Pigment Monster – November 4, 2011

Shoutout! I’m honored to say that next week, drunkbunny gets to be a part of a Pigment Monster show. Low-key and chill, just the way I like. You can also check Pigment Monster out on Facebook. It’s headed up by the VERY talented Alex Julian.

Friday, 11.4.11 – 5 to 11pm
3176 Thorn St, San Diego, CA 92104 Β· Home Brews & Gardens

Free alcohol. Food vendors.
Live music and performers.
Musicians, performers, admirers, live artists, supporters, art collectors, and promoters welcome.
Artists, vendors and musicians will get a +1.
Dogs okay.
Not located in a bar or a club.

Click to check out some shots from the last event:

Please come visit and have a beverage with me! πŸ™‚

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Tea and Cocoa

it’s one of those days. the fog, there with my alarm, has hung around most of the day. it slouched off around lunchtime and returned an hour or so later, presumably after a sandwich and glass of something warm.

drew up a sketch of dr. doom. it came out alright technically, but it’s missing something. a soul, a showing of emotion. the vibe of General Evil is lacking. just adding in some shadow and 3d effects does not a solid piece make, but i have to keep trying.

it’s been a slow day at the office. had a brief rush of processing paperwork and cash this morning but, like the tide, the boaters are rolling out. the season is over. saturdays here now remind me of a closed-down fair; dismantled rides looking blankly up at the grey sky. i don’t like to walk around the marina much anymore these days for reasons that can’t be explained, although i’d bet it would rev my creative engine to do it.

less than an hour to go and then it’s my weekend.

i think this calls for a beer.

It Was A Dark And Stormy ….Knight?

Tuesday evening, at random, J asked me to paint him a batman. It wasn’t “The Batman”, all Dark-Knight-capitalized, but just a batman. He wanted to see my spin on it, so I tried to get something going.

Phase 1, 11″x17″ – sketch on canvas:

Phase 2 – acrylic attempts at underpainting

Part of me is feeling rather doubtful about this whole thing because A) I’m not a comic artist and B) feel like I’m making a mockery of something classic and cool. But he did ask for it, and specifically with my spin, so I will soldier on. He likes what’s gone on so far and has also asked for a spawn (A Spawn) when this is done, so we’ll see how it comes out. Part of me likes what’s happened so far and part of me feels like any further progress will severely screw it up, but who knows.

….3 hours later….

A not-so-great phone photo of the completed painting:

In other news, NEXT WEEK I GET TO MEET ANTHONY BOURDAIN AND I AM STILL SUPER EXCITED! πŸ˜€ Oh, and for some reason they threw in an extra VIP laminate, so ……….. I’m considering which friends would roshambo each other for it. This is gonna be an awesome Halloween weekend.

Cranky Pants

I was just sitting here, thinking of what to write – but mostly wanting brownies and a cold glass of milk – when I saw Ali’s Thankful Things Thursday. She’s all “YAY! BE JOYOUS! BE THANKFUL! WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?!!?” right about the time I was seriously considering eating White Trash Fudge* and washing that down with some milk, when her inquiry into what things that us folks out there on the internet are thankful for occurred.

First off, I got really nauseous last night and ended up lying on the cool tile floor for a long time, trying not to vomit. No vomiting occurred, so I am thankful for that.

Today my option was to call in sick to work (at 6AM). I’m thankful for feeling quite a bit better than last night (though I’m not anywhere near 100%; more like 75%). I’m thankful for being able to call in sick because it would have been difficult to get through the day today.

I’m thankful for the fluffy cat lying here next to my laptop.

I’m thankful for the Sims, because they provide me with hours of entertainment, and after this post goes live that’s what I’ll be doing.

What are you thankful for?

*White Trash Fudge: Get a can of chocolate buttercream frosting. Get a spoon. Open can, insert spoon, deliver goods to mouth. Repeat until weeping occurs.

My Tuesday Night Fight With The Laundry Monster

I was going to tell you all about my fights with Laundry Monster, something I was reminded by after seeing the Laundry Post on YogaJournal.

Or mention the Yoga Flash Mob, which I don’t think is a good idea, but was wasting my time thinking “OMG DOES THAT MAKE ME ANTI YOGA OR JUST ANTI PEOPLE”, so I decided not to care either way. The mob wasn’t my idea, it will happen either way.

Then I saw the Freshly Pressed How To Dress: A Guide For Young People, and ruminate on my recent thoughts of steampunk and dressing and why in the world people decide that sagging your pants to show your ENTIRE underwear is still a thing. (Why is that a thing? That should not be a thing.

Then the FP Homemade Halloween Decorations caught my eye and reminded me of A) Halloween (!!!!!) and B) making little Kleenex ghosts and hanging them from the ceiling fan when I was little.

Instead I decided to look at some RageToons, which you may not want to look at during work if you’re somewhere that wouldn’t really appreciate you having The F Word in big font at the top of the page), read a book, and OMGKITTY!!!!!!!!!!!

IT’S A KEETEEY!!!!!!!

Enjoy your evening.

I Drank From Bronte’s Poisoned Well

“I looked, and had an acute pleasure in looking, – a precious, yet poignant pleasure; pure gold, with a steely point of agony: a pleasure like what the thirst-perishing man might feel who knows the well to which he has crept is poisoned, yet stoops and drinks divine draughts nevertheless.”

My recent read of Jane Eyre – not yet complete – has just brought me to that passage. I picked up the book a few days ago from the library and wasn’t sure how it would go. Would it be some herculean task to read, each sentence a small hurdle to get through? Upon finishing a chapter, would I inhale, feeling as if a new, boulder-filled hill lie in front of me and a valley behind? Reading for me is (and probably always will be) one of those experiences like fine wine or complex beer. You sip, you consider. Reading is luxurious and gratifying in almost every sense. A recently emailed installment of the Zen Habits newsletter touted the propensities of reading simply for pleasure. It’s not a task and should never be a chore. “Even ten minutes is bliss”, I think the phrase went – which is so true.

There are people who don’t like to read. Some of them are close friends, coworkers. They hate assigned reading, essay work, things involving words that they have to look at and sometimes comprehend. I have never understood what it means to hate reading, but it is definitely one of those things that you either love or loathe.

At this point you should realize I love reading. Give me a well-written story and hours will slip by, the world outside of the pages ceases, and my mind is completely engrossed in some other realm, the visuals unmatched by Scorsese – Jackson – Spielberg. Not that their work is sub par, it just never comes close to the sights in my imagination. This is why art frustrates me: I can never get the images properly from my mind into a tangible format.

Additionally, it bothers me to have to repress my verbiage, my thoughts. My writing capabilities have always surpassed my speaking capabilities for numerous reasons. One can’t delete something just spoken, and it’s easier to organize the words on paper. My train of thoughts has always run at about five hundred miles per hour, so when I open my mouth the words tend to tumble over each other. Given the chance to arrange my thoughts properly, the problem lessens, but I’ve failed in Sales for a reason. Objections? I don’t know. If you don’t want it, the first thought that comes to my mind is not a rebuttal, but some anti-confrontational mumbling: “Sorry to bother you, thanks.” On paper though… why is it I can’t say what I want? Does it stem from that childhood fear of being labeled a nerd? Some antiquated being? “Why the f//k is she talking like she’s from some stuck up old sh/t?” …or something.

Sometimes it feels like there are no words for me to say, and that results in behavior that makes me want to punch a wall. So when they finally do come effortlessly, in some form or mixture that actually sounds good in my head, all I want to do is let them out. Why is that wrong? Why – more importantly – do people still mix up “their” and “there”? “Lose” and “loose”? “Your” and “you’re”? I’VE SEEN THIS IN ADVERTISING, FOR CHRISSAKES. PAY ATTENTION.

That was quite a tangent, and I apologize. Where was I? Ah, that’s right. Some of my self-imposed goals as of late have been to just read a book without first reading the summary or the jacket (and never the Cliffs Notes [not even when past assignments required them]). Jane Eyre is one of those books I mistakenly thought was by Jane Austen, so my mental recollections were of past failed attempts at getting through Pride and Prejudice. (After this next round of library books has been completed, I’m going to give Ms. Austen’s works another shot.)

After a chapter or so, my assumptions proved to be completely inaccurate. The book is wonderful. The original clumsiness which I read with was merely due to the unfamiliarity of the phrasing. As Miss Eyre’s story unfolds – nursery to adolescence to young adulthood – I find myself completely engrossed. It’s like falling into a pensieve.

It would be alternately blissful and excruciating.

It was only after she met Mr. Rochester did the pages start turning faster, which means the book is not only being read but being comprehended. I’ve just arrived at the part where Miss Eyre was looking at Mr. Rochester – against her will.

Let’s revisit the statement again, shall we?

“I looked, and had an acute pleasure in looking, – a precious, yet poignant pleasure; pure gold, with a steely point of agony: a pleasure like what the thirst-perishing man might feel who knows the well to which he has crept is poisoned, yet stoops and drinks divine draughts nevertheless.”

Bronte, you’ve nailed it.

There have been a few times in my life where I’ve been in love, in lust, in …crush. Whatever you call it, my heart has wanted what my heart has wanted, and that phrase above was so completely accurate that upon reading that phrase I was unable to do anything but shut the book and mentally exclaim: “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I had to take a break from reading for a few moments just to share this with you, Reader, whoever you might be. Also because things were getting a little too intense for me and I needed to remember to breathe. It’s funny how so few words can call up such clear recollections of all the times I waited to see a specific person, all the rejections, all the hope that they only thought of me as I thought of them, against my better judgment. Then of course there were the feelings that occurred during our meetings – even the brief ones, even the ones in the very beginning, no matter how trivial. If you were in the vicinity, I couldn’t think of anything except to try and act natural. Act natural and stop giggling, damnit! Pay attention to the words coming out of your mouth – don’t try and force anything funny or charming or witty when your brain is somewhere in the middle of your chest. Was that your car I saw? The song that reminds me of you is now on the radio every time I turn it on. “When the minutes turn to hours and the hours turn to days”, indeed. You begin to do silly things like make sure your hair looks nice, check that your manicure is in decent condition. You wear lipgloss when you never have before. Have you ever been somewhere you don’t want to be (or somewhere you DO want to be), all …just in case? And oh, the pain, the wordless agony when you find out it’s all for nothing.

I don't need to review the situation, I just need to make more space in my head.

There is no more intense, no worse, no greater feeling than the one your heart calls up against your will.

I’m not sure if I envy or pity all the un-romantic people out there… but at least it ensures life isn’t boring.

Back to Bronte.

How To Draw A Perfect Tree

I’ve been sketching way more often lately, which is proving to be simultaneously exhausting and relaxing. It feels nearly theraputic, especially when things need to be shaded with a mechanical pencil. It’s exhausting when you realize there are more ideas in your head than hours in the day it will require to get them all down. Part of my work lately has been just to practice the technique of getting things on paper as they are in real life.

I'm lucky to have several good areas in the house suitable for artwork.

It’s tough, because normally if I don’t get things down right on the first try, I’ll toss it. But there is plenty to practice with. You don’t have to have a model or anything, really, you just look around.

My west-facing window.


My east-facing window.

I found Urban Sketchers recently and want to improve a bit before submitting anything to them, but it’s my goal to become part of that group. Step 1 is feeling confident enough to submit something, so this means more practice. It was very hard for me to realize at first how much patience is needed. Having always felt like a patient person, it seemed like merely a matter of waiting and suddenly I’d be able to draw just as I planned. The thing is… the pictures in your mind won’t magically appear on paper the way they should without some help.

This is a practice piece that I hope to turn into a mural on the side of a friend's house.

This is a tree I can see from my bedroom window.

“A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.”

I’ve known for a long time that my drawing skills, when it comes to photo-realism, need polishing (to say it nicely). The problem is that the following tends to happen just as my sketching is about to start. I’ll sit down, paper and tools all ready, pick up a pencil, draw a line, frantically erase, then realize there is TOO MUCH TO DRAW. Panic sets in. Mentally berating myself, why even bother trying? It’s ridiculous. Look at the complexities of that brick, what are you even thinking trying to make this look like anything? Why are you even pretending you can do something? Your art sucks. You suck. You’re terrible at this. Just pack up your stuff, go home and read a book.

Except the last book I read was called “The Zen of Seeing”, which basically tells you to quietly send your inner FailVoice packing, and pick up your freaking pencil already. If you don’t draw it, you can’t fix it. Who cares if your geranium looks nothing like a geranium? The point is you wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t have that creative drive in there, and that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It may sound cheesy but it’s true.

My biggest problem is the fear that I’m essentially making a mockery of everything I attempt to draw, if it’s something from real life. My afternoon today was spent in Balboa Park, one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in this city. There are a few paintings in my mind that will be centered around how certain things look in Balboa Park, so it seemed like a good idea to familiarize myself with the landscape by sketching.

There was a bench that seemed like it would be comfortable, until the sun came out and made things too warm. It was donated by a Miss Daisy Thompkins, which struck me as oddly humorous.

It was just me and Miss Daisy, for a little bit.

Regrouped myself on a bench under the trellis that seemed like the view I needed, finished my tall-iced-skinny-vanilla-latte, prepped everything and took a look around. It was time to start.

Except I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

All the plans and inspiration went out the window and my InnerFailVoice started asking me what I thought I was doing here exactly. Trying to draw? Who cares if there are 500 branches on an evergreen tree – you aren’t about to sketch a single one, so just give it up now. You won’t do it justice. You’ll make it worse, you’ll wreck EVERYTHING. Just go home.

You see, everything around me was awesome… and why did I want to go wrecking that by trying to draw? How can anyone take the beauty of this and explain it, express it just by putting lines on paper?

Look.



There isn’t much to say except that I almost started to cry. It took me a minute or ten, then something from Mr. Franck’s book came back to me: “After my eye calmed down, my hand was able to draw“. The wording may not be exact, but it’s the same feeling. He went on to say that if you’re trying to draw buildings, those same buildings were once drawings themselves. You just take a deep breath, stop looking, and start SEEING.

I took a breath. I thought back to PTI and remembered all the things that Bove taught me. How each line you make compresses the fibers in the paper. How to do contour line drawings, perspective stuff, how to basically give a crap about what you’re putting on paper – a lot of things. Hell, he once made me a ring just because I asked for one, and it was a serious bummer when I lost it… so he made me another one that I’ve been wearing since 2001. I’ll keep wearing it because it reminds me that he was the best art instructor ever, and it looks like he’s still doing well (good for him). πŸ™‚ For any of you in the Western PA area that are into art or jewelery/metalworking, Jim Bove is the man.

I digress; sorry. Was worth it though.

Anyway, sketching happened and took about two hours. The entire time my mental dialogue consisted of convincing myself to look at a line, then draw it – not try to draw the whole trellis at once.

A random person asked me what I was drawing, then as they looked (while I explained my dire need for a straight edge), they said: “Oh! That’s not too bad at all.” It made me realize that you can’t draw one tree before you draw a thousand.

Speaking of trees, a little seedpod fluttered down to join me. It was cute. πŸ™‚

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re wondering about the part where I give a tutorial on how to draw a perfect tree. You may have figured out that’s not going to happen, because there is no such thing as a perfect tree, even in real life. You just look, and then you start seeing.

Don’t forget the most important step though: getting started.