Revisited

While rooting around on my computer I happened across some old pictures of me.

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I also happened across this beauty. I can’t wait to get behind the lens again, I miss exploring the world with a camera.

Ink & Enamel & Bone

Ink & Enamel & Bone Ink & Enamel & Bone

Yesterday I took time to create some new art. I had amassed a small collection of animal skulls (and a couple of other various bones) with the intention of creating something new with them. I don’t remember from where I attained this skull: it was either given me by a friend, or I found it in an antique shop. It had a poorly-applied silver spray paint over it’s entire surface, which did not adhere well to the bone and was chipping and flaking away. After spending a few seasons outside, most of the spray paint was gone, only a little remained in the guarded parts of the skull; it was ready for some experimentation.

Given the porous nature of the bone and the tendency of old bones to dry and crumble, I felt a very fluid medium would work best and decided to use sumi ink and a metallic enamel. Lucky for me, they both permeated the bone and stayed on the surface – as opposed to soaking in completely and looking very faded. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Burnace the Furnace Burnace Concept Sketches

I also spent a good part of the day yesterday working on a little ink drawing of a dragon. I’ve recently become enamored with a mobile game, and it has revived in me a passion for things fantastic and whimsical. (That, and reading more of late has fired up my imagination, as well.) I generally don’t spend much time planning a drawing, which is a lazy trait I am working on breaking, and decided to do some quick concept/composition sketches before beginning. I even did a light pencil underdrawing before putting ink to vellum! You can see the gap between my initial ideas and final execution – I find it entertaining.

This month is NaNoWriMo & NaPhoPoMo (National Novel Writing Month & National Photograph Posting Month) and I’ve yet to begin anything! I have a sliver of an idea for a story I might write, but nowhere near enough of an idea to hit the 50,000 word goal. My hope is that once I begin writing the story emerges of its own accord. I just discovered NaPhoPoMo today, and may well have a go at that, too!


Just a note to those interested: both the skull & Burnace are for sale. Contact me for more information.

A Lover’s Flowers

IMG_1535Practicing practicing practicing!

Well, mostly I’ve been practicing singing and photography. I like drenching my pictures in shadow and dark, I think it adds drama. It’s also easier for me to do than pictures flooded with light. I hope as I progress and train my eye I’ll gain a proficiency for handling lots of light.

And ever so slowly I’m working drawing back into my routine. Hopefully I’ll have some drawings to upload here before next week.

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A Weekend & A Cat

Polyp Reclining

My fellow’s cat is generally a great model for practicing as she sits at length by the window looking regal and at ease. On occasion she develops a keen interest in the camera and makes efforts to rub her face on it while I’m attempting to take her picture. It’s pretty cute, if mildly agitating.

Small Forest King

I’ve been slowly regaining ground in my creative endeavors – finding some semblance of balance between the many things calling out to me: soap-making, drawing, painting, photography, writing, singing. I still feel an overwhelming emotional fatigue much of the time, but it does seem to be slowly receding. Part of what has helped is the book club I began with my friend: reading gets me out of head and away from my woes for a spell.

I still plan on making a valiant go at drawing/painting 1,000 faces this year, though I can’t help but laugh when I think or speak of it.

November’s approach raises in me trepidation and excitement: November marks the anniversary of a loved one’s passing and I think I’ll participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. Last year I had the luck of being self-employed during November and so had ample time to devote to writing. I also had a kernel of an idea for my story; whereas this year, I am employed full-time and haven’t a clue what I would like write about.

Maybe my increased writing will inspire more frequent blog posts; I know I’ve neglected this year.

Weekend Jaunts

Tommy singing in spite of his sickness.
Tommy singing in spite of his sickness.
Boss Battle were sludgy and fun.
Boss Battle were sludgy and fun.
International Bitterness Unit rocked out!
International Bitterness Unit rocked out!
Hawk Vs. Dove were a lot of fun - really heavy and rhythmic music.
Hawk Vs. Dove were a lot of fun – really heavy and rhythmic music.

And from a Friday night show:

Alex singing and playing guitar for the inaugural Scarletien show.
Alex singing and playing guitar for the inaugural Scarletien show.

This weekend we celebrated my lover’s birthday – we went out on the town Friday and Saturday, to see live music, his band performed to a really energetic crowd, we had cupcakes and pizza and freshly-grilled squash and beer and chicken wings and generally imbibed of life. Also, he enjoyed receiving his totally badass presents.

Above are just single shots from each of the bands we saw perform. I’ve uploaded many many more to my Flickr. If you have a minute or two of boring Monday mundanity browse my plethora of Flickr pictures. I’ve had a bit of a dry spell with my creativity of late and am trying my damnedest to get back into a good flow – doing things like drawing, painting, photographing, soap-making and hopefully sculpting. I’ve a few really great bones with which I plan to make some cool things, so keep a casual eye on my blog, Facebook page, or Instagram to see what I come up with.

In Crept Magick

My friend and I are endeavoring to write more. In an attempt to inspire ourselves and each other we are undertaking “inspiration challenges” to local sites and attractions. This is the first installment of the first writing after our first challenge outing. Enjoy.

A mundane Tuesday greeted our cheeks with oppressive heat goaded forward by the low-hanging sun. Slowly we crawled forth from the hollow porch and dragged our heels across uneven slabs of cement, the drops of sweat matching our pace as they descended from our knees. With words belabored by summer air we busied our minds as the distance clicked beneath our heels: a wrong word, a giggling flow of carnal words, an awed word for trees. As we lost ourselves we found the entry to our destination. Favored by cats, the door rested slightly below the earth and complained of a faulty foundation as it scraped open against the ground.

We entered with a cat underfoot and basked in the pleasant greeting of the attending clerk. She was a friendly soul who floated throughout the shop tidying and assisting all while herding cats. Our senses delighted in the onslaught: walls covered floor to ceiling with goods, trinkets and magical accoutrement waited for our novice sight and touch. We searched, as though through a seed catalog, for things which called to us as strongly as we to them. Through candles, gemstones, oils, pendants, books, herbs, teas, incense and altars we delved hoping for a connection guided by something greater than our curiosity.

With a bag plump with periwinkle, honeysuckle, oils and sage I happily waited while my companion packed her bag with blessed candles. The promise of an impending ritual occupied our minds while our tongues wagged about skeletons and fake black cats.

Ciao, Bella

Amazing news: I went to Rome, Italy! I’m still experiencing a bit of disbelief that I actually visited.

I think the best way to share my experience is through a series of posts, so stand by for all the gorgeous details of my trip to Rome!

A beautiful fawn.
A beautiful fawn.

Eddie Healy & Gary Swaim

This past Friday I had the pleasure of photographing my friend Eddie Healy as he accompanied poet Gary Swaim at SMU. It was a decadent evening replete with cheese, fruit, wine and delicate pastries preceding an emotive and expressive performance. Below follow my favorites from the evening. To see all of them visit the set on my Flickr page.

Eddie Healy & Gary Swaim
Eddie Healy & Gary Swaim
Eddie Healy
Eddie Healy
Gary Swaim
Gary Swaim

After the performance Gary was kind enough to sign the two poetry collections I picked up; I can’t wait to read them and experience more of his poetry!

Easter

A rabbit for my grandparents.
A rabbit for my grandparents.

For Easter I sent a small rabbit to my grandparents. I figured they’d enjoy the cute, seasonal cheer.

Moving Mountains © 2013 Mandi Ainsworth.
Moving Mountains © 2013 Mandi Ainsworth.

Recently, my friend Mandi asked if I would take some pictures of a freeform peyote necklace she created and I was more than happy to oblige! We got together on a sunny afternoon and took a bunch of pictures in her backyard. Several turned out well but I think the above is my favorite.

Mandi has entered her necklace into a contest, the finalists of which will be announced at the end of this month. I’m, of course, rooting for Mandi to win! You can see more of work at Bead Circle.

In exchange for helping with photographs, Mandi gave me this beauty:

Andromeda Spike Pendant © 2013 Mandi Ainsworth.
Andromeda Spike Pendant © 2013 Mandi Ainsworth.

Photoshoot with Farah and Patricia

Amidst preparation for the two shows in which I am participating this month I took an afternoon to do a photoshoot with some friends. It was a perfect day: overcast with diffuse light, perfect temperature and just enough of a breeze to keep us feeling refreshed.

Farah has recently developed an interest in modeling, and in order to do so, needs to assemble a portfolio. Patricia and I were happy to help: I’m a hobbyist photographer always looking to further my experience and diversify my body of work and Patricia is working on becoming a full-time makeup artist.

Patricia Kinney, our makeup artist.
Model, styling: Farah Lozano.
Makeup: Patricia Kinney.
Model, styling: Farah Lozano.
Makeup: Patricia Kinney.
Model, styling: Farah Lozano.
Makeup: Patricia Kinney.
Model, styling: Farah Lozano.
Makeup: Patricia Kinney.
Model, styling: Farah Lozano.
Makeup: Patricia Kinney.
Model, styling: Farah Lozano.
Makeup: Patricia Kinney.

This is the first photoshoot I’ve ever done; most of my photography work is of plants or events, so I was really grateful for the opportunity to have a good at photographing a model. Farah, Patricia and  I had great chemistry and spent the few hours together laughing and chatting. I look forward to working with both of them in the future.

To see more photographs from this outing, check out the set on flickr.