Monday, June 29, 2009

my blackbird dress

I haven't gotten to wear this dress in a long time. I wonder when I will get to wear it again?
I bought it my senior year of high school for our senior reception. It is vintage, of course. It has boning and very delicate black lace layered over nude silk or satin. My favorite part was the sweetheart neckline with the bar of sheer lace across it. I like boldly colored dresses because they always make me feel like I am a bird of that color. So this is my blackbird dress.
The last time I wore it was my senior year of college. It was the day that our black cat Blacky was put to sleep, and I couldn't be home. We were going to a party at Shelby's apartment and due to the nature of Kristen and Shelby, I felt it would not be inappropriate to wear a dress like this one.
That night, I met another black cat, danced with a white cockatoo named Lily, and was told that I looked like a Renaissance painting as I sat on the floor eating a cookie by a man who sat on the couch above me.
I go through phases where I do or do not notice the beauty of how things lead me from one place to a tree to an animal to a starry sky to a nice store to a painting to another, as though I'm following a long piece of thread that is blue, my favorite color. I think I'm better at noticing when I am in the city, or when I'm writing a lot, or when there's someone to share it with in a letter or a conversation or nestled in the grass. Someday, maybe all three of these things at once.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

tigers and cupcake sheets

 The other day I moved Malley's urn from my desk to my bed to make room, and Tiger went right over and laid by it. I had to take some pictures. It turned into an Amanda-Tiger photo shoot, which we have often. I think I've mentioned before that Tiger loves the camera and knows very well what its purpose is. 
This was a day that Tiger was distracting me from my painting, because I am wearing my glasses and I only wear my glasses when I paint.
I love the company of my Tiger so much.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Language of Foxtrot

Hello, everybody! I hope you're all having a nice Father's Day and an overall nice weekend.
Since I attended an official meeting yesterday, I finally feel able to announce my solo show, The Language of Foxtrot, which will be opening at Space 242 on August 28th! Solo shows by the lovely Ellen Crenshaw and the dashing Scott Murry will be up at the same time in the same space. More information to come soon!
On Friday, my Mom and I took a ride down to Old Saybrook, CT and went to various antique stores. The best place was Blueberry Hill Antiques, where I got these books for 25 cents each!
This reminded me of a southern swamp version of Whinnie the Pooh's One Hundred Acre Woods!
I just really love the title of this book - "My Story That I Like Best." It sounds so sweet and child-like, and I like when books are titled as though they are already someone's favorite.
This is one of those great children's books from the 1960s with really amazing illustrations.
Herd of ducks in red raincoats.
I looove this one.
This is a book of love poems, and in it was this card: "Dear Gypsy, Happy Birthday. Just to let you know I remembered. The Blue-D."
I ran out of room in my bookcase a long time ago. I know that when I move into an apartment, I'm going to have an entire wall of book cases. I never feel guilty about buying books, especially if they're 25 cents. When the old Common Wealth Books was still open, they had newspaper clippings, postcards, and pictures taped on every available surface, and I remember reading one with a quote on it (I can't remember the exact wording or who it was by) that said, in a nutshell, that every man should be able to give a reason for the books on his shelf, and they should be like friends that are there for him in lonely times. I feel that way about all of my books, and I love the array of reasons I can give for having them.
Now in the non-book category, I got these little presidential cameos...
and this handsome plastic dog with such dainty legs...
and this really great birthday card featuring a girl flying an airplane and lots of red and white stripes and a banner and a pink sky.
I hope you all have a wonderful Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

junko revival

Show announcement: 
Junko Revival
(a Glovebox art show featuring environmentally
conscious artwork made from recycled material)
at Rescue
252 Brighton Ave.
Allston, MA
Artists' Reception:
Sunday, July 12 2009
7-10 PM
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

botanical forestry

sketchbook page, "petunia x hybrida"
happy wednesday!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

a yellow book opened

"You betters shape up, because I need a man, and my heart is set on you." 
sketchbook page.
I drew this on the T one afternoon, with what I think are my favorite Grease lyrics stuck in my head.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lady sings the blues so well.

Tonight, I saw this at The Brattle:
Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley! It is sooo funny and fun and beautiful to look at. It had lots of 20s jazz songs by Annette Hanshaw, many of which I knew the words to thanks to Josephine Baker. I highly recommend it!!
peacock gramophone!!
I also attended Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School with Kate and Shauna today. It was my first time going and it was really neat. I'll post the sketches some time soon!
I hope you all had a nice (possibly rainy?) Sunday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On the right day, the hundred acre woods could seem like thousand acre woods.

one and a third sketchbook pages, "The Stage Set"
Hello, hello! How are you all? I'm going to try and get back into the habit of updating my blog every day, every other day at the very least.
Some things:
-I saw my first firefly tonight. Fireflies officially make summer glowy and full of new colors. It makes me happy.
-I'm thinking of making tattooed lady postcard packs and/or pocket mirrors for my etsy shop. Any thoughts?
-I hope you're all having a lovely weekend! The weather has been nice so far in this neck of the woods. I hope it's the same for you, wherever you call home.

Friday, June 12, 2009

my live-action natural history museum

As you may or may not know (but probably know), my family really loves animals. We get really excited about things I think most people would be horrified by, i.e. skunks and raccoons coming to our deck at night scrounging for peanuts left behind by the chipmunks and squirrels.
This is the new raccoon who comes to our deck, who we have named Rocky. Don't worry, there was a glass slider between us! But he kept peering in the window!
We couldn't believe it the other night when Rocky and a skunk showed up to our deck at the same time!
No one got sprayed (skunks only spray when they fear for their life), and once the skunk left, Rocky stuck around and kept looking in the window at our cat, Spotty.
Spotty never shows any interest in the skunks, but is apparently fascinated by raccoons.
It was so exciting to have Rocky looking in our window, but, of course, it is very important to never touch him or open the slider. 
I went to the HSUS meeting at Boston Town Hall 
last night and it was excellent. If you want any information on how you can get involved in animal rights, just follow the link!
I hope you're all having an excellent week! I promise, I've been making lots of art...I just lack a decent scanner. I have some shows coming up this summer, which I will inform you of soon!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

animal and light

Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven
actress Britney Murphy posing as the Baroness
art by Elsa
About a month ago I went down to the public library and "renewed" my library card. I haven't used it since I was 11. It was a paper card in a paper envelope covered in stickers, which I loved very much. But alas, I can't find it and my library has moved on to plastic cards.
Anyway, the first book I took out was "Holy Skirts" by Rene Steinke, a fictional account of the real Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, a poet and model to many artists of the Dada movement.
The book caught my eye for being brightly striped, and when I read the inside cover and learned of this Elsa and her birdcage necklaces and her love of reading poetry to sailors, I knew I'd found the right book (it always just feels right when you lay your hands on the book you are meant to buy or take out of the library). 
Whenever I read books about female artists and writers, there's always so much to relate to. Even though the thoughts belong to a fictional Elsa, I imagine many were close to her real feelings and I loved the way Steinke wrote about writing in the form of "Elsa's" opinion. I especially related to Elsa's sensitivity to objects and animals, and the way she wrote her poetry - how your head comes up with a sentence on its own, kind of like in a dream, and that sentence is a string of words that maybe seem strange together, an odd combination, and just letting it lead you to beautiful places and just keep going and going. And simply watching things to get inspired. Intentional inspiration. I guess so I don't gush on and on, I'll just leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the book.
“She would tell Franz Trove how she’d come to dislike the fussiness of most poetry – the stars and birds and flowers and their relentless prettiness. She did not like the smugness in so many poets, as if they had been given God’s podium. She liked the sense that the poet had been collecting the words for years, and by chance they had finally grown together like vines on a wall.” 
“He kissed her on the cheek and said, ‘What’s that on your face?’

            She was wearing a British postage stamp as a beauty mark. One day, watching the postman fill the boxes, she’d realized that the stamp was the perfect signal for movement- it sailed paper from one place to another with beautiful precision. And it was more original than a mole.

            ‘Queen Elizabeth,’ she said.”


“When she’d seen the bird in the window of the pet store on Patchin Place, the yellow feathers like loud singing in the morning, the sassy little beak, full of bird obscenities, she’d decided she needed him, a light to flutter in the corner of her room, a tiny beaming heartbeat. " 


“He had not loved her, yet she’d made a gift from this lack.”


“’Wayne Caldwell was right – the poems are small explosions,’ said Jane. Her accent was plain and low, as if she were flattening the words so that she could speak more rapidly.

            ‘They’re the lingerie of English,’ said Margaret. She spoke as if she were mocking bells, her high voice ringing out and then lingering. ‘Hidden close to the body. One would have to know how to unbutton in order to read them properly.’”


"For now the only way Elsa could reach Franz was her correspondence, but it consoled her to tell him everything. She resolved to be surgically precise in her dealings with him, to get rid of every duplicity that she’d harbored in herself."


“...the marching band’s shiny tuba like a bright sea creature”


"The things she wrote were like private little mirrors, phrases only she would recognize, rhythms she’d heard one day but couldn’t recall later.”  


“She was writing entire books of desire, words with colors and smells.”

(all quotes from Holy Skirts by Rene Steinke)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

and all that lovely jazz

Billie Holiday and pup
Billie Holiday and mother
Judy Garland
Keely Smith
Peggy Lee and Tramp
Peggy Lee
Kay Starr
There's certain music that I only listen to at particular times of the year. In the summertime, that music is old-fashioned ladies, which mostly consists of jazz.
Their elegance has inspired me in countless ways. I love listening to their raspy voices and the scratchy instruments that sing behind them. There's something about old music that just didn't translate into what people listen to today. Even the chorus in old disney movies - it's so striking, so beautiful. It's always so clear that it's both men and women singing. I always picture the people who sang in those choruses, and what led their voices to be in Lady and the Tramp or Sleeping Beauty, and if they all had to dress the same or if it didn't matter.
I love having music that I only listen to in the summertime. The summer makes me feel very young again, which inevitably makes me feel like anything is possible. I like that feeling. I think that's why the jazzy ladies follow me into the summertime. They remind me of another time and place, and make way for excellent day dreams.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

tree-fallen bandit slips

Hello everyone! How are you? Today I thought I'd share some of the neat things I've acquired recently.
I got this slip at Target last night! It reminds me very much of sailors. I love it. It's very soft.
As you can see, I got picture-happy.
I love these pins. I got the large horse pin at an antique store in Concord. He's a plastic toy pin from the 50s for playing cowboy. I got the tin bandit on Etsy. I went through a cowgirl phase my junior year of college. I had a sherif's badge that I liked to wear. Once I go through a phase, it comes back in waves. A small cowgirl phase is coming back on, and it always seems to come by way of pins!
Bluejays are begging for peanuts on my deck right now. And chipmunks. It's time to go feed them. I hope you're all having a beautiful Tuesday!
love, me