Posts Tagged ‘artist’

Thinking out loud

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I felt oddly impacted by the death of Roger Ebert for whom I have been a long time fan. I follow him on twitter and his keen mind has illuminated many a different topic for me. But, mostly, I remember him from back in the days of “Siskel and Ebert” a show I watched every week. Roger was such a commanding wit. Today, most often, if I want to read a movie review I first go to Ebert’s website. I will miss his reviews of current movies and saddened by his loss.

Sometimes I feel such angst and jealousy by the accomplishments of other artists that I want to dive my head into the ground and stay there. Still, while I can understand angst, I despise jealousy/envy and mostly keep the green monsters beneath the bed where they belong. At the same time, I am so grateful for the brilliance and success of the truly talented. How banal life would be without those to admire and aspire to. Before the internet, one had to buy books or go to galleries and museums to see the work of others and now the myriad of images and artists at one’s fingertips is overwhelming and maybe that is where some of the angst comes from, there are so many accomplished artists to be jealous of, I mean admire.

Some art is on such a high plain I can not even be jealous of it. I can only internalize the impact so as to take the miracle of it with me. The work of Francis Bacon does this to me. Apparently he was quite a scoundrel and despicable as a human being but I don’t care and I don’t need to know it and knowing it does not change my opinion of the work. The work stands on it its own like disembodied legs. How grand it would be to stand in the studio where he worked and marvel at the complete irreverence for the environment while the man vehicle was sprouting master pieces from amidst the chaos. Here is a great little video:

I’m inspired by the method of using damaged photographs and images as source material for portraits and ideas. I can see myself doing the same kind of thing using damaged printed material (because I have a hard time damaging an actual photograph even if its not a friend or family member). Of course, even if I were to employ the exact same methods used by Bacon or any other artist, the work would still turn out like my own, there is no getting away from one’s self. So, using a method developed by another artist is copying but its not copying the art itself. Its a learning device.

I’ll be leaving for my parents house in the morning so I must get some painting time in. NOw.

I’ve sketched so many tree fems that I just about have a forest!

January 1, 2013

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

I stayed home as is tradition and actually, I was in bed at 8:00 p.m. Generally I rise around 5:00 a.m. which partially explains why I hit the sack so early but the real explanation I think, is its one of those things that happens when one gets up in years. (UP in years sounds so much better than old, much like chubby sounds better than fat). Still my son text’d me at midnight which I thought very sweet and I text’d him back when I got up at 6:00 this morn. I went and took care of the dogs and when I returned home I hit the couch, watched some news and fell back asleep. finally I decided to get off the couch and get the new year started. 😀

The more I write 2013 the more I will remember to write 2013! (instead of 2012).

Featured on the table a “Lemon Drop martini” made from limoncello which is so yummmmmmmmm, (a Christmas gift from my hub).

I have no resolutions to make/break this year, but I will say, I have it in me to make more art and get my website back up and functioning. Other than that, I am just taking it one day at a time.

If you are reading here you are most likely an artist of some persuasion and I wish you a creative, artistic, abundant new year!


Ornaments, and folio

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I had meant to start posting ornaments from my collection, of all handmade, artist made ornaments but I have bee so sick the past week I did not even get started. So. I’ll post three today to make up for lost time and also one that I designed last year for sale in my etsy shop.
This is one available in my shop:

From my collection this one is made by artist “Dolly Gagging”

This one is by artist Diane Redmore Moore:

and this one is by artist Carla Naron:

I do so enjoy my unique ornaments!

Also I have been working on little collage folios, they are about 4 x 5 inches and can hold atcs or aceos or little photographs or they can be stared at and displayed 😀
this is one of them:

I used thick canvas and they fit so nicely in the hand!

Gorgeous nopales (cactus), the “hood”

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

On my walk around the hood, gorgeous flowering cactus blossoms that look like roses, and those colors!

I’m lovin work by this Mariette


Saturday, May 12th, 2012

I’m loving work by artist Scott Fife

Cool time lapse video of one of his heads

We have had a handful of visitors walk through our home that is now up for rent. Odd feeling to have people going through one’s home and even odder imagining others living in it. In the final analysis there are a lot of factors which add up to a match or not. One aspect that I have enjoyed is the comments about the art. There is no point in having art if others don’t see it and my work has been low profile since last year due to the house hunting efforts. We expect a return visits this Sunday and new visitors on Monday. Nice getting the traffic. In the mean while we continue to polish and refine areas that need attention, like the windows from the outside. I will admit, I rarely do windows!

Whoa and artist Vik Muniz

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

I just realized I have not posted here in a month. I can hardly believe it. I’ve been so busy with things I have had little time for art. Need to change that, soon.

I watched a documentary about artist Vik Muniz and his collaboration with the pickers of Brazil. Profound way of making art. I am touched by humility and people who find happiness inside.

We are blessed in this country and its easy to be wasteful. We have so much to be grateful for. Even the poorest people in this country have more than some of the poor in other countries.


Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

We are driving out to Ojai today to sign final papers on this house:

I love the huge back yard and the oak trees that dot the property. I also prefer single story homes. We have plans to build an art studio. I will be happy forever.

Never heard of Ojai? It bumps right up against Santa Barbara and its really wonderful, here are some of the reasons why:

Ojai’s charms are many. The community has long been known as a haven for artists, musicians and health enthusiasts. A village ”as we locals call it”of about 8,000, Ojai is a vibrant place with so much natural beauty that it gained fame decades ago when the area was photographed to represent Shangri-La in the 1939 movie, The Lost Horizon.

Filled with delightful shops, art galleries and a host of places to retreat from the fast-paced lifestyle that can knot the nerves, Ojai invites you to walk its oak-shaded paths taking some time to drink in the serenity of it all.

The Chumash Indians are the first known residents of Ojai, and it is from their word ‘âhwaiâ’ meaning ‘moon’ that the name Ojai is derived. One of the oldest towns in Ventura County, Ojai was settled in the 1800s and incorporated as a city in 1921. Nestled in the Ojai Valley, the town is surrounded by peaks that give off a glow in the evening light known as the pink moment.

One of the prominent early settlers was Edward D. Libbey, a wealthy glass manufacturer who is responsible for the layout of the town. It was Robert Winfield who built the stately Arcade that today houses shops and eateries, but it was Libbey’s money and his vision that the town have a distinctive center faithful to its Spanish heritage. Thus Libbey teamed with architect Richard Requa from San Diego and together they created what today draws the eye and captures the heart.

In 1917 a fire took much of the town and offered Libbey a clean slate, so to speak. The western-style town was left in ashes; the Spanish Revival architecture that unites the area arose from those ashes to become stately landmarks and historic sites. Libbey constructed a home for himself on Foothill Road as his vision for the town was taking hold. The post office tower and the lovely pergola that covers the sidewalk in front of Libbey Park are fruits from the Libbey-Requa team. They also built the El Roblar Hotel, a building that houses the Oaks Spa today, an architectural gem that was restored to its former glory by the Cluff family with the help of historically minded architect and local citizen, David Bury.

The wonderful climate of the Ojai Valley has drawn many who wish to rejuvenate their health and enjoy the dry air and seemingly never-ending sunshine. Again, early settlers established the reputation of Ojai as a center of physical and mental health. Well known for its new age gurus and the coexistence of protestants, Catholics and yoga practitioners, a rich fabric of spiritualism has evolved with room for all.

In 1889 Sherman Thacher made the trip west in search of farmland. Instead, he started Thacher School, a school very much a part of the community to this day. William Thacher, Sherman’s brother, gathered some area tennis players and began a few minor competitions. From these humble beginnings, sprang The Ojai, the oldest amateur tennis event of its kind in the United States. The Ojai draws up to 30,000 spectators and is so large that it overtakes every public and many private courts in the Ojai Valley and beyond. Famous for its tea tents, the tournament challenges some of the top collegiate players in California and has offered locals and visitors an opportunity to see high caliber players like Billy Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport and other names that loom large in tennis.

Traditions are important to the life and lifestyle of Ojaians. When the Thomas Aquinas Church outgrew their quaint chapel on Ojai Avenue, it was purchased, repaired and now houses the Ojai Valley Museum.

With so much scenic beauty and a sense of place, it is little wonder that locals and visitors relish the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors of the Ojai Valley. The Ojai Valley Trail runs for more than nine miles with a parallel path for horses. If you want to meet half the town, that is a good place to start. Bicyclists, walkers, joggers and those exercising pets from dogs to pigs can be seen on the trail.

Among the outdoor treasures are the many parks that dot the city. In the middle of town is the pride of Ojai: Libbey Park. There mighty oaks give shade to a playground for children, and there are plenty of paths and picnic areas. So loved are the majestic oaks that the public mourns their removal, and despite the fact that a couple were diseased, a local man actually chained himself to one a few years ago to protest its removal. In the end the trees were considered too dangerous and too close to the children’s play area to allow them to stand and they were removed after a public service.

has more than 400 campsites and lots of picnic areas.

Ojai nurtures its art and artists. The Ojai Center for the Arts, Summer Art Stroll, Ojai Studio Artists Tour and Art in the Park offer venues for an abundance of artistic expression. Numerous galleries show the work of local artists and those from afar. A work of art is displayed publicly in the Arcade Plaza, a newly redeveloped area behind the shopping Arcade where a bronze poppy fountain sends water flowing freely over its broad base. Art is even shown in City Hall where the Ojai Arts Commission rotates artwork every few months to feature a different artist.

Ojai’s reputation as a golfing paradise brings many to the city. The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is listed as one of the top 25 golf resorts in North America. The course is as challenging as it is lovely. The Inn undertook renovations a few years ago to emerge more beautiful than ever including an already famous spa that is available to work out any kinks picked up on the award-winning golf course. Soule Park, a beautiful public course that delivers great value for the money along with spectacular views, is just past downtown on Ojai Avenue.

Ten Things They Don’t Teach You in Art School

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Here is today’s *Blog Prompt*

Your MFA won’t open doors of opportunity because there is very little opportunity for an inexperienced artist, and the little there is will be competed for by 100s of other optimistic hopefuls.

All the teaching jobs are taken. You may find a part time gig here and there, but you will need another job to pay the bills and you won’t have time to make art.

It will be 40 years before the tenured profs will leave their spot

If someone asks you, “what do you do?” and you say, I am an artist, they will look at you with a blank expression and glazed over eyes, if they are trying to be polite that is.

If you were me, You could find yourself with a boyfriend at some point in time who claims you love art more than he (which may be true) and proceeds to tell YOU what “REAL” art is.

You will have to work harder and be more organized than an engineer, but nobody will believe it, and will ask about your back up plan, ie, when will you get a real job.

You will need a back up plan.

your professor was SERIOUS when he told you to marry a rich man.

People, charities and organizations, will constantly solicit you for art donations. They want free stuff, but would never dream of asking a plumber for his/her free skill.

On average, it will be about ten years before a reputable gallery will give you a solo show, if that ever happens.

You may end up digging ditches so you can paint on the weekends.

You won’t survive on pure “talent”. You will have to smooze and network and socialize, because, a lot of it, is who you know. And, this should be done before thirty years old, because galleries are always looking for fresh, new blood.

You won’t be wearing Versace, or Gucci or Poochie or Valentino! Jimmy choos? hahahahah!

Internet. If you are as old as I am, you did your term papers in college on a type writer. You will have to learn how to work a computer, long after you graduate. (The internet has taken the lock hold from galleries and museums and made it possible for artists to put their art careers in their own hands).

Your sister will tell you, “you have already played the tortured artist, now what are you going to do?” ~~Just to torture you a little bit more :b

You may find yourself asking yourself, shall I buy art supplies or health insurance?

You may find yourself making doodads like this to sell for a few extra bucks:

The list is more than ten, but I believe there is more, can you add to the list my artist friend?

*EDIT* From artist and friend Lelainia Lloyd:
-When you show your mil your published work she says “That’s nice.”

-When you show your husband your work, he holds it upside down to look at it.

-People who aren’t willing to do the work try and pump you for access your contacts and connections and then once they’re finished with you, piss off into the wind.

-Endless random people will try and get you to put ad space for their product, religion, etc. on your ART blog.

-There will always be someone you thought was your friend, who becomes uncomfortably jealous of you and in the end stabs you in the back.
That said, I revert to this posted earlier in the year:


I claim independence from negative thoughts and self-criticism and the need to compare myself to others instead of focusing on how to be the best at what I do.

I claim independence from the judgments of others. I will not be diminished by those who seek to make me feel small or limit my ability to truly shine.

I claim independence from the unyielding desire for the approval of others at a cost to my personal well-being and sense of purpose..

I claim independence from the fear and doubt that keeps me from creating my most beautiful and most powerful work.

I claim independence from a life of struggle and difficulty. Instead, I choose optimism, success, and possibility.

The Most Inspiring Art Teacher I have ever Known

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The subject line is a blog prompt. I get so bored of my unimaginative, repetitive posts that I decided to look up some journal prompts and I will try to do one daily or a couple times a week, maybe :D. I hope it makes for a more interesting blog and helps me to think more expansively.

So today’s prompt obviously leads me to my college days at San Jose State University. I had two art professors who I feel sincerely grateful to have known, one is Sam Richardson my 3d art professor. I am not certain but I think I took about ten of his classes, some of them like his innovative thinking class “Color in Space” repeatedly. As a teacher, he had a way of not allowing his students to be passive, but pushed and pushed us (in a gentle way) to think outside of the box. I learned that art is the expression of ideas and is not limited to a certain medium. He insisted that the artist determine in what way the idea would best be expressed and not be locked into one medium. He encouraged performance art, and video and site specific installations, it was all very inspiring and forever changed my preconceived notions about what the heck ART is.

And secondly, Will Nelson, my painting professor whom I recently learned has passed away. I was very sad to read this, he was so vibrant and encouraging and active with a healthy sense of humor often reflected in his own art works.

This is Will in one of his painting classes.

And this is Will and I at an art reception:

I’m rocking an asymmetrical hairdo and a little plastic monster hanging from my ear. I’m still weird like that. 😀

I don’t think there was a single professor in college that I did not like, and college days were some of the best years of my life.

WOA; ripped from the Headlines

Friday, November 11th, 2011

It is clearly not easy to be an art critic. The comments at Jerry Saltz on his ny mag recap section can be brutal. I cringe to read them, but he handles them with such dignity and even humility. I don’t get why people have to be hostile with their opinions, jeeze, its just a little hour of entertainment show.

The eliminations each week are unpredictable and a matter of random unluck. Last year some of the better artists were eliminated early, more for distinguishing themselves overtly than for doing a worse piece than some other artestant. Sucklord remains out of pure luck, I am not convinced that his piece wasn’t the worse and as he readily admits that he is only there because one other person made a piece worse than his. There is something about his personality that is sort of endearing but I am beginning to wonder if he is a true artist. Michelle, is consistent and has a grasp on the it thing about art, that inexplicable thing that separates a designer or illustrator from a fine artist. I loved her painting in this episode, and was glad to see her talent extends beyond her paper rolling abilities.

I fully expected someone to do a paper mache piece! Perfect for a newspaper assignment. Lola actually did this with her odd useless weapons and the critics were really impressed. I did not care for the drawing, I think I have a natural aversion to artists who trace. In the end the drawing was weak imo and the objects disparate creating a piece that was not cohesive.

I’m convinced that the artists need to be better able to articulate their thoughts and ideas with clarity and more sophistication. I think this is why I would like to see more mature, more seasoned artists.

I thought Dusty’s piece was stronger than Young’s. I didn’t understand what Bayete was trying to communicate and his piece was weak, BUT, he has done a couple of strong pieces while Sara K has squeaked by, I literally forgot she was there, but there is no points for winning or having an accumulation of successful works, so Bayete goes and laughing Sara stays. Sara whose piece was so visually uninspired save for one little part in the upper right hand corner, I wonder how that composition was decided upon.

Kymia’s piece was kind of a monstrosity, I dunno, trite metaphor, poorly crafted..

Sara Jimenez did a wonderful painting. So, glad because I did not want to see her cry again. Not that I don’t have compassion for the cryers but because it takes some of the focus away from what matters, an honest appraisal of the works, something that can be useful to the artist or clarifying for the viewer. Serious artists must be thick skinned. Create from the heart but distance one’s self from the outcome, being a witness to the residue of one’s thinking is a skill to be honed. Those who use their art as a means of cathartics’ may be better served keeping it for their own emotional journey as one would with a journal. Or, at least, work through some issues before barring the soul to the public. I mean, art work like the ever popular and favored Frida Kahlo, are autobiographical without the angst, they are a vehicle for her surreal vision and a metaphor for her life’s journey, in the final analysis, she had a healthy detachment from them.