Saturday, January 31, 2009

no more speculation

Teeny Tiny Art Show IV pieces:
left: "you & me"
right: "no more speculation"
acrylic on wooden plaques
approximately 3x5"
The Teeny Tiny Art Show is less than a week away! I'm getting excited.
Life has been very busy lately with many different art-related things. I like it that way, though.
The other morning I made tea at 6 am for probably the first time since I was in college, and the scent of it just brought me back to those mornings. This is tea that I drink everyday, but for some reason it smelled so much stronger that early in the morning, and that stronger scent is tied to memories of college mornings before class. All I could figure is that our sense of smell is heightened in the morning, giving my early in the day tea a life all its own.
Tomorrow morning I'm delivering all my work for the Tiny show up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire!
I'll be back soon with more pictures of work and some other things.
Love, Amanda 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I played you like a cello.

Teeny Tiny Art Show IV Piece:
"Your secrets felt like velvet."
acrylic on masonite, 5x7"
My art is officially up on the Three Graces Gallery flickr site, along with all the other artists in the show. Take a look! 
I am getting so excited for the sketchbook show, too. Mostly because I'm going to stay in Brooklyn with Nicole for the New York showing! I have never spent good quality time exploring New York City.
I'll have more to say and show later. :)
Love, me

Monday, January 26, 2009

crossing clouds

I always have strange dreams.
I shouldn't say strange. They're just very vivid, and real, and beautiful. Sometimes they're weird, sometimes they're scary, and sometimes they're awesome and I don't want to wake up.
I've written a few of them in this blog. I went back through the archives recently, and my most favorite dream I came across was the one where I was in some plain of Africa among really tall grass, in a beige shirt dress with a camera around my neck. It ended with me eating fruit from a tree. I dreamt it after my painting "Adapting to You," which very well could have been the reason for the dream.
Lately, I've been dreaming about Boston neighborhoods that do not exist. This is something that will happen a few times for a period of time, stop for months, and then happen again. Sometimes the neighborhoods are scary, sometimes I want to live in them, or do live in them. Lately, they've been good neighborhoods. The last one was a combination of Wonderland, the North End, and cities I know that are not Boston. I lived in a tall, modern, more Natick-like apartment building. What's strange is that these Boston dreams always take place at night.
The other night, on the cusp of being awake, these words were said to me by someone in my dream:
"It is more unusual for a man to do something than for a woman to say something about it."
What does that even mean? Does my brain know and I don't? It sounds kind of old-fashioned, but who knows. What do any of you think it means?
If you know me, you know that I'm obsessed with the fact that our brains seem to know more than we do (as though they were another being or something) and that that untapped knowledge comes through in dreams, via "books" we're reading or things "people" say to us. And really, they're our own thoughts, coming through in this strange way.
Dreams are so lovely.
(picture from Big Fish)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

oh captain, my captain

I am thinking about 1920s feathers in my hair and what it must have been like to be Zelda Fitzgerald. I am aching for another time, per usual. Life is strange these days. I am waiting on a change that I feel is coming from somewhere inside a bone or two. I am beginning to wonder what Anais saw in Henry, anyway, except for that I know. But we all learn our lessons one way or another. Right now, I just want to take the time to enjoy all things.
Blogger is being mean and won't let me upload photos, but I have some new little paintings to show involving my favorite sort of tree. I will show them soon!

Friday, January 23, 2009

take me home, country roads.

There is a Korean woman who sings John Denver songs at the T. The first time I saw her was this New Year's Day. She was singing "Annie's Song," which I love. But for some reason it was the sound of her accent singing "Country Roads" that literally brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to give her a dollar but I didn't have anything on me. 
Today, as I entered below-ground from above-ground, I was so happy to see her there. I had to run down to catch the T on a lower level, but I quickly gave her a dollar. I ran down the stairs and as I sat down on the bench to wait, I looked up and she turned around and smiled at me and started singing Country Roads. I was so glad I got to hear it at least to the first chorus before my train came. Something about the way she sings John Denver breaks my heart in a sort of happy beautiful way. I wonder what he means to her, and if she misses another place the way John missed the mountains. If only she were one of those subway artists who sold a ten dollar CD of their songs. I would buy it in a heartbeat. 
And for good measure, Annie's Song, just because I love it so much.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

rail bird

Some things have happened to my lap top, and I can't do or show much until I get an external hard drive. My friend Matt was very helpful in the midst of all my 5 am computer turmoil. 
Tonight I was waiting for the 12:20 am train at my usual stop. There's a fir tree there that, in daylight, is always full of chirping birds. Their noises are very warbly and lend sense to the theory that birds come from dinosaurs.
I was so surprised that I could hear them at such a late hour of the night, but they were all awake in that tree and fluttering around within the safeguards of its branches and talking to each other. It was cold and dark out and I really needed to hear those birds. They always make me feel a little happier in the day time, so it was especially nice to hear them at night when I so least expected it.
I wonder if city birds stay up late, kind of like city people.
Or maybe it's just all the lights, and the noise, especially since they live next to a train track. I wonder why they'd choose such a home.
In any case, I'm glad they are there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

dream bed

I love this bed. It's called the "under the apple tree bed", by Attila Design on etsy. It looks like a bed I've seen before, but I can't remember who it was by. It was wrought iron, and the branches curved up and over so it was like you were sleeping under real trees. You could hang things from the branches, like stars or little poems.
Beds are meant to be so many things. Everyone's bed should be special.
Someday, I am going to build a bed with someone and it will be fantastic.
p.s. - I added new music to the blog: Fleet Foxes. They are beautiful and sound like John Denver meets Ray LaMontagne. You can scroll down and hit play to listen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I want to know everything you want me to know." - Nickolas Murray to Frida Kahlo.

Teeny Tiny Art Show IV piece:
"I'm your toy box (for every one, a word by you)"
acrylic on wooden plaque
5 1/4 by 7 1/4"
I got really excited about the idea of a large tattoo of a biplane showing through sheer high-waisted underwear. And so, this painting began. :)
She definitely has a Betty Page feel. 
Making the art for the Teeny Tiny show has been interesting. It's my first real time making art with the intent of selling it, and I definitely put more of a veil up than when I'm making art that's intended to be kept for myself or has no set destination.
Making the art for this show was like attending a dinner party with strangers. With this smaller art comes smaller emotions than I usually share - the kind of emotions I feel comfortable selling to people.
All the feelings are still there - you just have to read between my lines.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

let's pretend.

Teeny Tiny Art Show IV piece:
"Sometimes I remember Joseph."
acrylic on wooden necklace, 2x3".
Tonight there was a blood moon, and the most gorgeously clear sky I've seen in a long time. I got to see it from the city and the suburbs. The stars were beautiful, and even more stunning was the white smoke coming out of chimneys against the dark sky. The cold makes everything so crisp looking. The smoke stays so elegantly contained in a milky contour that's so sharp it's like someone outlined it with a pen. 

squid: cats of the ocean

The skeletal remains of a clementine become:
squid swimming beneath tree in winter.
And now, some happy cats:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

tug the tugboat, pull on heart strings.

Teeny Tiny Art Show IV piece:
"I counted ships like stars."
acrylic on wooden necklace, 2x3"
I finally have a teeny tiny show piece to reveal! There will be a few of these wooden multi-strand necklaces in the show. I'm not entirely sure of what I'll be painting on each necklace as of right now, but I know at least one or two will have mini portraits painted on them.
They'll be signed, dated, and titled on the back!
I felt the need to photograph my painting table tonight. I had so many things that I love within eye sight. Including....
My new biplane! 
As soon as I saw it I just had to have it, because I have loved biplanes ever since the idea of biplane wallpaper popped into my head for "The Escapist" painting. And...I didn't think I'd ever find a plane so perfect again.
I hope you all had a wonderful week. The winter makes time feel so stagnant. 
Before I go, I want to say a big thank you to my very good friend Rachel Jackson. She was the winning bidder on my print! Thanks to her, a donation is being made to The Bunky Walton Fund, which will go towards aiding those who need help paying for their pet's veterinary care. Thank you, Rachel, for being a wonderful friend, to me and to animals!
 Enjoy your weekend, everyone. :)
love, me

Friday, January 9, 2009

I've gone to look for america.

Lately, I've been making a mental note of all the places I come across (via TV, magazines, books, etc.) that I want to visit someday.
Tonight (while watching the girls next door with my sister :) I discovered The Madonna Inn in California.
Every single room is elaborately themed. A lot of them are made to look like caves. One of them had really beautiful sparkling green walls. They were so neat! These pictures hardly do it justice. I wouldn't want to spend an entire vacation in one of those rooms, but definitely a night.
I've been so gung-ho about going to Europe the past few years, but I'm really starting to become more interested in seeing more of the United States first.
So, I am officially adding The Madonna Inn to my list of places I hope to visit whenever I make my way to California. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of some etsy purchases.
This beautiful octopus brooch (from westergard) ! 
(photo seller's own)
And, from another seller, a zine that is a compilation of love letters from the 30s (all between the same man and woman, who happened to be college professors) which the seller found in a goodwill bin.
I can't wait till these things come in the mail!!
This is one of my favorite parts of Lady and the Tramp. I love the music and the little town glowing in the dark winter. Old Disney movies have so much charm and feeling and warmth. I don't think it will ever be replicated.
And a little bit of information that I discovered today - you can FINALLY get Hey Arnold (full seasonsss!!!) on DVD! I am so excited. I'm not lying when I say I've been waiting for this for years. Hey Arnold is probably my favorite Nickelodeon cartoon ever. It felt like such a secret little world. And watching it still gives me this great feeling of escape (weird? maybe. I do not care!). 
Plus, Arnold had THE coolest bedroom:
A new painting is in the works, and I'm making my way through the teeny tiny art show pieces. So I promise there will be art to show soon!
Love, Amanda

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

le tigre

"And, being Hollywood dogs, they somehow seem to know that a picture is being made." 
-David Hockney on his dachshunds.
Tiger likes to be drawn, but even more so, she loves the camera. I'm certain that she knows what the camera is doing when I set it up in front of her and push the button. She always sits very still, and she even changes positions between clicks.
When the clicks just keep coming and coming, she tends to get kind of annoyed with me. That's when she does her "angry snort".
I think some animals were meant to belong to artists.
Or actually, I think all animals in general are very well suited to belong to artists.
Or artists are well suited to love an animal.
I love them all the same, anyway!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

edward estlin

This is a man who is very special to me. 
I bought a book of e. e. cummings's poetry on a whim my junior year of high school. I fell deeply in love with his writing and he's meant a lot to me ever since. He reminds me of my freshman year. He reminds me of van Gogh, because I loved them simultaneously over my first winter break home from college. 
I remember thinking of his poetry whenever I walked along The Charles, and I associate the van Gogh-esque dead cyprus trees that lined the shore with him. His book was on my dresser next to my bed that whole year. He's probably the reason I became a literature minor.
Junior year of college, I googled his old address in Cambridge and made a map of the route to his house. That neighborhood became a kind of refuge for me during college. I loved seeing that house dressed in sun, in snow, in fall leaves. I miss it so much now.
Though it's not my favorite poem by him, the piece that resonates with me the most is his "little tree". It comforts me, I think, to know that there are others who are as sensitive as I am about almost....everything, who feel for all things - objects, creatures, plants. It's just one of the reasons I love him so much.
He understood the beauty of words as individuals. The mathematical beauty of combining words that don't necessarily go together. The gorgeousness of an unexpected mark of punctuation.
In addition to writing, Estlin was also an artist. Above is his "self portrait with notepad."
the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls
are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds
(also, with the church's protestant blessings
daughters, unscented shapeless spirited)
they believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead,
are invariably interested in so many things -
at the present writing one still finds
delighted fingers knitting for the is it Poles?
perhaps. While permanent faces coyly bandy
scandal of Mrs. N and Professor D
.... the Cambridge ladies do not care, above
Cambridge if sometimes in its box of
sky lavender and cornerless, the
moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy
in spite of everything
which breathes and moves, since Doom
(with white longest hands
neatening each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds
-before leaving my room
i turn, and (stooping
through the morning) kiss
this pillow, dear
where our heads lived and were.
(e.e. cummings)

Friday, January 2, 2009

sketchbooks and slips

new years eve, drawing on the train ride into cambridge.
The kestrel returns to our yard.
I hope you all had a beautiful new year's eve and day!
love, me