Tag Archives: art show

mangaan blauw V. 2.0 & where have i been all my life ?

i just realized today that it has been one month and a day since my last post. poor neglected blog. i pity thee.

i began writing a post about two, nay three, weeks ago and promptly stopped writing it mid-sentence. it was such a debbie downer of a post. it had to do with feelings of insignificance, angst, and being smacked by a drunk old man (true story). in hindsight, i have to say that i applaud my decision to stop writing said post mid-sentence.

i bought a planner in january, right after my birthday. i had high hopes of using said planner to map my days out and attempt to organize my life. ironically, said planner was lost misplaced only a week later. the losing of the planner has had quite an impact on my life, i think. i have searched high and low for this d*mn thing and it is nowhere to be found, believe you me. i bought this particular planner at my place of work and of course when i decided, two weeks later, that i would just sack up and buy another one – we’d sold out – without any plans to order any more because after the first couple of months of the year have passed, people have the planners they need and don’t go out looking for new ones. i’ve made a somewhat concerted effort to replace the planner, but have failed in my attempts. no one is carrying them. so apparently, if you buy a planner at the start of a new year – you’d best keep it in a safe place. and that’s another thing about me, when i acquire something important that i may not use daily, but would really like to keep around on a weekly basis – i tend to keep them in ‘safe places.’ my ‘safe places,’ however, always become mysteries and once again i face the fact that i have lost something that i really needed. can i get a round of applause for that ?

so, confession time. what the h*ll have i been doing ? what has been occupying my time ?

first of all. i got sick. wait, i was sick. ok, i have to explain this a little bit and i bet you are, by now, chomping at the bit to hear what i have to say :: i started coughing on November 9th (i recall this date only because of a text message i happened to dig up that declared to someone that i had just woken up sick and was running to a drug store for dayquil/nyquil/the works). ever since i was a kid, i have a knack for having a rather obnoxious cough. even when i was battling a minor cold, my cough would sound as if a lung (or two) were quite likely to fall out of my chest and mouth. i coughed through november. and december. and january. there was a space of two or three weeks in the middle that it seemed to subside slightly, leaving me to believe i was facing the light at the of the ‘cough tunnel,’ if you will. but then, three-ish weeks ago, the cough became worse and worse. it had gotten to the point where i just expected to be awake at night to have some coughing fits. when it finally reached the point that i was waking up every hour on the hour for a good twenty minutes to dry heave on my single mattress, i decided i should see a doctor. now, my delay at seeing a doctor in the first place stemmed from two things :: 1. i hate seeing doctors. i hate making an appointment. i hate waiting rooms. i hate having to breath in and out while they place a cold (can’t they warm those things up before they do this ?) stethoscope on my back and chest. and 2. i had no health insurance. my health insurance from my work didn’t kick in until the start of february, so i was waiting it out. and even when it kicked in, i didn’t have a health insurance card in my wallet – it was in the mail (and, actually, still is). i called around to a handful of free clinics, but either the line was permanently busy or their estimated wait time was 4+ hours. to make a long story short, i finally saw a doctor a week ago, was diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis, received antibiotics, an inhaler, codeine cough syrup – and here i am, a week later, 95% cough free ! i really can’t tell you how excited that makes me.

poster design for ‘still floating’

and then i was part of a show that opened on february 4th. it was a group show – the ‘group’ being me and my three fellow employees at the art store where i work. so for the last week of january and the first week of february, i was feverishly making pieces for the show. we had just over a week’s warning to prepare, so i was ‘a little busy’ to say the least. the show was only up for a week, but it was a good time. the opening was fabulous :: we had wine, cheese, christmas lights, music, and lots of foot traffic. i made a sale (or two) and that was that. care to see some new pieces from 2011 ? (bad photographs, apologies) ::



“jig saw”


“see saw”

in the last week, i have hereby confirmed that i am going to be an art teacher. ok, i’ll cut the crap. i’m going to be teaching one girl some art classes once a week. i’ve had some people interested in my holding a proper ‘class’ out of my apartment – which i may still do – but for now, i have just the one client and i am incredibly excited ! she’s thirteen, home-schooled, and has had not, to my knowledge, had any formal training in art whatsoever. aware of how cliche this sounds, the chance at getting to teach a young girl about art is like staring at a big blank canvas – inspiring, exciting, and terrifying. i can’t wait. the first ‘class’ is this monday and i will let you know how it goes !

and two weeks ago, i was given permission (from my fantastically awesome roommates) that i could move my studio from my bedroom to our living room (a room we rarely use) without any further cost. this means i can now sleep in my bed and have an entire bedroom to myself – it’s still only about 10’x10′ – but when you remove two desks, a file cabinet, and copious amounts of art supplies – this former studio/bedroom, in comparison, feels not unlike a mansion. our living room is quite spacious – almost twice the size of my bedroom – and i am in heaven here. i can walk more than two feet from my desk and not run into my mattress/a pile of clothes/a turtle tank/a closet/what have you. truly liberating.

and last, but certainly not least, i was assigned probably one of my favorite jobs to date. i hate referring to all freelance work (particularly this one) as a ‘job’ because the word job implies a sort of chore – and this, my friends, was nothing of the sort. i will try and keep a long story short, but knowing my propensity for a-rambling – it is unlikely that this will be a short paragraph. about a week ago, the phone at my work rang. usually the manager or assistant manager answers the phone, but we were slammed and i happened to be the staff member closed to it ( as fate would have it, if you will.. since i do believe that all things happen for a reason). so, i answered, as usual, ‘Artist & Craftsman, this is Jessi.’ the voice on the other side belonged to a man who was looking for an illustrator. he had some specifics for a painting in mind and called our art store in an attempt to find someone, anyone, willing to complete this project. i replied, to his delight, that i went to school for illustration and would be interested in said project. so, we scheduled a time to meet to discuss the details. as usual, i had some hesitations. things like this usually start out so simple and well-meaning and end up turning into a mess – a clash of left and right brains – and leave me feeling as if i have signed some contract with the ‘freelance devil’ – meaning :: i’m getting paid to make something i don’t really want to make, but i’ll make it regardless because i could use the money (there’s a reason my professors at college considered the Freelance Illustration world a world of being an art-whore/art-prostitute – completing jobs you didn’t want to complete in the first place, but agreeing to do them anyway because there will, inevitably, be a check at the end of it all).

when i met up with him, just two days later, i knew right off the bat that this was going to be one of those ‘exceptions’ to the art-whore Freelance Illustration jobs. he was kind, funny, and open-minded. he gave me the details and told me to grab the bull by the horns and run with it. the project, in short, is an anniversary painting. one year ago (yesterday), he met a woman on a plane bound for New York from Denver. they spent the entire flight talking to each other and now, a year later, have fallen fast in love. he gave me the flight number, the airport codes, and every other imaginable detail related to this first encounter on this flight that brought them together. he wanted a painting. and a collage. he wanted to merge all of these significant details of their first encounter into one painting.

first of all, i have to admit, i melted at his request. what an amazing request – right ? being a girl (and a romantic at heart), i couldn’t help but want to jump into this project face first. so, for the past week, i have been working my tail off to complete this project because he needed the final product to be overnighted to New York City on the 24th so it would arrive on the 25th – the day that both he and she would be in NYC. today is the 24th (just, you know, for your information), so I completed this mixed media painting this morning. i spent a good deal of time with both UPS and FedEx to discuss shipping costs and, subsequently, spent close to an hour on the floor in FedEx ‘making’ a box that would fit the dimensions of the painting, packing the painting, and sending it off. i even called the hotel in NYC to request that they call me tomorrow to confirm the delivery of the painting.

and of course, as usual, i was so eager to finish this piece, pack it up, and ship it – i forgot to take a picture of it. so, when it has been received in New York City – a photograph will follow shortly thereafter, but i love the piece and i hope it’ll make their one year anniversary that much more special..

over and out. my eyes are hurting from all the computer shenanigans.

[poster :: digital design][mixed media on all of the above][iPhone photograph of my new studio]



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Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

happy birthday, still floating, the beats, and your own personal jesus

Lift up the receiver, I’ll make you a believer.

this is a lyric from Depeche Mode’s 1989 hit ‘Personal Jesus.’ i have become increasingly obsessed with Johnny Cash’s cover of the song. i have a really rather annoying habit of getting stuck on songs. i will play them over and over again to the point that i can’t possibly listen to them again for weeks or even months. i play it repeatedly, singing along to all the lyrics which i have, of course, now memorized. i also find myself regularly sighing and declaring, out loud, ‘ahh, this is such a good song.’ i feel bad for my roommates. they are the victims here, poor things. however, i believe i have already established myself as ‘the crazy person’ in the house, so i doubt they are too surprised by my behavior. i do, after all, have this on my bedroom door (and if you are wondering what that strange shape in the top right is, it’s a carcass, kind of. a pheasant skin to be exact, don’t ask questions) ::

i’m not wearing a scarf right now. if you know me, you’ll know that’s weird. i’ve been known to wear scarves all summer long. i love them. yes, they do serve the practical purpose of keeping one’s neck warm and cozy, but they make me feel safe. perhaps it’s because of the cocoon-like factor of being wrapped up in something ? and yesterday, i wore flip flops. it’s january, people. t-shirts, flip flops, and not a scarf in sight. where am i ? i feel like i need to click my heels three times and return from this magical land of Oz i seem to have found myself living in here in San Francisco. speaking of, i really ought to invest in a pair of ruby slippers.

i only bring up the weather because the forecast for this coming thursday is sixty five degrees and sunny. thursday is my birthday. i’ll be turning twenty seven on the twenty seventh, making this my golden birthday. i don’t even know why i’m telling you this because i actually don’t like to broadcast the fact that it’s my birthday. i don’t like celebrating my own birthday. if i can speak to or see a handful of close friends and family on my birthday, that’s all i need. i can’t support throwing myself a party. i also have a hard time understanding why a birthday is grounds for gift giving. i mean, sure, it’s nice, i appreciate that. but i didn’t do anything to deserve cards or presents. i mean, really, if anyone deserves a gift on a birthday – don’t you think it should be our mothers ? i bet i had a pretty chill day when i was born. i was, no doubt, wrapped in blankets, smothered with affection, and told how cute i was. sure, i may have shed some tears at first, but that was as bad as my day was going to get. my mother, on the other hand, had probably been in a hospital bed for no less than twelve hours. she was likely covered in sweat and tears and in so much pain she was liable to break the hand of anyone bold enough to hold hers as they yelled ‘push!’ and to make matters worse, after all of her hard work bringing me into the this world, i got all of the attention, while she laid back recovering from what i imagine was, on some level, a traumatic experience. so, mom, Happy Birthday to you ! you’re getting a card from me this year.

“still floating” is the name of a group show i will be participating in ! it opens in about ten days and will take place at A. Aversano’s Galleria. Anthony, the owner of the gallery, is a sweet guy who frequents our art supply store. he kindly offered up the space to my co-workers and i for half of february. i am under the impression, since it is so last minute, we’ll be displaying a random assortment of works – a hodge podge, if you will – but i am so incredibly excited at the prospect of hanging my work on a wall. this will officially be my first ‘showing’ down here in San Francisco. i am, at this point, at a loss for what i will hang and find myself scrambling for ideas. the impractical go-getter in me wants to create some new pieces specifically for the show, but i fear that will mean no sleep for a few nights and not only can i not afford to not sleep (having a full time job makes this an unappealing idea), but i don’t think i could even pull it off if i tried.

i pulled an all nighter last week – it was more or less on a whim – i found myself deeply involved in a pastel drawing and simply could not stop. i have become somewhat obsessed with The Beats. a generation of authors, artists, and what-have-you’s from the 50’s who seemed, at least to me, to be on a personal mission to flip the world as they knew it upside down. the key figures in The Beat Generation are fascinating characters. most of them first met in New York and later congregated here, in San Francisco. their stories are amazing. there’s a place down here called The Beat Museum, a shop that celebrates these very characters – selling all sorts of memorabilia and art, all Beat related. there’s even a street here called, ‘Jack Kerouac Alley.’ i spoke to the nice fellow who runs the place about possibly getting some of my art on their walls – just a few drawings. of course, they need to be Beat related – i don’t have anything of the sort so i sat down last week and busted out my pastels and got to work. i haven’t worked with pastels in an embarrassingly long time. i actually think the last time i used them was back in 2005. what a travesty, right ?

i’m not sure why i ever put them away. i love working with them and they are, to this day, the only material i have ever used in which i actually like drawing people with. i am so anti-people drawing. graphite, charcoal, paint, ink – you name it – i just cannot seem to agree with any of those materials when it comes to rendering a person’s face. but pastels, that’s a different story. here are the first two drawings i have made so far :: Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, respectively ::

[iPhone camera][soft pastels on drawing paper]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)