Dec. 10th, 2011 08:11 pm
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Here's a painting I did last night. I poked through a book of photos of Ireland until I found a promising one. I wanted to use a limited palette, so I used phthalo blue, phthalo green, burnt umber and white (since those are seriously the only colors in Ireland. That and whatever colors farmers spray paint their sheep.) I actually didn't end up using hardly any of the green (and added a few drops of yellow to that) The only place I used it was in a few spots on the rock and at the base of the beacon. The sea at lower right looks like a churning pot of poo, but it could be worse, and I like the rest of it.

So here you go: Baltimore Beacon, acrylic on paper plate.



Oct. 1st, 2011 08:01 am
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So right now, I'm not exactly writing, but I am stuffing my head with research. I'm also getting back into doing other kinds of art. I've got my photography, and some crafts, and the last two nights, I've pulled out my acrylics and painted. Being as lazy as I am, I didn't feel like digging around looking for my pad of canvas paper, and I don't have the space to set up a big canvas, so I used Chinet paper plates. Those things are fucking awesome to paint on while lounging around watching DVDs. You can hold onto them by the rim. The only downside is the Chinet logo embossed in the middle.


Sep. 18th, 2011 11:36 am
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I had a very excellent day yesterday, full of friends and inspiration. As a result, this morning I awoke with a magnificent Prozac high, and successfully whipped myself into a creative frenzy. Not writing, though that would have been nice, but with my macro photography. I've had this obsession with form and details for a long time now, starting with my Photoshop art, and moving on to macro photography. I'm gaining a better understanding of my obsession.
Spending yesterday and this morning reading about Dali, Picasso and Marcel Duchamp aided this frenzy, which I've just forced myself to come down off.* I'm post some of the results later, when I'm more rational.

I'm pretty sure this is a byproduct of my self-diagnosed ADD. Being able to unconsciously maintain a focus on something for any period of time is a tremendous experience. Like sex, seriously. But it also takes a lot of energy. I'm going to be such a wreck later. Hopefully, I'll be able to spend the rest of the day on my own in my lair.

*When I started to feel like I was visually violating a seashell with the constancy of my shots and penetrating gaze, I knew it was time to take a break. Feeling like a rapist of an inanimate object isn't terribly rational.


Sep. 2nd, 2010 10:08 pm
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Tonight I went to one of the highlights of my vacation--the Oregon Symphony's outdoor concert. It took place in a big park, and there were lots and lots of people. However, there was a round little plaza right next to the stage where, except for a few benches, no one was sitting. I sat on the bricks* against a low, curved wall that probably enhanced the acoustics. The sound was perfect, the view of the ballet was perfect, and little girls used the open space to be ballerinas. Of course, this open space was later abused by children running and screaming during the quiet parts of the 1812 Overture. Partially forgiven because one of the kids produced a glowing lightsaber, and so one of the would-be ballerinas became a graceful ballerina Sith chasing and hacking the other children. They did all stop in their tracks when the Howitzer** went off.

I was hoping the cannons would be better timed during the climax, along with the fireworks. They went off once right before the climax, and then a whole lot right after the end. But hey, cannons! Seeing the big metal towers of the Hawthorne Bridge surrounded by smoke was pretty cool. And walking back to the bus, while the Howitzers and fireworks were still going off, really did make me feel like I was in a battle.

*Yes, I was probably sitting in homeless person pee. I washed my hands. Jeans, too.

**The local National Guard light artillery troop operated the cannons. Last year, they couldn't do it because they were in Iraq, but they've just returned last April.
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Fabulous day. Got some writing done in the morning, and then [ profile] kehrli, [ profile] awriter and I went on the Whatcom Studio Tour. It was the perfect excuse to get out into the county on a beautiful day.
We had a picnic in Canada thanks to the Peace Arch park. We pondered Giant Rhubarb. (Keffy will theoretically be posting pictures of these marvels.) Then it was on to the Bellewood Apple Farms (where we learned that bleu cheese and honeycrisp apples are a good combo. (And yes, I ate bleu cheese on a thin slice of honeycrisp apple, and yes, I ate the entire slice. I had a little trouble with the skin, though. I can never eat more than a few bites of apples.)
THen it was on to a glassblower and his garlic farm. Then kiln-fired glass (where we learned that a used kiln can be had for as little as 600$) and finally, a potter way out near Nooksack, who was wonderfully flighty and OCD all at once. We sat for a long time watching him throw a sphere on the wheel. When we left his barn, two GIANT golden retrievers awaited us. One of them followed us towards the car, while chickens CHASED us. We escaped, and no dogs nor chickens were squished.


Aug. 2nd, 2009 02:51 pm
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This weekend is the annual Bellingham Arts Festival. You can get amazing art for relatively cheap, and I always like to spend a little. I'd planned on getting a print or two and spending maybe 25$, but I ended up getting two ceramic charms for 10$, and a block painting for 50$ from Pham Quoc Hung whose art makes me want to cry. Photos seriously can't do his work justice. The paintings are up to four feet wide explosions of color. Very expressionistic, like a cross between Van Gogh and Picasso.

Art by Pham Quoc Hung

About 30" wide.
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Today [ profile] awriter and I stopped by Mindport. They had this beautiful art piece which consisted of a table with Lummi Island painted on it. Little poems were embedded in the water around the island, and all over the island itself were scrolls of paper, cut to different lengths to imitate the relief of the island. The artist had written little poems, presumable from the different points on the island, on different days, and filled the map of the island with them. There was even a gentle arc across the water for the ferry route.
I'm obsessed with combining storytelling and geography* (both manmade and "natural"), so I absolutely adored this thing.
There was one poem which held a subtle hint as to the artist's own experiences (sex on the south point!) but for the most part, the poems were more indicative of the immediate environment (e.g. moon rising over a pod of orcas). It presented the island in terms almost anyone could share. It was a map, pure and simple, that people could follow. The dates on each poem were indicative of the human experience behind the project, but I would love to see such a thing basically imposing a human life on the physical landscape, kind of like the historical markers they plaster over the hometowns of famous people, but instead of pointing out the high points of lives we already know (and really, it's like, they were born in that house. Who cares? Everyone's born.) you would just point out the everyday experiences of an ordinary person, leaving the viewer to puzzle out the gaps and figure out why this particular detail matters to that particular individual (or the individual presenting the life of the person. Two stories in one!)

Anyone who walks around town with me knows I love to point out places that I have some relationship to. If my work does printing for someone, I point it out. I point out my dentist, I point out where I used to live, the slope I used to run down with my friends in the middle of the night because it was a shortcut to the movies, but now it's a condo. I suspect my friends are both bored and wryly amused by this. But this is how I extend my indentity into the environment, how I make myself bigger than I am. I embed myself in this town. I love traveling and embedding myself in new places, and I love taking people back with me and pointing out my former experiences. Taking my old friend Ilsa to the Aran Islands and sharing my favorite place (Dun Ducathair!) with her was an incredible experience. This is how I share myself. Probably not very practical, since really, how much can you tell about me from, "we do printing for those people!" But meaning is like watercolor. You spread thin, almost invisible layer after invisible layer until suddenly you have a natural, intricate picture.

*I'm hoping to do this cool thing with one of my novels-in-progress where there's a mysterious, powerful, possibly villainous woman on an isolated, mountainous island, and she's the one who named everything there. Every mountain, every bay. So the main character who, like me, is obsessed with storytelling and physical space, sees the island a map to puzzle out that woman's life and figure out who she is. The protagonist is also an actress and likes the idea of the island being a stage she's living out her own story on, as well as nature as stage in general. She once made her troupe and audience slog all the way to the top of a volcano to put on a play on the crater rim. She didn't actually figure out what she was going to perform until she got to the top. For her, the trek was all a part of the adventure.

An Ode

Nov. 23rd, 2008 08:05 am
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Wow, I'm a featured member on Elfwood today...
I haven't even visited there in like...
Dear Elfwood, land where I let myself be creative
land where I met [ profile] csinman
land where I met [ profile] kehrli before I met [ profile] kehrli
land where [ profile] kehrli met [ profile] renatus and [ profile] awriter
land of guilt trips, since I totally don't do visual art anymore
and everyone yells at me for it.


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