slightly wonky

Squid and Shlian
August 24, 2012, 9:37 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: ,

Ahh…the summer is winding down.  BOOHOOHOOOO!  On Tuesday, September4, our quiet neighborhood will become a seething, traffic logjam of irate parents schlepping their sullen kids to school.  Gone are the days when kids would walk five miles to school.  Now, it seems that they have to get dropped off RIGHT at the door.  Maybe I’m grumbling because my son’s school (where I not only bring him RIGHT to the door, but take him in as well, mind you) is next to the middle school.  Now THOSE kids could certainly be dropped off on the corner, in an effort to cut down on the traffic backup, right?  Why don’t we have school buses you ask?  Two words: budget cuts.  I wonder how much it would actually cost?  Perhaps every parent would be willing to pay an extra $20 in order to avoid the traffic hell created by each kid being brought to school individually in his/her own Subaru/VW wagon?  (we’re not quite Volvo territory here…you’d have to go over to Lexington for that)  It’s kind of like those Japanese cookies, where the box, the inside of the box, and each cookie is individually wrapped in it’s own complicated packaging.  I like the packaging of Oreos, where I can neatly and efficiently grab a whole ream of cookies with one hand.  But I digress…what was I talking about before cookies?  I forgot.

Look how domestic I’ve become!  I used to be stressed out because I had two weeks worth of work to complete in the span of three hours…and now, I’m griping about traffic and cookie packaging!  I would have thought that my less-stressed lifestyle would lead to fewer gray hairs, but alas no.  I’m actually toying with the idea of NOT coloring my hair…but that idea may not last long when I keep seeing that mysterious crone looking at me in the bathroom mirror.  (who IS that anyway????)

Well, thank GOD I finished my 23rd drawing for the series:

That one got a bit crazy.  Not to gross you out…but I did find a partially rotten pear in a plastic bag under my desk.  So gross.  I like to buy them and then have them ripen a bit, before I draw them.  Otherwise, they’re kind of hard and not quite so easy to mash with a tool.  I just need to keep better track of them…that’s all!  Sometimes, I wonder if this blog will be fodder for my admission to the local asylum…

HEY!!! Good news!!!  I’m going to be participating in the Artist Professional Toolbox program, organized by Montserrat College of Art and the Arts & Business Council of Boston.  What is it?  Why, it’s a “A 9-month program for emerging and mid-career visual artists to master business challenges.”  See?  VERY useful!  Anyone out there in the Boston area should look into this, if you’re interested.  I hopefully won’t be the remedial student asking all of the inane questions whilst others look upon me with bemused pity.  I have a lot to learn, and this program is well-regarded.  I’ll learn things like: “Don’t stalk a gallery owner”, or “Sending 30 emails a day to a gallery owner might be off-putting”, or “How not to get a restraining order from a gallery owner”.  This is important stuff.  Did YOU know that sending an edible arrangement to a gallery owner is NOT the way to get a show?  See?  There’s so much to learn.

Speaking of learning something new, this is my son’s latest brilliant, drawing:

This is apparently my husband and I talking.  If the people didn’t seem to be smiling, I might be concerned about the electricity shooting out of our mouths.  I guess my son feels that we talk too much at the dinner table.  Hmm.  I should keep this for when he goes to a shrink later in life.

So, we’re going to the Cape next week.  Yay!  In honor of that, I’m posting some vital research done by some scientists at Wood’s Hole:

Squid and Cypress Hill

What’s that, you may ask?  Well, it’s the skin of a squid when it listens to Cypress Hill.  I kid you not.  Please watch the video here.  Apparently, this squid was hooked up to a special iPod playing Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Brain.  I think that animals will be very happy when we go extinct.  In the meantime, we can do crazy experiments on them.  Trust me, I’m all for Cypress Hill…I’m just not sure that the squid would agree.

I know.  You’re wondering when I’m going to show some actual art.  Here is the work of Matthew Shlian.

Matthew Shlian

He does these CRAZY paper sculptures…mostly folded, always geometric.  Watch this video of him.  So amazing!  I’m so impressed with my ability to make an origami frog…he was probably doing that before he could walk.  I think that he needs to get involved with fashion, right??? 

Speaking of fashion…project runway was last night.  Eek!  Don’t tell me what happened!  Yes, I have noticed that neither Heidi Klum or Nina Garcia has any gray hair, thankyouverymuch.  Luckily, I don’t hold the bar for myself quite that high.  (I’m sure that they don’t eat a ream of Oreos either…hmpf!)


Another day…another dollar…
August 17, 2012, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , ,

Who am I kidding?  I quit my job to be a better mom.  I earn $0…except for the occasional sale of one of my prints, or some graphic design work for friends.  Hey, but I’m not sitting around, eating bon bons!  Well, actually…if you look around my house, I might as well be.  Yesterday, I tried scrubbing our brick fireplace clean (just the outside, thank you).  It was a sooty mess…and now it’s only sort of a sooty mess.  What do you think…should we paint it???

Scary, right?  Yes, I did scrub the hearth as well.  Hmm.  Doesn’t look like it, does it?  It’s such the norm nowadays to paint brick fireplaces.  At minimum, I need to get a fireplace screen.  Do you think it’s saying, “PAINT ME!”?

This is how I imagine it.  Now, it’s adorable, right?  Maybe I should just paint eyeballs on it.

Speaking of critters…I went to the Roger Williams zoo with my son this week.  He liked it…but what a haul getting down there!  Sheesh.  I can’t imagine slogging down there at rush hour.  Anyhoo…we saw lots of cute animals…

Very sweet.  I had to crop out the ugly tarp covered wall in the background.  I hope that they have prozac for zebras. Next:

Why is there a big piece missing in his poor ear?  No clue.  Maybe he had a toddler elephant pull on his dangly earring?  I was always paranoid about that.  Next:

Isn’t that an idyllic picture, except for the bent chainlink fence in the foreground?  It was hard to get a good photo.  I guess because I wasn’t on safari, right?  Next:

LOOK AT THOSE SKINNY LEGS!  I’m so jealous.  Seriously, though…they kind of creep me out.  They’re like big bendy straws, or something.  The flamingos definitely needed some prozac.  Next:

Isn’t he cute?  He was munching away on the straw above…we could get so close to him!  Perhaps that isn’t hay, but hemp…he seemed happier than the other animals.  Is it evident that I am not a fan of zoos?  I wish all of those animals could be back “home.”  Perhaps these are all rescued animals that can’t be returned to the wild?  I’m not sure…but I don’t like zoos.  Poor things.

While I’m on about zoological things…look at what my son made this week:

Can you guess what that is?  IT’S A JELLYFISH, OF COURSE!  This is also a priceless creation that I somehow need to keep and cherish until he is married.  I will bring it to the wedding reception and talk about this as evidence of his early genius.  Well…if they let me out of the asylum, I’ll make that speech.  Actually, if I make that speech, they might put me in an asylum.  Hmm.

Great news!  I had more of my drawings photographed.  You can check out the whole series here on my website.  You already saw these…but these photos are MUCH better:



Woo hoo!  I only have one more to finish so that I’ll have 13 drawings for the show at Wheelock College this Fall.  But enough about me…take a look at the work by THIS artist:

Andrew Kaufman

I LOVE THIS.  It’s sooo amazing.  I love the blend of abstraction and realism.  I love the rough edge of the paint on the canvas.  I love the space that it creates.  You MUST take a look at his work.  Here is his website again, in case you missed it first few times I linked it.  This painting is from his “Constructed” series, but his other work looks great too.  So talented!  I may have to have a bake sale in order to raise money for one of his works.  How many bags of $0.50 cookies do you think that I’d need to sell????  A lot.  I know.  I’d probably just eat them all anyway.

OK…keep me posted about other great new artists for me to check out.  In the meantime…I’m going to go gaze at my son’s styrofoam jellyfish masterpiece whilst I eat bon bons…

Shwetty Boston…
August 10, 2012, 9:42 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: ,

Well, another balmy day in Boston.  Right now it’s 74 degrees.  Not bad, right?  But it’s 91% HUMIDITY.  Ech.  I’m breaking out a sweat just from typing.  I may have to buy one of those silly fan hats.  At least some of them are solar powered…but that pretty much guarantees that you have to sit in the baking sun for the feeble fan to work.  I’d be better off sitting in a bucket of ice…ANYHOO, I’ve recently starting sending “mail art” back and forth to a friend in Santa Barbara.  Mail art is nothing more than just elevating a simple correspondence to more than just words on paper.  I find it really fun, as it doesn’t matter how horrible it turns out…it’s always fun to get personal snail mail.  Here is an envelope that I did for her:

So, folding that odd shape becomes a homemade envelope.  SO FUN.  She recently mailed me her own version of “performance art,” which entailed a handmade envelope…a decorated scrap of newspaper, and a pile of sand/dirt from her living room floor.  BRILLIANT!  Has anyone ever send you an envelope full of glitter or confetti?  It’s kind of like that, but worse.  Luckily, her California dirt just blended in with my Massachusetts dirt.  I’m sure that her dirt was horrified by the humidity here as well.

Here is the latest brilliance by my son:

All of the dots are flocks of birds.  We recently watched some of Planet Earth, narrated by David Attenborough.  The whole thing is full of amazing footage…like birds by the billions migrating somewhere.  This must have made an impression.  I can’t remember what the other things in the drawing are.  Yes, there is a person on the lower left…but I can’t remember who he is.  He has that telltale Edward Scissorhands look.  I will be sad if my son ever decides to draw a hand differently than this.  What I also love his how confidently he draws all of these lines.  I hope that he never stops drawing.  Just as long as he goes to college and doesn’t end up camping out in my living room at 18…he can keep drawing…

My own work is plugging along.  I do have a new drawing:

It helps to photograph your work on a bright, sunny day.  I’ve started another one, and it feels as if it’s going to take forever to do.  I have no idea how people do large, pencil drawings.  They must be hermits who don’t have to go shopping at Stop & Shop, be at the beck and call of a four year old, and sleep.  I noticed that my DECAF latte from Starbucks yesterday had a bad effect on my ability to draw a smooth line.  Clearly, those pencil wielding hermits must only drink water.  I’m not sure if I’m willing to give up Starbucks for art.  I may have to settle for wobbly looking drawings.

My art advisor has organized a small, public art project on the bikepath here in Arlington.  People have taken forgotten chairs on their way to a trash heap and refurbished them in creative ways.  Here is the website.  My son and I visited the chairs on Wednesday. 

Luckily, they are for SALE…if you are a MetroBoston local…you can stop by and take a look!  The proceeds benefit a larger public art project here in Arlington…the Spy Pond Mural project.  This project will create a huge banner of artwork done by highschool students to adorn the side of the local Boys & Girls club.  (or…if you have enough furniture in your house, you could just make a donation here, and specify “Spy Pond Mural project”)

I definitely have enough furniture in my house…it’s just decrepit.  I don’t think that I can rejuvinate our hideous couch with a coat of paint, though.  Or, maybe I can?  Take a look at THIS and THIS.  SERIOUSLY!  Someone painted their couch!  I think it helps that their couch was sort of “firm” and not “mushy”, like ours.  I mean…our couch is sort of like a dirty beanbag with legs.  How easy is it to paint a bean bag?  Not easy.  How ugly would it be afterwards?  I get indigestion just thinking about it.  Just don’t let this happen:

I don’t know who those kids are…but I’m hoping that their parents had a healthy dose of Zantac that morning…

Has anyone out there ever painted a COUCH?  If so…let me know. 

So, a local artist is going to be in a group show in NYC this month.  Here is her website.  Her name is Jessica Liggero, and her work is really great.  She does large paintings/collage on paper of glamorous people gone ugly in a limited color palette.  I think that her stuff is great.  Anway…I always stop by to see what she’s up to when we have our Somerville Open Studios.  But now…you too can see her work in NYC!  Her show will be at Rush Arts Gallery from Aug 16 – Aug 31. 

Jessica Liggero

She seems like the type who would throw caution to the wind and paint a couch.

First Friday & pear glare…
August 3, 2012, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , ,

So, tonight is “First Friday” in Boston.  As you likely know, this is when the galleries are all open late for people to come, look, socialize, and feel inadequate…(kidding, sort of…I may need to do some laundry today and locate a hairbrush…).  Most people head to 450 Harrison Avenue, where there is a glut of good galleries.  It’s kind of a fun and festive atmosphere…but it’s actually not great for seeing the art, as it tends to be crowded.  Because I spend too much time in the ‘burbs, I’m going to go ANYWAY.  I’ll try to conceal my suburban housewife-ness by NOT having any loud discussions about how my four-year old could do that, or how expensive Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers have become at Stop & Shop.  Are you depressed yet?  I just had to share the wealth…anyhoo, here’s what’s happening:

Bromfield Gallery is having works by Linda Klein and large scale prints by artists from Zea Mays.  I have taken a couple of printmaking workshops at Zea Mays (print studio in MA), so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this show.

Linda Klein

Howard Yezersky Gallery has an interesting show titled, Material Abstraction.  This is a group of “paintings” that hardly use any paint at all.  Hmm!  Sounds cool.

Carter Potter

Samson Projects is having a show of Steve Locke’s work.  These works seem interesting…almost like broken people scattered about a room…

Steve Locke

I’ll hopefully give you an update on what I liked…stay tuned!

As a side project, I’ve been helping a friend with some graphic design work.  Yes, I have some knowledge of Adobe InDesign.  No, I’m not helping you with your graphic design project…I’m pooped!  Here is the postcard that we made for his upcoming show in NYC:

George Oommen

And the back:

Yes, I know that his name is not centered on the grey rectangle…the card needed a bleed, and will be cropped slightly.  Sheesh!  Or, maybe you didn’t even notice that?  If so, I like you and need to have you over to my house more often.  You would likely be able to overlook the general chaos and disorder.  I suppose as long as you didn’t trip on anything /injure yourself /get a rash, my messiness could go unnoticed!  AND…I could put you to work by forcing you to wear THESE:

How did I manage to get that image into TWO blog posts?  I’m amazing, that’s how.  I plan to sew my son some pajamas made of Swiffer sheets, as a means to get more lazy housekeeping done. 

ANYWAY, George’s show will be at Agora Gallery in NYC, with the reception on November 8.  I’ll post this again when it’s closer to the date.  (George, be thankful that I’m not doing your PR).  You’ll recognize me at the opening because I’ll be the one wearing the plaid duster/slippers and sporting a Swiffer maxi dress.

My own work is chugging along.  I still can’t seem to take a decent photo of my drawings.  Either my head is casting a shadow on the drawing, or there is a glare from the light on the graphite.  Hmph! 

Hmm…do you think that I need to make it generally darker?  Perhaps so.  Or, is it just a lighting issue?  (I think it’s the glare on the pear that puts me in despair…yuk…yuk…yuk… clearly, too much My Fair Lady or Dr. Seuss on the brain.)  Actually, I think that I’ve just eaten too many wasabi peas today.  The drawing looks better in person, so I’m going to assign blame to the camera, and not my drawing.  I know.  I should run for politics.  But, who would vote for a suburban mom?  Wait…OTHER SUBURBAN MOMS!  I might be onto something here…I’ll start collecting signatures at Stop & Shop, shaking hands, and giving out bags of Goldfish crackers (which, will hopefully be on sale…score!) 

Now, if I can just dig my “mom jeans” out of the closet, I’ll be all set for First Friday…

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