Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday Tutu

Hi Everybody! (I sort of have to wonder... is anybody really there?)

Today I made a tutu for Anabelle to wear on her 1st birthday which is rapidly approaching. It was a fun project, and while I worked on it Anabelle played quietly on the floor nearby. This never happens, so that is certainly something to write home about. Her naps seem to be a lost cause which leaves me with little time to do my art. BUT. She is sleeping like a champ at night -- down at 7pm (no later because she's so tired) and up sometime between 5:45am and 6:30am. What is this refusal to nap????? Anyway here is her tutu:

Aaaaand I wasn't going to post a picture of her in it till her birthday, but how can I resist?

I have so many ideas for projects and drawings to do, but I just don't have enough time. If I was lucky enough to be an insomniac like my friend Doreen, maybe I could really crank it out. Joking. I cherish my sleep. Such projects include:

another mobile
finger puppets
more greeting cards/drawings like this one:

Ok. I have to go cook up the flank steak I have marinating in the fridge. Pat just got home from work, and I should quit eating chocolate chips now. ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pat and His Too-Tall Hat

Here it is so far!! Don tells me that Pat looks like a cone head because his hat is waaay too tall. I'd have to agree, so there will be a bit of tweaking, but I'm at a good stopping place for now. This evening Pat and I are headed to Moab, Utah to meet up with our friends Anna and Doreen. We are going on a white water rafting day trip on the Colorado River tomorrow! How's that for adventure?
Mom and Don are staying with Anabelle till we get back on Wednesday. Three cheers for fun grandparents!

A big huge thanks to Lara who is a seriously impressive artist (check out her portraits - wow!) and who answered my call for help with this drawing. She gave me some really great ideas. I think it is about the coolest thing in the world that I can connect with other artists who are across the country. My goal is to have a big artist community someday.

I used gesso to cover up some of the areas that I overworked. This adds a bit of a painterly feel which is a nice contrast to the pen lines, and it also adds a bit of depth. You can still make out some of the lines behind the paint. I'm really pleased so far...

Have a good week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An oldie

This is a painting I did last year for Pat's dad.

Oh Buzz!

Buzzbuzz. What a guy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ohmygoodness, this economy is so ugly

Here's an excerpt from's article "Less Vegas: The Casino Town Bets on a Comeback." I finally understand exactly what a "short sale" is... and it's not pretty:

Boemio [a realtor] specializes in short selling, in a particularly Vegas way. Basically, she finds clients who owe more on their house than the house is worth (and that's about 60% of homeowners in Las Vegas) and sells them a new house similar to the one they've been living in at half the price they paid for their old house. Then she tells them to stop paying the mortgage on their old place until the bank becomes so fed up that it's willing to let the owner sell the house at a huge loss rather than dragging everyone through foreclosure. Since that takes about nine months, many of the owners even rent out their old house in the interim, pocketing a profit.(See pictures of modernist houses available for rent.)

Tons of people were doing this, but there were consequences. Renters were being evicted, through no fault of theirs, with a couple of days' notice when the house finally went on the market. People are now paying a premium to live in apartment buildings, which in Vegas are almost always owned by a corporation. Sure, short selling damages the sellers' credit rating, but they just bought a new house, so they don't care.

It's an entire city of John Dillingers, feeling guiltless for stealing from the banks. Boemio is well aware that short selling isn't ethical and is exacerbating Vegas' economic problems. People, she believes, should make their payments, accept their paper losses and ride out the crash. "Guess what, a______s of Las Vegas. That's what gambling is about. That's what investing is about," she says. "It's greedy. But we're all doing it. Because why not?" It's very hard, she says, to suffer as the one honest person in a town of successful con artists.

ugh. Are we the chumps for NOT walking away from our house?!!! The article is right; "everyone" is doing it - it seems it's become the norm. The stigma of foreclosing or short selling is gonegonegone. Our community sometimes feels empty -- so many houses sitting sadly vacant.

All of this has me feeling very down. And on top of it I should be:

folding laundry

doing laundry

making a grocery list and planning some meals for the week

cleaning out the fridge

I've been looking at other artist blogs (so much fun!) and daydreaming of a "real" summer via the photos they post. So many handfuls of sweet home-grown tomatoes, farmer's markets, even the soft summer light the photos capture... I'm going to go sit in the hot Vegas corner and cry now. boohoo.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

i'm pretending i don't hear anabelle because she is supposed to be napping now

i haven't posted because life has just been chugging along - days made up of naps, heat, runs to the grocery store... the usual. but yesterday we had a fabulous family day! pat, anabelle and i spent the afternoon at mandalay bay's shark reef. we saw komodo dragons, sharks, jellyfish and lots and lots of fish, including lacy and papery lionfish. anabelle was mezmerized in her own laid-back sort of way...

last night pat and i left anabelle with maria and we went back down to the strip to sushi roku for dinner. what a fun night!!!! cocktails, yummy sushi, fabulous strip view and good good chats. afterwards we meandered around the forum shops, wandering in and out of stores like niketown, y-3, nanette lepore, brooks brothers, louis vuitton...

now. on the art front...
my portrait of pat is coming along:

my good ol' friend anna came to town last weekend and among other things we talked art. she gave me lots of good inspiration and ideas. ideas that involve: scale, repetition using different materials, color to create depth, sewing with thread, sewing machine without thread. love you anna!

and then -- OH NO -- i got completely carried away, distracted and i overworked it in a big bad way:

how does one fix a pen and ink drawing?????? ugh, i can't and won't touch it until i figure out how. help! it's heavy and off balance and pat told me he suddenly feels jealous of the house (which i think in art talk means that my two subjects are not working together to make up a very nice composition.)

ok, off to sunday morning yoga class. have a good day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

She stands!

Anabelle can now pull herself up to stand!  She works very hard at it, and she is very proud of herself when she gets there.  She huffed and puffed today, and then... voila!  she was standing next to me while I sat in the rocking chair with a huge grin on her face.  Now she is pulling herself up left and right.   She is good enough to eat.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm starting to see a pattern in my work

While Anabelle screamed herself to sleep last night, I cringed and worked on my portrait of Patrick.  It helped to put all of my nervous energy into something productive.  She fell asleep after 20 minutes, and I let out a huge sigh of relief and went up to bed.  He looks very serious in this drawing - unlike his silly personality.   

I started photographing some more old work.  This is a painting I did after my grandma Baba died.  I had a strange dream that the whole family was sitting at a long table, and there were waiters wearing tuxedos.  I had also just learned that a group of crows was called a "murder." Seemed so creepy and romantic all at the same time.  I love this piece because it was so UNforced.

These two are so strangely similar to what I am doing now.  These are marker and pen, and they are around 5 and 9 years old respectively!!