Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some Of My Least Terrible Paintings

As I have mentioned before, I've been painting terribly. A lot. Mostly in the middle of the night because I'm so bad at it, it's a crime. Some of my paintings are more terrible than others. These here are some of the less terrible ones.

This one is called Coward (yes, I name my paintings. I have even started signing them. Someone has to take responsibility for this crap). It is called Coward because, when I started painting it I envisioned a dark, sunset-y scene with a flock of silhouetted birds flying across the sun but when I was done with the sunset part, I was afraid I would ruin it with birds. So I didn't paint the birds. Because I'm a coward.

Since painting from my own head was yielding such terrible results, I tried painting with step-by-step instructions from an expert. The Art Sherpa would surely chastise me for calling my paintings terrible. But look at her beach wave and look at my Beach. The waves in my painting are just terrible.

Back to painting from my own head. Since I already had a sun, a moon and The Milky Way painted, I tried my hand at Mars. My terrible, terrible hand. After I finished it I realized that the shadowed part of Mars should not have stars in it. I am not only a terrible painter but a bad astronomer. Not The Bad Astronomer mind you, but bad enough not to realize you can't see stars through a planet.

Moon Cat shows that I was correct in being a coward with Coward. I had a nice moonlit landscape going that I originally wanted to put a cat in. When I was done with the moonscape, I talked myself out of chickening out and painted the cat. The terrible, lopsided, too fat cat.

This is Night of the Triffids. Why did I paint this? I don't know. Alls I know is it can't be terrible because I made it up in my head so this is exactly what a night of triffids would look like.

This is Paper Birch. I don't have anything bad to say about it since I quite like it. Although two people thought it was a painting of bamboo.

Maybe someday I'll post pictures of my more terrible terrible painting. Maybe Charles Barkley will comment on their terribleness.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Went Hiking. It Was Nice

What I did shouldn't be called "hiking". Meandering is more like it since I do not hike, I lumber. Firstly, I'd like to say what a beautiful, mosquito and gnat filled park is Valley Stream State Park. I felt like Cletus The Slack-Jawed Yokel the way the swarmed my face. Did not occur to me to use bug spray.

Secondly, I have never seen a barbecue area so empty.

And then I realized I'd never been to a barbecue area in a park at 10 am on a Tuesday. Apparently, nobody else has either.

Thirdly, look how gorgeous this park is:

 This is the soccer field. This park abuts the Southern State highway. You wouldn't know it to look at it.

The trail is very deceptive. It feels as if you are in the deep forest but there is one point where these are the two views you see by turning your head just 90 degrees.

There is a playground in the second view.

Still, there is a point where all you see are views like this all the way around:

I was looking forward to finding the creek that was on the map. Alas, this is it:

Hubby thinks it dried out. I say it was filled in with sand. Dry creek beds usually have different sized smooth boulders and pebbles, not sand. My take is that it was filled in because us bumbling city meanderers kept falling into it.

Finally, the state park knew I was coming because they left this right in the deepest part of the trial.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

For You, My Love

Recently in this blog, I called my husband a big, farty baby. Or that he sleeps like a big, farty baby. Whichever. Why did I do that? Because I can get away with it. He doesn't read my blog, he told me so. Says it's too "girly". I have made this blog entry especially for you, my love.

A huge explosion

War movie footage

A fancy car

Cowboys and Indians

Fighter Jets


And because I know you really, really like them, boobs

Love you, Dany.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Imagine Aretha Franklin Singing Day Dreaming While Reading This

Hey baby let's get away-- let's go some place far.

Bodiam Castle is in East Sussex, which is in England and not New Jersey. This should be obvious as nobody was building castles in New Jersey in 1385. And, for sure, there was nobody named Edward Dalyngrigge building castles in N.J. or anyplace else other than England. Because, really, have you ever seen a name more English than Edward Dalyngrigge?

I feel that many are not taking my suggestion to heart and do not have Aretha Franklin digging an hole in your ear with this particular worm. Here, play this while checking out the rest of this entry:
Click here before continuing.

Eltz Castle was built around 1160 and still houses the Eltz family. Next time  you are in the Rheinland-Pfalz area of Germany, you should visit as this castle boasts both guided tours AND toilets.

Hey Elsa, do you wanna build a snowman? Hohenzollern Castle was build during the 11th century. Then again in 1423 and one last time in the 19th century. If you go by this building, it was good to be a ruler of Prussia back in 1020. This castle is just outside of Stuttgart. If you look real close, you can probably see Olaf sunning himself on the ramparts.

Why do people keep referring to this as the Jal Mahal Palace? For the same reason people insist on calling it an ATM machine. Jal Mahal means Water Palace, even though when it was built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, it wasn't a palace at all but a hunting lodge. Because this is a maharaja's idea of a simple lodge. If you go to Jaipur in India you can see it but you can't visit because there are no longer gondola tours. There used to be and there may be again in the future. Can you imagine taking a gondola tour of this place? This is a five story building. The bottom floors were meant to be under water. How cool is that?

No, this is not Hogwarts. This is Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. It was built as a private hideaway for Ludwig II as a homage to Wagner of big-breasted singing Vikings fame. It is also supposedly Walt Disney's inspiration for the Disney Castle. If you ask me, I think Eltz Castle looks much more like the one in Disney World.

In order to be a great castle in my book, the building must be up on a mountain or surrounded by water. Mont St Michel is one of the oldest buildings still extant. Sure, it was ransacked way back in 500, but they just kept building it up again and again. It now houses a commune for monks. There it sits, on a mountain on a tidal island. If I ever make it to Normandy, I will have to visit my very own Mont. Yes, it is mine. It's named for me after all.

80's romance couple are in the den watching Julia Child.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Da Bronx Sings!

I grew up in the South Bronx and East Tremont in the '70s and didn't think much of it until I was much older and met and spoke with many, many other people who did not grow up in the South Bronx and East Tremont in the '70s. For instance, most people didn't walk their dogs in empty lots while pretending to be great archaeologist as this was before Indiana Jones and nobody ever pretended to be a great archaeologist. Just like nobody ever was sorely disappointed when their dog cut open his foot on glass and was then banned from going on archaeological digs ever again.

This is the lot where I found the ancient living fossil, the pill bug, that I was sure would shoot me up to the top of the paleontology world (hey, I was 8-- archaeology, paleontology same difference)

When we moved from East Tremont and into the deep South. I would speak with a fake southern accent and tell strangers I met I was from the South. The South Bronx. It was an upward move as we moved into our very own house. And, I swear to God, this was the train I took and I got off at the very next stop, Elder Ave.

We were tough. Even our schoolyard chants were tougher than yours. I didn't know this until I was discussing schoolyard chants with co-workers later in life. We argued whether it was Miss Suzie or Miss Lucy who owned a steamboat. One co-worker thought it was cute how kids would work around curses but never actually say them-- because that would be a bad for an elementary school child.

I was, like, huh? We cursed all the damned time in my school yard. And some of my favorite chants were 'diss' chants. Like this one:

I hate to talk about your Mama, but she's in my class
She's got popcorn titties and a rubber ass
She's 99, she's Frankenstein
She's the fattest motherfucker on the welfare line.

There are alternate rhymes like:

I hate to talk about your Mama cuz she's a good old soul
She's got rawhide titties and a rubber asshole
She jumped out the window with a dick in her hand
Yelling, "Look at me nigger, I'm Superman!

To my utter surprise none of my non-Bronxonian co-workers had ever heard of this before. Nor had they heard this wonderful camp song that takes two people to sing. One to say "zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom" over and over again like a bagpipe and the other to sing:

Tickle me, tickle me you know where
Up my kilt and through my hair
If you don't tickle me in the right place
I'll pick up my kilt and I'll piss in your face.

That last one was, as I said, a camp song. Surely they didn't save all the nasty camp songs for us kids from The Bronx? I tried one more on them. The famous James Brown one. For sure they heard the James Brown one.

Went downtown to get a stick of butter
I saw James Brown shitting in a gutter
I took a piece of glass
And shoved it up his ass
Never seen a motherfucker run so fast!

Nope, nobody ever anally violated the Godfather of Soul in elementary school.

I'd like if anyone ever heard any of these songs to make a comment telling me so. Also, when and where. Because I'm nosy like that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Where Arts and Crafts is Going. Are Going. I Dunno-- Trends In Arts and Crafts

One of my YouTube painter guys, Clive, pointed me to The Art Sherpa who did this thing called #LoveSummerArt where artists with YouTube channels uploaded videos for three days with the hashtag Love Summer Art. I think Cinnamon (The Art Sherpa) wants YouTube to  have a dedicated Arts and Crafts channel. Which it should. Oh and Cinnamon is from Dallas but she really should be from Austin so she can help keep it weird.

The hashtag thingy got over 200 artists to upload projects and, I gotta tell ya, there are some amazingly talented people out there and there are some not so amazingly talented people with access to a digital camera and a computer. I've watched just 58 of these videos but I definitely see a trend. And this trend is "Art Journals". What is an Art Journal, you ask? Well, an Art Journal is what you get when scrapbookers decide that they no longer are doing arts and crafts but are now mixed media artists.

The above is an Art Journal. As is the below.

Out of the almost 60 videos I watched at least 25 were people Art Journaling. There was only one jewelry tutorial and one felting tutorial, no mosaic or sculpting, and one truly fantastic spray paint artist. Not a graffiti artist, but a guy who spray painted canvases. Stellar Paintings is the name of his gallery and he does shows on the boardwalk where he paints stuff like this with spray paint.

Since I only got through a quarter of the videos, I couldn't say if the ratio of Art Journals to not Art Journals gets better. I do know that there are more jewelry makers and knitters that I didn't see. I do not know if there are any ceramic artists --although I did see someone use polymer clay to make a Spirit Doll face.  You know, a face. For a Spirit Doll. Surely you've seen a Spirit Doll. No? Here's one:

According to her hair, it has been as humid in Spirit Doll land as it has been in New York these last few days.

I'm diving back in. Why not? YouTube is free. But I hope nobody minds if I skip all the Art Journal videos.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Shout Out To Those Crazy Fu--, Um, Dedicated Artists With Nothing But Time And Patience

Have you ever seen a work of art that was so detailed and painstakingly put together that you thought, "Wow, that artist is crazy talented. Or maybe just crazy"? I have on countless occasions. Let it be said that this is not a failing of the artist but my own lack of patience and talent that leads me to be such a bitch internally. Here are a few artists I've encountered while filling the hours on the internet that made me stop and say, "Really?!"

Laura Hiserote does mosaic. I have done mosaic. That is where the comparison stops. Whereas I pasted a few orange and red tiles in a circle and called it the sun, Laura uses her Ant-Man abilities to lay down microscopic tesserae and creates things like this:

I'm a bad blogger. The above picture does not do Laura's micro art justice. I chose it because I love it the most. Here's another picture that illustrates the painstaking art of going tweezer-blind much better.

If you put your nose right up to the computer, you can see the atom sized tiles used on this pendant.

Wen Fuliang is a woodworker who lives in China. When the communist claimed all the wood for the state, Wen started carving eggshells instead. Because why the fuck not? He doesn't have a webpage (damn commies!), so here are a few pictures of how he wiles away the hours not claimed by the Chinese government.

Like a snowglobe made by chickens.

The only problem is, his cholesterol is through the roof.

Say you've eaten a cow cut into steaks and a whole Monsanto corn farm's worth of popcorn. What do you do with all the toothpicks you use afterwards? If you are Scott Weaver, you do this:

One memorable Rice-A-Roni meal got stuck in there real good and here is the result 

And this is just because he hates trees.

Dalton Ghetti took a look at the previous artist's work and was like, psh, ya'll ain't nothin'! Except for Laura. She can hang with us micro guys. Make sure you have a very strong light when you display my pieces. You're gonna need it.

Screw your glue, nutritious snacks and teeth cleaning utensils, here are the tools of my trade.

How much do I love my art? Dalton continues speaking to me in my head, this much!

Yeah, well, you know what Chen Forng-Shea has to say to you Mr. Ghetti? Nothing. He probably doesn't even know you. But if he were to meet you in my head and I made up a conversation, he would probably say "You think that's crazy tiny? You ain't seen nothing yet, amateur!" and he'd whip out a grain of rice. And then everyone would search for their magnifying glasses and patiently wait their turn (cuz these guys got patience up the whazoo) to see this.

Chinese artists can't help playing with their food.

And now I will go back to not being patient enough to wait for acrylic paint to dry.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Still Filling The Hours Painting Terribly

My dumbass ass is acting all sciatic-y plus it is 91 degrees with the humidity at close to 70%. This means I become a bedroom shut-in. The Bedroom-- where the air is cool and my ass -- well, it's still hurty but I am not allowed to chop it off with a buzz saw. Federal regulations.

One thing I learned painting on my bed is that I can paint on my bed. Without painting the sheets. This makes by husband happy. Oh, alright. I'll be honest. It doesn't make him happy. It doesn't make him unhappy either. It makes him nothing because he sleeps through the whole process. Sleeps like a baby. Like a giant, farty, snoring baby.

A couple of things I've learned so far. You don't like something? Paint right over it! I tried my hand at one stroke petals (although one stroke is a kind of technique, it isn't one of a sexual nature no matter how 12 year old I am inside) and the results were not flowers. What to do? Paint over it! I overpaint with white but I've read that some people simply turn the canvas upside down and start painting. That would be far too distracting to me.

Another thing I learned is that my paint dries to fast. I'm supposed to have at least 10 minutes to paint and blend but, as you can see by Honeybear's eyes, the drying time was less than 5 minutes.

The only way I got the black to blend even the slight amount it did was to spray it with a mist of water. It is sooooooo humid, shouldn't the paint take much, much longer to dry? Still, I am not painting over Honeybear. I like him.


Poor 80's romance girl. It is too hot and there is no air conditioning where her life is taking shape in the computer room. She's destined to stay horny and unfulfilled until the weather breaks.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How To Paint Terribly Some More

When last I left you I had three 4X2 canvases on which I painted a two terrible paintings: a depressed daisy and decapitated trees. This left me with one unpainted canvas and still no sun in the sky. Remember the sun in the sky? That's what started this whole 'I'm gonna paint really bad pictures' dealie. Well, now I had Clive and Angela's sound advice on using acrylic paints and it was time to re-tackle the sun.

The sun that was in my head was a fiery ball with a scorching red corona in the summer blue sky but, if there was one thing I learned from The Internet School of Painting Terribly, was that I do not have the talent to paint a fiery red corona in a summer blue sky.  I could, however, use my newly acquired blending skills to paint a hot mess. So I did.

I especially like this sun because I did not find a specific lesson on how to paint the sun in the sky. This hot mess is all my own creation.

This left me with one sun, three trees, one gloomy daisy and zero moons. Which was bothering me because I saw Clive demonstrate a technique on painting a moon (or a planet) and I needed symmetry. Badly. It was eating away at me. The sun needs a moon and here is a way to paint the moon and I want to paint the moon. I really, really want to paint the moon. I HAVE to paint the goddamned moon!

So I painted over the Cymbalta Daisy with a light grey with a touch of blue and painted this goddamn terrible moon. I felt much better afterward.

I also ordered more canvases.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How To Paint Terribly

I paint stuff all the time. Just recently I painted my kitchen. Also, I've painted boxes and other craft projects. I think I've established my credentials as a person who can paint things. One day I had a lid off of a cigar box, some paint and brushes and thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be nice to paint a fiery sun in a summer sky?"

No, that would not be nice at all. Perhaps it would do better as a flower looking at the sky.

Nope. Still the opposite of nice. Which would be mean. So not really the opposite of nice as much as it is the opposite of good.

Then, while drunk cruising Amazon, I saw 3 primed canvases for only 4 bucks. What a deal! How could I pass that up? By not passing it up, that's how! Three days later I was the proud owner of 3 4X6 canvases. Since I am a cheapskate and did not want to waste 4 whole dollars doing something I did not know how to do, I decided to let Youtube teach me how not to paint terribly.

First I went to Bob Ross because Bob Ross. He's so soothing and he makes fantastic landscapes that look so easy. Don't worry. There are no mistakes in Bob Ross Land, only happy accidents that can easily be turned into happy little trees.

It took a day to recover from my Bob Ross induced coma. He paints in oil (like a real artist), I have acrylics, like a normal person.

Then I found a video by PaintBasket. It is almost 2 and a half hours long. I have not gotten to the end of it yet. I am not joking. But the first 45 minutes are crammed full of useful information about painting with acrylics for beginners.

As an added bonus, you can spend half the time trying to figure out what the hell kind of accent he speaks with. Spoiler in the comments.

Next I watched a few Clive 5 Art videos. I love how he went from filming in an unlighted shed to his cute studio while giving away lessons right in the middle of my price range. Also, I'd love to have a cup of tea with him even in his cramped little shed.

Also watched a lot of Angela Anderson, She teaches children to paint. Exactly what I need.

Did you know you should be able to draw in order to paint? Or at least trace? It never occurred to me to draw in the out line of what I wanted to paint because I'm a big, fat idiot. Here's a flower that I drew on the painted background with chalk first.

It doesn't look like the sun at all. I do find it a little drab. It looks like it should be in commercials for Cymbalta.

My favorite so far are these trees.

Even though the tree on the left is decapitated. I meant to do that. It's a statement on how our industrialized existence is impacting nature and her purpley-red stick trees.

I'd do a how-to entry, only I don't know how to enough.