slightly wonky


Channelling my inner ninja…
February 22, 2013, 8:44 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sorry for no post last week!  I was adversely affected by Nemo: i.e. trapped indoors with nothing to do other than try to entertain a housebound 5 yr old whilst not destroying the house or my sanity.  So, we did survive Nemo.  It wasn’t pretty.  Gobs of snow.  This is the view of my husband’s excavation from the basement door…

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Hmm.  That’s kind of a lot of snow for one storm.  This is our back deck:

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That’s our deck furniture…a table and a tipped over chair (blown over by the wind).  That looks like AT LEAST two feet, doesn’t it???? The neighbors across the street:

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Don’t pity them too much.  They hire a service to come and clear out the driveway and the sidewalks, etc.  Our service was my husband, who unburied us…maybe we’ll hire someone to do it next time?  (eh, honey?) Pshaw!  What’s the fun of being a New Englander if you can’t gripe about the weather whilst heaving wet heavy snow over a five foot wall of ice?  Needless to say, I was going postal with cabin fever.  At least we didn’t lose power…I would have just stayed in bed all day if we had!  (just kidding, honeeey!!!)

The following weekend, my son and I walked through the blustering cold to a nearby friend’s house for his birthday party.  It was so fun, albeit total chaos: twenty kids tearing around the house screaming while shoving cheese and crackers into their mouths.  My son, so practical, gave me his half eaten crackers/cheese to hold so that he could run around more easily.  Everytime someone introduced themselves and shook my hand, they ended up with a palmful of crumbs. I had a glass of sangria to get me through it.

One of the activities for the kids was to make paper bag puppets.  You know…like the ones that advertise Fandango:

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Notice that his nose is a croissant.  You can see the ad here.  Ridiculous right?  Anyway, the kids made paper bag puppets.  Can you guess what the theme of the party was?

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No, that’s NOT a woman in a niqab.  It’s a NINJA!  Isn’t that hilarious and adorable?????  Like THIS:

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But not like THIS:

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Luckily, our kids haven’t gotten into this level of commercialism yet.  Coincidentally, NPR did a segment recently on the history of ninjas.  You can listen to it here.  I learned that ninjas were meant to be spies, not so much warriors.  And definitely not turtles.  There is no mention of turtles being ninjas in Japan in the 15th century.  You have to wait until the 20th century in the U.S.A.  Well, AT LEAST the kids learned the names of famous artists: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo!  Too bad that they think they’re turtles with nunchucks (or “nunchuku” for you purists out there…)

With every day that passes, I’m more convinced that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket.

As I managed to get out of the house this week, I went to Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville to see a show that my advisor is participating in.  The show is, “Surface Matters: Exploring the Sense and Substance of Paint.”  It features the works of: Adria Arch (my advisor), Ron Brunelle, Jessie Morgan, and Diane Novetsky.  I have some images from the show:

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Adria Arch, Exhale 2, Acrylic on panel

This is the work of my advisor!  She works with other people’s doodles, manipulating and arranging them into new colors and configurations.  It’s like a graphic language of the subconscious.  Fascinating!  More:

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Adria Arch, Triangle Tangle, Acrylic on panel

This is a very large diptych.  I LOVED the colors in this one and the repetition of the shapes at different scales, colors, and layers.  These panels are built up a bit, almost like the layers of encaustic, but with acrylics.

Next:

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Jessie Morgan, Night Tide #925, Mixed media on plexi

This artist had a really interesting process of somehow squeegeeing large swaths of color on slick plexi.  The ridges of paint are visible, and it seems that she uses both sides of the plexi.  The colors in this piece are gorgeous.  You can’t tell from the photo, but there are subtle horizontal bands of a pale green that are embedded behind the dark vertical layers.  This is a rather large piece…maybe 48″x48″?

Next:

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Ron Brunelle, You Speak My Language, Acrylic on wood panel

This work also had the look of encaustic.  He gets and amazing amount of layering and color in his work.  His work also made me think of the rich and saturated hues of ceramic glazes.

All of the artists have visual depth/layering in their works, without necessarily building up a lot on the panel surface.  I think that they’ve all honed some interesting techniques.  I really enjoyed this show…so go see it if you’re in Somerville!

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Ahh…Somerville. How I miss your grittiness.  This was nearby the gallery.  You might want to bring a ninja with you if you go after dark.  If you don’t have an actual ninja to bring (who does?), you’ll have to channel your “inner ninja,” whatever that is…

Just sayin’.



Nemo schnemo…where’s the chocolate?
February 8, 2013, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , ,

Well, it’s 4:01 pm here, and we are officially banned from driving in Massachusetts.  No, I’m not kidding.  We have a MOTOR VEHICLE BAN right now because of winter storm “Nemo”.  We’re expecting 24″ – 30″ of snow today.  YIKES!  (Send help!  Send chocolate!)

Here’s what it looked like at 10 am this morning:

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Pshaw.  What’s the fuss?

Here’s what the radar shows right NOW:

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Hmm.  We live next to Cambridge, in the upper right.  I guess that red stuff at the bottom of the map is heading our way.  Here is what the blue stuff on the map looks like right now:

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Hmm.  I guess that the red stuff is going to be worse?  Luckily, I bought a huge, puffy down robe (to replace the natty mint green one, as mentioned in earlier posts).  So, I can muff around the house looking like a short linebacker whilst I drink massive quantities of tea and try not to go out of my mind with cabin fever.  Perhaps if Jack Nicholson had a puffy robe like mine in “The Shining”, he wouldn’t have gone off the deep end?  I’m doing much better, in comparison, as I just LOOK like I’ve gone off the deep end.  Impressive, right?

My son and I have done MANY activities to entertain ourselves today.  I’ve tried to maintain sanity and not have the contents of our house spread all over the floor by my son.  He’s a master at domestic demolition, a.k.a. making a mess. It’s almost like we have our OWN Nemo INSIDE our house, creating a disaster.  I may have to have some kind of vehicle ban here as well…

Our sweet cousin (well…my husband’s cousin) sent us this kit of animals to make from paper:

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Looks kind of fun, right?  (or, is that only true for the inner architect?)  How hard could it be?  It’s just three pieces, for crying out loud.  It turned out cute, even though I nearly had a meltdown with the gluing:

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My son felt it was important to have a dinosaur next to the tiger, just for effect.  There’s nothing like using an xacto blade on a wobbly wood table while your five year old jostles next to you and asks when you’re going to be done.  STRESS!  Luckily, no one was hurt, as we wouldn’t be allowed to drive to the emergency room anyway.  Yay, Nemo!

I was rather proud of our little paper tiger sculpture, UNTIL I saw the work of Li Hongbo online:

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Li Hongbo

Watch a video of his work here.  ISN’T IT MIND BOGGLING???

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Li Hongbo

I’m kind of flabbergasted.  I’m flabbergasted that he could MAKE that enormous stack of accordion paper, never mind sculpt it.  So talented.  Crazy!!!  (BTW…both of those sculptures above illustrate how I’m going to feel by the end of the day…)  Sometimes, I wonder if success in the art world is related to O.C.D.  Thoughts?

On a happy note…I finally finished knitting my sweater!

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Don’t you love it??? I’m totally addicted to knitting.  Yes, I have a problem.  Yes, I get giddy when looking at yarn, patterns, and other people’s projects.   Yes, I have a Ravelry account, and could waste an hour looking at knit SOCKS.  It’s a problem.  I’m kind of sinking into the puffy robe persona.  Not good.  At least we don’t have cats…

Okay…in a similar textile vein…watch a cool music video of thread, pins and sewing needles here.

I wasn’t kidding about sending me chocolate, either.



Ikea filth and shameless self promotion…
February 1, 2013, 9:08 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So, I survived a trip to Ikea this week with my 5 yr old son.  I think that because he found an enormous stuffed leopard to carry around with him and call, “Lepy”, he was reasonably accommodating.  Yes, I am not beyond bribery, and yes…at least it was on sale…

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He looks sort of sweet, right?  Trust me…he came to our house bearing the filth of being dragged around Ikea.  Now we have a UN of filth in our house…our domestic filth intermingling with this international/Swedish filth.  Maybe I should be Secretary of State instead of John Kerry, based upon my diplomatic prowess in successfully bringing my 5 yr old through Ikea?  Maybe if we bought everyone in Syria a “Lepy”, things would be better?  Hmm…perhaps not.  I’d better stick to being a domestic goddess, or demigod, rather, and leave the real problems in life to those more capable…

Case in point:  this is the latest playdoh project that my son and I made:

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Wouldn’t Martha Stewart be proud?

We decided that making a multicolor patty was clearly the best use of playdoh.  Forget those fancy moulds and cookie cutters…PSHAW!  (not MOLD…mind you, I’m not THAT bad of a housekeeper)  Can’t you see Damien Hirst doing something like this???  No?

Is it not the sculptural equivalent of THIS?:

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Damien Hirst, Beautiful revolving sphincter, oops brown painting, 2003

No?

Do I need to get out of suburbia more often?

Probably.  Maybe we do have mold, and the spores are starting to affect my brain…

So, I finally got a chance to update my website with new artwork.  YES!  So, I’m going to do a little self promotion now…you’d better grab that double espresso…

AYST 1

Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? #1, 2012, 15″x20″, Graphite on mylar

This series is titled, Are You Still There?, and it’s about the struggle to communicate in our significant relationships.  (Everything is fine, Honeeeeeey!!!  xoxoxo)

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Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? #2, 2012, 15″x20″, Graphite on mylar

Next:

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Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? #3, 2012, 15″x20″, Graphite on mylar

Next:

AYST4

Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? #4, 2012, 15″x20″, Graphite on mylar

Next:

AYST5

Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? #5, 2012, 15″x20″, Graphite on mylar

What do you think?

Do you know what I think?

I think that it’s going to be next to impossible to get people to volunteer to model for me…that’s what.  Actually, my son wants me to draw him.  Seeing as he typically refuses to have his picture taken, resulting in multitudes of photos of the side of his head, I’m surprised to hear that he wants me to draw a picture of him.  Perhaps he only means a drawing of the side of his head?  Hmm.  Example:

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Classic.  Even less subtle:

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Okay…okay…I can take a hint.  Sheesh.  I’m sure that Durer never had this problem…




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