Monday, December 28, 2009

The Week Between...

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas holiday. I was busy working on a very exciting project that I can't reveal for a bit. I will share as soon as things are a little further along. Consequently, I was drawing all weekend. I can't wait to share!

In other news, my Pandora's Oculus greeting cards were featured on MyShoppingConnection with some other very attractive cards. Don't forget to thank all those people for their generosity this holiday season with the perfect card!

And speaking of shopping, I stumbled upon a wonderful site the other day that combines beautiful design with art. Their blog is great, they have a magazine that looks wonderful and a retail store. Uppercase Gallery has some wonderful products and I love their tagline: A Magazine for the Creative and Curious... aren't we all a little of that? Below are two of my faves; a book of William Shatner portraits by famous artists and illustrators and an Eclectonotebook. Stop by and take a peek!

Talk about an amazing illustrator; Ron Lewhorn's work combines clean vector portraiture with dynamic backgrounds and a vintage/aged patina to create a look that's both fresh and worn. I love his work. Below, are a Birthday poster and a portrait of Johnny Cash. Great stuff!

Let's wrap up with a show review, shall we? I'm sure you've all heard of the show Mad Men. It's pretty much blown it out of the water since it aired. But, if you haven't seen it yet, let me make a personal recommendation to check it out. The characters, the clothing, the glamour (not to mention the sexism, the constant drinking/smoking, and the stereotypical male/female roles), make this show by turns, fascinating, frustrating and addictive. There are so many unintentionally funny moments, it's worth your while to take a gander. If you're a fan already, let me know what you think!

See you next year!

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Violet for your furs...

Hello Lovelies!

Well, Christmas is almost here and that means bright decorations, cookies and holiday music. I am a lover of all things vintage and most of my decorations are old. Worn Christmas decorations have a special patina that you just can't find anywhere else. I found a few new pieces to add to my collection this season; Frosty and two random tinsel/aluminum things that I now love. Take a peek!

Yesterday I went to a cookie party (those are so much fun), and I did up the reliable sugar cookie recipe. Here are a couple of pics of those, I went all out with the decorating since the cookies themselves are somewhat simple. It got me in the holiday spirit.

Art news, I will be doing another photograph in my Cigar, Creeper & Dark Sideshow and Circus series this coming weekend with a friend who is visiting from California, so look for that early next week. I don't want to spoil the surprise!

I will also be offering some fun new products in the new year at the shop, including original ACEOs, mini photo series somewhat like the Christmas one I'm offering now, and maybe some original paintings. Exciting stuff coming!

I have a couple of artists to recommend as usual. Jamie Salmon is a hyper-realistic sculptor who creates amazing human pieces. I've seen a lot of work like this because I love it and he is one of the best. His site has some process shots that are fascinating. Here are a couple of his works:

Pieter Hugo is a photographer whose work runs the gamut from funny to very serious and eye-opening. Most of his subjects are from various parts of Africa and I found his Nollywood series wonderful. Apparently, Nollywood, is the third largest film industry in the world after, I'm assuming, Hollywood and Bollywood. Check out his work, it's moving.

Let's wrap up with some funny news, shall we? Of course. Apparently, a choir teacher in Arizona took 40 kids to lunch at Hooters after a concert. According to the teacher, it was the only place in Phoenix "big enough to accommodate a crowd that size." And here's the best part, the teacher is female. Yeah, she's spending Christmas on administrative leave.

Happy Holidays and unpleasant dreams!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bumper Bunny Balloon Head...

Hello Lovelies!

Well, I hope you're all getting prepared for the holiday season and excited to celebrate it!

I have been rather busy in the Mill, finishing up my paintings for the RISE show that opens this Friday. (The info is below, if you're in the area, stop on by.) The proceeds will benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southern Maine (a great cause), plus there will be music and food and good times, you can't lose really.

The latest piece in my Icarus series entitled Bumper Bunny Balloon Head is below and it will be one of the 5 pieces I will be displaying at RISE. These pieces are really fun and they all come in vintage frames for a unique look.

I have discovered a non-living artist who was way ahead of his time who I think you may enjoy. Felicien Rops was a Belgian artist who died in 1898, but his work was way ahead of its time. As you can see from the paintings below, his work was surreal and sexy and somewhat mysterious and I love it. He also did some wonderful etchings and caricatures. There is a museum of his work in Belgium which I would love to check out at some point. If you're close, you should.

Moving in a completely different direction, Scott Radke is another artist whose work grabbed my attention this week. Radke is a marionette maker, and a large body of his work can be found here. (I didn't post pictures to comply with his copyright requests.) I had a ton of fun perusing his gallery as I'm sure you will too. I couldn't pick a favorite, all their little dark faces and humorous poses are pretty wonderful. I wish I could have them all as pets. Lovely.

And let's wrap up with a little bit of humor, shall we? There are no less than 2 whole radio stations up here in Maine dedicated to Christmas music 24/7 from mid-October until New Year's. Now, this may be a nightmare for some, but I like holiday music for the most part so it's fine by me. Except certain cringe-worthy songs and when they come on, I have to change the channel. You all have a good sense of humor, so I thought I'd post this year's Top 5 Worst Holiday Songs for your enjoyment. Go check them out... they're real bad. What is your least favorite and why? (Make it funny folks...)

1. Vanessa William's - Angels We Have Heard on High (This is a great song, but add early-90's synth, a saxophone intro and a crazy-town beat and you've got yourself a trainwreck.)
2. 3 of Hearts - Christmas Shoes (This song - any version - takes holiday corny to a whole new level and by verse 12, you'll be crying... for the song to stop.)
3. Lou Monte - Dominick the Donkey (Really? I don't think I need to comment on this one.)
4. Barbra Streisand - It Must Have Been the Mistletoe (The tempo and lyrics of this song - almost a cracked out waltz - are the parts that get me. Oh, and they play it all the time.)
5. The Muppets - 12 Days of Christmas (Holy. Smokes. This song is interminable and annoying anyway, but imagine Gonzo porking out 5 golden rings 8 times.)

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Candy Apples...

Hello Lovelies!

Hope you are all well. I have been working furiously on the Icarus series and I have the third piece to show you, it's entitled Candy Apple. I have 2 more paintings to do in this series for a holiday show at the RISE Gallery in South Portland, Maine December 17-23rd. If you're in the area during that time, stop by. A lot of wonderful artists, photographers and jewelers will be on display.

I submitted my Skydiver piece to Craftgawker recently and it was posted, which is neat. (From what I understand, it's pretty tough to be selected for that pretty picky site.) If you're not familiar with the site, it's worth your while to check it out, there is some top knotch stuff on there.

I found a really neat site the other day called Sketch Theatre. To start, there are the great sketch videos which show artists doing quick sketches. (I thought these were fascinating to watch.) Plus, if you're an artist, they have a monthly illustration contest for prizes. Pretty neat. (The image below is a video by the artist Apricot Mantle, who does some really neat colored pencil work.)

Well, the holiday season is upon us, and it's been awhile since I did a Covetable list, so I thought I'd do a Gift Guide instead. These are some of my favorites, and I mixed them up so there should be something for everyone. (There are shop links directly beneath the Guide.)

Let's wrap up with some crazy news, shall we? On a holiday note, a man in Georgia, dressed up as an elf, waited in line to uh, sit on Santa's lap and have his picture taken. But that's not the crazy part (believe it or not), when he got to the front of the line, he became a bad elf and told Santa he had dynamite in his coat and was going to blow him up. Whew. What the?! Well, he didn't have dynamite (luckily), and he was promptly arrested. I guess the holiday stress got to Santa's elf, eh?

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shiny & New...

Hello Lovelies!

As promised, I have added holiday items to the shop. Cards, mini art photos and eventually several one of a kind ornaments should give you a nice selection of wonderful and unexpected gifts for the season. I think you'll particularly enjoy the Holly Go Lightly card set (yes, those are skulls instead of berries Lovelies).

I mentioned taking part in an ornament exchange a couple posts back. Well, I put together the little doozy pictured below to send to my "ornament buddy." I like to call it Santa Around the World (because of the globes and whatnot), but in fact, those globes are depicting the seasons. Attention to detail isn't my strong suit. Regardless, I think it came out just swimmingly, don't you?

I have found more artists that I think will interest you Lovelies. Louise aka Art & Ghosts is an amazingly talented artist out of the UK who uses a Wacom tablet and Photoshop to create amazing and haunting images of little girls and rainbows and teardrops and I really can't even explain it accurately. You just need to go to her site basically. Amazing work and I can't fathom how she makes such wonderful paintings with a Wacom, but she does.

And can we just talk about Justin Erickson next? Holy smokes. Not only does he design and creating art for Rue Morgue Magazine(!!!), he also has an amazing portfolio of horror-inspired work. His aesthetic combines 60's horror, amazing typography, photoshop effects, pencil and painting expertise that's right up there and design sense that basically almost made my head blow off when I first saw his stuff. Check it out!

And let's wrap up with a movie review as usual. I rented Tod Browning's Freaks (1932) the other night. To give you a little history, Tod Browning directed Dracula with Bela Lugosi and made many movies about the sideshow and circus so of course, I like most of his work. Freaks is a fascinating movie from several perspectives; it shows many of the sideshow performers of the day actually moving and talking, it has a somewhat scandalous plot, and people in the 30's hated it, but it still achieved cult status. Did people in the 30's hate it because it was exploitative? No folks, they hated it because it was "filthy and disgusting." Nice, huh? I think it's wonderful and you Kiddies need to check it out. I won't spoil the plot...

Until next time: unpleasant dreams.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Captain Pipsqueak...

Hello Lovelies!

The holidays are approaching and I am up to my ears in macabre goodies. I will be loading the shop up for the holidays Thanksgiving weekend. Also, I have finally uploaded a ton of paintings and photos to my site, go take a peek. If you are interested in any of my paintings for a gift or for yourself, please shoot me an inquiry. I am happy to gift wrap!

I have done another painting in the Icarus Series for one of my shows that I wanted to show you all. This piece is entitled Captain Pipsqueak, and it features pretty much every bell and whistle you could imagine; glitter, metallic paint, glass balls, you name it. I wanted this piece to feel dark and surreal but also innocent and fun. Let me know what you think!

Oh, and one of my photos was featured in a great treasury put together by MiaRosina. Take a look! Some great time-related pieces in this treasury.

Enough about me, I have found 2 great artists that you all need to check out. Jeremy Geddes is amazing. You want to know why? I'll tell you. He paints photo-realistically but instead of taking the boring path with this technique, he throws in elements/situations that are humorous and at times macabre. A couple of his pieces are below to give you a taste; he also has great work on his site. Love it.

The next artist is completely different and completely mind-blowing. Elizabeth McGrath is a sculpture, a painter and a musician. Her works, as you can see below, include both dioramas and sculpture that she paints. Her work is detailed and funny and fun. I just don't even know how she does her pieces. Really. I don't. How the heck does she do that?! Anyway, peruse her site and drool if you must.

Okay, let's wrap up with a movie review, shall we? A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a list of Rob Zombie's top 5 favorite horror movies and so I decided to rent them all and watch them. Some I'd seen, like Dawn of the Dead, others, not so much and uh, now I wish I hadn't. The fun little feature I watched last night was called Deranged. Heard of it? Well, the movie is based on the Ed Gein story (you know, the guy who also inspired the movie Psycho and Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs). The broad brushstrokes here are as follows: A man lives holed up with his mother, an invalid, his whole life. Mom dies. He loses it and proceeds to dig her up, talk to her, and then dig up bodies and murder young women in an attempt to "restore" his mother to him. What the hell? Yeah. The movie itself was slow and tedious, but CREEPY and I don't know where they dug up the male lead (no pun intended), but he looks like something out of Deliverance. Y-I-K-E-S. Anywho, rent it, it's worth it. Now... I'm off to watch Freaks.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fly Guys...

Hello Lovelies!

Well, I hope this Sunday finds you all doing well. I have been busy in the Mill as usual painting and plotting and creating mischief. Some of you may recall the frames at the Goodwill that I was going to make into art. Well, I have completed the first piece in the Icarus Amusement series and I've started on the second and they're coming along swimmingly. Take a peek... More to come, there will be 5 in all.

I recently signed up to be part of the blogger ornament exchange over at the Pampering You blog. (The date for sign ups has passed, but it's an annual thing that seems pretty fun.) I'll show you my ornament when I complete it... the recipient won't know what hit them. Heehee.

And speaking of the holidays, I came across this Santa marionette in a catalog the other day and I wanted to share since it made me say "What the... why?"

Oh, and for you book lovers out there, do I have a site for you! I stumbled across the Folio Society website quite by accident when I saw the Sam Weber illustrations for their edition of Lord of the Flies. Beautiful books with beautiful artwork, I think you have to be a member to purchase them and some are quite expensive, but if you have a favorite and they've published it, you can't beat it. If they ever published Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury ( my favorite book of all time), I would sell my limbs for it. (Except my left hand so I could still paint of course.) And if you haven't read that book, go get a copy and give it a whirl, Ray is wonderful.

I am by no means a motorcycle rider, I think they're beautiful pieces of machinery, but beyond the aesthetics, I have no interest. So imagine my surprise when I happened upon Harley Davidson's patriotic ad campaign recently and fell in love. No, not with the bikes, though they're very pretty (can you call a bike "pretty???"), with the 1940's look of the campaign. It's beautiful; the bike, the model, the fonts are all impeccable. They really spared no expense; there's a pin-up calendar, postcards to the troops. It's beautiful stuff, go check it out.

Let's wrap up with a nutso new story because well, it's been awhile and well, this one is a doozy. So, did you Kids read about the 3 homeless men in Russia who in fact killed a man and ate him? But that's not the worst part... they also sold some of his body parts to a local kebab house where other people also ate him. What the?! How does this happen? And can you imagine unknowingly eating a person? You go in for lamb, and come out with Stan. Whew boy, yuck.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams