Friday, October 31, 2008

Whoso List to Hunt by Sir Thomas Wyatt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, helas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noil me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.
(One of my favorite poems, which was a part of my "Chelsea and the Black Fox" and is part of a project I'm working on currently.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the beginning

"The demise of the first poet I ever fell prey to."
8 x 10"
acrylic on masonite panel
     (a painting from this past February, from round one)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

birds through the lens

This box is from Homegoods. I think the bird wallpaper is just so beautiful! It's very golden-y and warm in person.
And...from the flea market in Keene, a brownie camera, just like the one my mom lost at the World's Fair when she was little! I used to display my Holga just to have a little black camera to look at, but now I have a real old one. :) As with all antiques, I wonder who it belonged to first. Whenever I see old mirrors, I wonder what reflections they've seen. What faces they've seen. I wish you could rewind and look back at what a mirror has seen like an old movie or something. I wonder who looked through the lens of this camera, and what pictures it took.
I can't wait until my room is done! I so so so much want to finish the painting I'm working on!!! 
We've been feeding a family of stray black cats lately. They're getting more and more used to us. They always come at midnight. I got fluff for my hot chocolate tonight, so I think I will go have some and wait for the kitties.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

love nest

Sketchbook drawing circa spring 2007.
I'm in favor of calling your living space a nest.
I have so many things that I've found lately that I want to show you, but I feel guilty for posting things that aren't my art in this blog sometimes. Yet, I think if you're an artist, you view the whole world as an enormous space for making art and being filled with beautiful things. I think that's why so commonly artists are also huge lovers of nature. And I'd like to share the things that inspire me here. So, expect a post soon of certain objects...

Monday, October 27, 2008

"It's as if it had been only you and I in all that garden."

I found this image online and it reminded me of an old French film I saw at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge this past March - "Last Year at Marienbad". I remember how that movie was exactly what I needed that night. Tonight actually feels much like how that night felt. I miss seeing movies at the Brattle by myself with my tea and a winter coat. I miss the city in general.
I do have a new painting I've been working on that I'll post soon! I'm reorganizing things to make a studio space in my bedroom right now. :) I'm excited to have it all done.

black and white photo of lovers #3

I used this photo of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as part of a project I did on Lucy in the tenth grade. It's still my favorite picture of them. I had it taped to the inside of my bookcase for many years.
I remember you could get extra credit for dressing up like the person you did your project on, but I was too shy and/or nervous to. Sad, since now I'm obsessed with wearing vintage dresses! I bet I could have gotten at least ten extra points.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Huntress

There are sketchbooks that are nice, and even though you aren't thinking when you draw in them, the drawings always come out nice. It's just the nature of the book. Then there are sketchbooks that are not nice. They're really rough, and it's the same level of non-thinking as in the nice sketchbook, but there's still this messiness that just comes about as though the whole thing were completely different. 
This drawing is from a messy sketchbook, but I've always loved it. I love the word "huntress," despite the fact that I don't particularly like hunting. I think I just love the female versions of words that are typically masculine - empress, for example. Huntress, however, is my favorite. I also like the idea of a female searching for something being called a Huntress. Hunting for love, hunting for something secret, hunting for a purpose only she can possess. 
I've done so many paintings revolving around this word that never come out how I want them to. I know that someday I'll get it right. For now, this sketchbook page came the closest to the image of Huntress I have in my head and heart. 
Huntress is the woods. It's deer. It's hunter green and dirt and evergreens and pine trees. It's where my art has been roaming around for the past year. It's a word that is close to me. I like how everyone has beautiful words that are special to them for whatever reason. Sometimes just because they sound lovely. And then from that loveliness we derive our own meanings. 
And that's all for tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

maybe, sparrow

Earlier while I was sitting at the dining room table, I heard a loud thud on the deck and went to see what it was. A little bird had flown into the slider door and was laying face down. I picked him up in my hands and held him. He was so soft and small. I have him in a box in case he's only unconscious and happens to wake up, but I don't think he's going to. Lately, I can't help but thinking the stars are aligned badly for everyone. I want them to reconfigure themselves.

our nightly visitor (in addition to flower).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

maybe I'm meant for the sea.

a trip to Revere Beach/Wonderland with Kate. I'm lucky to have been to the ocean twice this week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

swans, gowns, and bees.

This is a piece I just finished for my former book-making teacher, Cig Harvey. It's my long-overdue end of an artist trade - she's a photographer and I have one of her amazing prints. Since she and I both love vintage dresses, she asked me to paint a portrait of her in her wedding dress. (I had to photograph it since it wouldn't fit on the scanner, so bear with the color - it's much prettier in person! I'll scan her when I get the chance.)
"Portrait of Cig"
acrylic on masonite
I took some creative liberties, but that is a vintage camera in her hands. I painted a border with rounded edges to create the effect of an old photo (love beveled edges).
The real colors of the piece are best represented in the picture above.
Since Cig loves Proust, I used a small bit of one of his quotes. It was really hard to find a quote from Proust that would be fitting for a painting of a woman in her wedding dress! I found some amazing words from  him, but they were all just a little morbid for a painting that should be happy. I did save the ones I liked in a word document, though. :)
I can't wait to give her this painting! I had so much fun working on it. The wall paper was a blast to paint. 
Tonight Mom and I are going to see The Secret Life of Bees. We're very excited because we both loved the book. Based on the previews, the story line seems to be portrayed more light-heartedly in the movie than it was in the book, but I don't think I'll mind at all. The cast is amazing. Talk to you soon. :) Love, Amanda

I am a lady from mars, and I can unscrew the stars.

I'm absolutely enchanted by Ingrid Michaelson's new album Be OK. You know when you find an album that, in its entirety, completely fits exactly where you are in your life at the moment? I'm so glad I bought this one. Every song is perfect. I can't stop listening to "The Chain", and her version of "Over the Rainbow" is very beautiful. "Giving up" is the song I have playing on here now. Sigh. Sometimes I'm just so grateful for music.
This picture of Ingrid is right up my ally! As will be further proven by the painting I have to post tomorrow...I love old cameras. And I like the mona lisa-esque quality of that photo!
Lately I've been listening to the Darjeeling Limited soundtrack, and just thinking about last fall and the feeling it all gives me. I haven't seen that movie since I saw it in the theater. There's this one scene that I've been trying to find a still of to post here - when the decorated cows walk by in the funeral procession wearing flowers, and there's just music and everything is white. That scene made me cry like nothing else in the movie. Maybe it was how much a part of it the cows were and how sacred they seemed, as though the innocence of animals could help heal the pain of death. I get so touched by how unaware animals are of the comfort they give us. The things people find comfort in while in their weakest moments is a soft spot I have, hence all the sentimentality I put in inanimate objects. I think about that scene a lot. I'd like to watch that movie again soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Adventures with Jarrett

I had the pleasure of being accompanied by this young gentleman, Mr. Jarrett, for a walk on the beach today.
  I love beaches in the fall. The sky looked magnificent. I haven't seen a whale in such a long time. I want to go on a whale watch. I might have to convince some friends to go on a mini road trip and find some whales. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


  I have an affinity for things that are usually white, but in rare cases are black. More than anything else, this includes pearls and swans. I think it would be so lovely to own a strand of black pearls. The necklace at right was purchased at a fall church fair last weekend. I knew I wanted to paint a girl wearing a strand of black pearls, and then the painting evolved to include my black swan (I painted a girl with a black swan last fall, as well).  At first I had intended for the colors to be teal and sea green, very watery colors, but the palette ended up being really retro and I like it! She will be in the Teeny Tiny Art Show at the Three Graces Gallery in February.
  "Your secrets felt like velvet."
  acrylic on masonite
  This photo came out a little grainy, and the colors are brighter in person. I will scan her soon!   Happy that my sweater matches my painting! And more accurate colors for the piece.   And...something else that is black and white, our beautiful skunk flower who comes to eat peanuts on our deck every night! Look at her little hind paw!!! We tried to feed her an apple with peanut butter, but she sniffed it and ran away! 
  This weekend I will be working on my painting for that artist trade I mentioned earlier. I'm so excited about it! I'm going to sleep now. My dreams have been strange lately. I hope they are good tonight.

Friday, October 17, 2008

animals are elegant.

  A few weeks ago I finished reading Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I bought it on a weekend when I desperately needed to read something I could get caught up in. The beautiful title is what grabbed me, in addition to the cover art, which I find a little unusual and really bold. I love to underline the books I read and I was at no shortage of things to underline with this one. The book focuses on two main characters and I could relate greatly to both of them in different ways. I even recognized things I like and don't like about myself (mostly what I like in Michele, and what I do not like in Paloma). Anyway, I'm no good at book reviews. I'm good at analyzing and rambling about them. The book mostly consists of Michele and Paloma's own inner dialogues, and their thoughts were eerily similar to things I have thought of my whole life. It was neat to know that they were thoughts that had obviously crossed Muriel's mind at some point in time. The setting of the book (a small french apartment building for the wealthy) also just gave me that cozy place feeling - the kinds of places you can just barely reach. The feeling of looking in lit up windows in city apartments, or how the world looked new in a mirror when I was little. There's so much more to say on this, and I know I've written about that feeling in more depth in some word document hidden in my computer. I have to get back to the painting I am working on, though. So more on all kinds of things later. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Things my mom and I were just discussing reminded me of this photo I had saved on my computer. I found it in the archives of the internet a couple of years ago and decided it was my favorite picture of Paul and Linda McCartney. I remember when I was little, my mom told me he fell in love with Linda's hands the day he met her - the way she held her camera. I always liked that. 

a family of trees wanting to be haunted.

I love when Kate does this, so I've decided to follow her lead and make a list of songs I have been listening to lately (because these songs are too good not to share):
1)A Message - Coldplay
2)Brand New Day - Tim Myers ft. Lindsey Ray (from the target commercial. It's so happy!)
3)Kids - MGMT (The message I've gathered from this one is take only what you need from nature. And I like that.)
4)Sycamore Down - Jaymay
5)Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
6)I Feel it All - Feist
7)Possession - Sarah McLachlan
8)Ode to Divorce - Regina Spektor
9)Ground Control to Major Tom - Cat Power
10)You & I - Ingrid Michaelson
11) Be OK (the album) - Ingrid Michaelson
12) True Affection - The Blow
13) Same Boy You've Always Known - The White Stripes
14) Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
That is all! I have several paintings to work on in the next week or so. One was part of an artist trade and one is for the Teeny Tiny Art show. So I will be checking in soon, and with pictures. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

summer snow

I wish I lived in Europe sometimes, simply for the fact that if you live in, say, London, you can wake up on a Saturday morning and think, I'm going to drive down to Paris today. Or I'm going to spend next weekend in Italy.
There's just so much I want to see and do, and for whatever reason I want to do these things now more than ever. I want to find a city where the streets were built specifically for walking. I want to pet dogs who perhaps would speak other languages if they were people. I want to sleep in hotel rooms with little wrought iron balconies clutching the windows and huge white comforters on the bed. I so so so much want to ride a horse in Hyde Park.
I know I only have to wait a little longer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I want to get lost.

I'm in love with these book covers by M. Sasek. They were all painted around 1959, but I just found out that all of these books were re-released in 2004. I love the illustration of the late 1950s/1960s. I actually know some people who are artists today who emulate that style so nicely. Chris is one of them. Anyway, I hope to be taking myself to one of these three places relatively soon (meaning by spring?). So, here's hoping!!