Sunday, February 22, 2009

Did I Say I Love Dr. Sketchy?

Because I do, I really really do. It's a wonderful thing to look forward to at the end of a long, hectic weekend. Tonight was part 2 in Oklahoma City, with not quite the crowd of the premiere, but an enthusiastic, talented gang nonetheless. We had another model from Tulsa's Eye Candy burlesque -the delightful Lu Foxxx - and more fine, eclectic music to help set the tone. And guess what? I won two of the three contests! Yeah, I know. Being far from the cleverest sketcher in the room, it must have been a quirk of fate, a misalignment of stars, or just one of those things. The first I can attribute to my partner, as it was a teamwork project; upon arrival, we were given a Betty Page pin-up playing card, and at this point in the evening, had to find our mate. I was a queen, so I connected with the other queen, who happened to be the dj playing the stellar tunes. During the ten-minute pose, we worked on our sketch for half the time, then switched paper with our partner. I hadn't completed mine yet, by my partner pretty much had, using black felt tip. Since I had no details to add, I opened my tin of Caran d'ache colors, my little film cannister of water (back when cameras used real film, you built up a convenient collection of lidded cannisters, perfect for on-the-go watercolor work), and washed in a bit of pink and soft aqua for the japanese umbrella, ochre for hair, and a wee dab of red for her heart tattoo. Color always trumps, I guess, 'cos me and the dj won the prize! What was the prize, you ask; it was a super special shot, to be taken onstage, along with Ms. Foxxx. The bartender called it "Oscar" something, considering the squarer folks in town must have been staying home to watch them. (Ha, I say, because I'm sitting here with a bottle of wine, a cat, a dog, a hot bloke, a laptop, and the Oscars on tv, despite having not seen any of the films, and not caring at all what happens.) The drink involved vodka, triple sec, rum (I think), orange juice, cranberry juice, maybe something else, I don't really remember. I do remember that I chugged mine first, yay me, and it tasted like a V-8 Splash.
For the 20-minute pose, our model came out in a leopard print scrap of fabric, adorned with feathers, shell necklace, white fishnet stockings, and holding a little skull. Our assignment: sketch her in her 'red carpet moment', whatever that means. I just focused on the sketching part, till near the end, when I decided to draw an Oscar in the hand that wasn't holding the skull, and, down at the bottom corner of the paper, a red (that's right, I broke out the watercolor crayons again, at the final moment) tongue licking her bare toes. The winner was chosen by Marilyn, our svelte, elegant emcee, and she picked mine! Blimey. She said, "I choose this one, because she has an Oscarection. " I'd like to show it to you, but the model liked it too, once she saw the toe-licking bit, so I let her have it, meaning I gave her the sketch, not I punched her lights out. That prize was a super cool sketchbook from Blue 7 - hip, indy boutique on north May Avenue, in Oklahoma City. (They were selling my copper wire necklaces for a while; this reminds me I should check in soon, to see if maybe they've sold any, or want to demand I come collect them so they can put fresh stuff in their place.)
So that was all a thrill - forcing myself to stick with a pose, exploring graphite, charcoal, ink, color, loosening up; did I mention one of the contests was we had to be in a conga line, with our sketchbooks on the back of the person in front of us, and - while conga-ing around the room - draw the model? Yeah. That's the one I didn't win. ;)
But my friend Sam Echols, the fine portrait painter did.
Yes, Dr. Sketchy is a wonderful, stimulating phenomenon, and if your area doesn't have a branch yet, how about being the one the to instigate, I mean, start one? You'll be really really glad, and I mean it.
Other news - I spent a couple hours amongst the hundreds of thousands of books at the Friends of the Library sale this afternoon, and managed to rescue three grocery bags full, though I hated to leave any tattered, battered, torn, yellow, brittle, probably-otherwise-unwanted books behind, what can you do? Like with cats, or jellyfish stranded on the beach, there is a limit. They're still in my car, probably not to be unloaded and fully explored until tomorrow. A grrrl can only manage so much in a day, after all.
Before the book sale, but after the morning massage client, and our shared brunch at Jimmy's Egg, Sara and I zoomed up to Edmond, where I painted the 'baby' skaters first, then went to work on some other, older skaters as they prepared for the matinee of "DreamSkate", which is quite the spectacle. Really. I'd like to have seen it again, but this was my only chance at the book sale, so once the skaters were facially embellished, I left my baby behind, with a heartfelt "break a leg" and headed back to civilization.
She's a born showgirl, my wee one.
Not the best picture, but I was determined to go flashless; she's got a washed-out face, a pink zig zag, and black shorts, kind of in the middle.
Seeing as it's been a jam packed weekend, I need to stop typing now, finish my wine, take the cellophane off my new sketchbook, and prepare to face the week.
Stay tuned for pictures of the new old book acquisitions - they'll either be here or on my flickr, or both.
Cheers, and happy week!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How Does A Post Just Disappear?

So, I was in the midst of telling about this glass, that I've dubbed the Mojito Glass, because one time I drank pre-mixed mojitos in it (then took the photo, when only drooping ice cubes were left), face painting at the art museum's Harlem Renaissance family day for intense hours in a row, leaving my camera, stealing the very beginnings of a nap but having to wake up and feed the cats, go get my camera back, travel up to the ice rink to face paint a bunch of glamorous skater for the premiere of DreamSkate, something about hating Celine Dion but appreciating the routine done to "My Heart Will Go On" (gack), with a skater in drag, complete with wig, tiara, unibrow, orange life vest, and an iron lotus involving a floppy male mannequin. Comic relief is what makes life worthwhile. My original thoughts were lucid and clever, but with a random click of a button, seem to have vanished into another dimension. I haven't the strength to attempt a recreation, so let's just leave it at tomorrow I'll see a client, squeeze in a bite of brunch, get myself back to the rink for a repeat performance of painting the skaters, rush myself back to the City in order to rescue more dusty, musty books at the library book sale, and end the evening at the second installment of Dr. Sketchy. Yes, it's that time again already. What a shame I'm a type C personality. How I long for a do-nothing day to appear on my calender. Not for while yet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One World One Heart Drawing!

The big day is finally upon us, and the kitties have worked hard to choose three lucky winners.

Buster contemplated the daunting task before him, eying the over 300 slips of paper liberally doused in catnip crumbs. (That's right - you who submitted herbs in an attempt to bribe the judges may not have considered that all the papers would become contaminated as they awaited the big moment, making it impossible for cats to tell which had originally carried the enticing offering. Oh well, they appreciated it nonetheless.)
It wasn't long before The Sidler arrived on the scene to offer his assistance. Between the two of them, they sniffed and snuffled, drooled a little and scattered, eventually choosing three lucky and very random winners.
#1 Breathing Beside Us, who gets first choice of the two originally offered pendants.
#2 Greenish Lady, who will receive the one BBU declines.
#3 Meandering Pearl, who will get the mystery prize.
This was much fun (despite a little work, which is to be expected when one chooses to hand write and cut the entries, and eschew modern conveniences like random number generators. Although, I must say my number generators were about as random as they come) and I wish I had more prizes to offer.
Thanks to all of you for visiting, looking at my site, leaving clever and/or sweet comments. I hope we will continue to get to know each other.
I do wish this was a less stalky, more trustful age, in which postal addresses were not kept so secret, as I had the urge to send out some further spontaneous surprises. Requesting an address though, sort of takes both the spontaneous and the surprise out of the idea.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not a Valentine

But it could be. I've known a few unique souls who would delight in receiving something like this as a token of affection. This, though, is a piece created for an upcoming art fundraiser. I guess it turned out this way because of the excessive bombardment of heart-shaped romantic advertising?

Maybe not.

This is the way I'd attack my art journal pages if I could, but for some reason I can't. At least not consistently. I can do it for altered book swaps and other such projects intended for others, but it seems somehow selfish and wasteful to put so much effort into a private journal page destined for my eyes only. That's a little sad, so I'm going to work on myself. As soon as I finish all these art pieces destined for public consumption.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Helga's Art Chix Challenge

This week's challenge was 'treat yourself, & create out of the wrappers'. Easy enough, I say. Let's see - I treated myself to dark chocolate & raspberry Kisses, Ting Ting Jeh ginger candy (checkerboard borders & centerpiece), Girl Scout Samoa cookies, and a bottle of wine. It seemed fitting to add the Art Chix 'spoil me' and 'ecstasy' ladies, though those ideas are probably self-evident.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Making Valentines

Since I've received a few Valentines in the mail, I figured I'd better get busy making some. The ones completed and sealed up today, ready for posting, didn't get photographed. They were okay; nice enough, not unpleasing, but not exactly me, in the expressive, creative sense of the word. Fair enough, doing Valentines is tricky, due to most people having sweet, charming, romantic notions about them. I found myself catering to the taste of others with this first batch.
If I were making a Valentine for myself, it'd be out of materials like those shown; empty rib cages, smudges of black and blood red ink, anatomical engravings torn from old medical texts..... that sort of thing. Maybe I'll do some of those this week, but I wonder who (besides me) would appreciate being on the receiving end?
The sinus/allergy/cold meds I've been trying this weekend have been pretty feeble. All I wanted was to empty my head of the goo that's taken up residence. Thanks to the skanky meth lab characters, pseudoephedrine has become hard to track down, and a pain to purchase, but this evening I'm concluding it's worth the effort. One 12-hour, Target brand tablet has cleared me up beautifully. I can tell it's the drug working, because aside from snot-free sinuses, my head is just a little 'not normal', if you know what I mean. I'm probably still safe to drive, but you shouldn't ask me to operate a crane or give me the keys to a forklift.
It's a little funny that I have to produce a photo i.d. and sign my name in order to purchase the pills, but ask someone to do the same while casting a vote, and suddenly all sorts of civil liberties are being violate. Hmmmm. What about my right to pursue the happiness of clear and open sinuses, while also maintaining my anonymity?
See how wise and philosophical pseudoephedrine makes me?
Now, instead of returning to the desk in a creative frenzy, which is what I'm in the mood for, it's time to begin car shopping for the teen. Let's hope my lucid judgement will come in useful while evaluating the charms of a cheap Dodge Neon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How Fierce A Fiend is Passion.

A freshly completed necklace that's tricky to photograph. The pale background shows the glass hues best, but a dark one would highlight the silver chain; camera angle and variances in glass shape distort the text, but in real life it can be read clearly. As creative types, I'm sure you can use your imaginations. Not to mention clicking on the photo will make it bigger and clearer.
I'm having a fine time with my 1952 book of Eighteenth Century Plays, reading and cutting and reading and cutting and reading and reading and reading..... I like to know what I'm slicing into, but in reading I get caught up in the story and don't want to stop.
Still, there are already other snippets of text under glass: "to ease an aching heart,", "Oh! had I lived in those days", "Thou art a pert merry hussy.", "this strange lady", "I fear 'tis all a dream.".
Meanwhile, I agreed to one of those annoying telephone opinion things, that involved my receiving a dvd to watch - today, and today only - (UPS finally delivered it at 4 pm), fill out some paperwork, and expect a follow up call tomorrow, to answer questions about what I viewed. I should have had it watched by now, but have been unable to figure out the dvd player. Guess I don't spend enough time with certain machines in the house.
As we live by the Muses
Here's an atc I just created, after receiving a sweet packet of paper treats from Helga of Art Chix Studio. It was my prize for her 'make something out of scraps' challenge, and she asked me to create something with her goodies. The watercolor card, vintage music, and colorful bird were included. The pink shiny bits had arrived last week, in another card from Helga. This was fun, despite pink not being a color I normally gravitate toward, I enjoy looking at this little card. It makes me smile.
(If you're looking for my One World One Heart giveaway, check the post archives; it's in January, and you can still enter to win. Comments are open through Feb. 11.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

A bit of antiquing

After a good coating of ice brought the city to a standstill for several days, people were apparently more than eager to get out and about over the weekend. While Sara was at the ice rink (that's right, all healed up in time to skate on her birthday, life's good). Tony and I bought a few pastry treats for her, and a shiny "Happy Birthday" balloon. It was the weekend for Buchanan's antiques market at the fairgrounds, where I haven't managed to have a good browse for several months, so we stopped down there, where the first thing I managed to snag was an antique L.C. Smith 'super speed' typewriter for Sara's friend, who had just mentioned a few days before that she was on the lookout for one. For a mere $12, I like to think she won't mind if the ribbon is in tatters.
Tony was relieved I wasn't tempted to bring it home for myself; a house really only needs so many antique typewriters, and I've the feeling if you asked him, he'd say we've reached our quota. (Kind of like with cats.)
There were more people milling about and getting in my way than I was used to seeing, which must have made the vendors happy. Lucky for me, the maddening crowd wasn't after the same stuff as me.
I got a few sweetly yellowed and crumbly magazines from the 20's, a 1938 alamanc which is mostly just advertisements for a suspicious assortment of cure-all medicines and herbal concoctions, and a super crumbly latin textbook with no date that I can find, but judging by the spine, I'd guess late 1800's. The young lady who sold it to me (for $1) seemed fond of it, and asked if I was a fan of latin. "No," I said, "I'm an artist, and since this book is already falling apart...." I believe if I hadn't already handed over my cash, and had the book in my hands, she may well have refused to sell it to me at that point!
My best bargain, though, was the assortment of dollies shown here. Aren't they the best? Oh, and that's the latin book they're resting on, that you can't see at all.
The only bad thing about that trip to the market was the wind had picked up while we were inside, and when Tony opened the back door of the car, in order to load the typewriter, our birthday balloon escaped and took off to the stratosphere. I watched it for several minutes as we headed home (since we and it were both conveniently traveling the same direction), but it soon became a teeny speck, then vanished altogether. By the time Sara got home from the rink a couple hours later, I'm certain her balloon was well past Tulsa, and headed for Joplin.