Thursday, December 31, 2009
I watched Doctor Who the other night and the episode mentions that the world was hopeful that President Obama would declare the recession is over.... I started laughing hysterically.you mean that's all it takes? COOL!
Good Riddance, 2009. I had to look up that spelling...don't laugh. How often do you write that? Too busy just saying it. I realize I wrote some not so kind words about 2008 as well, but you know, that was the start of the recession. So, what's the mantra? 2010, do it again? NOPE. Ok, does it have rhyme?..cuz I got nothin! I'm really not being negative, I just prefer to look forward instead of saying, "Ah, those were good times! Wish I was in yesteryear!"
Well, why don't we end the year on a nice note. At last year's end, I mentioned losing some pretty amazing people, and most of my livelihood as a faux painter. (I am still a decorative painter, but the business is slumbering).
Well, a lot can happen in a year, and here's why I'm grateful!
First, I met so many amazing people in 2009! I am so grateful for everyone who has come into my life. I've made so many friends, that I feel incredibly wealthy! And I never feel alone.
I don't think my hands could handle typing all of them in this post, but you know who you are!
Second, I really hunkered down to redirect my art to online selling and I have really begun to see some results after my long tough year. :) So, I am really grateful to myself for my perseverance.
Third, I learned to be aware of who is truly good (for you) and who is not. If someone makes you feel less than amazing, let them be. seriously. Don't go trying to pick people up continually..they will only bring you down! And, well meaning people who constantly tell you what you need to do can be the biggest drag of all. Spend less time around them and you'll find your own way! I know it! (even if they take credit for it).
Next, I made a choice to help people, and I diversified! I donated a lot of art to good causes and it felt good. I donated time to people who needed a little hand. I donated goods that I had so they could be useful for others. I donated money, too. Helping people will always be a reward for yourself.
Another thing; a good heart in need wants to believe that people will help, but people have to know you need it first. Sometimes you do have to ask! If you can't ask people for help, then, just send it out there. Write it down and believe you will receive. But, once you do this, the rest is up to you. You must put some work into it, emotionally, physically and spiritually. You can give yourself permission to be anything you want when you are ready. So, go make it happen.
..and lastly, as always, never EVER give up!
But, first, sip some something bubbly and ring in the New Year!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Such is the case with these cute (and cheap) little magnets. Only $4.00 each and a nice way to keep on enjoying the art you may already have somewhere else in the house, but just want another little piece of it when you reach for the handle on the fridge! Or maybe your budget will only allow for the smallest stuff..and hey, I think I can accommodate you!
I have a stock on hand and I will ship out same day if I can. Anyway, yet another small marketing hooray for the folks at those online printers.
Thanks for visiting my shops, favoriting me, friending me and fanning me too!
Have a great day!
Smelly Rhino Studio Shop
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I started Outward Bound, a bindery of anything up cycled, recycled, reclaimed, whatever you wanna call it! Handmade journals with recycled paper, yay! But, the nostalgia comes into play here, as you can order your favorite show or movie and have that wee feel good feeling with it.
You can have my favorite robot, too, the ultimate partying bending unit! Maybe you're a Simpsons person, or Family Guy? Got it! Well, got some anyway.
Some great classic movies are available, too, but they are scarce. So, if you see one, you probably better grab it now. See, because these are repurposed, I take no part in reproducing images. I merely reuse the cover and once it's gone, it's gone! By the way, the vast majority of the covers are pristine! NEAT!
To see the shop and a link to a regularly updated index of available titles, check out the shop and enjoy bulk shipping discounts, such as a (US only) priority mail in addition to a discount on multiple orders of 3 or more!
Great stocking stuffers for kids and adults, killer office gifts at only $8 bucks a pop! Buy two or three, they're small!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A fun time will be had by all!
What a great way to enjoy some quality time with friends and family!
This Saturday, come on out to the Chattahoochie Nature Center for entertainment, games, food, live music and, of course handmade specialty items by local vendors, like me! There you will find items from The Georgia Etsy Street Team and Team North Georgia! You can search for these teams on Etsy to get ready for your shopping day!
Then, the following Saturday, I will be with my Team North Georgia in Alpharetta, for an in-home craft show, full of more wonderful handmade uniqueness!
If you haven't shopped handmade, this 'aint cross stitch on plastic crosses! A fun and high quality assortment of art, jewelry, clothing, housewares, bath and beauty products, and more will be on display. Plus goodies to nibble!
For more information, you can contact me on through my shop or on Facebook!
Leave a note on my fan page to tell others about your holiday show or promotions in your own shop!
Smelly's Facebook Fan Page
Smelly Rhino Studio
Have a great week!
See you there!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Cybercraze! I'm in a daze!
I've been shopping online for years now, and I love love love it! I've also been making Christmas gifts for as long as I can remember. And now that I've had the pleasure of joining the wonderful and talented artists on Etsy and Artfire, I have been enjoying the penultimate joy:
The online-handmade experience! (the ultimate joy involves ice cream.)
These are a few pieces from a new collection of watercolor leaves. Check out the small (and I mean that literally) collection in my shop of miniature paintings...all with Cyber Monday Free Shipping!
These original watercolors come with free shipping, but they also come in a groovy 12" square matt, making them super luscious and ready to throw in a frame!
The best part, the gift of art for only $25 is a steal at twice the price! Get two, they're small!
Check out the shop today to see lots of bright playful art! Benefit: You get groovy delivered to your door, and I get to buy more Christmas presents!
Smelly Rhino Studio
Saturday, November 28, 2009
It is very late on Saturday night.
I missed telling you Happy Thanksgiving.
Now that the turkey is gone,
and all that remains
is the soup I made today from the last bits of leftovers,
I figured I ought to at least write a line or two
to wish you some cheer to wrap up the end of your weekend.
It's the least I could do, after all, and we know I'm pretty good at that.
The pie is finished as well. I only made one; apple. For the two of us, alone for the weekend.
Pie was sure good for breakfast, lunch and dinner, (but only after it was first enjoyed for dessert!)
The lights went up today. The tree became glorious. Hot buttered rum was well featured for the occasion. I used every decoration this year. We needed it.
We need to decorate,
to feel festive.
Yep, it's coming back to me now. That beautiful, wonderful, energetic feeling. I have waited so long.
Ahh, I will treasure this moment!
On to Christmas.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
December 5Th, don't forget to join handmade artisans at the Chattahoochee Nature Center for the Back To Nature Show, benefiting the Center and of course for the fun of the community!
If you live in the Atlanta area, stop by the Barn Owl Hall in Roswell and buy unique Christmas gifts that have been handmade locally!
You are not only supporting your local area artists, but make sure to take notice of a growing group of Georgians on the the Georgia Etsy Street Team, a group of folks who sell their works online at Etsy.com! Etsy artisans are worldwide, numbering well over one million talented people! Be sure to visit Etsy and shop from home whether or not you come to the Nature show!
You will be able to enter Etsy drawings and receive discounts for hopping from one vendor to another! It's gonna be fun!
I'll post another reminder in a couple of weeks with all the Etsy shops participating in this fun market!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Painter number 4 is Valerie Chitvanni, who's name is pronounced (kit-vah-ni). She is a funny, warm-hearted, multi-media painter (and Grandmother!)
Valerie is a member of the Southern Watercolor Society, and you may see her work on their website. It would be an understatement to say she knows her watercolors, but wow, she really knows her watercolors! Remarkable manipulation of paper and pigment! Valerie's love of plein air is only part of her talent. She also paints in oils and in the studio, even acrylics.
Here's a piece that Valerie is painting in oil. It's began with a plein air watercolor to get the composition and now she is working the oil. I know this pic is a bit small, but if you want to see the transition from on site watercolor to grand oil painting, Read Valerie's blog!
For more information on the Southern Watercolor Society and to join, visit their website: http://www.southernwatercolorsociety.org
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
My third randomly chosen artist from the weekend workshop adventure is Jessica Cook, a fresh-styled, smart talent who seems to be quite comfortable working in oil as well as watercolor. I gave up oils 15 years ago in favor of acrylics, because I like to wash my brushes in water, and seriously, that's the only reason. Acrylics were hard to learn as an oil painter, because they dry so fast. But, I can tell you that learning watercolor is a task unlike any other and the good ones make it seem so easy! Jessica has quite a number of watercolor figure portraits in her portfolio, and what I find so wonderful about her figures is the abstract ephemera surrounding their faces.
Abstract work is very impressive to me. You, as an artist or even observer, might assume that realism is the tough thing. We often think maybe they paint abstract because they don't know how to paint well. Lots of people paint abstract, but not that many do it really well!
I want to be lured in, and stay a while because of the blend of the colors and maybe the subtle or shocking changes in elevation of the piece. Perhaps the bold contrasts that I just have to linger on as if I'm filling in the pixels in my imagination to come up with some kind of story behind the liberal brush strokes...and, I want to go back and see it again, because the memory isn't enough! ..that's when you've pulled it off well. Even though Jessica has a separate section for abstract, I found the abstract quality of the figure drawings to be most alluring!
Above: Artemis; watercolor and gouache on paper
I think Jessica has a great future, and I can't wait to see where she goes with all that talent!
To see Jessica's complete portfolio, visit her website today! http://jessicacook.com
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Here is a piece by another of the great artists I met on Saturday, Susie Burch!
She work in various media and has numerous pieces on glass windows in her portfolio as well as many amazing oils like this one! Susie told me her husband works in clay and likes to make pottery. I can't wait to see his work! Sounds like a lot of playtime at their house!
At our home, we are always playing, too! The amount of art supplies here is impressive. We really could run a small school out of our home, if only we had enough room for one! Right now, I really only have room for one-on-one sessions in my studio, maybe one-on-two. I will just keep imaging that perfect studio...ahhh!!
And now for something completely different...
A bit of time this coming week will be spent helping the Etsy shop of some new girlfriends I met about a month ago. A group of talented young women who are thinking way beyond what many of us perceive to be disabilities (such as down syndrome). They are painters, jewelry designers, crafters and more! What's even more important is that these remarkable ladies, guided by their incredible Mom Natalie, contribute to the community in numerous and generous ways. I'll be helping them post really great pictures and a pretty new banner! To purchase an item made by one of the girls, visit their Etsy shop: Its My Life - From Disability to Independence!
For more on Susie Burch, visit her website and drool! http://www.susieburch.com
Saturday, October 24, 2009
This painting is by a remarkable artist, Emory Daniel, one of 9 amazing people I met today! (Title: Abandoned) I will be posting one painting every day from the other 8 for the next week!
Today was a great day! I spent it the company of some fine people and talented artists at the Atlanta Artist's Center, sharing my online experiences with them, hopeful that they'll take the information and be wildly successful!
We played on our laptops, exploring the net, photo manipulation, blogging and selling online, only there was an entire day's course on the subjects of pictures and blogging alone. I regret to say we didn't even get to selling. That will be part deux. You can't absorb too much information in one sitting anyway, so they will be darn good bloggers before we meet again for the next info assault!
Thank you to all the new bloggers for a great day! I'm really looking forward to seeing your amazing work and reading your stories!
Atlanta is a great city for art and music! If you live in the neighborhood, come by the gallery! It's nestled between the trees on Grandview Avenue near Pharr Road in the heart of Buckhead. The AAC as it is lovingly referred to by it's more than 400 members (I wanna say it's up to 600 now), has been around for 55 years, making it the city's oldest continuing artists organization. Have dinner right next door at Basil's or across the street at Anise and hit the gallery on the way back to the car on First Thursday!
For more information:
ATLANTA ARTISTS CENTER
2979 Grandview Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tuesday-Thursday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday 10-4 PM and FIRST FRIDAY ONLY: Friday Evening 6:30 -10:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM -4:00 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Artists don't always sign their work, for various reasons. The guy that bought this on behalf of some other buyer, paid like $19,000, and it could be estimated at $150million! I wonder what commission he gets. All I can say is "Darn it! Now I really don't have a chance of finding the last Da Vinci" Everyone wants to find a gem, but it is pretty unlikely you'll find one at a yard sale, the only place I ever look.
Anyway, if someone asks me to do something I don't really want to do, then I probably wont sign it. I think Da Vinci didn't sign this one because it was just a study of some sort, maybe a commission, but obviously not very personal. There couldn't have been much money in painting mugshots back then. When you're a commercial artist, you paint for money, and do what the client asks for; you find yourself saying, "this is not mine." You might not even like it, so why sign it?
Also, it would be in obvious poor taste to sign something that you copied or wasn't your idea. The painting above is a complete hack job rip off, for example. And a lousy one at that! I have a book on acrylics, giving techniques from a number of painters on the subject. I thought I would attempt to follow some other painter's instruction and see if I could paint that way, since I will be teaching a little workshop in the Winter. It didn't work out so well, but hey, this blog is a documentary, isn't it? Naturally, I wont sign it. In fact, I think this one is going to Bill. (If you use a magnifying glass, Bill, there must be a weed in there somewhere.) He wont be happy that I am sending him my junky cheap ripoffs, but I am amused, and I think he would appreciate that at least.
Among advice I have received from some successful people over the years were a few key ideas that stuck with me: "Live long enough, do good work, and screw 'em if they can't take a joke!" So, with that in mind, do the first 2 publicly, and with the last, take liberties.
For the not so good work, don't sign it, and think of the great freedom that allows...You can now sell all the crap in your basement that wasn't good enough to sign, and no one will know you painted it! Or sign someone else's name! Get some extra cash and go bowling!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Among the over one million handmade artisans who call Etsy home are some 300 here in Georgia, creating wonderful products with their Southern charm! Visit the Georgia Etsy Street Team members on Etsy to find clothing, handbags, Mommy products, kids stuff, home decor, bath and body, beauty, candles, custom blended tea, pet products, Georgia team sports items, accessories, jewelry, fused glass and stained glass, fiber goods and textiles, fine art and folk art and lots of other great products that my senile mind can't remember at the moment!
We have a few sales a year, but it's neat to have a whole team participate, because you just do one search and find thousands of great items from hundreds of crafters and artists! Now is a great time to begin your Christmas shopping experience! When you browse like this, you find all kinds of beautiful, irresistible goodies and oodles of practical ones too!..plus, you often find things you will find no where else on earth! See, handmade is never mass produced, so each item is special and unique! Give yourself and your friends the gift of handmade!
Don't forget to visit Etsy this coming weekend and support one microcosm of handmade happiness! (I'll be there, too!)
P.s. This ad backdrop with the falling leaves was lovingly painted by Rebecca Salcedo (smellyrhinostudio) and the wicked graphics were layered by Maria Allen (Kartu Graphics)
| List of Participating Shops:|
Handmade soaps, lotions, lip balm, milk bath and custom blended teas
20% all orders
Amelia's Soap Co.
Handmade Soap Products
15% discount on soaps
Afghans and other crocheted household items
Free U.S. shipping
Artistspirit - A Reflection of Mind
Glass fusion jewelry, plates and coasters
15% off any item
Beautiful Tree Huggers
Homemade all natural soap, lotion, etc.
Everything in the store 20% off
Be Inspired Designs
Scrabble Tile Pendant Jewelry & Accessories
Buy 2, Get 1 FREE plus FREE SHIPPING
(stuffed) animal skin loveys
Free U.S. shipping, $5 off shipping everywhere else!
Unique handmade creations for anyone that could use a hug!
Free shipping (U.S. only) plus 10% off all orders
Cindy’s Too Cute Creations
Boutique Monograms and Personalized Gifts
25% off of all Embroidery Blanks!
Personalizable baby bibs, blankets, burp cloths and aprons
Free domestic shipping on everything in shop
Handmade Swarovski crystal and wire jewelry
10% off merchandise orders totaling up to $99.99
15% off merchandise orders totaling $100 or over
The Crafty Coop
Handmade resin jewelry with glitter
All necklaces 20% off
20% off section
Deb's Pane In The Glass
Anything Stained Glass from sun catchers, ceiling fan pull chains to business card holders and holiday items
Free USA and International Shipping!
Be original this Fall with one of a kind accessories & gifts
15% off All Hats and Scarves
toddler items and women's accessories
FREE shipping to U.S. on all items
Adorable Art for Children, Babies and Fun Grownups!
Free worldwide shipping, plus 10% off storewide -all refunded via paypal
cute Creatures & pretty Pouches
FREE shipping to ANYWHERE in the world
The Goddess Within You
Beautiful and Fun Handmade Items
Free U.S. Shipping and 10% off all items
JoyAnna - all things beautiful
Purses, pillows, scrapbook covers, tissue holders etc
FREE SHIPPING within the Continental USA on everything in the shop.
Designer of our fabulous sale graphic
K. Berlin Metalsmith
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry - Precious Metals and gems
Free Shipping on All items
Personalized intems for Bridal, Baby, Child and Home
FREE pair of luggage tags with any purchase, a $12.00 value
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry and Fine Art Photography
15% OFF excluding items that are already on sale
Accessories for mom and baby
10% off your total order. Use promo code "fallyall" Money refunded via PayPal.
Handmade and Vintage Jewelry and Accessories
Free Shipping on orders over $20 & Free Nola Brooch with purchase
Unique Handmade Jewelry
Buy one get second one half off (BoGo)Sale
Princess Ciarra Raye’s Designs
Jewelry for the little girl inside you
The Print Duchess Studio
Custom Stationery & Personal and Promo Designs
20% off Rectangular Address Labels
Original Mixed Media Art
15% off everything!
Handmade Silk Scarves and Gifts
Sale Items 15% off with Free Shipping
Kids wear and more
Smelly Rhino Studio
Art with a little Humor! Original paintings and Prints
10% off and free shipping!
Sweet Pea Boutique
Colorful hairbows and clips for girls of all ages!
Buy any hairbow or clip set and get one HALF PRICE, with FREE SHIPPING for orders $10 and up
Worthy Soy Candles & Crochet
Soy Candles & Unique Crochet Creations
10% Off Everything!
Friday, September 4, 2009
To have a baby is such sweet delight..
but as sweet as the moment of creation?
I shouldn't comment on any suggestive truths regarding this subject, since I am not a parent.
Oh how about if you actually saved the money you would spend on a kid or two..(right!) The going rate is about $300,000 till they are on their own. I don't know what you're thinking, but that obviously doesn't include educational costs. What ever happened to raising kids the old fashioned way: Make them workers! Put them to work beginning at age 5, so they help you make money instead of spend it! Don't let that small body fool you, these little people have stamina! With proper encouragement, you can get 10 or 12 hours a day out of them.
It may be best that I'm not a parent, but I can still reflect on the virtues of parenthood and the lessons I learned from doggone good child rearing!
I can remember, with shockingly benevolent intensity, some good passive aggressive lessons that my Mother taught me. Lessons that have some great applications even now!
In case the old fashioned method of whoopin', hollerin' and general learnin' is not your idea for creating a proper rags to riches story in the future, you can use the Dr. Spock Method, which my Mom seemed to advocate, and we turned out ok. Dr. Spock had a few decent ideas (I haven't read the books, though, but I'm pretty sure one could be called, "How to raise a negotiator"). For more on raising a tyrant, refer to the aforementioned "old fashioned method."
To help out a new Mother in the tough situation of keeping a child alive for 18 years until he can make the decision to destroy himself without your help, here are some great Iconic Mom responses from my youth that you can try on your kids!
When asked for permission, "I suppose."
When asked for permission that she knows she will deny in the near future, but doesn't want to deal with now, "We'll see."
When asked for permission that she really didn't want to deal with ever, "Go ask your father!"
When asked permission for food, " " (....I don't remember ever asking..)
When complaining about the food that was to be offered, "Why don't you just try it first!"
When insisting that the food being offered was not palatable, "Just eat as much as you can, honey!"
When turning blue because you already have eaten as much as you can, which is nothing because the food being offered was liver, "Ok, I really don't like it that much anyway, let's have some cereal!"
And now, for something completely different.
The protective instinct is strong in Mothers. They will endure any and all tortures to keep the little ones safe, especially if the little one is a teenage girl.
Common things Mom said to a boy who was brave enough to show up at my house to take me on a date:
With one arm around the boy's shoulder and a very deceptively sweet smile, "I want you to know that this is my only daughter and she is the most important person in the world to me, and I don't know what I'd do if anything ever happened to her."
Looking directly into a boy's eyes (and with an imaginary vise around some other area), "So, you will drive carefully, take good care of her, and she will be home by 11:30, right?"
Let's not leave out my Dad completely. Although he did not own a gun, there were the stories my boyfriends told...of the fear that one might exist...by the door near the front window..where he would wait...
The most memorable words spoken from any known father at any time during my formidable years:
Answering the door wearing a Priest's robe, greeting all guests to my annual Halloween party, "Hello, I'm Father Charles, I'll be your Chaperon for the evening!" (I am seriously not making this up!)
Finally, it's important to hold your baby in a very loving, but firm manner, so they really feel protected.
The Mom let me hold this incredible boy for the picture, sans the tight bondage of swaddling wrapping, a term that has been updated by her, since she gave birth. It is now affectionately called "Burrito Wrap!"
If you wrap them up really tight, you have absolute control. This does not need to change as they grow up, it has good applications for young boys, who might put their eye out trying to grab icicles and whatnot. [See A Christmas Story for reference material on the overbundling of winter clothing] Also, if a little boy is bundled up to where he can't move, he'll be protected from the neighborhood bully when he gets shoved into the snow covered sidewalk.
Don't stop there! This great advice applies really well to girls, too! Why let your daughter wear those skimpy provocative clothes--designers want girls to look like crack whores! Just say no! And don't send her to Catholic school either, there are too many perverted fantasies about uniforms! Instead, opt for some good old fashioned sweat shirts and baggy jeans. Very long skirts are back and ruffled tops that go up under the chin...that little house on the prairie look will make her the hit of the school, as I was in the early 80's with my Gunnisax attire. Additional bonus, save money and buy this brand at thrift stores now, kids think it's cool!
Just remember, sometimes a non-Mom can make a great advice columnist, for as we know, dishing out is so much easier than receiving.
Sorry for all you who have seen "progression of a mural" on Facebook and already, (11 or so of these pictures!) If you're interested in seeing that, go to Smelly Rhino's Facebook Page
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
What do you do when people say stupid things?
I was participating in a swap with one of my Etsy groups. The theme was "Talkin 'bout my generation". I was to create a little package of goodies with the 1980's in mind. So, I set out to go to a flea market to look for a couple of things.
I called one flea market I knew to see if they were still there.
She said, "Well, we moved across the street."
(There were on the corner, so I wanted to know which side of the street..)
I asked, "So you're on the North side of the highway now?"
She replied, "Well, that depends on which way you're coming from!"
I ate at a restaurant the other day.
I ordered a salad. So did everyone else at my table, because the power was out and that's all that was on the menu at that moment. (Reminds me the story my Parents told me about when they visited Moscow in the early 90's. You have a big elaborate menu, just to make you feel good, but really there is only one thing available. They wont tell you that, though. You have to continue ordering as they continue to reply, "I'm sorry, Sir, we don't have that available today!" until you finally get to the one item they are actually serving!)
So, everyone orders a salad and someone asks, "Does the dressing come on the side or on the salad?"
The server replies very seriously, "Well, I think it's usually tossed, but I don't think it would be any more trouble to ask the cook to put it on the side for you at no extra charge."
We all ordered it on the side because we didn't want to pass up the added value.
I have mentioned before my favorite quote (by my Father): "I have tried to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are reasonably intelligent, but they just keep disappointing me."
Thursday, August 27, 2009
When you are considering your next project, how do you fly?
When it comes unexpectedly, at a whim even, is that the most brilliant moment of creativity? It is for me.
Even though we are all trying to live with some discipline as artists, does it really help your creativity, or just make you keep to a schedule? Is forceful productivity really the key to my growth as an artist? I think there may be some Hallucinogens available to help me out. It worked for Lewis Carroll. I wonder.
Are your most brilliant ideas happening when you are supposed to turn out the lights to sleep?
Would it be better if we stayed up, got some cocoa and let ourselves wander with the paintbrush or typewriter or torch until we just couldn't stay up any longer? Did you know that they play some great music at 2:30 am? Oh, it's also the best time to catch An American In Paris on the tube! (oh, sorry, the DLP) I wonder.
How does creativity work anyway and does it keep it's own schedule? Can you force it? Can I learn to hone my creativity and focus it to specific times of the day? Take that wicked moment of focus that begins at 10pm and make it happen at 10 am instead? I sure wonder.
I keep a notebook next to my bed, so I can journal at night and write down ideas that I'm having. I'm a genius in these hours, but for the 'maybe someday' thinking. Still, I continue to invent all sorts of things in those moments, probably never to be shared.
My Great Grandfather invented the bread wrapping machine. Must have been a late night thing. People probably thought he was a little weird. Imagine for a moment how important this invention was. (Don't blame him for processed foods, it's not his fault if you're fat!) Anyway, his trustworthiness or lack of business prowess lead him to be deceived by some businessmen who stole it from him and he was never paid his due for his brilliance. It's in the Smithsonian now, because of my Uncle's hard work and my Great Grandfather did finally get his credit!
Maybe It's all in my head. Maybe fatigue is similar to drunkenness...you know, when you're drunk, everyone in the room gets a lot better looking and more interesting. You know where I'm going with this.
I'm tragically brilliant in my twilight hours. Of course, many ideas come too late..."I really should make a prototype design for my tuna fish strainer and get it over to a factory in China for production." lol. You laugh, but that was just one, lost idea! Yea, probably too much wine. They're selling now in grocery stores. Some jerk thought of it finally. silly. I know. Still, I wonder.
I wanted to put a film on fabric so I could run it through a printer. That was like 15 years ago. I just bought some today. 10 tiny sheets for $6.99. Highway robbery! I'd tell you about many others, but you might laugh, or try them yourself, so I'll just leave it at that, tragically absent from reality!
We should keep reminding ourselves that our thoughts are pretty important. Especially the self-deprecating ones; a window to the soul - except you wish you could pull down the shades! Even what I just said about you laughing at me. I don't really feel that way, but it sounded good at the time, you know, for this post and all. A window. I wonder.
This is worth repeating and I firmly believe it: Talent will not get you there. Drive and determination alone are omnipotent. (I read that somewhere).
Ron Popeil is mega mega rich. I'm just sayin.
How does this apply to art? Well, art happens in bed, too! Get your mind out of the gutter (just for a second). Same thing happens with planning my paintings as the lights go out: "Ah, right! Yes! I should put metallic gold with a bronze glaze over the edges of the crackle with the red! DUH! brilliant!
Well, I think what I'm saying is that you need to write everything down; anytime you think of it. Keep that notepad in your car, in your purse, use your iphone. And, of course, record your thoughts at night. It's really amazing what brilliance you can observe that you probably wont ever share with anyone anyway. It will help you go to sleep though, with a smile, dreaming about what could be; like dreamers do.
Extra dreamy sidebar:
Maybe some inventing TV or Web prototype company will come to me and say (in an Australian accent), "You have just the right personality..Let's talk, we need a creative goofball like you to add to our team!" I better color my hair and drop another 10 lbs first. Oh, maybe someday.
You can go back to the gutter now.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We have been remodeling our master bathroom for a couple of weeks now. We tiled the floor, Eric built a custom cabinet, and we are even going to tackle a concrete counter top! I was going to just paint the walls, but felt that was kind of a lazy finish to all that custom work, especially because I am a professional decorative artist, so I decided to give the room a good Venetian Plastering!
After having my business for the last 3 years, it seems a little strange for me to admit that I don't actually have any decorative finishing at all in our home! It's not that I don't like any of it, but the house is more contemporary. Luckily, Venetian plaster is one of those cool things that looks great anywhere.
I knew I had my work cut out for me, because the walls were not smooth and needed to be sanded before I began, but when I got up on a ladder to see the wonderful job the builder's accomplice had done leaving huge amounts of dry wall plaster in the corners, I nearly impaled my hand on one of those ridiculous star patterns stamped from drywall mud on the ceiling, a common sight in homes in the south. I had to take on the ceiling before I started the walls. If you take a big palette knife, you can scrape the peaks down and although it still wont be completely smooth, it will be paintable and it looks a helluva lot better. Plus, it wont fu#*ing send you to the hospital!
Alas, once the ceiling was done, I felt that I had just done 600 reps on my arms! It continued from there. In the 10 years since I've moved to Atlanta from Seattle, I've honestly done little more than exercise my right bicep to lift a martini now and then. It's not my fault, it's the heat. Sucks the drive right out of you, which sucks because in warm weather, you need to look good wearing little clothing! Still, it makes me think about how celebs get such great bodies. There are two logical explanations: Starvation and cocaine. They say "sexy bitches" for a reason, because you can't look that good with being completely irritable from the lack of calories!
So, eventually I moved on to a primer coat, then several layers of plaster, and some more sanding. After 6 days of keeping my arms up in the air, burning thousands of calories, feelin' the burn, I stepped on the scale (big mistake), and I gained a pound! Must be water retention. Wonder Woman must have been bulimic.
She was drawn at the monthly drink and draw session at Mellow Mushroom in Decatur, GA. I sit right near the front at a low table, while the super hero models stand on top of the bar, giving me a crotch-worthy perspective every month. I ran out of room on my sketch pad..hehe, and hastily made her head too small, but it was so far up in the air, who could know?! (Must have been during the drinking part of the evening) Next month, I'll sit further back to snatch a better view!
We still have to put the room back together and I have to seal the plaster, but I can see completion coming and going back to my martini...Maybe there's some sort of time delay on arms of steel. Maybe they'll just show up next week, and that pound will have gone away! Perhaps changing to red wine will be as good for those muscles as it is for my heart!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Speaking of iterations, I could probably blog all day. If I don't quite know what I'm going to write, I start, then walk away for a while, eventually going back and adding more. But, putting on some music usually gets me into the right frame of mind, to write or paint!
Have you ever noticed how impactful music is on your creativity? I like show tunes, jazz, blues, alternative, and even metal. Recently, I was watching a Megadeth concert on TV, and despite thinking I would not really be interested, I watched anyway. It didn't take long before I realized how really complicated that stuff is. So much so, that I have a new appreciation for it, and I felt really creative that night. I guess you never know what will work for you.
I tell you what doesn't usually work for me. Depressing music. Can't listen to a lot of estrogen bands, female songwriters, although very talented and expertly performed, tend to use an awful lot of emotion in their music, making it kind of depressing. I can only listen for so long before I'm ready to find some chemical alteration. There is one very emotional band, though, the Cocteau Twins, who seem to inspire me in a very deep way, although I've never tried to paint while listening to them.
There are some bands, that no matter how much I listen to them, I don't seem to tire of the music. Number one for me seems to be Dave Mathews Band. I don't know what it is, but I always feel uplifted when listening them them, especially my favorite song, "2 Step".
I also love Queen. I don't think I need to go into why, but you definitely feel empowered! It's very relaxing to listen to Queen while I'm working in a client's home, I get this cadence going, and my hand and the brush really flow! Also a favorite of my friend Michel Nadai, the French Master painter who mentored me in trompe l'oeil.
And if you want to be inspired, how about KT Tunstall, "Suddenly I see" --this is what I want to be!
Many others inspire me to paint in different ways but are nonetheless not saddening (to me). Try these if you a painter: Pink Floyd, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Buffet, Showtunes, like Phantom of the Opera. Cable even has a showtunes channel. A couple of songs by Blues Traveler also get me going, and I love them for road music, too! A few more that are crazy, fun and mellow: Cake, Beck, The Ramones, and Van Morrison!
This morning, I was excited to play a couple of new CDs given to me by a friend; Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf! I absolutely love that old music. Like a cafe/coffee house feel...fun!
The funniest thing happened with Marlene Dietrich: I found myself imagining I was Madeleine Kahn in Blazing Saddles, loathing across the stage in the most hilarious fashion, singing to the boys, "I'm zo ty-ud, ty-ud of pwaying ze game..."
Try some of these different styles and see what affects you in a creative way, gets you singing along, and lifts you up.
I'd like to hear what makes your paint brush steamy!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I thought I would step out of the spotlight a little this week, because I'm getting squint wrinkles, and I think I may need a new prescription for sunglasses.
This month, some others and I want to spread the word about our favorite online venue, Artfire, and the great artists within it's virtual walls! Writing about other artists is an easy thing to do, since I am continually in awe of the remarkable talent out there. So today, I'm writing about my very talented friend and prolific portrait artist, Christy DeKoning.
Christy is an Aussie, transplanted to Canada. I am sure I would be charmed by her accent, one I can only imagine as we are net buddies. (I don't know if She knows that Americans are particularly taken by an Australians.)
She has a way, you might have noticed, of capturing the personality of her subjects, and she has captivated quite an audience worldwide for this special ability. Let me tell you, I'm speechless! (ok, I must go on)
I've been following Christy for a couple of years now, since we met on eBay. Her popularity has been growing at a remarkable pace, as I've witnessed by visiting her various selling venues..
These pinups are her newest mini obsession. She does work in all sizes, but quite a bit of her work is in miniatures, and these dainty gals are ACEOs, which means they are 2.5"x3'5", small enough that you don't really have an excuse not to pounce on them; they'll fit anywhere! Try a really large matt..that's 'hyper' cool (pronounced 'ee-pair) to show off little bits o' bliss!
Try sending her your own photo; a cat, a kid, a car, whatever, and she will capture the sweetest essence in that, too. Custom portraits in watercolor is her specialty, but her brush is certainly only one weapon in the arsenal which compliments this amazing talent. She's a singer, dancer and musician, too! Some people get it all! (we have so much in common)
I wanted to interview Christy the old fashioned way; a quiet, inconspicuous lunch. So, I booked a table right in the middle of the room at New York's Famous Tavern on the Green, next to Dennis Hopper and Martin Scorsese. Christy couldn't make it, something about Paris. So, I took the web approach and that worked for her. Here's what she had to say about Art, life and Artfire.
R: Christy, it's so great to be able to get in your head! Thanks for letting me interview you. First off, what role does your art play in your life?
R: So, how did you get started then?
Christy: My art career started in the Performing Arts as a classical ballet dancer in Australia. When I moved to Canada I studied Makeup Artistry at the Blanche MacDonald School of Design in Vancouver. While working as a makeup artist I also played guitar & sang on the Vancouver music scene during the '90s. It wasn't until I moved to Ontario in 1999 that I finally concentrated my career in Fine Arts as a portrait artist. I've completed over 300 commissioned portraits worldwide since then and I learn something new with each new painting - that's what keeps it fresh and exciting for me.
R: Dang, you are good!
Christy: Never! They make the most beautiful watercolor paint, and their prices are great! www.danielsmith.com
R: Well, a man has to have his cave, and you probably already own the rest of the house!
R: That's a great way to promote the site. I do look there first to see your work, which always blows me away, btw. I guess it's working!
Q: I just have to ask, since I'm also on Artfire, who are your favorite ArtFire artists?
R: What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
R: I can't imagine you get much rejection, but I'm glad you can shake it off. Good advice, since I usually hire a hitman.
R: I hope your husband is reading this.
R: Why do children want to be astronauts? How do think you could apply this to your career?
R: What do you do with bad art?
Christy lives with her husband, two sons, two cats and a backyard full of squirrels (but no mice!).
Christy's art is in collections all over the world, and her ACEO work has been featured in ACEO Magazine. You can also view Christy's work at ArtFire, Flikr, Boundless Gallery and IndiePublic!
For more information on Christy, visit her blog at www.christydekoning.blogspot.com
Hope you enjoyed my visit with Christy!
Have a great day!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The Canvas Project 2 is a massive visual dictionary of canvases. Thousands of artists received 5 canvases and 5 words to interpret, to add to the 10,000 canvas goal! Each canvas represents one word. Here's my interpretations...
The first word: Sidecar.
When vacationing in Roswell, it's important to blend in. You know, like one of those fanatical Roswell groupies, who happens to be very proficient with custom automotive work!
You can order a custom helmet with deely bobber antennae! Make sure to get a vanity plate, too, for the memory.
The sidecar is just about big enough to double as tent and has airconditioning, microwave and mobile satellite computer and TV. Let the Hulu mania begin.
My dog Peanut, a mutt, was named in honor of Charles Schultz, one of my favorite childhood inspirations.
When I saw that I had the word Beagle, I knew I would have to pay homage in some way again, but this time, to Snoopy!
This little beagle puppy is in training to be a flying ace, and can barely hold on to his dog house.
I would have made the eyes even bigger, but they are pathetic enough as it is!
Number 3: "Resize"
I guess it's obvious where the resizing has taken place but there could have been a little work done in other places!
Painting cleavage was hard...I had to repaint it numerous times. I didn't want to stand in front of the mirror to paint my own, since I needed to have free hands, and they would have been busy lifting and smooshing something together.
So, I started off to get some inspiration and googled 'cleavage'. UM, that's when I found lots and lots and (lots) of porn. Realizing that finding a still shot of desirable cleavage might be difficult, I hit the back button and, after considerable thought of who had a good line to paint, I googled 'Pam Andersen'.
This cleavage is hers, more or less. So, if you're wondering what a hausfrau costume might look like on Ms. Andersen, this might help..(I know this will be Bill's favorite.)
Since Michael Jackson died this week, it suddenly occurred to me, "It's good thing I procrastinated with this project long enough to get a subject! I had been wracking my brain trying to think of an interpretation for 2 months, when suddenly, oops...got one!
I know in the last 10 years or so, he's been VERY strange, and there was that little thing about being a pedophile.
But before all that, there was the 80's! He was a huge influence on music and he changed the industry and took performing to another level (and temporarily boosted Pepsi sales). He was over the top, but the hair on fire was completely unnecessary, I thought.
Whatever! you might say! But without MJ, the movie "The wedding Singer" just wouldn't be as funny.
#5: Beatnik...I know, potentially the coolest word to get. Well, I didn't finished this one in time to postmark it today...I will get it done soon. Maybe I'm waiting for inspiration. I hope the project doesn't end up with 9,999 canvases. :)
Monday, June 22, 2009
It's a great time to buy Christmas presents even! I love to shop a little all year long, it helps the pocketbook pain in December!
You all know about Etsy by now, but if you don't, then go check out the world's largest online selling venue of all things handmade!
they MAKE the world!
Friday, June 19, 2009
I painted this 6x9" canvas board for an ad background. The ad is for one of my Etsy Teams.
We are having a Summer sale next week called "Peachy Deals", fresh from the Georgia Etsy Street Team!
We hope you'll visit Etsy June 21-28th for the Peachy Deals Summer Sale, with great deals in all things handmade, including bath and body, fiber arts, fine art, home decor, jewelry, handbags and so much more! Search for the GaEtsyTeam or come back to this blog and click on the links! My store is Smelly Rhino Studio, naturally.
I've been reading a lot lately about graphic designers and how they would benefit by taking a step back from their graphic drawing tools and spending more time with a pencil and paper or paintbrush instead. Once you come up with your background, then you can layer your Type and other graphics on top, making for a groovy, very "now" ad! The graphics were performed by my partner in crime on this project, graphic designer Maria Allen, who also has two great Etsy shops, Kartu Graphics (for great custom graphics and cards), and Maria Luna, which offers jewelry and fine art photography.
I hear from many of my graphic designer friends that they don't really paint or draw much other than using their talents with an electronic stylus and a mouse, so I guess pairing with a painter for projects is a good thing for fellow artists!
Just as we art bloggers talk about regularly, you gotta use it, and use it every day, and if you're not accustomed to sketching or painting on a regular basis, then I challenge you to get a sketch pad and just draw something every day. Maybe while you're on the couch at night (one of my favorite places to draw). Draw everything in front of you. Use pencil, colored pencil, ink, conte crayon, kids crayons, watercolor, whatever! The more you do it, the easier it gets. Your design skills will improve too. And don't be shy, this painting isn't even done!
Leave your Mac for a while and just sketch something. Millions of dollars are being made by stick figures and doodles, so what do you have to lose?
If you really wanna play, buy a pack of cheap canvas board and start painting. It's fun to start with a grungy background. It's in and it is a nice backdrop to layer your graphics on later.
Here's some easy directions for glazing the antique color shown above:
Tools: acrylic paint (titanium white, yellow ochre), glazing medium or water, any brush will do, but the wider the better.
Prepare your board by mixing some white with yellow ochre (about 10%) for an antique white look. The more ochre you add, the dirtier and more golden your board will look. Cover your board using a large brush.
Once dry, you can glaze. Mix straight Yellow Ochre with glazing medium. If you don't have that, then moisten with water just so it runs if tipped but not watery. I use a liquid creme additive for glazing. Liquitex also makes a glazing medium product.
Apply with a brush covering the canvas, then wipe off as desired while the paint is still wet with a terry towel or cheesecloth. Glaze begins to set up in a few minutes, so make sure you wipe with the direction you have in mind! Wipe in circles for a general dinge! For a foggy framed look, wipe off leaving less in the center, where your image will be. You can always reapply later, but you can't take away! Also, you can wipe off lightly and then wait until it's really starting to dry, then wipe it off with a heavy hand to create a very dry brushed look, leaving color stuck in the weave. (Beware, you it's easy to wait too long!)
Don't reapply glaze on top of a drying coat of glaze because your second layer will chemically 'open' the first, and actually begin to remove that layer, which can be frustrating! So, let it set up a bit before adding more dirt! Once you're done glazing, keep in mind that glazing medium remains tacky for 4-24 hours, so a hairdryer might be needed if you're in a hurry!
Now go doodle!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I am still thinking about a book I finished a few days ago, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, where the author says to let go of your inhibitions about how others will perceive you and "write as if your parents are dead." I know she didn't mean any harm by it, but I could tell you to write as if you know your parents will never read it...kind of like how porn stars must think.
Somehow, this all made me think about everything that gets started and never gets finished. I think that may be the process of an artist. Someone used to tell me I had too many irons in the fire. Then, it could be that I also suffer from the problem that I can't leave something done. Although I think I suffered from this malady much less in my earlier years, it is clearly not showing any improvement with age. DaVinci did say that work is seldom finished, only abandoned. Someone else, probably Ward Cleaver, said, "Leave well enough alone."
I'm a matriculated student of the perfectionist society (synonym: takes a while to finish). Problem is, I also have anxiety. This is why I have very little to show you from day to day, and then suddenly I have a lot all at once! --those are the culmination of many moments of focus coming together over time.
I have someone here at home helping me with certain issues relating to my craft. The fact that I didn't want to do anything this weekend except lay around on the sofa, he remarked, could mean that maybe I'm treating my painting like a job now! ROFL "But", I often say in angst, "I can't force creativity! It's either not there, or it's there at 2 am, and that's when I need to work." So be it.
Being still relatively young on this Earth, I am still learning, still wondering if effectively managing my time has anything to do with wisdom. Could be that you just slow down and enjoy the moment more and that helps you focus.
I have brilliant episodes of focus, periodically.
I remembered being more single-minded in my 20s, and I could really get something done. I want to de-clutter my mind so that just that little act that I want to focus on right now is the ONLY thing in my line of sight, physically and psychologically.
When this happens to you, isn't it just the most incredible moment of productivity?
So, I will go about my day today, with a list, again, trying to recreate that moment of zen, single-minded focus on that one item on my list. After all, a show of promise is better than no plan at all, I suppose.
I hope you enjoy this piece, a commission for a friend.
PS. Hi Mom!
POST BLOG UPDATE: From a comment mentioned hereafter, you can de-clutter your home and apparently, your mind with some help from a couple of ladies. Good luck to all: I'm going to read some more. Magpie Girl's Blog on the fix