Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook Project 2015

Hey out there, are you joining in on The Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook Project for 2015?  This time around, my theme is "Ladders."  Here's a little look at the front and back covers.

Front Cover

Back Cover

I really struggled with choosing a subject, and almost went with "Circa."  Gawl darnit!  I mean, I can think of 20 things I would do with that now.  Oh well, one step at a time...Ladders--get it? Ah, ha, ha!

I've been participating in The Sketchbook Project since 2010-2011.  Here they are in order:

My first--I think there were 80 pages in this one and I filled it to capacity.  Sketchbooks after this year had about 30 pages.  This one is called "Coffee and Cigarettes."  I'm not a smoker girl, but I love Jim Jarmusch's quirky, independent film, "Coffee and Cigarettes" SO much, that I was OBLIGATED to make it my theme.  Anyway, up to this point, that one is my favorite.  Super loaded with words and drawings.

"Coffee and Cigarettes"

Oh, and guess what?  Here's my tribute to director Jim Jarmusch within this baby.  I talk about seeing his great film, "Mystery Train" at the Art Theater (where Roger Ebert used to have his annual film festivals. Chaz, his wife, continues the tradition).  Ah, memories.  

And P.S., do you remember my recent painting called "Picasso Baby" inspired by Jay Z's song of the same name?  Well click here and go back to it, and you can watch the video of it.  Jim Jarmusch is IN that video, too.

I completed two more in 2012: "Sandwich (I dubbed it "Sandwich & Sandwiched Between") and "The Last Word Spoken."  A piece from the latter was included in a published 5-volume set called "The Sketchbook Project - Limited Edition."


Here's two tidbits from "Sandwich" - "Sandwiched between work and home":

Below: Based on a real sandwich:  The Twinkie Wiener:

"The Last Word (ever, ever, ever, ever) Spoken"

Here's a few selections from this one (I figured I'd include some of the most memorable words every spoken as well. That's the instance of my inclusion of Coco from "Ice Loves Coco."  By the way, where did that show go?)

Below is the Sketchbook Project's "Limited Edition."  I have all volumes. My piece is in Volume 5.

Cash in Angles, 4 Colors, and Glitter - SOLD

HBO has been rerunning, "Walk the Line" this past week.  That movie is so fantastic--I had forgotten how much so.  It's one of those (like "The Godfather") that once you start watching, you can't pull yourself away from it.  I always was amazed that Joaquin Phoenix didn't receive the Academy Award for his incredible portrayal.

Anyway, I needed some Johnny today...something weird is happening in the atmosphere.  We're on the precipice of both a new moon and a looming snowstorm.  I have an obligation that I don't want to do, and I feel out-of-sorts.  Mother Nature, heavy with a still grayness, aligning with cosmic duty is causing me unrest.  I was going to draw that pic. of Johnny giving the finger to the camera, but I'm kind of tired of being misinterpreted so I didn't.  I like this one though.  I don't know if you can see it, but I ran scratches through the painting to give it a little edge--or maybe it was just to reflect my edginess.

Angling Cash

Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line 1958

And P.S., here's one of the best performances on the fall 2014 run of "The Voice."  Craig Wayne Boyd doing his version of Cash's classic.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Postcards From The Edge - NYC- Visual AIDS-SOLD

Last December my friends, Lanie and John, encouraged me to send a postcard into NYC's "Postcards From The Edge," a benefit for the organization, Visual AIDS* and hosted by the Luhring Augustine Gallery, 531 W. 24th Street, NYC.  A sneak preview takes place on Friday, January 30th, with the actual benefit Saturday, January 31st and Sunday, February 1st.  You can bid online right now on some of the super famous participating artists, like Ai WeiWei, at Paddle 8.

I had been drinking a lot of blueberry smoothies at the time, and so I made this fellow, who found himself turning into a blueberry smoothie after imbibing just as many as I had.

Too Many Blueberry Smoothies

I'm so proud to be one of the participants.  For more information and a list of all artists, click here.

*From their website:  Visual Aids is an "organization that produces AIDS-focused contemporary art programs and provide supplies and assistance to artists living with HIV/AIDS, many who are unable to continue producing work without such support. All Postcards From the Edge proceeds support the programs of Visual AIDS."

UPDATE:  2/7/15  Here's a link to some of the pics from the 2015 NYC Visual Aids event:  2015 Visual Aids
AND Seriously, I really think my postcard is at the bottom (in the bottom row--1st one visible in the row) in this Steven Rosen pic-:  

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Tube of Lipstick

I was thinking of calling this "Rum and Coke."  Or even better, "She's Got the Jack" (Jack, Jack, Jack).  Hmm.  Well if you love AC/DC, you'd know where I'm coming from.

Anyway, I'm sticking with "New Tube of Lipstick."  Is she meeting her new date from  Is she stood up?  Or taking herself out for a solitary cocktail just because she looks so hot with her new vermilion shade of lipstick?  I leave it up to you to fill in the blanks, dear reader.

She's Got the Jack - AC/DC

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ghost Horse - SOLD

This idea came from the following:

I was watching an interview between Johnny Depp and David Letterman last night on YouTube. Depp was talking about filming 2013's "The Lone Ranger" and how as he was falling from his horse, "all I saw in front of my eyes were these muscular horse legs,the striations of muscles moving, a kind of death machine.  And one word popped into my head, 'hooves'."

This particular clip also had the added bonus of allowing you to practice your Italian.  Ciao!

So often I don't think I get the detail photographed well.  
Here's a close-up so hopefully you can see a bit more in this particular painting.

Johnny Depp on David Letterman

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chicken in the Corn - Brushy One String

Do you know the song, "Chicken in the Corn" made famous by Jamaican Reggae singer Brushy One String (Andrew Chin)?  I came across this about a year ago, probably after the first 3 million people had already seen it. ha!

Anyway, it is the catchiest tune ever, but what is truly amazing is the music this man gets out of his one-string guitar.  I mean, it is incredible.  Just try to get the tune out of your head once it's happy lyrics are implanted there--c'est imposible!  I thought I'd make a painting inspired by the song while listening to the song.  Worked for me. (-;

(This piece is heavy with oil paint.  I made it last week, but was trying to let it dry a bit.)

Oil and Acrylic

Brushy One String - "Chicken in the Corn" (From Luciano Blotta's RiseUp Movie)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dreama Johnson Kattenbraker

  Dreama Johnson Kattenbraker

Meet the dreamy, beautiful, edgy work of Dreama Johnson Kattenbraker.  I met Dreama back in '97 or '99 at the Naperville Riverwalk where I fell in love with a woman's ceramic head that she had made.  I wanted it so much, but it was out of my budget.  I have utterly regretted not getting that piece of artwork to this day!! (There's a lesson here of course--if you ever love a piece of art, no matter what--get it!  It's one of those things that beautifies your life and soul for the remainder of your days on earth!)

Years later I asked Dreama if she still had it, but it had been broken in an accident.  Sob!  If only I had sent her bi-weekly checks for $20 for awhile!

It was a little like this piece...hmm, a little bit:

Anyway, Dreama, like her art is beautiful, intelligent, complex, creative, and a staunch animal lover.   The next time I ran into her she was showing her art at the Peoria Art Fair (you may not know it, but the shows I listed are some of the highest-rated fairs in the country-that's how good she is.)

Earlier that day I had just rescued a cat, and as we talked about our day, I mentioned it to Dreama.  What does she do, but sell me 2 beautiful goblets for a hugely discounted price for the good deed!  I have never forgotten her kindness.  I wanted to post the two goblets here, but I have them at my mom's house where we used them as guests at a tea party.  I'll update this post as soon as I get a snap of them.)  Here's a sample of her work:

Secrets from Bird 

Here's another favorite of mine--so, so beautiful!


I initially only knew Dreama as a ceramacist, but she is a painter as well.  To see more of her work, visit her Facebook page here.

Her son, Scott Kattenbraker, is also an artist, as is her daughter-in-law, Lisa Telling Kattenbraker.  It's a family affair!!  Which....makes me think of this:

Sly and the Family Stone - "Family Affair"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sternum of a Person

Sternum of a Person

twirling and swirling
smearing of paste
clearly bringing forth
the sternum of a person

Sunday, January 18, 2015


I meant to post this last night, but I was tired!  Well, I was just talking about how much I love eyes in my post on ceramic artist Cory McCrory (which I just posted about 10 minutes ago!), so this will go along with the eye theme of the day, I guess!

P.S.  Here's a testament on how your artwork never turns out the way you plan it. This started out as something completely can I explain?  When I first painted it, I was going to call it duck heads and craniums in cherry sauce in a drawer.  Does that tell you anything?  Ha!


Cory McCrory

An artist friend of mine tagged me on Facebook to show 3 pieces of my art for 5 days.  Instead, I thought I would write a post on her!

I first spotted ceramic artist, Cory McCrory, at a Chicago-area art fair.  Don't you love that rhyming name?  She had won a first place blue ribbon for "Best in Show," an award she wins quite frequently.  I know I completely agreed with the judges--I spent more time at her booth than any other.  Unfortunately I was out of dough by the time I spotted her, and she was swarmed with people so I didn't get a chance to speak to her either.

A year or two later, or local art league featured her as a speaker!  Unbelievable!  My work schedule totally conflicted with her arrival, but I begged and cajoled and finally got my shift switched.

Cory is originally from Connecticut and somehow landed in the Midwest.  She is down-to-earth and generous in sharing her technique.  Cory makes the most amazing, Willy-Wonky-Dr.-Seuss-like-beautiful-crazy teapots you have ever seen!  Here's her Pinterest site to follow her.

Anyway, here's the vase and head that I bought from her that night--I couldn't let it get past me, I loved it so much!  Aren't they fantastic?!?!?

This past November, I went to another Cory show, this one featuring about 5 other artists all showing together in a farmhouse, owned by one of them. (I bought items from 3 or the 5 of them--it was a great show!  I met a lovely English artist, Jane, there as well.) My husband and I had dropped some of my paintings off at a gallery by Chicago, and then we found Cory.  Our GPS wasn't working too well around there...good thing Kennyman knows what I call, directional directions (north, south, east, west...yes, I am incapable of this.  I need people to say, "turn right, turn left.")

If you are familiar with my art at all, I am completely obsessed with eyes.  I don't know why.  Some people collect turtles, you know?  I just happen to love googly eyes, freaky eyes, sad eyes, crazy eyes...well, you get my drift.  Needless to say, I had to have this wall hanging/butter dish of Cory's.

I also wanted to buy a ring that had a coiled bird coming out of it, but it wasn't the right size.  Eventually that will be on my finger! (-:

Here's her fabu business card.

Some of Cory's teapots.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Picasso Baby

The painters I have loved most? MY influences?  Picasso, Basquiat, Van Gogh, Alice Neel, Max Beckmann, Egon Schiele, de Kooning, Clemente, Chagall, Matisse, Guston, Fischl, even the smeared gruesomeness of Bacon. The majority of them possess the strong black line and invading color that call to me.

Last night I saw that the deadline for a "nude" contest was today.  I thought, could I possibly do something to participate?  I started to draw on 11" x 14" Bristol while choosing something from my DVR to accompany me.  Well, really I was looking to clear it out since I only had 4% recording availability left, still having shows as far back as 2013 on there.  I run across Jay Z's "Picasso Baby:  A Performance Art Film" directed by Mark Romanek.  I watch it again, drawing my nude, and it flows out of me.  I give her a chain, because, naturally you know, she's listening to Jay Z.

I painted my au naturel babe tonight.  I toyed with leaving her just black and white, with a smearing of smudge and black ink.  There's something about that singular strong black line that I love so.

By the way, I couldn't delete, "Picasso, Baby."  I mean, the energy, the famous people, the genius of rhyme, the mentioning of so many of my influences and great art museums.  Guess I'll have to expand upon that 4% by deleting "Moonstruck."  Oh, the pain!

Who are your favorite artists?  Even if you have the same list as I do, or even just a few of them, we're never going to produce the same art.  We're a mixture of so many things, so many influences, our own abilities, that we'll always come up with something different.  How horrible it would be not to put our own souls and distinct talent into what we're trying to express on paper, canvas, building wall.  Be influenced.  And then be an influencer.


How she started.

With chain.

Background in.

 Jay Z's "Picasso Baby:  A Performance Art Film"

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Straight-Edge Razor

I've been up since 3:45 a.m.  Frustrated with a couple of situations at work, frustrated with other things.  I started this painting last night, in a sort of daze.  Smearing different colors on the canvas, not sure where I was going.  I saw a couple of different faces in the paint, but just kept drawing the brush over and through them.  Finally I thought with the green color, I would make some sort of frog man.

While I laid in bed awake, awake, awake, I finally thought, fuck it, and got up and painted for several hours.

I had been eating Wonderful Salt & Pepper Pistachios the night before and my shells were still on my desk.  Yes, that's right.  And I picked up a half shell and used it as a sort of paintbrush with yellow oil paint to put on some bumps and ridges to this fellow.  I saw his arms, the black on the chin and extending into the purple looked like whiskers/flying whiskers so that's where the straight-edge razor came it.

Mostly I was once again trying to loosen the grip in my chest and stomach of these aggravations so I was letting my hand just move, applying color randomly.  Sometimes I think the best things I make are out of trying to alleviate darker frustrations and feelings.

I'm happy with the painting.  I'm very tired, too.

9" x 12" Acrylic, Oil, India Ink

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Art Journal Kickstarter - North Light Books

I have some exciting news!  Tomorrow is the official release of a book I am in called "Art Journal Kickstarter" (edited by Kristy Conlin) and it's available through or  I found out last May that I was included in it, but the road to publication takes awhile, and you just never know if your photo, the dimensions of the artwork, final edits, etc. might kick you out.  Being a little cautious, I wanted to wait before announcing my inclusion.
Hmm, I'm not really that cautious, so I must have just been superstitious that something might go wrong if I advertised in advance. (-;

Anyway, the publishers did state that they had over 1,000 submissions and ended up choosing a final 98 or 99.  Let me tell you, I am thrilled beyond words, and for a wordy girl, that's saying a lot! (-:

Here's a picture of the cover:

Here'a another North Light book I was in which was released in November of last year:

It was a re-release, including 30 additional artists, of Leslie Riley's book from November 2013 which looks like this:

The above edition is no longer published, having been replaced by "Inspirational Quotes Illustrated" but you can get it used for $350.00.  Yowzah!