I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions. The concept is lost on me. If you've resolved to change something, why wait till New Years? Wouldn't you want to start resolving immediately? I dunno.
I do believe in setting goals though, and I do have a small list of things I'd like to accomplish before 2009. (Yikes, just saying that makes me feel old. Or futuristic. One of those.)
• I'm going to submit to a few contests, and my first deadline is January 15th. It's a big contest. I'm readying my slides and application info now. Yes, I totally should have done this earlier.
• I'm also going to submit my materials to some galleries and museums. I haven't completed a full list yet, but a huge gallery in Orange County (California) and a huge one in New York are already on it. (Plus a few not-so-big ones in and around Los Angeles.) This is a long term goal. It can take well over a year to complete the submission process.
• I would also like to host some sort of art event. To show my art. I have some new pieces that I really want people to see in person. My art cannot translate properly online. There is so much more that can only be understood when you look at it in person. Like, for example, how thick the texture is, and how light bounces and reflects off the painting when you stand near it. Also, UV light is terrible in pictures, and photos never show how intense the colors can get, and how the canvas seems to glow from within when you shine a blacklight on it. So... I need people to look at it.
(These, along with the never ending stream of little ones that I constantly obsess over and vow to follow through with, of course.)
The truth is, I have lots of big plans for 2008. Some are personal, some are boring, and most are only important to me. There are certain ones that I like to say out loud though, as that creates a sort of internal commitment to accomplish them, factoring in my typical lag time. (I said before 2009, right?)
Credit & Copyright: Laurent Laveder
Do not click the image in my blog, but go directly to APOD to see the full sized image. You're supposed to scroll from left to right to view it. Imagine you're lying on that beach looking up at that sky.
I am so awestruck. I get so many painting ideas from astronomy pictures. Obviously.
Even better, I checked out the photographer's own website and my mind has been broken. Wow. This guy is brilliant. He is writing a book about his sky pictures. Wow.
Also, if you don't get misty eyed at the end of It's A Wonderful Life, you are dead inside.
Fact: Rain is wet.
That, mixed with the terrible construction of the cheap, drafty apartment I live in is likely to blame for my paintings refusing to dry properly this week.
Obvious solutions and why they don't work: Hair dryer (blows the paint around,) sunlight (works beautifully in July,) ovens (pesky fires,) heat lamps (first degree burns,) wind tunnels (same problem as hair dryers,) and heaters (too, um, hot.)
I did actually blast the central heat to like 85 yesterday and strip down to my summer clothes with an ice cold glass of water, but ultimately that seemed sort of silly for December 20th, so.
Enter my good friend Dan, whom most of us now consider a type of caped crusader anyway, but that's because he patrols the streets all day in his caped crusader costume and keeps local neighborhoods from falling peril to overgrown shrubs, vicious overgrown dogs, and bad meter reading.
After explaining my situation to him and discussing possible solutions, he made some phone calls, jumped into his Danmobile, sped off to Ace Hardware, and then drove an extra 20 minutes out to me to hand deliver a dehumidifier for Christmas. !!!
Wow. Yay, Dan!
I'm already testing it out. Nothing to report yet, but I'm convinced this will revolutionize my entire world.
I am thrilled to introduce Moonlight Serenade - Reprise, by C. Jacob Maddox.
2. uv lighting
3. no light (glow in the dark!)
This is our collaboration. Colin wanted to take one of my paintings (his current favorite, Moonlight Serenade) and remix it.
Each print measures 12x18 inches, with a white border for framing. It's printed on Kodak Supra Endura professional metallic photographic paper. The metallic paper is GORGEOUS, and actually makes the design look holographic or something. It's super neat. It looks liquid-y. I was really impressed with the quality when they arrived. :o)
I was also impressed with Colin's remixed design. Where does he get these ideas, anyway? Although, it wasn't really all that surprising. I've known he was this talented for years. :o)
As you can see, I'm adding a touch of my own. Each print will be detailed with my high-quality glow paint, so that it glows for hours after you turn the lights off.
The edition of prints will be limited to 50 and each will be numbered and signed by both of us on the back. When they sell out, that's it.
Stop by Colin's Etsy Shop to see!
That painting is not finished.
I'm considering writing "BARF" all over it in black sharpie marker and throwing it into the lake.
I could send out invitations. "Come see! You're invited to my new opening, Barf in the Lake!"
You think I'm kidding.
Or, I might just paint it something else. Tough call. I'll keep you posted.
Isn't that brilliant? They just grow like that all by themselves.
Okay, so a number of years ago I had this idea for a large scale art installation called The Rising Sun which required a group of us to actually put it together (what with all the sweet pea picking, dry-ice managing, fabric hanging, carpet taping, music writing, essential-oil dousing, fire hazard making, holiday-forfeiting madness.) It was amazing. We were fortunate that after all that work, at least a thousand people experienced it. There's no possible way I can even begin to explain to you what The Rising Sun was, so you're just going to have to believe me when I say it was awesome. If you were there to experience it, you know what I'm talking about. If you weren't, it's really a shame. Maybe we'll do something like it again one day.
Anyway, my point: One of the blossoming orange trees that existed in "the garden room" of The Rising Sun was adopted by Becky, who watched over it until Colin and I got married, and then ultimately gifted us with it when we moved into our new apartment.
We have tried our darnedest to love the tree, and I think our work must be paying off a bit. The first year we had it, it produced one orange. Last year, it made two. This year, we have 3, count em THREE, beautiful beautiful oranges.
I know, you're impressed. We are quite happy with this achievement ourselves. :o)
(what Colin always says to me when I'm whining endlessly about not knowing how to make a bad painting good.)
There's a quality to painting which I find brave, and partially what drew me to paint in the first place. No erasers. No delete buttons. You just have to go with it, and handle the consequences. I'm sure there's some sort of life lesson there.
When I get stuck on a painting, I have to mess it up in order to continue. Do something drastic. I think this is part of that don't-make-it-good mentality. For some reason, if I sploosh paint all over it, it resets my brain when I'm looking at it. It stops the painting from being whatever I was stuck on and makes it something new.
It takes me days and days and days and days and days and days of staring at the piece to arrive at that, though. I always do, and it always takes that long.
That one is just about done. I have 4 (and a half) others in full swing.
I've been taking pictures. This was on my balcony.
A friend of mine wisely believes in the importance of "speaking things into existence," and that once you speak it out loud, it somehow manifests itself in a way that isn't possible if you don't "make it real" by saying it out loud. It's not that I didn't believe her, because I watched things eerily work out in that exact way for her. I guess I didn't believe it would work for me. (Never-ending personal doubt.)
Yet... there are things that Colin and I made specific effort to speak out loud this year. Certain goals, various plans. Now that it's December, I can't say that those goals aren't clearly happening. Well, starting to happen. Seeming like soon, someday, possibly, maybe they will happen.
But it's there.
We like to come up with "goals" for each period of our lives. Sometimes its a yearly goal, sometimes its a seasonal one (or both, obviously.)
A long, long time ago, we declared one season the Autumn of Art. It was that season that really started the whole life-turn for painting. We also had a Winter of Soup, but I don't think that actually worked out as well.
Without these goals, I think we'd just go on not ever-improving our situation. We'd have the same problems year after year, without much progress. We'd continue to put the problem outside of ourselves (if only this, if only that) and never take pro-active measures to correct them. I think everyone should always be moving forward. I think people around you who refuse to move forward are in danger of holding you back.
I fear stagnancy.
Do you ever notice how those "bad days" that inevitably occur happen in a series of days rather than one? Is that just me?
One of the brighter things that happened was when I managed to whack/sprain/bruise my elbow after an impressive kung-fu like stretch maneuver on a nearby chair. Yes, I said brighter. Fortunately, it wasn't my painting arm. Just my mixing-bowl-holding arm.
Tomorrow, I walk.
I have a painting to ship.
For now, I'm listening to The Magic of Steel Guitar by Henry Kaleialoha Allen, which I recently acquired from my Grandma, and used to belong to my Grandpa. She told me that they'd had that CD player for over 50 years!
Yay! I was honored to be asked. I always find these interviews beneficial because it forces me to write about what I do, and improve my answers to questions that I often find I don't have answers for. It's very important to be able to communicate about your own art, and I have traditionally been rendered silent when asked. I learn more about why I do what I do myself!
Actually, this is called an "Indieview." Cause it's on The Indie Path. :o)
Also, there's a preview of the collaboration that Colin and I have been working on together. ;o) We want to release it this month! (Colin is not only so handsome, but also artistically gifted! :::swoons:::)
Interested in a new(ish) scientific theory regarding the entire universe?
Thunderbolts Of The Gods
"It proposes that much of the currently observable phenomena of deep space can be intelligently explained by already known principles of electricity."
Personally, I found this utterly fascinating. It's a fairly revolutionary concept, as it would pretty much flip the standard model of the universe inside out and upside down.
If you have an hour to kill or you're a cosmology geek like me, I highly, highly recommend it. I found it to be simple in explanation and intelligently presented. You don't have to be an astrophysicist to fully understand the theory.
I have a very distinct response from one painting to the next. Almost as if each new painting is some sort of answer to a previous one. Occasionally, when I'm being particularly productive, an entire group of paintings is an answer to something. The yellow-orange I use in one piece seems to directly influence the shades of teal I use in a different one.
I was reading this thing on intuitive painting once, and a lot of it seemed applicable to me. When I was first painting, every painting was intuitive, and I would sit and stare at the canvas after each step before deciding what my next step should be. Nowadays, since I have paintings all around me, the intuition comes out over a broader spectrum. Not that I don't still sit and stare at a painting before I decide what to do next. But now, I have a vague, fuzzy idea of how it will look when it's finished.
Constant exploration, though. I feel like I'm always trying to balance something through my art. I can't explain what that means, exactly, because it's more a feeling than anything else.
Just a feeling. A sway. Flow. Like jazz.
I think all the items are very peaceful. :::breathes deeply:::
Until December 3rd (2007) you can view the actual page of this treasury (with the artist information) here. (After that, you'll have to search through Trunkt to find everything.)
You also now have a much better idea of what the inside of my apartment looks like. :o) All of these items would look AMAZING.
I love art.
I have paintings I want to post, but of course they're taking longer than I anticipated and I'm kind of going crazy from not getting to show new art. My Etsy shop is looking empty (thanks to all of you around the country who generously purchased my art in the last month) and somehow the lack of new images makes me feel like I'm not working on anything, even though my apartment has been entirely consumed by nearly finished paintings.
It doesn't feel like there's enough time in the day. I do not like less daylight. It feels like it's time for bed at 6pm. Paintings do not dry as well in darkness. Blah.
I'm constantly getting new ideas, new schemes, new things to add to the mix. I need more light! And more arms. I've started painting Zen circles, for fun. For me.
Maybe I'll start coming up with goals or something to discuss at my weekly, semi art-related lunch meetings. Right now our biggest goals seem to involve escaping Orange County.
I always need a vacation after my vacations.
I've finally caught up with a few things, though, and I actually started painting today!! I've been missing it too. Leading up to Hawaii, I wasn't able to get much done, color-wise, and spent more time focusing on my "business." I've been finding lately that I actually enjoy learning more about that aspect. It's fun. It's kind of like a game. It also takes this massive amount of time, which is why I sometimes find myself reading html code for hours or updating my various online sites instead of painting. (Let alone the time I spend in photoshop and iPhoto editing all my images, but that's another story.)
I've even been reading a lot of business articles and studying marketing techniques of businesses I admire. :o) I have a bunch of ideas I want to implement, and new goals to work on so that I can grow in what I do. Very exciting.
Which is why I was thrilled to get back to my colors today. I have way too many white canvases lying around. I started 4 things right off the bat. There is color swirling around in my brain that I don't even know what to do with. It's been hard to focus.
I'm sort of overflowing with ideas at the moment. I blame Hawaii.
You see, we got married there. Naturally, we have quite a spiritual connection with it.
Apparently, I am one of those people that likes humidity. I know this because I feel much healthier when its humid out. I realize some of you desert-crazies will disagree with me and want to go on about the nice, dry heat. But, I've lived in the desert. You're crazy.
I can breathe in Hawaii. Oxygen is an amazing thing. I plan to return with my creativity barometer on FULL. How could I not?
Mark Twain...Letters from Hawaii, 1886
"The Refuge for the Weary"
"We landed at Kailua (Kona), a little collection of native grass houses reposing under coconut trees - the sleepiest, quietest, Sundayest looking place you can imagine. Ye weary ones that are sick of the labor and care, and the bewildered turmoil of the great world, and sigh for a land where ye may fold your tired hands and slumber your lives peacefully away, pack up your carpet sacks and go to Kailua! A week there ought to cure the saddest of you all."
I might post a couple of pictures along the way, although I guarantee I will be having too much fun to do so.
See you on the flip-side.
(In the meantime, if you'd like to contribute and get a great deal on art, I am currently having a Hawaii Sale in my Etsy shop.)
For all you elves, fairies, goblins, and other foresty woodsy creatures.
Check out Creatures by Chelsea on Etsy!
These are all beautifully made. Each piece is hand sculpted, painted, and detailed. The artist utilizes the same special-effects methods used by Hollywood movies! They look so authentic.
It's the perfect costume! You don't even need to wear anything else. I mean, wear clothes, of course. Please. But you just need your regular clothes. (Because, you're a real creature, you see.) You should see kids' faces when they see you wearing them. They truly, without a doubt, believe those are your ears. I had so much fun walking down the street in them.
Perfect for parties, Renaissance Faire, costume balls, non-costume balls, grocery shopping, going to the beach, picking flowers, going to dinner, concerts, the mall, hanging out with friends, running errands, sitting around the house, scuba di-- okay, maybe not scuba diving.
But for everything else: Perfect! :o)
Well! So. Summer's finally over. It was certainly interesting, if not relaxing. I'm not happy that it's over, I'm just a little bent that it wasn't quite as "summery" as I was going for. Not that I didn't enjoy my share of summer drama. I mean, lots of stuff happened. Lots.
Actually, my summer was very friends oriented. Believe me, I wasn't anticipating that one either. I spent time with friends I've had for years. We discussed our lives, our careers, our futures, our plans (or total lack thereof.) A good friend got married. A good friend died. Another good friend experienced great joy, until it was taken away again. I learned that some friendships weren't as close as I had thought. I even reconnected with friends I knew when I was five!
At one point, when I was lying on the ground with both the animals, struggling to break out of a heat induced coma, it occurred to me that I should turn on the air-conditioning and get to painting again. I had started painting something, but what with all the SUMMER going on around me, I couldn't summon the creativity.
Then I cut my hair all short and sexy. Suddenly, everything came together. Things made sense.
Pink. I needed pink. Hot pink. Hot pink and orange. Hot pink, orange, and electric blue. Yes. That was where the magic was.
Partially because this was a new color combination for me, it took much longer than I anticipated. I love the way I learn how to paint while I'm painting. In this case, I learned some very basic techniques about layering color. For example, there's not a lot you can do to keep yellow and blue from making green. I really believed that I could break this basic law of color. Alas. I stand corrected.
New glow paint! New glow powder! AHHH!!! I am so giddy at my new toys I don't even know what to say. They are just super crazy awesome rad. Look! LOOK AT IT! It stays that way for hours! IN DIFFERENT COLORS! This is all great news, because the stuff is nigh unto impossible to work with.
Hello, October. How are you? You look pretty. It's nice to see you again.
I am so ready for Hawaii.
I forgot to mention this really great news. My art is now being featured at the Red Queen Gallery in Onancock, Virginia (you heard me) on the other side of the country! How fun.
The gallery is right next door to the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society. The pictures are gorgeous, it looks to be a lovely little beachy town. I've always wanted to see the East Coast. Onancock (yep) was founded in 1680! Wow! Sidenote, nearby Jamestown is celebrating it's 400th birthday this year. Of course, as you can imagine, this is quite a humongous deal.
I'm honored to be a part of such a great opportunity! I wish I was able to see the gallery and Onancock myself, but I'm thrilled either way. :oD
Coming up next week: On October 5th, the Red Queen Gallery is open until 8pm for the First Friday event, which seems to be a type of street fair/art walk. If you're in the area, please check it out and let me know what it's like! My art is there, complete with a UV flashlight to view the Light Reactive effects in person!
Good luck and congratulations to Mary Ann Connelly!
Nothing like an amazing concert to pull one out of a weeks-long creative lull. Perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration. Out my freaking head, anyway.
The Arcade Fire concert was AWESOME! SO AWESOME! (That link is to a video of their final song during the encore at the Hollywood Bowl. I get chills every time I watch it.)
Things I learned while there:
1. There is good music and there is not so good music. The Arcade Fire is fantastic. Every time I hear it, it gets better.
2. You gotta have soul. Creativity takes emotion. One of the best parts of their music is the intensity in which they perform. It wasn't just that they were all dripping sweat by the end of the set, but more that they clearly enjoyed what they were doing. It almost seemed like they were grateful to be there, to be musicians. Each song seems so personal.
3. Teamwork. I have never witnessed a more collaborative group of people. Especially in the band sense. Each member appeared excited and proud of all the others. They are obviously each multi-talented, but what I noticed most was the effort put forth by each person. They kept switching instruments for the entire concert! Even the lead singer took somewhat of a backseat at times, to let others show off their own talents. It was clear that they were each contributing something significant to the group as a whole. It couldn't be done if it was just one person running the show. They were a team. So refreshing for a band. I was greatly impressed.
Anyway, this got me thinking about a few things. First of all, getting lost inside your own head can be a tad lonely. And boring. I hate to go all flowery (or trite) on you with this, but it's important to collaborate with others to make things truly interesting. It's never one person doing everything, and if someone thinks they're "the star" then they likely think higher of themselves and their art than most everyone else does. Everyone benefits from feedback. Otherwise your art can degrade into utter mediocrity and you won't even know it.
So I've had this creative lull lately, or at least that's what I've been calling it. It's not really an accurate description, because I've actually been doing some cool painting stuff and coming up with new ideas that I'm really excited about. I've just been so mellow-yellow about it. I guess I mean me more than my art. But, as you creatives know, it's all very connected.
Right now, I have Foggy Brain. Sleepy, muted colors. Low light. Grey... skies. Oh right, that's probably just the dramatic season change that abruptly occurred in the last week. And yes, I mean for California. (We suck.)
The funny thing is, all the paintings I'm working on right now are very bright. Yellows, pinks, reds, purples, turquoise.
Colin says that everyone who blogs always writes about the Blogger Guilt of not blogging enough. So I won't. But just know this: I almost did. Ptthh.