Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 96. Magical Beginnings and Renewal

I hope your Easter was filled with magical beginnings and renewal.

A little different lighting:

How it started:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 95. How NOT to Do a Smoky Eye

Today was my friend, Carey Burns', book signing at the independent bookstore, The Book Mouse.  I happened to be there, because I did the cover illustration.  You can purchase her book on either in paperback format, here:

or on Kindle, here:

So, on my way over, I applied a little black eyeshadow for that sultry artist look.  Um, do you know how hard it is to apply black eyeshadow rapidly behind your glass frames?  And also, you end up innocently thinking that when you can't find your black eyeliner, it's o.k..  You can just rim your eyes with the black eyeshadow.  And then it's on your cheek and the side of your nose, and you can only find a little corner of a napkin to dab at the shadow, and well, what you end up with is a step-by-step guide on how to NOT  do a smoky eye!

Carey is the ravishing brunette!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 94. How to Plant an Underground Gallery - SOLD

Spring has finally sprung!

While I was out walking my dog, Ebert, today, I breathed in the sights and smells of spring.  Little buds are just beginning to show.  Luckily, E-bow decided to really sniff out a patch of grass, and I really had a chance to examine these little leaf embryos (see them in last 2 pics below).  Balled up like little shy fists, they're just starting to become brave enough to open their eyes to the world.  The folds they're still behind though, reminded me a conversation I had with a woman last week.

I was waiting on her, and she asked me if I was teaching Spanish (I don't know how she knows I have taught it.).  Anyway, I said I was focusing on my art work right now, and she told me the following story.  She said that sometimes she will draw a picture on a small scrap of paper.  She'll then fold it up into a tiny piece of paper, like a bud.  Sometimes she decides that she will score it with a sharp knife in order to "get it going" like an apricot seed.  Then she plants it in the ground and waters it.

Well, I thought, what a grand idea!  And when I saw those little balled up, green gems on my neighbor's young tree, I remembered the paper art garden lady.  (This is what I'm calling her since I don't know her name.)  I think, what if we could actually plant art underground?  What if you started with just a tiny little picture, a 2" x 3" scrap of paper?  Would a 24" x 36" fully-painted canvas pop up like a towering sunflower?  Or would the art just grow deeply underground--a magnificent gallery show for earthworms?  And sometimes on a summer day, you would stare down at your bare feet burrowed into the green grass and think how beautiful the lawn looks, never realizing it's really because it is glowing from the creations below it.

The little buds that led to this painting:

Sun, give us more.  Let's go! (-:

4th Set of 21 days - 4 weeks Days 64 - 84

I kept meaning to post my 4th set of 21 days of paintings/drawing.  Here you go. Days 64-84.  I'm actually on day 94 now.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 92. The Beauty of the Black, Female Voice (SOLD)

Back in February, I had planned to spend each day documenting something that I loved.  Well, you know the saying, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray."*

So, let me just sprinkle into March one of my greatest loves, the beauty of the black, female voice.  Spend a little time with me; I've been fairly quiet on the verbal front, but it's changing on this post! (-;

Since I was just talking about the movie version of the play "Rock of Ages" (Day 90, "Feeling Awful, Have a Falafel"), let's start there.

O.K., so here's Julianne Hough singing Quarterflash's "Harden My Heart."**  She does a good job, but pay attention after she kneels down to the ground in the rain, and that gorgeous, soulful voice of Mary J. Blige kicks in (1:19)...there's just no comparison!  She reaches down deep and delivers!***

I mean, what would rock 'n' roll, the blues, soul be without those beautiful voices?  Whether they're singing the lead or back-up, they touch deep down and deliver depths of emotion of joy, sadness, euphoria.  I am eternally grateful.

Here are a few other songs that just couldn't exist without their presence:

"Tumbling Dice"  Rolling Stones:

"Gimme Shelter"  Rolling Stones -- Merry Clayton throughout, but especially starting at 2:42.

HEAVY use of black back-up singers on David Bowie's entire album--and one of my ALL-TIME favorites--"Young Americans"  (except, "John, I'm Only Dancing"--ugh)  Especially am enamored of the title track, "Fascination," "Right," and bonus track "It's Gonna Be Me.")  Listening to this, I think, who am I kidding?  Love all of them.  And here's another realization, I love the saxophone with female, black singers, um, and a piano--a REAL piano.  Oh, yeah, and I just simply LOVE music!  Shocker!

I had this one on my FB page not long ago.  "Slippery People" Talking Heads.  Dancing and Singing fun.

By the way, there ARE a few white, female singers who deliver the same soul--seriously, Christina Aguilera, Susan Tedeschi, Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga on some, (no particular order there), and Clare Torry.  WHO, you ask?  See immediately below!

Blue-eyed (Clare Torry) and brown-eyed soul:  Pink Floyd's, "The Great Gig in the Sky"--UPDATE:
**MONTHS later, I find my original post was removed--saying the video was no longer available in this country, so let's try this one instead: Sam Brown provides amazing white soul and brown-eyed heart-pouring belongs to Durga McBroom and Claudia Fontaine:


*For those of you who would like to join me, let's go on a little meandering journey here.  The line ("Best Laid Plans...") comes from the Robert Burns' Scots (Scots language poem), "To A Mouse" from 1785.

Burns originalStandard English translation
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!
I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.
Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!
You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.
That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

**The original Quarterflash video of "Harden My Heart."  1980's strangeness!

***Just another aside:  Somehow Mary J. Blige low humming at the beginning of her part (in "Harden My Heart") reminds me of Thelma Houston at the beginning of "Don't Leave Me This Way."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 90. "Feeling Awful? Have a Falafel"

I was such a slug on Sunday.  Slept from midnight until 1 p.m. the next day.  Cold and snowing again. Sooo, I watched some big, long marathon of "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." After which, I watched "Rock of Ages" and thought, "Tom Cruise is really good in this, and oddly sexy.  Hmm!"  Don't hate me, because I put every thought I have out here! ha!  Self-censorship has never been my strong point!

ANYWAY, during one of the Triple D visits, they go to Falafel's Drive-In in San Jose, CA.  At one point, one of the cooks says, "Feeling Awful?  Have a Falafel."  I thought that was hilarious!  So here ya' go:

 Restaurant clip:

Here's something spicier than the falafels.  Ha!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 87. Feelin' Fancy and Out to Dinner

My mom treated me to a delicious meal:  Pisco Sour, Tuna Poke with ginger, cilantro, cucumber, and cashews, and Waldorf salad.  Yummy.  To top it off, I ran into my sweet friend Hope Smith Turigliatti, 8 months fabulously pregnant with her first baby.  I've known her since she was 6--crazy!  It was a great night! (-:  Here's a hat I would wear if it existed outside my mind. Ha!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 86. Happy Birthday Filled with Love Cake (SOLD)

Oh!  I can't thank everyone enough for giving me such a wonderful birthday filled with love and well wishes.  I'm crying--yes again!--but this time with tears of joy!  I feel truly blessed to all of you who took the time to wish me happy birthday and make me feel like a floating little glitter girl filled with hearts and sparkle!

I may be a corn-diggity-dog cornball, but I'm a super happy one--and it's all your fault! (-;  Ah, ha, ha! Thanks again, world! (-:  MWAH!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 85 Looking Forward, Looking Back

So the calendar tells us it's the first day of spring.  Poppycock!  It was 14 degrees when I walked into work today at 10:30 a.m. with 25 mph winds.  Come on!  I seriously can't take this cold anymore.

Then I think, look forward, spring forward!  Look how far you've come--85 paintings! Woohoo!  Um, and then I made the mistake of looking at the mountain in front of me--280 paintings to go.  Mon dieu!  What was I thinking when I started this adventure?????  I remind myself, don't look at the mountain top, baby--especially on a frigid, imposter spring day!  Just put one foot in front of the other...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 84 Quincey-1st Superior Bassoonist (No Longer Available)

Here's my friend Shelley's daughter.  She is taking the bassoon world by storm, racking up "First Superior" awards right and left!  She plays an electric piano by ear, too.  Watch out, music world!  Here comes Quincey girl!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 83. "Take It All Off"-Project Runway Style - No longer Available

Did anyone catch last week's episode of Project Runway (3/14/13), episode 8?  This season is all "team" challenges, and in this episode, the 2 teams had to design clothes for an Australian Male Dance Revue.  Think Chippendales, but way hotter.  Anyway, Heidi was cooooooooooooooooool as a hothouse cucumber when dealing with these guys, while stern Nina was reduced to a school girl gigglebox!  Quite the revelation!

The judges absolutely hated the "tear-away" clothes so much, that Heidi declared there was no winner, and that the best part of the show was when the clothes were off.  Uh, huh, Heidi.  I think if they were wearing Chanel Haute Couture, you'd still prefer the clothes off. (-;  (I'm with you, chica!)

Click here for a 3 minute overview of this episode--be patient as it loads:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 82. "Soon" (SOLD)

What reserves are in the human spirit...sometimes it's unbelievable to behold.

Thank you, lovely friends and readers, for sweet, saving messages.

I'm going to try to remember, new beginnings...and spring, soon.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 81 Stand in front of Radiator with a Side of Cats

I've been sick too long.  Actually, I am getting better, but it's been a long haul of respiratory recovery.  My husband is in the depths of it, and I'm coming out the other end.

But, I don't know if it's the cold, grayness of March
or my disgust at ingesting any more medicine and sick of being sick
or my nutritionally unbalanced diet of the last 2 days of popcorn, Green & Black's organic almond milk chocolate bars, and lemonade
or the fact that I used up my vacation days being sick
and that my birthday is in a few days
and I just want to have easy fun.

But whatever, I feel like I can't draw another picture.
And I don't feel like it matters if I draw another picture.

I went and checked on Kenny--to see if he's still alive.
I laid down next to him, and I said, "I don't think I'm going to draw anymore."
He said, "Why not?"
I said, "Because it doesn't matter."
He said, "It matters to you."
I said, "I don't know if it does anymore."
He said, "Nothing is ever easy."

I thought, I wish it were.  

I just want to laugh easily.  I want to have a friend next door where we just start laughing over nothing and you roll over on your side and you feel like you've down a million sit-ups, and then you go and get a burrito with extra-hot sauce, and then you laugh some more, like you're drunk, but you're not.  And I want to listen to good, live music.  I'm not sure at what point fun became so fleeting or so hard to find, and everyone went off into their own directions.

I want people who are in their 20's to know that when you're in your 40's, you're really still in your 20's inside.  I wonder if when I'm 80, I'll still feel like I'm 20 inside.  Probably.  And it will be even MORE aggravating.  And as I'm waiting in the grocery line to buy my 6 oranges, veiny hands counting out my money, I'll have a soundtrack whirling through my head of the Allman Brother's "Whipping Post" or "Midnight Rider" or Guns 'n' Roses, "Paradise City."  The same songs an old roommate and I would listen to as we took off at midnight after I got off my job from Kinko's and drive 150 miles to go to a faraway Perkins or IHOP (even though there were some only 10 minutes away) and we'd order chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream or chocolate silk pie and then we'd get home by 6 a.m. and go to bed.

Maybe if I could have had kids, I would be more comfortable in my "life stage."  Probably not, though.  There is sometimes a curse at being "young at heart."  It's that you're young at heart, but everyone else is living their life practically--and they're acting their chronological age.  And you're left thinking, "am I the only one who feels this way?"

Here's what I drew today as I laid on the couch with my sweet dog and watched "Beyonce's:  Life Is But a Dream" which is great, by the way.

I can't stand pretending to feel one way when I don't.  Sorry for the depresso post, but not sorry for being honest about it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 79. Punk and Graffiti -SOLD

This painting is my celebration of visual and tactile texture.

Ever impatient to begin painting if I'm ready for it, I rarely reach for an artist paint palette to squirt paint on or into; rather, I grab whatever is handy. And, let me be honest--I don't know where the heck those plastic palettes are located in this crazy room. )-:

For quite awhile last summer, my palette of choice was the cover of a school-produced fiction magazine. It was heavy enough to take the multiple layers I was constantly adding to it.  Eventually those layers built up into something quite interesting--a stalagmite created by moi!  The coagulated mess appealed to my eye, the bumpy paint splatters revolting and appealing in their toady aberration.  I just couldn't throw that cover away--there had to be some way I could use it!

Eight months later, along came Mr. Punkster.  I added molding paste to the canvas to give the perception of a rough, crumbling wall.  Then, I tore and peeled the dried layers of paint from the cover--along with some sketches and words I doodled on said cover--and wrapped, bent, folded these pieces over the canvas.

I just love the way my urban guy and his environment turned out. (-:

How it began:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 78. Snow globe shake up

What was up with that crazy snow globe shake up of weather yesterday?  It was fine one moment, and the next it was a white-out blizzard.  I mean, a swirling mass of huge flakes covering the earth.  Stop shaking up those flakes, Mr. Winter.  We want spring.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 77 Advice on Love and Life from a Disco Cabbie (SOLD)

After yesterday's picture and today's gloomy weather, here's a gift of lightheartedness.

One of my favorite movies is 1999's, "200 Cigarettes" about a bunch of young things in NYC on a New Year's Eve in '81.  Do yourself a favor, and check it out.

Dave Chappelle is absolutely perfect as the "Disco Cabbie" who gives smooth-talkin' advice--both on love and life--to his passengers.  Chill, baby, chill, and enjoy the ride. (-:

How it started:

I used to have a great film clip of this scene, but now it's been removed from YouTube.  Bummer!  You can still buy it yourself on Amazon for under $5--such a value for a fantastic, quirky independent film, which actually, is full of great life advice. (-;  Take more advice from that cabbie:  "Say yes to your destiny...come on, mama, live, LIVE!"