Thursday, May 30, 2013

Astrology post + Food

Mars enters Gemini tomorrow and we all get a little more cerebral, flirty, and witty. 
We also get bored a little easily. 
So moving around more, finding different things to do, 
exploring options...good things to do when Mars is this sign.  
Also, socialize!  
There is nothing Gemini loves more than to be with people.

Mars loves a good fight, and debates could get overheated, so just remember that, and enjoy this lightening quick energy.

 And now onto 

This is what I've been eating lots of lately, and I'd thought I'd share.

1 cucumber, 2 tomatoes, handful of kalamata olives, handful of feta, 
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, pour of olive oil, pour of balsamic vinaigrette.  

I eat the entire thing in one sitting.

And now go look at this:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hello Jane!

Jane Almirall is a funny, creative mama, and an odd duck.
She creates beautiful, eerie art but is also quite business savvy. 
(Her Sun sits right next to Saturn and her moon is in Capricorn)

1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.

My name is Jane Almirall, I'm a Gemini and I live in Mission, Kansas (very close to Kansas City, Missouri) 
2. What are you currently working on?

At the moment my studio is completely filled with inventory for a shop that I am opening this summer with my friend (and business partner) Carrie Parker. It's called, Oracle - Fine Curiosities - and we will be selling framed insects, taxidermy, bones, skulls, memento mori pieces and other beautiful oddities. She and I have been collecting pieces for months now and I'm really excited about it! I swear, everything about the experience of opening this store has been like magic or something - we are in a wonderful space in the Crossroads area - 115 W. 18th Street, to be exact - and we are nestled among some incredible local businesses too. It's such a great neighborhood and community of people, I love it.

(We are currently working on a website, but in the interim we have a Facebook page that we update frequently with details about the shop, check it out:

3. Who are your favorite artists?

My favorite dead artists are Martin Johnson Heade, Feicien Rops, John Singer Sargent and Masaccio. My favorite living artists whom I've never met are Camille Rose Garcia, Walton Ford, Monica Cook, Marcel Dzama, Sally Mann, Amy Cutler and a new favorite (I only recently saw his work and I love it) is Richard Colman. I really like representational imagery - particularly figurative - especially if it's dark and funny.
4. What's the best advice you ever received about your career choice?

The first, best piece of advice I received came from Linda Lighton (sculptor) when she suggested that I apply for Artist INC, which is an intensive training seminar that focuses on the business aspects of a career in the arts. This was almost two years ago, I applied and got in and the program was incredible. I met some fantastic people, pretty much everything I've learned from that experience has been so helpful...things that don't always get addressed in art school. So yeah, if you are in the arts, take a business class or look for programs within your community that can offer guidance and support in that way.

Along the same topic, I did have a funny experience about 10 years ago, when I was fresh out of grad school and was participating in an artist residency program. Kiki Smith, whose work I admired, was a guest speaker and we were all so excited to meet her. During her talk, someone asked her what career advice she could spare and she told us, point blank:
'Lower your expectations.'
At the time, I was equal parts pissed and crushed, but I have to admit that I think about what she said all the time - even though I don't agree with it.

5. Favorite place(s) in your city?

My favorite places are mostly food-oriented! I love EV, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, Grinders, Vietnam Cafe, Room 39, The Filling Station, Oklahoma Joe's...there are so many great places in Kansas City and a bunch more have opened up that I haven't even tried yet. I also love trail running at Shawnee Mission Park and Wyandotte County Park, both places have super pretty trails...I love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and on Sunday afternoons there is a Yoga in the Park series on the Nelson lawn hosted by some incredible local yoga teachers, it's so fun!
6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? And while we're at it, what about a different era?

This is a tough one...I need to travel more before I can settle on one place, but so far - this being hypothetical dream life stuff and if I could have my way and money was no object, I'd have a place in Portland, New Orleans, Austin, Florence, Barcelona and Elba. As for living in a different era - and for purely superficial, costuming reasons, I would pick the Belle Époque.
7. What do you usually mindlessly doodle? (do you have a picture of this?)

I tend to doodle feathers and eyeballs mostly...I love pattern too...but mostly eyeballs. :)
8. First website you peruse of the day?

I have a handful of them that I like to check while I'm drinking my coffee, but the one I tend to go to first is called's a straight-up beauty blog, but a creatively curated one. Some of my other favorite sites post once a week: - it's an awesome site for food/recipes that features How To videos and it's worth mentioning that Hilah is a wizard of food, being hilarious and a stone cold fox; I love for music and really great writing, Laura Jane Faulds' posts in particular are my favorite; and my sister's movie reviews on are wonderful.
(Oh...and I love the compilation FAIL videos that turn up on YouTube.)
9. What's the worst movie you've ever seen, but secretly love?

Oh man...this is such a great question because I'm genetically pre-disposed to like some crap. I was going to say anything in Jean Claude Van Damme's oeuvre, but really, the argument could be made for any movie which features street battle dancing. I love them and will seek them out intentionally. The very worst - and the one which I love the most - is called Center Stage. Are you familiar with it? Anyways, I saw it in the theater when it came out (twice) and watch it on purpose at least once a I'll stop and watch it anytime it happens to be on. Here is a link to the final dance number, SPOILER, there is a motorcycle in it:
Center Stage is a treasure, I cherish it.
10. Any pets? Any kids?

I have two kids, my daughter Josephine and my son Owen. They are six and four and they are extremely busy and wake up waaaaay too early. We don't have any pets, but the kids have named some of the critters in our yard: Stinky The Pet (a beetle), Sausage (a chipmunk), Tickbite, Biscuit Joe and Princess Celestia (three bunnies, all of them vegetable-thieving jerkfaces).
Thank you Jane!
You can find more of Jane here

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bad economy = bigger boobs

There have been several studies correlating these two.  
From Dr. Leif D. Nelson to Terry F. Pettijohn and Brian J. Jungeberg.  
The latter, who studied Playboy issues from 1960 to current.

Basically when social and economic conditions are tough, we like our women heavier and slightly older. 

What do ya'll think?
Are we really seeing this?
Kate Upton, who is ridiculously getting flak from being "too fat" is the only maybe example I can think of.
But that's a stretch.

 {art by Jenny Saville}

On another note, hope everyone had a good, long weekend.
We spent ours in New Orleans!

Be back tomorrow with a new artist interview!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I have to confess:
 I truly buy wine for the labeling alone.  
Really, if it's not attractive, what's the point?

OK. That's a lie.  I'll still drink it.

It seems my hunt for most awesome wine design ever has halted for a second now that I've found 
that artist James Jean has created wine labels for the Grateful Palate.  
Although I don't think these are still being made, or at least i can't find them.  (Someone please find them!)

Beautiful, aren't they?
And check out his work....

Also, today is the last day of school.

God Help Me.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meet Josh!

Josh George does some GORGEOUS things with paint. 
His work is overflowing with all kinds of amazing texture and color.  

Plus, I'm always a sucker for figurative art, especially when done so well.
Josh is also another Kansas City Art Institute connection.
(Go KCAI!)

1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.

Josh George, Aries, Richmond, VA

2. What are you currently working on?

I just finished some large scale cityscapes for my NY show which is currently hanging at Tria Gallery till June 8th. I also just wrapped up my teaching duties at the University here in town, I taught a Senior Studio/Portfolio class and a Drawing and Painting techniques class for Juniors. Currently I am putting the finishing touches on a few urban nocturnal works for a group show at Ghostprint Gallery next month. Also in June I will have "Crick" (a large figure with a curious neck position) on display at Visual Arts Center of Richmond's faculty show. I teach a workshop there sometimes, it is a wonderful non-profit that engages the community through all kinds of art classes, they also happen to have the most beautiful exhibition space in the city. Looks and feels like something from Chelsea.

3. Who are your favorite artists?

Dead-right now I can't stop looking at William Bouguereau, his paintings are so sensual and over the top cheesy. I hate angels usually but his are pretty bad ass. Also Gian Lorenzo Bernini, when I look at his sculptures I cannot comprehend how a human can create such grace, they are otherworldly and magical. I have seen some of works in person but sometime soon I want to plan a vacation that revolves around experiencing only his sculptures in their environments.

Alive-So many but I always enjoy walking through a Richard Sera sculpture. Gipi, the Italian comic book guy I love a lot these days. The fantasy artist Jeffrey Alan Love has some of the most haunting and original images that rise above the stereotypical Frank Frazetta norm. I am a big fan of Eric Fischl, I try to rip him off all the time.

4. What's the best advice you ever received about your career choice?

Don't create art for the masses, create art for yourself and find a market that shares your point of view. 

5. Favorite place(s) in your city?

Sandwich place called Garnett's, they have the most charming dining room to sit in and drink beer. Secco, a wine restaurant that has a wonderful geeky and affordable list with top notch plates. Enoteca Sogna is an Italian wine lovers paradise, you can drink decades old Barolo for under a hundred bucks The Broad St. First Fridays art walk is a crazy time when thousands of people have a shared group art experience. I love walking to Fan Video, a real life local video store on the cutest street in the city. Lamplighter Coffee prepares a correct espresso. 

6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 
And while we're at it, what about a different era?

I always imagine myself in SW France someplace near Toulouse or near a coast in central Italy (Ascoli Piceno might be my favorite city there) but I have pretty much for now found my paradise here in Richmond. My wife and I moved here a few years ago after living in NY for a decade. We have a hundred year old row home that overlooks a duck filled lake and is in walking distance to cafe, restaurants, stores, the farmers market. This city is perhaps the prettiest city in the country, a lot of perfectly preserved historic and distinct neighborhoods, beautiful warm weather, a lot of flowers grow here, great art community, river rapids that run through downtown, world class art museum, everyone has a front porch. The only drawback is all the Civil War crap.

I guess the era I would want to live in would be the 1990's. Sure, metal was at an all time musical low (stupid grunge!) but it would be interesting to live again in a time before smart phones and internet. It would be great to still have music stores and coffee shops that you actually go to to talk to real humans.

7. What do you usually mindlessly doodle? (do you have a picture of this?)

Coffee cups, wine bottles, my wife's face.

8 First website you peruse of the day?

Usually the NY Times but I am having a hard time reading the news these days so I usually stop by and geek out.

9. What's the worst movie you've ever seen, but secretly love?

"Under a Tuscan Sun" is a movie I wouldn't want people to know that I have seen more than once.

10. Any pets? Any kids?

A 15 year old cat named Freya who still acts like a kitten, she desperately wants to fight all the neighborhood cats.

Thank you so much, Josh!
To see more of Josh go here

Monday, May 20, 2013

Evolution, baby.

So it's big news in the stars today... the third Uranus Pluto square is happening (there are seven total).
This is social transformation for sure, but for each of us personally, it's a plain ol' jolt of change. 

It's exciting, if you let it. And if we can realize that change can be great new beginnings and not "EEK! Scary and different = BAD", then you will do just fine.

There's also a Lunar Eclispe early Saturday morning.

So enjoy this high energy week, and take a look at this beautiful work by Victo Ngai!  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hello Maiko!

I graduated with Maiko Kuzunishi at the Kansas City Art Institute in Design.  
She was pretty bad ass then and I'm happy to see she is still continuing that path.  
Her shop, Decoylab is well known and well respected.  
Just like that girl that put the rest of us to shame way back in 1998. 

1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.

Maiko, Aquarius (Moon in Sagittarius) and Kansas City MO.

2. What are you currently working on?

A lot of things. My schedule is a bit on the crazy side as of late. This month I'm proposing an exclusive design for the Land of Nod and finishing up a wedding invitation suite for a freelance client. I seem to always have 3-4 freelance projects going at any time while my clock business is a full time job. I have about 5 new products that I'm getting ready to list and also planning to do a little facelift on my main website to make it look more fun.

3. Who are your favorite artists?

It may sound strange but I have nobody particular that I'm heavily attached at the moment. I am drawn to children's book illustrators lately just because I have a kid and I read lots books to her. I like that with children's books, you can really just choose a book by its cover. I really like the books by Roger Duvoisin, Remy Charlip, A. Birnbaum and Ludwig Bemelmans (Madeline!).

4. What's the best advice you ever received about your career choice?

I threw away my 'career' and decided to do 'whatever'. No one can really give me advice on me pursuing 'whatever' so I make up things as I go. I've taken small baby steps, one step at a time, living day by day, month by month. I can't believe I've done that for 7 years!

5. Favorite place(s) in your city?

I've got "This must be the place" by Talking heads in my head. "Home is where I want to be.." Other than that, I like having Trader Joe's right by our house. Deanna Rose is a fun place to go with my daughter - I got my shirt nibbled on by goats.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? And while we're at it, what about a different era?

I am an Aquarius so my answer will be a typical Aquarian answer. I don't take any interest in the past nor a particular place in the world for that matter. Rather, I would love to be a spirit who can freely traveling through time and space while going in and out of any and all individuals of my choosing so I can look and feel the world through their eyes. I often see my body as a limitation and feel confined in it. I'd rather not be a human honestly.

7. What do you usually mindlessly doodle? (do you have a picture of this?)

Nada. There's no mindless doodling in my life right now. I have little pieces of paper with lots of scribbles around my desk though. 

8. First website you peruse of the day?

I unconsciously made it a rule that I do not waste time looking at websites during my work hours. Funny, that's what I did most of the day while working for someone else but now that I am my own boss, I do not allow myself to do that! I have to stay productive because my daughter is in daycare for a limited amount of time every day and I do not work at night or weekends. So I make my hours count.

At night though, you can always find me reading Japanese forum on Yomiuri newspaper website. It's my daily dose of Japan. 

9. What's the worst movie you've ever seen, but secretly love?

I have only seen it once but I have to confess - the Twilight series. I always liked stories of vampires and werewolves. But unlike Underworld series, Twilight series are comical and highly entertaining in a corny and awkward teenager way. And unlike underworld series my husband will quietly and quickly walks out of the room, leaving me at peace. :)

10. Any pets? Any kids?

Just one 5 year old girl Leela. If we have a pet Leela is going to name it "Annabelle Washington". 

Thank you so much Maiko!
You can find her shop here

Monday, May 13, 2013


Ivy and I were invited to go camping this past weekend and we had such a grand time. 
I love smelling like a camp fire and listening to crickets and frogs while I sleep.
Plus there was Sangria!

It reminded me of  Zander Olsen
and his gorgeous wrapped tree photography.
Minus the mountains.

Sadly, there are no mountains in Louisiana.

 But I am thinking we should trek up to northern Arkansas for a family camping trip this summer!