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Heads on Tables

It’s over. I am done studying at TCC. Almost. I still need to take an algebra test…damn it.

This semester I took supervised study in drawing, hence all the photos of charcoal drawings, and to finish it up I spent the past week with Chicago artist(and former VA Beach resident) Brett Edenton. It was a really valuable experience to study with someone, even if just for a week, with a very specific goal in mind. In many ways it made things more comfortable. He could tell me when I was doing something wrong and it not be open to interpretation. This wasn’t about creativity. It was about seeing and technical skill and it’s exactly what I wanted and made me very eager to continue down this path. That said, I didn’t do everything that was suggested. I tried to take advice and pick up tips and skill while not losing my own methods that seem to work for me.

I believe I’ve touched on it before, but I really want representational skills. I want those skills to make my work, whether it be figurative or not, more convincing.

It was also beneficial to not be able to dodge someone’s attention while drawing. At first I was very self conscious, and even though that feeling lingered, it was good for me not to disappear in a classroom of other students. Having someone watch you draw can be very scary. It reveals how you think…or how you don’t think.

This isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a step in the right direction. I hope my touch and eye will grow more sensitive as time and practice pass. I also enjoyed that the project was to draw more heads on tables, something I already seem to like to do.



I also stopped in at the Chrysler Museum of Art before it shuts down for renovations and met this painting I had never noticed before. I call it The Log Lady of Norfolk…but it’s really a painting by Hugues Merle French (1823-1881) called The Lunatic of √Čtretat (1871 Oil on canvas).

I love it. It’s hard to see, but her eyes almost glow red and her hair is drifting away like smoke. Plus it reminds me of Twin Peaks and that’s always a plus.

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Bones, Brains and Loose Ends

Spring is ending. Summer and it’s hot, funky breath is right around the corner. My semester has ended and I was able to maintain my all A’s streak. I recently went to a scholarship luncheon TCC held for the donors and was able to meet a wonderful lady who was funding one of the scholarships I received to attend the Visual Arts Center.

My internship at Virginia MOCA has ended also. My time there was wonderful. I feel that I’ve learned a lot, especially from my time spent preparing for New Waves 2012 and the group of shows to be shown during the Warhol exhibit now on display.

The I Like Soup show looks great. JoKa, an artist from Philly included in the show, and his lovely girlfriend Brandi, drove down and stayed with us so they could attend the opening.

All the cans are now online and for sale. The proceeds are divided between the artist, the Foodbank of Virginia and MOCA’s educational programming. Creepmachine and AltDaily both did some nice little write ups about it.

My all time favorite amongst many wonderful pieces is Nomi Chi’s shown below.

I’ve been attempting a new technique, creating a complete underpainting with terre vert/titanium white/ivory black before laying in color. It’s interesting. I like the moonlit look. Now I just need to figure out if it’s really worth refining the underpainting before laying in color…and how much of the underpainting I want to keep, how much I’m willing to cover up.

After these are completed I’ll be trying some other things(I hope a master copy). My time at TCC is almost over. I really only have two classes to complete before I earn my associates. What I’m going to do afterwards has been weighing heavily on me. I like learning. I value education, but I don’t believe a traditional academic path is for me. I felt that my other classes(math, english and so on) while important and enjoyable were getting in the way of me getting as much as possible out of my art classes, which were the real reason I’ve been in school.

I’ve been contemplating attending an atelier. Students learn under the guidance of a master painter. It’s rigorous. It’s intense. It’s realist. There is no degree. My tentative plans right now are to finish at TCC and then take a couple months, go to Philly and attend some workshops at an atelier. I couldn’t commit to a full 4 years, financially or time wise, immediately, but I think taking a few months would be a great way to do some research to help me plan my future path.

I’ve been doing research, with the help of a new painter friend, to try to help me get ready for the next step. The only reasons I am hesitant are that I would miss my husband for those months and I would also feel a bit like an imposter. Part of me is afraid that I’d be found *out* and rendered unwelcome if the subjects and type of paintings I like to do were revealed. I want to become technically skilled so I don’t see why my past work would need to come up, but it also isn’t necessarily my end goal to paint exactly like others that have gone down that route. My goal is more to be able to convincingly blend realism with my other more esoteric topics…and of course make some money doing portraiture. I feel that if I were trained in this way I could do whatever I wanted with the knowledge. I want access to that, to me, secret world.

I need to learn how to sweep aside my insecurities.

I admire it. I want to be just a little bit part of it.

I’ve been painting a lot of skulls lately, as I’m sure anyone who stops by occasionally notices. I’ve caught a bit of slack for it from instructors, their point being that it’s too obvious or trendy, but I’ve chosen to ignore the good intentioned criticism. Skulls have been in art for much longer than Hot Topic has been around, and their relevant to the topics I enjoy. Besides, they’re good practice. We all have them beneath our freckles and make up.

Below are some skull themed artworks I’ve come across and like.

From top left down to right – Unknown found on tumblr(but it tickled me to see it after I had made my own still lifes of skulls with pearl eyes), Skull by David Slone, The Dead by Horacio Martinez, I can’t read the language but their work is lovely!

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Work and Life, Life and Work

Not much concrete and provable progress to post about, but I’ll try anyway. I’ve been busy at MOCA VA working on photographing the cans coming in for the I Like Soup show opening on May 25. Check out the tentative landing page about the show. All the cans will eventually make it online. The list shown there needs some editing as some people weren’t able to participate, but there is still a lot of awesome to see soon!

Articulated Gallery has updated their online shop with pieces from the Marvelous Humans show curated by Josh of Creepmachine.

As for school I had two pieces on display during the annual student art show. I also one an award in the fine arts category for my painting Focus which I’ll upload to my site soon. If you’d like to see it you can view it and other award winners on my school’s website.

I am also working on redesigning my site. A friend of mine will be assembling it into a working page in the future. This is roughly what it will look like. I looked at many other artists’ sites to get an idea of what I liked and didn’t. I wanted a site that would work as a gallery but still allow me to blog about my process, struggles and art in general.

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Moving forward!

Life has been full of a lot of nice little things lately, from Donut Shop Dreams to Local Gov Elections and more.

My good friend Alicia is doing her damnedest, along with another friend of hers, to open up a 24 hour donut shop on Granby Street in downtown Norfolk called The Norfolk Donut Supply Company. She’s running an IndieGoGo.com campaign to help raise some start up funds and demonstrate to other investors that there is a community interest. My husband is making a Donut-esque Pinup poster for her to send to donors as a reward for donating.

If you’d like to read about her donut plans please go to her website!

Also my friend Jesse Scaccia, co-owner of AltDaily.com, is running for Norfolk VA city council this May 1st. He’s a really interesting and sincere guy that has already done a lot for Norfolk and it’s art community and genuinely is interested in improving Norfolk for everyone, not just artists. You can read about his campaign at his lil’ Facebook page here.

There is also a new site that is covering the local art scene, promoting shows and individual artists. It was a niche that needed to be filled. It’s called Art Scene Hamptonroads.

Tomorrow is the opening for TCC’s Annual Student Art Show and I’ll be attending! And the New Waves 2012 show is still up, so if you’re a local please stop in and check it out.

Here is a preview of the can I’m painting for the I Like Soup show to be displayed concurrently with the Andy Warhol Portraits show at Virginia MOCA this spring. I am turning mine into a kaleidoscope!

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New Waves 2012, TCC’s Annual Student Show and Marvelous Humans

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Please click on New Waves 2012 to see a nifty PDF mag catalog I created for VA MOCA to promote this years New Waves exhibition! Here is the Facebook event page.

Thursday, March 22, is the opening. I’m excited about this exhibition not only because my painting Seer was accepted, but also because I also helped prepare the gallery working as an intern for the staff at VA MOCA.

This month is also the annual student art show at Tidewater Community College. Two pieces of my student work, Focus and Wishful Thinking, will be hanging there amongst all the other rad work from the school.

And then early next month I will also be participating in a group show, Marvelous Humans, at Articulated Gallery in San Francisco. The show was curated by Josh from Creepmachine, a contemporary art blog.

Instead of being just another circus freak show, Josh wanted to put together something different. To quote his site,

“Marvelous Humans” will be a group show with artwork inspired by the many human marvels that once lived, or are alive today. This is not just another “sideshow” art show. I have always been inspired by the people who were born with a certain condition, and made the most of it. So instead of focusing on these people as “oddities”, as too many sideshows did throughout the years, I thought it was time for some art to be created that gave these people dignity.

I chose Millie La Mar, a woman born with albinism in the Victorian era, who later became part of a circus and created an act portraying herself as a psychic or mentalist, capitalizing, or submitting depending on your point of view, to the stereotype of albino’s being eerie or mystical.

I chose ink wash, gesso and colored pencils rather than do an oil painting because I wanted to give her portrait an eerie distance and vintage feel.

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