Saturday, July 28, 2007

Simple bits

Mostly it's the heat. It pervades every aspect of our lives this season, including time.
For instance, where do the weeks go?
They disappear in a fuzzy sort of slow -motion blur, leaving me with glimpses, like the ones you get through cars of a passing train.

Orion evading camera capture while simultaneously creating room chaos.

Orion, Ben, Matthew and Aubrey on her birthday. And cake.

Alison, and her baby, who exists in his own world. We can only speculate on that one, but the guesses are intriguing. He lives in a consciousness we can only imagine. I wonder how he's enjoying the Comic Con...

Pete tosses Orion and hangs more shades. I make art and take photos. The temperatures are 98 degress F at night. Fans are always blowing.

On Tuesday the pool guy didn't show. By Thursday our backyard had become Green Slime Pond. Yesterday it was transformed into a noxious bleach-smelling horror. Today it looks more inviting, but we won't trust it until Monday.
In this heat and humidity, things go bad very quickly. So we stay inside and play games and watch the debates on C-Span, or go downtown and walk through the misters on Palm Canyon.
I'm reading lots of Larry Niven. Exploring images for Strange Light.

Orion in his own world too. I sometimes believe I can see into it, but probably I can no more understand his vision than that of Alison's baby.
But again the glimpses. I like the glimpses.

And I do like my cameras.

Summer seems to be about moving too slowly, thinking too much. It's a fugue state and as such, is better accepted and cooperated with than fought against. It's a reminder that time is not a constant.
It, like a bout of the blues, like the flu, goes on and on until we think it will never end. Just as we accept it as permanent, the winds change, a fresh breeze blows through and we wake in time to harvest all the ideas soaked up during blistering days and midnights underwater.

I can think of it as a sort of incubation. That might work. I'll let you know.
Hope your summer is going well.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Interview, Water view, Blue View, Poppet View

Fantasy Magazine has posted an interview I did with them in the spring. I talk a bit about growing up in South Carolina (I'm the one in the blanket.) Interview

Southern Gothic indeed.

They tell me the version in the print magazine has lots of great art photos. And that my copies are on the way.

I've been spending as much time as possible in the water these days. Orion is happy enough about that. I'm learning how to use the Frogeye. Well, I'm learning enough to know it's possible to get a good photo from this camera and that I need to work on doing that.

I like this one of Orion because it looks as though he's emerging from some sort of crazy portal--Stargate-ish. And this one of Sophia, because she looks like an imp casting a spell. I'll keep working at it.

I haven't cast one of these fellows in quite some time. Originally, I named him after a phrase I heard a therapist use.

"Little Blue Habits Have Very Long Tails"

The little monster represented (at least in my mind) how we humans tend to hide our frustrations behind smiles. And that these tendencies are learned waaaaaayyy back. (long tail)
He's giving the finger with his right hand.
Later I changed it to "Have a Nice Day." That seemed to work too, and fit better on art show forms.
Either way, he reminds me that it's better to say what we mean...and mean what we say.

I'll be adding some more Poppets and Ratbag rats to the auctions this week. Mostly I'll be working on the fortune teller and other projects.

If you haven't looked in awhile, there are some really good POT photos up now. Thanks to all of you who are posting these images. Some are fun and some are powerful reminders to look and see. Poppetvision is a good thing.

Time to put sleepy little boys to bed. Time for this artist to swim in dark water, quietly, to let new visions in---and to not totally creep myself out.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Poppets, those Vikings! and Apronless Madness

I've decided not to have another gallery sale until the Halloween season. I need to catch up on other projects though, of course, some of those have Poppets.

In the meantime, I'll be making a few Poppets available every week, especially from the Alice in Wonderland and Midsummer Night's Dream series.

Poppet plays "Caterpillar Amanita"

I chose this mushroom because I (like many others) love the way it looks. But in researching it---which is part of the fun of making art---I learned some interesting things. Read what Tom Volk has to say about this little mushroom and those darned Viking beserkers!

Poppet plays "Doormouse with Blackbird Tea"

There's no mention of blackbird tea in Alice in Wonderland. But Poppets are creative little things, and will create their costumes according to their own inspirations.
And you know how Poppets love the skies.
Poppets on Ebay will get you there (possibly.) If not, my name will find them.
I've been feeling bad for weeks and weeks. I kept thinking it was the heat.
The heat's certainly not helping.
Then a couple of days ago I realized I wasn't wearing my apron. What?? When did I stop wearing it? Why? I'm not sure. Possibly because the heat drove me out of the studio and onto a table in the den, limiting me to working on smaller pieces that are less messy. Possibly because subconsiously I link the apron to the studio space.
I put it on yesterday. It felt good. I felt like me. I have two aprons actually, nearly identical, practically every inch filled with several years of paint and I-don't-want-to-guess-what else.
I can tell them apart.
My aprons have been my uniform for nearly a decade. My self-image tends to wear an apron (and holds a cup of coffee.) And now I'm convinced that the apron is the source of my super powers.
Well. That explains That.
I'm interested to see how the next few weeks go.
Sheesh. What was I thinking?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Little things from under the weather

My normal server is down, so I can't make Blogger match the captions to the photos. I imagine you can figure them out for yourselves.

Sophia and Orion.

About the most important thing I did on Saturday was to teach Orion and his friend Sophia that milk makes wonderfully elastic bubbles, and lots of them.
(Sophia's dad thanked me, of course.)

Kung Fu Hustle.

Kung Fu Mahjong, not so much.

but definitely Kung Fu Hustle.

Robert has a new Poppet-y tattoo. More photos and info can be seen here.

A Poppet contemplated Lake Tahoe during Pete's travels.

I'm a bit under the weather with some sort of cold-y virus-y miserable thing that jumped onto Pete, then Orion and then me. Judging by their speedy recoveries, it appears to be mean, but very short-lived. They were already back underwater today.

Rest, fluids, and the entire second season of Dead Like Me seems to be getting me through it fine.

The heat is wearing on us. We expect this every year, but this summer seems particularly bad. The brighter it gets outside, the colder and blacker become my soul. Ahhh. Summer Hate. At 7:30 this evening, the decking outside was still too hot to stand on. I'm working, tortoise-like, steadily, quietly. Slowly is better than nothing. It goes back to that whole 'chipping wisdom' concept. I force myself to do some bit of work every single day on the fortune teller and, well, I begin to see the end of the end.

Time for pj's and cold medicine.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Poppets in Baltimore long to see Stardust

Neil emailed to remind me that I have friends in the Baltimore area. Yes, I do!
And you would likely enjoy an exclusive viewing of Stardust. Yes, you would!

Me too.

Gather together! Take your Poppets to see Stardust! And send me photos!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunshine, Twinkies, Something about goals

I went for a much--dreaded root canal today. I'm fuzzy from pain meds---though I was happy to have them when sleeping nerves awoke.
I claimed the root canal as an excuse to eat a huge plastic container of leftover mashed potatoes, reheated in the microwave with an insane amount of butter.
It's no excuse really, but I ate them anyway. A few extra laps tomorrow, or not. Screw it.

Pete pointed me to a trailer for Sunshine. It looks interesting enough that we'll see it next week. I'll be interested to hear what Carl has to say about it and will likely pull him into a forums discussion about it.

Alison was here for a visit last weekend. It's always great to have her home. I made the mistake of taking her along with me to the market. Never take a hungry, pregnant woman to the grocery store. She left us a pantry full of Twinkies, pork rinds, chips, cookies and...sheesh. She also left me her copy of Water for Elephants, which is intriguing enough to make me want to plow right through it, but so beautifully written I find myself slowing down to read sections again. I look at her belly with deep love, of course, but also with the smug satisfaction of knowing that this is yet another reader in the making. Score one more for our side!
A note about snacks: Nothing has irritated more lately than Go Tarts. C'mon!

Yesterday I sat with my feet in the water, no swimming, just thinking in the way that people do sometimes when they're alone and things are quiet and right for stepping back for a broader look. Not always a great plan. Still, we all have our demons and demons demand attention from time to time. Artists and other humans have to look at where they were, where they are, and where they want to go. Over time, during these sorts of sessions, I've learned about how we tend to drag our habits (good and bad) with us through the years while focusing on this goal or that which we believe will lead us to that state of 'happy every after." (Hey, thanks Disney.) But this just isn't true. It's not a good idea to expect that reaching goals will automatically change the basics of how we operate. If someone is a poor money manager during his 'salad days', he will still be a poor money manager when he has lots more money to poorly manage. Getting a novel published, earning a wall of awards or losing ten pounds is no cure for insecurity.
Not that making money or getting novels published or getting in shape aren't all terrific things to do. Or that they're not rewarding. Of course they are. But the mentality that expects these sorts of accomplishments to be instant cure-alls doesn't help anyone except those trying to sell us the latest diet pill, shoe, phone or cosmetic.
It seems like a better idea to work toward the things we want for what they are and to figure out what makes us happy in the present, and what doesn't. It seems to me that those things aren't always what we think they are. It seems to me that the answers can really surprise us.

At least that's what I thought about out there, while it got dark, with my feet in the water.

I think I'll have a Pop Tart.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Monday. Hot.

Yes. It's Palm Springs in July and yes, I did fry an egg outside. I was a little disappointed to see I'd cut off the bottom of the sign, but didn't even consider reshooting, as I nearly fried myself and my equipment in the making of this video clip. Thanks to Ravyn for the animation!

It's hot up in Quincy too, where our Cool Guy Poppet is enjoying music and hanging out with lots and lots...and lots of people at the Sierra Music Festival. I wish him (and Pete!) a great time and a safe trip home.

Yesterday we swam for a bit, Ben and Orion and I, then finally just sort of gathered around the cooler water coming out of the pool fill. Pretty soon we found ourselves unconsciously reaching our hands out to it, like campers around a fire and, ironically, talking about how California is burning. Well, Ben and me. Not so much Orion, who stayed submerged except to get air.

I'm sending out the last of the poppets from the Summer Solstace sale. Thanks to everyone. I'm looking forward to new POT photos and LOLpoppets too.
I think, to keep the Alice in Wonderland and Midsummer Night's Dream series from overtaking the gallery sales, I'll start putting some of those up in between events. I'm also going to do my best to make a few things, like Little Red Poppets, Little Blue Poppets, Little Pink always available.

That said, I'm getting to work.

Have a good Monday!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rattiness, Harlan, Ponies and Palms

I must apologize to those of you who collect RatBag rats. Indeed I have neglected our ratty fellows whilst Poppets commanded my attentions.

So, having found a cache of Chester, I've made those available on ebay for $18. I found a few singles and twos of other rats, and will get those up as I get them photographed, including a couple of Neil rats.

Speaking of rats (as in Harlan Ellison Rats) here is a link about the documentary on Harlan sent to me by David Loftus (who wrote the article.)
If you've never read Harlan Ellison, please do. You can't possibly know what you're missing until you do. Your brain will thank you. Your heart will thank you. Your soul will thank you. You'll thank me for sending you.

You'll want to talk about it on the forums. It was pointed out to me this morning that lots of people think the Poppet Planet Forums are only for artists. What?? No way. If you've ever read a book, or seen a movie, or eaten cake, or if you got out of bed this morning there's a topic for you and people who'll want to talk with you about it. Yes there are artists, but don't let that scare you. Most of them don't bite unless provoked, and there are people there with lots of other interests too. We'd love to have you join us.

Ravyn's newest tiny fantasy painted horses are available for one more day. I'm enjoying watching her stretch her creative wings.
I've recently ordered a number of books from Alibris and was very pleased with the books and the service.

Now, I must send more Poppets to those who await them. Later, I will begin an attempt to root by 'air layering', the offshoots of the huge ponytail palm that will eventually attack the rain gutters. It's such a cool 'tree' that I just can't just cut them away. I've never tried this one before, which makes it interesting, but subject to spectacular failure as well. I'll let you know.
have a good Friday!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth. Desert. Play.

Obviously your artist is taking a day off to play. I begin, sort of, to learn to play LOLpoppets. There are now a dozen or so various photos on the LOLpoppets on flickr page and Spare Parts.

(More will likely appear once readers return to the workplace...)

Orion and I are celebrating today simply with Pizza and Gamecube and soon, night swimming and underwater photograpy.

Underwater lomography actually, with a "frogeye" (a gift from Mimi, whom we seem to have adopted (ok, drafted) ) as the studio's resident HAC (hot asian chick.)
I have no idea what sorts of images we'll get.

It's just the two of us, as often is. Pete is in Northern California for the High Sierra Music Festival---he took a Hippie Poppet and a LRP for POT. I'm looking forward to the pics. Aubrey will be 16 this month, so is anywhere BUT here these days though there is the occasional sighting. Ben has been gone for nearly two months, moving into his house---which is a very cool old Palm Springs house---but should be back soon.

So now we are donning "glow" bracelets, and goggles, mostly just for fun. Later, Oreos and ice cream, and fireworks viewed from the hill.

Happy Fourth of July

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


You can thank Dan Guy. He started it. Over at Spare Parts. And Rebecca, of course, jumped right in and nearly made me spew my coffee.
Thanks guys.

I'm in.
Let's play!
UPDATE: The forum is becoming a tutorial for creating LOLpoppets.
And, there's a flickr page set up for posting your own LOLpoppets.