Tag Archives: art

Monday Morning Art and a WWZ mini-review.

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Why yes, those are the sticks that we ganked from a state park in New Mexico.  And they’re far from completely decorated. We have been painting all morning. Oh, what? It’s 1:00 in the afternoon? Fine.

Nevermind that there’s laundry to fold and overdue library books to return. My kids are in the painting mood and we leap on those kind of opportunities around here. There’s an art festival at our church on August 18th that I’m totally stoked about. The theme is very uplifting and it’s based on 1 Corinthians; anyone from the community can participate by entering works that might support a message of unity, purity, and maturity. What did my kids choose to paint? Sunflowers and the city of Los Angeles.

Merrick's exquisite contribution.

Merrick’s exquisite contribution.

Who am I to crush budding creativity?

With that in mind, I am offering some painting sessions at my house for little and big artists who might like a small amount of direction in someone else’s (already-paint-splattered) kitchen.

$25 covers supplies, painting time, and light instruction. I will limit the session size to one or two people at a time. Dates available are July 8th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, and 25th, at 1:00 in the afternoon until whenever. Not like dinnertime whenever, but I’m willing to allow up to 3 hours because artists simply cannot be rushed.

On a totally unrelated note, I finally saw World War Z. A word of warning: it is nothing like the book. I mean, there are zombies. And they’re a world-wide problem. And that’s about it.

I’m also not a fan of fast zombies.

No. Just, no.

Brad Pitt’s thick wavy locks never once looked grimy or greasy, which I found highly unrealistic since, geez, they were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and showers aren’t exactly convenient in times like that. I have trouble washing my hair once a day and my only problem is 2 kids that might burn the house down in the 15 minutes it takes me to get clean.

But other than that, the movie was really, really good, and very suspenseful. And sweet, because people helped each other…they also got eaten, but honestly there wasn’t a whole lot of Walking Dead-type gore, which I was totally okay with. I did get pretty creeped out during a few scenes, but by the end of the movie, the twitching spastic zombies were almost comical.

And that’s my take on WWZ.

Sidenote: I’m banking heavily on Cheyenne’s majoring in biochemistry and going to work for the CDC, so that I’ll have an in. If anyone would like to contribute toward her college fund, know that you’ll be doing yourselves a favor in the long run–someone’s got to keep these plagues in check.

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How I Love New Mexico

Friends, I just love it. I’d move to Taos in a heartbeat. In a fraction of a heartbeat, actually. I’m sorry. And in the summers to come? I’m plotting all kinds of artsy desert adventures in little towns like Abiquiu and Roswell. (Alien Festival in July, anyone?)

This leaves precious little time for Pensacola, so I’m going to have to convince my Florida family to meet me out west. I’ll pack canvasses and paints for everyone. We’ll hike. We’ll eat spicy food. It will be outrageous heaven.

Taos is just as gorgeous in June as it is in the fall. Mia and Merrick loved every glorious, fun-filled minute of our mini-vacation:

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And so there you have it. We are a family of hiking fools. Mainly because we can’t afford to do much else–but quite honestly no amount of money can buy the kind of beauty, challenges and experiences that nature offers free of charge. It was a quick, loosely-planned weekend trip, but I will treasure these memories forever…and will eagerly await the day I can move to the mountains permanently while I make my living selling paintings on the side of a highway.

Also: I turned 33. Gobbling green-chile whatnots in New Mexico was probably the best way I could have spent my birthday.

And, stay tuned: I’ve got an idea on deck that could choke a donkey. I’ve met with and talked to several people about starting a movement that I think will do so much on so many levels for so many different people. This idea involves art, communities, children, the poor, and the lost. Praying people, be praying: I have a feeling this thing might actually come together and work, which is both exciting…and scary.


Gallery Night Rundown.

I came. I saw. I even brought cupcakes that had skittles on them, a mistake because apparently skittles on cupcakes is just too tempting a thing for little fingers not be be poking. Many cupcakes were compromised over the course of our Spring Gallery Night. I had to throw them out. But no biggie–my little art class is ah-may-zing. They know Greek pottery:

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Chinese Water Color:

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American Folk Art:

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Stained Glass From the Middle Ages:

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African Tribal Art:

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And also, vegetable printing. This one was inspired by the super cool but obscure Night of the Radishes festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Radish carving contest in random Mexican town every year at Christmas? Si, per favor!

My kids rocked it last night at Gallery Night. I love that each one of them is so sporty and yet so creative and artistic as well. I’ve got one kid that can sing in freaking French for crying out loud.

Overall assessment by me: session was long and a bit disorganized, but turned out awesome nonetheless. Better planning included in the upcoming fall session. I’m still learning.


This Is My June

If you catch me around town around town jamming to the musical stylings of Ross Lynch and Bridgit Mendler, don’t judge–Merrick and Mia become absolute rockstars to Disney pop and I am not ashamed! I am not afraid to admit it! Any song that makes my son sing things like “Cause you got my flow and we blowin’ it UP!” whilst popping and locking in the backseat is a song that I LOVE.

I’m still on a diet, which means lots of green tea:

Kill me.

Kill me.

Kill me.

Kill me now.

Kill me now.

Make me die.

And just lots of green stuff in general, which is a total suckfest since I so enjoy things that are the color of, um, any cookie.

My home is infested with little black bugs that appear to be materializing out of thin air and placing their crunchy, annoying thoraxes strategically all over my living space, so that every 2 steps I take: suddenly, bug guts. My dogs do nothing to stop the invasion. It’s like they know it’s summer vacation and they’re not about to participate in a damn thing unless it involves peeing on something I dearly love.

Speaking of peeing, this happened: Merrick calls me into his room one night at 11:00, 3 HOURS after I put him to bed, and says: “Hey mom, could you get that thing over there?”

“What thing over where?”

“That thing–over there! Up there!”

“Wha…?”

So there’s real live pee-soaked underwear resting comfortably atop his bedroom door. I can’t even tell you how long it had been there. I shouldn’t admit that I don’t even know.

I am learning so, so much from having a son. Like, what baby oak toads eat:

Internet, meet Frida. Frida, meet the internet.

Internet, meet Frida.

We rescued/surprise adopted/kidnapped 3 baby toads from a parking lot puddle last week–and they’re still alive 7 days later. That’s got to be some kind of record, right? And FYI, they eat teeny tiny worms that have to be kept in the refrigerator: they must remain cold or they’ll turn into beetles.

So basically I’m keeping a container full of potential beetles inches away from the food that I put in my mouth.

My life is so grossballs sometimes.

Fact: a moth the size of Ohio is trying to break through the glass window that’s right next to me this very second.

Other fact: I have black hair and it looks cool. Explanation: My hair gurl blonded it for me a few months ago, and then I regretted it 4 weeks later when fierce rootage predictably occurred…so I asked to be brunette again, even though I know how my hair acts sometimes. I risked it anyway. And bless the hair dresser–because she always does a good job–the hair on this head? Went full-on goth quickly and unexpectedly. I know it will fade–though I am really digging the black since it makes me look more artsy and tormented. Because really–what sunny blonde paints rubber Mexican gang-bangers and encourages this type of behavior? :

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As you can see, we had another African body paint day (pictures of the first one here)–this time in my garage out of the wind, which–shocker–has been blowing hard here in Oklahoma. I am now officially done with the Spring set of classes, and it has been a crrrrazy ride–interruptions from winter weather, miscarriage, softball and t-ball, and tornado season have made what should have been 6 weeks last for almost 4 months. I hate that we have dragged out the session like this, but it’s been worth the wait. We’ve studied Chinese watercolor, Greek pottery, and stained glass from the Middle Ages of Europe; we’ve painted little houses similar to what we learned about in American Folk art; we even covered Mexico’s obscure “Night of the Radishes” festival by painting with vegetables. Plus, we made nifty African masks right before we moved on to the covering of our entire bodies with all the colors of the rainbow.

Best. Session. Ever. I have loved every minute of it.

If you’re local and you’re interested, our gallery night will be held this Friday at 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the community room at our town’s library. Everyone is welcome to come support these talented artists! *Also, there will be cupcakes.*


Creative Differences

Today I am not talking about the tornado. It’s really sad and I haven’t been able to put any thoughts together.

Instead, I am looking at some fantastic photos from last week’s art class about African art. Note that attendance is down–this past month has been so crazy for everyone.

Suddenly, tempera paint:

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Uh, yeah. So how cute are they? Turns out kids like doing African body art. They took to it like ducks to water. They totally dug painting on themselves and each other.

There are tribes in Africa that still do this. They paint on each other since they don’t have mirrors; the speed at which they can get themselves all dolled up is astounding since there are “professional” artists who take years to recreate a similar effect in paintings. My little class was covered in paint from head to toe in a matter of minutes; it was an absolute no-holds-barred free-for-all, and it was glorious.

This particular activity was over in 20 minutes. It took me no less than 2 hours to scrub rainbow-colored handprints and footprints off the concrete. After the Jackson Pollock incident in the garage last year, I dared not leave evidence of our artistry all over the back patio for my husband to have a heart attack about.

It was so worth every skinned knuckle.


Getting Ready

Alright so I got into the Dustbowl Arts Market again this year, Saturday April 27th in downtown Norman, Oklahoma.

Last year I was stoked–but this year, the timing couldn’t be worse. I am not inspired to do a whole lot of anything. I’ve got custom projects to get done and the only thing my brain has going for me in the motivation department right now is a deadline of, oh, this weekend.

I’ll knock it all out on time. I will. In fact, it’s good for me to be forced to do something by a certain date. It’s good for me to be busy at all.

That said, I did end up taking kind of an easy route in preparing for the Dustbowl by ordering some prints of several old paintings. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time; I’ve only recently found a printing company that I’m happy with, and when these puppies came in the mail, I actually leapt for joy:

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I’m excited about the Dustbowl. I’ve got original paintings, and different-sized prints, and I’ll be able to take debit cards and credit cards. Things are going to be different this year–not that they were bad last year.

Last night I slept for more than 3 hours. There are significantly less tears today than there have been all week. When people ask me how I am doing, I tell them that I am fine. And I am, kind of. Moving my feet to walk and moving my mouth to speak, and remembering to breathe. Tired but not sleeping. Raw.

I think people know that’s what I mean, because really, how could someone be any other way? I love my family and friends and I know they understand. Of course I’m not fine. I’ll get there eventually, but today is not that day.

I don’t know why I can’t just force my body to believe everything my mind tries to tell it. I keep going back to that day and wondering “How could there not be a heartbeat?

Why am I still asking that question?

Today as I was driving back from dropping the kids off from school, Sam Cooke came on the radio and I got a picture in my head of me dancing with my baby, just like I had done with my other babies to that same song. A thousand sighs. I tell you, a piece of my heart is just gone and I’ll never get it back. I wonder if my baby can see us, because I sure wish I could see my baby.


The Best Art Day

Yesterday I had the exquisite privilege of driving 2 hours away to a small town in the middle of nowhere…to do a painting party for the 3rd and 4th grade students of a tiny school where there is no art program.

It was one of the best things I have ever done as far as art goes.

The drive was beautiful and relaxing (I’d love to take it again in the fall) and I can’t even begin to describe how friendly the teachers were who invited me, or how precious and inspiring the kids were. I hope they all went home with their creative juices flowing, happy and proud of the painting they created.

I wish I could do it every day. The sad thing is is that there are many country schools that do not have the funding for an art program. My heart cries out for these sweet kids who are about to enter the trying years of middle school. Art was my escape and my therapy most especially during that time.

I took pictures of the kids and their finished product but I dare not post them online without permission of their parents. But I will keep them for myself and check them out whenever I need a smile.


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