Go where the music takes you.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

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Speaking of music, do yourself a service and go listen to the new tracks by the Recreation Station! My favorites are Fighting to Standing, Departed, and We Ain’t Quittin’. (Equal parts full disclosure and family pride – this is my brother’s project.)

Happy fictional bald man, decapitated friend.

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

No time for drawing comics this weekend, but I did paint a little:

guy and girl2

It’s not finished, but since I only make time to paint about twice a year anymore, I don’t know that it will get much more finished. Nevermind the glare from the flash. Also, never mind that the image makes no sense. This started out as a painting of my friend Kelsey (the upper head) and I couldn’t get the composition right so I did what any painter would do and threw a big ol’ bald guy in the foreground. And left Painted Kelsey (who looks nothing like Real Life Kelsey, but that’s what we’ve come to expect of me) without a body. Poor Kelsey.

Bike Barter.

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

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Alright, so maybe I didn’t drive blissfully away like that – maybe in reality it took all three of us to get the bike in the back of Linda’s car and back to my house. But the part about the giant grin on my face while I’m riding it? That part is totally true. What a fun bicycle!!

Also, my pen pal sent me a mix cd and a letter and bunch of other fun things! Also, I got a free lunch with the seniors and got to watch half of a really interesting movie on my lunch hour! People were very generous to me today 🙂

Art versus Art.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I think I need to verbalize this. Because flying around in my head, these thoughts are only making me crazy.

Tonight I lost any confidence that I had in myself as an artist. Don’t be alarmed, I do this frequently, and for different reasons. Continue reading →

She used to be a painter…

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Hey, many moons ago I used to make paintings. Next Friday some of those paintings will be on display as part of a multi-artist showing at the Ikon Gallery.

My friend and neighbor Drazen is putting this on, and graciously invited me to put some work up. For a split second I thought I’d be able to crank out something new (I learned of this about a week ago, so you see it wasn’t much time) but I’m comfortable showing some older work, since I’ve only had one show in Madison.

Art Show @ the Ikon Gallery
2716 Atwood Ave
Madison, WI 53704
Opening reception:
Friday, May 15, 6:30 – ???

The show should be for a month and will feature work by about a dozen artists. If you can’t make it to the opening, stop by during business hours!

If you’re in town, please stop by!

Two new things which are not comics.

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Comics will be back tomorrow! Again, I’m out of town with no scanner, and also no spare time. In the meantime, I’ve added my painting/drawing gallery to this website (thanks Arek for your help!) which you can find by clicking the tab at the top labeled “paintings.” (In case that wasn’t obvious.)

Also, I’ve enabled comment threads! I’ve been wanting this for a while and wordpress just introduced it. So all this means is you can now leave comments on one another’s comments and have little comment wars and such (like all the annoying commenters at the Onion AV Club!) It will be great fun, I assure you.

You want to own this.

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

It’s a social art experiment.  It’s not pretty, it’s not exactly clever.  Is it art?  Why not?  Do you want to hang it in your home?  Would you be embarassed to show it to friends, and tell them you paid $1000 for it (even if you really got it for free)?

Lame was created in 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin, under the weight of looming deadlines.  It is a 3rd or 4th generation canvas (X-Ray imaging will show multiple images layered beneath the final work).  It is a mess of thickly applied paint and a visual testament of hours of mounting frustration, culminating in the thickly applied letters which read, simply, “lame.”  Does it describe the artwork?  The artist?  The purchaser?  The critics?  Does it describe something else entirely or is it just a series of marks that happen to resemble letters in the alphabet favored by 21st century Americans?

I want you to have this painting, but more importantly, you want to own this.  I want to give it to you for free, with but a few stipulations.  1. The painting must be displayed in a place where you will occasionally see it (that is, not on the back wall of your tool shed).  2. The painting must be treated as if it were a respected piece of art created by a respectable artist.  3. If anyone asks, you must insinuate that you paid a moderate sum of money for the painting (you can invent the price, or evade the question on the premise that you don’t discuss financial investments). 4. If you ever sell the painting, you must give one half of the money to charity. 5. You must pick the painting up or pay to have it shipped.  The first person to respond to this wins the contest.  If no one responds, the social experiment will continue in another form.

Is it art?  If not, can we make it so?

If I weren’t so sleepy I’d title this.

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Yesterday I learned that I will be having an art show, my first in Madison. I think it goes without saying, but in case it doesn’t, I am pretty excited about this. And right on the tails of my recent announcement that I was retiring from the arts (a declaration I retracted before I heard about this art show, for the record)! So there is the good news, and now for the slightly panic-inducing news, this art show is to take place in the fine month of April, that is to say two weeks from now, that is to say very very soon. That is to say, I have my work cut out for me and let this serve as the regulation disclaimer that I may not be able to write as much here over the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, in between painting breaks today I stopped by the library, as I recently had to return my previous selections (of which I finished only one, Lauren Winner’s, and a couple stories by Capote and Sedaris. As for the Jim Wallis book, I never even cracked it open!). Today I gravitated back toward the graphic novel section and a funny thing happened. I had picked up two books, one by Daniel Clowes and another by Adrian Tomine, and I guess if you’re not familiar with graphic novels they are two of the big shots, and anyway, I couldn’t do it. Normally I love reading those things, but I couldn’t check them out, or any graphic novels for that matter, because they are all so dang depressing. It seems to me like a lot of comic artists feel that to really establish themselves as legitimate adult artists they need to lay on the drugs and profanity and nudity real heavy. Which is no different than your average movie, I guess, but for some reason today it just struck me as really unappealing. So instead? I checked out two books by a couple of pals of mine (at least in my imagination they are my pals), C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle, both stories about their respective conversions to the Christian faith. I haven’t read anything by L’Engle since A Wrinkle In Time so I am pretty curious about this one.

Well, in other news of the creative variety, I made a song today. Maybe you would like to hear it? It’s called “Door Mat” and it can be found here. Here are the words, if you are interested in that kind of thing:

Door Mat

If it’s a doormat you’re looking for
I think I’ve got one more for you
Right here in storage
And there’s no need to keep it clean
Go on and wipe your feet
And make your joy complete.

For you will get mud on your shoes
And anyone would blame you
When you get their carpet dirty.
And everyone swore you’d been here before
I guess I missed you that day
But I saw your footprints anyway.

Chorus/psychedelic musical interlude

You have dirty soles and the doormat wants to make you whole
He wants to clean them, can you believe him?
You have a dirty sole and the doormat wants to make you whole
He wants to clean it, can you believe it?

Chorus again.

I don’t think that enough songs get written about doormats, anyway. Also, I finally put up the gem of a cover that my friend Laura and I recorded one night when she was visiting. It’s Little Boxes, also on the Family Band page. You will never hear two girls strain so much to hit the high notes! Well, in case you are worried that I spent my whole day working on songs instead of painting, do not worry because I painted also. I love Saturdays 🙂

Better left to lovers.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Today I cut up an onion, just to see if I could cry, to see if I had any emotion left in this dried up, crippled heart.

Boo hoo, haha. That’s Xanga style! Take that you emo kids.

Actually, I DID cut up on onion today, but it was really only because I was making red potato salad, which went rather deliciously with my black bean burger topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. Holy yum! I am beginning to understand this species’ fascination with food. Once my stomach settles a bit (I had quite a large dinner) I am going to make myself a mango-pineapple smoothie and sit under my daylight lamps in my studio and give painting another try, because truth be told, I couldn’t ever give it up. (And thank you to anyone who wrote me an encouraging comment yesterday, although some of you technically did break the rules laid out in the title. I appreciate it anyway!)

We are almost halfway through March now. Halfway through the worst, most depressing month of all, at least if you live in Wisconsin (no offense to all March birthdays!). March is a tease, normally, but this year it’s been just plain prudish. It’s not giving us even a glimpse of spring. Even today, when it was supposed to be in the mid-40s for the first time in too long, it felt cold, although it must have been above freezing because along with the potholes I drove through lots of puddles on the way home from work. Day light savings has hit extra hard this month; just as we were getting used to the lighter mornings we are plunged back into something like January, and although I hear birds when I wake up they seem to be saying, “Hey, what the heck! Who woke us up?” instead of “Tra la la, spring is near, spring is here!” Well, all of this sounds like one big paragraph of complaining, but I assure you it’s not. Because, remember, I was rather into winter this year. I opined about the beauty in desolation and despair, and the recurring thought in my mind through the onslaught of snow and ice and wind chill advisories (and repeat) was how silly it all is, this arctic lifestyle we lead. No, I wouldn’t want you to think I am complaining, but I freely admit that I am looking forward to spring. Especially after a winter like we’ve had, as I imagine every ray of sunshine will feel that much warmer, every sugary-scented blossom will smell that much sweeter. I even read in the paper today that Madison is going to start a Pothole Patrol, which makes me happy. The potholes are dangerously close to becoming natural wonders: “Junior, smile for the camera, now, hey! Don’t get too close to the edge!!!”

Anyway, today’s title doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a phrase that popped into my head while I was chopping up my onion (and was, in fact, a bit weepy). I thought it would make a good title for a blog post, but didn’t want to wait around for a pertinent subject matter. It could also be an appropriate title for a Harlequin Romance, if you’re interested in buying the rights. Come to think of it, it could also be the name of a good emo band. (Xanga!)

Comments voicing protest are not allowed.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

I don’t generally consider myself the type of person who has an ego-problem.  I like to think, even, that I am somewhat humble, or at least I try to be.  However, every now and then I think that someone, somewhere, with some say in the matter, decides to send me a little insurance to keep it that way.  That is, every once in a while I set out to work on a painting and I am struck by how utterly and terribly awful I am.

I currently have a goal to have a couple new (smaller) paintings ready by Easter weekend to deliver to the shop, and so tonight I planned to really dig in and get some work done.  I think that I actually did the visual world a great disservice tonight, as every time my brush touched the canvas I made the world a little bit uglier.  I am not exaggerating.  Frustrated, I picked up my sketchbook and an odd assortment of mark-making tools (red sharpie, black prismacolor, graphite pencil and some scrap-booking pen) and found that the only thing I was able to do was scribble, outline those scribbles in red, and then scribble some more.  I was a kindergartener.  Maybe younger.

Earlier today I had a training for work and spoke with another woman who is also an artist.  She got me very excited about possibly collaborating on a mural this summer.  My curiosity about murals has been mounting for a while now, so our conversation seemed fated, divinely placed, in some way.  After tonight, though, I really must reconsider.  I’m not talking about just reconsidering the mural idea, I’m talking about reconsidering it all.  After tonight I think I should do everyone a favor and retire as a painter.  Trust me on this.