Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Art + Interior

I am in the process of painting my bathroom BLACK.
Our kitchen is already that shade and I love it.
 I think it's because when I was in high school my mom said , 
"No! What is wrong with you YOU CAN'T HAVE A BLACK BEDROOM."

No one understood how deep I was.

To add to the melancholy, I need some Mark Ryden and Miss Van.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

I promise I'll be back to blogging really really soon. Soon. Real. Soon.

Meanwhile, enjoy this....

Lusia Popenko

 That's me being lazy with my pet thinking, 
"Screw you blog!  
I have much better things to do, like baton twirling, than to fool with the likes of you!"

No, not really.  My schedule is just erratic right now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet Jen!

 Jen Fridy is a PHENOMENAL illustrator.
Her work is dark and funny and a wee bit esoteric.
Plus, it's damn right gorgeous.
I'm so proud to own one of her paintings!

1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.
Jen Fridy. I'm a Capricorn, currently living in Oakland, CA
2. What are you currently working on?
Trying to get my website back up at the moment! Setting up my studio so I can paint again. And I'm in various early stages of several personal illustration projects, which I unfortunately can't talk about yet. Call it superstition on my part. (Did you know that just talking about doing something makes you *less* likely to actually do the thing you talked about? It's weird but true. I'm afraid of jinxing myself.) I basically spent most of the last three years rocking back and forth while softly weeping at the bottom of the rabbit hole of pregnancy/childbirth/babyhood --- my creative well was just totally dry. Now I've suddenly got a flood of ideas jostling for space in my brain, but getting the time to work on them all is a huge challenge. 
3. Who are your favorite artists?
Wow, too many to count, really! My parents really encouraged my interest in art from a young age, and my first loves were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassat, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci. Then I got into comics and I was all about Jim Woodring, George Herriman, Chas Addams, Tony Millionaire, Dan Clowes, Robert Crumb. Now I've got a kid, so I've been getting to re-experience a bunch of classic children's illustrators, like Dr. Seuss, Alice and Martin Provensen, Maurice Sendak, Clement Hurd, and Ezra Jack Keats. I'm basically a sucker for good linework, juicy colors, and memorable characters. 

4. What's the best advice you ever received about your career choice?
"Draw every day." Various artists I respect have told me that throughout the years. It's the best advice I never listen to, ha! I find it super-easy to get sidetracked, unfortunately, but I only find myself really getting somewhere with my art when I'm making time to draw every single day, even if there are dishes in the sink; even if my kid is eating a worm in the backyard; even if the cats are setting up camp on Clothes Mountain in the laundry room.
5. Favorite place(s) in your city?
I love walking around Lake Merritt with my kid. We walk everywhere in Oakland, actually, and I really love it --- I'm always stumbling across great mural art, or an awesome little gallery, or a food truck I've never tried before. San Francisco and all its tourist attractions are just a short train ride away, but I prefer the gritty lovability of the East Bay.
6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 
And while we're at it, what about a different era?
Amsterdam, no contest. I went there for my honeymoon five years ago and fell in love with the history, the art, the weather (I love rain!), the architecture, the pancakes...I dream of retiring to a houseboat in the canal when I am old.
Different eras don't really appeal to me the way they used to - historically, women have really gotten the shaft pretty much every way you look at it, and the further back you go, the worse it generally was for everyone who wasn't royalty. I love Victorian and Edwardian fashion, for instance, but I like being able to vote more, you know? If I could just visit for a little bit, though, I'd want to go to Coney Island around 1909, so I could visit the three original amusement parks: Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase. Dangerous, spectacular fun for the whole family!
7. What do you usually mindlessly doodle? (do you have a picture of this?)
Mermaids. Don't say you weren't warned! (She's pretty rude)
8. First website you peruse of the day?
Probably Neatorama. I need mindless fluff to absorb while my brain absorbs its caffeine.
9. What's the worst movie you've ever seen, but secretly love?
Cabin Boy; though it may be shameful, there is nothing secret about my love for that movie. I guffaw like a braying horse every time I watch it. (Yes, I have it on DVD. Which I purchased after my VHS copy wore out.)
10. Any pets? Any kids?
3 cats, 5 chickens, and one two-year-old. Between all of them, I will never be done cleaning my house.
 Thank you so much Jen!

You can find more of her here

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Inspired by:

 This ad


Makeovers from my daughter


This still very much in progress, painting

Ivy got a huge kick out of staring in this, and had many questions.

"Mama. Where are your pants?"
"Why are we in a spooky forest?"
"Can I have a popsicle?"

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I have to stop buying things like this:

(And Pistachio, you're just as evil.)

I also need to stop staring at things like this:

And if you've never ever stilled yourself and stared at a Wayne Thiebaud painting in person, 
you're truly missing out.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Meet Jon!

 What doesn't Jon Aley do?
Just click through his expansive website to see what I mean. 
The guy even acts and creates his own show!
 Impressive, no? 

1. Name, Astrology sign, and location please.

Jon Aley, Pisces, currently KC after 8 years LA/NYC (5 LA/1Berkeley/2 NYC)

2. What are you currently working on?

A new series of drawings and paintings.. (the drawings can be found under drawings on the site, digital ones too, paintings I haven’t photo’d the new ones yet.. but oddly, the bulk of my times goes into comedy characters/performance and writing—via improv, film, twitter, venues)

3. Who are your favorite artists?

A lot of my faves right now are literary.. specifically comedy writers.. David Sedaris of course, Jim Gaffagin, Chris Elliot, Demetri Martin.. painters.. our classmate James Perrin’s work is amazing to me, I don’t feel that amazement nearly enough, often in museums, especially after 8 plus years of working in them, I feel the emotion of “why is that here, at this level, and worth 2 million, when there is some good work out there.” Not a fan of feeling that, but I do.. so, artists.. another one that hit me recently is a KC girl named Emily Connell (sp).. she transforms actual books into porcelain objects through this intense process.. that in itself is beautiful as is, but then she slices the pieces and somehow they become very organ-like, they remind me a lot of seeing the Body Worlds show when I was in Mexico City recently.. actual bodies with the skin removed in all kinds of life positions.. astounding.. another couple are Do Ho Suh… specifically Fallen Star, if you look it up, make sure to see the inside and realize the utter insanity of the details included and the scale.. also Cai Guo-Qiang’s drawings with gunpowder/fireworks in the sky,.. musically, Tom Waits was always the guy I would want to be if.. growing up a lot of my favorite people were in the comics, and they still are, Dave McKean and Bill Sienkiwicz (sp) were my favorite for how they juggled mediums, but lately, simplicity rules in my love for comics (the art and stories of the current runs of Daredevil (Marvel) and Wonder Woman (DC) are simple and potent and combine with some of the best storytelling I have seen in the two big companies in a while. Our friend Matt Fraction from school has also been hitting it out of the park with a Hawkeye series with lovely art and story, I am so jealous of that guy. My goal is to have a similar role in comedy as the Conchords or Peter Sellars, but writing comics would be bomb.

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

Get back up, persist, stay focused on what you are really after and be open to learning things that help strengthen the artists mind (like reading a lot of books about money, marketing, refinement.. it all adds up into forward movement rather than being frustrated about not getting anywhere due to a lack of understanding the simplicity of the bigger process).. I have been fortunate to have some big name mentors who cut through the bs and said clearly, this is why you aren’t moving forward.. if you have the courage to set this part aside (which is partly ego) and simplify, more doors will open and you won’t lose anything.. your audience really does grow and your voice does become clearer by tightening focus on occaision.. you have your whole life to do that same painting no one else understands over and over again, but if you can bring it in for a bit, expand your audience, then slowly show them this other depth, then you change lives.. I had more lucky breaks in my career than anyone should have had, I went from a small museum in Chicago to handler at LACMA in a blink of an eye, then became mountmaker for some amazing museums and then spent the last three years as curator and collection manager for a private collection of textiles in the bay (considered one of the best collections worldwide..) all that, with no education in that arena, becoming a curator was a shock and honor, but the biggest reason that happened, was my willingness to let go and move on, each time I did, I was terrified, but something better kept coming up when I let go and reached out.. 

5. Favorite place(s) in your city?

My favorite geographically are along the coast of California.. such as Point Dume (tons of starfish, amazing sunsets, serene hikes) and up into the Berkeley Hills.. climb far enough and you realize your vision may only be limited due to what gets in its way.

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

Hmm… I have lived a lot of amazing places, from LA to NYC to Berkeley and Chicago, I would probably have to choose to have the world be my home so I could access all the things in each of those places that don’t exist in the others.. living in each challenges a different aspect of our psyches and how we grow.. (oddly, LA taught me to fight for myself, NYC taught me to refine and connect, Berkeley taught me to eat/nourish..) different era? Maybe the far future, just to see what is going on then..but this age we live in right now is amazing, to have grown up without computers, to have religion questioned, to see so easily through gov’t and be able to make a difference globally now.. this is a pretty amazing time.. so many things we saw or dreamed of when we were kids has come to fruition.. 

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

incoherent lines, words, they end up building little stories.. best example of this is “The Braille Project” on my site

8. First website you peruse of the day?

Honestly.. I love all comic related news and costumes, but the best part of that site is how the comic nerd wars rage after each article, there is some brilliant humor going on there combined with some genuinely rude/biased/ignorant sorts, it really does make for some hysterics.. they post photos, gifs and throw insults back and forth like nobody’s business.. an example was one time I remember when a comic cover featuring Wolverine and Cyclops fighting.. two guys went back and forth telling the other how stupid he was and why Cyclops’s lasers would just rip wolvie’s head off.. but it would grow back.. they get so invested in it like it is all very real.. 

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

This is too difficult a question for me.. I love a lot of bad movies.. I worked in an elitist video store when I was young, and so I have seen a lot of bad stuff that I love, I eat up a lot of bad sci-fi.. but.. I will admit to having seen Hot Tub Time Machine a few times too many..

10. Any pets? Any kids?

No pets.. no kids that I am aware of but you just never know.. 

Gorgeous work, Jon. 
(PS, is that first painting for sale?)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The depths of summer

Happy July!
 I won't dare complain, because the weather has been beautiful around here, unlike the poor Southwest.
Crepe Myrtles are in full cotton candy bloom,
and we've been doing lots of aquatic activities and eating popsicles.

I've also been working on lots of girl drawings, 
as these are MUCH easier than large paintings when little kids are running around.
Trust me.

See that coffee?
Also makes things a lot easier.

Stay cool everyone!