Sunday, July 31, 2011

okay, seriously...

Dear Universe,

Remember all those times last winter when I randomly begged you for warm weather? I'd just like to let you know that you have gone above and beyond. Please feel free to stop now. Maybe just pull back about thirty degrees...


We've had a bit of an air conditioning blow up this week, so I've had to keep my art journal at a friend's house to prevent the pages from melting together. It feels so odd, not having it there all of the time...

I have been drawing in the beater sketch book, and the stuff from there will eventually be added to the journal. Sort of obsessed with rounded, cartoon-y eyes and whimsical faces right now.

I think the heat is just making me want to meld some sort of candy aspect into everything. I like that.

See, I said something positive about the motherfucking heat.

Monday, July 25, 2011


So it's one thing to hope for rain to cool down this blazing hot summer, right? Yep, that's one thing. I did that.

It is a teeny bit cooler.

So now why to I so feel the need to spray pages outside?

Contrary brain just isn't very cute today.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It has been one of those backgrounds, circles, gesso, coughing, sneezing, stuffy head, fever, so you can’t rest weeks. Hello there, summer cold. I think I’ll make some backgrounds, then sit and stare at them.

Where did you get the idea that anyone would be interested in another hypochondriac health update?

Well, SLB, I probably got it from the same place I got the idea to put my little paintings and art journal pages up where folks can actually see them if they’d like. This cold is making me very tired, and I have done less drawing and painting. I hope that making note of how lousy I’ve felt and how little art I’ve done will help me find a way to push through the fatigue and keep going even on down days.

I did draw a cuttlefish, but that was early on in the week. I see more cuttlefish in the future, because I sort of have a crush on them right now. 

PBS Create is showing back to back wine shows today. I usually turn off the TV when the house clears out, but I’ve kept this running in the background because it’s making me want to draw bottles and glasses, maybe grapes.

I have spilled a box of markers and pencils on the floor today. I have spilled my big container of brushes today. I keep knocking shit into the floor. If I didn’t feel so crummy, I would just get down on the floor with everything dumped out around me and work.

I picked it all up, though. I’m staring at the box of pencils and markers right now. Part of me wishes it was better stuff, but another part of me knows that I’m lucky to have what I have. I’m lucky to be faced with the challenge of making something beautiful with what I have on hand.

Something tells me that if I won the art supply lottery, I would still be sitting somewhere with a mechanical pencil and a tub of gesso. Maybe not.

Where was I going with that? I don’t know. This is probably why I call it rambleday.

Perhaps randomday would be better, but no… I’m going to ramble. I just like the feel of that word more.

My art journal is getting harder to scan as I work deeper into the book. I’m doing what I can with what I have to work with, but I find myself cropping out shadows along the side more and more. Or sometimes just leaving them in the photo… which is something I don’t love, but something I have to just deal with until I figure out a good solution.  (By good solution, I do mean free solution.)

I wonder of I should be more tech-y. Maybe I need an art partner with tech-y leanings.

See, now there’s another ramblethought. Art partner. Most of the time art is my good solitude, but now and then I would love to share the process with someone, or work alongside someone on different projects. Art partner. Does that happen?

I mean, not so much a class. I often wish I was sitting at a table with my sister, both of us working on something. I like that thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

very low energy

Monday, July 18, 2011

comfort food

Jump, fucker.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I just can’t seem to find my blue sky today. Feeling dulled down, and like I can’t even work up a tear for it. I have hope, though, that this is just one of my days. I have a few excuses that might even be reasons, but they’re just too tired to tell.

Hope comes from knowing how often I absorb inspiration without even realizing it. I hope my brain and my heart are just taking a little sponge break.

Sick of drawing your little orange slice flowers, are you?

At times, but I find myself drawing them by the dozen. Sick of you too, SLB. Don’t even try to get me worked up today because it ain’t even happening.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve completed three 8x10 canvas panels, three small wood pieces, and three journal pages. This is incredibly productive for me.

I am currently trying to ignore SLB. She has a bucket of anxiety and wants to use it to shut me down. Sitting here writing this is taking more energy than I have.

I have a blank 16x20 stretched canvas propped up on the chair beside me, waiting for me to face my fear that I can’t make enough to cover large surfaces anymore. The fact that I am going to cover the shit out of that big white surface just made me grin a little bit.

I should run. Orange slice flowers refuse to draw themselves.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Ever have something accidentally turn out better than you thought it would?

I didn't like working on these canvas panels at all at first... then it sort of just clicked.

And then I ran out of everything. Well, I ran out of everything besides pencils, so I'm okay.

Monday, July 11, 2011

influences and inspirations...

I’ve been thinking about my influences lately. Seems like the more art I make, the more obvious they become. It isn’t deliberate. I’ve been working intuitively lately, and I don’t usually notice it until I’m done with the page. I also don’t think my work looks a lot like the stuff I’m filtering.

Why are you having so much trouble with the words? Feeling a bit unoriginal?

Well, “original” is a pretty ridiculous concept when it comes to… pretty much anything.

I’ve just been sort of having this boom of stuff lately. I see my sister’s influence in it quite a lot. I love the sinuous quality of the lines in her work, and how provocative and strong it is. Her women are vibrant with energy and emotion. I want that, and though I don’t think my stuff will ever have that same sizzle, I feel that studying what she has done has pushed me to use color and longer, more expressive lines in my own way.

You mean you’ve tried to express something other than apathy or isolation?

You know, those are things that I deal with all of the time, and they’re going to be there whether I like it or not. I think what I’m figuring out is that they are not the only slices on the pie chart.

There’s a link to Elaina’s art blog in the sidebar. Just look for the beautiful painting of a woman in overalls… This be the button. Go and look. Scroll back. You will not regret it. Also, just to make it easier here are links to her art blog and her poetry blog.

I’ve been drawing, doodling, painting (mark making) for as long as I can remember. I have no formal training, and there are years long gaps where I didn’t even pick up a pencil for anything more elaborate than a shopping list, but I always come back to it. And I miss myself when I don’t do it.

Art therapy is an amazing thing.

A few years ago I started seeing artists on youtube. This has been very cathartic for me as well. How can anyone resist being inspired by folks like Tamara Laporte or Suzi Blu? They show up at the party. They are fabulous and talented and generous, as are women like Samantha Kira Harding and Effy Wild, just to name a couple.

So, how long is it going to take you to figure out how to link their pages? We both know how hopeless you are with that stuff.

I’ll figure it out.

Let’s hope so. You’re already late to your own self imposed blabfest here.

Anyway, I did take a couple of Suzi Blu’s online classes a couple of years ago when I had the means to do so. I also took Tamara Laporte’s free Art, Heart and Healing class. I found all of these helpful and inspiring and would recommend them to anyone.
But you’re really too flighty to be a very good class participant, aren’t you?

Well, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get anything from them.

After I did this page I could see Tamara Laporte’s influence in it.

You might want to borrow a lasso to rope in that wandering eye before it escapes.

Maybe, but I like the way the color turned out.

Also, after I did this little painting I could see Suzi Blu’s influence in it.

What makes me happy about noticing the influences in my stuff is that I can see them, sure, but the work still feels like mine when it comes down to it.

You know, this post is getting a little wordy…

But I didn’t even mention any of the artists I’ve loved forever like Alphonse Mucha or Patrick Nagel or Frida Kahlo or Frank Frazetta or…

Yeah, too many to list. It’s good, though, having so much beauty to take in.

Not to mention music, books, and the flowers on the side of the road.

Erm, you just mentioned them.

Can it, SLB. I’m having a moment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

friends, SLB, and humpbacks...

Wherein I shrug and hem and haw and explain SLB again…

Yesterday a friend of mine was reading my last blog post, and he turned to me with fire in his eyes and a fighting look on his face. “Who is this saying these things?” He was even in a determined posture when he asked this. He was ready to TCB.

I love my friends.

I think I shrugged and bit my lip and tried to look all nonchalant. “Oh, that’s just the ball of self loathing that lives inside me. She’s always orange.” See, no big.

His shoulders relaxed, and he gave me one of those looks that only a real friend will give you. “Okay,” he said, then went back to reading.

Have I mentioned that I love my friends?

The ones who get it in one or two bizarre sentences, who manage to slip in a little look that says they’re always keeping watch. You know, the ones who give you big buckets of freedom to be, but who will also sit you down with a coffee and a chat and call your ass out if they think you might harm yourself by just being the you that is some scary times you.

Anyway, I think he realized that writing SLB is just my current way of trying not to internalize so much. I mean, I can’t speak for him, but he did let it go.

Aside from reminding me how amazing my friend is, this little moment also made me think that perhaps not everyone who stumbles across this blog understands immediately that SLB is just me confronting, well, me. I’ve been letting her speak for the past couple of months, and have just become accustomed to allowing her out. I put a few words about her in the sidebar, but not everyone sees that stuff.

SLB is short for self loathing ball. Some people call it the inner critic. When she pops up here, her words are in this color and usually italicized, so she reads like this. Sometimes she doesn’t even show up, but some posts are pretty orange.

This way, I sort of feel like I’m putting up a flag for most of the negative stuff.

Having gone on for so long about the hostile bitch in my gut, I figure that now would be as good a time as any to share a page that managed to sneak up and surprise me a couple of days ago. Turns out this page is about love. It isn’t so much about romantic love, but more about the love that is still there when romantic love is absent. How odd is it to find that I still believe in that, and that it can sometimes pat back the anxiety? It is reassuring to me that I can honestly express this sort of love with art.

Who knew?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

swim or fly?

Swim or fly? Why not both, right?

That’s a bit trite, don’t you think?

Just fuck you right now, SLB.


Just you wait; pretty soon I’m going to gumption up and start talking about love. Yeah, you heard me right. Love. Just not this very minute.


I always seem to get hung up on mermaids, even though my experience with the ocean is very minimal. I think my subconscious is trying to push me away from the typical mermaid image. Perhaps one day I will do a bit of research and a lake mermaid will fall out of me. Who knows, right? Maybe I’ll just continue to make shit up, which is pretty much fine by me as well.

It seems like it has been a long time since I drew a winged person, though I went through a phase of this several years ago. This page feels much removed from those old drawings, though. Reminiscent, maybe, but I also feel vaguely reminiscent of the person who was doing the drawing. Does that make sense to anyone but me?

You seriously just wrote that? What are you, nine?

Okay, for starters I am just trying to be honest and real. All of these words are just a condensed version of where I am right now. Just as the old art journal is my image safe place, this is my exposed words safe place. I wonder if it will ever happen that I get so sick of your orangey ass that you just cease to be.

Also, what’s wrong with being nine? I’m not nine, having been born forty, but I see no reason to have a problem with anyone who is nine.

Anyway, wings or fins. In some way I have them.