Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peony For Your Thoughts

This is the beginning of the work for the art heart for the American Heart Association. It's a peony. A peony is a very complicated flower to paint, by the way. It also happens to be the favorite flower for the lady who will receive this heart for her contribution to Go Red for Women.

This is the other side of the heart - peonies in a vase.

Next I get to decide how to complete the background and the sides of the heart, probably with leaves or something. Hopefully I'll dream about it tonight. Solving problems in my dreams is always fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Still Got Sole

Even though nothing has been said about this past week, it should come as no surprise that in some regards I made more work for myself than was necessary, and in other regards, got absolutely nothing accomplished. Typical week around here that was full and wonderful, exhausting and refreshing.

The opening reception/retablo extravaganza was last Thursday night at Lawndale Art Center. Daughter Anna and I got there late-ish (on purpose). Here's the requisite artist pose next to my pink chucks retablo while wearing the pink chucks that were the still life for the retablo. Are inanimate objects still a still life if I'm wearing them?

While at the opening, some friends asked me what shoes have to do with Day of the Dead. I told them that I wanted to put extra SOLE in my work. They laughed.

In the spirit of Day of the Dead, the next day I was Anna's model while she painted a skeleton on a black body suit while I was in it. It was a chilly day. The paint went through the fabric to my skin and was wet and cold.  Here I am getting my bone-y @$$ painted, except in real life, my @$$ is not bone-y at all.

After she was finished painting, I had to stay upright and not bend or sit in the skeleton suit until the paint dried. It was really cold and took a long time for the paint to dry.

 This is what the front of the skeleton suit Anna painted looks like. Anna did a great job! The bones suit is for her -- I was just the model -- and even though my bones are shorter than hers, it looks awesome on her when she wears it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sigh Language

Not one of my more brilliant fact, it's quite the opposite. 

First of all, this should not have been a project for indoors though it has been good to be near the bathroom sink. This is way more of a mess and way more trouble than it was supposed to be. The plan was to mix my own colors using house paint instead of oils like I usually do. The only way I could think to economize on the cost of paints for the new big art heart project was to use house paint.

Trying to economize with art supplies has wasted my time, efforts, sanity, and money. Not as much money as if I were using oil paints, but the trade off in the learning curve, time, and confidence might make it worth it to use oils. It's just such an expensive habit to have....being an artist. And then to fail in even a small way is such a waste of valuable resources.

*deep sigh*

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bravery Practice

All of these paint samples are for a big art project, another art heart for the Go Red for Women segment of the local Houston chapter of the American Heart Association. I've been paired with a local patron and will, to the best of my ability, match the style of the heart to her particular likes and tastes which will then be presented to her in gratitude for her financial contribution toward raising awareness for heart health in women.

Before starting on the actual piece, I'm going to paint a similar image (same color scheme) on a piece of plywood just to practice with these paints. The last time I used house paint for an art project I painted the mural on the back of the house. This won't be nearly so large a project as that.

For this project, I bought a basic yellow, red, and blue, then a bunch of neutrals to mix colors. At this point I'm a little intimidated (OK, a lot intimidated) by the project, not only because of the unfamiliarity of working with house paint, but also because the initial drawing for the work is very complicated and detailed with only a slight nuance of color differentiation. It won't be easy. Hopefully the practice painting will help me work through color matching, paint chemistry, paint application, and self confidence issues. Braveness eventually arrives in some form or another when I'm questioning my artistic abilities like this (which happens not infrequently), but certainly not before I actually start the doing of painting. Better get after it. Maybe tomorrow.  :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Self Portrait in Pink....Chucks

This is my retablo for Lawndale Art Center's Dia de los Muertos exhibit. The photo is also a self portrait of sorts. Those are my feet in those pink chucks.

The retablo will be auctioned off at a silent auction on October 25th, though calling it a silent auction seems ridiculous considering how loud and raucous the event is every year. It's a noisy, crowded auction - super fun, but not at all silent. It's Lawndale's annual fund raiser and for the money, one of the best parties in town.

This retablo is 12" x 12" oil on metal on hardboard. Opening bid is $50.

The day is fast approaching when these "dress" shoes will be retired. What a sad day that will be.  I'm getting teary just thinking about it.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Dinner Bell

In my quest to find the best fried chicken in town, and because it came highly recommended, we tried the Dinner Bell Cafeteria last Sunday.We had tried going the week before on a Saturday, but they are closed on Saturday. Duh. How would anyone know that a restaurant would be closed on a Saturday? Apparently it's common knowledge. I've been reluctant to write about our experience because, well, it was less than wonderful.

The Amazing Reese grew up in the east end, and his family would go there every Sunday after church when he was a child. His dad would never order food. He knew that his kids would order more than they could eat, so he waited until they were finished, then he would eat their leftovers. Sounds sensible if you ask me. Apparently the place was hopping in the late 60's early 70's.

We got there between 1:30 and 2 and the place was a like a dark dreary crypt and smelled like the worst part of old, which is incidental considering there's a cemetery just down the road a piece. It was almost groovy, but not quite. Reese did point out the built in ash tray as we walked to the serving line. It wasn't that long ago that restaurants allowed smoking. The decor hasn't changed in decades, if ever. Not that that's a bad thing, but when the vinyl booth seats have duct tape to keep them from splitting further, maybe it's time for a little upgrade. 

Our sole purpose in going there was for the fried chicken. After sitting in the main dungeon of a dining room, we unrolled our silverware. Reese remarked that he was glad that my mother wasn't there. It looked like nothing had been properly cleaned or disinfected in 25 years....maybe more. Still holding out hope that the chicken would be stellar, I bit into a piece. It was properly crunchy...only because it had been sitting under a heat lamp for God knows how long. Underneath the crunch was a layer of chicken jerky and under that, something resembling fried chicken taste. It was really more like they hadn't cleaned the fryer tasted like old fryer grease, not that I've ever tried old fryer grease, but this is what I imagine it would taste like.

Why oh why did we get suckered into sides? Between three of us, we tried the black eyed peas, fried okra, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, and carrots. Nothing was any good. How sad for a cafeteria in the south not to have at least mediocre fried okra and black eyed peas.

It's a flaw in my character (or, depending how one looks at it, really endearing) that I keep expecting something (life, relationships, experiences) to improve when all evidence repeatedly points to the contrary. Hopeful that the bakery would at least redeem our dining experience, I ordered a cookie on the way out. I should have known better. Bleh.

The best thing about the Dinner Bell Cafeteria  was the companionship of the two people who bravely joined me on this quest to find the best fried chicken in town. It's not here. Where next?