Thursday, December 31, 2009

Artistic Review

I wanted to start this blog a few weeks ago but felt the need to wait until the new year. It just seemed odd to start something mid week in mid December-ya know? The very thought actually made me uncomfortable. “Will people think I just haphazardly began this blog? Just woke up one day-logged onto a blogger site, created a name and password and WHAM! I am blogging? Now that’s not like me at all…No, I will wait. I will make myself wait until a reasonable start date-like January 1st. That seems appropriate-start of a new year, start of a new blog sure…No…cause that seems like a “New Years Resolution” and I do not want this to be something I promise to do and then have to stress over completing….etc etc etc...” The internal conflict is endless when you are me-none the less, after much deliberation and weighing out the options I decided to just “go!” Good. Great. Awesome. WAITTTT!!! A whole new issue is now presenting its self…”how does one wrap up a year on this blog (I mean we must have closure-right?) when there is only one blog posted and the year ends next week? (today actually). Last night as I flipped thru the seemingly endless options on television it seemed everyone was wrapping up 09 with a “top ten something” or a “best/worst of” something or a “year in review” there was music, music videos, movies, soundtracks, sports moments, celebrity relationships, breakups, and weight loss (really? Do that many people really care about celebrity weight loss?) There was a top ten best home improvements of the year on HGTV, and my personal favorite featured on The Fine Living Network “most loved designs of 2009-which included the miniature Starbucks gift card. I too love this design concept. *answer to a question no one asked* I LOVE things in miniature. Okay back to the issue at hand. All of this recapping and listing inspired the answer…I’ll recap 09 with a review of some paintings. Cool? Cool. Here we go.

 I moved from a cubical to an actual office (with a door and everything) *upgrade!* There were holes left in the wall from the removal of a piece of furniture. 4 really big holes and I just had to cover them up. This was my solution. Friend at work (hence forth known as “The Bass Player”) went with me to hobby lobby. We got a big sheet of foam display board ($8.00) and I had craft paint in several shades of blue-so…I went back to my office and painted “The Kenyan Sky” The Bass Player spent a good bit of time helping me frame it in a frame that once held a fantastic picture of some fox hounds double matted in burgandy and navy blue.(circa early 1990s) I later printed a photo of an acacia tree taken in The Great Rift Valley-Kenya.

I don’t just paint canvases-I really love to paint walls. As in with a roller pan and a cut in brush- It’s therapeutic for me. An opportunity came up to paint stripes on the walls of a little girl’s bedroom. This proved to be a big stressor-no kidding. When creating for someone else there is naturally pressure. But YIKES-STRIPES! The measurements didn’t seem right and the blue painter’s tape reeked havoc on my eyes- I recruited help and we became ill and frustrated…The end result was A.Mazing. And all that pressure caused me to leave at the end of the work day and paint something for fun. The cupcake is one of the things I painted for fun. That week. I gave it to the little princess for her “sweet dreams” bedroom with lavender and white stripes. If you are interested in painting stripes on a wall, good luck to you. Don't ask me to help- I still have a stripe job on hold for one friend's bathroom-SINCE MARCH! I just can't bring myself to start that again. 
Then there is the thank you for The Bass Player, during lunch and on “smoke breaks” he worked diligently to teach me a little acoustic guitar. This was super fun to do, kind of an abstract close up of him with his acoustic. As a side note, yes he is The Bass Player, however over a year ago he decided to teach himself to play a 6 string. My friend Robin “10” I call her. Has a musical history with him and said “he plays that bass like a lead guitar anyway” If you are unaware of things musically-this is a very good thing. I am blessed to have such talented friends.

We moved to a NEW office *upgrade again* The position of my desk left me looking at a big white wall..*downgrade* Oh, I also inherited two stunningly “office like” chairs in the color of….well…kind of Chinese take-out hot mustard? Or a little more brown than that-but goldish all the same…I believe the best way to “hide” something ugly you can’t really do with out- is to embrace it-design around it…And I did just that. I love this painting. It was my first attempt at multiple medium/texture techniques and I am happy with the end result. It has been called “orbs” and “Saturn” and one of my favorite interpretations came from a couple of 7 year old twins-The deduced it must be a painting of “a dodge ball and we don’t know what those other balls are” I wish I had thought of that! I call it “bubbles”

I rarely ever just sit and watch TV-Try as I may, I just can’t. I was invited to watch The Oscars with TK and some friends this past year and THIS is what I did while watching and critiquing the continuous flow of beautiful people on the red carpet. We named her “Ping Ping” which I was told means “little duck” in Chinese. However, she is copied from a Japanese paper doll my precious friend gave me for Christmas our Freshmen year of college.

In October of 2008 TK and I spent the day on Front Street in Memphis at The River Front Art festival-IT WAS AMAZING!!! One of THE most fun days of 2008-One of the coolest paintings I saw and could not afford, was by an artist from Lousiville, KY.   Her name is Madison Latimer.   I just loved her work so so much. I looked at her website over and over again and eventually painted "poxie" for my kitchen.  Not to duplicate her amazing work, but just so I could have something to remember that great day and how much fun we had.  If I can ever aford to buy a really big painting--THIS is one I will buy.   

Brian (Hence forth The Fireman) bought his first house and asked me to do a painting for him.  SEVERAL months later....This is what he had.  The Fireman was in Kenya with us in 2007 and wanted something to represent his love for Africa, he also wanted a cross. 

Bridgett (now do I call her Super-Mom or....The Nurse?)  I know a lot of Super-mom's so I should now call her The Nurse.  She is the mother of three boys and the primary care giver of The Princess I painted stripes for.  She and her husband recently had remodeled their family room and wanted three giant paintings to represent their family.  This is the only one I photographed.  It is called "Dillon's Stripes" Dillon serves our country in the military and I wanted to create an abstract flag in the colors of their room as a tribute to him. 
I loved doing this giant painting. 

  I call this "up town bird" It's silly I know, I mean a bird-with a purse---but I do enjoy painting things that are cartoon-like, I have no concept of realism-perhaps I should take a class or something, I painted this bird to be auctioned off last October...I feel somewhat attached to the things I create and it did my heart good to know my sweet sweet little Natalie (The Trainer) won it.  She calls it "Perky Bird"

This is my most recent creation.  "Boomer Sooner" I am a native Oklahoman and my family loves OU football.  My sisters and I decorated my dad's bathroom to look like a locker room last year as his Christmas gift.  This 30x40 inch painting is what we gave him to add to it this year.  I was more than happy to paint this for my dad.  I am challenged by getting the logo just right and still not satisfied with the outcome- that's the thing to know about recognizable logos and characters- you MUST be spot on- or it looks wrong..

Okay so there you have it!  My  "top 10" (in all fareness there weren't very many more than 10-and one of my favorites I did not get a picture of...none the less- My top 10 in paint-2009!  Have a Artsy New Year!  My plans include sushi, a concert and some coloring in a new *I hope I hope I hope* coloring book!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Like Art

When asked to describe my "artistic approach" I replied as follows: "My approach?...artistically?..."well...I just like art!" I feel my response was not exactly what they were looking for- but then again perhaps it was. Assuming the asker of said question was looking for an honest-non-pretentious answer. The answer I gave has two meanings (It's two thangs in one). 1. I do JUST LIKE IT. and B. What I do might not really be viewed as "art" but I wish for what I create to be something just like art. I have always been inclined towards things that are "crafty" or "artsy" or "unordinary" (also strange or curious or weird-per older siblings) For as long as I can remember I have been coloring or drawing, I spent 5 years as a full time cake decorator in the most amazing bakery in town and although there were long tiresome days-I enjoyed creating for a living-very much. I recently began painting. I like it. So...with no pretenses in regards to training or skill level it is what it is. I asked a humanities professor once how she defines art and I like what she had to say...It's been some years ago now so I will paraphrase her words. She said she feels like art is the extra stuff in life, the icing on the cake. It is the things we traditionally view as art of course such as paintings and sculptures and music, but she believes art can be found in the way we socialize and experience life together-friendships and loves and the journey of our lives can be artful and I hope yours always is!