Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meeting Jane LaFazio

In the Chicago environs a few weeks back, I had a little art adventure which included meeting Jane LaFazio at a Create Mixed Media workshop.  Jane is an excellent drawer, artist, painter, instructor, and one of the original teachers in this year's debut (3.1 "Beginnings") of  Sketchbook Skool.  As my class all peered at her, she drew first with pencil, then with ink and watercolor, an old ballet slipper that someone had brought with them to draw.  I would think she would feel a little pressured with all those eyes upon her, but she seemed happily oblivious to the stare down.

We started by ripping up papers and collaging them together on two different pages, one lighter and the other darker.  Well, I spent too much time on my lighter concoction and never finished the darker one, even though I skipped lunch and continued to work during that hour.

Next we coated the pages with a particular product (take Jane's class--I'm not giving away her secrets (-;) and then we were able to sketch what we had brought with us as models.  What did I bring with me?  Um, well...I didn't bring anything.  I brought a lot of other things, but not little figurines or things of that ilk so I used the contents within my purse.  Hey, that's art, I do believe.  I also grabbed flowers and buds outside of the hotel and included those--make-up and nature's beauty...a natural combination, n'est pas (right)?  We cut out those items and adhered them to our collaged page.

Just an aside, I made this trip with about zippo dollars.  By the time I had bought supplies the night before, I made the trip with $20 which included a McDonald's coffee.  I had an opened canister of Pringles potato chips in my car as well as a jar of almond butter so I filled myself with that when I grabbed my flower buds mid-morning and once more before others returned from their lunch.  I was thinking the boxed lunches were included, but alas at $12.50, they were out of my league.  I am going to save up better the next time around! ha!  Look, sometimes I post luscious meals I've eaten and other times, well, a girl just has to do what she has to do.  I imagined myself as Madonna, taking off from Michigan in a bus with just $35 dollars in my pocket to go to NYC to pursue my art.  Instead of dance, of course, I would draw!

O.K., well enough about my budget.  I sat with a table with a very quiet and lovely older woman who once sang songs in German cafes!  She appeared timid and unsure of herself, but this was her past life--isn't it amazing what lies within people?  Perhaps that's always why I'm drawing people.  I am fascinated by the hidden stories they hold.  The other woman I sat with was named, Ali.  She holds a PhD, flew from the East coast, and lived in China for three years.  We hit it off like you wouldn't believe.  Our other tablemate asked how long we had known one another, and we said we had just met.  We're both Aries, although her chart is filled with all Aries!  My rising sign is a Leo, but we're both "fire" girls, that's for sure. (-;  My Moon sign adds quite a contemplative aspect, but I can't reveal all my secrets, you know.

Laugh, laugh, laugh, I had such a great time.  My final product...well, it definitely leaves something to be desired! ha!  I originally had my mascara tube in my handmade "map" envelope, but I ended up attaching it to the center of the page for more balanced composition.  Afterwards I thought it looked like a marching, purple phallic symbol, but at least it's alert and on the prowl to spread beauty application everywhere!  Ah, ha, ha, ha!

I think my lack of focus in group settings is, for me, like going to a baseball game.  It's great fun to be there in person, but I end up talking with people around me, watching the track, watching the flashing sign, concentrating on everything EXCEPT the game, whereas at home, watching the t.v, that's all I'm taking in.  Anyway, I wouldn't trade the day for anything.  Jane was so down-to-earth and had a fantastic sense of humor and the same holds true for Allie, and the happy realization that all over this country/world there are people who you can immediately click with and share a magical moment.

Jane LaFazio and our class

Jane's impromptu drawing:

My supply spread:

Ali with her handmade, stuffed birds as props.

 My "light-colored collage page before applying a white, drawing medium.

Jane trying to help our table!

A couple of Jane's pages:

 Look at these sweet paper scissors!  I love them.  Please ignore my ever-present chipped polish and shaggy nail!

My page with a light coat of white medium.

My finished page below, with all my hand-drawn cutouts attached to the background covered with a white, rough medium to make it "drawable."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tom Jones - Treat Her Like A Lady...bug

And now I'm in the mood of some hip-swiveling Tom Jones' music.

By the way, do you know the story behind how the song, "She's A Lady" was written?  Paul Anka was the lyricist, who knew?  Anyway, one day his 3-year-old daughter had a lemonade stand.  As time went by, more and more colorful little bugs showed up as customers.  Here's how the conversation went:

Daughter:  "Pretty!  "What they called?"

Paul Anka: "They're called ladybugs."

And in standard 3-year-old rebuttal, his daughter asked:  "Why?"

Anka smiled at his precious pumpkin and told her:  "See their pretty colors and all those little dots?  Well, they're all dressed up like that because they always wear their best clothes out in the world.  They're little ladies, you see.  Ladybugs!"

Well, his daughter was so happy with that story and her face lit up so joyously, Paul decided to write a song about them in her honor.  He called in his friend, Tom Jones, the hottest hip swiveler this side of Elvis at the time.

Tom tried out the lyrics in his powerful belting voice and stopped once he got through one chorus.

"Anka," he groaned.  I can't sing, 'Treat her like a ladybug and the ladybug is mine."  Are you off your f-ing rocker?!  Do you know what a song like this will do to my sex god image?  Forget it."

Alarmed that he was about to lose a potential smash hit, Anka changed the lyrics to something more seductive and to Tom's liking.  And THAT is how this classic song came to be!!

Paul Anka really did write the lyrics.  The rest is just a little something I, uh, came up with. (-;  BUT, it is a good story!  ha!

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, she's a, LADYBUG, and the ladybug is mine...yeah, yeah, yeah."
(Those lyrics aren't going to work!)

Classic Tom:  "She's a Lady"*

And NOW, this little find.  Fairly blurry, but still, he had the MOVES back in the day.  No wonder all those "ladies" were throwing their panties at him!

Tom Jones Dances Like Hell and sings "Treat Her Right" (1968)

*Finalmente, far superior audio of "She's A Lady" here, but you miss Tom grooving around with those zombie teenage chics.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Patty, Marie, and Family Past and Present (SOLD)

No one has waited for a commissioned piece from me longer than Patty and Marie.  They asked me to paint themselves along with 2 pets from their past and four current furry children.    I had to think about how I wanted to do it and then I needed a chunk of time to do it!  It was a big one - 48" x 60" I completed it in bits and pieces and stalled at about 60% there.  And then I went full-speed ahead and had 98% of it done, but then spent another 16 hours on it.  And so it went.  In the end, I am SO proud of and happy with it.  Thank you, Patty and Marie, co-workers and friends, for being so patient!!  Forgive me for the abundance of photos.  It's just that it took so much work, and I'm very happy with it.

I based Patty's and Marie's image on a photo they shared with me from 22 years ago when they first met.

The cast of characters:


The dogs:
Buster--Leading trait--Fairness

 Marie's "Hunky Boy" a.k.a. GRRR dog.  He was blind in the end and only had eyes for Marie.

Lola - Queen of the House and Royal sophisticate

Crazy, young daisy.  Flies through the house destroying all her stuffed animals and depleting them of their stuffing!

 The Cats

Gracie a.k.a. "B*(#h Kitty"

Patty's beloved girl, who always used to wrap herself around her owner.

More details:

 Marie is always glad in jewelry and loves to read--especially "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen.

 Scales of fairness:

 I sparkled Patty up a bit with ring and earring.

 The stuffing coming out of a play toy.

Molding paste, metal, wire, glitter and seed beads-details of crazy Daisy.