Sunday, February 28, 2010

Naughty, Naughty

Ever notice how much nudity is evident in old paintings? And these were generally painted when there were pretty 'up tight' rules about displaying any 'bare' parts in everyday life.

Anyway it has me thinking about what is acceptable 'art-wise' and a good illustration of this point is the above pic. It's by a French painter Hippolyte (Paul) Delaroche 1841-1855 'The Hemicycle at the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts' (and I think I have weird titles)
Ok, besides the fact that if my ma and pa saddled me with the moniker of 'Hippolyte', I'd darn well be changing it to 'Paul' too; what is interesting about this particular piece is that Flicker banned it from posting on that site.
Yeah.....reason being that there was too much nudity. Funnily enough tho', it wasn't those lush ladies but the robust gentlemen causing the raised eyebrows and pursed lips.
1855 ladies and gents, is when this was painted. And talk about 'low key' - there's a lot of strategically placed drapery from what I see. You see worse in the ads today. Or fashion. I see more real time butt crack when I'm out than I do in paintings.
Ah well, I guess it's all in your point of view.
And trust a piece of Art to cause controversy, even 155 years later.........Long may it be so!

I'M ALIVE! (Jams is too...)

( Ah Ha puny human.....the peelow iz mine!)
Right, by now everyone pretty much gets Jams and I survived the big Tsunami......bit of a non-event really. It's not the first time we've had these warnings come to naught....which worries me slightly. What happens when it really means it; after all , predictions are pointed towards the probability of a major catastrophic wave hitting us. But if this sort of thing keeps up we'll all be shopping at the CoOp as usual and end up being washed out to sea in a raft of frozen food......rather a "Crying Wolf " scenario, if you catch my meaning.
However, here it is 5am and I'm wide awake.
You'd think this kind of thing keeps me up at night with worry.
Actually it has more to do with Jams bouncing off my head after being outside doing cat stuff and feeling like she needed to tell me all about it. Sort of like your drunk room mate coming home at 4 am and stumbling into your room breathing alcohol fumes (and more) in your face to blather on all about their wild night in sickeningly graphic detail or to profess their undying and eternal love for you but not in THAT way. Jams, not being gifted with the power of speech, chooses to waft her butt by my nose and kneed her claws across my shoulders.
That usually works.
So now I'm up and she's crashed out on the wool blanket on the couch by the pc.
What's wrong with this picture?

Painting is 'Cat by Francisco Marques'...just makes me think of Jams right at the moment

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Ok let me preface this by saying the earthquake's devastation to Chile is horrific and loss of life is never funny. Do your part to help if you can.

Over here on Canada's West Coast however.......
We are currently about 1 hr, give or take, away from a Tsunami arrival on our shore and it's causing the usual 'ho-hum' reaction this kind of thing engenders out this way. I actually didn't even know it was happening until I arrived home to find a message on my answer machine from friends in Victoria (down island) warning me to head for higher ground. Even CBC is breaking into scheduled radio broadcasts to update warnings.
And we west-coasters are riding out to the beach to go look and the surfer folk are heading out to ride those waves.
Ah, life on the edge.
I, some years long ago, came back to town after a trip away to Vancouver and decided to head to the beach close to where I was living at the time to just sit there and have a think. Unbeknownst to me, a Tsunami warning had been posted to head to higher ground - some businesses in town had actually shut down for the day. But there was I, the only soul on the beach by the way, looking at the waves and thinking to myself that the tide line seemed rather high.
Apart from the fact this was idiotic to the extreme; I wonder to this day what I would have thought or done even, if suddenly, large waves were fast approaching. You can't outrun them so it really would have been game over.

Anyway, today seems to be much the same sort of la-de-da maneuvering; although I did phone my upstairs flatmate and say if he saw largish waves approaching to bang on his floor and I'd grab Jams and head up there.
I'll update you all tomorrow.
Or maybe not, depending on how she goes.

Pic is Roy Lichtenstein's 'Drowning Woman'

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Eye of the Beholder

I don't have T.V. Well, I need to clarify that because I do have a T.V. but it's not hooked up to any cable mainly because in the weird little twilight zone that I inhabit, there is no cable reception. (don't get me started on what we don't high speed internet - grrrr) Anyway, you need one of those costly satellite dish thingies and invariably lose reception due to the many wind storms the coast receives.
So my TV is for DVDs.
This is what I watch my library requests on. (I think I mentioned before that I get DVDs from my local Library -order on line- 5000+ titles 3 weeks for free -DEAL!) Personally, I have a love of BBC stuff. You know, from England. Home of majesties and tea and good pubs and strange up-tight behavior.
OK moving right along......As I watch these shows I'm struck by how the actors/people are so, well for lack of a better word, ordinary. They are all shapes and sizes and they have "bodily flaws". You know, like wrinkles and receding hairlines and potbellies and double chins and for all I know, flatulence. My point being is : they are just like us.
How refreshing!
I am so tired of Hollywood stereotypical actor/people - beautiful, flawless, perfectly coiffed - even in the morning after wild sex and rolling around fighting - everyone is becoming a cookie cutter cut out> the same the same the same.
But what's worse is , this is what we have all come to believe is the goal of image......we're on our way to becoming robots for sure!
So, may I recommend you watch some POIROT or MISS MARPLE or anything BBC-ish.
You'll see what humankind actually looks like and feel better for it.
Pass the popcorn, Jeeves!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Take Another Shot....

Ok, well the good news is it's NOT rheumatoid arthritis....but it is arthritis never the less.
And what the flaming paintbrush am I talking about?
Well, I have been watching my fingers slowly twisting and the joints getting all 'knobby' over the last few months and noticing after an extended bout of painting that my right hand and arm ache like some old time granny's bunions in a storm, so I finally went to Dr. to get this checked out. Now you have to realize that, for me, losing the use of my hands is the WORST nightmare......and I'm rather freaked out by anything suggesting this happening. The 'foot and mouth' painters - god bless them - make me shiver. So going to the doc and getting this looked at was really worrisome for me. I got sent for blood work (and there was a 'Twilight' experience - 10 flippin' vials later...) and x-rays of my hands, which was cool as the technician guy let me see the pics after....anyway, I got the results today and the verdict was as stated above.
So now I'm on an 'anti-inflammatory' drug - and by the great gods above, reading the possible side affects are enough to make your hair turn white overnight...oh wait, mine is already......yes, indeed.
I'm feeling a bit like the illustration heading this missive. (that's 'Gala' by Dali)
So what does this all boil down to?
Besides a dietary change - we knew that had to happen - and exercise - we knew that too - I will no longer be able to paint my marathon session way anymore.
And it's going to be hard to make myself stop after just a couple of hours every day. I mean, I love spending my days in the studio lost in painting and listening to CBC or a 'talking book'.
Mind you, the alternative was losing painting altogether, so what am I whining about.
It just seems after searching and trying and struggling for so many years to reach this point in my art career where I'm about to go into the BIGGEST show of my life -kablooie - this happens.
(Ah, let me revel in my misery for just a bit)
OK...over it now.
This may make some interesting things happen, the very least I no longer will have to embroider the amount of time it takes to create a painting........2 months? 3 months? More?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ah, you're an ARTIST....*SNEER*................

Took my files to the accountant the other day....this is never my favorite thing to do and not because it's TAX time or having to hand over your hard earned moola to the government so that they can continue to cut all Art programs and beef up the Military- but I digress - no, I find this a particularly unpleasant chore because, invariably, the accountant treats me with such obvious disregard.
And I am wondering why. I pay my taxes; I might not make very much but I'm very up front about what I earn and I keep very tidy and straightforward files - as opposed to getting it all higgledy-piggely in a shoebox - and I pride myself on doing so.
So, why should the moment I mention that I'm an "ARTIST", does the face and demeanor of said accountant change to something like a bad smell is present? Am I less worthy than any n'er-do-well living a dissolute life on welfare? I cannot fathom the reaction I have continuously received every year; oh and to make it clear, we seem to have a revolving line up of different accountants coming out here to the wild west coast.
It makes me wonder if these accountants get some strange class on "ARTISTS-How to deal with the most louche citizens of all."
I wonder if Leonardo Da Vinci was alive today whether he'd get the same reception?
I ALSO wonder what these folks hang on their walls....old accounting tapes from Bill Gates? P'robly so........

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Born To Be Wi-i-i-ld

In my endless (and completely enjoyable yet procrastinating) trolling of the Internet for the unusual, bizarre, and strange, I found this gem. It brought back the memory of my one and only (rebel gal that I am) occasion of being expelled from High School.
Now, I'm one of those strange critters that actually liked school; well except for Math as I most decidedly have a right hand brain - I knew that me and Math were doomed from the get-go as I cheated on a Gr. 1 test (and the boy I cheated from ratted me out -the swine!); anyway, I did like school mainly because by the time High School whipped around I got to choose my subjects and loaded the plate with Art, Drawing, Graphic Design, Creative Writing and the like thereby ensuring graduating on the Honor Roll (True Story!)
So, yes, and we continue: by the time Gr. 10 was happening - 1969 and that should give you a clue - I was completely "Hippy-Arty" and made my own strange outfits and jewellery. In 1969 (I mention again) the fashion of the day was for LARGE and flamboyant accessories. I made my own earrings. And they were LARGE and flamboyant.
The particular day of the 'expulsion', I wore my latest creation to school. I made these earrings of note from 2 old wooden curtain rings, wildy painted and glossed to a deep shine. They hung down to my shoulders.
Yessir, cool was my middle name.
As the day progressed, I garnered many admiring comments and glances...well, in my mind, anyway.
And then my Art teacher noticed them.
Now you would think an 'Art' teacher would encourage these creative endeavors but this was way back in the 'dinosaur' years of repressive education. ie: Do NOT buck the system. Do NOT be unique.
So he bent down (I'm short) and picked up my earrings from my shoulders and in a sneering voice said "I think that these are unacceptable in a school environment and you need to go home to rethink your choice."
I stared at him uncomprehendingly for a moment...'Go home?' 'For earrings?'.......'OK! Sure!'
...and left school for a leisurely day of going down to 4th Ave (THE hippy hangout in Vancouver) and fooling around.
Still wearing my earrings.
Didn't have any birds , sadly, that really would have been cool, man!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All You Need is Love......and a $ 4.95 card from Hallmark's

....chocolates work too!
Ah, Valentine's Day. A day of homage to "prove you love" someone. At the risk of sounding bitter - and since I'm not getting any 'tokens' considering I'm single - (and Jams lets these kind of things pass on by), I just might.
What has always struck me as somehow "cheesy" about this day, is how so many get manufactured items of love to give to their sig. other and how it happens only on this day. What about the rest of those 364 days? And if a card or box of choccies is the best way you have to express love of someone.....well, pathetic comes to mind.
I guess what I'm saying is that taking for granted that one person who stands beside you on this crazy journey for every day but one - and then only that day because it's expected - seems sad.
Also there is really a decided lack of creativity going on here.
So, in order to give some of you a helping hand from the creative juiciness of myself and not getting crazy like suggesting trips to foreign climes, may I suggest the following:
1. A picnic in some fantastic the park or the beach or the backseat of your car overlooking said fantastic spot (for inclement weather) and if putting together a picnic seems beyond your capabilities, trot on down to local eatery/deli and tell them you need help in this regard. Baring that and $ constraints, PB & J sammies with beer and cuddles at said locations works too. BUT! Don't get sloshed if you're driving.
2. Candles. LOTS of candles. Light them up in your bathroom, make a lot of bubbles in the tub, get some champagne and make sure big fluffy towels and a rug are there and I guarantee love vibes will flow! Good music playing a must.
3. Take a walk (slow leisurely) together. Preferably under big umbrella in rain and end up at a wee cafe (if it has fireplace score 10) where you can laugh and gaze at each other while reminiscing about the time/moments you've shared.
4. Go on a 'Mystery' tour. Everyone always has some part of city/town/hamlet they wished they could go to/ never been to locally. So take said 'other' on a surprise tour to said location (but it has to be theirs!) and play Christopher Columbus for a day - afternoon - whatever. And buy the goofiest trinket as memento of said discovery day.
Ok, that should get you started.
You can thank me later.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hope the door don't slam you in the butt on your way out...human scum.

Just finished watching fantastic DVD from the Library (did I happen to mention I get my DVDs from there - over 5000 titles to choose from-3 weeks-for free!!) Titled "Life After People" from the History channel. A documentary (or is it a 'mock'-umentary if it's supposition?) about what could conceivably happen if all humanity disappeared from the Earth. Now that sounds a bit depressing except it was strangely uplifting. Because Nature would just take it all back. Baring the first 50 or so years of sorting out the animal situation, ie: dogs getting back to their origins ( unfortunately your basic little lap dog is doomed-sorry Fifi) learning to hunt - cats are ok they already have that down - and all the other critters that would be moving back into abandoned cities which were their territories to begin with and etc as plant life reclaims the landscape - I found the idea that good old Mother Nature would heal all the unfathomable crap we humans have caused to our planet as comforting. The Oceans would revive and our air would clean and it would be healthy again. Buildings and super structures (bridges etc) would crumble as the materials used to construct them decayed. And trees would grow all over.
Yeah. A bit 'post apocalyptic Eden-ish'. Great computer graphics in this too.
It was interesting to ponder that we as a species have a time limit - vastly immortal though we believe we are.
However, do you know what we would leave as a lasting monument to our excistence? Not the pyramids, or books or any structures as time would take them all.......and this just underlines why maybe we need to go........plastic.
Yep. So think about it when you next have a coffee in that styrofoam cup from Starf*cks..oopsie, did I write that.....anyway, plastic never never never never (ok you catch my drift) decays.
Holy archeology, what a great legacy for humankind.
On the other hand, this bodes well for my paintings being around for some time to come!......Not that Leo Lion, Betty Bear or Lamont Lizard will care.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I'm not really sure what to title this little blather (I put the title up late into this) - I'm not even sure where I'm going with it ......however, I've been reconstructing a "Grey Whale" costume over the last few days. It's life size and fairly accurate too, so a 'big' job (ok, that was lame). I got this project as a result of the misuse by wearer/s of said costume during our Whale Festival here. That's a pretty major event in my area, with @ 10 days of various activities and events all surrounding the celebration of grey whales annual migration past our coast on their way to Alaska. The costume gets worn at these various events as "Knuckles" is the mascot. The people who actually own the costume lend it out to the Whale Festival with the stipulation that it gets cleaned at festival finish. What happened with that particular request was where all the problems ensued as the costume is built over a foam rubber core - NOT washable and the cleaners made an abysmal job of it. It was returned ripped, missing various pieces and, worse, the foam rubber was warped and completely messed up. Now baring the fact that you have to wonder what kind of 'professional' cleaners would do such a thing, what comes to my mind is the total lack of responsibility towards an item (expensive item) that has been generously loaned for the enhancement of the festival. I've also discovered that whoever wore it partied hearty in it as beer stains are all over the tongue (now there's a vision!) and for some unexplainable reason, there are red paint stains on it too. (I'm am seeing a large whale drinking beer and painting the town red as I write.....yep, another lame one....) What I've basically had to do, is, rip apart the costume, make new pattern pieces, reconstruct the warped foam, reinforce the ripped areas, remake 'barnacles' , and sew it all back together and as an added precaution I'm spraying the whole thing with silicon protective spray.

I guess what I'm trying to point out is how a mind works when dressed up. We all like to dress up; ok not all but most of us; and it's like becoming someone or something else and that feeling of freedom that comes along with taking on another 'self' kind of makes us go , well, crazy. It's like the chains are off from the usual constraints of decorum and add some booze into the mix, hoo boy! We gots trouble, baby! In some way, I completely understand the lure of wearing this fabulous costume and letting 'er rip but the other part of me - the one whose hands now ache from ripping vast miles of seams - wants to really 'whale' on the idiot/s who did this. (And again..lame. But the temptation!)

Mind you maybe I should thank them too as it's given me a good paying job!

I think when I return the finished and 'newly' reconstructed costume, I shall include a recommendation that "No Partying Allowed" tag needs to be applied.

Then again, this fix-up could turn into an 'whale of a time' for me. (Ah I can't resist...)


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Out with the old - In with the New

I've reinvented myself today. A new haircut - that's a major thing for me after many years of long hair and a decidedly new attitude to go along with it.
Well, a lot of this is because of what has been happening re my father and dealing with his failing health and decided journey of his end of days. A lot of things have been discovered by my brother and me over the last month in the handling of what the end of life is for your parent. We have also uncovered hidden secrets and feelings that were unknown to us. It is a strange way to grasp the realization you have lived in a world of secrecy and lies......but you can choose to be beaten down or rise above and I've decided on the latter.
So: The haircut has actualized in a most visible way this decision to take on a new viewpoint.
And I'm feeling pretty strong that now I'm shooting for the stars.
....and I really like the added touch of the 'blue finger'