slightly wonky

fuzzy filter…
May 25, 2012, 8:59 am
Filed under: Drawing, painting | Tags: , , ,

This week, I had a fun evening of cocktails AND painting with my best friend.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!  I’m not kidding.  We went to Palettes in Natick.  Here’s how it works:  You sign up to take “a class,” where an instructor leads the group in doing a painting…step-by-step.  I know.  You art snobs out there have already clicked “close” on this window, right?  BUT WAIT!!!  How much fun is it to MINDLESSLY work on a painting, and just enjoy the act of blobbing on bright colors (with a caipirinha in hand, mind you)???  SO much fun.  Here’s the painting that a roomful of people painted simultaneously:

(I will explain why it’s so blurry in a minute)

Now, I would NEVER have painted this if left to my own devices.  BUT, I found it really freeing to let go of all expectations, and just paint.  One other thing that made it interesting was walking around the room to see each person’s version of this SAME painting.  Notice how narrow my boat is…in comparison, my friend’s boat was wide.  I found this to be a metaphor for our personalities…she is warm and open, and I am crabby and sullen.  No?  Well, I think that I’m onto something…

Okay, now why the image is so blurry:

I have a four-year old son. 

Need I say more?  I walked by the dining room table this week, noticed my camera sitting unusually close to him.  He also had a rather guilty expression on his face.  The camera looked fine, so I didn’t say anything.  Well…now, as you can see, my Leica lens is now coated with one or all of the following: 1.maple syrup, 2. saliva, 3. rice milk, 4. chewed up waffle.  While I think that the lens may be pretty much ruined, I think that I now have a “fuzzy filter” lens, which can likely take very flattering portraits.  I may have a career opporunity in either taking fuzzy photos, or letting my son ruin other people’s cameras so that they too can have “soft focus” photos.  Sigh.

I think that my motto as a parent is just that:  “sigh”

We made a miniature living room set out of playdoh this week:

I tried to convince him to do a “low arm” sofa, but he insisted on “english arms.”  Go figure.

I think that I finished that drawing from last week:

Looks better, right? (you must agree with me, lest I be offended)  I was toying around with the idea of drawing these in charcoal, but do you know what?


I’m sure that’s my lack of skill with charcoal, but jeez…that sooty black dust gets EVERYWHERE.  I am already a messy person, so I’m not sure that using a messy medium is the way to go.  I’m kind of asking for trouble, I think.  People will see me coated with black dust in the grocery store and wonder if I am a chimney sweep.  “Oh no,” I’ll say, “I’m an ah-tist!”  Weird looks will abound.  I still getting used to the odd looks that I get from the employees in either hardware stores, or Home Depot.  I’m not sure that I want to add odd looks from grocery store clerks as well…especially as they can be a rather odd lot themselves.  (I apologize if anyone reading this is a grocery store clerk…perhaps that’s true just in our town.)

I am also sorry for any of you looking for a somewhat serious discussion about art this week.  I got nuthin’.  Check out this blog, for thoughtful insights and discussions about the art world:

Joanne Mattera is an uber-talented encaustic artist.  She does beautiful work, and she generously writes a fabulous art blog.  READ IT!  NOW!  While her blog would be likened to a gourmet meal, mine is more similar to a bag of Cheetos. 



Sloooowness and scribbles…
May 18, 2012, 11:59 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , ,

I’m so concerned about this post being boring that I’ve decided to post an image of the drawing that I’m working on…which is still in process:

There!  Now, is this post exciting???  No?  Too bad. 

This drawing is waaay too pale.  I need to generally bring up the tones, etc. etc.  But, I think that it’s coming along.  These drawings take forever, so I’m often pining to do something more “scribbly”, just to get that visceral, mark-making feeling out of my system.  Actually, I sort of get that out a little when my son and I do a “group” art project.  Here is our latest drawng:

I do NOT like to draw on my son’s drawings, as I obviously “ruin” them if I do.  But often, he insists that we draw together.  I get yelled at if I slack off.  So, above, you can *clearly* see a soccer field…a baseball diamond…and a football field.  I drew the little brown people on the sidelines watching the game.  My son asked why they had no arms.  I had no good reason, so he decided to add arms.  You will notice the short, orange arm extending off of the lowest person.  BUT, if you look at the person second from the top, you will see LOOONG, swirly arms coming off of him.  That blob that looks like a spiky sun on the bottom of the page is one of his hands.  BRILLIANT!  See?  This drawing would be so much better if I didn’t have to contribute to it.

The reason it’s posted on the wall is because my son wanted to cut a hole in the wall.  Even though I pointed out to him that our staircase is on the other side of that wall (I didn’t bother to mention the more obvious reasons of not cutting holes in walls), he still insisted that we cut a hole.  After much wrangling and debating and struggling to tell him that we are NOT cutting a hole in the wall, he agreed that we could draw what we imagined would be in the hole.  Thus, we have several athletic fields.  Go figure.

In my poking around on the internet, I found the GORGEOUS drawings of Sandra Allen.  Here is a sample of what she does:

Sandra Allen, Auspice, 60″ x 42″, pencil on paper 

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  That’s a PENCIL drawing, for Lord’s sake!!!!!  Look how big it is too!  That’s actually tiny for her…she does some truly enormous drawings.  Please check out her website.   I’m pretty flabbergasted by it.  She has a drawing that she’s done which is 37 FEET TALL!  No, not 37 inches…37 FEET…I kid you not.  Go look at her work.  Now.  Isn’t it amazing???  I’m not going to give my usual whining speech lamenting that, in comparison, my drawings look marginally better than putting a pencil and a sheet of paper in a clothes dryer for an hour.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration…but only slightly.  I’ll just give a dramatic *SIGH* to express my discouragement.

Can anyone recommend the work of other artists who work in graphite?  I’m always interested in seeing what others are doing (in my masochistic way).  Hmmmm???  Suggestions?  Whom should I look at?

Here’s something that you should look at:

That’s in our garden!  No kidding!  I wish I could take some kind of credit for this lovely iris (am I right?), but I cannot.   Not only did I play no part in it’s budding (obviously)…but I also didn’t even put that silly bulb in the ground in the first place.  It was here when we moved in.  For someone like myself, who has the tendency to inadvertently kill most plants, it’s great to see something lovely in the garden that I haven’t destroyed by sheer ignorance.  Now, if I can just keep my son from hitting it with a wiffle ball bat…

Drawing show at the New Art Center & grey hot dogs!
May 11, 2012, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

So, this week I went to the New Art Center in Newton, MA to see a drawing show titled, “M(i)(A)cro: A Contemporary Drawing Exhibition.”  SO AMAZING!!!  It’s so great to see a drawing-only exhibit.  Sometimes, I feel that drawing gets neglected…works on paper are fragile…they are often just black & white…yadda yadda yadda.   Whatever.  Here are a couple of highlights:

Greg Fuqua, Study in Dynamics, Charcoal, 69″ x 42″

LOOK AT THAT!  Look how BIG it is!  Seriously.  That drawing was gorgeous.    I could have sat all day and just looked at it.  So amazing.  Here is the artist’s website, just in case you missed it:  Greg Fuqua.  Trust me…if you saw that in person, you’d “oooh” and “aaah” as well.  It’s a CHARCOAL drawing, for goodness sake…   

Here is another artist from that show:

Barbara Blacharczyk, Botanical Flux, Acrylic and ink on multiple layers of Duralar, 57″ x 40″ 

SOOOO COOL!!!  She has many layers of Duralar (which is what I use as well), which she has painted on…cut into…collaged.  The drawings really look “alive”, as there is so much depth to them.  They’re fascinating.  If anyone is in the Newton, MA area…go see this show NOW!  It’s almost over!  Seriously.  Put down your silly IPad and get over there.  I mean it.

As is always the case, I find it impossible to look at another artist’s work and not automatically compare it to my own.  Actually, I do that less so with UBER artists, like Picasso…but more so with anyone who hasn’t quite achieved that stardom.  WHY do I do that???  WHYYY????  It’s some sort of automatic, self-torture reflex.  I can’t be the only one with such a neurosis, can I? Yes?  OK fine…don’t answer that.

So, I framed my drawing for the Danforth show.  Here it is!

Now, do you understand why feel deflated??? (Okay, I’ll be quiet).  I go the The Framer’s Workshop, in Brookline, for the framing.  I have this hair-brained notion that it will be cheaper, if I do some of the labor.  Also, I am so neurotic that I don’t quite trust someone else to frame these drawings.  Crazy, right?  I trust MYSELF more than the professional?  How flawed is that thinking???  You should have seen how I struggled to mash and smooth the putty in the frame’s corners.  It took me probably 10x as long as someone who works there.  I dislike the whole chore of framing.  SO TEDIOUS. Plech pleh pflu.

I got very little done in my own work this week…EXCEPT that I finished yet ANOTHER dress!  Here it is:

Don’t you think that it’s cute???  It even has pockets!  I am all proud of myself, as I added the shaping around the middle.  Can you imagine what this looked like without that?  Sort of like a multi-colored potato sack…you know, like my usual sewing projects…

My son made me some playdoh food this week:

mmm…yummy, right?  The only thing that looks marginally appealing is the hot dog on the right.  Perhaps the food on the left is what a hot dog normally looks like for someone who is colorblind?  Not sure.  He also drew a self-portrait:

Isn’t that hilarious???  I love it!  I’m also glad that he drew himself “happy”, not frowing or crying.  I must have been doing an ok job of parenting at that moment.  I feel like I need a sticker “How’s My Parenting? Dial 1-800-KOO KOO U” on my forehead sometimes.  Luckily, my son can’t use a phone, or else I’d be getting lots of disgruntled calls.  Have I already mentioned that when my son is mad at me, he’ll either say, “I’m going to throw you in the trash!”, or “I’m going to put you in jail!”?  When I tried to outsmart him, and tell him that he couldn’t put me in jail because I was already in the trash, he said that he’d put the trash can, with me in it, in jail.  I died laughing, which, of course, made him angrier.  WOO HOO…it’s never a dull moment when you’re a parent!  If fact, if it gets TOO QUIET…that usually means he’s up to no good.  I typically grab a wet sponge, a roll of paper towels, and then start searching…

thank god for washable markers…


I’ll gladly take runner up, thankyouverymuch!
May 4, 2012, 9:32 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , ,

Another dreary, cold day here.  My husband tells me that this is what Seattle is like.  Really?  You mean I can have bad hair ALL YEAR, and not just occasionally?  Maybe only people with shiny, straight hair that I envy live in Seattle.  I’d have a whole new identity out there…someone would say, “You know…Elizabeth…the one with the crazy, wacked out hair…”  Awesome.  I’d have to wear a green cap, like the lady below…

So, I went to the MFA to see the Alex Katz exhibit.  I hate to admit it, as it shows my ignorance, but I didn’t really like it.  Actually, if I was worried about showing my ignorance, I wouldn’t have started this blog.  So, I’ll throw caution and good sense out the window…and just continue with my ramblings.  Here’s one of the prints:

Alex Katz

So, this is a woodcut print.  I’m just not into it.  It’s so flat.  I feel that I have to keep looking at it, though, to understand why I don’t like it.  It actually BOTHERS me to look at it.  Sometimes, he would take the same image, and repeat it as a woodblock print, a screenprint, a lithograpth, which was an interesting exercise in understanding the particularities of the print medium.  I didn’t like the image in any medium, unfortunately.  For example, whoever printed that image above must have been a MASTER printer.  Seriously.  Those huge expanses of flat color in a woodblock print are NOT EASY.  I keep wondering if I don’t like these because this type of imagery has been used and reused by the advertising/fashion/illustration world a million times over?  But, perhaps when it first came out…it looked more original/interesting?  Can anyone help me out here to like these more than I do?  I see their artistic merit…I just don’t want to look at one for more than a minute.  The part of my brain that should like this must be feeble and undernourshed…I think maybe that it’s too CLEAN and STERILE for my taste.  I like art to be more dirty and messy. (For those of you who have visited my house, try to act surprised)

This is the kind of stuff I like:

Cy Twombly


Love. it.

SPEAKING OF LOOKING AT ART…guess who got one of her drawings into a show at THE DANFORTH???    Yup.  MARGERY HAMLEN!!!  Ha ha…just kidding…I actually have no idea who that person is. I’m sure that she’s famous, though…unlike me.  What I really mean to say is… ME!!!!  I kid you not.  Now, don’t be too impressed.  There are actually TWO shows held concurrently at the Danforth.  The prestigious show is called “Off the Wall”, and it is curated by Cody Hartley of the MFA.  He chose 80 works of art.  Sadly, mine was not one of them. (sniff..sniff..)

THEN,  the director of the Danforth, Katherine French…chose from the remaining (i.e. leftover) pieces, to create the second show…called “Community of Artists.”  I made it into THAT show.  Ok…so Cody didn’t like my stuff….there’s always next year.  Did I mention that there were over 1,400 entries, and that my show has only 136?  Here’s the drawing that made it in:

Okay.  I know what you’re thinking…”THAT made it in???? *YAWWWWN*”  Why, yes it did…graphite on mylar, and it took me a long time, thankyouverymuch.  Here’s my one concern: there is this tiny, elevator vestibule waaaay back in the first floor galleries.  They put art back there.  I am seriously concerned that my work will be in that vestibule.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s small….it’s black and white…it’s just PENCIL, for Lord’s sake.   If I ask people to visit the show to see my drawing, they may miss it and think that I’m just totally delusional…or, just more so than usual.

Hmm.  Did you notice that I am already whining, and this hasn’t even happened yet?  I know.  I’ll stop before I irritate myself further.  Aren’t you glad that you’re not married to me?  (Thanks honeeeey!!! xoxo)

So, I got some of my recent work photographed.  Here is the large drawing:

But, I originally had it oriented vertically…with the pear at the bottom:

Or, does that look odd?  Two of my artist friends gave me a critique.  Needless to say…I’m taking their comments and trying to do a better job on the next drawing.  Sheesh.  I feel that I need a team of monkeys to help me with setting up these still lifes.  Actually, that would be bad, as they’d probably just eat the fruit, thus ruining my composition. 

Okay, I’ll stop droning on.  Please go watch this video (btw…it has sound).  MESMERIZING!!!

See?  Black and white art CAN be arresting!  Mine is just tiny, static, and silent, in comparison.  I know.  Not even remotely in the same ballpark…don’t remind me…


%d bloggers like this: