Thursday, November 30, 2006

This morning I learned about the artist Marlene Dumas by following a link on ArtNewsBlog to an interview by ArtInfo. I find this female artist fascinating and instantly fell in love with her piece "Jule-die Vrou" from 1985.

I know very little about today's artists and their works and as exciting as it is to learn about each one, in some ways I am saddened because I feel with every bit of exposure I get I am even less likely to find my own place in art.

I am not satisfied to think that my work should be relegated to the world of "yet another hobbyist." But with each new artist "discovery" I make, I realize how my work falls short of having the kind of impact I get from viewing the works of other artists.

For me it is not about a desire to become a great or famous artist, it is however, most certainly about wanting to create great works...works that have impact. Works that fully express what it is inside me that I feel compelled to say in a language of colour and stroke.

Perhaps I am on a safari of sorts right now, not settling completely into specific subjects, colors, themes, or application techniques... hoping that I find the one style that truly feels as if it is "mine" and takes me down its path of new discoveries.

I think I should learn something from this interesting response of hers to one of the questions asked:

Q: As well as the lecture, you’ve also been doing some teaching in the painting studios. How important is working with students for you?

A: I see teaching as a very important thing, and not only because I teach them things, but also because we have a dialogue, and you see what you really want. You find things out. I still believe in the Socratic dialogue. Art is really something that you learn from being around people. My own experience in South Africa was that the art school was part of the university, so I learned such a lot in general, not just about painting.

I am from a generation that seems to want to copyright their inventions, but I am not one of those artists who think they invented everything. You are part of a tradition. It’s the same as when people write books—they have read other books that they relate to. Painting is part of a visual tradition.

The worst kind of artist is one who thinks they’re so wonderful because they don’t understand that there have been all these wonderful things done already, and that you exist in relation to that. Just because an artist from the past is dead doesn’t mean the work is dead. Art is something that relates you to the past, and hopefully to the present as well.

Boy, would I love to take classes from her!

Also, I really like the description (especially Dumas' own quote) of "Jule-die Vrou" on Saatchi Gallery's website:

Jule-die Vrou is a disembodied portrait painting framed in extreme close-up; only the model's eyes and lips are fully rendered attributes of seduction and sexuality. The rest of the painting is obliterated by a corpulent fleshy pink, suggestive of femininity, sin, violence and womanhood. The contrast between representation, and abstraction suggests a psychological disparity, where morality, representation, and social convention are questioned.

‘I don't have any conception of how big an average head is, I've never been interested in anatomy. In that respect I relate like children do. What is experienced as most important is seen as the biggest, irrespective of actual or factual size. In the movies everything is larger than life and yet you experience that as real(istic); all my faces are much bigger than human scale. From blowing up to zooming in, for me the “close-up” was a way of getting rid of irrelevant background information and by making the facial elements so big, it increased the sense of abstraction concerning the picture frame. The elimination of the background also did away with the place of being and environmental context.'

‘As the isolation of a recognisable figure increases and the narrative character decreases (contrary to what one might initially assume that this lack of illustrative information would bring about), the interpretative effects are inflamed. The titles re-direct the work, however, they do not eradicate the inherent ambiguity. One cannot interpret the painting of Jule-die Vrou without entangling some of the root metaphors applied not only to the female, but to the idea of portrayal in general'. Marlene Dumas, 1992.

If I had lots of money, i think this painting would be staring at me every day in my house.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

wild kitties

Wild momma kitty has disappeared for going on three days now... left behind are these two itty bitty hissing spitting wild things in my shed.

Wild #1


Wild #2

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

yes...

i did eventually take A bath.

I'm afraid my Hootie has been swallowed alive by a giant coffee conglomerate and I will never see or hear from her again.
Chels is being sabotaged by "friends" looking for an excuse to get out of their responsibilities.
Gordy wore sandals (and that is all) this morning while preparing the bird-feast.
I am not able to paint during the week because I can't stand painting in the dark.
I am in javascript hell with my company's new website.

i think that covers everything at the moment :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

i need a bath

been painting for two days straight... get up, drink some coffee, paint-paint-paint, drink some wine, fall asleep.

I just realized i should probably bathe.

yep, that would be nice.

hope all is well and wonderful with you'n.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

cause Mom asked fer it.

in context

first paint study of Cheryl

Making family Gobbleween calls...

Called Dad, it went like this:

*ring* *ring*

D: Herb here.
M: Hey Dad!
D: Whos this?!
M: I believe I am your oldest known daughter.
D: Alissa? and how's your Mom...whas her na...
M: Juanita! She's fine.
D: What is she doing lately?
M: Oh you know, she still prefers to hang out with the donkeys.
D: *Gaffawing* You are nasty!
M: Yeah well I come by it honestly.
D: HAPPY THANKSGIVING DEAR!
M: HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU TOO DAD!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

CHEESE

is good.

Happy North American Thanksgiving.

yep.
Simple common sense should govern human behavior first and foremost before referring to any legal guidelines as to what you can and can't get away with in today's world.

If every instance of not using common sense was allowed to play out in its entirety without intervention, it is likely natural selection would soon create a deficit of people functioning without it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Via Colori Houston 2006


What a great weekend for doing street paintings! I met so many nice people and got to catch up with artists whom I haven't seen in awhile. I think Via Colori was a great success and can't wait to do it again next year. This was by far one of the funnest art events I have participated in awhile.

My square sponsor was Knapp Chevrolet of Houston, who donated $1,000 dollars to sponsor my 6'x6' square... as an added bonus I got my picture taken with Knapp's Mascot "Snappy." I think someone told me that sponsorships alone raised $200,000 for The Center for Hearing and Speech in Houston.

Here's a link to the rest of my pics on Flickr.com

Friday, November 17, 2006

random thought #145,300,987,632,135

thinking about this painting by Klimt of Adele Bloch-Bauer...would it make good street art? hmmmm...
Tonight there is an artist get-together for the Via Colori thing at Winter Street Studio... needless to say, over the last week I have actually started to get a feeling for my way around the area of Winter Street and Elder Street. Martin showed me a different way to get from Humble to Elder Street and it is a lot less complicated than the route I had been taking.

Saturday's schedule is looking like this:

9am - 12pm Via Colori
1pm - 6pm Art Crawl at Elder Street
7pm - 10pm Cigar Box Auction at M2 Gallery

No Problemo! right?!

Last night I stayed up at Elder Street working until 11:30pm. The studio that Tim Snider and I are sharing for the art crawl is a two-room place with a small bathroom. Tim has TONS of work he has amassed over the last few months so he is taking the main room and I am taking the smaller one. Most of the paintings I brought have been seen before, in fact, I am tired of looking at them and am really beginning not to like them. I know I was tired last night and in not such a great mood - my thoughts as I turned out the light to my room and took one last look around at my work was...damn! this looks like some kind of wanna-be artist's blue-light-special-garage-sale. I am so ready to wrap up present commitments and take some time to develop where I want to go next with my work. I hate being insecure about my work and envy those artists who just "know" they are good, never doubting themselves for a second - that would be so nice for a change.

At my insistance, my sister sent some great pics of herself, I have a portrait in mind i want to do of her and am looking forward to getting started on it. I'm going to paint her on a 3'x4' canvas. Cheryl and I had a discussion once about my attraction to painting women who have had a slightly-less-than-wholesome life, particularly when it comes to men. Of course, Ophelia & Leda are my two favorite fictional characters and i think it is appropriate to do paintings of Cheryl and myself within this context. I feel there is much of "me" in every painting i do of Ophelia and Leda, so now it is time to paint Cheryl and I can't wait to get started on it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Artist Kelly Moore

I have admired this artist's painted works on many occasions since learning about him a year or so ago. Despite my reluctance to join the MySpace crowd, getting to see his new works on nearly a daily basis is one of the few reasons I am glad that I did join MySpace. Kelly Moore posts works that are poetry and painting (sometimes scribbly-sketches and sometimes assembled things too) all woven together - telling a story, offering a perspective, delighting over something, dreaming, perhaps licking a wound, or the occasional political rant. Go see his stuff fer yourself, i bet you will like it.

Kelly's MySpace Blog

random thought #145,300,987,632,134

I am an unsightly contradiction...
don't like excuses although I hide behind them myself.
don't like lies but have been known to live some.
don't like drunkards yet can sure tie one on.
don't like to be forgotten although forget all too often.

Monday, November 13, 2006

ribbit

my thoughts are like toads
some times I can embrace them
and they become magical things
other times i embrace them
and they just piss on me.

Friday, November 10, 2006

lightening


if all goes well with uploading, clicking on the pic will give you an image big enough for a desktop image...cheers!

Stormy Weather

On the western horizon there is a fantastic electrical display happening...distant rumblings can be heard...nice.
Pensive thoughts about cheese toast.

When I was a wee-one in NJ still with my sis and my mom in the log-cabin-like house that had lilly-of-the-valley all over the backyard... my favorite food was grilled cheese and tomato soup... infact, my memories would like me to believe that the ONLY thing we ever ate back then was spaghetti noodles with butter (instead of sauce), grilled cheese and tomato soup, and the occasional bowl of oatmeal... i am pretty certain mom added a little more variety to our diet than just those three dishes, but THAT is what 5-year-old-me would like to have 43-year-old-me remember none the less.

Years later, upon first coming back to live with my mom, which happened to be one of the happiest days of all my days leading up to that point in time... I sat on the floor of her house (I don't recall much furniture in the living room) with her and her boyfriend and ate my very first piece of open-faced-broiled-cheesy-meltdown on RYE with odd seasonings hippifiedly thrown in the mix. IT WAS HEAVENLY!

Hence, I believe it was destiny to have this long-term love affair with my comfort-food of choice-cheese.
HOOT! Oh you make me smile out loud! TROUT?!! indeed.
and so here i am six minutes away from midnight wondering if i am the only person awake here in Humble. I know at the very least there is an old blonde Lab panting like every breath might be his last sitting right next to me. Ever since G Jr. left to join the army, the old boy has decided that hanging with me is allright.

Just had two marvelous pieces of cheese toast (bread with butter and slivers of sharp cheddar cheese broiled to perfection) and finishing off a margarita i have been nursing for two and a half hours...nice cheesy stuff.

I was just thinking about how much i like having a blog...my boss says it is all about vanity: publicly displaying ones metaphorical dirty look-at-me-looky-looky undies for the world to see, as if the world would give a ratsass... i like it because it is the only journal I have kept for this amount of time and still been able to locate it. Although it is not a literary work of art, it IS capturing the random snippets of monologue one has with oneself throughout the day, of which at any given time someone might encounter and perhaps intersect with by adding some of their own random stuff, making happy random dialog... not to mention, what i will, sometimes it is just nice to have a reference as to precisely when one was cheesy-buttery-toasty-tequila-happy on any given night in their life.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Some naked stuff I've been working on.
This one is done...

This one is still in the beginning stages.

I talked to Ashley today (with Via Colori) I am really excited about being able to participate in this event and happy that something like this is happening in Houston. I am also happy because I know that the artist Michelle Macy will be there and I will finally get to see her - it has been a LONG time and I miss her smile.
I'm wondering what is up with the research on cultured meat.
Here's a great article on new-harvest.org (from last year) about cultured meat that helps one not immediately react with "Ew, that is GROSS!"
This just in from Chels... "Molly" a Schnauzer cruising the hood in Austin. Molly seems to have a strong resemblence to "Chi" - only cleaner, and well, groomed. Chi hates to be clean and groomed.

G-man popping in fer a "Howdy!"
Good Morning! There is so much happening in the art world right now, I think I'm on the verge of a panic attack. Coming up on Saturday, November 18th: The Art Crawl. It is looking like perhaps I will be sharing a studio with the very talented artist Tim Dean Snider... But Gordy will graciously be filling in for me at the Elder Street Artist Lofts until I am finished for the day working on my 6'x6' square of pavement on Allen Parkway for Via Colori (this event continues on through Sunday the 19th). THEN, also happening Saturday night is the Hight Cigar Box auction at M2 Gallery in the Heights.

Elder Street Artist Loft is one of the nicest artist collectives in Houston, I learned about this place during the last inner-corridor art crawl. That was when I got to see the studio of the artist Susan Goettsche, she lives and works in her studio, as well as hosts public art events like the "Compelled" show a few months ago, and the upcoming fund-raiser for the Crockett Elementary Fine Arts After-school Program on December 2nd.

This Sunday the plan is to meet up with Terrence Boggs and Tim D. Snider to look over the two-level studio at Elder Street and determine what needs to be done for lighting and hanging preparation. I am kind of excited about this as it fulfills my desire to see what it would be like to actually have a working studio. I know Gordy would be happy if he didn't have to trip over all my paint stuff scattered about the house.


On another note, I have been mulling over what I wanted to do for Via Colori, and I'm thinking about doing a copy of one of my favorite pastel works by Degas but I'm having a hard time deciding if I should do something original instead. There is an artist orientation on Friday the 17th and maybe after I hear what they have to say I will make a final decision... I'm so flaky, can't ever make up my mind!

Adding to my panic because it is coming up real QUICK... "Imbued" at Elder Street which should be a great exhibition, the turnout for Elderstreet's last show was fantastic.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

hmmmmm...

Kinky's voters showed dismally... or well, perhaps there just weren't enough of 'em. Every where I went I heard his name and felt sure that he would have a stronger presence in the numbers race. I did hear many people waver between Bell and Kinky... i did too. I also heard people say a vote for Kinky was a vote for Perry. It looks like that is exactly what happened.

NYTimes election results for Texas:

Perry: 1,708,833
Bell: 1,302,251
Strayhorn: 786,109
Friedman: 551,325
Werner: 26,619

If you add Kinky's votes to Bell's then you have Bell winning by approximately 100,000 votes.

So i wonder who DIDN'T vote, (according to the news this morning 50% of registered voters did NOT) and who would they have been likely to vote for if they had. How many people have i heard say "I'm so disgusted with everything that I won't vote at all." If all those people got off their duffs and voted, what would the election results look like today? I wonder. To all those registered voters who elect not to vote i say this: Political change comes slowly, even slower to those who don't vote. You have limited opportunity to make small changes, small changes add up to large changes, so stop making excuses and vote. Every time you choose not to vote you must come to terms with the fact that you are less likely to see anything politically different in your lifetime then what you dissapprove of now.

And now for something completely different, I had not seen my cell phone since last Saturday night and FINALLY stumbled across it this morning whilst doing the farm chores. Pitiful little device had lost all its charge...poor little dead, neglected cell phone. Everything is gonna be okay now, momma has you on the charger and you'll be like new in an hour.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Testing image posting :)

Time for a new start!

Going to post a link to the archived blog asap...tired of having to fix hundreds of html documents every time i was forced to republish the whole blog. Anyway, 'nuff complaining outta me...be back later.

Harvey the Hurricane, control (NOT), and cats

Today was a day of diligence. I cleaned the Nubby Buddha and managed to change ALL their litter boxes, plus the inside litter boxes, and bir...