A Collaboration

As someone who is not fully integrated into the word of technology I like to view myself as at least saavy in the essentials. 

As an painter I don't want to give technology the time of day, I'd rather turn on my music and get messy for 12 hours and forget what day of the week it is. 

As an artist promoting my work, social media has been a great aid (all 112 likes on my fb art page really says how brilliant I am)

As a collaborator a hidden tool I have discovered is the magic of Pinterest. 

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I have worked on a couple commissions using pinterest boards to generate inspiration, figures, and fester ideas. What I didn't realize was opening a pinterest board up to a client could be that magical key. Having my client and I adding things to the board, so that I can see what they want out of their commissioned piece, opens the communication line between us using images rather than words. That way, when I do use my words, I can ask specific questions so I'm not beating around the "well I just want an original art piece by you" bush. 

This assists my client but also lines up with some lifestyle philosophies I live by. Money has never been something I've been swimming in, so I learned by trial and error how I was going to decide to spend it. If I'm going to buy something its going to be something I can't live without, or something that I will regret not buying when its sold out. 

Okay but how the heck does that have anything to do with your art?

Well, by having the client build a vested interest in the inspiration behind the painting it not only makes them feel like they were a part of this artistic process, it also stands as more than just a piece of art they bought. Its something that someone they know made, and it is something that hopefully means more to them through the subject matter of the piece and its also something they helped influence. This collaboration is something I enjoy not only in my art, but in theatre and other joint ventures. I'd be lying if I didn't say it helps my sales since I don't have the masses flocking to buy my truly solo original pieces......yet.

With that, I love using pinterest as a tool, and try my hardest not to let it suck me into its addictive visually simulating black hole of pretty things. 

 

All for now, but as a parting thought I'm reading this incredible book on how the mind works when it comes to creativity, its called "Imagine" by Jonah Lehrer and I highly recommend it.

D

Artiste Spelled with a V. July

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And FWOOSH forward again for the last time (not really I will write more about lady artists for some reason or another). Present day! Ta-Da!

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Miranda July.

She’s legit ladies and gents. You may have seen her in an episode of Portlandia (two girls two shirts). Or maybe you’ve seen one of her films. Me and You and Everyone We Know(2005), or The Future(2011). She writes and directs herself in these things and is very ‘Lena Dunham before Lena Dunham’. But guess what, they’re friends (in real life) so that’s even cooler. Here are some pillowcases. Nifty.

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I might have a big artsy crush on Miranda. I have a book of her short stories (No One Belongs Here More Than You)and love it, and she even does installation art like The Hallway (theres a video you can watch here) or these cool interactive sculptures that you can put your finger in, or hug strangers on, or plead guilty by. If I have piqued your interest you can go to her website and explore. 

 She is so fantastic I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. She does so many kinds of art its all over the place, so I feel like my art can relate in that way. Between tables, and theatre, and painting, and writing. I can only hope that someday there are young lady artists that look up to me in the same way that I have to all of these fantastic women who you can read about in my previous short-sweet-blog-posts.

Artiste Spelled with a V. Claude

Wham Blam "Thank You Ma'am"

We're in the 20th Century now. Picking one person is hard now since there is so much more documentation on female artists being super cool and all their jazz. This particular woman(again French) was born Lucy Renee Mathilde Scwob, but went by Claude Cahun. She wrote a book of monologues from the perspective of female fairy tale characters. She was also known for challenging the contemporary female image.

She frequently created photo montages and self portraits of herself in a very androginous way. She is considered a surrealist[think melting clocks]. She also regularly recorded her dreams! If any of you know me, this is right up my alley. Google shows you many of her photographs, but the fact that she was also a writer, and performer really speaks to me since I feel my body of work expands across many media. So no lie, this lady is cool.

Factoid: She was the founder of a group called Guerrilla Girls 63 and their mission was to actively oppose Nazi occupation via surrealist flyers, and other tactics to spread information to others. Political activist with her actions being works of art themselves. LEGIT.

For more exlporationon her sexuality you can check out this site

http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/Pages/Tirza/TirzaEssay1.html

 

Artiste spelled with a V. Berthe

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Flash forward again!

Lets not forget the French impressionists...

Oh yeah. Hot steamy artsy romance between Berthe Morisot and Edouard Manet. "An affair to remember" is a common phrase used to describe them. Well I dunno about how much the hot steamy part is accurate but they're French right? Berthe’s first showing at the Salon de Paris (similar concept to the academy) was when she was 23. Damn, shes on a role. EGGROLL (sounds like Hey-girl)

Though it’s a  "chicken or egg" question, it was a two way street for the two painters. They both developed their own styles and characteristcs in painting, but that didn’t meant they wouldn't try the ideas or techniques of the other. Call me sappy, but its like a symbiotic relationship of paint. HAWT. 

Factoid: If you have read or heard of the book Sacre Bleau by Christopher Moore, she hung out with a bunch of the folks that had work hanging in the impressionist gallery scene. Pissaro, Renoir, and Sisley, she also hung out with Degas. Lucky tart.

Artiste Spelled with a V. Vigee

 

Fast forward a little bit. Elizabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun. 

 

This is a name you may have heard before. She was a Rococco [late baroque] portrait painter, though she painted landscapes too.

She was the court painter for Marie Antoinette. Yeah there’s a reputation that goes along with that, but I did a series referencing her work so shes something worth mentioning. My collages may seem more satirical but referencing a woman painter is what I was doing.

She learned to paint from her dad. So did Artemisia[see previous post]. My dad did not teach me how to paint. That would be something to see.

Anyway, Elizabeth Louise was painting portraits professionally when she was a teenager. Lucky French lady.

 

She had to flee France during the Revolution[for fear of having her head cut off, same old same old], so maybe not so lucky. BUT she was accepted to an academy in France, and then she travelled to Italy and Russia where her work was selling like hotcakes, and she was accepted to academies in both countries! Yo. Lady painters fo life.

 

Facoid: She painted over 600 portraits. Shoot me now. 

John Franklin Koenig—the glue between my present endeavors.

Right now I’m Stage Managing a play called “The Temperamentals”. It’s a play about homosexuals in the 1950s following Harry Hay in particular. Learn more about the play and when to see it [here]. In addition to that, I’ve been trying to release this excessive amount of creative energy into art, and theatre. There’s so much I don’t know where to put it all! I’ve been painting a lot to say the least. I’m also trying to produce a play called Brick and the Rose. I will leave few details on that project because if it happens this blog will probably be flooded with ‘stuff’ regarding it later.

Either way, this guy. John Koenig. 

 

One of those people that is off handedly mentioned in an art history lecture when your professor rambles off a couple names of arts from the northwest. They are only mentioned because you live in the northwest. Since he’s not on the exam you think that you will never see or hear that name again unless you rifle through your notes from class.

Clearly that’s  NOT what I have done, I wouldn’t want to disturb the prestigious amount of dust on my class notes from school. So, as you’ve guessed, he popped up.

In rehearsal to be direct. Haha direct, directing, rehearsal? I made a theatre joke. You can stop reading if you can’t handle it.

Evidently, this guy Koenig was a homosexual. Grew up in the northwest, fought in WWII, started painting, came back to the US, then lived in France, became a painter, and came back to the northwest again. He went to UW, and as a Coug I will refrain from tasteless rivalry jokes out of my respect for this artist..... and the fact that UW is a well-regarded academic institution. Feel free to leave comments if you want to take a stab at the Huskies.

Back to the story. I’m in rehearsal, and this guy is mentioned. Apparently there is going to be a piece of his art involved with this production. I won’t say how, because ITS STILL A SURPRISE. So I hear about this and get all artsy excited, and immediately feel the name is familiar, and use my smart phone to pull up anything I can on him. Not only did he struggle with being a homosexual in the same time frame as our play, but he was also breaking into the art-scene. Heres one of his paintings. And close up of another.

What I found really interesting was that he was a soldier in WWI, and was in a tank division. My dad was a tank commander so that’s cool. Fez’s are cool too. Sad part: he was wounded in the head by shrapnel in the Battle of the Bulge, and while he was recovering and waiting to go back to the US he took a painting class. Funny thing is everything that these soldiers painted are property of the US government. It was called “Soldier art” according to one of the articles I read. WOAH. More stuff to look up, because that sounds super secretive and cool. So skip ahead lots of years, he back in the northwest after living in France and being considered a French painter; after he has a show at the Seattle Art Museum(also RAD), skip ahead further he dies in 2008. However he’s left behind a quote. After mentioning that painting is an act of love he says

“The artist must be on the search for beauty and perfection in his own life through the work “

And its just wonderful. This idea is something I think all artists come to at some point. Doesn’t matter what kind of art, all kinds, whether they believe it, have been searching for it too, or just know about it. This idea is what has connected me to this deceased French, Seattle native, WWII soldier. Those words. Because I have felt that same way. And it’s incredible being able to be touched across time with someone who will never know me.

Insert chills up spine here.

 

 

 

So that’s the news with me. Well not exactly. I’m going to Pullman this weekend to participate in the Art Market as part of the end of year spring festivities at WSU. I’m “selling art” but we shall see. I might just end up in the hole on gas money. And starve a bit. That whole starving artist thing. Its real. And I be living it. Feels great actually.

 

One more thought. These things are getting extremely long.  I wonder if reading this out loud would make a better video blog than a written one. For those of you that read this far, let me know what you think. By saying nothing, it will mean experimentation must be conducted.

 

 

 

Read more on Koenig here:

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3833

http://www.cs.washington.edu/building/art/JohnFranklinKoenig/

images from google yo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR BLOOD COSTS LESS THAN INK THEREFORE YOUR BLOOD IS WORTH LESS TO THE HUMAN RACE.

Let me begin this with a note. A note for those of you who Reddit.

Reddit is something that I have not integrated into my routine. Yet. I’m more terrified that it will create a monster in me. However, from what I know of reddit by word of mouth, is that it's stop #1 for most nerd-related media. I do eventually see or hear about most things relevant to my interests down the line from reddit, via other social media by way of friends.

No matter what it may be, nothing exactly prepares you for someone informing you via reddit sources, that printer ink costs more than human blood by the milliliter.

“INK COSTS MORE THAN HUMAN BLOOD. ARE YOU CRAZY.” My mind screams.

 I pause. How could I mentally work this statistic to somehow make sense. My mind takes me immediately to art. Hard to believe, I know. (that was sarcastic)

Per this very well designed image found here and posted on reddit and mentioned to me by a coworker, it looks like HP black printer ink runs at $.70 per ml. human blood is at a cost of $.39 per ml.

WHAT. SHUT UP. Hold on a second, there may be method in this.

Historically, paying for pigments or oil paints has been expensive. We hear stories in art history about folks only buying  a few colors to paint with since they couldn’t afford anything else(Picasso).

Or we hear of crazy people slapping so much of these pricey paints on canvas that its practically 3-D (Van Gogh: born, lived, and died poor, but had a sweet brother). To keep my research light however, I just did some quick calculations from things that I’m familiar with.

I love my acrylic paints from KROMA, of which I purchased on Granville Island up in Vancouver BC so I used that as an example. I pulled up their price list on their website. Due to my education being in art, I know that cadmium colors are usually more expensive so I looked at the prices for Cadmium Yellow($.13 per ml premixed), and cadmium red($.14 per ml premixed). Well its premixed paint right? I’m sure the dry pigment would cost more. NOPE. Cadmium yellow dry pigment from KROMA runs $.15 per ml, and red is $.19 per ml. (math nerds feel free to harass me about dry things being measured in ml instead of oz. I did a simple conversion to illustrate this. Granted, paint isn’t all that expensive either by today’s consumer-based culture. Though I’m not dedicated enough to calculate inflation since 1598. Love the idea, but no.  

So what are other common knowledge factors that could contribute to this madness? Pigments are traditionally found in nature. Blood is found in nature (human blood is found in humans, go figure). How about HP black ink? NOT FOUND IN NATURE. Found in small plastic cartridges that were manufactured. Test tube pigment, pigment growth cell project. Synthetic. I made up a few things there but you see my point. Sadly it doesn’t keep me from thinking that human blood has been rendered insignificant by price comparing with ink. Luckily on the illustration the other substances listed were much less in price than blood. Maybe blood is discounted since people usually NEED it when they don’t anticipate the need for it; rather than in a way that serves the public by selling it in stores.

My next mission was to find something even remotely close to being as expensive as HP’s masterfully manufactured printer ink. What did I find?

Unfortunately, I tried and failed to find the running price of the wizarding worlds ever rare unicorn blood. And I wasn’t going to ask the black market what they thought.

The next best thing?

I finally found it!

According to an article I found here on how your money is saved by making coffee at home I found some numbers to work with and my math brought me to this. $.38 worth of decent ground coffee will brew you 16oz of coffee. Meaning that the cost of one ml of decent, not fancy, brewed, black coffee comes out to be about NOTHING per ml. So stop paying for $4 cups of coffee and make it at home.

MIND BLOWN.

HP may still be a little insane for charging that much for printer ink. Then again, I just don’t want to think that I pay that much for it.

Day in the Life

Eat. Teeth. Dress. Walk. Watch. Listen. Smile. Rain. Coffee. Tea. Read. Report.

Call. Answer. Coffee. Report. Request. Call. Relax.

Read. Respond. Raport. Update. Comment. Read. Call. Request. Answer. Answer. Coffee.

Wake. Silence. Read.

Eat. Read. Walk.

Read. Report. Update. Listen. Hum. Read. Report. Call. Hum. Tea. Read. Smile.

Organize. Report. Update. Call. Answer. Read. Respond. Update. Relax.

Walk. Watch. Hum. Listen. Smile. Prepare. Relax. Eat. Change. Walk.

Read. Laugh. Assist. Laugh. Control. Relax. Anticipate. Write. Update. Report.

Yearn. Read. Inspire. Swell. Smile. Beam. Yearn. Desire. Relax. List. Want.

Silence.

Water. Teeth. Undress. Relax. Smile. Dream.

Repeat.

From Telegraph to Face time.

There is nothing more frustrating and degrading than being on hold for 10 minutes or more for ANY reason. If your phones are ringing off the hook so long and often that anyone calling has to wait 16 minutes and 28 seconds to speak with a real person? You need to hire more people. I also doubt that your voice recording is actually sorry for no representatives being available at this time. Please rub salt in my secretarial wound.

This frustration inspired some research. On the idiot that invented the hold button. Now currently labeled as the bane of my existence. 

It looks like something from Doctor Who that will eat my soul.

The telephone was invented in the light of making things more convenient. From telegraphs sending one message or receiving one message at a time, the thought of sending multiple messages on the same line was an inspiration paired with an accident that led to the invention of the telephone. It was supposed to be a “harmonic telegraph” but you know that would be a silly name, wouldn’t it? Maybe not in the 1870s…

When these telephones were being distributed by the Bell Company, the switchboard operators were mostly teenage boys. Not that that matters but it’s a fact that opens up a transition for me to talk about switchboards. Smooth huh? But I’m sure you already knew that when we typically think of switch boards we think of women in the 1940s being operators.

These switchboards acted as a milti-line phone. So instead of calling from phone line to phone line, you get the Operator and they “transfer” you to the correct phone line. Then the magic of dialing was created. As a receptionist working a multi-line phone for a business, it’s like I’m a modern day switchboard operator. Luckily I get to sit down and push a few buttons instead of being like those teenage boys I mentioned and have to hop up on a ladder and plug and unplug cords all day long.

I think I’ve finally cooled off from my extremely long and frustrating telephone tag. It lasted about an hour. However telephones have been turned into works of art over the years of its existence. In fact the only reason I want a landline is so that I can use my light up princess phone in real life. That’s not to say that I don’t love our sattlelite, 3 and 4G or wifi connections, google voice or even video calls. Shout out facetime. I just seem to be a little more favorable to “old” things. Call me traditional…

Except actually call me that. I’m about as old-lady as you can get out of someone in their 20’s these days. Scary details to come. Not really. What is heard can never been unheard. Like when you talk on a telephone that records your calls! Yeah they can do that. But forget about speedial, let’s talk rotary.

also...

I put this in here because nexus phones are also a thing of beauty. I say this as an iphone carrier.

So of course I will leave you with beautiful phones and a thought.

Your voice is electricity. Think about it.

 

Photo credits to:

Telecomhistory.org, Finevictorianshop.com, Oldphoneworks.com, and yeah Google. Suck it.