A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I submitted a small drawing for a contest hosted by Dick Blick. Check it out and vote for my piece here: bit.ly/2cstWDc!

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Titania’s Love

I did a small drawing for one of my classes. Read the accompanying explanation below.

This piece of art is rendered in ink and graphite and is primarily a visual representation of Titania and Nick Bottom. The piece was made small to make it an intimate piece: the viewer must draw near to see what it is. Ink is a thoughtful medium: it must be placed on the vellum deliberately and with care because it leaves a permanent mark. This was an intentional choice because the nuance and detail that can be achieved in the lines is expressive and a befitting the nature of the ideas explored in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ink is also a fitting medium because mistakes made are permanent and, while they can be made to feel an intentional part of the composition, they exist forever in the piece as a poor choice or a slip of the hand.

Oberon’s hand is represented as a sneaking shadow, encroaching on Titania’s neck. His hand a visual representation of the forces exerted on certain characters to control others: Oberon over Titania, Theseus over Hyppolyta, Puck over the young lovers and Nick Bottom.

In Titania’s eyes, the deceitful flower rests. The petals growing out through her lids distort her vision and trick her into loving the simple ass in front of her. In her hair twigs and leaves grow, a simple crown for the queen of the wood. Her head is illuminated by a halo as a depiction of her righteous duty to raise the child of her mortal friend and prevent Oberon from taking the boy and training him for combat. The halo is also representative of her innocence: she wants to be at ease with Oberon and dislikes the world being awry when they are at odds. Her desire for respect inspired trickery and manipulation in her husband and his cohort.

Bottom is drawn as placid, sitting idly at the bottom of the frame. What his gaze is occupied with is left to the viewer to determine: perhaps he’s gazing upon Titania’s body, perhaps upon some food. He is surrounded by flowers, which, peaceful and light, are devoid of humanity and function as a representation of his adoption by Titania and her entourage following the abandonment he suffers as a result of his friends’ fear of his transformed self.

An Update About An Update

It’s been a while since I’ve sat and penned a note for the faceless internet. I don’t think many follow my sporadically-updated blog, so I don’t think I’ve bruised anyone’s feelings by not updating frequently.

I have an inkling I’ll experience a resurgence in my desire to write, in my love of drawing, in my inclinations to share what I experience and the ways in which I handle it.

Here is a rather large piece (relative to the average size of the work I typically produce) that is currently in progress:

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And the sketch upon which it is loosely based:

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So far, I’m a bit more enamored with the sketch than the large brush and ink piece. A lot can change over the time it takes to finish a piece, especially since I’ve been working a bit slowly of late.

Admission Essay

So, I want to get a bachelor’s in drawing.

Art has always existed in me. I’m not sure from where it sprang: looking at it from a genetic perspective, none of my family has displayed an artistic predisposition. Even upon looking at it from an environmental viewpoint it can be noted that there wasn’t much to encourage me to do art in my home, but I did it nonetheless.

I began with what I could grasp: crayons on walls. I think a lot of people start there. Somewhere in the rampant scribblings of childhood, my interest changed from destruction to observation and creation. As a young child I began to use art to express my experience as a person.

My family, though they don’t “get” art and don’t do it themselves, was very encouraging. Once they became aware of my love of creating, they did their best to offer an environment where that passion was nutured. They provided me, early on, with paper and pencils, encouraged me to take as many art classes as I desired, and, as my skill level grew, provided nicer media with which I could create.

Upon completing high school, I was under incredible pressure to choose a school and a “viable” career path. Not wanting to abandon art, I decided to do graphic design, enrolled in and was accepted into the design program at UNT. As a 17 year old, I was wholly unprepared for such a competitive program and for the social climate pervasive in and around UNT. I ended up dropping out, even though I was meeting with some success in (progressing through) the design core.

I took a break and lived with a friend for a while in a small house in Denton. It was an ill-kept house, and a January storm sent the sopping ceiling down on all of my possessions. The accumlated mold and rat carcasses made the house unliveable, and I ended up moving in with my parents. At that time I decided to pursue an associate’s degree in visual communication at Brookhaven. I adored my professors, classmates and the school. My experience there was an idyllic one and I graduated without issue.

I decided to attempt to find a job and work to save money before returning for my bachelor’s degree. I applied wherever I could, but could not land a design position. I found a barista position with Starbucks, and thus began my long tenure there. I made attempts to find design jobs during my time slinging coffee, but didn’t meet with any luck. I had a go at doing freelance design work, but found it wasn’t what I enjoyed.

In the midst of my years spent working for Starbucks, my mother lost her battle with cancer. For a decade she fought it, and, even as she grew small and weak, we had hope until the very end that one of the treatments would work. Hers was the first loss I ever experienced, and my grief was a maelstrom. For years afterward I lived in a sort of attempted “normal,” but never felt myself. I attended therapy, which helped, but grief cannot be assauged by anything but time and good company.

Shortly before my mother’s passing, I met a young man and began a relationship with him. We spoke of my returning to school, but it was put aside to make room for other things. He wasn’t a bad man, but we were a terrible match, and it took my emergence from my grief to realize it. In late 2015 I left him, and have been on the warpath to acheiving my goals. Where I once waffled over choosing a degree which might assist me in landing a “normal” career, I have grown a determination and passion to instead invest my time and money in doing what I love. I love drawing. I love drawing more than I love painting or graphic design. I love it a whole lot more than the idea of spending my time learning to be an accountant, executive, or anything of that nature. Part of my recent determination to live as I want is in no small part influenced by the position I’ve recently held: the past year I have worked as a graphic designer creating funeral programs. Editing obituaries every day certainly helps keep things in perspective: life is brief, do what you love, do what you want and do it while you have the chance to. I want to draw.

More Faces

IMG_195811 Fictional Faces

I managed to eke out 11 more faces today, bringing my total to 26! I’m going to scribble out a few more before bed. I’m aiming for ten, but have had a glass of wine and may well fall asleep or opt to read instead.

Visit the 29 Faces challenge page to see other participant’s faces. Also, I just discovered Sunday Sketches, so I’ll let these little faces be my first foray into that!

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Faces

barbary-sheep-teeth-slef-portrait_25032260542_oMy lovely mug posing with my barbary sheep skull.

With the weather becoming absolutely gorgeous I’m eager to get out-of-doors and pick the spiderwebs from my collection.

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Viva La Hillary!
Quick sketch of my favorite candidate. Given the current attack on women’s rights to health and domain over their own bodies, and given my possessing lady bits, I can’t help but favor a politician who promises to put an end to the puritanical, dark-ages inspired attempts to control women’s bodies.

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Bernie & Bernie & Bernie
(Bernie Sanders, Jack Black as Bernie Tiede, Bernie Tiede)

I think this brings my total February face count up to 15. I’m making pretty good progress! I’m going to hash out another 10-20 this weekend, maybe more if I end up in a good flow.

Last night I had a movie date with dad; we saw The Witch. I was disappointed. I’m a total wimp where scary movies are concerned, and this one, over the course of the 2 or so hours it ran, created only a few moments of suspense for me. I can imagine those who don’t find frightening movies frightening were bored to tears and numb asses. That said, it did have a couple of visuals which I really enjoyed and might explore in some sketches.

I’m working through my blog pages and updating them. Just wrapped up the About the Artist page and will undertake the Artist Statement sometime soon.

Slowly Slowly Sadness

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Oh, a silly Trump face. Isn’t he pretty?

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A quick study of Humeur Nocturne by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Her face is muddled, but I think it still counts toward one of my 29 for this month.
I’ve decided to attempt 1,000 faces again this year, as it was such a resounding success last year! We shall see how it goes.

I’ve also had a growing inclination to pursue a bachelor’s degree, and I’m thinking I might like to pursue it in fine art – painting or drawing or both.

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A Valentine’s moose, drawn but not delivered.
Oh well, such is life.

A dramatic little snippet about it:

A small series of hurts, collected like drops in a red mug, slid down from the shadowy side of the mind. One, then another, assuaged and comforted, hidden behind a brave face and quelled by a shy tingling and roaring excitement.

A night, dark and starry with a gaping, wide sky, brought a hurt, larger and more fluid than the rest, akin to them all. There is a consolation, albeit small, in knowing it will be the last hurt.

If I’ve been told the truth, as I suspect I have, it is for the best.

I am crestfallen, but resilient. It stings, but that will fade.

This blog is a lovely stage for my theatrics. My theatrics are fabulous exercise for my creativity.

To end on a positive note: I had a valiant go at NaNoWriMo in 2014 and popped out a novella. I’ve finally opened it up again to edit, revise, send out some copies to be looked over by friends, then, finally, I will attempt to have it published. I will say, it was written in a rush, and I was expecting it to be pretty rough, but the first paragraphs have surprised me. Maybe I won’t need to spend months editing it as I originally thought.

Hidden

Masked Small

Prints of my small, masked woman available here.

What grew from her forehead was but a small feather at the start. Over the course of days it grew into a plume, vibrant and wild. As time passed it became dense and wily, a dense growth of effervescent color and thick quills.
One night, as she lay beneath the glad moon, she heard a whisper creeping from her tuft of feathers. As she reached her hands up and delicately traced her fingers from scalp to the soft fluff of each feather she felt something warm, smooth, and soft. She felt something fleshy and human. As her fingers trailed slowly further one slipped into a mouth and had its tip bitten off.

I’m off to a late start with my 29 faces, so I’ll have to triple my efforts & output to catch up. I think tomorrow, amid chores and errands, I’ll be able to knock out a handful.

Sweet Dreamer, Indeed

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Prints of my dear dreamer available here.

This was my little drawing submitted to the For the Love of Kettle 2016 Show. Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared and had nothing to submit to the For the Love of Artists Show, and, in an even more spiteful twist of fate, was stuck working late the evening of the latter’s reception and missed the whole thing entirely!

However, I was able to attend, with no small amount of bells on, the For the Love of Kettle Show, and it was spectacular. The art adorning the walls was varied and interesting and beautiful, the crowd was enthusiastic and elbow-to-elbow, and the atmosphere was convivial and energetic. All-in-all, it was a blast.

It is so exciting and invigorating to see the community gather together to appreciate not only art, but the establishments which support and encourage artists, as well. Kettle is a fabulous gallery, a Dallas staple, if I may be so bold, which has long been a springboard for local artists. They work tirelessly putting on shows, nurturing artists, engaging and growing the local art community and are incredibly nice people. If ever you find yourself in Dallas, Texas, I encourage you to stop by and have a look-see at what Kettle has brewing.


This year I’m having another go at the 29 Faces art challenge! So, above, I present my first face of February 2016.

29 Faces

Your Heart’s Content

After years of nudging the tie was finally severed, and exaltation ensued. What once had been a tug-of-war, a cajoling to trust where words were not allowed to tip toe through fear or hurt, was now a vast openness. A great, rickety scaffolding built around air, around the lack of substance and words unspoken, or spat too loud, had toppled leaving only whispers of past structures playing in the wind: “Trust. Trust in me even though I react with daggers and thorns. Trust that my reaction is that of an honest and moral man. If you trust, you will have no need to discuss it. If you trust, you will not bat an eye when I enter knowingly into questionable situations.”

I look at my past as a great font of inspiration, a well of stories blurred by emotions, bubbling, waiting to be tapped, watered into the flowers, misted onto the hornet’s nest and settled in words and art.

Tonight I will toast myself for having a light & happy Valentine’s Day.

Tree Small

Through tangled slabs of cracked cement,
Through hot summers’ winds and sun,
Through rattlings loud and sonorous,
This tiny tree did grow.

Prints of my dear tree available here.