As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Poultry in the city


Today I went downtown with my friend, Elsie, to shop for fabric for the Spring purse line that Carolyn and I are designing.

As I pulled into a parking spot, I spied right in front of us the most incredible rooster I have ever seen in my life! I was not raised on a farm, so this would not take an incredible feat, I suppose, BUT you had to be there!! Maybe he was so striking because he was standing on blacktop, or because I didn't expect to see him in downtown ATLANTA, I don't know.

I stopped the car in it's tracks (probably blocking at least one car behind me temporarily) while, in utter amazement, I fiddled around for my camera to capture this unlikely specimen of beauty for posterity!

He looked as though he had just exited the nearest salon...He was magnificently coiffed! His coat was an artist's palette of colors resembling a fiery sunset over a wheat field with a storm front coming off in the distance! (Wow, the imagery!) I desperately wanted to touch his plumes, imagining them to be as soft as silk.

Well, after we babbled, chattered, giggled and snapped the camera in hysterics, I Eventually parked to the dismay of the guy who most recently showed up thinking I was leaving, and Elsie and I finally got out of the car.

As we headed toward the fabric store entrance, we found were not lonely observers. Indeed, another man was also gawking, completely compelled by the handsome parking lot monitor!

There we three stood, watching momentarily before moving along. In the final moment, as we looked back up at each other, a terrific smile appeared on our opposing faces; one of complete satiety.

All this in poultry!

Funny, this is not the first time I've experienced birds out of their element. The street where my parents live, where I lived during high school and a few misc. returns thereafter, also lived a peacock who strutted up and down the street on no particular schedule. Each time I saw him I just had to stare for a while, even though I was accustomed to him, because it's just not normal to have a peacock living on your street!! I never tired of looking at that amazing bird! I'm so glad I recalled that cool memory tonite!

You never know where you will find beauty, and the memories especially, serve as beautiful gifts, too, when they unexpectedly come to mind!

Remember, although this rooster may be a resident, some things just will never happen again, so appreciate every small wonder you encounter, and feed it, even, if you get a chance!

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Fascinations Of The Easily Amused!

I have to warn you, there are a lot of tla's and fla's in this blog (three and four letter acronyms). lqtm.

So, I have this crazy new "little" obsession. Very little. It's ACEOs (art cards, editions and originals.) Originally known as ATCs, (art trading cards) these were very small works of art traded between artists only. A fond regard, if you will.

Just how small are they? 2.5" x 3.5" ! Just a tad bigger than a business card. In fact, it is likely that the painting you are viewing in this column is close to actual size, depending on your monitor!

Somewhere along the way, they became a public phenom, and there are literally thousands upon thousands of folks who collect them!

Well, obviously, I'm hooked on creating them. I usually do a small drawing or a simple paint rendering of all my work anyway, so I started doing this size specifically, so I can offer them as I would a large canvas! I also started doing them to get the ideas flowing!

Now, if you're an artist, beware, as it's an easy addiction. Carrying blanks around in your purse, or your man purse, European carryall or (whatever metro sexual term you want to use), waiting for the free moment to doodle could be a description of you in the near future!

If you're not an artist, you're just the person I'm looking for!! Rofl! (ok, now i'm just being silly)
You can find aceos on Etsy , Ebay, or the ACEO Website, art-cards.org.

Also worth noting in a slightly larger way is the daily painters movement, a world-wide art movement of a very serious nature! A lot of the painters who are active in this movement are doing pieces measuring 4" x 6", also known as OSWOA (original small works of art). This is how they are able to produce a painting every day, and they're all priced under $300!

For me, these art movements are great news for the artist. We struggle. This is our true profession, but we most often have to have other jobs to survive. What other career requires you to have another career?

The important thing is that anyone can own art! Because of these smaller art forms, you can buy an original work of art or print edition for as low as $5.00! Art collecting will never be reserved for the wealthy again!

The best part is that when you buy a smaller piece, it's a little taste. You get to know an artist in a non-committal way, if you will. These smaller purchases create fans who buy the larger pieces that will, indeed, support us!!

So, do your part; create or buy art!
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Sitting on The Nightstand

Welcome to another installment of sitting on the nightstand.

This week's (month's) must read book is "The Guerilla Art Kit, Everything you need to put your message out into the world, for fun, non-profit, and world domination, by Keri Smith" (I was saying this week's, but I haven't posted another book review in a month!! Har har)

So, the message is clear, random acts of art, beautification, and thought provocation. Smith put together this terrific little how-to guide complete with pictures, loads of ideas, pages to copy and cut out even, it's got everything...everything you need to be a guerilla artist out in the world.

Now, if you're unclear about the term guerilla artist, Smith explains that "The stereotype of the guerilla artist is someone who makes extremist work and who is constantly on the run from the law." BUT, "For the purposes of this book, I would like to expand the concept and define guerilla art as any anonymous work (including, but not limited to graffiti, signage, performance, additions, and decoration) installed, performed, or attached in public space, with the distinct purpose of affecting the world in a creative or thought-provoking way."

Whew, that's a mouthful. Lemme 'splain. No, there's no time, lemme sum up. What she means is this: It CAN be appreciated, and it doesn't have to put you on the most wanted list.

The point is, she wants you to think about your world, your environment, your neighbors, and do something to provoke a smile, or appreciation for the things they see every day. It is inherently spoken in her book that she would have you consider the enormity of your own existence, (without being too existential), although, it doesn't have to be such a deep philosophical approach, it just is by virtue of the act of doing the artwork!

She quotes Thoreau on the first page, "It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of arts." -Henry David Thoreau

(Wow, they had guerilla artists back then? Cool!!!)
Hey, take some flowers and weave them into a fence. Arrange some rocks in a neat pattern or stack them to make a masterpiece that all can enjoy. (It could be that's what he meant, eh?)

This book was a gift to me for Valentine's Day, to inspire me. I'm totally inspired! That's why you should buy it now! Today.

Or, if you're short on cash, try an exercise from her book:

Take a book that you have enjoyed, bring it to someplace where people will be very likely to sit and find it, like a train or bus station or a bathroom perhaps. Put a note in it that says something like this: "I have enjoyed this book, and want someone else to enjoy it, too. If it's not your thing, that's cool, just set it back down for someone else to enjoy after you leave!"

There's no telling how many lives you will affect with your little anonymous acts!

I leave with a quote from the back cover, which I believe you should live by, (do pay your bills, though):

"LEAVE SECRET messages everywhere you go. Your ideas are interesting. Find yourself through RECKLESSNESS and freedom. Revel in the idea of impermanence. CREATE your own world. Give back. Doodle. Listen. STROLL. Plant. Dance. Grow."

Think about it!

Buy now!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beware on what you put your focus!

Two Wolves

One evening an old Apache told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.


The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."


The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"


The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed
.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

March - Spring Into Action

In Atlanta, Spring fever starts hitting the first couple of nice days in March, which happened to be the first couple days in March! And, a couple of things always come to mind for me while I'm waiting for Spring!

Well, it was a warm weekend, and whenever the sun pokes out, I just wanna sing!

So, if you sing or play an instrument, pull it out of the closet or off the wall in our case...dust it off and practice a little. Hey, this picture is almost exactly 2 years old, so I know what dust looks like. Time for a new photograph!

It really feels good to sing your heart out! Or play your heart out. Just 10 or 20 minutes and your creative spirit is rejuvenated.

The other thing that comes to mind is running the Peachtree. If you're not in Atlanta, that's the largest 10K in the country and it takes place on July 4th. It's always a good goal to run the Peachtree, because even if you don't (I missed it last year because my knee was killing me or I was lazy), you at least train for it a little bit!

I used to run quite a bit in the past. I would hit every run 5k-15k I could, because I loved getting the tshirts, but I also love the exhilaration of running with a pack. I know, I could use therapy! But, I'm a little out of shape, so, this year, since I'm re-ramping up, I've started the "Couch to 5K" program from coolrunning.com . From there, I'll train up to the Peachtree. :) The first 5k is April 19th in Atlanta. The second is May 30th. Then the Peachtree is July 4th.

Having a goal keeps me on track and motivated and for all you artists out there, you probably know what a challenge staying on track can be. So, I'm setting some art goals for myself for the month of March.

Week one:
Finish one and two in origami mixed media series.
Choose at least one national or local art event to submit to for April or May deadline.
Finish first piece in playful trees water color series.
Complete second in greeting card series of flowers.
Schedule an open mic night or day to play and go do it!! Go get your creative out!

Week Two:
Send my patron-brother his piece (He bought me Illustrator, what can I say!!!) Gotta love him!
Complete #3 in origami mixed series.
Finish second piece in playful trees water color series.

Week Three:
Complete #4 and #5 in origami mixed series.
Finish third piece in playful trees water color series.

Week Four:
Complete #6 in origami mixed series.
Begin new series.

Week Five:
Completed #7 - 10 in origami mixed series.

Ok, so there's my goals.
Go make your own!!!

I'd also like to say a little something for my super fab Mom who had foot surgery recently and is waiting for what seems like an eternity for the damn cast to come off. Hope it comes off soon so you can run like the wind again, Mommy!! MISS YOU!! XO
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