Saturday, July 24, 2010

woman before an aquarium

("woman before an aquarium" by henri matisse, 1923)
This painting was finished the year my Grampa was born.
Last week, I finished reading Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime by Patricia Hampl.
I've been reading books from the stack next to my bed. This stack contains about 9 paperbacks purchased from the Brookline Booksmith bargain table or the basement of the Harvard Bookstore. I read the backs while I'm in the store, hope someday I'll have time to read them, and, since they're only $3.99, usually end up getting at least two.
When I began the book, I didn't realize it was a memoir. It ended up thrilling me even more when I realized that's what it was, but I'm a reader who loves her memoirs.
This account of Patricia Hempl's relationship with one specific Matisse painting (the one pictured above) so perfectly captures the way one image, one line of a book, one idea can stick with someone their whole life and sort of become a personal mantra for them.
Despite the fact that I'm an artist,
I don't relate well to the art world. I've never understood its ideals and standards. I always identify with the underdog of any situation, and in the art world I feel just that.
Writers, however, make me feel like I am at home. I loved this book because I love to read about art from a deeply personal perspective. Hempl, a writer, speaks so beautifully of what she loves about this painting. Things that do not matter to an art critic, but matter to one person. That is what I love about art.
She also included much about Matisse, and his theories on his own art and his series of Odalisque paintings. The art world questioned his motives for painting different versions of the same type of woman over and over again. In a number of words, he basically explained it was because he loved them, and they were an outward expression of how he felt inside.
That is how I feel about the ladies I paint. I know that I continually paint portraits of women, but each one comes from a different place inside of me, each one is so aligned with the period of my life it was painted during. The symbolism in the objects they hold, the things that hang behind them - these are the ways I express myself, and I plan to keep painting them for as long as they come to me.
Anyway, Blue Arabesque is a beautiful explanation of the relationship between humans and the small things they encounter that inspire them eternally. I couldn't put it down and finished it in less than a week. I highly recommend it!!
I hope you're all having a beautiful week! It's been really hot's making me a little anxious for fall weather.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

fir, as in conifer

Now that The Tattoo Show is over, I can list prints of "It caused, in my heart, a forest" in my etsy shop! Prints can be found here.
I hope you're all having a beautiful week!

Friday, July 16, 2010

oh, sweet spontaneous earth

(woods at Ames State Park)
O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
, has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
beauty . how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and
buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
thou answerest
them only with
-e.e. cummings

Thursday, July 15, 2010

your favorite pre-teen mystery novel

I present to you my first piece for the Teeny Tiny Art Show VII at Three Graces, coming this September.
I have loved the covers and titles of Nancy Drew novels for a long time. Beautiful adjectives paired with beautiful nouns, alluding to colors, secrets, and that exciting jittery feeling you get when you have adventures with your friends.
So I decided to make a series of such covers with my own imaginary heroines, starting with "Scarlet Birch and the Case of the Red Fox Journals."
(8x10", watercolor and acrylic on coffee-stained paper)
Lots of love,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Francesca among Fireflies

new paper doll: Francesca among Fireflies
Francesca is a cabaret performer in 1940s New Orleans. She spends her evenings dancing and playing the piano, and her mornings reading Tennessee Williams and exploring groves of weeping willows. She can be found here in the shop!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

florals were made for afternoon tea

Today, some friends and I had afternoon tea at the Taj Hotel by the park. I had Pear Tree green tea.
Ellen and I twirling (photo by Kate :)
Ellen and I again :)
This food assortment was called "The Dutchess."
Ellen, myself, Jana, Emily, Kate, and Julia.
We had to pose in the lobby after tea.
I had never done high tea before. It was so much fun!
I've really loved this summer so far.
The Coney Island pictures are coming soon, as well as some new work. :)
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mad Men DIY

I just thought you'd all want to know that there's
a Mad Men video on Jib Jab now... :)
Those are my friends Chris and Sarah, who also
love Mad Men. Roger is played by
Spooky, a dog I visit
after work sometimes. He looks just
like an Ewok.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New York Part 2: World Cup brunch and the Moma

Day 2: Saturday
Nicole and I ate brunch at a restaurant down the street from her apartment. Her neighborhood in Queens is primarily inhabited by people who have come over from eastern Europe. Thus, the Argentina vs. Germany world cup game was a big deal.
As you might be able to tell, we were sitting directly beneath the TV that was playing the game. Look at all the intent faces behind Nicole!
Score for Germany! (some are happy, some are sad).
This particular restaurant had the best brunch ever. For $12.95, you get your meal, a juice, coffee, or tea, dessert, and your choice of alcoholic beverage (I think it's more popular to drink in the morning in New York than it is here in Boston.)
fancy food
A cute older couple with accents I couldn't identify was sitting next to us. They offered to take our picture a couple of times. When our dessert came, the husband wanted to take our picture again and said, "Look at your cookies!," which I thought was so cute because we had cake and also he was posing us. :)
Black Forest Cake! This is what my mom makes for me on my birthday every year.
We got manicures/pedicures, which I've never had done before. My fingers are cotton-candy blue and my toes are sage green. This duck was on the way to the salon.
I found a bookstore, per usual.
My nails matched the Hardy Boys.
After getting our nails done, we headed into Manhattan to go to the Moma. I had actually never been before. I had to pose with Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth. The detail is so incredible in person - every blade of grass in the field is defined.
This was one of the first pieces I saw, but it remained my favorite throughout my entire exploration of the museum. "Phases of the moon" by Paul Delvaux. It reminded me so much of John Currin, one of my favorite current-day artists. I'm certain Delvaux must have had some sort of impact on him.
This was my second-favorite. Or maybe it tied with "Phases". This is "Great Metaphysical Interior" by Giorgio de Chirico, and it embodies everything I love about the feeling of painting. The crisp brush lines and color, how tight it is without giving up the looseness of paint. When I looked at it, I could feel how good it felt to paint it. It made me anxious to go home and work on a painting. I love when things make me feel that way.
Picasso. I just loved the colors of this one.
My favorite Picasso painting, "Boy leading a horse." I had never realized how big it was.
My first true art love: Vincent van Gogh. There is such a large crowd around these paintings that you only get to see them for a few seconds. I was so happy to see them in person, though.
Van Gogh was just so gentle and it comes through so well in his work. Freshman year of college, he was painted on the side of one of my converse sneakers (e.e. cummings was painted on the other shoe). I read his letters to his brother, and I painted a version of Starry Night for my high school boyfriend.
One time, one of my drawing classes went to the Fog museum at Harvard, and we got to choose an original drawing from their archives and create a replica of it. I found a van Gogh, and I could hardly believe it. I think I almost cried. I had such an adrenaline rush. I was scared my professor wouldn't let me work from it because we were more focused on realism at the time, but she let me, and I was so incredibly happy.
One of Nicole's favorites.
Dessert Sculptures!
This was in a cabinet-of-curiosities type piece. I love how the date was written in a heart. And I love the 1940s.
Lastly, Yoko Ono's wish tree. This reminded me of you, Kat. We wrote our wishes and hung them on the tree. It was a wonderful way to end our time at the Moma.
I hope you're all surviving the heat! It was almost 100 degrees here today. Eek.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Sale! And NYC Part 1: 6x6 show at Charmingwall

Did all of you here in the U.S. have a wonderful 4th of July? What did you do?
So firstly, I am taking part in Etsy's giant "Christmas in July" sale. For the month of July, all the prints and paper dolls in my shop will be buy one, get one half off. The money will be refunded back to you via paypal!
I had an awesome weekend in New York City. I'm going to cover the weekend in three posts because I took so many pictures! One post for each day. Friday, Day One, was my arrival and the 6x6 show at Charmingwall Gallery.
Getting off the subway at Nicole's neighborhood in Queens.
This pigeon was protecting her egg.
There are lots of pretty little houses on Nicole's street.
Nicole always has the neatest collections.
On our way to the show!
I've loved Evan B. Harris for a long was neat to be in a gallery that represents him.
gorgeous. I love finding city nature!
A very sweet little dog. He looks like a hyena.
We ended the night at a place called Billy's Bakery!
They had fantastic wallpaper.
I can't wait to show you the pictures from the rest of the trip! On the 4th itself, we went to Coney Island. That was my favorite day by far. :)
I hope you all had wonderful weekends!