Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Okay so first, HOW CUTE IS THIS PICTURE? haha! This pair's owner won my gift certificate through the Rescue House auction out in California. This is the photo we agreed to use, but I will omit the snack hand and try to bring their heads a little closer together. But I just had to show you....

So yes, I know Father's day was about 10 days ago, but I was too busy with my life to get it together to make my dad's card until this past week. So I made a little book of all the ways you can say Happy Fathers Day accompanied by a cute illustration. My dad has always said he likes my cartoony drawings best, so that's usually what I'll do.

First we went to Mexico and saw the Chihuahua family:

Dia de Padre Feliz!
then we went to Russia

My keyboard doesn't have the keys to type Happy Father's day in Russian so I'll just spell it out:
Askdjf;alkjsd F;askukawern Fopiuyqweknrpiofu

Then we went to Germany and what says Happy Father's Day more than sausages and beer???

Glucklicher Vatertag!

And then we went to France!! (I don't really like how "dad's" face came out but anyway)
Jour de Peres Heureux!

So there you go. Now back to the studio to work on the portrait of the snack masters!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Reality Check

So I think that I've always been pretty green, I re-use my water bottle at the gym, I bring my own bags to the grocers and we do recycle EVERYTHING. I'm also one of those people who believes if it works, like my cell phone or my TV, why toss it? Sure I'd love to have a iPhone or a jazzy LCD (and it would save so much room) but why fill the landfills? But then I took a quiz on NDRC's Simple Steps website (http://www.simplesteps.org) and I'm addicted to oil! We all are!

The Exxon spill that happened in Alaska, I was a senior in high school, and yes I was upset, but I still kept cruising to the beach with my friends. Unfortunately, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. I see what's happening now in the Gulf of Mexico and I weep every time I see another image on the TV screen. The reality is we really don't know the damage yet, and things won't ever be back to normal. How could this have happened? We can sit and blame and blame and blame but it's not going to solve the problem of our addiction to oil. I remember my dad once telling me, "Chris, you can't be guilty for being a human." And I replied, "Maybe so, but I'm guilty of being an American." And you know, the Celtics lost the NBA Finals last night. All of Boston was super gloomy because of it and I'm thinking, "Really? This is the first thing on your mind?"

What can I do? I'm just me, painting kitties and puppies and listening to my music and trying to enjoy myself while I'm here. What can I do? I feel so small. What can I do? I took public transportation to work today. What can I do? I shut my computer off when I leave work and cut the light switches off that everyone leaves on. What can I do? *sigh*

I bought some Tshirts from Threadless (http://www.threadless.com) before and then saw this one:

so I had to get it. Anything to support the big ass clean up that we should all be involved in. Then I read about this woman who is running a blog of sketches to raise money for the clean up. The art work is only $10 a piece and all proceeds go to the clean up. I'm thinking of doing something similar. I know I have pictures of pelicans somewhere from my visits to South Carolina..... Anyway if you want to visit her site and donate go here: http://ripplesketches.blogspot.com . I've contacted Kelly myself and asked how my own art can be helpful. (And have donated to the cause directly).

And here's a beautiful before and after shot of a pelican. If you've ever dealt with a wild critter, you can only imagine how hard it must have been to clean this bird!
So then I read something that @charmfx had wrote on Twitter and it really hit home with me. It was: "When disaster strikes, when times are uncooperative, those are opportunities for creativity to remind all of us who we are."

8x10" watercolor
Dutchess' owner won my gift certificate that I had donated for the Gifford Cat Shelter. She loves her kitty so much, that she put the gc for a 5x7" painting towards a larger 8x10" painting. What a pretty kitty :)
As Obama said, "The time for change is now!" Please please please, when you leave the room, shut the lights off. When you ask for another drink at the bar, tell your server you'd be fine with using the same glass. My fear is that the oil drilling will become more dangerous, more expensive and make us behind the times with the rest of the world. If we don't change our ways, then we all suffer.
Now, shut the computer off and go for a bike ride. It's beautiful out.

Friday, June 11, 2010

the Mass MoCA and other artists... they fuel the fire

Last weekend was a full one for sure. Lightning bugs, a close call with a porcupine, shots of Don Julio and contemporary art. What else could a girl ask for on her birthday?

Saturday, whilst J & J went fishing, R,B & myself went to the Mass MoCA http://massmoca.org/. The MoCA is in the (not so lovely but getting better) town of North Adams MA. A stone's throw from both the NY & VT borders. The building itself used to be a huge factory for Sprague Electric that, unfortunately, did a lot environmental damage when they were there. But NOW it's a funky, Eco-friendly HUGE roomed building with some permanent collection but mostly rotating shows. Hence the reason why I have to go at least once a year. Big installation pieces, huge paintings and sometimes you're in awe, other times you say to yourself "What the hell were they thinking?" and I'll admit there have been times when I just don't get it. Anyway let's talk about what I saw:

Dante's Inferno (Black Cloud)

Petah Coyne

Untitled 1903 (Buddah Boy)

Petah Coyne

Detail of Untitled 1103 (Daphne)

Petah Coyne

These are just 3 of the pieces that they had from Petah Coyne's exhibit "Everything That Rises Must Converge". I wiki'd Ms. Coyne and found that she is an American Artist born in Oklahoma and now lives in NYC and has "forever changed the muscular practices of sculpture with new interest in nature, painstaking craftsmanship, domestic references and psychological metaphor".- (from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.) And hell, they're not kidding. She uses horse hair, wax, acrylic paint, human hair and taxidermy pieces (and other things ... too long to list) as her medium. Just looking at these pieces, some as big as 7 feet across - some bigger - you can see the attention to detail, the research of light, the beauty of nature, the darkness of death... it's all there. So awesome.
We also saw some BIG installation pieces one which took up 2 galleries on 2 floors. The artist's name is Wade Kavanaugh and his website is http://www.stripedcanary.com/index.html. I wasn't able to get his pictures on here, but go to his website and you will know what I mean when I say I was impressed! His exhibit was part of a group show called "Material World". The MoCA asked 7 artists to come in and take advantage of the huge rooms and beautiful natural light that the building has to offer. Mr. Kavanaugh's piece was walking through a paper forest of trees. Some toppled over, some you could see yourself under reading a book. And as I looked closer to the piece, or a piece of the piece if you will, you could see more nature, flowers and other images in the paper. Like trying to find images in a cloud.
What I really appreciate about art like this is that it's LIGHT that is the subject and they are all using different mediums to capture it, alter it, project it. Really, if you are in New England this summer (or anytime really) go to the MOCA!!! I can't say enough about it.

It's also Friday and I love Fridays on Twitter because it's also #FF (follow Friday) and I get to find all these new artists. One I'd like to mention is Sebastian Chillemi. http://sebastiananibalchillemi.blogspot.com/

Sebastian Chillemi
I've only looked at his blog and paintings and they're so great! Of course, it's in Spanish and I haven't hit the "translate bar" so I can't say much about it but I suggest you pay him a visit.
So all this talk about art, looking at other people's creations.... well, it just fuels my fire to get going on what I want to do. Which ideally is to quit this office job and do art. But, alas, that is a very difficult jump for me so I'll just continue to create as much as I can.

"Corgi in Black and White" 2006

5 x 7" watercolor

So I think rather than go to Wachusett bird watching tomorrow I may just stay home and do some work. I really have been neglecting my Creative Every Day challenge and living more like Creative Every Other Week, which is not good. Shayden's portrait is done and will be sent out tomorrow as well as my gift certificate donation to @kittenrescue and my application for Arts in the Park in Charlestown, MA. I have yet to do a show this year, which means that I'm enjoying my time off but feel that I should be doing them because isn't that what I bought the minivan for? Oh and I have a question for you.... I am calling myself a watercolor artist, yet some of my pieces are watercolor and colored pencil. Most are 90% watercolor and some are less. So should I be calling myself a mixed media artist?? Whenever I hear mixed media, all I think of is collages and all sorts of mediums thrown into the mix. What do you think?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE! ha hahaha. Yes, Monday June 7th will be my 39th birthday. Holy Crap! The plan is to go to the house in Chester and whoop it up all weekend. It's supposed to thunderstorm so that really means Muggy weather, frizzy hair and bugs! But out in the woods, what else could you expect?

Last night I worked on the portrait of Shayeden, a pit bull mix from Ohio. Her owner won my gift certificate through the Poppy Mart Auction held by the Pit Bull Rescue Central. For more information on how you can help these wonderful dogs go here http://www.pbrc.net/. I've donated a certificate for the 2010 auction. I believe it starts in October and is done through Ebay. I'll keep you posted.

What a sweet face! This painting is about half way done at this point.
Speaking of Sweet faces, I just want to take a moment and let you all know a secret: I love my boyfriend (aw, so nice!) Anyway, this past Wednesday I went down to J's rehearsal space and watched his trio ROCK! It was a really good set and they are getting ready to put out an EP. Of course, when it comes out, I'll be a tweeting maniac!! J's a bit like Donald Fagen in the way everything has to be perfect, but we've talked about it and we both agree that why would you put anything out that's half assed?
He's an avid outdoors man, hunting and fishing and all. I call this picture his "Game Face".

So speaking of the space, Here's a picture of the rehearsal door. I'm posting it because I entered a contest for the Great Frog. The Great Frog is a silversmith in London who does a lot of very cool jewelry. Lots of skulls, but I'm waiting for the stag/deer ones. It's just a matter of time before they start creating those. *hint hint* Anyway, they have this contest that they'll send you stickers, you stick them, take a photo and send it to them and the winner gets a piece of Jewelry. So with out further ado:

And yes, I'm still a girl. And every girl has a sticker collection. Mine happens to be on the cat box!

For more info about Great Frog go here! http://thegreatfrog.com/index.php
Have a great weekend!!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vermont Open Studios Highlights

This weekend was the Vermont Open Studios. A lot of driving around but it was so worth it. We were staying with T's brother, Dave and his wife Alison, who had their own Gallery Grand Opening this weekend. He's a potter and I was so happy to see his work. He has achieved so much! And they were so hospitable. I tried to help out as much as I could, however, slept pretty late all 3 mornings. I was on vacation!

Saturday we drove around and saw 2 artists; another potter and a woodcarver. Cool stuff, but I was almost more impressed by the area that they worked in. As in, I step out side of their studios and there were fields and woods and butterflies and cows and Ahhhh Vermont. We had a cookout with the "cookie people"http://adozeneggs.com on Saturday night. Drank homemade Sangria and ate homemade ice cream. D & A are very into organic everything. And everything tasted awesome.

So here are some highlights of the tour on Sunday:

"The Birth of Venus" 24" x 18" Oil on Linen
Elizabeth Torak
The Torak studio was the last stop on our journey but made the trip worth while. Both her and her husband paint in oils, they make most of their own paint. The studio was gorgeous and they had a big friendly yellow lab :).... We were there for a good part of an hour and just talked and talked. Not only were they fabulous artists but they were generally interested in our artistic careers as well.
Before we went to the Torak Studio we had to stop at the house of Terry Lindsey. She is an Equestrian artist as well as a rep for other equestrian and animal artists. Can you say "Oh jeez, Christine, that's right up your alley!"
"Racing Dreams"
original Oil on Linen 24" x 48" Terry Lindsey

Katie Upton is an artist out of Santa Barbara but Terry was her rep and Oh her pieces were soooo cute!

"From the Loft - Summer"
Kathi Peters
16" x 20" Caesin on Canvas
I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw this piece. I started following Kathi on Twitter (@cobcottage) and have been a fan of her work. In fact, Kathi lives in Maine with her horses, dogs and husband and is always tweeting about where her work is featured as well as the adventures of having a horse farm in Maine. Yes, I am a city girl, but Kathi lives in a situation where I grew up in (horses in the backyard) and there's a part of me that wants to go back there. I strive for my work to be as successful as hers has become. (I saw this piece at Terry's home gallery).
Finally of all the ceramics out in Vermont I had to feature Dave's work. And of course took 2 gorgeous coffee mugs home with me. His stuff falls under both beautiful and functional.

Here's a pic of Dave hard at work in the studio. This is what you do when you live in Vermont with no TV to rot your brain!!! You can check out more of his work on his Flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepotterstone/sets/72157594219017398/

Does this inspire me to work on my own things!? You bet!! I had such a great time and can't wait to do it again!!