Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The other day in class, I was asked to show some of my work, then to explain my influences. Okay, I said, that's not so hard. So I showed the class this painting that I recently completed.

I then shared that Egon Schiele has been a big influence on my development as a painter. The teacher seemed unable to see the influence. He said he was looking for a "direct" influence. He acted like it was a negative thing not to see Egon in my painting, but to me it is a great positive. No, my paintings don't look like Egon's. Because, guess what: I'm not Egon.

It would be impossible to explain how much I love Egon Schiele's work or how much it has inspired and informed my aesthetic. But if you were to say that my work looked like his? I would not be flattered. It's important for each artist to have his or her own style. We ought to be inspired by other artists, but I'm not out to ape someone else.

Here are some examples of Egon's work:

You can find a lot more on google, where I got these images. What do you think of his style?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Up To

So wanna know what I've been up to (other than school and work and parenting)? I've been taking pictures. Every day. I just have the camera close by and shoot whatever strikes my fancy. I have to show 10 new photographs for class on Tuesday and I want plenty to choose from.*

Now, I am not taking your typical blog pics or whatever. I am trying to get a handle on bringing my personal design aesthetic out in this medium. Get it? I don't really get it yet. But, s'tch-k. I have a whole semester. And I have faith in my teacher.... who referenced David Lynch in the first class!

I started a flickr account for this class. It has a set for each day. Wanna place bets on whether or not I can keep this up?

*Grammar nazis are welcome here. Please make corrections as you see fit in the comment box.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Well, the semester has started and just like that life is a whirlwind again. My classes seem like they will be really fun and challenging, all art classes this time. Beth is in all of them with me and the teachers are good. This is a little weird to me though: I have to have blogs for each of my classes. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

I've started the blog for my photography class. (Obviously, I copied the html from this one, but I don't want to look at that default template design stuff, do I?)

There isn't all that much homework for this weekend. Which is really good. Because... this is my first weekend at my new job! I got a hostessing position at a sushi restaurant downtown. So far, it is really stressful. But only because I have a lot of (literally foreign) stuff to memorize.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What I Wore :: Bling

Now, I don't want to make any of you ladies jealous, but... my mother-in-law is really into jewelry and she gives me some great stuff. My favorite pieces are the antiques and the ones that have been in the family or brought from Spain and Mexico. My very favorite of all is this light blue topaz bracelet that belonged to her mother, Guadalupe. It is so dainty and sweet. I like to pair it with an even daintier one.

So today, I wore my pearls and these bracelets and the topaz earrings that match. Holy moly, that's a ton of accessories for the likes of me! But boy, did I feel put-together waltzing into the downtown library with my (for once well-behaved) babies? Yes I did. With the braid crown to top it off. I do declare, I'd almost pass for normal!

Do you have any accessories that make you feel absolutely special?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hiking Alone

Yesterday I went on a hike. By myself. I really need to make this a regular thing. I can only take so much pavement and asphalt, you know? Sometimes, I can't remember the last time I was in a non-manmade environment. The times I am happiest and feel most like my true self, I am away from buildings and all that. Just out in the woods. There is a poem that Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote that sums up this feeling, but she wrote about the sea the way I feel about the woods. Here's part of it:

People the waves have not awakened,
Spanking the boats at the harbour's head,
What do they long for, as I long for,–
Starting up in my inland bed

So I went to the woods yesterday. It was beautiful and felt like home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Playing with Pictures

So I already posted these for my facebook friends to see, but I want to show them to you guys, too. All you lovely blog readers, you. :)

I guess, I really wanted to make these to practice photoshopping. The semester starts back in *gasp* less than a week. And I will be expected to know all the ins and outs of the Adobe suit, which I don't. Not by a long shot. But, I'll have my trusty wizard (her name is Beth) by my side, holding my hand.

Anyway, here's how I spent the nap hours for a few days last week. They get increasingly worse/sillier.

What do you think? Did you know I was an acrobat? Niether did I, judging from my expressions of shock and horror...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Etsy Photography

I really need to just get a dress form and be done with it. This takes too long. Here's what I do:

-Set up the camera on a side table with a few books to prop it just right.
-Take a bunch of pictures of the vacuum to get a good focus and check the lighting.
-Set the timer and press play.
-Run over and move the vacuum and get in position.
-Hold still and wait for the click.

Sometimes the pictures come out ok. Sometimes not so much.

Monday, August 13, 2012

That Bird Finger

Some of you newer readers may not know that this time last year Beatrice was recovering from a broken finger and surgery to set the bone. She was in a full arm cast for what felt like ages. Well, today, she had her final appointment at the Hand Center. Her finger is fully healed and growing right on track. We are so happy!! And she's had a whole year practicing holding that one, adorable finger up in isolation.
Did you think I was going to show you the picture of the three year old flipping you off? Too bad.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


James and I took the kids to the beach yesterday afternoon. We didn't leave until 1:20 and we got back about 12 hours later. The beach is 3 to 5 hours away, depending on who is driving. Last time we took Bea and Am to the beach? They screamed the entire way, both ways. We wore earplugs and were basically miserable. Yesterday, they were good. We timed it so that the driving coincided with their regular nap time or bedtime. *smart*

James and I had plenty of time to talk, mostly on the way back (because I needed to think on the way down and James needed to nap). We talked about existential questions. Why are we here, what are we supposed to be doing, are we on track, what do we want out of life? How is our mainstream American life living up to our expectations? Are we settling for less than our potential? What is our lifestyle teaching our children? What do we really want to instill in them during the years that they are in our care? How?

We always have these conversations after visiting the ocean. I think it is because being so close to such a force of nature puts a lot of thing in perspective.

Got any answers?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Smashing Pumpkins

James and I are doing a cover version of a Smashing Pumpkins song for a local contest. It's going great! Honestly, I don't know when James and I had this much fun working on a collaborative project. Maybe we should just be a cover band...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I Wore :: Quilted Edition

I guess these dresses were popular back in the seventies. They have been popping up in thrift stores a lot lately, but usually the quilted skirt fabric is something terrible. I don't love this bodice, so I am thinking of turning the dress into a skirt. What do you think?

I feel like I've been a bit out of it lately because I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Yeah, I know, everyone else read it years and years ago. Gosh, it took up all my time! I love books like that, the ones I can't put down. Staying up late to read and letting chores slide. Those are the best books. And -I know you thought I'd never say this- it's good to get out of the Dune universe for a while. Just a little while though. Last night, I got back into Chapterhouse Dune. 

Confession? I am honestly considering reading some Batman comics. They're different from the movies, I'm sure, but I want to know all the origin stories and everything. I just have no idea where to start...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back This Project

So a friend of mine (the same one who wrote those Batman articles), has a comic book project on Kickstarter right now. I love Kickstarter and I love this project. It's a story called The Damocles Fugue about a guy who.... Well, you should just check it out. Then donate. Every bit helps, even if it's just a dollar or two. HERE.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Taking a Break

I've been blogging less lately. I guess I could say that my kids have taken up my time, that Beatrice needs me, that I've been reading aloud to them more. But that's not it. In fact, my internet time is when they are asleep anyway. 

No. Here it is. The whole world has now seen Batman. But I have not. All of tumblr wants to post about "can you believe this or that" and show spoiling images. I had to step away. 

I am going to see it tonight!

If you have already seen it, check out this amazing article by a good friend of mine. I have to admit that I say "amazing" based on hearsay. Of course, it is full of spoilers. Here is Part Two.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Thank you all for your supportive and encouraging comments regarding my sweet three year old.

This week, I have worked on being patient and sticking to my guns. Mama gave me the Supernanny book which has a lot of ideas for lovingly dealing with behavior issues. We (James and I) have a few tactics we are using. Primarily, I keep a close enough eye on her to detect the makings of a tantrum before it hits and head it off. Redirect! I have also spent a $h!t ton of time playing, chasing, singing, dancing this week and I have upped the number of reading lessons.

Things are getting better.