Sunday, January 5, 2014

A new year brings a fresh start. The time has come to lock up this little diary and open a new one. I have a brand new website for my artwork. The site has a shop and a blog that will be filled with inspiration and artful goods. I'm so excited for 2014 and want to invite you over to my new site. Click on over and say hello. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In the middle of Vonnegut's Jailbird.  First sketch done. I am also spending this week working on a fresh website.  I want something simple and easy to update.  I'm getting there slowly but surely.  I tell myself that I am gonna reach a stopping point with the computer work and sure enough, I go way beyond and end up with the red eye.  I would rather read and draw but what can you do? 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut.  He would have been 91 today.  I'm not one to remember birthdays of folks who have passed.  I don't even remember how old my 80-some year old grandmother is and she lives with me.  I think being raised by your grandparents might make a person a bit afraid of age.  I like to think of Barb (my grandmother) as in her 40's or as a spring chicken as she would say.  Anyway, I discovered that it was Vonnegut's birthday today by way of a nice little article from Huffington Post.  This bit of birthday news made me smile.  I just thank goodness Vonnegut was born.

The painting above is inspired by a book jacket shot by Vonnegut's daughter, Edie Vonnegut.  I have been posting my Vonnegut illustrations for a while now.  I am just about finished with the whole thing.  You can view the ongoing project on flickr.  I am also happy to report that the project will be on display at the Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis this January.  I will write more on that soon.  For now, I'll end today's post with a favorite quote...

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind."  Kurt Vonnegut - God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I moonlight as a painting instructor.  I feel lucky-in-love with the job.  Classes spent with folks who have never painted before are something special. It's truly amazing to watch someone stepping out of their comfort zone and enjoying themselves.  Now, that's saying a lot because it takes a while for most newcomers to actually let all those fears they come in with go...  But when they do finally “let go” (let go of their nerves, their doubts, etc.), and a careless acceptance of sorts takes over, a sense of brave playfulness appears. 

When someone finally recognizes that they can do something that they previously believed would be too difficult, there is power.  I’ve found that the best part of the process is not the recreation of a lovely piece of art that will hang in your home…  It's about recognizing the process itself.  Being able to point out and remember when you learned how to do something different.  Pinpointing that moment in class where you thought you had messed up, but it turned into something beautiful of your own doing. 

I've heard folks in class comment after being frustrated that they are just gonna let the paintbrush take over.  I've wanted to jump up and hug them (or at least trade a high-five) because THAT’S IT!  That’s the point… I look at that as a win because at that moment, they haven't given up… They’ve just dropped all expectations and decided to take a ride.   While that feeling may have indeed come out of frustration, it always ends up in surprise.  How playful is that?  How important and simple it is to surprise yourself every once in a while. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"He was down in the meat locker on the night that Dresden was destroyed.  There were sounds like giant footsteps above.  Those were sticks of high-explosive bombs.  The giants walked and walked." Kurt Vonnegut 

I finished Slaughterhouse Five. I've got about 4 or 5 books to go and the project will be complete. So far, Bluebeard is still my favorite. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Working in my studio today. My studio is a very small room off of our kitchen. It's light source is an old door with a large window that let's the morning sun shine in. It needs a lot of work to make it my own. The most important necessity is a comfortable chair. Until I stumble on one at a local thrift, my orange skeleton of a chair will have to do. It's got great bones.

Today I plan to finish a custom order that's due in Paris very shortly. I'm having fun sketching a man playing a cello. I like his crooked tie. 

This young lady is playing in my little room. I've been obsessed with her lately. Her name is Angel Olsen and she is fascinating. You can read a Pitchfork review of her here. Speaking of reviews. I love reading music reviews. It's one of my favorite things to do.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sharing a wonderful site for the young and old. It's one of the most rewarding collections of found goodness on the web. I think that most importantly it's a place that I feel comfortable letting Mia explore endlessly.  

"There’s just so much science, nature, music, art, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven’t seen. It’s most likely not stuff that was made for them…
But we don’t underestimate kids around here.
Not-made-for-kids videos for kids. Watched & collected by Rion Nakaya with her 2 & 5 year olds."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween is almost here! It's my daughter's favorite holiday. For the most part, I've tried to make all of her costumes. I think there are so many important lessons learned when you do it that way. That being said, I'm definitely not opposed to store bought costumes especially when different schedules won't allow for what usually turns out to be a ton of hours spent on one costume.
This year, I stumbled upon a DIY for a Medusa headdress. As soon as I saw it, I knew that Mia would love it. I also thought that it would be pretty simple to make. Turns out that it was and I didn't even have half of the supplies needed. It was such a fun project for us. Mia actually sketched the dress that she wanted me to make. I had just enough white fabric to come close to her drawing. I had to scrap a cape idea that she had but the addition of a snake strap made up for that. There is quite a difference in the DIY headdress and what we ended up with. I didn't have any wire on hand and no time to spray paint. I bought colorful dollar store snakes and used washi tape instead of wire. We think it still works. We are excited to accessorize with the rest of the snakes.  The both of us can't wait for her to wear it!  

Friday, October 18, 2013

I heard that Texas had one of the biggest antique fairs in the country. It's called Texas Antique Week and happens twice a year (spring/fall). I managed to read about it just in time to make a day trip the first day it opened. 
I read that a half a dozen small towns in the middle of TX would be jam packed with antiques. I could never imagine what I saw when we arrived in Warrenton. Antique dealers, tables, tents as far as the eye could see! It was incredible. 

I quickly realized that it was no joke and definitely deserved more than a day. I decided to not worry about the other towns and just focus on one. It took us the entire day to browse about 3 miles worth of antiques. It was a blast. 

I got out of there with a super 8 camera and two antique autograph books. I consider that an accomplishment. I mean there was everything you could dream of.
I do plan on going back in the spring and making it a mini vacation complete with an overnight stay.  We've all heard that tired saying that everything is bigger in Texas. Well, when it comes to antique fairs, it's true. I had to share some photos even though they don't do it justice. I can't help but think of my online vintage loving pals. I'd love to plan a trip with so many of them. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Catching up.  I want to try and make time for the ol blog.  I miss it.  I am just going to dive in.  We moved to San Antonio over a year ago and I still feel like a newcomer.  I will admit that I was not thrilled about having to move from Virginia.  I was born and raised in West Virginia and was happy to live so close to home after eight years of living in Tucson, AZ.  We have moved a lot.  Anyway, as soon as I accepted the move to TX, I made it my goal to visit Marfa as soon as possible.  I accomplished that goal by way of a mini vacation.  I absolutely loved our short stay and plan to go back for a long visit.  Sharing photos below...

Quick note about Prada, Marfa.  I recently learned that the Texas Department of Transportation has declared it to be an illegal advertisement.  Read about it here.  There is a support page on facebook here.