Friday, May 15, 2009

well spent

I wanted to show you this underpainting technique. Very likely, painters use it all the time, but I thought you might like to see it applied to sculpture---in this case, this little wave-riding Poppet. I decided the imagined light would be coming from the front, so I underpainted warm lights everywhere the sun would touch, and cooler, lavender hightlights in the shadows. Since red is translucent, the final color is affected as if by external light. Suggesting an imaginary light source isn't for every piece, but the right application can be very effective.

There are lots of billboards in town for McDonald's new line of gourmet coffees, McCafe.

Weren't we stupid enough for Starbucks? Now McDonald's is charging $2.50 for a cup of coffee worth about $.35. We really don't need coffee in the car as often we have it. And we don't need our coffee to be desert.

Sheesh. This is one bit of phoof I can do without. It's not that I'm giving up all phoof. Humans need a bit of phoof, after all.
But I'm certainly more aware of the 'invisible' sort.
And the ridiculous sort. If I want something with 900 calories, I'll go for a slice of cheesecake, enjoyed and savored, not a faux coffee full of syrup and fat absently gulped on the freeway.

I don't mean to harp on this one thing, but I'm a coffee drinker from way back and this crap is making us look bad.

Is it possible we've been taught to think we need an awful lot of things we don't?

I can make lists of 'em. Can you? What a bunch of sheep.

It's true, these last few months have made us more conscious about what we spend our money for. They've made me think about a great many things, not the least of which is what it means to be a professional artist.

For the last six months, it's meant being willing to work about twice as hard for less money, making some difficult decisions and becoming a lot more flexible about my views on business, success, balance and goals.

It's also meant learning to stay focused under pressure---not to lose sight of the work or the inspiration behind it.

The key word here is 'learning.' Sometimes I still panic. Sometimes I still don't want to get out of bed.

Oh yeah---sometimes I remember it's not about me at all.


We finished a new bell jar, this one a sort of nursery for small brains. I like the idea of little brains creating chaos of the joyful abandon type.
Untrained ideas can be dangerous.


I like the idea of having one's own little death in possession, sitting innocently as a vase of flowers on the dresser.

And finally, there's a new "Cosmic" Poppet in our Etsy Store.

There are links in the sidebar, but I'm told that some of you get this blog via rss feeds and the sidebar doesn't show.

It's the weekend. I'm going to do my best to be productive, but to take some time out too. Like money, it's probably a good idea to watch what we spend our time on. Maybe I'll dust off my thermos.


Syd said...

The new bell jar rocks! And I imagine, now that you've created Baby Brains for said bell jar, that the cries for Baby Brains in general are going to migrate from the Embarrassed Embassy thread on the forum to...well, here.

I must admit, I didn't at first feel very drawn to the various larger Brain works, but the Baby Brains seem to be changing my mind on the whole subject. :)

Also, thanks for a peek into the artistic process re: the underpainting technique. Being grossly undertalented in what you might call the physical arts, I always appreciate such insights!

And I'm with you on the coffee thing. Sheesh. Last I heard, Dunkin Donuts coffee beat out both Starbuck's and McDonald's, anyway, so making the latter more like the former doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

Oh, well, what to I know?

Word V: fefloget. Pronounced Fef-lo-ZHAY, this is a noun meaning "the act of flowing with forgetfulness": "Her afternoon of fefloget resulted in her being very late for dinner."

Drinne said...

Happy Happy, Joy Joy!!!

Baby Brainy Glee. References to Dork Tower's Igor are running through the house.

Thanks for sharing the underpainting technique. As I begin to work on exteriors I am using underpainting as well and seeing it on the poppets is helpful even though I am using it for depth instead of directed light.

I love the concept of the Death on your dresser. It's a knowing thing and a reminder about living.

I like that the Baby Brains are in the Bell Jar, it's almost like the inversion of Plath - dangerously alive instead of dangerously depressed. A more interesting place to be.

WV - Outenstst - a mentalist specializing in teleporting out of Bell Jars, also a term used colloquially amongst elven scholars for when Baby Brains hit puberty.

Yay! Baby Brains!

mordicai said...

Totally digging the stage-one bone poppet, too.

lisa said...

ok. you guys win. I'll put 'make baby brains' on the schedule.

Stacey said...

LMAO @ the comments. Seems baby brains are taking over the world. The bell jar is exquisite.

Yay! Baby brains!

Drinne said...

Thank you Lisa, I almost feel a bit guilty, since I just devoted an entire blogpost to reinforcing that our favorite artists and creators don't really have a responsibility to do what we want them to, we like them because their art spoke to us and their responsibility is to the art not us.

On the other hand, if we were a sparking point that helped you create something intrinsically part of you and your work then that's maybe more the way it should work. Then it's a conversation, and we get the joy of the fact that we were part of it.

Art in commerce is made up of artist/consumer/patron/collaborator/distributor and each is a little ecosystem of it's own with its own cycles and overlapping identities.

Admittedly we've been campaigning heavily, but I'm so much happier that the Baby Brains are in your nursery first, before they just come out to us on their little spindly appendages. Because that way we know that they are connected to your alphabet and not simply from our consumership.

And as you know, I have always loved the Brains in all their allegorical and individual glory : )

I was really coming back to the blog to comment on the fact that as I went through the rest of my day after seeing the Nursery, that I kind of loved that their appendages were wiry and able to climb and cling and work on circuitry, like spindly legs on baby animals - it makes me think about how they might grow into hands someday.

So of course I got distracted by your post, (and the guilt and the glee and the fact that I had started working on a school near the Embassy) but in one of those great coincidences of life the WV to post this is simply


So perhaps I won't be guilty at all. Maybe we all need adorable, energetic little baby brains running about forcing us to keep track of them and the electrons that randomize the universe just agree. : )

Thanks Lisa!!!

lisa said...

Much as I resist the thought---it does seem things happen in their own time, with little regard to human influence.

glad you liked the jar. It was a good collaboration. Between us, Spencer and I have 7 kids. talking about it, we agreed that one thing everyone says (especially people who say they won't) is "don't make me come up/out/in/down/over/charmed? there!"

spacedlaw said...

How come you have also an etsy shop on top of your ebay one?