Friday, May 29, 2015

Grape Jellyfish

I suppose I should just come right out and admit it:  I enjoy anime.

Certainly, I don't watch as much of it as my children but I watch.

The illustration style is refreshingly different from typical Western animation.  
Some of it is so amazing that it quite takes my breath away.  

Over the weekend, I binge watched a short 11 episode series, "Princess Jellyfish".
There is something so elegant and yet almost alien about sea creatures like jellyfish.  
I just couldn't resist playing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lord Jaune Dapper and his Magickal Space Unicorn

Some days when I am feeling down and it seems like nothing will go my way ever again, I like to think about Lord Jaune Dapper and remember that he didn't always have such a fantastic sense of style; he didn't always journey with the magnificent beast that currently stands at his side.

Sometimes people cannot see the awesomeness inside themselves.  Lord Jaune Dapper didn't always realize how special he was.

He dressed in dark, somber colors.  He lingered despondently in the shadows, but then, he met the Magickal Space Unicorn.  

The Magickal Space Unicorn helped Lord Jaune to realize his own inner awesomeness.  

Lord Jaune no longer wanted to hide.  He wanted to flaunt his spectacular style and shine.

Huzzah, Lord Jaune Dapper.  Huzzah!

That is how I feel about my art.  

I refuse to slink about the internet, only posting my artwork to a few.  

I want to share it with the world!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Jellied Hope

What is an artist to do while waiting for the results from the jurying process of an art exhibition?  

Make good art.  (Thank you, Neil Gaimon).

I was expecting the results from the first art exhibition I had applied to this year on the 20th.  Naturally, I spent the day on the results page, refreshing, refreshing, refreshing.  Around noon, two of my entered pieces were listed as "Not Invited", leaving the final third piece as "Received"not "Invited" as normally would be the posted results.

Feeling even more on edge, I naturally continued to refresh, refresh, refresh, off and on for another three hours.  Finally, I received an email from the art association that that one piece had gotten through to the second round of jurying (unprecedented for them but they had a LOT of entries this year as it is their 50th anniversary for this particular exhibition.)

So, I have another five days of waiting.  Le sigh.

Deciding not to let the results determine my fate or drag my self esteem completely down if I do end up being rejected, I seized the moment and entered two more juried art exhibitions.  (For whatever reason, most of the local art exhibitions deadlines seem to happen in the late spring / early summer.)

I decided to try to be positive about the possible outcome of the juries and decided that my young Victorian child would be similarly positive.  It's better to reach for the stars than hide under an umbrella of depression.

Be hopeful.

Make good art.

No matter what the results of the jury, just remember, it's the opinion of one or perhaps a handful of people.  Your passion for art is something not to be too easily abandoned.

Enjoy some toast, young friend!

Just keep reaching for that jelly.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Gator Cycle

Amazing how a single word can send your mind spinning down strange avenues...

I couldn't help but think of the very pink house that I saw a few weeks ago near the edge of the French Quarter.  The one thought I had upon raising the camera was that I didn't know if I had ever seen a house so very pink.

The rest just fell into place.  I've always loved the Victorian ventricle horses and I had just tinkered with a gator so marrying the two into one simply made sense.  

Ride, little girl, ride!  

To the ends of your imagination and beyond!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Collage Obsession - A Rose by any Other Name

Some Doors are Better Left Shut

I finished another piece in my French Quarter character series.

Some doors are better left shut!

It was fun to make use of two different photographic series: the ones I took just a few weeks ago in the French Quarter and an image I took a few weeks before that during a tour I took of Lafayette Cemetery with my sister.

I gave the young Civil War era miss one of my folk art Voodoo Goblins to carry and I tucked my recurring character, the Quarter Cat, half in and half out of the door.

The Quarter Cat likes to make an appearance when our world blends briefly with another, something darker, something a little otherworldly

Hopefully, our young miss will chose not to cross the threshold into the darker world.  I cannot think that is a world that she is quite ready for!

I love the theory that we are living in an almost endless universe, with thousands and thousands of similar universes stacked one against another.  Perhaps a door opens between our universe and one of the many others.  Sort of makes everyday life a little more exciting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Quarter Gator Girl

Missing New Orleans, as I have been of late, I thought it would be fun to work on a series on the French Quarter, making use of some of the 538 pictures I took there a few weeks ago on my birthday outing.  (I turned 39, again, so it was a very special one!)

One of the things that the French Quarter is known for is its eccentric denizens, the quirky characters that live and work there.

Seemed like the perfect subject for a new series!  (don't worry, I am still planning on continuing with my Side Show series as well as the much longer Tarot card series)

Of course, fact is stranger than artistic fiction so I've no doubt that my imaginary cast of characters is no where near as charming or odd as the real residents, but, I think, they are still rather a fun lot!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Beloved New Orleans

Ah, New Orleans, my Beloved, the City that Care Forget, the City that Time Forget.

The first time I ever fell in love with a place was when I first walked the heavily shaded streets of a city the like of which I had never even dreamed existed.  I was a child of the modern suburbs.  I remember a stirring of similar feeling when I had briefly visited Savannah as a child, but I had never truly felt the deep love of a place like I did during the days I lived in New Orleans.

New Orleans has a reach deep history.  The streets are peopled with stories and legends.  You can take historical tour after historical tour and only get a brief taste of what is to be savored.

The architecture is unlike anything that you see in most of modern America.  A local historian once described it to me as the northernmost city in the Caribbean.  The iron wire work of the balconies and galleries is beautifully intricate.  The stonework has a deliciously aged patina.  The colors of the cottages are bright, even garish.

It was something so far outside my experience as a teenager on the brink of adulthood, but something about it just felt like home.

Still, we are talking about a city that is below sea level.  A city that is really little more than a swamp just waiting to happen.  Disaster after disaster have struck the city over the centuries, from devastating fires, to epic plagues, to the fury of monster hurricanes.  The city stands.

"Laissez les bon temps roulez."  Pour me another round.

How can I help but love that irrepressible, unrepentant attitude?

I've lived in Baton Rouge for several years now and I have grown to respect and enjoy the capitol city very much, but every time I get a chance to visit New Orleans, I take it.  I come away with a renewed love, a little bit of heartache, and unstoppable homesickness.

I've been playing a lot recently with mixing contrasting images from my photographs.  The past few days I was scrolling through a series I shot in the Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District and was struck afresh by the beauty of those centuries old tombs: the patina of the stone, the exposed brickwork, the greenery that cannot be repressed and finds the cracks and crannies and insists on flourishing where there would otherwise only be death.

I juxtaposed a few of those tombs with the vibrancy of the downtown French Quarter but with, "Beloved", I took it in a different direction.

The finished piece almost looks like an odd bit of graffiti on a brick wall but it's pure mixed media showcasing the texture from different tombs in the Lafayette Cemetery.

If you ever do make it to New Orleans, I cannot recommend enough a visit or even a tour of one of our local cemeteries.  Better known as "Cities of the Dead", they are an experience all their own.  The Garden District tours I have taken spent a little too much time on the comings and goings of some of our local Hollywood residents, who move in and move on.  The Garden District itself is amazing with large opulent homes dripping with expensive elegance, but my favorite part of the tour is always the cemetery.

Maybe I'm a little dark.  Maybe.  But life in New Orleans always has that edge of darkness, knowing that disaster can be just around the corner.  Just put on your best party outfit and pour another drink.

Always remember.  "Laissez les bon temps roulez!"