Thursday, July 26, 2007

This Is Not A Pipe

First of all, a belated update on the One was packed. Reese and I had a great time meeting new friends and appreciate our *not new* (but not old) friends coming out to support us.

Secondly, a friend and I toured 10 museum/gallery spaces on Thursday. 10.

Rice Gallery has an amazing summer window installation by Mike Stilkey called When the Animals Rebel. Thousands of old book's spines become the canvas for whimsical portraits of animals and people. Please follow the link on this's worth it.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is classically a favorite. How can one go wrong at such a venerable institution? My friend particularly loves the impressionist era, so we focused our time on the Beck Collection and other impressionist paintings in the same area of the museum.

The Contemporary Art Museum was next with Black Light White Noise. It was like a children's museum for adults--very interactive. In one room there were giant 4' x 4' Plexiglas pods on the floor, that one was encouraged to enter. There was a lambskin fuzzy rug on the floor of the pod, and there were a few pillows around the perimeter on the inside...and headphones. A completely random story was playing in my pod about who knows what? I'm sure the piped in story was meaningful to the pod creator. Or not. Does it not seem that the goal of modern art is for it to be meaningless? The more meaningless it is, the more meaning we are expected to get out of it...right? Rene Magritte expressed this idea beautifully when he painted a pipe, and said about it, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", (or, This is not a pipe.), which is a painting we later saw in the Menil Collection.

"René Magritte described his paintings by saying,

My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, 'What does that mean?'. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable." (excerpted from the Wikipedia article)

Friday, July 20, 2007

One Day, One Show, One Dress, One Nasty Critter, One Long Scream, One Tiny Poodle

The One Show opening reception is tomorrow night at Elder Street Gallery.

Sadly, I didn't paint yesterday because I was trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow night.

There is one dress that will work only if I do not sit down all evening because it's a bit short.

We live in an old house--not vintage, not antique, not shabby chic, just old. There are holes, ie., entry points for all kinds of critters into this old house. Mostly this is just a nuisance: sugar ants, fruit flies, an occasional cricket, slug, or roly poly.....but this morning there was a major nasty critter incident.

I was home alone at the time.

My throat is sore from screaming.

As cute as Disney and Pixar draw these critters, there is nothing *cute* about seeing one in a home environment.

Skipper was useless as a protector.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Here I am, at the end of a long stormy summer day, feeling full with satisfaction at a day's painting and equally full from a small cool supper. Some days it is more fun to paint than others, this being one of those days. I am especially pleased with the results of this day's labor.

This was also my first time to use the small glass top of a round table as a palette. The glass surface was very conducive to mixing paints, and slightly larger than any other palette I've used previously. Painting usually requires two palettes when this many colors are mixed. These mixed colors are all skin tones; cute, chubby, fleshy skin tones.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gloppy Balboa

A while back there was a two for one sale on linen canvases at Texas Art Supply because they were phasing out linen canvases in favor of cotton. I got hooked on linen about a year ago. It's a wonderful surface, especially the smooth portrait grade. I bought more than I should have at the sale, especially considering that there weren't many of the smooth canvases left. Several of the linen canvases I bought are thick weave, which I had forgotten is a bit difficult to paint on, unless one gets gloppy. In order to cover the surface, the paint has to be thick and applied with a heavy hand. If it goes on too gently, the paint doesn't fill in the valleys between the weave. But when it's too gloppy, the paint gets all messy and muddy.

The landscape I'm working on now is from a photo of our time at Balboa Park in San Diego and is on one of these thick weave linen canvases. I've determined that the best solution for painting this one is to lay the paint on thickly, then wait a day or so for it to set, then paint another fairly thick layer. Hopefully this will continue to work well for keeping the colors clean, and covering the surface. This is also giving me a little extra time to make sure that the colors are working well together--deciding what to put where and all that.

Also, since I can only work in small chunks of time on the Balboa Park landscape, I am finally reworking a painting that had bothered me for some time. It's got a lot of work before it's suitable for viewing, but I'm already enjoying the bit that's been reworked. Maybe I won't have bad dreams about it anymore.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Game of Tag

Serg and Lis tagged me.

There are rules involved, well, not rules exactly; they are more like guidelines.

This particular game of tag is about sharing 8 random things about oneself, that people might not know.

Here goes.

1. Remember when it was fun to tell people how old you were, and you couldn't wait until your next birthday? I'm still like that. I'm 43 and a half.

2. For years, I deluded myself into thinking that I could sing and dance. Last summer, someone secretly videotaped Reese and me dancing, and I finally had to admit that my skills and gifts might not be inclined toward that area of the arts. This knowledge, however, has not dampened my enthusiasm.

3. My hair started going grey when I was 15. Even still, it used to be so black that it was blue black.

4. I've been a size 8 since I was in the 10th grade, even though I've gained at least 20 pounds since I graduated from high school. This must be because manufacturers and designers have expanded the waistline on clothes to accommodate growth, so to speak.

5. I have passed for many nationalities, the most unusual being a mixture of Chinese, Hawaiian, and Anglo, but have also passed for Greek, Italian, Spanish, Argentinian, and Jewish, to name a few.

6. More than once, people have asked if they could come watch me work, or do stuff. This seems slightly odd to me, but I've always acquiesced. The latest was last week when a friend asked if she could come watch me paint.

7. Almost from the moment of my oldest daughter's birth, I have been trying to decide on a grandparent name for myself (and Reese). Reese thinks "Leroy and Eunice" are good grandparent names. We are open to suggestions.

8. Reese has a sister named Sarah, so for many years until she married, there were two Sarah Hazels. Often my in-laws have mistaken me for her, especially in e-mail communications. Some of the things they have said to me, thinking it was her, were enlightening.

Once I tag you, please share 8 random things about yourself and then tag 8(or how ever many) friends to share on their blog, too. Please let them know, by commenting on their blog, that they have been tagged. Also, please don't feel obligated to play tag. That said,

"YOU'RE IT!" Mary, Michael, Howard, Nils and/or Araceli, Tricia, Laurie, Laura, and Charlton.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Three Goldfish

Today is the day I will deliver a few paintings to Wind Water Gallery in the Heights. These paintings will be a very small part of a much larger event called Heights First Saturday that happily coincides with Yale Street Arts Market.

The first greeters when walking in the door of Wind Water Gallery are three cheerful goldfish eager to start a conversation. They are swimming--pratically running--in an old carved marble feeding trough that has found a new purpose as their home. Our chat went something like this:

Goldfish: "Hey! Hey! Hey! Down here--we're down here. Look at us."

Me: "Wha--?"

Goldfish: "Hello! Hello. Hello. Welcome to Wind Water Gallery. Have you ever been here before?"

Me: "Huh?"

Goldfish: "It's great....lot's of Asian antiques, jewelry, silk, and your art, right? Oh, oh, of course. You're the new artist."

Me: "Um....yes."

Goldfish: "Hey. How about tossing some food in here for us?"

Me: "Food?"

Goldfish: "Please? Pretty please? Pretty pretty please?"

Me: "OK."

Goldfish: "Oh, thank you thank you thank you. You're a nice lady."

Me: "Thank you. And you all are nice goldfish."