Sunday, February 27, 2011

. . . Betsy came over

Since Monday was a holiday for both Betsy and me, we spent the day together. Betsy and Joe are convinced that my new house is either haunted or has been invaded by a mysterious "rodent, either human or animal" (per Betsy; and yes, I have known human rodents) and since the idea of a haunted house gives them nightmares, they have decided to detect and rid me of my rodent.

So when Betsy came to my house on Monday, she had an old-fashioned makeup case stuffed with things she would need to detect the rodent: a digital camera (kiddy-style); notebooks, pens, penlight; etc. She took pictures of anything that looked suspicious: tracks, the doggie door in the basement, the mysterious hose that turned itself on and spewed water all over the back yard, the puddle of water on the basement floor (because, "you know, Nana, not all urine is yellow." I don't want to know how she knows that.)

When she could reach no logical conclusion as to what was creeping around my house, she decided she wanted to "screen paint" and screen paint she did. Then she really got into using different things around the basement to make textures. When she wasn't painting, eating at Burger King, or picking out 20 books for me to buy her so she could give them to her teacher (which didn't happen), she was writing a book for Joey on the computer. What a kid.

When we got back to Betsy's house, Joe was very excited. In his art class that day, he had made me a rodent trap. Actually, he really did a very good job for the 3-year-old. You could tell he had put some thought into it. It was a paper trap with three sides, like an A-frame house, with the back fixed in place and a flap on the front for the rodent to enter. It was taped up securely. He was so proud and I was very impressed. He has a career in architecture or pest control in his future.

Remember always to play like little kids at the serious business of making art.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

. . . voluntarily went outside

Not just voluntarily, either, but eagerly. The temperature reached the 70s this week, and off I went on my lunch (1/2)hour with my camera. Not surprisingly, within a few blocks of where I work, I stumbled upon a building that had either fallen down or was in the process of being torn down. These pictures are from that place. I know, the one above is a bit weird, but that's probably why it appeals to me. I like the upper gray-white background with the orange bits.

My usual method of taking picture during lunch is definitely point, shoot, and get the hell out of there, which kind of limits what I'm left to deal with when it comes to editing the pictures. Many times I've wished I would have taken more time to actually study up close what I'm shooting. Like above, I don't know that the stones are necessary to the picture, but I kind of like the red stuff, which I truly hope is paint.

And here, I don't really like my crop, now that I see it here. Possibly this should be two separate pieces.

Love the natural crackled surface and the colors on this one. I think you can click on all of these and get bigger photos.

Okay, this one was taken in the parking lot across which I walk every day. And it was very very cold that day. And this is a puddle of ice. With a piece of chewing gum in it. I did not take this on the wonderfully spring-like day last week. I actually stopped on my way in to work and just pulled out the camera and shot this when the temps were probably below zero. And this one definitely needs cropping and editing. But don't you love the gum?

Long weekend for me; a benefit of working at a bank. Hope with me that I can get that painting done. It's calling my name. . . .

Monday, February 14, 2011

. . . gave my heart

I generally despise these made-up commercialized semi-holidays that do nothing but make people spend a lot of money on a lot of nonsense. A bit of advice to the lovelorn: make everyday Valentine's day. Having said that, I will climb down from my soapbox, and on the way down, I will have an attitude adjustment.

This is a photo I posted on this blog a couple of years ago. I had been working on some monoprints and Betsy and Joe had left these red plastic cupcake molds around the house. The two just seemed to fit together. . .

I had the best week. . . started some art but didn't finish anything and have nothing yet to show for my farting around, as Leslie Avon Miller would put it. I took some photocopies of some of my unfinished stuff and hung them up around my cubicle at work. Now I can look at these and try to figure out how to improve or complete them as I work on taxes or CD interest or talk on the phone. Sometimes the best ideas sneak up when I'm thinking peripherally.

Hugs and kisses x o x o x o blah blah blah . . . oops, bad attitude.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

. . .added to 10,000

Have you all read or heard of Malcolm Gladwell's theory that being an expert at something takes a lot of work. . . his estimate is 10,000 hours. Well, this week's work did nothing but add to that total.

I have tried on this blog to post everything I create, whether I believe it to be good, bad, indifferent. I learn something from everything I make, and sometimes I learn that it's just not good enough. I figure anyone reading this blog could also learn from my mistakes or misbegotten efforts.

Which exactly is how I feel about these small pieces. I also learned that there is not one good place in this house to take good photographs, although it would help to have good subject matter.

I wouldn't say I was completely cured of my recent obsession with deconstructed screen printing. It's a ton of fun. And I learned from that process, too, which was the whole point. I certainly was never going to give up painting for screen printing. I wanted to figure out how to apply some of the screen printing technique to what I do. I also had a chance to unpack and re-evaluate and appreciate again some of the things I use to make texture and pattern.

We had snow this week. . . a lot. I spent a bunch of time shoveling, missed a day of work, froze my ass off down in the basement, but I am getting back in the swing of this art making business. Have a great week, everyone. Make more art.