Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Angry Moon

For Poetry Thursday, I went to a very fun to use and inspiring website called Erasures.

You get a hundred to two hundred word snip of text to erase word by word to make a poem. Fun, go try it!

I like to do this in real-life in altered books (part of the fun of doing art in a book is utilizing the text as part of the artwork), usually by circling words with pencil to make a poem and then painting around them, so only they show.

So here is the poem I came up with was as follows:

The Angry Moon

by Julie Zaccone Stiller

the Moon met

us, and

she was angry, for

all not openly.

for the moonlight is beautiful.

observe the days all


the gods are constantly threatening,

sacrificing, inflicting litigating.



and laughing.

this year

deprived gods crown; for thus

will know better ought to spend the days of

life according to the Moon.

You can see how it looks, with strange spacing, lines, punctuation etc. over here. Different feel isn't it?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Black & White #4

Last week of black and white for self portrait challenge this month. Hard to believe February is just about over. It always seems short, because I always seem to get sick at some point during the month. "only" bronchitis this time instead of pneumonia (pshew!), but still hard to recover.
This photo is taken in our newly constructed, painted, carpeted and partially furnished bedroom.
I am collapsed on the floor, completely exhausted and tired beyond words, listening to random tunes on my mp3 player.
I took a lot of pictures, but this was my favorite because of the shadowy blur.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Black & White Take 3

Another black and white for the Self Portrait Challenge this month.
The white in my hair is a mixture of grey hair, and also white ceiling paint. The paint is now gone, the grey is still there. I am considering dyeing my hair once more. But if you ask me tomorrow, I'll deny any such questioning of my choice to forgo hair dyeing.
The white on my face is this Sally Hansen's crap that melts hair and makes my face numb for days. Think that may be connected somehow, hmmmm?
Suppose I ought to do something else for the patented old Sicilian lady mustache and beard?!
The wall behind me is no longer white. It is now cottage white thankyouverymuch. After a very long week of painting we are calling it done and the carpet is getting installed tomorrow. Hooray and hoorah! Stay tuned for some more colourful pictures, wait til' you gettaload of this!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stamp Carving

I wanted to show off a really fun stamp that I just carved on Monday. It is made out of white eraser material, MasterCarve by Staedtler. As it says on the label, it "carves like butter". Almost too easily carved, as I found out. Way way way easier than lino blocks. I drew the design on freehand with pencil, design was inspired vaguely by a dress fabric pattern in the JC Penney's ad I was using to catch the mess. I think it looks a little like a batik stamp.

This shows the stamp being used in a collage, inked in green, and then highlighted with gold pen, several crayon colors over the top.
I was really happy with how this turned out, as I was only using the x-acto knife I could find, not my usual setup of special carving tools (they are of course in storage!). So if you are the least bit interested in stamping, give this a try, it is fun to make your own.

Happy Valentine's Day

These are two collage pieces from a journal swap I'm in. Thought they were just too appropos of the day to keep to myself. Hope that you are surrounded, immersed, nay, drowning in love today!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Black & White Take 2

Here are a couple of pictures for a second go-round of black and white for selfportraitchallenge.

This is me ascending my newly textured stairs. Yes the walls are textured, but the sprayer got the stairs too. They now have a coat of primer, as does most of my arm hair, yeouch, this stuff is so much harder than paint to get off!

So I thought I'd take a shadow picture since I'm surrounded by all these white walls (but not for long, color is a comin'!). I liked this one best because it has the top of my head, a bit of hair, a corner of my glasses.

I also am posting the greyscale and regular version of the photo. In this case I like the black/white version better. The light glow and wood stair and wallboard just look dirty compared to the whiteness of the wall texture. So when the color is removed to grey, problem solved. IF only it were that easy in real life. Sigh.

I think I have triceps again, at least I can feel them after all this painting. Whose idea exactly was it that we have 15 foot ceilings in the bedrooms??? oops, never mind.

Friday, February 09, 2007

New music

While I prepare to paint yet another room (hooray!), I'm listening to a great new cd from The Shins, "Wincing the Night Away"(great title huh?!) . I bought it yesterday on the advice of my teenager (hee hee, I like sharing music with him, but he doesn't like it, I keep telling him he's lucky to have a mom that likes cool music!) Anyways, check out the album cover art. Doesn't it look like some involved doodles your art school friend would do during calculus class in college? I'm quite taken with it, and it goes really well with the music, which is just awesome! The music is a wild cross between psychedelic, pop, and prog-rock. Very cool stuff. Highly recommended!

Another cool one that I stole from my kid is Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere". I had heard the single "Crazy" of course (hard to avoid on the radio!). But then on listening to the whole cd, I was really impressed with this music. A kind of Al Green sounding vocalist with really inspired beats and tuneful songs. Not just hip hop blahblah stuff, real music. And a cover of the Violent Femmes"Gone Daddy Gone" which might just might surpass the original.
Anyways, that is what I'm listening to, how about you?!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snap Decisions

More getting to know you for Create a Connection, this month hosted by Swampgrrl.

Answer the following questions by intuition ... whatever comes to you immediately.
If you spend more than 2 seconds on the answer, leave it blank and move to the next question.
1. You run into a friend who has just chopped off all her long hair (or suddenly has an Afro). What do you say?

Oh my goodness, you've changed your hairstyle!

2. You walk by a well dressed man with manicured hands who smells like a gin martini. He asks you for money. What do you do?

Say "hell no!" and keep walking, probably a bit faster.

3. Your brother or sister or best friend falls madly in love with someone you think is a jerk. What do you do?

Keep my big mouth shut. And be there to support them when they figure it out for themselves.

4. You get a terrible present from your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. Do you let it show?

I would try reeeeaaaalllly hard not to let it show. But I've been told I do not and never shall possess a "pokerface". Ah the curse of being full of expression!

5. Who's your favorite Beatle?

John Lennon. Because he wore glasses. And wrote my favorite Beatles' songs.

6. You walk by a disheveled man wearing soiled & tattered clothes. He politely asks you for money. What do you do?

Smile, make eye contact and say "sorry, no cash" and move on.

6. Skinny Elvis or Fat Elvis?

Skinny Elvis, hubba hubba. Especially in Jailhouse Rock!

Good job! Thanks!
Next, go find an outrageous picture of your Elvis on the net and post it at the bottom of your answers. Be sure to give credit to the photographer.
(Give yourself bonus points for velvet).
This picture is from the front of a calendar, which says from the "Weirtheimer Collection", doesn't specify the photographer unfortunately. It isn't at all outrageous, but it is beautiful.
For a little bit more out on the outrageous side, how about the former prime minister of Japan visiting Graceland last year (with Shrub in the background). Found the image at Extreme Mortman, photo cred to: Getty images.

Black and White vs. Colour

For the self portrait challenge this month it is all black and white all the time.
Which do you like better? The black and white version or the colour version? This is me petting a cactus (kidding!) in Sedona at Dara's old house back in 2005. The only black thing in the color photo is my pants, and the only white things are my shoes and the stepping stone. But there are soooo many other colours in this photo, the purple of the cactus, the green of the house, the grass, the scrub, the mountain tops, the orange of my top, the red of the cliffs, the pink of the sidewalk and the cactus and the cliffs. It is interesting to me to see the impact colour has on this image. It also has a big impact on how I store my memories, I can really remember the cactus now that I see it in living color. I can almost feel those prickly sharp spines near my hand again. But if it was just seeing a black white version of the photo, I don't think that visceral memory would be available to me now, in this present.
So I admit it, I'm a colour addict. I need colour. It feeds me. In a very deep way. This month is going to be very challenging.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Books of January

Here are the books that I read in January, most from the library (I love the library!) since our books are boxed up and in storage during the home construction:

First up, Anansi Boys. The brilliant Neil Gaiman comes up with another good tale, with characters you would love to meet, what an imagination this man has. This is one of my favorite recent reads, I just didn't want it to be over. I really hope he writes a sequel or another story in the world he created in this novel.
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Then, here is a book, well journal really, or datebook, well, it is hard to quantify. I'm using it as my write a sentence summarizing each day journal. And I'm also trying to understand more about the whole astrology gig, and this has lots of info on that subject. Plus, very cool artworks, poetry, etc.

This book was actually a holiday gift that I gave my youngest son, mainly purchased since the cover was shiny and very interesting. I'll admit it! It is written for grades 6-9, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very well written, and such a fun take on fairytales that we've all told and been told many times. Mix that all up with a misfit story, and you're good to go. Kind of like a "Wicked" for a younger age group.

Another very steamy read from Laurell K. Hamilton. I've liked some of her other books better.

Ooooh, this one is fun! A follow-on story to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, set in the far future, with another slayer, Meleaka Fray. I know it is a comic book, but I'm counting it, since it cost me big bucks (for a comic book, sheesh!).

Another visual universe that I didn't want to leave was Joss Whedon's Serenity, the short-lived, but much loved sci-fi/western tv show. This much too short book shows what happened after we left the story...I hear there will be more of these, which is good, I'll be buying them. The artwork in them are very good, especially the whole page character renderings.
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A book I've been meaning to read for a while, by Starhawk. Set in a near future California, almost a post-apocalyptic kinda setup. Very good story, engaging characters. Interesting takes on what could happen in the future. But I found the novel's pacing to be ruined by political rantings. Fifth Sacred Thing, The

I've put off reading this book for a while, but finally got around to it. And I'm glad I did. I thought it would be just too sad, and it really, truly wasn't. I felt uplifted at the end, by this tale of murder's aftermath from the point of view of the victim looking down from her heaven on those she's left behind. Thinking about the idea of each person having their own version of heaven is really an intriguing prospect. hmmmm.

I originally got this gigantic book out of the library just for the pretty pictures. I thought they'd cheer me up in the doldrums of winter, looking at beautiful gardens. You know, kind of like garden porn! But then I started reading, and wow, was this ever an interesting book. The authors divide up the world into areas/types of gardens, give the history of gardening in the large regions, show pictures of traditional or famous gardens. The usual. But then the innovative thing is they give examples of how you, the home gardener can bring elements of these fabulous garden creations down to earth to take root in your own garden. I'll be checking this one out again.
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

ArtShare MeMe

Thanks Deirdre! She sent me a beautiful little quilt for her ArtShare MeMe contribution. Isn't it great?!?! This is is her very first abstract. I love the irregular edges, and the mysterious landscape feel the shapes and colors evoke. Anyways, go check out her blog: Deirdre's Sloppy Studios to see her non-abstract, yet still wonderful quilt art works.

And yes, this is a reminder to me to actually send out some art to emmy,cara,dilling,marion and deirdre. I haven't forgotten. Just too covered in construction debris to make a dent in my art to-do list. Sorry folks. But I will send you something eventually!

64 Days of NonViolence Practice

If you are interested in Peace, or Non-Violence, it isn't too late to join in with the Season for NonViolence, now in Day 3 of 64 Days. They have small practices to do each day, and also have a program for teens, as well as children too.
I think this is a small yet effective way to bring more minds into focus on this very much needed idea. Let me know if you are participating too.

Peace Out!

(Detail of Peace sign in the balance on my Justice quilt).