Sunday, February 24, 2008

A walk on the beach

Today was a good day. I decided to go for a walk in the park. It was not that cold, about 38 degrees Fahrenheit, with very little wind. Seemed warm compared to the weather we have had lately. In just a few short weeks everything will be green. I took my camera with me, and I wanted to click everything I saw. It is amazing to me that even in the most desolate of conditions in nature, the human presence is always evident. I found myself interested in the juxtaposition of nature and detritus. Here are a few of the things I saw.

The frozen lake.
A Danish sculpture. In the summer there will be children climbing all over it.

So much dormant vegetation peaking through the snow. Though this piece seems gentle, this little twig had to be tenacious to have survived in tact the brutal weather we have had.

Strange sticker on a pole. Interesting colors, seems to depict aliens.

Humans feel a need to leave their mark.

Frozen lake. I really wanted to walk on it, but I wasn't brave (or foolish) enough.

There was so much driftwood on the beach. Among the seemingly random driftwood was this deliberately placed bird house. Who put it here, and why? Is it made of driftwood?

The lake was completely still.

I saw many pieces of driftwood that had markings that looked like inscription.

Symbols abound.

I felt the need to leave a message behind.

The driftwood was endlessly fascinating. This one did not seem indigenous. It seemed almost like bamboo, and was completely unique in its shape.

The ubiquitous human detritus.

Tomorrow I start a new chapter in my life, so for today I am very grateful to feel peaceful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Custom Toys and Fine Art - APAK

As my readers know, I am obsessed with limited edition urban vinyl toys. I especially adore custom toys, and I have discovered some very fine artists by admiring toys.

Meet Sug by UNKL Brand formerly available at My Plastic Heart. According to MPH Sug is big and strong, but he's also gentle. He has a bag that holds a set of secret serum vials that will cure almost any ailment.
Meet the custom Sug by APAK. I discovered this wonderful toy at the flickr set of Multiple Personalities. MP is an artist in her own right and has an enviable collection of toys, which she photographs expertly.

Detail of darling symbiotic creatures on Sug.

By noticing this cute toy, I've learned about the artists who call themselves APAK.

It is impossible to look at APAK's work and not smile, it is so full of love. Definitely influenced by Japanese pop culture, their work is populated by little creatures who live cooperatively and peacefully. There is a utopian quality to their work which speaks to me of the endless possibilities of art. Their Etsy shop, their home page and blog are delightful. I am always fascinated by (and a little envious of) husband and wife artist teams. This team is skilled at creating imagery with words as well.

This is from the profile at their Etsy shop. "Aaron and Ayumi Piland are two physically separate beings who are united in art as APAK. They met in a distant dimension and traveled to Earth together in a magic imagination machine....." On their blog they tell us that when they collaborate anything is possible. Delightful! I wanted to take a quote from their blog too, but you just gotta check it out yourself.

APAK's Etsy shop is here, their home page is here. All this wonderful discovery from someone sharing their toys on flickr. Ain't life grand?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Love of a Gravely Voice and Surrendering to Process

Image from Amazon.

For years I've been haunted by a gravely voice. I would hear this voice in snippets at coffee shops, at the movie house, but only brief seconds. My ears would perk up, the voice would captivate me. Who is that? Tom Waits maybe? I adore Tom, but not quite. Through the miracle of Netflix, I found the source of the voice and fell in love this weekend with Leonard Cohen. I watched Cohen's movie, I'm Your Man.

The only thing I know about Leonard Cohen, is that I want to know more about him. While watching the film, I found myself fast forwarding through the parts where other artists were speaking about him or singing his songs. I felt pangs of guilt at the disrespect to these artists, but I was intrigued by Leonard. I could not get enough. His words captivated me as much as his mysterious voice has. And his creative process is almost, well, spiritual. As I listened to him, I thought of surrender.

Surrendering to the process is a great leap in the evolution of an artist and brings peace. No longer do you worry about perfection or outside acceptance. You simply create because you must. The destination is as important - or maybe even more so - than the goal. Or as Leonard more eloquently put it:

"You abandon your masterpiece and you sink into your masterpiece."

These words seem appropriate for the new chapter I'm beginning in my life. No longer kicking and screaming, I am sinking into my life. We are art. Our lives are our canvas.

As I sink into my art, I find that I am captivated by images from below the oceans and sea, and in the sky and beyond. I am fascinated by organic shapes and weather phenomenon. How would these images that haunt me play out on a canvas, set to the music of Leonard Cohen? I intend to find out this weekend.

For now, I do not have time to paint. But I have time to contemplate paintings that I love.

“…from blindness and snow, soft slope in two pinks” by Monique Van Genderen at the Happy Lion Gallery.

"A Glimpse of an Underwater Forest" and "Poplars in the Rain" by Etsy user Irenemachine. I am in love with these paintings. These are paintings I wish were my own achievements. Stunning in their deceptive simplicity. These paintings are actually multilayered. Rain is something I've not achieved satisfactorily on canvas as yet. Maybe, the answer is to sink into the canvas.

"The Power of Attraction" by Amy Boling. Proof that melancholy can be a beautiful thing. I find this painting so romantic. I do not presume to know Amy's intent, I can only say what I see. A ghostly figure, protecting these homes. This figure is highly contemplative. And what are those oval figures? Reality spheres? Bubbles of possibility?

What do these paintings have in common? I feel as if the artist surrendered to the process. I could sit and contemplate these works for hours, with a cup of Colombian coffee and listening to Leonard Cohen on vinyl, of course.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Celebration of Orange!

Today the sun peaked into my place! It was glorious, and I felt graced by her presence. It seems I have not seen her beauty in such a long while. I opened the drapes to welcome her. And I honored her by thinking about orange as I cleaned my apartment.

Orange, the color of creativity. It is a color I have only begun to appreciate in the last couple of years. Ironically, it is this small apartment, which inspires so much creativity, that has taught me to love orange. Come celebrate orange with me!

Pillows and pottery. Orange pops so wonderfully against white.

Turquoise and orange form a divine marriage.

An orange tote bag in my office neatly holds files.

Orange glass.

Orange toy.

Orange lantern.

Orange mixes with blue and fushcia beautifully.

Mixing orange and pink paint. Can't wait to get these on a canvas!

My favorite orange vase. Proof that orange and hot pink make a stunning couple.

A couple of my paintings. 2005, 11" x 14", each piece. Acrylic and marker on paper. See more of my paintings, here.

It made me happy thinking of orange today. Stay tuned. I believe orange will be showing up in my paintings in the near future. Hooray for orange!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Is it pottery or is it sculpture?

It's both! I adore these new ceramic works by Paloma's Nest. So much so that I would like to design a room around them. These unique artworks lend themselves to so many interpretations. Perhaps they are inspired by undersea creatures, or perhaps they are alien spacecraft. Whatever the inspiration, they are funky and fun.

I could see these vases paired with African or Aboriginal sculpture. Or perhaps in a room designed by Victor Vetterlein with some of his funky lighting.

I could also see the vases in a room designed by Vincent Wolfe. Wolfe's designs tend toward clean, traditional rooms with pops of primitive art. I adore the sculptural elements in this room via Desire to Inspire. The Paloma's Nest vases would look great in here!

I could also see them in these wonderful rooms designed by Frank Roop. I adore Roop's designs. I could see the vases on the mantel here or on the shelf below. Roop always features the most wonderful paintings, I wonder if he is a painter.

I hope these sculptural vases garner a lot of attention. It would be so fun to see them appear in decorating magazines. Or, even in my own home.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Two of my favorite things: vases and lamps

I went window shopping today, and I obsessed about my two favorite things: vases and lamps. Sometimes I get overwhelmed because there are so many beautiful things.  I want beautiful things, but not too many.  I like to think of myself as a curator rather than a collector.

Saw this cute lamp at Chic et Mode. I've been searching for a lamp for my living room. Thought about this one for a minute. It's darling, but not quite right.

Thinking of ordering this lamp from Le Souk. I adore porcelain. It's modern, white, and has a Moroccan feel to it. I think it would fit into my place very well. It would go with my new votive candle holders from CB2. These are the most beautiful porcelain. Only $1.99 each. May order more of them.

My Wilma bowl also arrived from CB2. I paired it with this funky, organic vase from Old Time Pottery. Both are more witty than my usual taste, but I like them.

Since I seem to be gravitating toward organic shapes, I'm thinking of ordering the Asteriod vase from Rare Device.

I've been seeing a lot of embellished vases lately, which inspired me to put my prayer beads on this vase from CB2.
I also adore the Meridian lamps from Design Public. These are cool because you can choose the fabric you want.


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