In January, I was chosen to be part of the pop up at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, New York. Afterwards, the kind people at the Wythe sent the participants a gift, a new Sketchbook Project! As soon as the tours open up in March I’ll choose where it’ll be traveling to.
My title this time is, “Princess Witch,” featuring my ladies of the Four Forests. The idea behind is, that here in the western world, women are often put into 2 categories, either a positive one, “princess” or a negative one, “witch.” That doesn’t even begin to describe a whole person, but sadly, it’s what we women are often saddled with. What I’ve been exploring is that we embody both. Our benevolent and malevolent sides are often less dependent on what we do and how we view ourselves than by how we’re perceived by others. I’ve experienced this first hand where I’ve been praised for being perfect when my desires jibed with whoever I was dating, and then denigrated as a “unreasonable” (aka, a crazy bitch) when they did something I didn’t like & I called them on it. Through art, I’ve been mashing those two sides together, featuring women who are conventionally attractive and horrifying at the same time. I’m so excited!
Thusday evening, Mikael brought me flowers and candy. See’s is my absolute favorite! (Yes, I already have candy on my pants.) We went to dinner at a local mexican restaurant and relaxed and people watched with our son.
Friday I took Karl into San Francisco to Kinokuniya in Japantown. I found an awesome sewing magazine, “Female.” Afterwards, Karl and I went to Arizmendi Bakery and had coffee, milk, and treats. We picked up Mikael and got take out from Big Lantern (our favorite!). Their General Tso’s meatless chicken is to die for.
Some color photo instructions and some line art instructions.
There were quite a few patterns, but some also required you to draft them yourself using a sloper. A great challenge for a seamstress!
These are the patterns included with the magazine. So many really cute pieces.
Mikael is such a tv hog, but I got to pick what we watched and I chose “Pacific Rim!” It’s amazing! If you love mecha, Godzilla, Robotech, Voltron, etc, you’ll love it. Every character was an anime type. The movie had very few civilian deaths, little swearing, and no super creepy gender roles that you’re praying your kid doesn’t pick up on.
On Saturday we went to Berkeley. Browsed two books stores, got coffee and ice cream, and finally came home and crashed.
The sun had set and I’d just started watching David Fincher’s “Zodiac” for the first time. My cell rang and it was an unfamiliar number. I got a sudden thrill. “A cute boy is calling me!” I was pretty sure it was the guy I’d given my number to the day before. I let it go to voicemail, paused the movie and listened to his message. Yep. It was him. I was giddy with nervousness and decided that I would call him the next day and see if he wanted to meet up. Then I unpaused “Zodiac.”
The next evening when we met up I found out he shared a love of the 70s, serial killers, and Donovan. And he lived in San Francisco. We have many “songs” but whenever I hear this one I’m instantly transported to the first time he called~
Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I open my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquility.
‘Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love,
In case you’re wondering what a hurdy gurdy is and what it sounds like,
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Feeling incredibly rejuvenated. Karl is back in pre-school. Finished a large job for a client. And I have personal projects organized and ready to create. Today I put on Grant Morrison talking on Keven Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast. I loved Morrison’s “Supergods,” which made me feel like I could accomplish anything despite my anxiety. I knew that since I was going to begin painting “Brooksie,” that I would need an extra shove to get me started. Strangely, the detail work on a painting is the least stressful for me. It’s actually very relaxing to take each piece and tap away with my tiny brush. But the initial laydown of color always freaks me out. I start procrastinating. But I knew Morrison’s unique abundance of creativity would inspire and loosen me up- and it did. So much so that I started putting together a muslin of Karl’s shirt while the layers of my paint dried.
And I finally signed up for Instagram. Yes, filters are fun.
“Zelda was very beautiful and was tanned a lovely gold colour and her hair was a beautiful dark gold and she was very friendly. Her hawk’s eyes were clear and calm. I knew everything was all right and was going to turn out well in the end when she leaned forward and said to me, telling me her great secret, ‘Ernest, don’t you think Al Jolson is greater than Jesus?’
Nobody thought anything of it at the time. It was only Zelda’s secret that she shared with me, as a hawk might share something with a man. But hawks do not share.”
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working on this and others like it for over 4 years. My early 30s were a time of feeling incredibly uninspired. I had focused on learning 3d which left me no time to express any ideas in the time consuming medium of painting. And my usual medium- india ink and watercolor on watercolor paper just wasn’t cutting it for me. I wanted to both eliminate the india ink outlines I’d been working on to give my watercolors a greater softness and also make the jump to canvas and explore texture. Back in my late teens, when I first started painting large pictures in watercolor, I couldn’t get those really big, smooth flat areas of color that I wanted, so I began stippling the color in and fell in love with it. So artistically, I milled about in my early 30s but all that changed when I got pregnant with Karl. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with ideas- must have been the hormones- and worked toward trying to uncover a cohesive theme. Finally I realized my overriding obsession wasn’t just quirky surrealism, nature, and maladjusted ladies, but our connection to nature and how our world constantly attempts to sever us from it. Not in an eco- “let’s recycle” way, but in pretending that we’re not animals and that our marvelous brains should allow us to overcome our evolution through sheer willpower. It’s a message we’re constantly bombarded with- from the way we eat to who we have sex with- and if we don’t conform it’s regarded as a moral failure. I’ve always been more comfortable with being an animal than fitting in with humanity, so my chimeras make me feel right at home.