Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Items and New Shop for September!

Here are some new items that will be going up in my etsy store this month. I'll also be opening up an artfire shop very soon. Once everything is posted and finalized I'll be posting the link as well as holding a fun giveaway contest! Stay tuned!

I usually dread having to take photos of my artwork. It's such a tedious and time consuming process. This time I was determined to change my attitude about it and even managed to have a little bit of fun. I'm actually pretty pleased with the way these photos turned out. Hoping that this starts a new trend for me. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself

Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural address contains one of the most profound statements for me and one that I often quote to myself. In my life, I have personally discovered that I am my own worst enemy. I have been given a talent and a drive to create, but my fear of rejection and failure have been debilitating in my past. It caused me to have artist’s block for years!

After my husband left me I had to rediscover who I was. I had spent my married life basically living for my husband. I hadn’t been creating very much, nor had I been nurturing my friendships. When he left I realized that I had nothing but my family. At first I sought to create out of a need for expression. It was an outlet for the horrific pain that I was enduring.

My parents sought to push my artistic career forward and began peddling my art to various galleries. This led to a showcase exhibit in which I was required to create about 8-10 landscape paintings in approximately 3 months. While frantically working to meet the deadline I discovered that my skills, while rusty, hadn’t left me. I had abandoned them, but they certainly hadn’t abandoned me. I also rediscovered my need to create. Thank God for my parents! Because of their faith in me, I pulled myself through that hard time and have been creating ever since.

It has been nearly three years since then but I STILL have to struggle with myself each and every day. Fear still lives within me. I would easily give up before I even began a piece of artwork if I allowed myself. I hope that with perseverance I will eventually become free of my fears, but at the moment I’m still struggling. It seems silly to be at war with oneself. Perhaps it is something that is unique to me, but I take comfort in knowing that a president seems to have understood my condition. As he was speaking to a large audience, I hope that there are others out there who can relate.

This being said, I have avoided putting too many of my current projects on this blog. I have unwittingly allowed my fears to get in my way yet again! I promise to stop with this nonsense and share what I am working on with whoever is interested. I somehow feel that making this declaration to the internet void will force me to keep my promise a bit better.
Keep your fingers crossed!

One sleepless, agitated night I woke up and created this rather crude sketch. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but I do feel that it conveys the immense pain I was feeling at the time.
I lovingly refer to this as "The Scream", in homage to Edvard Munch.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Portrait of a Young Man

My online museum travels led me to another old-time favorite. "Portrait of a Young Man" by Bronzino. ( also known as Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano) Painted in the 1530s I find this an arresting portrait. It has always stopped me in my tracks and forced me to take a second, third and fourth look.

Branzino's portrait figures are often read as static, elegant, and stylish exemplars of unemotional haughtiness and assurance. I can think of no greater example of his work than this portrait. The way this man carries himself, his intense and yet disinterested gaze... they entice me to look further. There is also the interesting fact that no one seems to know who this young man is. There is much speculation, but no definitive proof. He has been painted with a book in his hand. Was he a scholar? Perhaps a poet? (Bronzino himself was a poet so it would make sense that he would be around other poets) I love making up a story for this unknown man. Why is he looking at me in that way? What makes him feel as if I am beneath him? Or not worthy of his interest?

Even more interesting are the odd faces within the furniture in this piece. They are described by the Metropolitan Museum as being rather grotesque in nature. They also state (though it's difficult to see this online) that there is a  third "mask"  suggested in an insistent pattern resembling a face within the drapery of the lower part of the costume.Why had he taken such care to include these faces within this painting? They are painted with almost as much care as the sitter himself. I could go on and on about this painting. It fascinates me so much. There is also extensive discussion on the Met's website about the discoveries made from some X-radiographs that were taken of this painting. The various changes that this painting went through and the fact that they believe this painting to have been started perhaps many years before it was actually finished. 

I love amusing myself by pretending someone, years in the future, has done some x-radiographs of MY artwork. Some of my pieces were painted over entirely different paintings. Some of my pieces were started and not finished until years later or were changed drastically over the course of their creation. What theories would they devise from their findings?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Unearthed Treasure

I recently stumbled across this and just had to share. It's so very true! Lately I have been pondering this very idea. I work at a very ritzy restaurant where I see some of the wealthiest people in the world. Hardly any of these people seem genuinely happy. Quite often their health has suffered from the stress and unhealthy lifestyles that their jobs have required of them. They suffered this way so that they could make money but now that they have all of this money they end up spending so much of it on their health. What a waste! 
I have so many friends who keep looking to the future and forget to pay attention to the present. I myself have spent the past two years looking forward to a future that I have deemed to be better than my present. What if I never make it? What if right now is all that I have? Am I really going to waste what could possibly be the last few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months of my life looking to a future that I never even get to reach? I am trying very hard to make the most of the here and now. It's not easy, but I think that it makes life A LOT more enjoyable when you take the time to make an effort.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Girl Who Doesn't Want to Grow Up.

Lately I have been looking back on my childhood and my inevitable progression into adulthood. It happens so gradually that you don’t realize that you’ve matured or grown until it’s long since happened. I remember myself as a child eating a bowl of some overly sweet cereal like Lucky Charms and being so disgusted by my parents choice of healthy and taste free nonsense. I declared that when I grew up I would still eat sweet cereals and not give a hoot.

Years and years have passed since then and all of a sudden I have realized that I am eating healthy and non-sweet cereals. Worse, I can’t even stomach eating Lucky Charms! What the heck happened here? When did this change happen?! How is it that I ALLOWED this to happen?!

This change happened so stealthily that I didn’t even realize it until it had already happened. Like a thief in the night, my childish ways were stolen from me and replaced with the common behavior of most adults. How horrible! This has begun to make me nervous about other things that might change as I get older and older. I recently finished re-watching the Avatar: Last Airbender series. The movie left such a bad taste in my mouth that I had to remind myself of why I had loved the series in the first place.
I am one of the few adults I know of who still enjoy watching cartoons. (This would be another one of those things that I vowed to never give up as an adult. Also, I am not including adults with children. They have a lovely excuse for watching the cartoons that their kids enjoy)

While I have (so far) stayed true to this vow I am beginning to wonder… Will I wake up one day and realize that I haven’t watched a cartoon in years? Will my favorite thing to watch become the news?! When you’re a child, you look forward with eager anticipation to the days when you will finally be deemed an adult. As an adult, you dread the unending progression and cling to whatever memories of your youth you can. What a funny thing life is sometimes!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Lady of Shalott

Lately I've been really missing my days back in college where my knowledge, talent and intellect was constantly growing and being challenged. I especially miss my art history classes where the knowledge learned often inspired artwork within me. I've decided to spend a few minutes once a day going to museum websites and choosing one painting to examine and learn about. I decided to go to the Tate Museum as my first online art museum "outing" and couldn't resist going to visit one of my favorite paintings in their collection. I was fortunate enough to see this painting in person at the Tate over 2 years ago and it was a life changing experience.


John William Waterhouse's  Lady of Shalott is often deemed to be one of the most famous and well-known paintings of this period. This painting illustrates Alfred Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott. Waterhouse was so enamored with this tale that he painted three different versions of this character, in 1888, 1894 and 1916. Draped over the boat is the fabric the lady wove in a tower near Camelot. But she brought a curse on herself by looking directly at Sir Lancelot.With her right hand she lets go of the chain mooring the boat. Her mouth is slightly open, as she sings ‘her last song’. She stares at a crucifix lying in front of her. Beside it are three candles, often used to symbolise life. Two have blown out. This suggests her life will end soon, as she floats down the river.

For your own enjoyment, I have included the two other versions that he painted of this character...


For your own museum outing to the Tate...http://www.tate.org.uk/collection/