New adventures

So it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy! I started working with a new client on a mural – a jungle scene in his bathroom. Here are the first round of photos – still plenty of work to be done…


This was somewhat challenging as jungles are all about depth and layers, which is hard to portray on a flat surface…especially in a bathroom with varying heights and widths to the walls. But I enjoyed myself and I look forward to continuing to build and expand this vision! It’s also very nerve wracking as I paint things I’ve never attempted before – like tigers and parrots. But if you don’t explore, you’ll never discover, right?

Weekend Update

I was super duper productive. The only creative endeavor I didn’t undertake was writing, which I guess I’m doing now, so yeah. But I do have a novel idea! One that doesn’t seem like hypomanic psychobabble, so yay me!

Okay, first of all I decorated Christmas cookies for the first time in a friend’s class. I love them so much — even the ones that suck! I was able to get out of my head and risk being imperfect, and I wasn’t socially awkward for once. Major successes! Plus, COOKIES. Come on!

I also started on my Christmas presents to everyone — these cute little Pinterest faceless elves made of polymer clay.

I shall paint them and name them Squishy and they shall be my Squishy. I was super stressed about an affordable, unique and homemade gift for the million people I know…and then these little dudes came along! Happy days.

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I also did a weird doodle. Several, but this is the one that made the cut.

If you can’t tell, I like to either keep busy or sleep. There is almost no in between. But I am a person who can keep busy wondering about whether or not there’s a secret world in deep ocean water. Or maybe it leads to deep space, like a wormhole. Or heaven, since we are all made mostly of water and that seems to make some kind of spiritual sense.

Yeah, you see?

that’s a wrap!

I feel like I’ve been working on this wall mural for an e.t.e.r.n.i.t.y.. Of course, I could only handle it in small doses because it was very specific, detailed work which isn’t my strong suit…and on a textured wall, which is basically like shoving a middle finger in your painting while you work. But here it is! A film strip doing a twirly-do with a collection of film studio logos in the frames, beginning with Old Hollywood right on to today in no particular order.

This client has quite a few more requests from me, so I will be painting on these textured walls again…and again…and it will be much more intricate work. Whoopee. But I am kind of excited because, well, what a cool side job, right?

the truce

I have two pieces of art (one finished, one almost) that came to me very easily.

YAY!

I’m not trying to brag, but I AM celebrating because it is soooooo rare that my art comes easily… It’s usually an all out war between my muse, my capabilities, and my mood. Then every once in a while all three meet in some kind of truce that results in something I’m proud of. And then whether or not my piece communicates to the casual observer comes to mind.

Typically not.

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But it’s only really a concern for me in this first one because it’s a commission (so ideally the client should understand it.) This is charcoal and some weird crayon things I found in my stash. Looking at this, I feel that realistic portraits are my greatest strength, but I never “count” them. It’s so easy to copy what I see, or to embellish it. It’s much harder to pull an idea out of the aether and put it on canvas.

Also, I did this piece.

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It was inspired immediately when I stupidly broke a necklace that belonged to a very dear friend of mine who has passed. I thought perhaps I could commemorate her better in this way rather than wearing the necklace anyway — my plan is to glue it to the canvas around the figure’s neck in a way. I’m also not quite settled on the black/white ratios…

On a side note, I went from gourmet soup to rice-a-roni tonight. Life, right?

Breast Cancer Awareness

So my employer challenged all of the employees to really pull together for our annual Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser. I’m not one to go door to door asking for help or raffle items, but I did think I could paint something for the silent auction. It will be a good way to gauge how much the art actually ends up selling for too — be it $15 or $150, we will see. I’ll try not to be too affected by a poor showing…it is a moody painting.

My major concern was that I meant to do this pretty, PG piece that would do well with the vibe that we put off for this event…and instead I got something a little bit more raw and emotional. I’m getting feedback that it is a nice change, which I can personally validate as I tend to get numb to the fervor this particular brand instigates…

I have a friend who had breast cancer at a very young age (she’s barely 30). I remember bringing the event up to her, and she was hesitant to go or even discuss too much about her story. I realized suddenly what I should have all along — that people all respond to grief and pain differently, and my friend didn’t want to “Think Pink,” nor for that whole mentality to define her. She wanted to be normal and live her life…something that I think she absolutely deserved after her battle.

I’m not saying our fundraiser or the whole awareness movement are bad things. They’re FANTASTIC things. But there is more than one point of view on this terrible disease and how to cope…and I guess I might be (accidentally) trying to seek out that minority wth my piece. We will see what the masses have to say!

Meep!

Stained Glass and Film Strip

This has been a weekend of art, junk food, Pokemon, sleep, sex (gasp!) and vodka. So basically I’m living the dream over here. I have a few half baked writing ideas and a painting that I’m over complicating, but some other noteworthy things have indeed emerged.

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On Friday I attended another painting class, this one was a stained glass horse theme. True to fashion, I couldn’t paint a horse knowing full well everyone else was. It’s not about breaking the rules, it’s about individuality. It’s not really an attractive or charming quality of mine (see also being 10 years old and throwing a tantrum at Baskin Robbins because my brother and sister wanted the same ice cream flavor as me and that wasn’t FAIR because they were COPYING me and I will NOT be COPIED, MOM!), but I followed the instinct nonetheless and had to paint a lady. For about 75% of this painting I was stuck between feeling I was never going to finish it or that I should just paint over it and start something else. But wine and good conversation with Mr. Mojo and the lady I want to be when I grow up guided me through this potential meltdown and out came one of my favorite pieces to date!

Also, it feels like I have been talking and plotting about this other project for a year, and it is finally coming together. Today I put my big girl pants on, marched over to my client’s home and started the last phase of this little theater room we have been scheming. I sketched my concept onto his wall in chalk and then slapped on an acrylic winding film strip, with painted sketchy lines. I LOVE sketchy lines! They sort of make everything better. Like that blur filter on Snapchat. It’s like, “Oh, did I fuck that up? Here’s a sketchy line or five and…voila! Masterpiece!” I swear every failure is just a few sketchy lines away from success. This is probably only something an artist can understand, or is it just me…?

Anyway, here are the photos I took of the process. More to come…

The Lovely Bricks (and Facebook Cooking)

After a rough couple of days, the last thing I wanted to do was figure out a way to replicate old, weathered bricks on a sample board for a client. I was dreading it, truth be told, because I think I’ve had enough experimenting with new things for a while. But along with breakfast the other morning, my husband surprised me with this:

Whether he wants to admit it or not, he’s an artist at heart. While I was off bragging about my painting from Friday’s class, he quietly took home his own wicked cool piece. And that wasn’t the first time–he’s come to not only support me but work alongside me at several of those classes. And then with his set design experience, he laid this foundation for me and lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. He knew how much I needed a fucking break. And with his guidance, I powered through and sanded the piece:

then he whisked me away to Home Depot for paint. He carefully navigated me through a near meltdown as he rummaged up some additional dark brown paint from the garage in mid sponging the shit out of this square of drywall. And so it is entirely because of him that I can preview this:

The client still has to approve it, mind you. But those fake bricks mean the world to me. I even like the things I don’t like about it, which is a complicated emotion you should have an artist near you explain.

And so tonight, a celebration with a Facebook video recipe…

Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini


As seen on a Facebook video thingy. Ingredients are:

1 20oz package of tortellini (we always get the mixed spinach kind)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 small onion, diced (I had a glass of wine so somehow I read this as a whole onion, minced. Which is what we did and I stand by that decision.)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (it was probably 5 or 6…because there’s never too much garlic)
3 tablespoons of flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk (I don’t do whole milk. Can’t drink the stuff, and I hate buying shit for one recipe and never using it again. So we used 2%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
5oz baby spinach (we used 6, because I don’t get how to measure ounces in food)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded (I used a few handfuls. Until I really felt satisfied…)
Salt and pepper (of course)
Red pepper flakes (naturally)

So I cooked the tortellini like the directions say, which ashamedly I have memorized. Melt the butter, cook the onion in the butter, add garlic, smell garlic, add flour. Stir it around a bit, until you’re nervous that it’s been too long since you’ve done anything, then add milk and cream. Bring to simmer, add tomatoes (with juice) and spinach. It takes a deepish sauce pan for this since spinach starts off like a million times the size it ends up as in your dish. Add salt, pepper and pepper flakes to kill the spinach and when it’s wilted add the important stuff…cheese and tortellini. It turned out pretty freaking delicious, actually!

I’m aware those directions sucked. But recipes are SO boring to write. Sorry ’bout it.