Thursday, December 31, 2009

new year's eve-eve

A picture of my sister and I, and two of our best friends, Abigail and Lindsey, who are also sisters! Every year they come over on Christmas and we make peppermint ice cream milkshakes and play games with my parents. Except this year we didn't feel like making the milkshakes, and instead ate potato salad.
In case you couldn't tell, we were playing with photobooth on a laptop!
For some reason New Year's Eve always makes me think about what I'm thankful for even more than Thanksgiving does, so I thought I'd take some time to reflect on the things I love and am so grateful to have in my life:
-My family
-My cat Tiger
-living in Boston
-going home
-all the support I've received for my art and business from friends, family, and strangers, and all the new friends I've made from keeping this art blog :)
-working in a bookstore, even though it's crazy sometimes
-my room
I don't really make resolutions, but in the new year I'll be doing a couple of things that somehow feel like "resolutions":
1) I have signed up to volunteer at the local animal shelter, and will hopefully get an assigned position soon!
2) My friend is co-teaching a hula-hooping class (it's such an art form, I had no idea until I met her!), which I'm taking. I'm so excited to start!! This summer I traded her a print for a hula hoop (she also makes them!), so now I can put it to good use.
I hope you all have a wonderful new year's eve!! Be safe!! See you in 2010. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

boxing day

Old golden books I got from Mom for Christmas! The whale one is in relation to something I'll tell you about fairly soon. :) Anyway, I hope you all had excellent holidays!
Today my mom and I went to "Oh my Gosh," this giant barn filled with antiques in Sterling, MA. It's kind of like Fairground because it's full of booths from different sellers.
vintage pencil sharpeners - I'm keeping the piano and giving the fan to Ely for his birthday. vintage paper dolls - four packs for $5!
Published in 1961 - the art of living
I love books like this - someone's notion of what it means to do all these things. I opened it up and saw a quote from Thoreau. It's neat to see thing we're familiar with as being old applied to things at the halfway point between now and then.
a really beautiful copy of Black Beauty
Horse drawings by the original owner are all over the book. I love it!
end pages
40s dress with belt - $8Books I got at Still Life, a consignment shop near our house.
Three books I've been wanting to read for a long time: Robin Hood, Under the Lilacs, and The Water Babies! We learned about Water Babies in our History of Illustration class sophomore year. It's a strange novel (mostly just unusual for its time) written in the 1800s with amazing illustrations.
Cookie was wandering around Still Life. A yard in Clinton, MA. I often view lawn decorations as unintentional installation art. We had to pull over so I could take pictures! The Mary in the glass case with the deer and bird house cluster to the left is just so beautiful.
Our tree!
Our cake on Christmas! I had a wonderful time at home with my family. What did you all do for the holidays?
p.s. - thank you, Erin, for the blog post. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

love letters

I had tattooed lady postcards printed up! They have rounded corners, which I love. I coffee-stained paper for the back for an old, aged look. I'm selling them individually or in packs of ten, and they come with matching red envelopes (in case you prefer your mail in envelopes)!
They're available in my shop.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday if I don't post again before Christmas!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

scene 9

Ironically, after just writing in my last post about how much I love Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, I met someone at a party last night who loves Blanche just as much as I do.
We were playing cards at a table in the dark and he turned on the lamp hanging over the table, and everyone reacted to it, because it was too bright. But the cards and the swinging lamp and the fuss reminded me of the poker scene in Streetcar, and the paper lantern. And the other Blanche lover knew precisely what I was talking about when I brought up Blanche's paper lantern, the comfort she took in strange, small things, and this quote from scene 9:
Blanche: I don't want realism. I want magic! (Mitch laughs) Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it! 
p.s. - thank you to those of you who shared your favorite books in response to my last post. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

on loving books, or anything

Tiger with The Time Traveler's Wife, fall 2008
Lately I've been thinking about falling in love with books, because it's been a long time since I fell in love with one. I used to fall in love with books more frequently than I do now, and I wonder what it says about me or books that I don't stumble into ones that feel like such a perfect fit as often as I used to.
The last book I fell in love with was That Mad Ache by Francoise Sagan, and even then I remember feeling skeptical and nervous before opening the front cover because I wasn't sure it would make me feel the way that other books had made me feel, and that is a feeling I search for and miss.
It kind of scares me. As I get older, I feel like my romantic nature tips more and more to the skeptical side of the scale. Throughout my whole life, everyone has called me a romantic, and I liked it that way, and I didn't think anything would ever change it. Lately, though, I feel like small things are making smoke in the place I used to keep my hopefulness, the part of me that thinks anything is possible and looks for the secrets of the world between the lines of literature.
It's this hopefulness and fascination that make up the reasons I love being an artist and aspiring writer - I am constantly searching for something. I want to go deeper and deeper into one little thing until I know everything about it, and in a way that creates even more mystery. I'm fascinated by botany and natural history. I want to know it all. Yet sometimes I don't trust my desire for detail and knowledge. I've started to convince myself that my pursuits of things aren't necessary, that if I did uncover something of anything, what would the point really be? It's like I want to capture something, but what if I never can? And what if I did, and it let me down?
These thoughts never even used to cross my mind. It was all about the search. I wrote ten journal pages a day. I haven't done that in over a year.
Being a romantic can be hard, because I feel like it's associated with a certain degree of naivete. If you choose to "smarten up" and look at things realistically, it's hard not to lose a little bit of your romantic nature. Why can't a person be smart and romantic all at once?
I feel torn between my heart and science (and not the kind of science I love).
I miss working with animals and children. I think I need to find my way back to those things. Until then, I'm going to read as much as I can and not let anything stand in my way.
So, in honor of all the books I have fallen in love with, a list of them (there are many books that I have loved, including the hundreds of books my mom read to us growing up, but these are the ones that effected me the most that I discovered on my own):
1) The Princess and the Unicorn (fell in love 1992 - a book I took out at least 40 times from my elementary school library. When I was in 8th grade, the librarian contacted me and gave the book to me - the card with my name all over it was still in the front cover.)
2) The Diary of Anne Frank (fell in love 1998 & 2000 - I read this three times but I can't remember the third date.)
3) Night by Ellie Weisel (fell in love fall of 2000 -I still love the boy who played violin. I drew a picture of him in 9th grade.)
4) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (fell in love spring of 2003 - Rosasharn is one of my favorite literary heroines of all time. This book was too much for me to understand at the time but I read every single word it had to offer. I'd love to reread it someday.)
5) A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (fell in love spring of 2004 - I loved Blanche's speech in scene 9 about believing in magic, and what's so wrong with it anyway? I've always felt very kindred with Blanche.)
6) the collected poems of e.e. cummings (fell in love winter of 2004 - I became enamored with him while living in Cambridge where he grew up, which just had me awe struck. I loved to walk by his house. I loved the way he cared about every little thing, and believed everything had feelings.)
7) "preludes" by T. S. Eliot (fell in love winter of 2005 - "the notion of some infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing." favorite lines.)
8) Free Stallion by Amber Tamblyn (fell in love winter of 2005 -my poetic awakening)
9)The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (fell in love fall of 2006 - "to know the pain of too much tenderness." the first sentence I ever underlined in a book.)
10)Henry and June by Anais Nin (fell madly in love spring of 2007-I can't even go into detail about what this book means to me, but you will read about it someday, I promise!)
11) Evening by Susan Minot (fell in love summer of 2007 -dark blue and grass green)
12) St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (fell in love fall of 2007 - black stars and my love for short stories)
13) A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett (fell in love fall of 2007 - I read this out loud to O'Malley the night before he was put to sleep. This story reminds me of someone I met when I was 6 and someone I met when I was 20.)
14) The Awakening by Kate Chopin (fell in love fall 2007 - a novel in which I found myself and my past loves comparable to the main characters -kind of laughable now, but this is why I love being young!, and wrote a free-style paper in which I took paragraphs from the book and then retold my own similar experience for my american lit final).
15) Ruby by Francesca Lia Block (fell in love winter of 2007 - everything I wished was real, began in a snow storm, plastic elephant.)
16) The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery (fell in love spring of 2008 - the flower. being tamed. reading on a train.)
17) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (fell in love fall of 2008 - knowing what I want.)
17) My Darling from the Lions by Alice Denham (fell in love winter of 2009 -an artist in love. the first novel of a female writer in a male-dominated industry, circa 1960.)
18) That Mad Ache by Francoise Sagan (fell in love fall of 2009 -making sense of everything up until that point.)
I want to fall in love many times in 2010, but once would be ideal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

and white rabbits

"on finding you (gentle: this thumping, reckless momentum)"
acrylic on masonite, 8x10"
She wrote in her notebook: finding you was no less difficult than finding one black rabbit in a sea of one thousand white hares.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

friday night

My very good friend Nicole came to visit from NYC. I hadn't seen her since May!
I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

dire la verite

James Dean violinist in Copley. I gave him a copy of this sketchbook page. :)
The other night we had our first real snow! It made me so happy. I love snow in the city.
I hadn't even noticed that my neighbor's rose bush still had a few roses in bloom until I saw them covered in snow in the morning.
I found a large group of pigeons in the south end the other day. Every time they got startled, they'd take off over my head. It looked like a beautiful swarm of insects (like a plague that would be in a story meant for little girls to read). My camera was accidentally on zoom when I took this. At first I was sad because I wanted to capture the whole of it, but I love the way the motion of their wings got captured in this shot, so it was a happy accident.
I hope you all have great weekends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

pink imagination

The beautiful illustrations of Marc Boutavant, an artist I discovered during college.
(I recommend clicking this one to see it bigger!)
I love his color palettes, the way he paints animals, and the incredible detail of his spreads! He's such an inspiration to me.
Happy Tuesday!
xoxo Amanda

Saturday, December 5, 2009

stella by star vintage

My mom and I have opened a vintage shop on etsy! Right now it mostly contains neat old Christmas decorations my mom has acquired (I am going to put in vintage clothes from time to time). Anyway, I just wanted to share it with all of you! My mom let me title the shop, so I named it after Blanche's pet name for Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. My favorite thing that I have contributed is the high-waisted  wool Fendi trouser pant made in Italy.
Etsy Buy Handmade stellabystar
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Love, Amanda

Friday, December 4, 2009

holiday print sale in my shop!

For the whole month of December, all the prints in my shop are buy 2, get the 3rd free! Buy any two prints, and then send me a convo letting me know which print you'd like for free. You can mix and match prints and paper dolls! Happy Holidays, everyone!
Love, Amanda

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

welcome december & on the set of an opera

"in compliance"
sketchbook page
I love the way the city looks when the holiday season comes around! Brighton reminds me of the town in "It's a Wonderful Life," and the way they used to decorate my hometown when I was little. Nets of stars strung across the main roads, held up by light posts and apartment buildings. Snowflakes on every street lamp. Copley is also looking incredibly beautiful.
Nice things from lately:
-cinnamon applesauce with honey
-birthday at home
-funfetti cake waiting for me at my apartment
-dogs with beige eyes
-vintage avon animal-shaped perfume bottles
-carburetor hearts
-re-reading macbeth in preparation for seeing Sleep No More again (tonight!!)
-acoustic versions of "she blinded me with science"
-bookstore mania
-second-hand art
-BPL library card, in my choice of blue, pink, or orange (blue of course!)
-argyle sweaters with 5 shades of green
-dreams that walk the line between bad and good and therefore end up comforting and normal
(though I prefer mysterious dreams)
-black cloth copy of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde with white peacock feathers all over it
-yellow larks who sing in different tenses (past and present)
-the bus.
I hope you're all having a wonderful week! I'll be back more often now with art (and hopefully camera program is still not wanting to work).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

grey gardens, colored dresses

Two years ago, my mom and I rented the original Grey Gardens, a documentary on the peculiar lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (pictured above), also known as Big Edie and Little Edie. As most of you by now know, the two spent their lives together in a crumbling estate named Grey Gardens.
I remember my heart went out to Little Edie, who seemed to have fallen prey to the large house and the good intentions of her mother. What I remembered from the original documentary was that Little Edie had wanted to be a performer, and for various reasons was held back from doing so. Any fame bestowed upon Little Edie was for her relation to Jackie O, but Edie was very worthy of her own spotlight. I love the picture of her above - she was so proud of the documentary on she and her mother.
Big Edie in her home with a portrait of herself as a young woman.
The original film poster.
I was so excited to finally get to see the sort-of remake of the original documentary when I came home for Thanksgiving. My mom and I have been wanting to see it for months! I love Drew Barrymore and am so glad she is the one who got to pay tribute to Little Edie.
It was so neat to see the back-story behind their lives, since the original documentary was filmed when Little Edie was in her 50s and Big Edie was quite old.
A lot of people have written Little Edie and her mother off as being eccentric or crazy, and I think this movie was just such a beautiful portrayal of them (especially Little Edie) that brings understanding and sympathy to their temperaments.
A lot of people can understand that when the world feels too big, one delves deeper and deeper into small things for comfort. For some, that ends up being everything.
The acting was spectacular and the costumes were insanely beautiful. I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't gotten the chance to see it yet!!
I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings. I added some photos of our sweet Spotty to his post below.