Friday, September 28, 2012

Retablo Time

Goodness, can you imagine that I think of what to do with this retablo for a whole year before I work on it? It's true. However, thinking isn't the same as knowing. Even after a whole year, it wasn't until three days ago that I had a clue what to paint on it. It really throws me off when people ask me how long it takes to paint something because sometimes my brain has been ticking and ticking for ever so long that to give an accurate answer seems impossible, believe it or not.

This go around, I marked the tin (steel) with a grid pattern and decided that I wanted to make the retablo a square instead of rectangle. (The retablos are 8" x 10".) So I got out some big @$$ scissors to cut it to a 8" x 8" size. Then I used the same grid, well, not the same because I had to adjust it,  over one of my previous paintings, Pink Chucks,  so basically copied my own painting, which one would think would be simple, but those laces are very complicated, even with the benefit of a grid.

Next, I will cut some wood (or something) to size and mount the painting on that so that the whole thing can be displayed on a wall because this is for Lawndale Art Center for their Dia de los Muertos annual fund raiser. The starting bid for this will probably be $50.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fried Chicken Quest

me: I've been researching fried chicken.
Reese: How to make it?
me: No, where to find the best fried chicken in Houston.

As with all quests, I'm excited to see where this one takes us and super excited to taste my way around town. Our first stop was Frenchy's Chicken on Scott Street, not too far from the University of Houston. It came highly recommended from several sources, word of mouth and the great inter web world.


To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with the taste....with the first piece. For whatever reason, the second piece of chicken was much better. By my third piece, I was a devoted fan. Between the Amazing Reese and me and ten pieces of fried chicken goodness, we managed to eat all but two wings and half a breast.

Of course, who isn't a sucker for sweet potato pie? Having pie with a spork on a picnic blanket under a shade tree is just a bonus.

Where do you think we should go next?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grrrrrreat God

When we got to the Art Car Museum for the "God" exhibit opening reception on Saturday night, Reese stopped outside to grab a bite to eat before coming in, but I was anxious to see the show and so went in without him. The very first thing I saw was Reese's "Hand". I was so excited that I ran outside and hurried Reese in telling him all the while that his "Hand" was the first thing everybody sees!

It's on the glass case to the left of the front door. It really looks groovy in the place. Reese was excited, too.

Also in the entryway, just across from Reese's "Hand" is a delightfully fun piece called "The First Breakfast". It's very clever, with Tony the Tiger sitting in the place of Jesus surrounded by his breakfast cereal character disciples. Honestly, looking at this drawing, I can hear Jesus saying "They’re Grrrrreat!" It makes me smile thinking of Jesus being so enthusiastic. It also makes me hungry for Frankenberry cereal.

And this is little ole goofy me standing in front of "Cottonwood". It sounds silly to put this in writing, it is silly, I mean good grief I'm 48, but last year, I went through a phase where I worked hard to remember to pose in photos like movie stars do in magazines, you know, chin down hand on hip one foot forward whole body at slight angle. Evidently this was not one of those times. Oh, well. And now you know even more about how ridiculous I can be.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cheech and Me

Look who I ran into at the Houston Fine Art Fair! Yep, that's Cheech Marin. When I asked if he'd mind posing with me in a photograph, he readily obliged, then said, "It's $50 or a lap dance - whichever you prefer."  Even though I had the $50, for Cheech Marin to ask this 48 year old lady for a lap dance is, well, that sort of thing just doesn't happen every day. He was a good sport.

Joe's Oleanders by David Bates was my favorite work of art in the whole place. I love everything about it - the colors, the style, the vase, the yellow house, the ocean, the window, the shadows, the clippers, the clouds - it completely and totally fascinates me. If I had an extra $80,000 I would have bought it on the spot.

This was my second favorite piece. It was probably called Yellowstone Pine (?) though I don't actually remember. The artist was represented by Santa Fe Gallery and can be relatively easily researched. (My friend Joan got a pamphlet from the gallery.)

It was so much fun going with an art friend who was excited to see works in person that she had previously only seen in print or online. Joan knew much more than I did about many of the artists we were seeing and her enthusiasm was contagious. Thanks, Joan.

In no particular order, here are some other personal highlights from the fair.

Joan said that I liked this one because it had a blue tree. Maybe. 

Who can resist an adorable bronze miniature horse? So cute.

This was a John Alexander piece. It's bound to be called Waterlilies or something to that effect. (I didn't read the card all that closely.) Recognized it from a ways away, though, probably because the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston had an exhibit of his work not too long ago.

This piece was made from spools of thread. In front of it was a tiny concave glass so that when you looked in the small glass, the image was upright. It was fascinating enough that it was made with spools of thread. I have no idea why the artist would choose to display it upside down like this and add the concave glass. Novelty?

This is a piece made from one inch painted tiles by Nemo Jantzen. The effect he gets from solid color tiles is incredible. It needs space to be appreciated.

This piece was painted on watercolor paper. The blue lines of the "notebook paper" were pieces of thread stretched across the page. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the painted figure is catching drops of blue lines which is making a puddle at his feet. Very clever.

Also, Cheech loves Texas.

Editor's note:  Many of you have commented on Cheech asking me for a lap dance. Yes, he really said that, but considering he started his career as a stoned comedian, it felt like part of his act. I was amused. 

My guess is that it's one of several witty replies in his arsenal for when people ask him for an autograph or photo. It evidently offends some people, which weeds out (so to speak) who actually stays for the photo op. 

Also, when I told the Amazing Reese what Cheech said, he laughed out loud, like the Amazing Reese he is. It didn't bother him a bit.

Cheech is highly regarded as having one of the finest collections of Chicano art in the United States. The way he lives his life as a fully creative person, comedian, actor,  director, writer, musician, and art collector is inspiring. What I'm trying to say is that he's more than the comment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hold His Hand

This is a first. Both the Amazing Reese and I will have a piece in the Art Car Museum's "God" exhibit. The opening reception is this coming Saturday, September 15th from 7-10pm.

It will be curious to see how other artists interpret this very personal theme. Compartmentalizing God in a two dimensional format was almost too much for my brain to process.

The piece of mine that will be exhibited through December 15th is "Cottonwood". It is to symbolize one small facet of the beauty of God's creation.

Reese's piece is called "Hand" and is made from a coat hanger with a brick base. You can see him holding his hand (holding His hand?) standing in the long line at the Art Car Museum to deliver our pieces. Reese has long been a coat hanger artist. He uses coat hangers for everything. Not even kidding.

Besides the opening reception on Saturday night at the Art Car Museum, where, of course, we'd love to see you, we will also be volunteering at Saint Arnold Brewing Company on Saturday morning and afternoon. I'll be in the front handing out glasses and tokens. Reese will be a tank farmer. Taps are open from 11am - 3. Should be a fun Saturday. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012


There are times in my artistic pursuit when I struggle so much over a particular painting that it absolutely and completely blocks ALL forms of creativity. Ugh. What's to be done?

I'll tell you what....better yet, I'll show you. This.

A 50 gallon drum would be better for this sort of thing, but the grill worked just fine. Yes, the garden hose was running for safety reasons. All in all, this was a very worthwhile and satisfying way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Next week, here I come.