Category Archives: everything

Why I Hate ‘Work of Art’ (and why I watch it)

Fingerprint of Inspiration

If you’re not familiar, ‘Work of Art’ is a reality TV show on Bravo about artists, in the same vein as Project Runway. Artists with different styles and backgrounds compete against each other toward one last battle, the prize being money and an official show in a fancy art place, displaying all the crap they made over the course of the season.

Each episode presents a new “challenge,” or theme, to inspire the artists to make a piece of art that will be judged against all the rest, after a time limit of one day in which to conceptualize, create, and finish their art. It has to be unique, innovative, something that passes the approval of “qualified” judges, and must never be too reminiscent of their own style or in any way similar to what they made last week.

It’s not much different than pulling in ten random people off the street, throwing them into a craft store for 20 minutes, and then demanding they produce genius art in a day.

This is not a venue in which these artists are allowed to display their lifetime of creativity, the progress in their own careers, or their unique fingerprint of inspiration. It’s a pressure-filled war zone where they are emotionally blindfolded, dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and told to build epic cathedrals out of popsicle sticks. Their reward is a harsh critique from some dude who owns a gallery in New York and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Sarah Jessica Parker will grace them with her presence. Continue reading

The iMac, the ACORN, the Vacation, the Stress

http://etsy.com/shop/OLDisNEW watches antique vintage time clocks brass

I am attending the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network Conference (ACORN) this coming weekend with my folks on Friday evening and all day Saturday in Fredericton, New Brunswick. With all the health issues I’ve been facing recently and to be honest for most of my life, it’s about time I make a serious commitment to eating only organically grown food. My body is beginning to shut down in very weird ways. While my thyroid seems to be doing better (knock-on-wood) I am suffering through candidiasis and other vague, debilitating and mysterious symptoms.

I go for food allergy testing at the end of this month. I am already allergic to dust, dust mite, birch, alder, dog, cat, golden rod and ragweed. I also suspect I’m extremely sensitive to chemicals that are found in everyday household products. I have a strict no scents policy in my household… even the smallest scent of anything sets me off or causes my fingers to swell if I touch it.

During my mid-twenties candidiasis ravaged my body when my Crohn’s was active. And I’m determined not to repeat that again and get whatever it is under control, now. My autoimmune system has never been great and I’ve always been sensitive to everything but lately it seems to be getting worse. I’ve shed 1/5 of the inside of the lining of my cheeks over the last three months and It is chronically broken out and sore and I know it sounds gross eh! My eyes are red, always glassy and puffy. My skin breaks out in odd miniature itchy hives. My upper back hurts and I’m exhausted regardless of how much sleep I get.

The strangest symptom I have is that I emit the wonderful smell of garlic or onion regardless of whether I ate it or not almost always now and after some searching online many women say this is the smell of yeast i.e. candidiasis. I’ve upped my dose of pro-biotic and took a massive dose of doctor prescribed Diflucan yesterday. About three hours after taking the Diflucan, the swelling around my eyes eased and my energy returned a little bit. I couldn’t beleive it! I’ve had yeast infections down there before but what I’m experiencing now isn’t that; it’s systemic like it’s in my blood or something. All these issues are interconnected. They always are.

I just need to keep on top of it and not lose my house in the meantime. I may need to sell my car (safety net at the moment) or dramatically increase my art sales. In any case I need to decide what to do by the end of this month. I’m six weeks past due on my mortgage payments. All my other bills are paid up to date. I have six weeks before my house is repossessed and that is F#$%ing scary folks.

I feel so mad at myself for not saving more money for when things got tuff. I had enough saved for about eight weeks living expenses but I’ve been feeling shitty since late last summer. So, I went through that eight weeks pretty fast.

I am driving to Fredericton a day early (tomorrow) to bring in my 27 inch iMac in for much needed repair and servicing. Sadly, it’s not working right and sick too. As soon as I get four or five applications running the fan comes on at full speed and it sounds as loud as a hair dryer. I’ve run all the diagnostics I can and really wish there was a closer licensed Apple Dealer and Technician but there isn’t, as Saint John is all about the PC. Haha! The ethernet port also stopped working. I can only connect to the internet wirelessly now.

In any event life is good, albeit hectic, worrisome and draining at the moment. But as the answers present themselves and I learn more about my body and finances I’m coping and adjusting as needed and doing my best to keep smiling and moving forward. There is a radiant rainbow out there somewhere!

Perhaps in the not so distant future I’ll sell my home and buy an old farmhouse with a few acres of land and homestead instead of living inside the city limits.

So, yes, if you order from either of my shops while I’m away I won’t be able to ship your order until March 15th as I’ll have limited computer access while away. I’m really looking forward to spending some time with my friends Vikki and Dana too. They are two long time college pals and they have an awesome spare bedroom in their home with two big furry cats to hang out with too! And I’m going for a drink (date?) with a nice man, that I met on Facebook last year, on Saturday night. And a public thank you to my parents who purchased an extra ticket so that I could attend this conference with them! xo

The watch photos are of watches I have listed for sale in my vintage shop. The pocket watches are listed here while the wrist watches are listed here.

Smelting Self Confidence

I walked into the kitchen to wash my hands and met a ghastly hilarious sink filled with smelt. It took me by surprise. I stepped back, laughed and walked to the bathroom to wash there instead.

My uncle had been ice fishing for smelt and Mom was thawing out the frozen fish for cleaning, then cooking.

Later that night (last night) I attended a party at my brother‘s place. I was holding onto optimism that sales would increase this coming week and decided to leave my laptop, business and ideas at home so that I could relax, have a few drinks and hang out with great people, some of whom, I’ve known since early childhood.

A few hours into the party I secured a small design contract and a babysitting job.

So, how does self confidence relate to Smelt? Continue reading

Studio Expansion Photos

Studio Space Shot 6

Recently, the family and I decided it would be a good idea to move my bedroom out of the studio. For a whole evening we laboured moving furniture around on the second floor of the house. The result is that both my bedroom and studio have their own separate rooms.

Studio Space Shot 7

The disorganization of my brain is evident in these photos.

Studio Space Shot 5

There is a god and it’s name is order!

Studio Space Shot 3

Logically one would think that nothing could be created in here and truth be told nothing is being created in here for I am missing one all to important feature; that of work table that is high enough to stand at, for working; namely to get the packaging, photography and cutting area off of my creation table which all to often becomes cluttered with everything but art.

For now cardboard is serving two purposes, that of a table a for shooting product photos and that of packaging. Pictured below is the newest edition to my shop; mini greeting cards!

Studio Space Shot 1

I’ll be commissioning my brother, the carpenter to build a table very shortly. Until then, I’ll make do with what I have.

And how could you not love that red vintage swivel rocking chair! I bought that close to 8 years ago from an office worker whose office was closing before leaving for Vancouver. They wanted $150 for it. After frantic negotiation he settled for $75. Then the arms and legs were removed, refinished and put back on hence restoring it to it’s original luster! Yes, I know how to sand and refinish vintage furniture.

Studio Space Shot 2

Happy!

Happy!

Note to self: I must figure out where to put the new printer I am expecting tomorrow in the mail! The Epson paper and ink arrived today.

Etching Memories Without Fear

In a moment our lives switch and adapt to our surroundings, yearning for alternative ways of thinking in approaching life.

When you meet new people that in itself creates new pathways in your brain causing reflection, affirmation and acceptance of what once was. Memories are created and we can either forget about them moving onwards to other circumstances and events or remember them by thinking. This act of thinking about that event or time places it into your long term memory.

I traversed the town this weekend. The summer gallery hop was in full swing Friday night. My friend Karen had appeared at the front door with flowers in hand for me. I smiled! The last time someone bought me flowers was several years ago.

Creatively speaking, these last few weeks left me feeling drained and ultimately defunct and void of blissful energy. By Thursday of last week I wondered whether I’d ever draw again. Art paper didn’t make sense and the computer was following close behind in being unrecognizable. This was not a creative block it was fear!

Thursday evening I tied up all loose ends, wrote the folks who needed to be written to, emailed customers and clients and called it quits until today (Sunday). I planned to take Friday and Saturday off to attend the hop and then the following day a wedding. Two days in a row off from working is a record for me lately.

A painter named Chris on Friday night who had artwork on exhibit at the Kausen Gallery to spoke with me. He was in his early 60’s. I asked if he ever got scared that it wouldn’t come back? He’s laughed wholeheartedly replying “yes, on more than one occasion.” I smiled knowing that it was ok to relax and enjoy myself without worrying about my art, creativity, circumstance or status.

A memory did form from that night. One that will be etched forever secret until the story itself unfolds to those involved sometime in the not so distant future. I wish I could fly to Eastern Europe and take another few days off.

Until then,
I’ll be here,
inspired.

…and recovering from wearing stiletto’s for eight odd hours!

Until now it hasn’t made sense

Does it make sense to you?
That knowing that on the other end of the computer
is another person
sitting, typing, talking, listening, reading.
Have you ever stopped to think about it?
Really,
think about it?

Everyday I speak with people who live physically intangible distances from me.
Yet,
they are right there punching keys…. laughing, promoting, writing,
biding there time
online.

Each week I am contacted by students;
students of art.
Each week I am contacted by people
who want this artwork.
As it gets “out” there… it becomes more visible…
literally.

I really don’t know what I’m doing.

There is no guide book here you know?

Are you there?
Really there?

Reading this?

Life beyond Death after Indignity and before Google

Indignity can stem from not doing the things you want to do. You begin taking on someone else’s creation when you are not whom you are. Really, don’t you think that when you are feeling out of sorts and not choosing to be who you are then don’t you think it’s rather unbecoming of your personage you portray to the world. Why lie about who you are?

From time to time we all wonder why; that is, why we are the way we are. I have. I combat this thinking by doing.

I’m battling just that by creating art digitally rather than by traditional means by way of paper, paint and ink. I’ve been delving into photoshop breaking new ground, mixing up what I was taught long long ago in college. It feels very good to do what they said not to do.

Have you ever done that? Felt giddiness overtake you when you… fuck I just added giddYness to Google dictionary while trying to spell check it. Now, every time I spell check giddiness with a Y it will be spelled correctly. For that matter I won’t even know that I spelled it wrong for the little red dotted line that shows up underneath a word that needs to be spell checked won’t exist on giddyness anymore.

The thought of writing anonymously crosses my mind more than once every day. There is a an energetic side to me that needs to purge by way of words things often left better unsaid. Although, over the last couple of years I have had people write saying thank you for being so open and saying the things I could not say.

And I think… I haven’t said everything, all those things I want to say. Time will tell when they will be said.

I picked up the book 2012 on Friday and have begun reading.

I felt a kinship immediately Daniel Pinchbeck. However, my taught feminine psyche holds back and does not release this other side of me that I had found. Perhaps when need be, we do realize our authentic selves only through death. Up to that point we practice life. Beyond that point is after life. They call it death.

When my grandmother died she had said to my mom in the hospital that she was ready to go to heaven. I don’t believe in heaven. I believe in an after life. She was also talking her long dead husband and son saying she was on her way.

Words I’ve been pondering:

sex, love, family, success, money, life, death, orgasm, paint, fabricating, production, penis, indignity, trust, relationship, single, one, two, three, ignorance, bliss and lust

There is a ……………… part of me that still questions the validity my own digital art. I don’t know why or where I picked up the notion that manipulating a drawing of one’s own on a future date by means of computer from it’s original traditional creation on paper is wrong.

I.really.need.to.let.that.go.

Poof!

And the winner is…

BunnyB from Malaysia!

Last night I enlisted the help of my Dad. I asked him to pick a number from 1 to 28. He replied “17”. And BunnyB was the seventeenth commenter on the Monday Art GIVEaway.

Congrats BunnyB and thanks to everyone who entered. I’ll be dropping your print in the mail tomorrow morning. Let me know when it arrives as this is a first; that is, sending art to Malaysia.

I’ll be giving away some art again soon… keep on reading.