Horst Janssen

February 23, 2010

I actually don’t have any concept of how popular Horst Janssen is, but because his name clicked in my memory the other day I want to share.  My German freshman-year room mate was in love with Janssen and exposed me to all of his work.  She even painted an uncanny portrait of him from memory late one night.  Being up, she asked me down to the studio to see.  His face was imprinted in her mind enough to need no reference to capture his image and personality.  Since, many variations of his name have been in my mind.  “Jansen” is what I couldn’t get out of my head the other day and I googled variations of “jansen,” “german janson,” “painter hans janson,” etc.  I clicked images and found that oh-so distinctive style.

It is the richness in mark-making and crazed intention that is what I strive for unsuccessfully in my own work.  I will spare a bio on Janssen here, but here is one here.  And here.

And here he is:

And here he is as drawn by himself:

Here is an image we are all familiar with locally:

I won’t say too much, but I’m pretty excited to be working on something that will be going up on a building.

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Even if it is a little bit offensive.  But it wasn’t my idea.

Marie Louise Craftiness

April 13, 2009

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A good kick in the ass to make me start my pelican, # 2 in the series.

I recently finished part one of a mini embroidery project.  I’m doing a small series of waterfowl inspired from Audubon’s illustrations.  Luckily I received my best reference as a Christmas present.

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First up is the Snowy Egret, or Ciconiiformes Ardeidae Egretta thula as I always say.

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I had also recently bought Embroidered Birds by Helen M. Stevens from Daedalus Books.  It truthfully was only a little helpful as far as techniques, but was still interesting to look at.

I started using a linen cotton needlepoint fabric.  I had a difficult transferring my design at first, but I think I’ve got it now.

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I started with the darkest shadows first and worked color range dark to light in order.

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It turned out pretty good I think.  Not the best lighting, but here it is:

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The feet were just as tedious as they were fun.

Also, after knocking my  table top fashioned out of a magazine off of the chair arms enough times, I got fed up and got smarter and made this:

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Next up is the Brown Pelican, you know, the Pelecaniformes Pelecanidae Pelecanus occidentalis.

Louisiana ’08

December 30, 2008

I recently got back from my annual trip to Louisiana to visit my family.  Overall it was pretty exciting.  

 

I bunched all of the pictures together, but most of them are from Prospect 1 in New Orleans.  

While there, I visited the NOMA and the CAC.

 

 I wasn’t able to get many  pictures from the Contemporary Arts Center than I did, but there were many really neat things there.  

* One really great one was Candice Breitz’s video installation, LEGEND (A portrait of Bob Marley).  Thirty Jamaicans individually sing their version of Legend to headphones.  It’s really cool.  This is the only video i could find of it.

 

* Jackie Sumell’s work, The House that Herman Built 

A sort of collaboration between artist and Angola prisoner (Herman Wallace) answering the question “What kind of house does a man who lives in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?”

Through a 4 year correspondence , Sumell was able to create multimedia examples of Herman’s dream house, including a fly-through CAD model (pictured above).

Here is the Times Picayune article on it.

 

There were a few other artists included that I don’t have documentation of, but they included: Julie Mehretu, Robin Rhode, Isaac Julien (who’s video installation starred and was entitled Baltimore), and Allora & Calzadilla.

 

If in the area, it’s worth it.  I wish I would’ve had more time to explore because I know it won’t be there the next time I visit.

Christmas time is here

December 8, 2008

It’s getting to be that time.  Shopping is a nightmare everywhere you go, no matter the time or day of the week.  Snow and ice are terrifying for those of us devoid of any sort of grace.  And then there’s the pressure of impressing the family that you see once or twice a year.  Argh!!!

But yet…….. this year is different.  I love Christmas no matter the headache.  This year I’m sending out a few Christmas cards, I’m decorating a little, and I’m getting my shopping done as soon as possible.  I really want to enjoy this season, because it will be special if you allow it to be.  I’m trying to start it out right.  

***First of all, it was my first time seeing the Mount Vernon monument lighting.  (I probably wouldn’t have gone if I couldn’t walk to it.)  Of course it drizzled for the first hour that we were waiting for fireworks, but it was pretty spectacular when it stopped and they started.  

Well it’s not at all easy to take pictures of fireworks.

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Here’s what the Baltimore Sun saw:

We noticed that the fireworks knocked out a good bit of the lights during the show.  That’s some intense fireworkin.

 

 

***I wrapped the two Christmas presents I have bought.  I’m sure you can guess they’re for my mother and father. I got my mom some pretty tan gloves, and my dad a book and an NPR map.  I would pretty much suggest it as a gift for anyone who travels across the country.  

You know, like a road map that show all of the NPR stations nationwide.

 

***I got mine from Red Tree in Hampden.  Which reminds me, I loooooove store Christmas.

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dscf0028Seriously, well done.

 

***So my decorating has been slim.  Our sad little fake Christmas tree lost life in the top half of it’s light string, so I made a yellow and white construction paper chain.  I think it kind of made it look a little sadder, unfortunately.  So I put the wrapped presents under them.  And that made it look sad too, cause we only have two wrapped presents.  Thank god for reversible wrapping paper.  

I also thought, “well we have a mantle, we ought to have some stockings.”  So I used some white scrap felt and the acrylic paint to make a couple of monogrammed stockings.  Ah well…

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We didn’t have hooks and managed to affix them carefully to a little ledge in the detail of the mantle.  I wonder if there’s an attractive, easy, sturdy way to keep those actually hanging from the top ledge.

***We went to the craft mart today at the Lyric and hopefully that will give me some more ideas for future gifts and decoration before Christmas.  What we were really looking for was a really nice 2009 calender, but didn’t find anything that quite fit our taste.  Til we do, we’ll be printing out ical calenders monthly.  (Cause I don’t currently have a large collection of paint chips)

 

***Anyway~I hope to continue to be inspired to make this month run smoothly and festively. I’m going to try to continue to be excited as well, because otherwise, it will be just another long and cold December.***

 

 

P.s.~ We bought these today and I love them:

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I’ll hang them when i have time, surely awake neighbors, and a really good level.

Home sweet home

November 19, 2008

Katie and I just finished moving all of our belongings into our new place.  The bedroom is so sparse and lame with just a mattress.  But it’s a nice blank canvas for us to work with.  The living room, though a work in progress, feels so nice and put together.  I think I would’ve gone absolutely insane if I had to come from work to a less than cozy situation.  

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It’s evening in these pictures so it’s impossible to understand the amount of sunlight that this room gets.  It’s amazing and it would be a shame for us not to get some plants.

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This is Katie’s collection of pictures.  I love them.  I hung them last night while she was in class so she’d feel like it was home.  I stuck up there an embroidery I’ve been avoiding finishing for some reason.

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It’s hard to see the adorable little desk that Blaire’s mom gave us.  It’s a lovely shade of green.  And the map of Peru fits so nicely above it and ties it together as a work space.  Makes me want to do some homework, but I don’t have any.

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We combined our collections.  Mine is animal skulls and hers is cameras.  I think they go quite well together.  Above is the Audubon print that I gave Katie for our 1 year anniversary.  It’s of blue jays eating eggs.

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The fireplace had a tacky faux marble sponge technique on the brick.  I could not take it anymore and I painted it black without asking.  I’m not sorry either.

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This is the bench that Blaire’s mom gave us.  It’s the same color as the desk and fits in really nicely.  It’s standing in for the sofa that goes with the chairs that my parents gave me.  I threw my first weaving ever on it, cause well, it matched.  It will probably go under the framed pictures for dining when the sofa is here.  Our kitchen is back there as well as the bedroom doorway.  Both are not ready for visitors.  The front entrance is pretty cute too.  I hung up some fleur-de-lis hooks for our keys which is the most necessary organization at the moment.

I like you, Amy

November 8, 2008

Last night was a blast getting to go and see Amy Sedaris at the Weinburg.  The show was a sort of Q&A interviewish kind of thing.  Afterwards you could get her to sign her book, which I gave to Blaire last Christmas so she got hers signed.

Of course she was so funny and cute, but my favorite thing was her how to make things demonstrations.  She showed us one, which she “fucking loves.”  It’s a can that you can put a tooth or a quarter in, seal it up, paint something like a red cross on it and put it next to your bed.  If something bad happens to you, like oh falling out of the bed, you simply shake the can and someone will come to your rescue.  She also told us about her pot holders which she’s really good at making.  We bought a set cause she was selling them afterwards.  Just another excellent thing to display in our new kitchen next week.

pot holdersI feel pretty special about having them.  And it makes me think how much money I can save just on making people feel special for Christmas.

Ain’t like it used to be

September 6, 2008

Katie and I stumbled upon the most coolest antique store on a spontaneous search for the Amish one day.  What we found was about 2 hours of curiosity and a super sweet store owner who was so excited to point out her favorite things to us.  The only thing I bought was this amazing Thermos with a gorgeous design.  Apparently so few exist because of how fragile they are, which is exactly the reason why I’m terrified to use it. I don’t trust my butter fingers to enjoy the benefits of this genius design.  But here it is to enjoy, in the safety of 2-D format.

A Sea Pink Month

September 5, 2008

I found a new use for the greedy amounts of paint chips we steal at every shopping trip.  I made a back-to-school calender for my old lady.

My favorite color swatch name is fashion plum (September 9th).