Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Walk on the Arty Side of Town

During walks on my side of town, Willie waters all the mailbox posts and I check out the neighborhood--there are space-ship shaped mushrooms, an occasional snake, and weird-looking bugs. I have watched a neighbor's weed grow all summer--it's off the front porch and has reached roof height. One tall, arty-looking weed in a beautiful yard--it must be a statement. Maybe it says "I almost conform." From the street, the weed is beautifully framed by a hanging pine bough--today I used my camera.

I don't know the name of the weed--the bottom leaves are at least 12 inches wide and they have great veins. Several years ago I used some leaves to print onto watercolor paper; then I painted with acrylics. I named it Turmoil, 28x20.
It's nice living on the arty side--neighbors liked my red-ribboned hubcaps posing as Christmas wreaths, and no one has mentioned our missing shutter (it's behind the holly bushes, and those things attack).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun with Self Portraits

A very early sketch from my sculpting days--the 70's suburban mother-wife-Fed employee-sculptor with the station wagon.

Looking in the mirror, ca 2001.

Put your chin right there (after an ophthalmologist appointment) 2002.

Pineal Pansies, Bane of Astro-travel, (from a Polaroid shot up my nose) 2003.

Rage--I'm hanging myself but holding a barbed-wire whip, 2004.

Faux Orchid--I sat in front of a mirror for hours (living in an apartment while our house was being renovated--nine months with no digital camera available) 2005.

Eye on the table--a manipulated digital photo with my new toy (a magnifier used to enlarge early TV screens) 2007.

Ideating (a "yield" or "slow" sign appeared on my cheek; I left it) photo from 2007, painted in 2009.

In person I appear normal in my well-worn, paint-spattered denim shirts--boring! The next self portrait? I think I'll be looking at a map of heaven and hell--contemplating future travel. I hope to finish the painting before I make the trip (sometimes it's years between planning a painting and actuallly getting it done).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drawing and Discovering

The Holly Springs art exhibit was taken down on Monday and I returned my favorite drawing to its owner--a neighbor who has bought three of my works. Nose to the Lens, white conte on black paper, is sort of a self-portrait; I would not do this to anyone else. I set the camera on the kitchen windowsill, leaned on the counter (my favorite bird-watching stance) and put my nose to the lens--in the sunlight! Every wrinkle is high-lighted and I added some for good measure; the eyes are not quite aligned as they watch, the nose bulbous, the eyebrows extra-long, the hair fly-away. I took many liberties and totally enjoyed doing this.

I also made a discovery. As I looked over my glasses at one of the stray strands of my colorless hair (used to be a redhead) I realized that, in sunlight, each strand contains the whole spectrum. The colors run across the hair--not up and down the strand! Amazing! Why didn't I know that? What happens to all the things I've learned when I die? Is there a giant data base someplace? What other amazing things are right under our noses--if we just take the time to look?
(Why has no one commissioned me to do their portrait?)