from the jazz age to the space age

Murder! Mystery! So much good tv!

For a not particularly violent person, I love murder mysteries.

As I mentioned last time, I don’t find tv watching relaxing. The minutes crawl by, so I have to have something next to me to distract me, usually my phone where I’m reading an article (I don’t have social apps on my phone except Instagram). I would knit, but having the light bright enough doesn’t really enable my husband to watch tv comfortably. However, over August we made it through the first 5 seasons of “Supernatural.” After a predictably rough start, midway through the first season it got good- really good! It may have had something to do with Ben Edlund’s involvement (if you haven’t read or watched The Tick, find it immediately. It’s parody still holds up brilliantly, perhaps even more so now that ninjas & superheroes are hot again). After the end of season 5, which wraps up the series nicely, we decided to take a break before we watched the more recent seasons.

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Next we watched “Broadchurch.” WOW. I mean, we knew we’d love parts of it bc of David Tennant, but everyone was well written and well acted, especially Olivia Colman. They’ve remade it for America as “Gracepoint,” which will be starting October 1st. I don’t know that I love Tennant’s American accent and to be honest every else looks so shiny. But while the first two episodes of Gracepoint are supposed to mirror Broadchurch, from there it diverges and has a different plot. Who am I kidding, we’ll totally watch it, but probably start at episode 3 & power watch 1,2, & 3 at once so we don’t have that sense of disappointment. We loved Broadchurch so much that it left us with that feeling of a bad breakup. Does that ever happen to you? You love something so much and when it’s over nothing else compares (cue Sinead O’Connor and her glycerin tears).

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picture is Luther wallpaper from http://stylefavor.com/luther/luther_wallpaper/

We decided to rebound with Luther. We were first introduced to Idris Elba in The Wire (another show that left us like a bad breakup). Luthor is good, really good and it features a delightful anomaly: a female master villain. Neither my husband nor I found Ruth Wilson as Alice attractive. She has what I term, “the Innsmouth Look” (Lovecraft! & seriously, please stop putting fillers in your upper lip), but I soon fell in love. I explained to my husband that she’s like what would happen if Batman had to team up with Poison Ivy- (side note, how amazing would Idris Elba be as Batman? He’s tall, gorgeous, and radiates intelligence). He ended up coming around to her & now every time she shows up we squeal bc we know the show is going to get SO GOOD!!!

Oh! I should mention in case it’s not apparent, these shows are SUPER messed up and not for the faint of heart. Netflix has Supernatural and Luther, but you have to pay for Broadchurch on amazon. it’s worth it. Be careful, apparently the BBCAmerica version cut scenes out :(

Inspiration- music

Along with my permanent musical inspirations- Bowie, Roxy Music, and all things late 60s/70s- there are a few more current musicians that I find inspiring.

Of Monsters and Men- My Head is an Animal- an Icelandic group with whimsical, cheery music. They’re like listening to a weird and wonderful children’s book.

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Florence + the Machine- Ceremonials. Lush music that reminds me in some ways of Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s like listening to velvet. Florence is also heavily influence by the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, which is also why I love her! Doesn’t she look like Ophelia here?

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Arcade Fire- Neon Bible. Oh My Goodness, is there anything better than “Black Mirror”? The lyrics will float up from my subconscious at those quiet moments. A few months ago I woke up at 4:30am with this on perma play in my head-

“The black mirror knows no reflection
It knows not pride or vanity
It cares not about your dreams
It cares not for your pyramid schemes
Their names are never spoken
The curse is never broken
The curse is never broken

Un! Deux! Trois! Dis: miroir noir!
Black mirror!
Un! Deux! Trois! Dis: miroir noir!
Black mirror!”

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It may have something to do with us having a black framed mirror (thanks Ikea) as well as my ambivilent attitude towards tv. I love shows and movies, but I just can’t sit and watch something without doing something else at the same time. It makes my husband a little crazy bc it’s his go-to way to relax, but I don’t find sitting to be relaxing at all. Our nighttime hour of show watching is definitely something I do bc I love him- although we have been watching a slew of shows that have captured my interest! I’ll post about them next time.

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Hello Autumn!

Despite what the calendar says, September is the beginning of Autumn! The days are hot, but the afternoons already show the long shadows typical of my favorite season. Fall also means I’m feeling invigorated. My table is full of projects that I feel great about. The work of the past year is finally coming together. It’s so nice to create something and be satisfied with it.

A few things I’m working on-

“Black Gloves”

Clothed in her retro 70s Biba style dress, Kora is busy adjusting her black gloves in a grove of abstracted, shimmering Art deco trees…

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Here’s a work in progress shot that I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago-

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Generally, my work flow is something along the lines of first getting visual inspiration. I watch my favorite movies or shows (like Twin Peaks), browse books and magazines (my favorite drawing books, Rackham, or Pinterest), &/or listen to music (Of Monsters and Men has been on perma play). Then I make a quick sketch in a small notebook (upper left). I take photo reference & print it out (upper right). And then I make a sketch in my large sketchbook. Sometimes that gets scanned into Photoshop, tweaked, and printed. But even then it may not still be right, so I’ll cut up the print and move things around, taping them until they finally look right. After that I transfer the drawing to thick Acrylic paper or canvas.
The color process involves going back to my sketch in Photoshop & slapping some color on there for a general idea before I actually put paint on the paper or canvas.

Some more wips (works in progress) in this same series-

“Dangerous Pleasures”

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“The Schoolgirl”

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As well as the dolls that are part of the same series-

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Sigh, I have been dreaming of Pumpkin Spice Lattes! I’ve already had 4 so far. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I explained to him that they’re seasonal and so they’re gone after Thanksgiving. He was tempted, but decided to stick with his ice coffee.

Happy Autumn!

Star Princess and Pluta

My husband brought me flowers and a gift the other day! A week or so ago, I came across this paperdoll on Pinterest which I had when I was a kid. “Star Princess and Pluta.” Seriously, were the 70s/early 80s the best or what? he tracked it down and surprised me with it!

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They are thick cardboard dolls with plastic stands.

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Inside the box there are outfits for both Star Princess and her robot friend, Pluta. This set was published in 1980 and seems heavily inspired by the movie/show, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” She looks a lot like Wilma Deering and wears clothing similar to both Wilma and Princess Ardala.

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OMLord, all I want to do is scan these in so I have a version to play with!

Barry Moser’s Alice in Wonderland

“All in the golden afternoon…”

For me, Alice in Wonderland is the quintessential summer book. I have a number of editions. Rackham’s glorious version- so hard to believe it was ever controversial. A Norton Critical Edition with Tennial’s original drawings. And Camille Rose Garcia’s delightful psychedelia. But Moser’s is not often seen and that it really deserves its moment in the sun. Copiously illustrated with his strange and detailed woodcuts, you really get a sense that Alice’s adventure is less dream and more nightmare…

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Moser’s Cheshire Cat is a hairless Sphynx.

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The text is annotated throughout in red

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The Cook and Duchess. Moser really needs to illustrate Gormenghast. IMG_2381 IMG_2382 IMG_2383 IMG_2384

6th Anniversary & the marriage of cookies and ice cream

My husband and I celebrated our 6th anniversary yesterday, sort of for the second time. The first time was a couple weeks ago, when Mikael’s parents visited. We don’t eat out very much, maybe twice in a month, so food I don’t make from scratch is pretty luxurious for me. They watched Karl while we went out to breakfast at a local place I’d been wanting to try, Cafe Jolie. Mikael had an omelet & I had the croissant french toast (yes, french toast made out of croissants). Their coffee was delicious too.

Yesterday we took Karl into San Francisco, went shopping at Japantown mall and wandered through the Nihonmachi Street Fair. Then we popped over to Herbivore for Schawarma and afterward walked over to a game store for more shopping. Amazingly, neither of us found what we were looking for at either Kinokuniya (me) or the game store (him).

Finally we capped the evening with a trip to Cookie Bar in Alameda. They serve Thrifty ice cream, which was a blast from the past. I used to walk with my younger cousine to Thrifty for a 10-15 cent ice cream cone when I was a little kid. It was a solid 30 minute walk for us, but it was worth it. Our family didn’t buy a lot of sweets, so we had to save any change we got & buy our own candy bar or ice cream, as well as hoof it to the Thrifty ourselves.
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This dessert pretty much embodies my husband and I. I love cookies, he loves ice cream. Together we are invincible.

I ended up with Chocolate Malted Crunch ice cream on chocolate walnut chip cookies. It was pretty ridiculously decadent! Karl had a scoop of vanilla on a sugar cone & Mikael decided to wait for Ben & Jerry’s caramel core (he’s obsessed). IMG_2289

 It was a lovely mellow day. We both marveled that it’s been 6 years since we got married. Six years! How is he still the most interesting person I know? It’s sorcery! Sorcery I tell you!

The Bees Knees at the Alexi Era Gallery

If you’re in St. Louis, MO please check out The Bees Knees Show at the Alexi Era Gallery. 

Public Opening Reception : July 19th 7-9PM

Special Collectors Preview: July 19th 6-7PM
(RSVP: $20, Call 618.407.5596 or email: info@alexieragallery.com)
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The Bees Knees is an awareness and fundraising exhibition for Honey Love, urban bee keepers and activists trying to help our honey bee population. The Exhibition will feature 100 artworks on postcards from artists all around the world. All postcards will be priced $5-$50, and available to take home right away showing your support along with a honey tasting feature local harvested honey. On the back of each postcard is a special message about how you can help the bees. 100% of all sales go to HoneyLove and their commitment to save the bees! We aim to raise awareness, bring hope and also create a dialogue about the importance of bees.

I contributed a postcard to the show~
“The Message”
4″ x 6″
watercolor
It depicts two of my ladies communicating a message in the language of flowers.

jordanwestermessage01jordanwestermessage02jordanwestermessage03In retrospect, I wish I’d made the background something other than blue. I feel it clashes with the purple. The background should have been cream or lilac. I’m thinking of doing a larger version with greater detail for myself, so we’ll see how that pans out.


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