Sunday, December 30, 2012

And now let us welcome the new year....

full of things that have never been - Rilke

Well, the one constant in 'lo these many years of mine, is that there's nary been a new year I haven't been trying to get my act together. Why succeed now? Nevertheless... I do keep trying.

Besides just the usual reponsibility to be an upstanding citizen of the universe, I think I'll attempt to rock the coat/sweater-off-the-shoulders look this year. And by extension it sort of includes the cape/cloak look at well.

If you really stop and give it some thought, and seriously, several martini's do aid in that endeavor, it's a look that works for many people: superheroes, Liberace, nurses in the old days, Bobbies, boxers, Grace Kelly, Quentin Crisp, Harry Potter, The Three Musketeers, Little Red Riding Hood and so on.

Somehow, you just look more chic. Even if it's a just a Land's End sweater, somehow draped over your shoulders with some gloves and a handbag, you look like you must live an interesting life.

But, let's keep it real here. It's kind of a pain when you're also carrying a totebag full of work stuff, a bento box for lunch, and a stack of Netflix DVDs that should have been mailed 3 months-ago and "NO, I"m not streaming them because I don't know how to do that..".

And really, what the does the look say? "OH! I'm in such a hurry I can't put my arms through the sleeves!!!!", or "MY, the draft in this palatial abode is so chilly! Let me just wrap this not-fake cashmere coat around me..." But honestly, I really don't care what anyone else thinks about it. I"m gonna give it a whirl.

So that's that.

Regarding the subject of chalkboard lettering and developing one's own "hand"; I used a new fat, and "phat" chalk marker made by Wet Wipe for the broad tip "2013" and a Gelly Roll medium tip for the lettering.

I find that if I just stop worrying, a "hand" does develop with the right pen. That's just my everyday normal handwriting you see.  Though God knows it's a miracle to find a decent white pen that actually works well. I still haven't bought the elusive UniBall Signo.

Here's to a year ahead of fashion panache. Clink!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A ribbon of mountain air

Sometimes grace is a ribbon of mountain air that gets in through the cracks.
- Anne Lamott

Winter Lights

It certainly as been all about End Times of late and in a weird way, December 25th has the same feel for me.

12.12.12 and 12.21.12 passed without incident, at least in apocalyptic terms. Unless you're a parent or loved one of the slain in Newtown, Connecticut. That's so horrific I can't speak of it.

But for me, the pressure to perform, to deliver by December 25 is just as...crazed. The deadlines, the pressures, the expectations for this one holiday...and the worst of it is, it is in fact a beautiful holiday.

I just can't ever pull Christmas off. I've never had a traditional life and I can't make this traditional holiday work with my life. It's never a White Christmas.

Add to that, I secretly think there's a built in code in my body to be sick on schedule. I can't remember a Christmas in recent memory I haven't been sick; either just preceding it, during it, or just after it.

But I do find beautiful moments in it and I'm so thankful for that. It's so dark when I drive home from work, and on this lagoon is little pier with this display of two deer and 3 little trees every year. It's so calm and silent and beautiful. I love the lights of the apartment buildings reflecting on the lagoon. I love the quiet of it. It is utterly serene.

Just as I'm about to turn left onto my street, there's this simple tree. But I jumped out in the cold night air and took these pictures with just a modest Canon camera. Without all the right settings and lenses and social media awareness. I just took some pictures with my fingers freezing because I like how these lights are little friendly sentinels on the way home. 

A little light in the winter's darkness

I hope you have lights to guide to you home and little moments of peace and quiet and loveliness this holiday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Live inside that hope

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what to hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Barbara Kingsolver

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It...

Behold this lovely world

©2008 Judith Nicholls, Beth Krommes

If today, 12.12.12., is the end of everything, and lately it's felt like it, it certainly is a beautiful day for it. The weather is sunny and crisp. My heart is so heavy today with the loss of a friend on Monday, but I look at this planet and say "behold!"

I love this beautiful picture book. The poems are from different cultures around the world and Beth Krommes illustrations are just wonderful. She creates her artwork by developing the images on scratchboard, photocopying the scratchboard and then filling in the photocopies with watercolor. It really is a stellar collection of poetry.

Above, above
All birds in air
Below, below
All earth's flowers

Inland, inland
All forest trees

Seaward, seaward
All ocean fish

Sing out and say
Again the refrain

Behold this lovely world.

- Mary Kawena Pukui

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Pane of Shame

So, the assignment for Week 1 of my expensive online and summarily neglected Get Your Paint On! class was to take a look at the incredible quilts from Gee's Bend. They really are wonderful and much documented so that's all I'm going to say about them. Specifically, "We want you to experiment and get familiar with your paint and make blocks of color. They can be super tight and orderly or wacky and off kilter like some of the Gee's Bend quilts." I bought a stack of 12x12 cheapo canvas panels. Not known for being true to square.

 I wanted to play with several things; fluorescent paint, my Copic airbrush system and stencils, and gold foil. It's hard to tell but there's also a gold metallic wash over much of the piece.

I actually like this tilted view of it a bit better. I'm pretty pleased with my little gold foiled circle. I did that with a rubber stamp, glue, and gold leaf. The dark red circle was airbrushed on with my Copic. I was wondering if marker would take over acrylic paint and, huzzah huzzah, it did!

Believe it or not, I actually put some effort into not being lazy and incorporated a little color theory to make the colors pop.

And there we have it. The one and only assignment I completed for a five-week course. Which makes this perfectly fine but-not world-changing painting exercise valued at approximately $150.00. I do take PayPal for anyone so inclined.

And for my final moment of shame. It's not the first time I've signed up for that class and not followed through. So really, it's a $300.00 piece of hallway art. BUT on the bright side, when the class rolls around again, I've got assignment one IN THE BAG!!!!!! Huzzah Huzzah Huzzah. And not to worry, there's a GYPO: Beyond the Basics class too.

I really do recommend the class highly and the lovely instructors, Mati McDonough and Lisa Congdon are just the most wonderful artists and the Teahouse Studio in Berkeley offers fantastic classes. Mati's new book is Daring Adventures in Paint. Like her, it is all manner of charming.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It will come as no surprise

to anyone who knows me that I completed assignment #1 and no other in my online Get Your Paint On! class. I shall post that sad, singular assignment next.  Given the cost of the online class, perhaps the most expensive sample painting I've ever done....

In the meantime. I spent today in an all-day training session that left me feeling hopeless for all mankind, if not my immediate colleagues. In my fantasies my dream job would be to be paid to MAKE ART, PIN ON PINTEREST, and PROCLAIM MY INSIGHTS.

1) Thus, although not my art, I was shocked to find that the incredible artist for this utilitarian but oh-so-beautiful Kleenex box was not printed on this box! How shameful of Kimberly-Clark. The artist is in fact Cori Dantini. She's wonderful. {click on photo}

2) Good God in Heaven the time I have spent on Pinterest is shocking. It is both my delight and my sorrow and I've known profound love and profound betrayal from it. Silly sounding, I know. But Pinterest had a profound impact on my life.

3) Lastly, I proclaim this insight. I astudiously maintain both my blog and Pinterest as politics-free. But I have a hatred for the Romney-Ryan ticket that is..unrivaled. If those toxic, deceitful despots are elected, the fucktards that voted for them will get exactly what they deserve. And I pity us all.

Which brings me to the glowing beautiful cocktail next to the the Kleenex box. It's my own recipe which I shan't divulge. Because it is so delicious I'm certain it will win me top prize in a cocktail contest. And I'll need the money if R&R are elected because those douchebags will undoubtedly do away with the institution of a free and democratic public library. I will tell you this contains orange juice.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Get Your Paint On!

I recently took an incredible painting class, "Bloom True" from one of my favorite artists, Flora Bowley, at the the lovely Teahouse Studio in Berkeley. I promise I'll double back and post about that. But in the meantime, I was so giddy at finally getting back into painting (I've missed it SO MUCH) that I signed up for this wonderful e-course, Get Your Paint On!,  from the oh-so-talented artists Mati Rose and Lisa Congdon. Will be sure and show you each week's assignment. Hope I keep up.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'd like to make myself believe, that planet Earth spins slowly

Last winter I played around with making a disco ball stencil and Copic Marker's airbrush system; not inexpensive for canned air, but I must say, it's pretty fun.

I'm so happy with my disco ball stencil which took FOREVER to make. But the highlights and shadows came out quite nice. In hand, the piece has a nice sheen because I sprayed it with metallic paint.

In my dream loft, I will have an empty industrial ballroom, with just the dark and a disco ball and every night I'll disco dance. EVERY NIGHT. Me and Mom. We're booth dancin' fools. Life is just so much more tolerable when you can dance. And have a cocktail. But that's for another post.

I love Owl City's song, Fireflies. It's so sweet.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Delinquent Me

Well, it's been ages since I posted. I shall blast away my guilt with this inspiring footage of
"reverse graffiti" artist, Moose. I really love his concept and I think his work is an incredible way to make urban graffiti that is only beneficial to all.

Here are more pic's of his art that link to an interesting article. I hope this redeems my tardiness.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English

Ailurophile A cat-lover.
Assemblage A gathering.
Becoming Attractive.
Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
Brood To think alone.
Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
Comely Attractive.
Conflate To blend together.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Demesne Dominion, territory.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude Disuse.
Desultory Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous Filmy.
Dissemble Deceive.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent Bubbly.
Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir A good potion.
Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient A softener.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Epiphany A sudden revelation.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative Suggestive.
Fetching Pretty.
Felicity Pleasantness.
Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
Fugacious Fleeting.
Furtive Shifty, sneaky.
Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
Glamour Beauty.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.
Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Ingénue A naïve young woman.
Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.
Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.
Inure To become jaded.
Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe A special kind of gift.
Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Leisure Free time.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Love Deep affection.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen A slip of the ear.
Murmurous Murmuring.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea A solution for all problems
Panoply A complete set.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Propinquity An inclination.
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ravel To knit or unknit.
Redolent Fragrant.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrous Whispering, hissing.
Talisman A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation Tinkling.
Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vestigial In trace amounts.
Wafture Waving.
Wherewithal The means.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Duke it out

Okay, I'm finally posting some of my own art. I LOVE the Copic marker canned airbrush system.
Victorian silhouettes have been so popular lately; I wanted to do a little exercise using a classic silhouette in a fresh setting. So I designed some chinese lantern stencils and masks, used my Copic markers, made a silhouette and had a lot of fun with this piece. I'm sorry I'm so unsophisticated with scanner settings, because the original piece is very soft and lovely. Also need to learn more about kerning. Not too bad for someone self-taught.

Sweetheart: Inspirational messages are momentarily charming, but modestly effective. A lady simply must jump into the fray and duke it out. 
At any rate, Pinterest and society at large are rife with motivational sayings. But when it really gets down to it, how much help are they? Maybe to a young and  impressionable person? I don't know. I find poetry and prose and quotations much more inspirational. I wonder how all those young men and women will fare with their simplistic signange. Maybe just fine.

Only two things I know for sure: 1) I'll ALWAYS look for the wardrobe, and 2) If I'm going down, I'm going down swingin'. I've been in the ring and duke'n it out but I got a few good ones in. Now I have to link to a song. I can't help it.  I view life through a lense and I automatically add a music score. I warned you {lower phonograph needle here} Just consider yourself lucky this isn't a post about the Ice capades.