Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Prolific Saturday

Last Saturday, July 28, was a prolific day. I don't know if the full moon had anything to do with it, but I was creative the whole day. Below I described the ingredients for creativity: music and/or movie, a painting(s) and a blank canvas(es).

The movie was Happenstance starring the lovely Audrey Tautou (my new favorite actress). P.S. I love Netflix! It was coincidental, if indeed coincidence exists, that the movie was about a full moon. I've seen this film many times. This particular day I just listened to the French words as if they were music. No, I don't speak French, but I love the sound of foreign languages.

I was deeply moved by the paintings of Reed Danziger. Her paintings are amazing, I wish I painted that well. They have particles and movement in them, and like my own swirls, make me think of creation. And while there is a lot going on in them, they are soft with a beautifully subtle use of color.

Okay, I paint no where near as skillfully as she, but man was I digging her work.

I was really digging Buff Monster, too. This is embarrassing to say, but I was completely naive about the subject matter of his paintings. I was so taken with his use of colors, and he had swirls and movement. Okay, I figured out what the swirls are and what the flower-like things are. I can be dense sometimes. Maybe his paintings are vulgar, but damn can he paint. And his use of pink is, well, perfect. He's probably best known by the toys he designs for kidrobot . But don't click on his link if you are faint-hearted.

So here's what you get during a full moon, while listening to French speakers and digging Reed Danziger and Buff Monster:

Untitled, 2007, 16" x 20", acrylic and marker on canvas. I could see this one in a hippy joint. More of the swirl motif.

Untitled, 2007. 16" x 20", acrylic and marker on canvas. Seems to be a combination of my graphic work and swirly work.

Untitled, 2007. 16" x 8", acrylic and marker on canvas. I wanted this one to look like a silkscreen. I love silkscreen, but I don't know how to do it.

Angels, 2007, 11" x 14", acrylic and marker on paper. I really love this one. I think I like my graphic work the best.

My sister-in-law loves my big flowers the best

So this one's for you, sweetie. Thanks for always being so supportive of me as an artist.

White and Orange Flowers, 2007
24" x 24", acrylic and marker on canvas

Dancing With Canvas

Here is an explanation about something that is probably better left unexplained. (Why do we humans use so many words?) This is how I create a painting. It is a symbiotic process. The ingredients are: a movie and/or music, a painting, a blank canvas.

I hear music and/or see a movie I like. Sometimes the movie is subtitled and I just listen to the beautiful words like they are music. Sometimes the movie has a soundtrack that moves me.
I see a painting that moves me. A blank canvas sits before me. Sometimes there is a plan, sometimes not. The dance begins. It is like going into a trance, and time stands still. Sometimes when I am done creating, I am surprised to see that 12 hours has gone by when it seemed like only a few minutes.

It was July 22, 2007.

The movie was Wim Wenders' film, Until the End of the World.

The painting was called Sweet Banana by Gabriela Trzebinski.

While watching Wenders' film I was intrigued by the Pigmy music that William Hurt's character played in the car. Equally intriguing to me were the aboriginal characters in the movie. How ignorant I am about aboriginal culture.

As I danced with the canvas, I thought about dreaming and creation. This is what I came up with:

Dark Angels, 2007, 24" x 24", acrylic on canvas.

By far one of my most eccentric paintings, at first I even felt a little afraid of it. Now I love it. I imagine these angels standing at the brink of creation and facing the pure potentiality unafraid. Swirls seem to be a recurring motif for me in my desire to express movement. I don't mean for it to sound pretentious or to over-intellectualize it because it's really about a feeling.

I Dream of Living in a White Box

I dream of living in a White Box. A prefab box, like they show in Dwell Magazine. Or maybe something designed by the amazing John Pawson.

Something large, with high ceilings. And one whole side would be glass and face the ocean. There would be no trim or architectural details in this box. Just white walls and white floor.

All I would have in this box is the following:

A morosso print sofa facing the ocean.

a Noguchi lamp:

Oh, I guess I need somewhere to set a bottle of champagne, so I think this table from CB2 will do the trick:

Yellow's Okay Too

I was very excited when I read Holly's post regarding orange. Orange is a color I have been using a lot of lately. It's strange because a couple years ago I would've told you I didn't like orange. Now I love it. See my flickr site for more on my decorating with orange.

When I wrote to Holly, I remember thinking, what's next? Yellow? Because I have never been a fan of yellow. Well, guess what? I am looking at yellow differently lately. And it's mainly because of Jessie at My Mod Style. She mentioned how she would have to convince her inlaws that yellow, red and white look great together. I am sure they will need no convincing, as the room will be beautiful. Just look at the rooms that Jessie has designed. They are awesome.

Now, I don't want to bring any yellow into my home, because I don't want to start a new wave of decor, but I felt very inspired when I read this. I am beginning to realize how much fun it must be to own more than one home. Oh boy, two homes to decorate! Oh boy, two homes to have design schizophrenia over. Scratch that. It would be more fun to design for other people.

Anyway, Jessie inspired me. And here are a couple of things I would buy for her if I were decorating her house, in addition to the painting I talked about earlier here.

Pillow at my favorite vintage store. $24.99

Italian glass vase at Salvation Army, $4.99

And, Jessie, here's an outfit you can wear when the inlaws come to visit. You will be smashing! Outfit from Urban Outfitters.

Pink, the Most Perfect Color

Pink is the most perfect color in the world. It goes with everything and it looks good on every one. Whenever I decorate a room, or start a new painting, it always begins with pink. I can spend the whole day contemplating the many permutations of pink.

One time at Home Depot, I discovered that Behr paint had about 200 shades of pink. (I love Behr paint, in fact when I am struggling with mixing a color, I use their paint cards as a guide, but that's for a later post.)

I happen to be really partial to fushia and even had my apartment painted fushia. See earlier post.

When I saw this great pic on MetHome, I was sorry I painted my place white. (I know, I am ill.)

Pink looks great with turquoise.

Satin sheets by Urban Outfitters. I want these!

The lovely Nicole at Making it Lovely has proven that Pink Loves Brown.

Yvonne at Yvestown has proven that pink looks great with green.

I am sure most bloggers have seen Nicole and Yvonne's lovely homes, but if you haven't check them out. You are in for a treat!

Lately, my favorite combination is pink and orange.

Thank you, Holly, for featuring this picture on your delightful blog, Decor8, and thank you for being a constant source of inspiration.

Anna at Absolutely Beautiful Things proved that pink looks great with yellow during her pink and yellow week. Thank you, Anna for featuring my painting on your blog.

Love, 2006, 25" x 12", acrylic, pencil and marker on canvas. This painting was inspired by posted notes.

Here is another pink and yellow painting I did recently. I think this would look great in Jessie's home. See Jessie's home at My Mod Style.

Yellow Vases, 2007, 8" x 24", acrylic and marker on canvas
I accidentally painted outside the lines on this one. Oh well, once again learning to live with imperfections and just accept them as part of the process.

What color do you like best with pink?

Monday, July 30, 2007

La Bella Luna

Page from my art journal.

The full moon over Lake Erie is a thing of beauty. This weekend's full moon was no exception. I laughed to myself as I thought of Cher's grandfather crying "La Bella Luna!" in the romantic comedy Moonstruck.

I've heard the moon referred to as grandmother. Grandmother looked beautiful and graced me with her elegance this weekend.

Full Moon, 2003
8" x 10", acrylic on canvas

Klimt and the Lake Erie Sky

I love Klimt's work, especially his paintings of women. I think many people have seen his work in fashion magazines and greeting cards, and not even known who the artist was. His work is everywhere. The Klimt woman is wrapped in mosiacs and full of romantic mystery.

The best thing about heading west on the way home from work is the Lake Erie sky. Lake Erie has the most beautiful sunsets. Every night the sky is a treat of pink, blue, purple and orange. Never the same.

I once kissed a man who was much taller than me under that sky. As he held me, I imagined that I was the woman in Klimt's painting, and instead of Klimt's mosaic quilt enveloping me, I was enveloped by the beautiful Erie sky.

The Kiss or Dark Angel, 2004
18" x 24", acrylic on canvas

Sunday, July 29, 2007

How to Unblock Creativity

Images from Allposters.

I love Picasso. Deeply. The local museum had a retrospective exhibit of 40 years of his work. Attending this exhibit was one of the best experiences of my life. I could see his evolution. Being with those paintings in person was almost a sexual experience, I had only seen them in books. There are just no words to describe the strength and power of his work live and cumulated.
I love Matisse as well. Anyone who loves art will tell you they love Matisse and Picasso. How could they not? They have influenced everything. I dare you to look at a piece of art and not see their influence.

I went through a period of time where I was looking at a lot of Picasso and reading Matisse's words. I was fascinated with Matisse's line drawings. He said he attempted to do a drawing quickly, with one uninterrupted line, without taking the pencil from the paper. I remember reading somewhere that to unblock the creative spirit to draw quickly and without thought. Try not to impose your will on the paper, try to feel an image that you are simply freeing. I filled notebooks with this type of drawing. And it must have worked in unblocking my creativity. In fact, today I am so flooded by creativity that I cannot keep up with it. Whenever you are feeling blocked, sit with an empty notebook and a pencil, and just keep that pencil moving. You will be surprised.

Here are the drawings I created during this period. I tried to do what Matisse said, not think, draw quickly. And they are clearly influenced (even stolen perhaps) from Picasso.

Since I really can't draw, I do a lot of multimedia and collage as well. Here are a couple examples:

Reawakening, 1994

8" x 10"

water color, marker and lace on paper

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Create Because I Must

Quite simply, I create because I must. Creation is necessity. Creation is life.

Everyone's creative. If someone tells you you are not creative. Don't listen. They are lying. And when you create something, never throw it away. There will always be someone who will love your art.

I used to cripple myself with perfectionism. I mean, if I'm not going to create a Picasso, Chagall or O'Keefe, why bother? I would defeat myself before I even started. Then, a yoga teacher told me that it was not the destination, but the journey that mattered. Cliche, I know. But it clicked for me. She said what was important (Pink) was the actual act of creation, not so much the finished product. The key is to just create, create, and create some more.

I used to throw my art away when I didn't like it. Then one day I was at a consignment store. I couldn't believe my eyes. There was one of my paintings. It was a very tender moment. I stood there and stared it. Blinking back tears, I thought, someone cared enough to dig my painting out of the garbage and place it in a shop. I told the shop owner that it was my painting.

She was very concerned and asked if I wanted it back. No, I said. I was just so happy to see it there, and it had served its purpose in my life by teaching me a very important lesson.

When I was younger, I was madly in love with Prince. (Prince is so huge it seems silly to hyperlink to him, but I want to be respectful.) I even went to his Purple Rain tour in Florida, and wore the requisite big hair and purple outfit. One lesson Prince taught me is that sometimes when you learn to love something, you love it even more. I never liked Prince's albums when they first came out. I had to get used to them. Then on repeated listening, I began to appreciate them on a deeper, more complex level. When I experience this kind of appreciation, I find I don't grow tired of the music, indeed, it gets better every time.

I've learned that if I don't like one of my paintings at first to just let it sit. I live with it for a while, and you know I learn to love that painting. This little painting was like that. I didn't like it at first, but love it now.

The Designer, 2007
11" x 14" acrylic and marker on paper

P.S. Dearest Prince - that album cover is fabulous!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inspiration from Elle Decoration, et al.

If you're a lover of Moroccan Style you must pick up this month's Elle Decoration, UK Edition. There is a fabulous photo layout of Moroccan Style. I love the textures and the ethereal lighting and mood provided by the lanterns. These beautiful pictures make me want to get rid of everything and start over in my home. (There is also a marvelous layout of East Meets West.)

I love the organic shape of the Fat Fat table by Patricia Urquiola (her other designs are fascinating as well). I love the porcelain lanterns by Pol's Potten, though I couldn't find them online. Lighted pottery, what could be better?

The colors and fabrics of India and Morocco are so sensual. If you are in the mood for a sensual experience, you must visit these blogs on Indian design:
Rang Decor and An Indian Summer.

And, if you haven't seen it already, you simply must see Maryam's My Marrakesh.

I suggest one rainy morning, sit with a good coffee or tea in your most elegant cup, and treat yourself to these three posts. If you don't have an itch to travel - you will after you read these blogs. If you are not fearless about using color - you will be after reading these wonderful blogs.

Here is a picture of the Indian shawl that I bought at a yard sale, which started this whole thought process, and the painting it inspired. I was listening to tantric music as I danced with this canvas. The swirls make me think of an opium den.

Opium Den, 2007
24" x 24", acrylic and glitter on canvas

This painting shimmers very romantically in the candle light. It's very erotic. I think I'd like to do a series of trance dance paintings.

The New West Elm Catalog is Here!

Postcard design by Anatomy.

A treat was waiting in the mailbox today! The new West Elm catalog! I nearly fainted after reading it. West Elm has really outdone themselves this time. This is by far their best catalog!

How appropriate. They were reading my mind. Many of their pieces could fit into my new Minimal Bohomo Retro-Mod Asian/Moroccan design. And, even though it is trite for a place to be decorated hastily from only one source, I could see my place redone in almost all West Elm. (No wonder some fortunate people have more than one home.)

I love the following items. Oh, I see they are reading my mind again. casasugar is having a West Elm giveaway contest to celebrate the launch of its new site! I quickly went and created a wish list, but I actually had trouble spending the $5,000! I really don't need so much stuff, but it would be great to replace some of my furniture. Some of the things I put on the wish list are actually gifts for my lovely sister-in-law. But don't tell anyone about the contest, let's keep it our secret!

My favorite piece in the catalog is by far this lamp:

Isn't this the most beautiful lamp in the whole world? Would look great with my new style. Would also look great in my sister-in-law's home. Since it's way out of my price range, the contest is my only hope.

If I were doing my place totally in West Elm and IF money were no object, here's what I love. Red sectional. Two Parsons desks. (Who doesn't want one or more of these perfect desks? My office area is in such disarray, I really need these.) Chunky console.

And, of course, pottery.....

I hate to add celedon and mustard to my place now that I've settled on fushia and turquoise (I think). But wouldn't these pieces look cute with these cheapies that I saw at Old Time Pottery ($10.99 - $16.99)?

Here is a teaser not available on West Elm's website - the large white vase on the floor to the right. A fabulous reinterpretation of a temple vase. Love it!

Another teaser. The foo dogs are the latest "it" accessory, but I don't really like them, I think they have ugly faces. Until now that is. I love this groovy foo dog from West Elm. I had to scan this puppy, because he's not available on line. I might have to make a trip to a West Elm store. I love iconic images reinterpreted. Especially, Chinese Communist propoganda, but that's for another post....

Lastly, I would love to have this capis lamp for my bedroom, which clearly goes with the Hindu/Morrocan vibe.

Very romantic. Hmm. Now is my style Romantic Bohemian Modern Retro-Mod Asian/Moroccan? Oh, oh, forgot about the minimalism....


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