Thursday, April 28, 2011

See Tilly Grow

In mid January, we adopted a standard poodle (Tilly) from the Humane Society. We couldn't tell at the time because she was covered in a mess of hair, but she was in bad shape.

Look at her now. Her weight has doubled, and day by day, she is learning to fully trust us.

She might actually be the best dog ever.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Clearing House

Sarah Hazel Art Studio is clearing house.

On the table (literally) are eight paintings from 2005-ish that will be given away. For my gentle readers, this offer is on a first come first served basis.

Up for grabs are from left to right, starting on the top row: Sister Friends (24" x 30"), Little Cowgirl (16" x 20"), Tea Party (20" x 24").
Middle: Apples and Pears (11" x 14").
Bottom row, left to right: Aspens (16" x 20"), Garlic and Tomatoes (11" x 14"), Paperwhites (11" x 14"), and Sisters Fishing (22" x 28").

Donations accepted (but not required.) Only one painting per collector. All work unframed. Unless an adequate tip is included in addition to shipping costs, no shipping. I, Sarah Hazel, retain the rights to all images.
*Thanks for the overwhelming response. All paintings are now gone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cottonwood Revisited

After the project for the American Heart Association was turned in, gone, no longer at our house, I kind of missed it.

So, I painted the image again. This time, instead of being painted on a giant art heart, it's on a 36" x 48" canvas. It's quite large (for me.)

Now, this isn't an exact's only inspired from the original. Some of the same techniques were used as were used in the last piece. Such as, this was painted in thin layers with drying time in between. The sky got three layers. The field got at least three layers, and I don't remember how many layers of paint are on the tree. Also, I loved the color scheme of the art heart and wanted to work in that same color scheme again. The purple, blue, orange, and yellow form a tetrad on the color wheel, which was an accidental discovery after the art heart was completed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Smell of Freedom

One of our friends named Minh immigrated to the US from Vietnam as a teenager. He tells the story of when he and his family arrived in Guam. Riding to the military base from the boat in the back of a pick up truck, he smelled the air and thought to himself, "That's the smell of freedom." After being in a communist oppressed country, everything was new and beautiful to him. Years passed and he never smelled that particular scent again. But while visiting a friend in New York, he smelled it. He excitedly exclaimed to his friend, "I smell it. That's the smell of freedom!" His friend was puzzled. Undeterred, Minh explained his first impression of being on free soil and how powerful a feeling it was to him as a young man and how he associated that smell with the smell of freedom. This was the first time he had smelled the same scent since his first moments on free soil. His friend said, "You like that smell? Dude, that's a skunk."


Last night I went to an artist talk at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston by my friend and fellow artist, Jonatan Lopez. Jonatan and I first met in October 2008 during Fresh Art's MADE FROM IKE exhibit benefiting Americans for the Arts at the Caroline Collective. I immediately liked his work and almost as immediately, commissioned him to make a pit lantern for us out of our old Weber grill. He and I have been in several shows together since then. We have lots of mutual art friends, and consequently run into each other on a fairly regular basis at various openings and art events.

Ours is an unlikely friendship. He's Latino, young, and energetic. I'm a middle aged white woman. Lately, he's been more and more extreme in the message that's attached to his art. Me? I'm the exact opposite. Very unextreme -- in life and the art I create.

I like Jonatan. He's kind, friendly, thoughtful, a hard worker -- qualities that I admire in anyone. He's a real go-getter. He's constantly exhibiting and expanding his repertoire artistically. He's moved from metal sculpture to performance art to installations to film to curating -- he's talented. Did I say he's talented? In the last two years, some (not all) of his shows have exhibited a decidedly darker view of life. Religion, sexuality, politics -- all are fair game in his artistic expressions, always pushing the envelope, and in his own words "questioning and defying mainstream views." Whether or not I agree with his "in your face" message doesn't mean that it's not OK for him to preach it.

His current work is clearly striking a cord within the Houston art scene. Good grief. He was giving an artist talk at the Contemporary Arts Museum! Last year he had an exhibit space at Project Row Houses. Those are big deals. I like Jonatan. I like him as a person. I believe in him as an artist. He's incredibly talented and thoughtful. I can fully endorse his (as he called them) decorative arts, including the two pieces in our own personal collection.

The current religious, sexual, and political work is causing me a crisis of conscience to endorse. It's hard to separate this newer art from the message. The message is the art and the art is the message. It doesn't mean that I don't like him; it's just that some of his art is not what I would ever choose to display in my living room, except, of course, for the two pieces that we already own.

Jonatan's artistic freedom of expression is applauded and accepted, especially by the art elite, or at least it seems that way. I'm pretty open to artistic freedom. I don't even mind that Jonatan creates what he creates. More power to him -- honestly. I'm continually impressed by Jonatan's artistry. I want all the best for Jonatan. What really happened at the talk last night, and the reason for this extended explanation, was that I was uncomfortably bombarded by Jonatan's political, sexual, and religious views through his artistic expression. I just wasn't expecting such a visually graphic lecture. Shame on me for being naive.

I'm proud of him for all that he is accomplishing in the Houston art scene. Freedom of expression should smell sweet to all of us, whether we have a crisis of conscience or not.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The Amazing Reese and I sometimes babysit our niece and nephew. Last time, they went in Tilly's cage all by themselves -- promise.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Let Things GO With The Flow

As a child vies for attention when his mother talks on the phone, my thoughts are competing for attention in my brain. With so many competing ideas in my head, formulating a single train of thought is almost impossible. One thing, does it do any good to sit here and stare at an empty computer screen when I can't think of anything (instructive, uplifting, constructive, compelling....) to say?

Today's thoughts are thoughts of introspection, and I'm not sure that you, gentle reader, actually want to go on a tour of my brain.

1. There are several instances in my life where people have believed in me more than I have. The Amazing Reese is one of those people. He daily encourages and enables me to live well.

2. Over the weekend, through the magic of facebook, I heard from a high school era friend. A wave of memories followed. It made me realize that I'm very much the same person, even though I've changed a lot.

3. Every day I make choices in how to live. For instance, every morning I choose coffee.

4. Not everyone understands or appreciates my way of living. A lot of people want me to be someone different. Why is this? Why would anyone want someone else to not be who they are?

5. Some days I don't fully understand myself. Does that matter? Do I need to understand everything?

6. I would like to have all of the health benefits of running without the actual running part.

7. It sometimes makes me sad that I don't enjoy running anymore. Then I think of all of the other things that use up time that are less physically strenuous -- like for instance, drinking coffee.

8. I love Jesus but I drink a little.

9. I'm 47. I wish I were more fit, but not enough to do anything about it. See #6 and #8.

10. Sometimes, even at artistic or creative events, I realize that I'm a little bit outside the box. Then I think that if I were in the same box as everyone else, it would be very crowded. Even though I don't mind boxes, I would prefer not to be in one.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Flat Elizabeth

The field trips continue. This time, Flat Elizabeth came to visit all the way from Hillsdale Elementary in Hayesville, Ohio. Her Aunt Gail brought her over to see the mural on the back of the house. (She loved it!)

Flat Elizabeth also enjoyed petting our wonderfully gentle and friendly poodle, Tilly.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Spring Verses Winter

In winter sleeps the morning sun
whose rise is slow and sure
In spring the morning starts to rush
the dawn is quick, then done

It's noisy in the springtime, yes,
the land has been at rest
A slower pace in winter months
gives way to busyness.

A shouting match starts off the day
between the cat and jay,
and then a man begins to mow
and blow the grass away

One might assume that all is new
and great because it's spring
It seems my mind is winter full
and springy thoughts are few

When will the paint flow free again
and inspiration come?
Abide my soul till that day soon
and I will paint the land

Come join me one, come join me all
let's paint together now
that spring has come. Come sunshine fill
the air, my heart, my whole.