Random Art Stuff

Fun with stencils!


A few more paintings and a drawing!



Chalk pastel madness!




Random Review: Duma Key

It took Stephen King his entire life to write this book.0619f_dumakey

Duma Key by Stephen King

After a debilitating job-site accident wealthy contractor Edgar Freemantle is left with one arm, a barely functioning hip, and scrambled mental faculties. When he threatens his wife’s life with a plastic knife and she decides that she can take no more, his therapist suggests a change of scenery. So begins Freemantle’s second life: in a big pink house on Duma Key, Florida he discovers a latent talent for painting and a supernatural mystery that’s been haunting the island for nearly a century. As his skill grows, along with powers seemingly granted by his missing arm, so does the danger to everyone he loves.

Quite simply, this is King at his best. The supernatural elements are as strong and sinister as those in It or ‘Salem’s Lot. Freemantle’s friendships with former-lawyer-with-a-current-brain-injury Wireman, college student Jack, and Elizabeth Eastlake are as rich as any he’s ever written.  There are insights on art and creativity that could just as easily have come from his non-fiction work On Writing. King draws much from his own struggle to recover artistically from being hit by a van and his experiences as an artist and father. The mythology, the textural details of the Florida locale, the peek into the world of visual arts..it’s really good, you guys. That’s what I’m saying.

The way the dread builds from mere despair to out-and-out unstoppable horror is unparalleled. How King found somewhere lower than “suicidal divorcé amputee” to take his main character, and made me enjoy it, is a spectacular mystery for the ages. I stayed up all night reading this one, and I could see myself doing it again.

I have no complaints with the novel, but I did see a Goodreads reviewer call it “sentimental” (as a negative trait). The novel is sentimental, about art and family and loss and recovery, I just don’t agree that that’s a bad thing.

Chair rating:

Dark, disturbing, and absolutely built upon a strong foundation.

Dark, disturbing, and absolutely built upon a strong foundation.

…and in other news

A few things I forgot to mention while I was working myself into a tizzy over Pitch Wars:

Giant Squid Print Makers

1. I currently have some prints showing in Arcata, CA as part of a larger show featuring the work of my artist’s collective, Giant Squid Printmakers. The collective is made up of many people I went to school with and, though I have moved away, they invited me to send some pieces for the show. There are some great prints on display, and everything is for sale so I highly recommend taking a spin through the exhibition website if you can’t physically make it to the gallery. My alma mater used one of my prints for the press release, and it gave me a squee-crossed-with-vapors moment to think of the thousands of students, faculty, and alumni who were seeing it.

2. My Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo has asked me to become her co-ML next year. I could not be more stoked about the idea, our region’s participation was unreasonably low considering our numbers. I am a planner and a party-thrower, and next November is going to be awesome!

3. My ML also offered me a coupon for 8 free books from the used bookstore where she works. Um, yes?! Pleaseandthankyou.

4. Some of you might be wondering where Top Ten Tuesdays have gotten off to, as it’s been two weeks since I posted one. Well, gorgeous reader, I am in the market for a new meme. A list of ten books is difficult to assemble each week, more difficult still to not repeat the same books over and over…and if repeating, to come up with something new to say about the book you’ve already mentioned five times. Some of the categories were getting a bit repetitive, and with participation so high (in the three hundreds, now) it wasn’t really generating page views the way it once did. Books take time to read, and 520 unique books each year? I don’t think I’m up to that. If you’ve seen a meme that you think would be great for this blog, please tell me in the comments. I’m hoping for something that combines music and literature, or maybe even art.

5. I’m making turkey stew? Not that you needed to know that, but I felt like there should be five things on this list.

And now, a Christmas carol. Because Muppets, that’s why.

And CeeLo Green. Love CeeLo.

Other Types of Writing

Today I had to take a little time out to prepare an artist’s statement and resume for a show I’m a part of in December. It will be at Eureka, CA’s First Street Gallery, the “Giant Squid Exhibition”…we printmakers just love our ink. I had never actually written an artist’s statement before, my university art curriculum was not particularly rigorous, so with a lot of time and a little guidance from fellow artists Megan Moore and Blake McAdow this is what I came up with:

                  What is the role of nature in an increasingly regimented society? My current work explores the way biological phenomena such as competition, consumption, growth, and renewal manifest on personal and systemic levels within our industrialized nation.

                Printmaking is a process which allows me to marry mechanized production with organic formal elements, questioning the way contemporary American society rejects the lack of predictability found in nature in favor of uniform standards of performance. In my serigraphs, I bring nature into a highly uniform, reproducible medium by using hand-cut stencils and painted representation of organic forms such as fibrin and birds. Collagraph is an imprecise process in itself, which produces a more painterly effect and introduces an additional natural element of entropy into the work as plates destroy themselves in the course of printing. The conflict created by using nature as a standardized part is central to my work.

                The collagraphs I created in 2012 draw from the natural abundance of my new home: included on the plates used to print them are hundreds of new leaves I collected from local trees and pressed during spring, and the tree forms are from sketches made during my wanderings in Chico. As this agricultural community renewed itself so did my work, introducing new themes and brighter colors than those that characterized my earlier work in Humboldt County.

What do you think? Is it too packed with artist-speak, or does it make you want to see the work I’m referring to? Let me know in the comments.