Wednesday, April 25, 2007
As for tonight, I ran to Michaels today for some canvas and more white paint (I'm horrible with the white paint....) and will be nursing my poor midsection with a palette knife in one hand and a nice rum and coke in the other. It's one of those nights - cold out, raining all day (of which I was out in like a drowned rat most of the day doing all of my running around) and it's time to relax over drinks, painting, and some on demand movies.
Sounds fabulous to me :)
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Thank you everyone, especially lespetiteschoses, for that!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I listed this piece entitled "Summer Wood IV" earlier today thinking it was done. Sometimes after a ton of time staring at a painting from night till day and back you lose perspective. It doesn't help I am a bit impatient, even though my technique - as free flowing and chaotic the knife strokes may be - requires a certain amount of patience. I know that may sound obvious but I mean patience - paint, let layers dry, paint, let layers dry, paint.... A lot of time ends up being involved to create organized chaos :P
So, I thought it was done. Until the other half with fresh eyes walks out and says "it looks really good *so far*". That's all I needed to see what the painting really needed and I was back at the easel to finish what was left undone.
The top pic is the before. The bottom the after. Yes. Now it is complete :)
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Yep. Entered my pieces "Restoration" and "Portrait of a Vixen" in the 24th annual art competition held by The Artist's Magazine. It would be fabulous to be featured in the magazine's December 2007 issue should I be one of the lucky 13 to be honored...of course the prospect at a portion of the 25,000 in prizes isn't too shabby either ;)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Just the facts ma'am. Plain and simple is the way we want it. Leave the yellow journalism for the uneducated masses of yester-year....
As a viewer who's tirelessly kept abreast of the events of the day you begin, after 15 hours of continuous coverage, to get a feeling for the disgusting game unfolding right before our very eyes....First hand reports and first impressions from witnesses on the scene perverted throughout the day, a shadow of the truth.
Lets take the kid with the cell cam bravely playing the role of the videographer in a war torn area, shots fired every few seconds - he becomes the new pseudo-correspondent for the largest news network this side of the Atlantic for the duration. Nice. Like some discovery channel special on the lion cubs long, arduous journey to head of the pride we witness the metamorphosis of college student turned CNN correspondent in hours - shaking and recounting his initial feelings that "life will go on" and little more upon undertaking his new role as "I Reporter" through composure and eventual spin, mentioning finally in the past few hours that the gunman confronted the police, bursting through the doors and then back in again...a fact never, ever relented previously. A fact so deviously and transparently spun through the glowing screen of the television screen that I was prompted to voice my disgust for the whole damn thing through the creation of this blog.
You never said that earlier, brave kid with the cell phone...why now?
Why now do the police speculate there were two gunmen? All eyewitness reports claim the same - one gunman, Chinese decent, tall, maroon cap, oh...and the jacket that was introduced 7 hours into talks with *the same eye witnesses*. Never any mention of a jacket a few hours into the investigation. Students calling in to speak with CNN, MSNBC, Fox news...not one mentioned a "vest that made him look like a boyscout" early on. We mention the maroon cap and the ethnicity but never the vest. All the sudden, after Virginia Tech and the president offer their news conferences, do these same people who gave very clear, very identical descriptions of the assailant change their stories. Ah, and we never actually hear the majority of these witnesses who were so ready to speak to the press early on with their initial recounts changing or adding to their stories later on - on news anchors telling us of these changes after the fact. I wonder why that is....
At 1pm calls poured into the major news channels and they lapped it up, asking every question from here till Sunday to obtain a scoop over the next guy. Calm and collected each eye witness gave their description. One even says she was there for the dorm shooting, knew it was a domestic fight between the gunman and his girlfriend, and the R.A got in the middle and both ended up shot and left for dead as the single gunman ran off - only to disappear for 2 and a half hours while campus officials rammed their thumbs up their rears and tried to figure out a way to notify the campus of the murders - murders students should have been made aware of from the get go - in a calm and collected way as not to incite mass hysteria.
So for 2 hours they polished their campus wide email and press release, allowing the assailant free reign. Time to collect more ammo. Time to grab the chains that he used to barricade the entrance with. Time to execute his next attack. Time for 31 students and faculty in Norris Hall to perish at the hands of a very prepared, very determined gunman with nothing to lose.
It's come up through all of this how very accountable the campus should be held for the inefficiency of security and their lax attitude toward the initial two murders in the dorms at 7:15 am of the girlfriend and the R.A - never ordering a lock down, never even contacting the rest of the campus about what had happened in the dorms until 9:26 am - 4 minutes before the gunman's second attack on the engineering building across the campus.
That's when the spin began.
All of the sudden speculation arises. The wheels turn and the search for the second gunman is on. They're still "searching" for him, whoever he may or may not be. Perhaps he's on the grassy knoll....
See, the thing with all of this, and with most bullshit spins executed throughout history, is it's usually caught by anyone within ear shot.
"You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war".
It went from one deranged individual to two to a terrorist attack within hours. It's all still "speculation" even though I'd be inclined to believe initial, unadulterated reports. They slaughtered the story just as the lone gunman slaughtered the victims in cold blood. I've heard everything today from a modern day Mexican standoff from our good friend the cell phone cam guy to ethnic connections between college campus gunmen and terrorist conspiracy theorized by CNN. There's a fascinating wiki on this very subject and the BBC even has its own "inside sources" to the incident. Everyone is "in the know". Has an "inside track". Even when stories begin to unravel and things just don't seem to add up - if it's packaged neatly enough and people only tune in for the end, the beginning is irrelevant...isn't it?
Right. If you believe that I have a bus ticket to Hawaii I am just dying to sell you real cheap.
Everyone wants something. The college wants a reason not to have the pants sued off of them. The police want to look like heroes so the Mexican standoff scenario is a brilliant speel to feed the hungry masses looking for even more drama then the actual story, that's dramatic and disgusting enough already, even when it is obvious from glorious video what really transpired. The media wants the next story of the year, no doubt sick of chewing the liquid fat of the worn out Anna Nicole story that is as dead as she is. Correspondents from here, there, and everywhere want a chance to psychologically profile the unidentified gunman, so rather than wait for confirmation they too speculate and add fuel to an already blazing fire. Even sweet old Jamal the cell phone camera dude wants recognition for his "brilliant" journalistic feat as honorary "I reporter" for CNN.
The spin is ridiculous and I personally find it disgusting. Do they really think we are that stupid? That blind? That ignorant?
Now I am not saying the witnesses have been corrupted, or the police or even the campus didn't do what they felt was right - but hind sight is 20/20. And they weren't right in the end. And now to spin it just to look better in the face of very real backlash and accountability is the lowest of the low. Take responsibility for your short comings. Yes, you should be sued. The school should have been locked down immediately after the school was made aware of the first murders in the dorms at 7:15 - emails over 2 hours later are not sufficient enough when a gunman is on the loose and *you don't know where he is*. Why it took everyone 2 hours to take anymore action then notifying those just in the dorm where the 2 initial murders took place is beyond comprehension - and someone needs to be held accountable.
31 people are dead because the ball was dropped and that's the bottom line. No political or media spin will negate that. You can't hide from the truth. I only hope the families of the victims demand more for their loved ones lost in this tragedy then officials and the media have. Because if the spin wins, that would be the greatest tragedy of all.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Fresh off the easel is this 8x10 abstract female nude oil painting I've named "Exotica"...just how it felt to me. A lot of the time I will name my paintings the first word that comes to mind because generally the first impression is a keeper lol.
I've just finished another piece that's sitting on the easel right now awaiting natural light to photograph tomorrow. I'm delving further into the female form, getting closer yet more abstracted at the same time.... You'll see with tomorrow's piece what I mean.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Fester in the open wound that is ironic existence and walk the goose step to the tyranical oppression of one's self. Beat myself with the stick for a moment or two only to turn around and deny self-infliction. If anyone asks it was anyone but me. Plausable deniability so transparent the hollow eye sockets peer through the cracked closet door and see right through. Can one really discern pitty in the empty orafices where the windows to the soul used to reside?
Keep the masses at arms length, build the brick wall piece by piece against my will but in line with my better judgement. Skeletons can't get to you when you have no closet. Let's hear it for loop holes.
Yeah right. Like I wanna confine myself in a one room brick shanty of which was self-constructed. I got too much livin to do.
I wanna be the subject of a power ballad circa 1989 and keep it a secret. I wanna open up a 454 on a secluded Montana highway in the middle of July topless. I wanna drink cheap alcohol for a month straight on an expensive resort island in the tropics. I wanna paint every clock I encounter black and forget time even exists...and not have reprocutions. I wanna climb a tree, smoke a joint, and watch the sun set...and then watch it rise completely baked feeling alittle bit more free and a whole lot of gravitational pull. I wanna ride a train across country, pretend I have multiple personality disorder, and chat up unsuspecting passengers in horribly executed accents while sipping on malibu and coke and periodically arguing with one or all of the other 9 personalities I create.
I wanna find a remote field of flowers and frolic through it like in the movies...while on an eighth of shrooms. I wanna have sex in the grass on a rainy summer night. I wanna spend a week in Vegas and not remember. I wanna be loved so deeply and love so deeply in return that it actually makes me cry.
Now where in the hell is that door in the wall...I know I built one just in case.
Welcome to the machine. Step right up and take your best shot, win a teddy bear if you hit the mark. Win an excessively large one with a velvet red ribbon tied around its neck like a noose if you do one better. Take the prize and ride the conveyor belt to your destiny - do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars...it'll all be sucked back into the machine anyways so why even bother.
Locate a match and light another cigarette, one stick closer to demise. Quench the thirst with a frosty cold one and dehydrate in your refreshment. These are the days of our lives. Tip your hat to the passerby who clenches her purse, what a horribly polite mugger you must be. While you're at it hold the door for her and she'll scoff at the gender role you have presented without even trying. Fuck that shit.
Live and let live. Smash the machine with a sledgehammer...brandishing it at the snotty feminazi might be fun too. Who the hell cares anyhow, her opinion has already been made and she's fit you into a box with all the other stereotypes in recent memory so why not go out with a bang? Brandish the sledgehammer and its attempted assault. She pulls a gun and shoots your ass and she's heralded on the front page of the local paper as the courageous young woman who beat the odds and becomes the poster girl for feminine self-defense classes everywhere. How typical.
Speed away in the car you pay an exorbitant amount of money to insure toward the waiting police cruiser who might have let you off with a warning if you had the gift of cleavage and could cry on command and pout seductively. Ain't that just a bitch.
Fine line blurred but the line is still there. Fight for the right to just be you, forget the balls and the dick, just a human sans gender bullshit. Shed a tear, watch a "chick flick", ask for directions when you're lost and hold your head high despite the societal shift in favor of the "fairer" sex.
Pick some friggin flowers in a sun kissed field already so you can smell the roses for once cause it's truly never been tougher being you
Stop the masses....Behind rose colored glasses I see reality as I have made it. Strange realization in the distance the cloud of resitance never can quell this persitence to break through the pestilance swarming my mind to the point that I can not find what is, infact, right in front of me. Take it on the run I carry this gun, with Napalm fun I slaughter the soldier barackading my inner peace. Whisper thoughts of distaster into my ear that which I dare not admitt to fear, always stear clear yet find myself in it's haunting gaze none the less.
What has happened to the last dog of war, barked up the wrong tree long before I could settle the score, shoot straight to the core and find the door to eternity. Tattered, torn, and worn, I blindly work my way through myself to the site I was born or reborn perhaps, over land mines passed subconscious signs in the confines of my soul. Where did it lead me? Could it have ever really freed me? Has anyone in here seen me...broken party of one, call on line none, tell tale sign of what is to come.
But what is to be found, a shadow of redemption without a sound of pretention I present myself for scrutiny and inspection. Rose colored glasses lay broken on the ground and with thorns crowned I martyr myself to my inner demons. Strung from the gallows, read my last rights I set my sites off in the distance to sleepless nights when the sun couldn't rise without a tear shed from the eyes of she who is bound now in these ties.
Without trial straight to execution, retribution approaches to heed the call before my last fall from which out of the depths I'd be forced to crawl. Reason for being is what I am now seeing, darkness parts freeing me from the confines of self-consecration and the degredation of an entire inner nation.
Who is he that holds my hand now, leads me away from the hell I would allow? Follow the swallow far from the sorrow, take me to the light that envelopes the night I had endured for so long. No need to run with the gun any longer, except to protect my heart that straight from the start fell where I didn't expect it to fall....
Monday, April 9, 2007
Wow. With the click of a single image inspiration has been thrown right out the window and utter confusion has stepped in to fill the void over what could have ever possessed Cecily Brown, one of my greatest inspirations, to give up on being the incredible entity she once was.
Now I know this is entirely subjective and many might think the monstrosity above to be a shining example of "high art". Yet to me, an artist who was first inspired by Brown's early work as a sophomore in college in 2002 and was so taken by the seductive complexity, clever sexual puns and in your face provocation of her creations that to gaze upon the work above with its sloppy execution, muddy palette, and predictable and overdone subject matter I feel like the child realizing for the first time Santa Claus is a figment of the imagination. And that just sucks.
We've seen it before. The legendary tales of Picasso's utter arrogance, signing a blank piece of paper and telling creditors that should suffice. And the awful stick figures...artists giving up for all intensive purposes because they lost sight of their craft and only saw dollar signs in the value of their names and not the work they produced. Of course Picasso took several decades to get to that point.
So what's Brown's excuse? Already had her fill of being "revolutionary"? Her work only really broke out into the art scene less than a decade ago...is that all it takes? Nearly 10 years and enough collectors with deep enough pockets and you lose sight of why you painted in the first place? A master in her own mind. Hit the pinnacle before she's even given it much of a chance.
There is no excuse....
There is such a thing as "selling out" in the art world. And I don't mean painting what the masses, Forbes, and Art in America deem to be hot commodities. I mean becoming so self-involved and diluted you actually believe anything you create should be revered and will be the talk of Sotheby's. Oh...and thanks Gagosian Gallery for being so pretentious that you actually snatched up the above piece like it's something to truly be proud of. The celebration of mediocrity. Maybe for a lesser artist that piece would be an accomplishment, but it should atleast be aknowledged that Brown has taken several steps back in the artistic journey.
That should not be celebrated. It should be pittied.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
I know everyone has those days. But it just seems real evident to me *today*. My eyes sting. My neck aches. My back burns. My heels are pulsating. My right leg is halfway asleep. I got it all done...I always get it all done. But at the end of it all I feel so...unfeminine (is that even a word?)
I suppose that is one of the reasons for my nudes...they are the height of femininity. Buxom. Gorgeous. Physical perfection to the point of near Barbie doll-esque dysmorphia. They at the end of the day are all I feel I am not, even if my feelings are unwarranted. They are on their way somewhere, constant and never ending, and they are frozen in their supreme beauty on that journey.
From my "Contemplations on Being a Woman" series begun in 2003 while I was pregnant with my son, "Exposure" (currently available at my Etsy shop is the newest addition to this ever growing, ever popular series of work. This almost iconic representation of the female nude that has presented herself in over 100 of my paintings to date has become almost a signature of mine.
She does not confront the viewer or even aknowlege their presence - we as the viewers walk through her abstracted reality with her through the 4 sides of the canvas, becoming part of the scene for as long as we choose. I love this series - it was my first "project" so to speak. It was in response to the hormonal mess that was me, 5 months pregnant with my little boy, just trying to figure out what was going on within the confines of my own mind. Since then I have painted this scene over and over, different settings, different company, different moods...all in an attempt at getting to know my role as woman, mother, individual, and mere entity among many....
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Subjectivity breeds irony.
Smear some shit on an international icon, crown her with female genitalia and watch the masses label you a modern day heretic. Burn him at the stake that free-thinking heathen, or better yet toss him in the Hudson River with weights tied to his ankles...perhaps his opinions will rise through the murky depths and arrive cleansed and pure at the surface and he shall be martyred.
The truth be thy word.
Crusade against the tools of the trade and the images brought forth by them. Draw and quarter the canvas. Tar and feather the camera. Dust off the Iron Maiden and christen it with the clay that might have become a less then worthy idol at the hands of, God forbid, an individual whose creative vision might be contrary to your own. Stain it with alizarin crimson and make an example out of it. Set it on a pedestal in a public square and condemn what it “might have” become.
The stage has been set.
Watch la resistance plague the lesson with the demon that is the opposing viewpoint. After all, to be right is to be wrong in at least one others mind. Fresh, plump, ripe tomatoes tossed at a tangible statement , pulp the hue of the indignation pumping through the veins of the “morally stunted”. Riot in the square...the gallows await your arrival.
How dare they defy the example set? For your word is the only word. The truth shall set them free...
Who is the martyr now?
People get so offended when the term outsider is used - they think of themselves as "true" outsiders and people who have any sort of education pertaining to art certainly can't be "outsider" artists. Well, too bad these people who feel this way don't have that education or even the basic knowledge to back up their thoughts on the matter or they would see that in their literal take on the term outsider they fail to see the irony in the fact that they themselves can't be "outsider" artists either and are arguing moot points in reality.
In their fight to champion their "outsider" status they only reveal that their basic understanding of outsider art is non-existent. In the truest sense and definition, an outsider artist is either a recluse or locked away in a mental institution, devoid of any and all social contact. The synopsis of true outsider art maintains that the true outsider artist neither sells their creations nor has a real grasp on the fact that it is being sold in the first place.
Cast your mind: Mountain Man Joe scribbles and sketches flora and fauna in between sapping maple trees and shooting a pheasant for dinner with his trusty 22. His niece Daisy visits him every few months and good ole' uncle Joe gives her a sketch or two for the muffins she baked for him and so generously hiked 3 miles to give to him. Daisy reads in the newspaper a few weeks later that "Outsider" art is highly sought after by the aristocratic debutantes and eccentrics who long for conversational pieces for their foyers and dens and are willing to pay top dollar to wow their friends with such work. Daisy, who has found herself under a mountain of bills for *insert social dysfunction here* decides to sell the Mountain Man's work to a New York Gallery who in turn sells these poorly executed, childish creations to the above mentioned "social elite".
And the outsider artist is born.... At least by pure definition. Uncle Joe who owns absolutely no books besides his atlas and dropped out of school at age 13 without any art education to speak of (macaroni and glitter decorated holiday cards and clay ashtrays aside) continues to scribble cartoonish Bambis and Thumpers without the slightest idea that his work has been featured in Art in America twice. See what I mean?
Thus the outsider status has actually emerged as more a style than a lifestyle. And when people go on and on about those horrible artists with them there edjumacations they only illustrate further their lack of understanding of the history behind, and evolution of, outsider art. The interpretations of "outsider art" are as widespread and open ended as any debate that includes strong personal opinions and nothing more than a few facts lifted from here and there to validate a perceived understanding or lack thereof.
So, in keeping with this tradition, I will quote Michel Thevoz, Curator of the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne:
"Art Brut", or "outsider art", consists of works produced by people who for various reasons have not been culturally indoctrinated or socially conditioned. They are all kinds of dwellers on the fringes of society. Working outside fine art "system" (schools, galleries, museums and so on), these people have produced, from the depths of their own personalities and for themselves and no one else, works of outstanding originality in concept, subject and techniques. They are works which owe nothing to tradition or fashion.
Now, if this is a generally accepted definition of "outsider art" then can anyone who sells their work through ebay or on the internet in general be defined outsider artists? If representing one's work and offering it to the masses in a realm surrounded by creations of all educational levels, isn't there an inherent influence obtained through marketing and selling around such works? So I guess the argument then becomes where the invisible boundary line exists between the culturally aware, highly educated and gallery represented artist and the weekend hobbyist whose artistic influences include Thomas Kinkaide tapestries and Norman Rockwell calendars at the doctors office. Is there a boundary to speak of? If both artists sell side by side in a venue such as ebay, are the distinctions between these too so clear? Are they black and white really? I would think that the hobbyist who sells on ebay would browse around and become subject to any number of works created by highly educated artists. And if we look back at the definition above provided by an individual who has obviously invested a good portion of his career in the attempt to understand and interpret outsider art, can we then deduce that the hobbyist has obtained a certain amount of understanding pertaining to art and sells in a virtual auction style art gallery and therefore can be no more categorized an "outsider artist" than the formally trained artist selling an auction listing away?
Have we not just spun around in a complete circle and ended right back where we started? Perhaps, but I have yet to pose the biggest question on my mind on the subject.
Why do people care so much about the keywords used by artists in an attempt to obtain the same goals as one another - sell the work and make a living at something they love? I guess it all goes back to perceived competition as I have mentioned time and again is the thorn in the creative side of the ebay arts community. No where else will you find artists debating so heavily and passionately about the implied and literal usage of a single term that has no clear cut definition anymore.
Artists themselves rearranged the clear cut definition eons ago as far as the internet and ebay goes and recreated the understanding of what outsider art is, and can be. Artists themselves defined it as more than the sterile thought that outsider art could only be created by a madman or hermit on the extreme "fringes" of society. Or what of the definition that states outsider art is nothing more than art created by those who do not recognize themselves as artists? Well, those that toot their own outsider status and poo poo on the educated who choose to associate their style with that of the "outsider" should take a long hard look at themselves and rethink whether they want to confront that catch 22 with a response....
I'm working on a new line of impasto, expressionistic florals such as "Secret Garden II" (left). There are 4 so far in this new series with plenty more to come. They are being sold exclusively on my Etsy.com website.
Also wanted to let my patrons know how much I truly appreciate your patronage! I am offering goodies here and there - 20% off to first time purchases and random participation in Etsy's Friday Happy Hour and Saturday Night Specials worth 15-25% off original art from my shop!
Thank you again for everything, it means to world!!!