Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Miss Fitzgerald

Today would have been Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday, isn't that crazy?  She suffered through a lot of tragedy, this songbird who gave us beauty through her jazzy, bluesy, incredible voice.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Prince - It's been one year

I said to some friends and coworkers yesterday, tomorrow will be one year since Prince died.  I was sad.  All over again.

A year ago, I thought, I'm going to gather together all my books and magazine articles on Prince and shove them together in one photo to show to all my devotion and love to all his music.  As if doing so would prove to the world how much he meant to me.  To show, I suppose, the depth of my grief.  The loss of that voice, his suggestive eyes and moves, his incredible, electrifying guitar ability.  But I didn't do it--take the photo, that is.  I just couldn't bring myself to see it lain out in front of me.

Earlier this week I had read and re-read accounts of when he had died along with some updated articles from the NY Times you can find here, an account of phenomenal singer Judith Hill on the flight that landed in Moline, IL, 6 days before Prince's death, here.  There are more links to other article within these two articles.

There was also an article in The New Yorker from April 6th, in which the author, Ben Greenman, says,

When I encounter someone else who is as devoted to Prince’s music as I am, I tend to turn away from that person, embarrassed by the recognition of mutual interest, eager to return to the safety of private joy. There’s an early Prince song, “Private Joy,” in which he jealously keeps a lover to himself: “Ain’t gonna tell nobody nobody ‘bout my little pretty toy.” I knew what he meant.

I know, too.

When you love an actor or musician or author so much--when their work affects you so deeply and has become a background benchmark to numerous events in your life, your loss isn't fleeting.  It's deeply personal and deeply cutting, and painfully lasting, or as Prince sang in the song Adore. "until the end of time..."

My tribute from this day last year.

HBO GIRLS Season 1, Episode 6 The Return


Sunday, April 16, 2017

HBO Girls - A Tribute Season 1, Episode 3

All Adventurous Women Do...


HBO Girls--Endings, Beginnings, Tribute - Season 1, Episode 2

Tonight, in 15 minutes, the final show, the series finale, of Girls is going to air on HBO.

Back in January, I decided I would honor the show by making a drawing of each episode.  I couldn't, of course, include everything that happened within the episode on my page, but I could include the scenes/phrases/images that struck me the most.

Well, I only posted the first drawing of this undertaking.  I'm not sure why, probably because I have a lot of balls in the air, but now I find this last episode starting I haven't shared much with you.  I've drawn 17 shows.  I naively thought I could put together each show in a day, but it ended up being way more labor intensive.  I watched each episode quite a few times before I even decided what to put into my piece.  So, I'll begin with Season 1, Episode 2, and work my way forward.  Let's go!

Thanks for the incredible run HBO, Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner, Judd Apatow, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach & so many more excellent actors!  You created something amazing, sustaining, & magical!


 Just as a reminder, here's how it started.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Are you a frustrated Artist? Here's some advice

Here's some really wonderful advice from Shoo Rayner on succeeding as an artist, or for that matter, whatever it is you want to do or be.  He reminds us to not let lack of an art degree or specialized training stop you.  I love this!  Basically there's always a way around lack if you're determined enough!



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lost

I had been feeling disheartened for a few days.  Part of it had to do with the gloomy weather we had been experiencing, which is strange, because I actually love rainy, gray days.  It probably was a combination of things, but that was the background for this emerging portrait I had drawn last night.

LOST


Below, I put the portrait behind the doors of a bookcase, giving it a slightly different story.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Bartendar - I still draw

Here's a sketch I began drawing in a meeting.  I'm listening, but I have to draw to listen.  You know, like Tyler Henry, the Hollywood Clairvoyant Medium, who scribbles on paper while he does his readings.  With the pen moving, the brain can focus.

Anyway, here's a pen on paper crosshatch sketch from last week.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Robbie Robertson, Al Pacino, and a Sunday Spa - Enlite Super Face

I woke up very early today, and began it with a 4 a.m. bath.  Yes, crazy!  I did catch one of my favorite movies (1999), "Any Given Sunday" with my man, Al Pacino, and Jamie Foxx...such a great movie and a lot of great music.  Robbie Robertson from The Band (if you're unfamiliar with Robbie's place in music history, please watch Martin Scorsese's "The Last Waltz" and see him also backing Bob Dylan in the film, "No Direction Home."  Click HERE for his autobiography, "Testimony.") was in charge of the music, so no wonder it was great.


Anyway, before that viewing happened, I took a bath and slathered on  this Enlite Super Face Liquid Assets Detoxifying Platinum Peel-Off Mask.



Whew!  Yes, that's the official name.  I bought it at the drugstore one day ($19.99) when I was feeling the need for some beautification.  I happen to love peel-off masks, because they're so futuristically fun.  This one comes off in rubbery, deflated balloon-like, metallic strips.  Try to really let it fully dry. The parts on my neck that never quite dried because I kept accidentally submerging myself in the water took some time to rinse off.  It was like it was "slippery" on my skin, and just wanted to stay on there.  My skin did feel and look softer in the reveal. (-:

Look how fabulously thick and metallic this stuff is.
(Is it just me, or do you also see a happy eel head on this finger?  See the eyeball on the upper, left-hand side and the smiling mouth underneath it?)


Peel away.



Here's the product description:

Make a smart investment!  This unique, mineral-rich peel-off mask contains a proprietary anti-oxidant blend of Colloidal Platinum and Malachite Extract, along with a cocktail of anti-aging peptides.  This mask helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin luminosity while it strips away dead skin cells and impurities to reveal immediate and visible results. 

Contains OPTISHIELD our proprietary anti-oxidant complex to help protect against free radicals and environmental aggressors.

It doesn't contain:
  • No Parabens, No Sulfates, No Animal Testing

Directions:

Smooth a think layer over clean, dry skin, leave on for 20-30 minutes or until completely dry.  Gently peel off from outer edges and rinse off any residue with warm water. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Happy April!

I have been on hiatus from my blog for quite a long time.  I've been overhauling my art studio and investigating different passions of mine.  I haven't quit making art, I just haven't been posting as much on my blog.  You can find most of my output over on Instagram at @jujulabean.

There's a weird thing that has to happen every so often in your life.  I read recently that you cannot always have expansion.  That thought resonated with me, because it was exactly the way I was feeling.  I'm still doing the work--making art--but I had to think in which way I wanted to head.  It takes time to back the truck up, spin it around in repeated reverse/forward, reverse/forward lurches, and drive into a different direction.

I'm still mapping my way, but with the start of spring, and especially with the beginning of a new month, I feel ready to begin putting my fingers to the keyboard again.

I'm going to go a little freestyle in subject matter from here on out.  For over 4 years I posted painting after drawing, drawing after painting.  And although art is and always will be a huge part of my life, I also love fashion, cooking, chocolate, MUSIC, and things of beauty--including beauty products!

I've got an itch this year to complete a chocolatier program, to cook a new soup every day, and to continue illustrating every episode of HBO's Girls which is ending its series after 6 seasons.  Look, some people only have one path.  I feel like there is so much to see and do in this world before I croak that I want to skip down as many paths as I possibly can!

So I'm going to let my current stream of thought be my freewheelin' jazz approach to this blog until it goes through it's next metamorphosis. 

Let's begin with the following.  One of my favorite chocolatiers is Vosges Haut Chocolates based out of Chicago.  You can find their website here, and specifically, their Easter offerings, here.   Vosges is not, shall we say, inexpensive, but it is soooooooo delicious.  Made with the finest ingredients, I respect the cost.  Does that sound strange?  To my way of thinking, just like calories, the cost doesn't matter as much when you're getting something for it...or as my great grandma used to say, cheap is expensive.

Watch for specials in shipping and percentages off which Vosges offers frequently.  Finally, indulge and ENJOY!


From far left, Blueberry Lavendar Petunia Rabbit, Strawberry Lemon Max Rabbit, Crunchy Piemonte Hazelnut Emma Rabbit and Sicilian Pistachio Luella Rabbit Look at those sweet boxes, too! I'm a sucker for fine chocolates AND beautiful packaging! 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

DO WHAT YOU CAN'T

I was lucky enough to see Casey last September in Nashville at the incredible "Story" conference.  Do what you can't...that's what he does and so should all of us.  No one knows what lies within you, but you.  Don't let anyone tell you who you are (they don't know) or what you're capable of, peeps!








Monday, February 6, 2017

Patti Smith in Chicago

Hey all--it's been two years and 3 months since I wrote this ode to Patti Smith and then left it in draft form.  I wanted to write so much more.  I wanted to talk about how Patti said during the show,

"How do you like my hair cut?  I got it done...in Paris."  

It was just the right dramatic pause.  Not arrogant or entitled, but full of masterly timing that evoked an uproar from the audience.  Quintessential Patti.

Since this never-before-published post, I've seen Patti perform again, bought her book, "M Train" and watched her (via video, of course) accept Bob Dylan's Nobel Peace prize for literature (see Spin's write up here.)  Why publish this now?  I saw a call out on Twitter for artwork or writing on Patti, and thought, what the heck--maybe someone will know what I'm talking about when I describe my appreciation of the Godmother of Punk.

ORIGINAL POST
The day I bought these tickets, my hands were shaking on my keyboard.  Only 10 tickets left for a second added show.  Heart pounding, the first set of seats I had clicked on were gone as I tried to check out.  Same thing with the 2nd set.  Now I was down to 6 tickets.  Was the website malfunctioning?

I was panicking.  It's not that I hadn't known Patti Smith was coming.  I had asked a couple of people, but at $125 a ticket, I didn't pursue it in my usual manner.  Then, as I watched this dream of mine start to fall like dry dust through my fingers, I mentioned it to my husband.  Could we make this my Christmas present?  My eyes started to well up...this might be my only chance to see her.

My voice started to crack as I plead my case.  Kman stopped me and said, "I know how much Patti Smith means to you; I read your blog." Well, it's true you know.  Here's where I talk about my love of Patti before this:  Day 148. Thanks Ray Manzarek.  (I've got a great video of Patti singing, "Ain't It Strange" (in Amsterdam) and a drawing of her from one of my Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbooks, "The Last Word Ever Spoken.")  Anyway, I got my Christmas present early and it was SO worth it--a dream come true in the form of a ticket.



Patti Smith had swirled around in the consciousness of my life, but it wasn't until I read "Just Kids" in a 2-day gallop back in the beginning of 2011 that I truly fell in love with her music, lyricism, incitefulness, humanity, poetry.  I've read it several times since and even tried to get college students in my reading class to read it for extra credit.

There is no way I can express how life-altering that book was to me...how it gave me the courage to plunge further into my creative life...to have someone understand how desperately important it was to be an artist.  To accurately describe this strange calling inside that compels you to give up all else in its pursuit.  Really, the only other books in my lifetime of reading that have ever touched this internal artistic calling are Irving Stone's, "Lust for Life" and Chaim Potok's, "My Name is Asher Lev."  In fact, Patti was in town to accept The Chicago Tribune's Literary Award at Chicago's Humanities Festival the day before. (Click here for more info.)

By the way, if you have the time, and you REALLY should make the time, read this great description of Patti's life and influence by Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot of the eve of that Literary Award.

 Chicago Tribune Patti Smith at the Old Town School of Folk Music.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Goodbye HBO GIRLS

I'm pretty bummed that HBO's series, Girls, will be ending soon.  The final season begins next month, and in anticipation of that bittersweet event, I've decided to do a drawing of each episode.  It's my way of honoring Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow's witty, biting, touching creation.  I'm just going to put down my favorite parts, because, you know, my sheet of paper is only so big!


Friday, January 13, 2017

Postcards from the Edge

Hi peeps!  I piece of my art will be included in Visual AIDS' Postcards from the Edge event this weekend, beginning tonight, Jan. 13th.  If you're in or around NYC, stop by and buy some art for a great cause!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

George Michael - RIP

I, like many of you, was so shocked to hear that George Michael died today. I always thought his voice was so strong on the song "One More Try" soaring from low to high with ease. On Twitter someone posted him singing a Queen song (with David Bowie and Seal, no less, looking on from the sidelines). I always thought that no one could match Freddie Mercury's or Elton John's vocals, but George Michael could. And who could emulate George Michael's? Not many. Some singers make it look so easy. Maybe the singing is the easiest part of it for them, and living life is the harder part. Please read this article by the great Bob Lefsetz on George's artistic contribution, and what it costs to be an artist.

Please also read Rob Sheffield's great tribute to George in Rolling Stone, here.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shadow and Light - Elaine Badgley Arnoux (Excerpt)

Here's a brief 8 minute (the entire documentary is less than 30 minutes) clip of the short film, "Shadow and Light - Elaine Badgley Amoux." I thought it was a fascinating look at a great female artist. I especially love her quote, "that she was old when she was young and did not become young until she was old." Let's all be forever young (to quote Bob Dylan, another wise soul).

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Party Dress

I just can't seem to pick up shimmer and shine with my camera or phone.  I spent a very long time on this--it has beads and glitter and tissue paper and acrylic, and two kinds on enamel, and...well, you get the point.  I went out to eat with a very good friend of mine, the last bit of the post-Thanksgiving weekend, and everything is now twinkling with Christmas decorations.  The holiday is working its way into my art.


There's my friend Cindy, or Cinderella as I call her, in the background.


Pierogies and Street Tacos--fusion food, baby!


Friday, November 25, 2016

Headband in Oil

Well, I just couldn't leave my "headband" drawing from a few days ago alone.  It just felt like he wasn't done yet.  Here he is in oil.


Horace Went Shopping on Black Friday

Horace fount the perfect tabletop Christmas tree on Black Friday.


This is filled with shimmery, lavender sparkle, you just can't see it in the picture.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  This month as FLOWN by, and now we've landed on the great feasting day of the year.  Not to overdo the aviary references, here's a giant doodle of a quite charming fowl.  I actually drew him last year, but never posted him.  I added an acrylic background to the colored pencil and ink, because always important to accessorize a turkey. (-;


Headband

I toyed with the idea of drawing this man's left eye to perfectly match the right, but I liked the way it looked as if he were ominously moving forward--one eye closer to the viewer than the distant left.  I felt like he was coming our of a city tunnel or a hospital or a psych ward.  I sketched this quickly on a large shard of paper--all ink and dried out ink brush.