY HEART aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
’Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
  Singest of summer in full-throated ease....

...Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Taking a break is not the same as quitting.

I'm taking a break from the DDP to give myself more time to finish some big stuff I've been working on.
And to re-evaluate my life.

That is all.
(for today, at least).

TDDP Day #11 (And the missing day)

I've been in a rotten mood all weekend, mostly because I entered yet another contest... and lost.
(I'm a bad sport-
one of my many faults right there alongside my snobbery.
But I'm an especially bad sport when it seems obvious that I was way way way out ahead.)
Anyhoo, it was a silly contest any way.
I really only entered it because 
A) The prize was something I've been wanting for years, but have absolutely no plans of buying for myself- a big expensive Wacom tablet/pen with art software
B) I'm kind of desperate for a little validation. 
(Parents, Dr A, you guys don't count, but thanks for telling me I'm awesome anyway lol)

Also, this loss plays into the paradigm of my life, and that is...
 If I'm doing abstract, realist will win. 
If I do realist, 3D will win.
If I do 3D, then abstract will win.
Story of my life. 
Drum, marching, other, beat... you know.

Do you want to know just how silly of a contest it was?
It was a chalk art competition.
Chalk art... like on a sidewalk.
And I lost.
To an abstract.
(I loathe abstract.
It's my least favorite form of art,
right next to point and shoot fauxtograpghy).
Anyhow, this was my entry:
And this was the winner. 
That little side project took up most of my time yesterday, and pouting took up the rest of my day, so I don't have a doily to post-it for TDDP.

Today, I was still in a pretty rotten mood, made worse by my forgetting to write down the date of a form I needed to complete, and realizing the deadline had passed. So, this one's really for me, but if you want it, it's yours. I can always make myself another one. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

TDDP Day #10

I need to go buy some more doilies,
or maybe even some canvas.
For now though, 
Post-Its = all I have to work with.
So, TDDP #10 is just another pretty Post-It
In art nouveau style.
(TDDP #10 $25)
After I started drawing it, I realized I'd have to chose between giving her hands or wings.
I chose wings.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Daily Doily Project & Elsie's destructive tendencies presents.......

I've learned to never underestimate the desire of little ones to imitate adults.
It doesn't matter if I'm washing the windows or emptying the dishwasher,
Elsie wants in.
So I wasn't totally shocked to come home from class one day to find Dr A working at his desk while Elsie sat on the floor busily creating her own line of artwork.
with crayons
and ALL my doilies.
(I'm not sure how she got them, but again, I wasn't terribly shocked because she's going through an amateur mountain climber phase-
Everything looks like a climbing wall to her)
So today I have no doily to post, but instead...
The Daily Doily Project Day #9
Pretty Post-Its!
(TDDP #9 $25)
Turns out post-its don't take watercolor paint very well, so I used ink.
(Art nouveau fans can probably pretty easily pick up my inspiration.)

posted 9/13/12

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TDDP #8 A couple of nuts in love

A couple of nuts in love...
(TDDP #8 $25)
that's exactly how I would describe some of the best couples I know.
I think this doily looks particularly fetching positioned between Sweet Basil and Honey, because when you put the images together, it instantly creates a little visual story
about a woodland romance...
based on common culinary preferences.
(So I'm offering all three as a set for only $75)

------------------post edit------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know why they look all pixelated in the last image where they're all next to each other. I promise, they're not pixelated at all in real life.

Also, I've got several shows and fairs lined up, so if you're interested in buying a piece speak up, because I can't guarantee they'll be around for very long

Also, some of the said shows and fairs require a pretty decent up front investment on my part (if nothing else in the gas it costs me to drive around to all these places) so on top of having a lovely little piece of original art, you'll also be making a deposit into your karma account for helping a striving starving artist and the world's least successful MD.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Rules + DDP day #7

I've worked with kids for years,
and there's no denying that simple works best.
That's why I always say that I only have two rules:
1) Be Nice. 
(TDDP #7 "Be Nice" $25)

This is pretty much an all encompassing rule.
It sums up no hitting, no stealing, no yelling, and a boatload of others, because all I have to say is,
"Do you think that is being nice?"
(the answer is usually no, but regardless, it gets them thinking about how they're acting)
I absolutely enforce rule number one, and I wish I could pass it along to some grown ups, because it is tantamount to being a decent human being.
Not tipping your server?
Attacking someone publicly, instead of talking to them privately, on Facebook?
Taking up two parking spaces?
Talking behind someone's back? 
Do you think that is being nice?

My second rule is "You make a mess, you clean it up".
Unfortunately, I'm usually the one who makes the messes, so this one comes back on me a lot.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why I'm NEVER mad at anyone. & DDP #6

The Daily Doily Project #6

Purple Snowball  ($35)
When I was younger I used to get mad 
a lot.
People would tick me off on an almost daily basis.
Now, I'm literally never mad 
at anyone.
Because while I used to get all upset with others
now I just get mad at myself for not knowing better.
I learn my lesson and go on.
Rip me off?
No big deal. Should have seen it coming.
Lie to me?
No big deal. Should have expected it.
No big deal. That's what I'll expect from now on.

Basically, it's jut way more zen to just expect nothing from everyone.
Once in a blue moon you'll get surprised, but most people are pretty predictable.

On the flip side of that,
awesome people tend to stay awesome.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Daily Doily #5

Daily Doily Project: #5
A Pink Snowball
Only on my easel are snowballs blooming bright and pink.
Outside the world is easing into autumn in a lazy kind of north Georgia way.
There is no mass evacuation of leaves from trees around here. Instead they change color and lackadaisically fall at their leisurely convenience.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Daily Doily Project Day #4

Daily Doily Project #4
This Too Shall Pass.
To me, this painting feels like cheating, because I've painted it many times.
I've never made a dime off it, though, because every time I paint it, someone who's going through a hard time asks about it so I give it away for free.
Now the hard times are on this end of the paint brush and that's why I'm asking at least $25 for it.
I'm not putting these in the Etsy shop yet because I'm hoping to sell them locally.
If you're interested in any of them e-mail me at
or leave a comment and I'll work out the details of shipping, etc.
Artist note: The leafless branches are meant to symbolize Winter.
The first time I painted this I was living in NYC and after years of living in the endless Summer of the Caribbean, the long cold months of a northern Winter seemed endless.
I constantly had to remind myself that the sun would indeed shine again.
Literally and figuratively.

posted 9/8/2012

Friday, September 07, 2012

Elsie's weekend getaway

Every day with Elsie is magical.
Mostly because watching her revel in the tiny mysteries of her universe
(ie: There's a cardboard tube in the middle of the paper towels!!! And you can yell through it!!!)
forces me to take off these jaded glasses I see the world through, and just enjoy being.
My favorite days are the "firsts".
"Firsts" get me so excited about what's to come and make me so proud of everything she is.
Recently, I spent at weekend at the beach with just the girls and got to have a lot of really lovely firsts!

Her first road trip. 

Her first time playing in sand.

 Her first time in the ocean. 

 Her first night away from home. 
She is so pretty it almost looks like she's wearing eyeshadow and blush!
(She's not, though). 

The Daily Doily Project #3

Day three: A Squirrel Honey

Basil just didn't look quite right, just sitting there on his lonesome, so I painted a fur baby friend for him.
She may or may not be based on the facebook pictures of a squirrel a friend rescued and raised. :)

I'm using a scanner to capture images of all my DDP pieces instead of a camera like I do for my big paintings, and I can't seem to get it right- it's always a little too dark, or a little washed out. The colors are actually much more vivid in real life!
Also, something I should have noted on the first DDP post was that they are all for sale.
Residency interview season is here for Dr A so I'm kind of scrambling to increase our income in any way I can, so I'm selling everything for... anything.
This piece: $35
Sweet Basil: $35
It Gets Better: $25
Painting lessons: $15 per hour
Babysitting: $10 per hour
Nannying (babysitting at least 3 days a week): $30 per day
My kidneys: $200 each
My right eye: $400
My hair: $ a golden watch chain
My soul: $ negotiable

Thursday, September 06, 2012

How to be an awesome nanny #3

When clipping coupons for groceries,
don't throw away the ones for Chuck E Cheese! 
Use them!
A noisy day spent there guarantees you a peaceful afternoon! 

The Daily Doily Project #dos

Good morning!
Today's daily doily is my chipmunk, sweet Basil.

I say he is my chipmunk because he lives in my yard
and eats (ie destroys) my garden.
His name is sweet Basil because the sweet-basil is where he decided to make his burrow. 

Did you know that, except for the Siberian chipmunk, all species of chipmunks are from North America?
(Now you do!)

The Daily Doily Project #1

It takes me a long time to finish a painting.
Like a month.
Like sometimes three months.
I get obsessed with, not perfection, but completedness.
I never feel like anything is ever complete.
In fact, if I were an immortal with infinite resources, I would probably never "finish" anything. I would just hang my paintings on my walls and walk around from room to room with a paintbrush touching things up as I went along.
But in this life we are never promised tomorrow, and I'd hate for my legacy to be a room full of half finished work, so I compel myself to hurry, and to try to accomplish that which I'm almost certain I will never actually do- be done.

I was in my art room/studio/craft-supply-hoard/whatever-you-want-to-call-it kind of pacing around trying to get myself pumped up about starting something new since I'd "finished", signed, and sealed all my current works. I was debating on which surface to choose next- a canvas, a cutting board, a collage? Rummaging through my drawers waiting for inspiration, and surely it came... in the form of an old package of paper doilies. Each one a delicate frame of lacy paper around a circle of pure white with a lovely texture. I pulled out the little cigar box that holds my rarely used water colors and tested whether or not the paper would take the paint.
It did.
Thus The Daily Doily Project was born.
Now every morning, in that lovely quiet space after Dr A has left for work, but Elsie has yet to wake up, I take just a few minutes to sketch out ideas on my notepad, and my favorite goes on to live in watercolor and ink on a doily.

The Daily Doily Project #1 
"It Gets Better." 

I chose this phrase for the first one I want to post because it is so very applicable to so many things:
This project.
I painted a butterfly underneath the quote because it perfectly embodies the idea that it will get better.

Here's hoping it's true.

------------------Post Edit--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Everyone who knows me knows that my art is heavily influenced by what's playing on my headphones. I'm sure it's no coincidence that my preference for this one liner is also one of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands, FUN:
"What have we done, oh my god
What have we done, oh my god

This is really happening
You never looked so bored
Can you feel my fingernails?
They've never been so short

It's hard to lay a golden egg with everyone around
It's hard to stay inside my head when words keep pouring out

Like starlight crashing through the room, we'll lose our feathers
Yes, I know it hurts at first but it gets better

It gets better, it gets better
It gets better, we'll get better

It's hard to keep a straight face when I just want to smile
If you could see the look that's in your eyes

Like starlight crashing through the room, we'll lose our feathers
Yes, I know it hurts at first but it gets better

 It gets better, it gets better
It gets better, we'll get better

There's a fire in sky
Some snow on the ground
Not quite enough cigarettes
To calm me down

What have we done, oh my god
What have we done, oh my god

It gets better, it gets better
It gets better, we'll get better

(This is really happening)
It gets better, it gets better
It gets better, we'll get better

Monday, September 03, 2012

How to be an awesome nanny #2

Be okay with destroying your house 
and turning it into a magical fort kingdom!
Sure, it will mean relocating every chair in the house, and dirtying up some linens, but it's so worth it for it's magical powers: For example, having a fort in your living room can make anything fun.
Candy Land: boring
Candy Land in a fort: YAY!
Sitting quietly and reading: boring
Sitting quietly and reading in a fort: yay!
(I used little letters for that last "yay" because even a fort doesn't make it that fun for them).

I took some coaxing for Mr Kitty to acquiesce to fort dwelling, but he was eventually convinced of it's merits.

Post Edit------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I tried hard enough I could probably come up with some way to relate building forts in your living room to some other life skill/profession, but it's actually a pretty nanny-specific job skill.