Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stick it up, Punk. The money or the art?

So I remember my mother not wanting to part with a lot of her paintings and deliberating over prices a lot when it came to exhibitions. I, however, am very ruthless by nature and I don't really mind about selling this, or giving away that. Not to mention that I am poor and I'll take what I can get!
But...I accidentially pinned one of my works to my wall and then when it came time to take it down, my inner voice whined 'but it looks sooooo good there!' (it didn't help that it was pinned next to artwork I loved by other people, and it somehow fit in nicely). I wondered about keeping it. What's *more*, I envisioned more pieces like it, tacked to my wall in the same fashion. Which meant a lack of future sales, obviously.
So then I had to ask *badly* do you want it. You know how much you're pricing it at. BUY IT IF YOU WANT IT.
*head scratch*
*brain click*
Why, yes! What a great policy. Buy the paintings from myself!
And in a second, the painting was off my wall.
Would I spend $50.00 on it? YES! HELL YES! OF COURSE! It's TOTALLY worth that.
Do I HAVE $50.00 to spend on it? Sadly, no.
It's the money or the art, punk, so stick it up.
Seriously, the idea of buying art from myself has never occurred before. I always value pieces at what I would pay for them if I had money, but I never actually thought 'save up and buy a piece, stupid!.
The minute I decided I couldn't afford it, I was absolutely okay with selling it.
Besides, I can make a print and tack the print up, no?
And I can paint more paintings.
And it's somehow nice knowing that the original is out there being truly loved by someone.

But...the next big question is....
How mad will my FAMILY be if I ask them to buy me one of my paintings for Christmas?

Monday, February 26, 2007


I suppose I haven't been checking in quite as often as I could.
I've been tired. I've been busy. I've been enduring insomnia and headaches. But I *have* been getting work done, too.

Here is a triptych I did for a friend. The flowers all have symbolism. I have yet to title the work.

I have yet to add these to my website, but I should.

I also finished a smaller piece today which I quite like, 'Poppies and Rain', it's at the beginning of this post.

In other art news I am eager to obtain and try some 'Absorbent Ground', a gesso type medium my friend told me about that can be used with watercolours. It means I could paint on gessoed wood instead of paper, depending on how it turned out/how I liked it.

Anyway I have been neglecting Share Your Tears (unfortunately) so I'm going to try and work on one of those next. After I make some jewellery for some friends. And *that's* after I take some panadol.

With love and sparkles and headache-free wishes,

Friday, February 23, 2007

For Everyone.

My friend sent me a link to this journal entry. And this journal entry was taken from another. And nobody is sure who the author is. But it ought to be read, and read out loud.


Every day, there are more and more Craigs List posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

To those who are “seeking artists”, let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none?

More than likely, you don’t know any. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting on craigslist to find them.

And this is not really a surprise.

In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field.

So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the “opportunity” to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him “a few bucks” for “materials”. What a deal!)

Would you be able to seriously even CONSIDER offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered “yes” to ANY of the above, you’re obviously insane. If you answered “no”, then kudos to you for living in the real world.

But then tell me… why would you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks?

Graphic artists, illustrators, painters, etc., are skilled tradesmen. As such, to consider them as, or deal with them as, anything less than professionals fully deserving of your respect is both insulting and a bad reflection on you as a sane, reasonable person. In short, it makes you look like a twit.

A few things you need to know;

1. It is not a “great opportunity” for an artist to have his work seen on your car/’zine/website/bedroom wall, etc. It IS a “great opportunity” for YOU to have their work there.

2. It is not clever to seek a “student” or “beginner” in an attempt to get work for free. It’s ignorant and insulting. They may be “students”, but that does not mean they don’t deserve to be paid for their hard work. You were a “student” once, too. Would you have taken that job at McDonalds with no pay, because you were learning essential job skills for the real world? Yes, your proposition it JUST as stupid.

3. The chance to have their name on something that is going to be seen by other people, whether it’s one or one million, is NOT a valid enticement. Neither is the right to add that work to their “portfolio”. They get to do those things ANYWAY, after being paid as they should. It’s not compensation. It’s their right, and it’s a given.

4. Stop thinking that you’re giving them some great chance to work. Once they skip over your silly ad, as they should, the next ad is usually for someone who lives in the real world, and as such, will pay them. There are far more jobs needing these skills than there are people who possess these skills.

5. Students DO need “experience”. But they do NOT need to get it by giving their work away. In fact, this does not even offer them the experience they need. Anyone who will not/can not pay them is obviously the type of person or business they should be ashamed to have on their resume anyway. Do you think professional contractors list the “experience” they got while nailing down a loose step at their grandmother’s house when they were seventeen?

If you your company or gig was worth listing as desired experience, it would be able to pay for the services it received. The only experience they will get doing free work for you is a lesson learned in what kinds of scrubs they should not lower themselves to deal with.

6. (This one is FOR the artists out there, please pay attention.) Some will ask you to “submit work for consideration”. They may even be posing as some sort of “contest”. These are almost always scams. They will take the work submitted by many artists seeking to win the “contest”, or be “chosen” for the gig, and find what they like most. They will then usually have someone who works for them, or someone who works incredibly cheap because they have no originality or talent of their own, reproduce that same work, or even just make slight modifications to it, and claim it as their own. You will NOT be paid, you will NOT win the contest. The only people who win, here, are the underhanded folks who run these ads. This is speculative, or “spec”, work. It’s risky at best, and a complete scam at worst. I urge you to avoid it, completely. For more information on this subject, please visit [link].

So to artists/designers/illustrators looking for work, do everyone a favor, ESPECIALLY yourselves, and avoid people who do not intend to pay you. Whether they are “spec” gigs, or just some guy who wants a free mural on his living room walls. They need you. You do NOT need them. Say NO to free art.

And for those who are looking for someone to do work for free…please wake up and join the real world. The only thing you’re accomplishing is to insult those with the skills you need. Get a clue.

If you agree with the above important information, please pass it along. The more people know, the faster we can correct this problem.


And also, while we are talking about art being work and demanding the respect of work, I'd like to include my own pet peeve. JUST BECAUSE I WORK FROM HOME DOESN'T MEAN I HAVE FREE TIME. Work is work. It doesn's matter where you are. DON'T drop in on an artist and assume it's fine because they're at home. They're at WORK. And you should check out their hours of business and lunch break first! *Nothing* is worse than being interrupted in the middle of an important piece. And no WAY would I run into your meeting/presentation and set up camp with coffee and cards. ;)

*with love* (and thanks to Liesl!)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Back on Track.

t o d a y .

Messy hair up in a messy bun, messy bangs back behind colourful headband.
Boys oversized shirt.
Gypsy skirt.
Ani DiFranco.
Pencil and the few last sheets of paper.
Wet Ones to wipe the skin away.
Sun to warm the bones.

The scent and breeze of it all is lovely.
It is.

I dedicate this song to myself.
For I carry me around.


Carry You Around - DiFranco

How pleased can one
Sun setting make you
If you humble yourself
To it?
How grateful can you
Really say that you are
Just to be here and live
Through it?
And when beauty asks a question
How often do you reply?
How often do you wonder
About life on the other side?
On the other side of sorrow
On the other side of rage
On the other side of ok
Ok at all
In any way
Imagine what loneliness
Will drive someone to do
Now multiply that times me
And multiply that times you
Now imagine what it would take to make
This all happen again
And just when you think you’re gonna cry
Multiply that times ten
Are distracting me
From all other activities
And I know the fact of your presence
Will dominate my memory
Of this restaurant this table
This day and this town
Cuz I carry you, baby
I carry you around


Love and Peace.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I pulled off the last sheet of watercolour paper from my block.

I'm wondering if it isn't okay.


When I'm done with these three hallway pieces.

I'm done with sharing heart.

I can paint with tissue and blood.
Shit and mud.
Your face and mine.
Beer and wine.
A childs cry.
The birds that die.
I can paint with anything.
Faded porch.
Twisted swing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rough Day.

Rough day in the artworld.

Knee-deep in model research, mounting-techniques and compositions.
A little tired
A little disjointed.
A little uninspired.

But I DID get linked to two *amazing* art sites today. One filled with lovely, friendly artists. That is the bright side.

With love,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When the Good Guys Fall.

When the good guys fall. And you don't even push them on purpose, you're just dancing and you collide. And then you see there is no skin on the bottom of their feet. And then you see that their bodies are hollow. And then you look around and expect to see the world crumbling, because the world you know is crumbling.


No, that scenario is not good enough for me. So I fill up the fallen soldier with dirt and sellotape some soles to his feet. And I role him out of my courtyard. And I find a way to keep dancing.

This is today.
The magician isn't magic.
Magic tricks aren't magic.
Only magic is magic.
And I do not find it in his eyes.

I dedicate my day no more to petty, ridiculous, mysterious scraps. I dedicate my day to the love I know and feel and see and breathe.

Today I shall finish 'The Dancing Poet'. And I shall also finish the painting I started yesterday, 'This Man's Best Friend'. I am excited to begin finishings. A gathering of threads, a completion of weaving.

I was also excited to cut up a magazine (like I was a child, cutting out some idol) and to stick images to my walls. Images of my favourite art. Inspiring, no?

More soon.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pans Labyrinth?

I dug the trailer. And I had many many friends tell me that *I* would love it. I think because they see me as somewhat magical and it's a somewhat magical film. And I really *did* enjoy it. But...

It's just. I mean. I expected to come home inspired in a BILLION ways about how film and fantasy can adorn ones life and I expected to lock myself into my studio and set forth on a huge (failing) fantasy series. Instead I thought...

Films that people *don't expect* me to find magical, I do. And the magical ones I just seem to find quaint. For example if I were to watch Apocalypse Now right now I'd have the urge to run through the jungle at full speed, screaming at the top of my lungs, inviting *every* bullet and then laughing hysterically as they hit me. You know. *Magic*. *Freedom*. Pan's Labyrinth, while good, just really made me think 'You should carry your knife around more, Sarah.'

As you can see my day was taken up outside of the studio.
But I did manage to sneak a *little* art in.

Want to see?


More tomorrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Self Portrait.

Today I worked on a self portrait. I was meaning to do one at the beginning of the year but it got away from me. A group of friends and I have an online monthly art competition, though, and somebody labelled February as 'Self Portrait' month. So I finally quit dawdling and did one.

I'm not sure if I like it or not.
It looks much better in person than it does on the computer.
I'm pretty happy with the colours.
But I've been staring at it too long to really be able to see it anymore.
Plus the evening light is dim.

It would look great with a red mat.

I shall look at it again in the morning.

I am eager to move onto other works so this may be as far as this one gets.

With love,

Self Portrait Below, 2007. (click to enlarge)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Undeniably Cool.

'Factory Girl' will be playing in the theatre soon. I can't say how excited I am. Of course Andy Warhol is half of the story. It's invigorating. My head is spinning. I'll be jumping up and down in the car on the way there, in the lines for tickets, and in the seats. Then, if you try to talk to me in the film, I will turn into a stoney bitch. Hey! That's the way! And then, after the film, I will jump up and down and chatter like a five year old and sprint home to my studio to blast music and create.

In other news, we changed all of the light bulbs in our house to energy saving bulbs. Now when you flick the light switch there is a one second wait. I took for granted the switch immediately forcing light before. Now it's completely mad to think about. To think a switch can cause such immediate actions. And when I flick the switch now and wait a second, it's neat. Like there is a glitch in time. Very odd. I stand there with mystery.

But I prattle and I should be painting.

*goes to studio*
*turns on light*
*waits a second, perfectly still*
*enters when the light flicks on*

Finding room for colour and beauty.

I love our rental. We've been in this house for two years in July and it looks more like home than ever. I'm in love with the colours of the walls. I'm in love with stuff. Just...*our stuff*. Boys art on the walls, my art on the walls. Boys guitars hanging everywhere, my decorations hanging up, our art supplies scattered. I love *every* room except for the bathroom (and I may or may not fix that up, depending on how long we'll be in this place). I especially love the space we've created and dancing through it in a flowing skirt when the house is clean. If we had more money we would haunt our new favourite antique store and our place would be even cooler still, but on our budget we've done really well.

Anyway, point is....there was a 75% off calendar sale. I went in and got three calendars for dirt cheap (free, actually, somebody else bought them for me). I got two calendars with old posters in them, one of Spanish influence (old, beautiful, colourful bright Spanish posters) and one with old advertisements (equally cool and colourful). I got them with the intent of pulling the artwork out, framing it, and putting it up. That's 24 *cool* pieces of art for the wall. But as I look around...where should they go? I know I can make room but I'll have to shuffle *other cool stuff* over for them.

The more important calendar though (to me) is the Klimt calendar I got specifically for my studio. I flicked through it today and fell in love, again, with this artist. So I think I'll have to do some rearranging of the art in my studio to fit these pieces up. I shall not frame these a working studio you can get away with just tacking things up. But I will have to find a place near my desk for them.

I *like* that this is a problem. I love the fact that I have to juggle beauty for beauty. It makes me smile inside and out.

As for the artwork, today I spent the morning drawing up a new work. Drawing up is always the bulk of the work, the hardest part. Applying the paint is the fun and beauty of it. So tonight I will be painting, I think. I just need to find a *little* more energy.

My feet are still dragging a little.
But that is what music is pick your feet up.

*turns 'Life on Mars' up, grasps calendars and twirls throughout the house.*

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

On Current Painters Block.

I've decided.

It's time to paint.

Standing with bed hair, boys oversized shirt on, belting out Janis Joplin, getting set up.

(this remains to be the best way to paint...boys oversized shirts, unbrushed hair, smudgey make-up from the day before. brilliance.)

And so I run.

And so I run. On the treadmill to many artistic inspirations on the DVD. But it is the last of the disk and I need to drop it in the mail so the next lot of inspiration arrives tomorrow. And so I run. Off the treadmill. Clad in only sports bra and running tights, sneakers. My hair an absolute mess, falling out of its half-tail, streaming around my face. I grab the DVD from the machine and frantically throw it into it's sleeve. I look around for anything to wear and pick one of boys shirts up off the back of the chair. Loop only the top button before running for the door. I hear the mailtruck but it's a street over. Has it been? Or is it coming? I run to the mailbox to find it full. And I feel hopelessly beautiful, standing like a FOOL in the sunshiney street, doing my best to keep ahold of inspirational comings and goings. I throw my head back and grin. Before running back inside before the neighbours see.

You know what I thought about today? I thought about how everybody needs to be in love. But the beauty of the love equation is that if you're not in love, often you don't know that you need to be. (don't talk to me about philosophy, I know the cirle that creates)

Now *that* is beautiful.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Juicy Stew.

Life is a beautiful, fat, warm raindrop.
Yesterday I had one of the best days of my entire life.
Filled with many things, but also filled with art.
I thought to write about it here.
I even took photos of some delicious things.
Then I decided to write of it would strip some of the magic away.
And I like the magic.

Life is a juicy stew.

Today I was organising works for a coffee shop. I had bought some cheap frames in January and was going to stip them and paint them and take out the art in them and put in my own. They are a cute size, which is why they appealed and why I bought them. Small squares, 4.5". I thought they might be great for a coffee shop collection.

Then, when brainstorming ideas and sizes and works...the most beautiful idea for an exhibiton came to mind. Fragile. Strong. It is not suited to a coffeeshop at all, however. But it holds my heart. So it is the next project.

I am very glad for the project page on my site. When this small collection of works is finished, I will post them online under my projects page.

I am tingling and excited.

I am a little ill today (no, that's not the flushing or the tingles!) so I am taking it easy. Tomorrow, though, I cannot wait to hit the studio.

I hope I can finish this collection in a week. Reality says not to put forward a timeline though, but rather a heart.

Wish me luck.
I'm putting the crock pot on.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

How To Re-appreciate Your Work.

I decided to branch out with gouache and card because I stopped liking my watercolours.
Yesterday I spent hours on a new work, said gouache on card, and it didn't go so well.
I convinced myself it was okay, from the beginning to end (and the beginning was good - the sketch, at least, was fine) and I kept saying "I can turn this into something, I can turn this into something."
I even said that as I decided to stop for the night...I wanted to go for a run and thought 'put this work away in your studio, where you can't look at it as you run (I painted in the lounge yesterday) and then look at it with fresh eyes in the morning'.
So, I put on my running shoes/shorts/bra and then went into my studio to drop my work off. And...MY.
All of the watercolours lining my walls glowed. I put the new work up and it looked AWFUL. Much worse than I had thought. And then I realised...I *love* watercolour. I *love* watercolour paper. I realised if I have a problem with my work, I should not go looking elsewhere. I should just press forward. Because all of the works I thought were bad suddenly looked beautiful. So I smiled, turned off the light, and went out to run.

Want to re-appreciate your work?
Just take a break.
A breather.
Attempt something new.
And then return to what was with new eyes and mindset.

With love,

(failed gouache/card painting below - abandoned)