Sunday, September 14, 2014

She Could Go Anywhere - Tattoo Style

My friend Cassie Deason has bought many of my creations.  She "gets where I'm coming from," you might say.  Anyway, here's one that she bought while she viewed my posts on a visit to Seattle.  It's from August 19th 2013, called "She Could Go Anywhere."  I'm pasting my original blog post below.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 229. She Could Go Anywhere

Yes, she had a pasty, pallid face that glowed in the dark and dishwater brown hair that had never known a highlight in the sun. Yet lying on her floor with a book in front of her, she could be anyone, go anywhere, breathe in adventure, love, and fantasy at any moment.  Why, she had traveled to places unknown to those around her.  She was...content.

Cassie now lives near Seattle, and she just took the bold step to get a tattoo of this painting on her thigh. How honored I am!  My original is more murky and dreamlike whereas the tattoo is brighter and more colorful.  Here you go...thanks again, Cassie!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Upcoming Gallery Show - Creative Coworking in Evanston

Howdy peeps.

I just received this fabulous postcard from the talented Paige Pak, intern for the equally wonderful Angela Valavanis at Creative Coworking.  If any of you lovely people want to head over to my gallery opening in Evanston, IL (north of O'Hare Airport in Chicago) on Saturday, September 27th from 5-8 p.m., please stop on by! (-:  I'd love to see you! 

P.S.  Go eat at La Macchina afterwards--so delicious!
(Dinner with my friends Tanja and Drew at La Macchina this past July.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hatch Show Print - Letterpress

I am a huge lover of letterpress.  The inky, imperfect poster or cards made from a real, honest-to-goodness printing press and ink.  No digital perfectness wanted!

My husband and I were in Nashville last week, and one of the places I absolutely HAD to go to was Hatch Show Print.  The smell and sound of the presses working, all those lines of type!  Ah, it was a brief journey back into another era.  When I was a kid, I had two idols, Julia Child and Benjamin Franklin.  Yeah, I know...weird kid.  Anyway, I briefly imagined ol' Ben printing away with his 3-penny loaf of bread nearby, and me watching, typing on my electronic typewriter that was reminiscent of those clickety-clacking presses.

Here's some pictures for your enjoyment, along with a poster I bought there.  It's still a little curled, so please forgive.  For more on Hatch Show Print, click here.

On the sidewalk heading in...

Here's the poster I bought.  They rolled it up so nicely for me!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

She Only Wanted to Eat Scrambled Eggs Revisited

I originally finished this painting on October 19th of last year, but I never was quite satisfied with her.  It came out of a scrambled egg eating binge I was on, and I thought I'd make a painting out of that.

I've revisited her with a lot of oil stick, along with dots, ink, acrylic, and a nice, shiny, sunny-side up egg atop her peacock-feather fascinator.  I feel much better about her now.  I may add one more thing...ha!

By the way, I never wrote about this before, but the peacock feathers came from a pillbox hat another artist had traded me for at an art fair.  She had wanted one of my paintings so we exchanged. Unfortunately, my sweet destructive beagle, Ebert, got a hold of the netted hat and torn it open.
What was I to do?  When destruction reigns, I turn it into art supplies. (-;

  16" x 20" Oil Stick, Acrylic, Ink, peacock feathers, beads, scrambled eggs, and another egg sunny-side up

It's hard to see, but the teal paint is full of sparkles!

Pirate Girl

She was just a pirate girl, trying to find her own way.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was laid to rest today.

I am usually timely on honoring the passing of artists who have affected me deeply, paying respect to them through a blog post and a painting of them.  It may not be much, but somehow that public proclamation makes me feel that if I draw one person's attention to the accomplishments of a fallen star, I have somehow put a brick in the wall of public consciousness.  Dear Abby, Lou Reed, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, a personal friend.  I honored all of them of the day they died.

Yet somehow I couldn't do that for Joan.  Well, I couldn't immediately.  I was so struck by grief at her passing.  Maybe it was because I was still watching her, every single Friday night of Fashion Police and usually again in a rerun.  She felt a part of my life or at least she was part of my life ritual.   And last week on Tuesday, FP just had that 90-minute Emmy special so, you see, I just had had a fresh visit with her when I heard the news of her throat surgery gone very wrong.  In a strange way, I wasn't overly concerned about her being put into an induced coma.  I have a family relative that underwent that this year, and it seems like a logical, methodical procedure that was temporary until things "could be figured out."

I was in Nashville last week, but daily, I still would check online to see how Joan was doing--holding strong--that sounded good.  But then, "had suffered a cardiac arrest."  What?!  Yet next I read that she was stable, and then that she had been moved out of intensive care.  I was so relieved!  How could there be a world without caustic-tongued Joan?  As I had said about Robin Williams, she has been around for my whole life.  Joan, in some twisted Tim Burton-esque/Twilight Zone way, felt like my grandma.  Why, I had JUST written about her in a blog post here on August 16th, praising all that she has done, including co-writing the script for "The Girl Most Likely To."

I will still remember when my husband said to me (I feel like there have been too many times of late, when I can "remember" where I was when I heard bad news.), "Joan Rivers died."  I couldn't believe it!  She was doing better... I had thought.  The tears didn't come at first, even they shocked into inaction.  Then they started to flow and didn't stop as I watched every news program on E! and read every article online, and the thought of drawing Joan was completely impossible.  It was as if I just couldn't process that someone that indefatigable, that dogged, that FILLED with life, could be not in this life.

My brain needed convincing over and over again.  Today I watched CBS Sunday Morning and clips of her funeral, and days have passed, and I can start thinking of a fitting portrait for grand, spicier than a "ghost chile pepper", Joan.  I know what I will do, but not yet.

I know how saturated the world is with news.  And I know that after a week and a half of respect and clips, the world will start to move forward, onward, to the next piece of celebrity gossip, George Clooney's upcoming nuptials, (I saw it today), etc.  For that very fact, I feel bad that perhaps if there were 4 people who might have read these words here, now only one person may delve into this, so tired they are already of hearing about her.  Alas, it is human nature, and I do understand.  I'm sorry though, Joan.  I couldn't bare to type a word until now...that's how sorrowful I was, and still am, that you are gone.

"My heart is torn in half.  She wasn't done."  Sarah Silverman on Twitter

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meeting Jane LaFazio

In the Chicago environs a few weeks back, I had a little art adventure which included meeting Jane LaFazio at a Create Mixed Media workshop.  Jane is an excellent drawer, artist, painter, instructor, and one of the original teachers in this year's debut (3.1 "Beginnings") of  Sketchbook Skool.  As my class all peered at her, she drew first with pencil, then with ink and watercolor, an old ballet slipper that someone had brought with them to draw.  I would think she would feel a little pressured with all those eyes upon her, but she seemed happily oblivious to the stare down.

We started by ripping up papers and collaging them together on two different pages, one lighter and the other darker.  Well, I spent too much time on my lighter concoction and never finished the darker one, even though I skipped lunch and continued to work during that hour.

Next we coated the pages with a particular product (take Jane's class--I'm not giving away her secrets (-;) and then we were able to sketch what we had brought with us as models.  What did I bring with me?  Um, well...I didn't bring anything.  I brought a lot of other things, but not little figurines or things of that ilk so I used the contents within my purse.  Hey, that's art, I do believe.  I also grabbed flowers and buds outside of the hotel and included those--make-up and nature's beauty...a natural combination, n'est pas (right)?  We cut out those items and adhered them to our collaged page.

Just an aside, I made this trip with about zippo dollars.  By the time I had bought supplies the night before, I made the trip with $20 which included a McDonald's coffee.  I had an opened canister of Pringles potato chips in my car as well as a jar of almond butter so I filled myself with that when I grabbed my flower buds mid-morning and once more before others returned from their lunch.  I was thinking the boxed lunches were included, but alas at $12.50, they were out of my league.  I am going to save up better the next time around! ha!  Look, sometimes I post luscious meals I've eaten and other times, well, a girl just has to do what she has to do.  I imagined myself as Madonna, taking off from Michigan in a bus with just $35 dollars in my pocket to go to NYC to pursue my art.  Instead of dance, of course, I would draw!

O.K., well enough about my budget.  I sat with a table with a very quiet and lovely older woman who once sang songs in German cafes!  She appeared timid and unsure of herself, but this was her past life--isn't it amazing what lies within people?  Perhaps that's always why I'm drawing people.  I am fascinated by the hidden stories they hold.  The other woman I sat with was named, Ali.  She holds a PhD, flew from the East coast, and lived in China for three years.  We hit it off like you wouldn't believe.  Our other tablemate asked how long we had known one another, and we said we had just met.  We're both Aries, although her chart is filled with all Aries!  My rising sign is a Leo, but we're both "fire" girls, that's for sure. (-;  My Moon sign adds quite a contemplative aspect, but I can't reveal all my secrets, you know.

Laugh, laugh, laugh, I had such a great time.  My final product...well, it definitely leaves something to be desired! ha!  I originally had my mascara tube in my handmade "map" envelope, but I ended up attaching it to the center of the page for more balanced composition.  Afterwards I thought it looked like a marching, purple phallic symbol, but at least it's alert and on the prowl to spread beauty application everywhere!  Ah, ha, ha, ha!

I think my lack of focus in group settings is, for me, like going to a baseball game.  It's great fun to be there in person, but I end up talking with people around me, watching the track, watching the flashing sign, concentrating on everything EXCEPT the game, whereas at home, watching the t.v, that's all I'm taking in.  Anyway, I wouldn't trade the day for anything.  Jane was so down-to-earth and had a fantastic sense of humor and the same holds true for Allie, and the happy realization that all over this country/world there are people who you can immediately click with and share a magical moment.

Jane LaFazio and our class

Jane's impromptu drawing:

My supply spread:

Ali with her handmade, stuffed birds as props.

 My "light-colored collage page before applying a white, drawing medium.

Jane trying to help our table!

A couple of Jane's pages:

 Look at these sweet paper scissors!  I love them.  Please ignore my ever-present chipped polish and shaggy nail!

My page with a light coat of white medium.

My finished page below, with all my hand-drawn cutouts attached to the background covered with a white, rough medium to make it "drawable."