Monday, December 29, 2014

Polly Nichols buys a New Bonnet

Polly Nichols (aka Mary Ann Walker) was born on August 26, 1845). In 1864, she married William Nichols, a printer's machinist, and had five children.

The marriage broke up over allegations of her husband's philandering and her drinking. Her estranged husband stopped paying her support when he learned she was supplementing her income with prostitution.

On August 30, 1888, Polly earned her doss money but spent it on a jolly new bonnet. She earned it again, and then drank it away. Around 1:30 am, she announced her intention of earning the money quickly so that she could have a bed for the night.

Then, she met Jack.

Sometimes you find yourself locked in a circular pattern of a strange obsession.  I've always had a streak of ripperologist in me but it recently began a strong resurgence in my psyche.  The best way for me to exorcise an obsession is to work through it.

What has always bothered me most about the obsession with Jack the Ripper is the emphasis on the Jack portion.  What about Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly?  

Their lives were brutally ended by a monster.  There seems to be an implicit thought line that their lives were lesser because they were prostitutes, because they were older (excepting Mary Jane Kelly), because they were alcoholics, and because they spent most of their lives on the street.

I don't like or accept that implication so decided to start to exorcise my Jack demon by exploring each of the lives of these women that lived and died over a century ago.  They were people.  Their lives had value.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Foxy Lady

Like many artists, I love to explore different crafts and ideas.  I dabble with beading as well as folk art dolls.  I thoroughly enjoy my complex, multi layer art pieces, but they can take days and weeks to finish.  I tinker and move pieces, think of ideas, and try not to get frustrated with a work in progress.

Sometimes, it's nice to just play; to take a Victorian or medieval portrait and just alter it in a whimsical way.  

I love the connection I feel when someone approaches my more in depth work and finds something meaningful to themselves or to their lives.   I derive a great deal of my sense of purpose from moments like those.  I feel like there is a reason why I make art; why I want to pursue the uncertain life of an artist.

Sometimes, though, it''s just about a piece that makes the viewer smile.

My Animal Folk pieces are just that: pieces of whimsy designed to evoke a smile.

The women of Ziegfeld follies were glamorous, dangerous, and wonderfully playful.  My foxy lady is all those things, with a deliciously hungry edge!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tis the season

Tis the season, but for what exactly?

Beyond the gaudy decorations, the bargain shopping, the giving, and the getting, tis the season for connections.

It's the time to put aside our petty differences and our personality conflicts.  It's the time to be together: no matter what our personal philosophies, our jobs, or our taste in music.  Tis the season.

We decorate trees.  We eat large meals.  We bake cookies.  We wrap and unwrap gifts.  We spend time together.  Whether we are together due to the ties of blood, by choice, or by happenstance, we are together.  There is a simple joy in that togetherness


Tis the season of love.

Wishing a delightful season, from my family, to yours.

What are you hoping to find under your tree? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Honorable Mention!!!

My surrealistic piece, "Cello Charmer" is currently on exhibition at the Alexandria Museum of Art.

The exhibition opened on Friday, September 5th.  Alexandria is a little far for me to drive so I missed the opening reception.

Imagine my delight when I got today's mail and received a notification that my artwork received an "Honorable Mention" in the show!

It's a bit of cliche, but it was an honor just to have my piece selected out of so many hundreds to be included in the exhibition, and then, to have it receive special recognition by the amazingly talented artist and juror, James Michalopoulos.  I am over the moon!

Happy dancing will soon commence!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What I did at Summer School aka the Artist as Entrepreneur program

I've been planning on blogging about the program I undertook in the early days of summer.  It's a program run through the  Arts Council of Baton Rouge via Gene Meneray from the Arts Council of New Orleans.  I wavered a lot on my decision to apply for the class, but finally, on the last possible day, I sent in my application.

I learned a lot from the class and, most of it, I have only started to put into effect.  Marketing yourself and your art as a "Brand" is a long term process.  An art career cannot be built overnight.  

I went into the class looking for more knowledge about selling my work online and learning about social media.  I really didn't learn as much as I wanted about social media or online art sales, but I glimpsed a future and a potential for my work that I hadn't even considered.

Digital art is one of the newer kids in the art world.  It doesn't require the same skills as painting or photography and more traditional artists will never treat it with the same respect.  Digital art requires a skill set all its own, but as a digital artist, I had gotten the impression that some doors would always remain closed to me.  By the end of the Artist as Entrepreneur program, I realized that the only real limitations for my work were the ones I created for myself.

My personal insights aside, I think I should start with a truly pivotal moment for everyone in the program, that came, interestingly, on the final day of class.  One of my fellow artists asked what the success rate actually was for artists that graduated from the program.

Our instructor responded that 25% become superstars, 25% do very well for themselves, another 25% are able to support themselves as artists, but 25% are never heard from again.

I think all of us silently asked ourselves which percentage we would end up in.

Rolling back to Day One.  We had a bit of a mixer.  Everyone introduced themselves.  We talked about what we hoped to get out of the program.  We all turned in our current resumes / Artist Statements / Biographies.  We discussed that over the course of the program, we would learn how to improve all of these.  

I certainly ended up with a much better set of professional documents than I had going in to it

Our assignment for the following week was to work on our "Business Goals WorkSheet" that came with our class binder.
 Rouge via Gene Meneray from the Arts Council of New Orleans.  I wavered a lot on my decision to apply for the The worksheet is basically a way of gauging your expectations, setting goals, and what tools you intend to use to achieve your goals.

As a sample, I set my initial goals as 1) Establishing an internet presence ; 2) Making more consistent and better sales; 3) having a clear vision of my brand (a brand is a consistent and cohesive body of work, probably at least 12 pieces)

The worksheet asked how we would gauge out progress.  I figured that I would know from generating more sales.

The worksheet also asked us to brainstorm potential roadblocks.

The worksheet asked us to consider what we are really selling when we sell our art.  (The idea is that you aren't just selling something that your client hangs on the wall.  You're selling them a story about the buying experience.  You are selling yourself as an artist and YOUR story.  You are selling your art as a potential investment, as something that conveys pleasure to the viewer, etc.)ss, but finally, on the last possible day, I sent in my application.

 Finally, what are your marketing materials?
You need an artist statement, business cards / postcards.  If you're participating in an artist market, you should have booth signage.  You need a resume and a biography.  You need a professional website, and a Facebook business page.  In order to best make use of social media, your business should have an instagram, a twitter, and a tumblr account.  Also, you should start to establish a email list so that your fans can stay informed of your activities - where you will be appearing and where your new pieces will be on display.

It was a lot to take in and consider.  

Don't think you need to do all these things right this very second.  Just start with one at a time.  Give yourself room to think about who you are as an artist and to flesh out your personal story.  It's every bit as important as the work you create.

          My personal expectations for my own potential slowly began to shift and grow. a 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ode to Ben

Oh la la!  Is there anything more Parisian
than a lightning storm?

All our mademoiselle needs is a beret
and possibly a bit of sense!

I've always loved this 1899 photo of the Eiffel Tower
being struck of lightning.  I embellished it a bit.

This darling Scandinavian Victorian girl
had a lovely French look to her.

And, when I think lightning storms,
I often think of dear ol Ben Franklin 
with his kite in the storm!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Checkered Past - Dance Challenge at 3Muses

If you ask about my checkered past,
I must confess that my secrets 
are many, sordid, and would make
a sane woman blush.

I danced my way through my youth
like so many half remembered dreams
of immortality and immorality,
but I looked ever so fabulous
while I did it!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Freedom Blooms

Time has been in short supply this week so my ability to log any art time has been far too short.

My children are in art camp so I've spent most of my past week there.

I have a pile of prints that need to be matted for my next art market.

I have my steady stream of orders to make and fill.

Finally, we have a scheduled meet of the Renaissance players on Saturday.

My poor blooming fellow!  I suppose it's a wonder that he was finished at all.

This is one of those pieces where all I knew going in that was that I wanted a goldfish bowl where his head should be and his head where the goldfish bowl would be.  Everything else remained to be seen.

I added details, like walls and cranes.  None of them worked.  I tried bars in front.  Bars behind.

I added a keyhole in front; a keyhole behind.  There is something about the intrigue and mystery of a key and a lock that always tempts me.

After tinkering and moving, tinkering and moving, several days later, it finally came together!

Which side is real freedom?

Don't fret, my friend, you have the key if you know where to look!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Travel via Bathtub

Twas a little girl
who was adventure bound
she pushed her tub into the sea
and changed her whole world
as soon as she saw what lay beneath!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Under Lock and Key

"I've spent all my life, on a search to find 
The love who'll stay for eternity 
The heaven sent to fulfill my needs 
But when I turn around 
Again, love has knocked me down 
My heart got broken, oh it hurt so bad 
I'm sad to say, love wins again 

So I placed my heart under lock and key 
To take some time, and take care of me"
               -Deborah Cox

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fish Dance a la Klee

Sad to report but I am quite behind on my art challenges.

I had a fabulous weekend at two different art markets and spent an afternoon taking photographs at the zoo, but it left me very little time to catch up on my art work.

I created this piece with the intention of including it in Take a Word's Circle challenge but simply ran out of time.

After tinkering and changing proportions and colors, I finally got a balance that I really liked!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Victorian Octopus Couture - 3Muse Fashion Challenge

Louisiana Science Fiction Costume and Film Convention 2014

That is a lot of name and covers a lot of ground.

The LaSciFi is actually the smallest convention I've ever been to, but then, I've only been to about a half dozen.

It was a strange experience for me.

We arrived Friday afternoon and set up.  Reducing my set up to only one table is always a bit of a challenge for me.

I came dressed as Magenta as Friday night is given over to a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We had maybe a dozen browsers the whole night and no sales, but it was my first time seeing a live production of RHPS is many years so it still made for a good time.

Fortunately, sales picked up on Saturday so I was able to relax and enjoy the convention.

My daughter spent the weekend as a Lolita cupcake, selling all the cosplay and lolita goodness.

There were about a dozen panels scheduled, which surprising, took place in the main room about ten feet from our table so we were able to watch all the panel activities.

Krewe du Who was on hand with K-9 as well as all the Doctors!  :)

Another room was devoted to demonstrations and another room to the science fiction film fest.

My kids enjoyed the horror movies and the Klingon martial arts demonstration.

I attended the bellydancing demonstration and attempted the tribal movements in my corset.

I think I may be far too uncoordinated to bellydance but it was fun to try.

At 4 pm, the costume contest began and the main room cleared out.

We packed up and headed out.

Sunday was three hours of panels which met. strange to say, in the lobby of the hotel.  

Definitely, an unconventionally unstructured convention, but a good time was had!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lady of Jellyfish - Digitalmania challenge

The challenge this week over at Digitalmania was to be inspired by the brilliantly colorful work of Svenja Jodicke.  The color palette, as you can see, is very bright!

I generally prefer something a little more subtle, a little more delicate, but, in the end, I was rather pleased with the brilliant effect.

Life is a Long and Twisting Road

We all start out our youngest days with dreams and plans.  My daughter dreamed of being both president and a cardiologist, simultaneously, possibly with a side job of mail delivery and working at McDonalds so that she could have all the hamburgers she wanted.  Over time, her dreams changed and her vision refined.  She still isn't certain what path she want to take but she is narrowing down the possibilities, marrying passion with practicality.

I remember my own childhood.  My dreams wandered from one vision to another.  Would I become a zoologist who worked on a game preserve in Africa  (if only!!)?  Would I grow up to star on Broadway?  Could I write the great American novel?

Alas, none of these things happened.  I fell into a major that I felt uncertain about, and then graduated equally undecided.  I took the classic nineties road of slacker graduate, not really focusing on anything long enough and not really wanting a "real job".

I fell in love and so started a career that allowed me time to homeschool my children and work from home.  All praise and gratitude to the internet!

 I bought and then sold vintage clothes.  Later, my focus shifted to handmade jewelry and graphic design.  For about 15 years, I managed a lucrative income on sites like ebay and etsy, but couldn't help but wonder what lay around the next twist in the road.

Katrina came through New Orleans and we left like so many other displaced refugees and found shelter in a small rural community just south of Baton Rouge.  My husband became ill and fought a long and valiant battle against cancer, passing away about two years ago.

The twist in the road was harsh and steep.  I was left with four children to raise and an income that never goes as far as we need it to.

I realized that only working from home was no longer enough.  I started selling jewelry at art markets and craft fairs and my success wavered between meh and so so.  Still, I was making my way back into the world.

My interest in jewelry making began to wain and my creativity leaned more and more to graphic design and then, as I felt braver, into digital art.  I realized that I had somehow stumbled into something I loved.  I had found a road that I desperately wanted to travel.

But how to make a living at it?

Good question!  I am just starting out but hope the road will go on and on and on!

I have my work at a few local galleries.  I am applying to art markets.  I have enrolled in a marketing class.  I am taking all the right steps and am hoping they will take me where I want to go!

What strange and crooked path have you followed to get where you are today?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dance of the Shell Queen

The problem with portals in time and space 
is you can never be quite 
certain what sort of entertainer 
might come dancing in!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fairy Flight - TAW Bird Challenge

":I'm taking a ride with my best friend
I hope he never lets me down again
He knows where he's taking me
Taking me where I want to be
I'm taking a ride with my best friend

We're flying high
We're watching the world pass us by
Never want to come down
Never want to put my feet back down on the ground"

-Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again

I thought it would be fun to add a little steampunk 
fairy flavor to the Take a Word Bird challenge!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Octo-balloon - 3Muses Transportation Challenge

I've been absent from the weekly blog challenge 
for several weeks but am glad to be back!

My balloon octopus came out a bit more 
like a strange space ship octopus, 
but it is serving as transportation
 for an unfortunate rococo lady.

Like the Tardis, the interior of the octopus 
seems to be a great deal larger than the outside.

In fact, it seems to be the portal 
to another completely different
world of ice!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

100 POSTS!! yay me! - I See what you did there

About a year ago, I realized that my growing creation of digital art really needed a home of its own, so ProjectBunny was born!

With, "I See what you did there", I declare that this blog is officially 100 posts old!

Yay!  Cue triumphant music and a rain of glittery confetti!

Blow the trumpets and I shall parade through digital art town on my magnificent float with a slow, majestic wave at all that I pass!

(Isn't my virtual gold evening gown and matching tiara truly spectacular?)

Happy Weekend and many delightful creative art projects to all!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

99 posts and counting! - Gone Fishing Surreally

Looking at my blog posts a few days ago, I realized that this blog 
has been running about a year and we are up to almost 100 posts!

Cue the marching band!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Virgin State of Mind - Digitalmania challenge a la homage Catrin Welz-Stein

Our inspiration this week at Digitalmania was the wonderfully surreal work of Catrin Welz-Stein.

I've been enamored of the song "Virgin State of Mind" by K's Choice since I heard it featured on the episode of BTVS "Dopplegangland".

"There's a chair in my head on which I used to sit
Took a pencil and I wrote the following on it

Now there's a key where my wonderful mouth used to be
Dig it up, throw it at me..."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Digitalmania Sepia Challenge

Dearest Archduchess, just where are you taking that Emu?

Little girl, be very careful around that henge!  Alternate universes are everywhere!

You might as well just find a wardrobe....

Sunday, March 9, 2014

French Quarter Black bird- TAW challenge

One of the things I love about the natural world is the wide variety 
of animal life at different locales around the world.

Here is a fabulous example of a black bird from the region of southern Louisiana
pictured in front of her natural habitat in the French Quarter.

Laissez bon temps roulez, little birdie!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Questions Three - Digitalmania challenge

Our inspiration this week at digitalmania was more medieval fairy tale than Egyptian, but I have had Ancient Egypt in my head all week.

I am afraid that my pieces might not qualify to be included in this weeks challenge, but I couldn't seem to stop myself from googling pictures of the 1917 Theda Bara version of Cleopatra.

The costumes and the glamor!  I love old Hollywood and then combine that with Ancient Egypt. ...

I couldn't resist!

Also. I do realize that my sphinx is actually the Greek myth version, but she seemed to fit in the background so perfectly.

Faced - Digitalmania challenge

I meant to post these earlier than today as Florian Nicholle's was last weeks inspiration over at Digitalmania.

Clearly, I had a lot of fun with paint brushes!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sonnet Glammed! - Digitalmania challenge

The inspiration this week at Digitalmania was the art of Florian Nicholls.

Artwork focusing on the human face or figure is not something that I usually gravitate to, but I love to try something new or different.

I had several false starts, but finally ended up with a few pieces that I like.

I started with a portrait of a young boy by Perugino (my favorite medieval portraitist) and glammed him up.

I added some watercolor brush splatter courtesy of photoshop brushes and finally included some Shakespearean verse.

Voila!  My first digitalmania piece of the week!