Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ben Harper Inspired

Inspired by the cool style of Ben Harper.  A little collage and mixed media to honor him.

Here's a slice of gentle groove for this chilly evening.
Ben Harper - from the album, "Welcome to the Modern World"
"The Three of Us"

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Jazz At Night with Fibers

Jazz at Night with Fibers

Although this song isn't  free-form jazz, to me it does have a jazzy feel.  And besides, I love it.

"...I'm a stranger in this town, you're free with me."

Jeff Buckley - "Everybody Here Wants You"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Feeling Frustrated SOLD

I am feeling frustrated (not the word I was going to do).  I wrote a blog post for each of my last face paintings, but then didn't include them.  Sometimes I just don't want to explain myself.   Ugh.  I have some really great things going on in my life, but I also feel like I'm spinning my wheels and spinning my wheels and don't know where the hell I'm going or what I'm doing.  Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, it's not enough and everyone is sprinting ahead of you.  And, every time you think you're achieving something, spilling your guts out through paint, someone is achieving more.   (I know, I KNOW--it's not about comparing...but seriously, SOMETIMES it WILL creep in!)  I was just watching a documentary where this guy who is autistic and a painter, said when people say they could do what he does, he says to them, "Good.  Do it."  (-;

I cringe as I reread this.  What a cry baby.  Too bad.  I'm feelin' it.  Maybe someone who's feeling the same will feel better knowing there's another sad sack out there.  Maybe I'm just tired.  I want to pull a Thoreau and just go live in a cabin in solitude for two years.  Yes, I'd say I better get some sleep.

I read in the New York Times that André 3000 of Outkast was recounting how Prince told him the following:
“When you come back, people want to be wowed. 
And what’s the best way to wow people? 
Just give them the hits.” 
I’m explaining to him that I really didn’t want to do it. 
He said: “I’ve been there. I’ve tried to do other things. 
After you give them the hits, then you can do whatever.” 

Well, I idolize Prince.  I should take his advice.  I should paint some cute, happy, approachable pictures.  Uh, huh.  Instead I'm feeling like Irish-born/British figurative painter, Francis Bacon.

This painting started out as a long, pissed-off balloon face with super squinty eyes and a hand flippin' the bird.  I tried to calm it down.  I feel like I have to censor myself so I don't get all sorts of labels thrown my way.  Shall I say, dear world, UGH again?  I see my future...I'll die from inhalation of toxic fumes from oil paints, both inhaled and absorbed through my skin which is always smeared with something (hmm, that doesn't sound good), lying on the ground outside of 6 storage units, filled with all my paintings.  See?  I AM in a bad mood.  This dude doesn't look nearly as angry as I started out feeling.  Guess the music I was listening to helped me to get out of my funk.

 12" x 24"
Oil, Acrylic, Ink, Ground Pastel, Frustration on Canvas

My palette:

My music to try to get out of this funky funk:

Violent Femmes - "Add It Up"

Iggy Pop & The Stooges - "Search and Destroy"

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I've thought for some time that I would like to have a separate blog for spicier drawings.  Is that bad to admit?  I don't think so... I mean, sometimes I just want to express that arena.* All the great painters did it---how many times did Picasso draw naked men and women and the act of sex?  Uh, A LOT. I mean it's a part of being human, after all.  Why does it have to be twisted around into something forbidden?

Can you imagine me posting any drawings of said nature on Facebook?  No problem, there. ha!  I remember when I included in a blog post, a clip of Tom Cruise in the movie, "Rock of Ages."  Oh, my gosh, that movie got a PG-13 rating, people!  Anyway, some woman wrote that she would not tolerate pornography and promptly de-friended me.  Just so you can check it out, here's the link to the post that caused THAT ruckus (see last film clip there)!  Feeling Awful? Have a Falafel.

Here's a tame painting of lust, just to keep on everyone's good side. (-;

 Oil, acrylic, pastel and ink on handmade Italian paper

*(Just a quick aside here--Does anyone remember Anne Rice who wrote the "The Vampire Chronicles" series?  (You know the Vampire Lestat?) She wrote, under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure--and other novels under Anne Rampling--the "Sleeping Beauty Trilogy" about BDSM--I mean, THOSE were the ORIGINAL "50 Shades of Grey."  Just giving you yet another example of someone else who had to unleash a little spice, too. (-;

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dreams of Tea and Singing (No Longer Available)

One of my co-workers and friend, Connie, wants to open a tea and wellness center.  She also happens to be a fantastic singer!  Well, today at work, she belted out a few verses of the Stones', "Angie."

Cue the post-it note:  I had to draw up my vision of her, working at her tea shop, singing a song whenever the mood would strike her.  I also included another co-worker/friend, Lynn in the picture.  Lynn has a wonderful, square jawline, likes to wear skirts and ride her bike.  That's her, circling around singing Connie.  (This is just how my mind works).  I'm in there, too, for encouragement, along with a random tea-guzzling customer.  I think she should call her place the Cosmic Cafe or Coffee, Tea or Me. ha!

If anyone wants to go into business with Connie and make her dreams come true--or hire her as the lead singer of a rock band--let me know, and I'll put 'ya together.  Let the dreams begin!  (-;

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Just felt like painting in oil.

Outdoor lighting.  You can see bits of paper I've added to the painting the best in this version. 

In my art room.  This one is larger at 18" x 24".

Below is a close-up taken not with filters or photo-editing, but rather in my dining room with turquoise walls.  Isn't it amazing the varying results in different lighting?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

She Could Go Anywhere - Tattoo Style

My friend Cassie Deason has bought many of my creations.  She "gets where I'm coming from," you might say.  Anyway, here's one that she bought while she viewed my posts on a visit to Seattle.  It's from August 19th 2013, called "She Could Go Anywhere."  I'm pasting my original blog post below.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 229. She Could Go Anywhere

Yes, she had a pasty, pallid face that glowed in the dark and dishwater brown hair that had never known a highlight in the sun. Yet lying on her floor with a book in front of her, she could be anyone, go anywhere, breathe in adventure, love, and fantasy at any moment.  Why, she had traveled to places unknown to those around her.  She was...content.

Cassie now lives near Seattle, and she just took the bold step to get a tattoo of this painting on her thigh. How honored I am!  My original is more murky and dreamlike whereas the tattoo is brighter and more colorful.  Here you go...thanks again, Cassie!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Upcoming Gallery Show - Creative Coworking in Evanston

Howdy peeps.

I just received this fabulous postcard from the talented Paige Pak, intern for the equally wonderful Angela Valavanis at Creative Coworking.  If any of you lovely people want to head over to my gallery opening in Evanston, IL (north of O'Hare Airport in Chicago) on Saturday, September 27th from 5-8 p.m., please stop on by! (-:  I'd love to see you! 

P.S.  Go eat at La Macchina afterwards--so delicious!
(Dinner with my friends Tanja and Drew at La Macchina this past July.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hatch Show Print - Letterpress

I am a huge lover of letterpress.  The inky, imperfect poster or cards made from a real, honest-to-goodness printing press and ink.  No digital perfectness wanted!

My husband and I were in Nashville last week, and one of the places I absolutely HAD to go to was Hatch Show Print.  The smell and sound of the presses working, all those lines of type!  Ah, it was a brief journey back into another era.  When I was a kid, I had two idols, Julia Child and Benjamin Franklin.  Yeah, I know...weird kid.  Anyway, I briefly imagined ol' Ben printing away with his 3-penny loaf of bread nearby, and me watching, typing on my electronic typewriter that was reminiscent of those clickety-clacking presses.

Here's some pictures for your enjoyment, along with a poster I bought there.  It's still a little curled, so please forgive.  For more on Hatch Show Print, click here.

On the sidewalk heading in...

Here's the poster I bought.  They rolled it up so nicely for me!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

She Only Wanted to Eat Scrambled Eggs Revisited

I originally finished this painting on October 19th of last year, but I never was quite satisfied with her.  It came out of a scrambled egg eating binge I was on, and I thought I'd make a painting out of that.

I've revisited her with a lot of oil stick, along with dots, ink, acrylic, and a nice, shiny, sunny-side up egg atop her peacock-feather fascinator.  I feel much better about her now.  I may add one more thing...ha!

By the way, I never wrote about this before, but the peacock feathers came from a pillbox hat another artist had traded me for at an art fair.  She had wanted one of my paintings so we exchanged. Unfortunately, my sweet destructive beagle, Ebert, got a hold of the netted hat and torn it open.
What was I to do?  When destruction reigns, I turn it into art supplies. (-;

  16" x 20" Oil Stick, Acrylic, Ink, peacock feathers, beads, scrambled eggs, and another egg sunny-side up

It's hard to see, but the teal paint is full of sparkles!

Pirate Girl

She was just a pirate girl, trying to find her own way.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was laid to rest today.

I am usually timely on honoring the passing of artists who have affected me deeply, paying respect to them through a blog post and a painting of them.  It may not be much, but somehow that public proclamation makes me feel that if I draw one person's attention to the accomplishments of a fallen star, I have somehow put a brick in the wall of public consciousness.  Dear Abby, Lou Reed, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, a personal friend.  I honored all of them of the day they died.

Yet somehow I couldn't do that for Joan.  Well, I couldn't immediately.  I was so struck by grief at her passing.  Maybe it was because I was still watching her, every single Friday night of Fashion Police and usually again in a rerun.  She felt a part of my life or at least she was part of my life ritual.   And last week on Tuesday, FP just had that 90-minute Emmy special so, you see, I just had had a fresh visit with her when I heard the news of her throat surgery gone very wrong.  In a strange way, I wasn't overly concerned about her being put into an induced coma.  I have a family relative that underwent that this year, and it seems like a logical, methodical procedure that was temporary until things "could be figured out."

I was in Nashville last week, but daily, I still would check online to see how Joan was doing--holding strong--that sounded good.  But then, "had suffered a cardiac arrest."  What?!  Yet next I read that she was stable, and then that she had been moved out of intensive care.  I was so relieved!  How could there be a world without caustic-tongued Joan?  As I had said about Robin Williams, she has been around for my whole life.  Joan, in some twisted Tim Burton-esque/Twilight Zone way, felt like my grandma.  Why, I had JUST written about her in a blog post here on August 16th, praising all that she has done, including co-writing the script for "The Girl Most Likely To."

I will still remember when my husband said to me (I feel like there have been too many times of late, when I can "remember" where I was when I heard bad news.), "Joan Rivers died."  I couldn't believe it!  She was doing better... I had thought.  The tears didn't come at first, even they shocked into inaction.  Then they started to flow and didn't stop as I watched every news program on E! and read every article online, and the thought of drawing Joan was completely impossible.  It was as if I just couldn't process that someone that indefatigable, that dogged, that FILLED with life, could be not in this life.

My brain needed convincing over and over again.  Today I watched CBS Sunday Morning and clips of her funeral, and days have passed, and I can start thinking of a fitting portrait for grand, spicier than a "ghost chile pepper", Joan.  I know what I will do, but not yet.

I know how saturated the world is with news.  And I know that after a week and a half of respect and clips, the world will start to move forward, onward, to the next piece of celebrity gossip, George Clooney's upcoming nuptials, (I saw it today), etc.  For that very fact, I feel bad that perhaps if there were 4 people who might have read these words here, now only one person may delve into this, so tired they are already of hearing about her.  Alas, it is human nature, and I do understand.  I'm sorry though, Joan.  I couldn't bare to type a word until now...that's how sorrowful I was, and still am, that you are gone.

"My heart is torn in half.  She wasn't done."  Sarah Silverman on Twitter