Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Electric Feel


In following up to where my head was the NEXT Gallery night, I just learned Tammy Brislin's head was someplace else entirely. I find it so inspiring to watch this video and see the art she was creating that night while we were all water coloring and waxing poetic about the pieces hanging on the walls. The angles are really unique, I especially like the outside looking in shots and the reflection of the Bug Theater sign at the the end. The music rocks too!

P.S. That phatty watercolor brush making a cameo at the very beginning of the video is JH's "Nimbus 2000" I dreamed about in my earlier post.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Women

The other night I finally finished the 1939 version of The Women - an all-female-casted movie about infidelity, divorce, and social relationships. The smart, sophisticated charaters in this movie are aggressive, egotistical, and obnoxious. These Manhattan socialites are fast talkers, quick witted, and out for the blood of their contemporaries - never stopping to consider how emotionally damaging it is to gossip about one of their "good" friends. Each woman most definitely protects herself from the surrounding women while projecting an air of confidence. I found Norma Shearer’s Mary so lovable: she holds her integrity in the face of this social badgery and, by the end of the movie, she finds a way to assert herself and band together with a few women who have proven themselves to truly be good friends. I relate to her facial reactions and her physical appearance (P.S. I definitely have a Hollywood crush kickin' -she's the one on the left below. P.P.S. the fashions and real feminine shapes are at times more mesmerizing than the movie itself).

Interestingly enough, when the movie was recreated in 2008, Diane English (Director) said she wanted to have something new to add to the story rather than just doing a remake. The contemporary women are presented more as supportive girlfriends, still dealing with infidelity, but also dealing with the breakdown of a true BFF friendship. I wonder, in this version, if the women are friends because it’s more politically correct nowadays, or if in the past 80 years we have come to discover the sheer importance of supporting girlfriends rather than competing with them?

In the face of all the dynamics that have changed in my life this past year, my close girlfriend’s are as important as ever. There are some things only certain women can relate to or provide insight about. Being the youngest of six girls, I have always had the ability to draw from an arsenal of feminine input and wisdom. Yet still I have been lucky enough to have great friends to confide in as well. I prefer to think we are in this together, supporting each other. We can stand beside each other rather than tear each other down. We are stronger as a sex that way; we are stronger to evolve that way.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Indian Summer

I was hoping you would come back to the party. I knew you were going to check in one last time before calling it a night. I hated to see you go and now that you're back, I think you should stay a while. There's no rush. I mean really, where are you headed next? Don't worry about Winter and Spring - they're just playing "mind games" on you. You should stay; look how happy everyone is that you came back! I know I'd love to have you stick around!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paradigm Shift

1. One that serves as a pattern or model.
A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

I realized the other day that I have been living in fear. I’ve been worried about what "will happen"; worried my soul will be crushed by living anything other than my dreams; worried I might gain back the weight I worked so hard to loose; worried people don't like me; worried I'm not unique or intelligent... really this list could go on.

Look at our society right now: it is a scary time. Sure it’s upsetting that people are loosing their jobs and houses, that some are slaves to the capitalistic machine and their over-consumption. Secretly though, I kind of like it. It feels so bottom of the barrel, like there's not much left to loose (please no jinxy whammies). People are reconfiguring their life to suit their dreams more than their social status. I do believe we're all getting a little more connected to the things that are important. Perhaps the pursuit of happiness has shifted to experience rather than tangible, physical items. Perhaps it's just me getting older, thinking why waste my time if there's no flow or it doesn't feel good? Not every choice is that easy but for now I prefer to dwell in the positive possibilities.

The thing about fear is if you let it take control of your life, it takes control of your life. It paralyzes you; your soul DOES gets killed...because you let it. Fear internalizes, confidence radiates. And when it really comes down to it, life's about being comfortable in your skin, accountable for your actions, and surrounded by people who support you. Have I found God? Possibly; but more likely, just a better outlook. I don't necessarily believe everything will turn up roses, but rather that everything will turn out as it should be and that will be okay.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Try Something New Today

Tom King

It’s been an artsy inspired week of sorts. JM introduced me to the Denver First Monday Art Talk, a monthly event where Eric Matelski interviews an artist or group about their inspirations, accomplishments, vices, etc. He does a great job keeping things moving along nicely; keeping things funny and light yet somewhat informative. Since he knows so many people in the crowd, he is able to talk with the audience and constantly acknowledge the sponsors, supporters, music, etc. It’s arranged somewhat like Inside the Actor’s Studio (my real reason for attending). I’d never been to Dazzle before either – it was hip and cool and I would go back there for drinks and Jazz and possibly brunch (per a hot tip from TC).

The interview/spotlight was on Mario Acevado, an author who writes sexy vampire detective novels and is a representational artist creating some awesome Denver retro signage artwork. It was interesting to hear about his process as a writer and laugh at the silly questions thrown his way. Two highlights of the night came in the form of a trailer Mario's son created about his book. He uses LEGO figures to set the seen and did a really good job pulling it all together and putting it to music, which brings me to my second inspiration. The music comes from a one man band called, The L1MBS. John Mazzucco was there for the festivities and sat in front of us playing the drums and his guitar (sometimes using it to crash the cymbals) all while he was singing. It was chaotic and cool to watch him play.

photos taken by Julie Howard

My second night of art came Tuesday in the form of decoupage. I was so excited for the activity but then had a hard time finding things to pull together for the collage. I thought about it for a few weeks and then at the last minute, I just shoved some paper samples in a bag, grabbed some Merlot, and headed to JH's house. We sat at the table covered in newspaper and ate delicious food while creating masterpieces. J made suggestions and explained the process and we were all set loose to do our thing. Everyone created interesting work using things like old wallpaper, pages from a 50s bowling book, clips from other paper samples and magazines, and even some of the flourishy orange paper from our wedding invites. I spent my time using an old canvass board J brought. I thought it would turn out to be another “year in review” exercise, but it was more about asserting myself as an artist, about doing what I love and just doing it, not thinking about it. I feel like "my piece" (term used loosely) is about having and edge and being a strong feminine artist and creating without thinking. It’s about doing what my heart tells me to do.

Monday, October 5, 2009

so we're good...right?

This weekend felt like a step back in time; not the Frontier House, prairie loving, making slow baked bread step back in time but rather a return to the age of pure weekend indulgence: the period of a single-gal, her lack of responsibility, and the drive to soul search, hang out with friends, and party.

I'm not sure if he knew I needed it but D loaded up the Swinger and Gingy Maillet and headed to the eastern plains to hunt antelope on Friday. I was left coming home to an eerily empty house and no sign of responsibility. The sheded hair of a missing dog and the chill of a fall afternoon sat solemnly in the house, greeting me as I entered. I did not know what to do with myself.

I opted for sheer indulgence in the form of Cherry Creek Mall and grand designs on an orange version of this dress. Always the frugalista, I settled instead for a new Aveda lipstick. I know it’s all so materialistic and silly but on some level it was like saying hi to an old activity I used to subscribe to on a regular basis. The new me found alignment in the beauty and simplicity of just walking around and talking with people…and the new stick (in uber eco-friendly packaging, I might add)!

I woke up Saturday morning envisioning a loosely falling orange leaf freshly unsuctioned from a fading green branch. I felt it unlatch; fluttering to the ground in orangey brilliance, soon to be mulch. I love Fall for the sense of reflection it innately brings. This October, I feel like a leafy free agent of sorts.

I spent Saturday on the Elk Meadow trail thinking about the year: about what I had planted and what I was currently harvesting (an activity spurred from S). Some seeds I planted early in the year took off tremendously and some have fizzled out. Just like the leaf, it felt exhilarating and scary all at the same time. I considered what signs meant and why I still look for them? I guess I need a certain amount of magic in my life. The ipod shuffled ironic songs in my ears until it ran out of juice. My attention was then drawn to the chatter of the woods - the birds, the wind, and the people on the trail. Not that I didn’t acknowledge them before but rather that having on headphones always feels like wearing a veil, like I’m not fully there. I stopped to take photos of the gorgeous, yellow, crunchiness in a patch of Aspens. It was cloudy and cold. Temperatures shifted throughout the hike: the sun felt so good and the chills felt so bone numbingly real. I welcomed it all as if none of it would last too long.

It felt good to reconnect to a me that is creative and happy. One that planted seeds with that desired growth. I’m stoked about reaping the harvest this Fall. We agreed we would work together on it; the Uni and I - a collaborative effort of sorts.

In complete juxtaposition, I then went to Target to try to find something to wear to a white trash party. I bought short shorts, pizza rolls, and candy corn. I ended up in white leggings and tight jean shorts with hooker shoes and a wife beater covered by a tied Hawaiian shirt. I swung by Home Depot to buy a trash can for the keg and got some strange looks: it felt funny to feel normal inside and look strange outside. The party was full fun indulgence in the crap of our society: jello shots, vodka with PBR, mac and cheese, loads of velveta, and a cake covered by nutty bars, ho/hos, twinkies, and hostess cupcakes. I found inspiration putting it together and then completely lost perspective eating a fair portion of it. It was like digesting a bunch of sweet, sugary BS.

Strangely, I felt like crap Sunday morning but still set out for Boulder to meet AR and H. We went for a hike at Table Mesa where there were even more lovely fall colors: the lime greens, the maroons, and the orangey yellows. There was tall grass swaying in the breeze and Kiera bounding through the terrain like gravity was for the weak. There was pleasant conversation and supportive feelings. There was ease of time and space. It felt good. It was so opposite than the Saturday hike but so fulfilling and inspiring in a different way. There was a chill in the air and the stark flatiron of rock face. There was laughter and hope. And then there was delicious Indian food and Chai tea and both Mango and Rice pudding at the end of it all. I was in such a relaxed daze, I barely wanted to drive myself back to Denver.

I came home to a silent house once again and the prospect of writing. It felt liberating to be free from the thought parade - just silent, just present. I was back to my old Sunday night antics. Not fully knowing what was achieved this weekend but feeling like something major was rebalanced. Trusting the Uni and trusting my life, my choices, and my intuition. Lovely.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dear Universe,

I miss you. I miss us. We used to be so much more in sync, remember? Maybe it's natural to grow apart with age; maybe it's me. I'm just wondering why you're so illusive? I've left messages - you haven't called back. The occasional quick text doesn't count. I appreciate the random songs/stories on the radio, odd job opportunities, or quotes on church boards on the side of the road but I need some quality time. Those signs are a little to vague for my taste.

I'm doing good. I'm happy. I'm living in Denver with my husbie, my dog, my dreams, and my bestie leaving sweet thoughts on my phone. They all remind me about what’s good in life, what’s worth it.

ANYWHO, I'd really like you to come over and hang out. It will be great. I'll make cookies and heat up some fancy teavana treat; or we could meet for happy hour if you prefer. I just want to catch up. You can tell me what you've been up to, what you're conspiring about, and perhaps, we can clear the air about wtf you think I'm supposed to be doing with my life. I know you're busy but I hope to hear from you soon.