Pick a peck of poems

"Stumbled", a poem block

Day 332: “Stumbled”, a poem block

My grandma and I were talking the other day, and she said she wished I had done more with my writing. I assured her that I haven’t given up on writing- I’m ‘working on a novel’ like a million other people, yes, but what’s difficult to explain is that writing is one of those ebb and flow deals for me. I can sit down in the studio and make visual art every day, but writing seems to be something I must wait for. And I can feel it coming up, and it’s about that time again after several months of absence. I’ve got a new notebook and a fresh pen and I’m ready to go when it gets here. 🙂

Today’s piece is another poem block that reads “stumbled upon/ what anyone would want/ just the man for/ an easy regret”. It makes me think of a gut full of grenadine and guilt. This piece is in orange-y red with a little brown and stripe of gold and I let the red drip down the sides.

This is the 9th in this recent bout of poem blocks, which are headed to City Art gallery for the December affordable art show on Tuesday. If you have your eye on one, be sure to let me know before I put ‘em up! I plan to list them for $35-40 each. Next out of the art-conveyer-belt of productivity that is my studio, 3 mini cityscapes, so stay tuned!

Aww, it's a bouquet of art!


What’s red, black and white…

There's a lot of texture that's tough to photograph in this piece.

Day 312: “Veil”, a painting

It’s a continued foray into abstract paintings in limited color today with “Veil”, a painting on canvas (18″ x 24″ I think? Must locate tape measure…) in red, black and white. This one was done over an old painting that had fabric in it and some pre-existing texture, so I kept that in mind when working with the composition. I haven’t done many “dark” pieces in awhile, so I guess it’s time. 🙂 Here are some detail shots…

This fabric swath is actually tulle

Black over red over gray, reduced by many layers of waterbrushing.

And here’s a shot of it straight-on. See you tomorrow!

"Veil", 18 x 24" acrylic painting on canvas


Take the red painting and you stay in wonderland...

Day 155: Free association paintings

This morning when I woke up, I had a burning desire to paint windows for a few hours solid. Thankfully, since I have a pretty flexible schedule, I got my wish! 😉 I love the end result of my cityscapes, but working on them is draining. There is a point where I can put the photo away and finish without it, but that’s like the last 3-5% of it. Especially lately, since I’ve been really into these detailed images, in spite of myself. I don’t expect I’ll ever be a photorealist painter (because I would end up in the loony bin), but there’s a certain level of detail that has to be achieved for the perspective to be acceptable to my inner art teacher- who is a total bitch, by the way. She’s highly critical and always notices when I’m being lazy and don’t want to execute something as well as I could. And she never takes a day off either. Sheesh. 😉

Today I spent more time on this (although I’m sure it doesn’t look a whole lot different from yesterday yet. Sigh):

Why won't it just finish itself?

And busted out three mini mixed media paintings in a kind of “free association” clippings way. Some physics diagrams, dictionary words, patterns and random-ish text from Nancy Drew put together with a bit of color make for some interesting pocket-sized artwork.

Day 139: Color Fields

The muse of Rothko was chillin in my studio today.

If you’ve ever seen a piece by Mark Rothko, you’re familiar with color field painting. It’s just that- fields of color sharing space, vibrating in their color-filled glory on top of and next to other colors- simple, but lovely.

Today’s painting on wood is clearly Rothko-inspired (for a better visual of his works than the Wikipedia article I linked to above, do an image search on Google with “Rothko”, and you’ll see what I mean). Most people start off drawing in pencil, and the leap to color can be a scary one. After many years of mixing and mingling them, I still feel that color itself is enough to take center stage without any subject matter. If you were to try and paint an emotion, what do you think would end up on the canvas?

Detail of brushstrokes and dripwork. (I think I just made that up. Dripwork? Really? 🙂 )

For me, the best expression of an emotion is often pure color. And some of my favorites are the warm ones. Red, orange, yellow and purple just hum for me in this piece. I think it’s kind of striking.

In other news, my Sharks are down by 2 games. SADNESS. That is all.

Day 135: “Misbegotten” Art Card

Ah, Red. Poppy red- bright red with a twinge of orange in it- is my favorite color. To be fair, I love most colors. But there’s just something about red. That was fun about today’s piece- the textured red paper behind the drawing on the dictionary page, the red stamp and thread in the photo…the perceptive (and nerdy) in my blog reading crowd will also notice a unique bit of red in the upper left of the first photo- the distinctive red of the Star Trek officer’s tunic. Ah, Jean-Luc. Our illustrious captain is talking to Deanna Troy about a menacing entity they’ve encountered that just killed a crewmember (enson status + red shirt = trouble), and they are on red alert. See a pattern here? 🙂

Today’s drawing of a hillside in SF is on the “misbegotten” page, which has some other fabulous “mis” words that I hope remain in our beloved vernacular like “misadventure”, “misanthrope” and “misappropriate”. I have to wonder if the long-used prefix “mis” has somehow sunken into our social consciousness as being connected to its homonym “miss”. Maybe our ears have started to tell our brains that anytime we’re thinking of a “miss”, something must be wrong with her. After all, the title word on this page, misbegotten, hearkens back to its original definition of illegitimate birth- some “miss” who was “misadvised” and thought it was okay to pop out a baby without having become a “mrs” first. You came here for some art and ended up beset with an English lesson and geekery. That’s your “misapprehension”, bub! ArtProject2010 is like life- you never know what you’re going to get. 😉

Day 130: Cheerful but spooky

"Cheerful but spooky" mini painting with text

Sometimes I see or hear words that simply intrigue me. When I saw these adjectives together (in Capote’s “Dazzle”, I think), I thought “there has to be a good way to paint that.” So I worked with some magenta, orange, red and gold for the “cheerful”, and some black (with a layer of red on top) and drop patterns for “spooky”. Success? Rob is digging it, I’m ambivalent at the moment.


I say paintings are like guns in that there’s a 3-day waiting period needed to decide how you really feel about it. Try that one out yourself- next time you see a painting you like and might buy, sit on it for three days. If you keep thinking about how great it is and how you might not be able to go on living without it, you can feel pretty confident when making that purchase. On the other hand, if you start to think it’s not that awesome and why did you even like it in the first place and maybe it was the free booze at the gallery opening, then save that dough!

Art’s kind of like dating. Sometimes you meet it and are instantly infatuated and take it home, but a few days later you come to realize it’s really a shallow piece of work and you’ve seen all the interesting parts already. 😉 A good piece of art- like a good mate- should constantly bring you joy. You should never get tired of it. You should continue to see different sides to it as time goes on. At least, that’s what I strive for in my artmaking, and in my relationship. Thanks for your continued support, my handsome hubby!

Day 123: Pomegranate Art Card

Recipe for a fun art card:

1 Pomegranate linocut stamped on to a piece of fabric

1 Vintage Joy of Cooking page

1 Cardblank

3 Strips of red rick rack

Red thread as needed

Use a paper cutter to trim the recipe page to fit the cardblank. Sew on with red thread, taking care to keep the paper flush with the cardstock as you go. Trim the linocut on fabric with scissors, close to the stamp. Sew the linocut on to the card. Snip strips of rick rack to fit the edge of the recipe. Sew on carefully; you’ll need to lift the sewing machine foot and change direction every 3-4 stitches to stay in line with the rick rack. Voila! You now have a lovely 2-in-1 hostess gift! Write a personal message inside the card, knowing that the recipient can later frame this conveniently sized 5×7” card as a nifty piece of kitchen art.

Clearly my brain has been affected by reading through this old Joy of Cooking book and some other retro gems I picked up at the thrift store recently, like “The Art of Homemaking” (published graciously by the Mormons for our enjoyment, ladies) and “Vegetarian Cooking”, which features the most hideous pan of slop I’ve ever seen next to some carrots. Yum. I spent ten minutes looking through the index for any recipe mentioning pomegranates, but I discovered that this fruit apparently did not exist in the 60’s, so I went with a “fruit pies” page instead.

The Blands have different view points on whether or not I should make these as art cards (so that they have two uses) or just as display art on thick paper (not an actual card). So help us settle this one and chime in. Would you rather get a card you could easily frame, or just plain old small-format art? One lucky commenter will get a free card! Winner will be chosen by Mother’s Day, so speak up for your chance to win before Sunday!

Pomegranate linocut fabric art card

Day 26

I’d like to pretend that each painting begins with some magical spark of divine inspiration; that each good painting idea falls upon my shoulders in some gorgeous ray of sunlight- a gift from God, the touch of a muse to my otherwise dullard noggin. But it’s not true at all. Often times I have no idea where an idea comes from or why I’m using it, as was the case today.

I walked into the studio, grabbed a small canvas I tried to print a linocut on that only took the border, thumbed through my tattered Capote book until I found a line that caught me (which never takes long), ripped it out, affixed it with medium, cut some yarn and wrapped it around the snippet in heavy gel, stamped it with today’s date, dripped wax on it and painted it red.

All quickly, while the dye in my hair set. It took hours to dry and then I discovered I’d left the damn camera on so I had to emergency charge it to get this post up. So I don’t know where the inspiration for this piece came from or why it happened. I usually don’t do creepy pieces. *Shrug*

So what happens with the actual inspired ideas I do get? Some of them get abandoned midway through when I realize they suck or shouldn’t be executed in my medium, some are forgotten before they’re written down, some live with me for years before I make them- literally, years. Sometimes I have a feeling I want to turn into an image but I don’t have the image to go with it. Sometimes it’s a song. Sometimes it’s the way rust runs down deteriorating buildings, or bolts painted red a thousand times or colors left over on my extra sensitive retinas when I close my eyes… it isn’t always easy to make it into something.  At least it’s always a surprise what tomorrow will bring, right?