Wednesday, September 30, 2009

hello, sweet october

sketchbook: something I love that Jane Austen wrote in a letter to her sister. 
P.S. - New interview with Jerry Fish, which you can watch here. They hold up "The Beautiful Untrue" with my art on it a few times, it's still so exciting for me to see it! Happy almost-October to all of you.
Love, Amanda

Monday, September 28, 2009

people didn't understand van gogh.

Mona Lisa Smile
About a week ago, I found a Mona Lisa Smile dvd on 
sale for $4 and bought it. I saw the movie at The Strand with my mom when it first came out, and I remember feeling neutral about it. I watched it last night, and I'm kind of surprised that I had not become obsessed with this movie after first seeing it! It's set at Wellesley College in the early 50s, and tells the story of an art history teacher who attempts to reshape the way her students view modern art (don't laugh, I know I'm super sensitive - the scene where they walk up to the uncrated Jackson Pollack and look at it for the first time made me cry). 
There's something about seeing art
 that I'm aware of in our present time viewed in a different time period - it almost makes the art itself seem different (I know that all art is viewed in an overall different way depending on the times and then the viewer's personal surroundings, but I mean that even for just myself it felt different - a van gogh 55 years younger than it is now, and a society where everyone followed a dress code staring at it, and what it might have/must have meant to them and what they overlooked and failed to see in it). Social circumstances effect the way we see art so heavily, and seeing the way the girls viewed art in the movie (and hearing their pre-conceived notions) was so interesting, and somewhat reminiscent of my first art history classes.
On top of all the wonderful and interesting 
perceptions of art, the costumes are stunning. I got so many ideas for outfits from Julia Roberts' character (she was supposed to be non-conformist, so it was neat to see the way they applied classic 1950s styles to her - lots of high-waisted skirts with mens-style shirts and cardigans and jewelry). It was also really cool to see actresses that I've become fond of in recent years who I did not know of when the movie first came out, like Ginnifer Goodwin. And the music is lovely - there's an acapella version of "Istanbul, Not Constantinople" (which I love because I'm fascinated by the way that Americans in the 1940s and 50s glorified exotic places, i.e. Casablanca and fancy Chinese restaurants).
So anyway, that is my ramble about 
Mona Lisa Smile (also a great title! I love mona lisa, she is all green, grey, and beige, and I love that her smile has become iconic). Have any of you seen it and did you also love it? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Sketchbook pages soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

that mad ache

I recently finished reading "That Mad Ache" (la chamade), a novel originally written in French by Francoise Sagan. The title and cover are what drew me in, but from the very first page I was in love (when the summer breeze leaves the forest and invades the streets of paris, waking Lucille and causing her to head to the countryside at 5 am). Sagan is a very descriptive writer, and I only wish that I could read and understand the original French version. I think the book must have been somewhat autobiographical. It chronicles the love between Lucille and Antoine, two people who love each other so much that it hurts. Do you know what I mean? (maybe this kind of love hurts because you know it will never last, or maybe it will never last because of the hurt; I am still not sure.)  The kind of love that is so exhausting, it takes your whole being to love the other person. And it can't sustain itself because you can't give up who you are or the entirety of your life to love someone. So the love is beautiful and quick even though you wish so bad that it could last forever. I think it takes a deep understanding of this kind of love to write an entire novel about it. 
La Chamade: a solemn drumroll sounded to announce defeat.
(that breaks my heart)
I was reading the book at the picnic table in my back yard. The sun was so warm and I laid my head down on the wood (you know how when sun heats wooden surfaces they feel so good to lay on? And kind of soft almost), and when I opened my eyes I saw the yards next door from such a beautiful angle. I didn't have my camera so I drew it in one of the front pages of the book.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

to be canary-throated

Here are the pieces I did for the Teeny Tiny Art Show V at Three Graces Gallery:
the ruby-throated pilot
the golden-throated warbler
the raven-throated poet
the cobalt-throated artist
the emerald-throated botanist
I came up with the idea for these paintings over a year ago. I love collars and things you can wear on your neck (I have since I was little, I thought turtlenecks were so dashing!). I was thinking about birds and how they are so often identified by the colors of their throats (i.e. the ruby throated hummingbird), and thought it would be so beautiful if women could be described by the colors of their throats. And, like birds, they'd need to be specific types of women, and so I attributed colored collars to what I think are lovely professions (some of which I wish I could do). 
So these paintings are for sale at Three Graces until September 28th! All the paintings are 5x7", acrylic on masonite in white wooden frames. I hope you're all having an excellent week!! The weather's been a little hot here, but I think fall weather is coming back soon. :)

stars shining bright above you

Hello, everybody! 
Things have been kind of busy lately. I have a couple of projects that require my art time for about a month, so I don't think I'll have many new paintings to show for a while. However, I'll be posting more sketchbook pages to make up for the lack of art!
Anyway, my prints and paper dolls are now for sale at Young Blood Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia! It's a neat place. If you're in the area, check them out! I hope you're all having a wonderful week!
Love, me

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The South Street Diner

Some pictures from the South Street Diner after the Space 242 artist talk the other night:
Kate and I
Scott and Jana
Kevin and Scott
We had an awesome waiter who offered to take a picture of the whole table.
Someday I want to do a post with pictures from every after-art-show trip my friends and I have made to the South Street Diner. I just found out that in the 50s my Grampa and his friends used to eat there after making trips to Haymarket for meat (I've been learning so much about where my grandparents liked to hang out in Boston when they were young lately!).
Anyway, it's the most wonderful 24-hour diner with amazing grilled cheese and I love it there.
I hope you're all having a great weekend!
I'll be posting my Tiny Art Show paintings soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And she came home with me.

I'm so excited to show you what I bought at Fairground Antiques yesterday...
This insanely gorgeous (and enormous) portrait of a woman and cat painted in 1959!
When I saw this painting, my heart skipped a beat. When I saw that it was only $25, I think I was in shock.
I wonder who she is. Is she still living in a mansion somewhere? Did she commission this portrait herself, or did the artist choose her for their subject? Was she made up in the mind of the artist like the ladies that I paint? (I hope not, it's oddly comforting to think that she was real.) What was the name of her cat? I wonder if the frame was always this metallic lavender, or if someone altered it at some point in time.
My dad and I both thought of Elizabeth Taylor as soon as we saw her.
The back is covered in this shiny cattail wallpaper.
The painting is signed in the upper-right corner. The signature seems to read "Sohter Robintson" (or maybe Robertson? It's hard to read), and is dated 59. My mom did some research on the name but couldn't find anything. This is a long shot, but if anyone recognizes this signature, this woman, this painting, or anything about it, I'd love to hear what you know!
When we headed for Fairground yesterday, I was hoping that this painting would still be there:
Sadly, it wasn't. When I saw it back in May, I thought "I'd love to have that if I had an apartment and lots of wall space," but at the time I didn't, and so I left it behind. I think it all worked out though, and I ended up with a painting I am definitely meant to have!
I hope you all have a wonderful end to your work/school week!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

antiques and bovines

Hello everyone!
Today my mom and I made the drive to Fairground Antiques in Swanzey, NH, and on the way there found this field of dozens of cows!
I have a deep love for cows.
So sweet! And now to the pictures from Fairground Antiques (an amazing place if you ever get the chance to go):
This scared me so much at first! I thought she was real.
I wanted this statue so much, but it was too expensive.
State flower embroidered map!
I love the odd pairings of objects set up in the booths. They're like little art installations. This elephant/white car in front of clear bottles and a black and white city-scape was my favorite.
school of fish
panther on an ink display stand
"the life of a hunter"
I almost bought this! I love the colors.
"Alice 1946"
elephant lamp with a mismatched shade
quintuplets paddle fan?
This old white bunny toy is so beautiful.
New Looks Montgomery Ward summer 1940
You could order two pound boxes of bees from Montgomery Ward in 1940.
And also some New England chicks. 
boxed poodles
nurse adventures
There is no finer cat than I am.
I love reddish-orange roses with the color lavender. 
On the way home, we stopped at Bolton Orchards to get pie, and I was laughing at their fruit personification. 
I loved this pumpkin. It's wonderful how bacterial growths look so beautiful on plants and vegetables.
Last night's artist talk was so much fun. Thank you to everyone who came! I'll do a post with pictures from the night later this week. I also found something absolutely wonderful at Fairground Antiques. I brought it home and it deserves a post of its own, also soon to come!
I hope you all had an excellent Wednesday!