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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fly like an egyptian, a Boeing 757, or maybe the Enterprise?


When you are considering your next project, how do you fly?

When it comes unexpectedly, at a whim even, is that the most brilliant moment of creativity? It is for me.

Even though we are all trying to live with some discipline as artists, does it really help your creativity, or just make you keep to a schedule? Is forceful productivity really the key to my growth as an artist? I think there may be some Hallucinogens available to help me out. It worked for Lewis Carroll. I wonder.

Are your most brilliant ideas happening when you are supposed to turn out the lights to sleep?

Would it be better if we stayed up, got some cocoa and let ourselves wander with the paintbrush or typewriter or torch until we just couldn't stay up any longer? Did you know that they play some great music at 2:30 am? Oh, it's also the best time to catch An American In Paris on the tube! (oh, sorry, the DLP) I wonder.

How does creativity work anyway and does it keep it's own schedule? Can you force it? Can I learn to hone my creativity and focus it to specific times of the day? Take that wicked moment of focus that begins at 10pm and make it happen at 10 am instead? I sure wonder.

About Inventing:
I keep a notebook next to my bed, so I can journal at night and write down ideas that I'm having. I'm a genius in these hours, but for the 'maybe someday' thinking. Still, I continue to invent all sorts of things in those moments, probably never to be shared.

My Great Grandfather invented the bread wrapping machine. Must have been a late night thing. People probably thought he was a little weird. Imagine for a moment how important this invention was. (Don't blame him for processed foods, it's not his fault if you're fat!) Anyway, his trustworthiness or lack of business prowess lead him to be deceived by some businessmen who stole it from him and he was never paid his due for his brilliance. It's in the Smithsonian now, because of my Uncle's hard work and my Great Grandfather did finally get his credit!

Maybe It's all in my head. Maybe fatigue is similar to drunkenness...you know, when you're drunk, everyone in the room gets a lot better looking and more interesting. You know where I'm going with this.

I'm tragically brilliant in my twilight hours. Of course, many ideas come too late..."I really should make a prototype design for my tuna fish strainer and get it over to a factory in China for production." lol. You laugh, but that was just one, lost idea! Yea, probably too much wine. They're selling now in grocery stores. Some jerk thought of it finally. silly. I know. Still, I wonder.

I wanted to put a film on fabric so I could run it through a printer. That was like 15 years ago. I just bought some today. 10 tiny sheets for $6.99. Highway robbery! I'd tell you about many others, but you might laugh, or try them yourself, so I'll just leave it at that, tragically absent from reality!

We should keep reminding ourselves that our thoughts are pretty important. Especially the self-deprecating ones; a window to the soul - except you wish you could pull down the shades! Even what I just said about you laughing at me. I don't really feel that way, but it sounded good at the time, you know, for this post and all. A window. I wonder.

This is worth repeating and I firmly believe it: Talent will not get you there. Drive and determination alone are omnipotent. (I read that somewhere).

Ron Popeil is mega mega rich. I'm just sayin.

How does this apply to art? Well, art happens in bed, too! Get your mind out of the gutter (just for a second). Same thing happens with planning my paintings as the lights go out: "Ah, right! Yes! I should put metallic gold with a bronze glaze over the edges of the crackle with the red! DUH! brilliant!

Well, I think what I'm saying is that you need to write everything down; anytime you think of it. Keep that notepad in your car, in your purse, use your iphone. And, of course, record your thoughts at night. It's really amazing what brilliance you can observe that you probably wont ever share with anyone anyway. It will help you go to sleep though, with a smile, dreaming about what could be; like dreamers do.

Extra dreamy sidebar:
Maybe some inventing TV or Web prototype company will come to me and say (in an Australian accent), "You have just the right personality..Let's talk, we need a creative goofball like you to add to our team!" I better color my hair and drop another 10 lbs first. Oh, maybe someday.

You can go back to the gutter now.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wonder Woman must have been bulimic


We have been remodeling our master bathroom for a couple of weeks now. We tiled the floor, Eric built a custom cabinet, and we are even going to tackle a concrete counter top! I was going to just paint the walls, but felt that was kind of a lazy finish to all that custom work, especially because I am a professional decorative artist, so I decided to give the room a good Venetian Plastering!

After having my business for the last 3 years, it seems a little strange for me to admit that I don't actually have any decorative finishing at all in our home! It's not that I don't like any of it, but the house is more contemporary. Luckily, Venetian plaster is one of those cool things that looks great anywhere.

I knew I had my work cut out for me, because the walls were not smooth and needed to be sanded before I began, but when I got up on a ladder to see the wonderful job the builder's accomplice had done leaving huge amounts of dry wall plaster in the corners, I nearly impaled my hand on one of those ridiculous star patterns stamped from drywall mud on the ceiling, a common sight in homes in the south. I had to take on the ceiling before I started the walls. If you take a big palette knife, you can scrape the peaks down and although it still wont be completely smooth, it will be paintable and it looks a helluva lot better. Plus, it wont fu#*ing send you to the hospital!

Alas, once the ceiling was done, I felt that I had just done 600 reps on my arms! It continued from there. In the 10 years since I've moved to Atlanta from Seattle, I've honestly done little more than exercise my right bicep to lift a martini now and then. It's not my fault, it's the heat. Sucks the drive right out of you, which sucks because in warm weather, you need to look good wearing little clothing! Still, it makes me think about how celebs get such great bodies. There are two logical explanations: Starvation and cocaine. They say "sexy bitches" for a reason, because you can't look that good with being completely irritable from the lack of calories!

So, eventually I moved on to a primer coat, then several layers of plaster, and some more sanding. After 6 days of keeping my arms up in the air, burning thousands of calories, feelin' the burn, I stepped on the scale (big mistake), and I gained a pound! Must be water retention. Wonder Woman must have been bulimic.

She was drawn at the monthly drink and draw session at Mellow Mushroom in Decatur, GA. I sit right near the front at a low table, while the super hero models stand on top of the bar, giving me a crotch-worthy perspective every month. I ran out of room on my sketch pad..hehe, and hastily made her head too small, but it was so far up in the air, who could know?! (Must have been during the drinking part of the evening) Next month, I'll sit further back to snatch a better view!

We still have to put the room back together and I have to seal the plaster, but I can see completion coming and going back to my martini...Maybe there's some sort of time delay on arms of steel. Maybe they'll just show up next week, and that pound will have gone away! Perhaps changing to red wine will be as good for those muscles as it is for my heart!
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