Monthly Archives: May 2011

20 posts

Museum of Fine Art (Boston)

I’m back! For our anniversary we took an overnight trip to Boston via the *train*. I’ve always wanted to go on an actual train, and I finally did. It was great, there was a dining car with tables which was fun. Not like the Hogwarts Express….I’d like to ride a train like that sometime too, but it was good, and a much less stressful way to get into Boston than driving.
We went to Faneuil Hall Marketplace (I like to call it Quincy Market, but it’s officially that <<) after we checked into our hotel, and stumbled upon some kind of street fair. The inside was really crowded so we walked around the outside and found a *huge* Newbury Comics store and hung out in there for a while drooling and finally bought the first Scott Pilgrim graphic novel. Then took the subway back to our hotel and ate at the Cheesecake factory for dinner.
The next day (our actual anniversary) we wandered around the area trying to find the Museum of Fine art, only to discover  – 4 hours later- that it was in the complete opposite direction. So after we walked around Prudential Center and ate lunch at P.F. Chang’s, we hopped on the subway and went to the museum (which was having a free admission day for memorial day).
The Museum
I should say that I’ve never been to an art museum before – at least, not that I remember. I opted out of the Smithsonian art museum for the Air and Space one last time I had a chance (several years ago, before I realized I still loved art). So Alex and I were both really excited to go to the one in Boston. It was amazing, and I came to a really important realization – one that I knew but was never able to fully understand until I went.

It’s hard to make museum quality art when you’ve never been exposed to it.

Exposure is crucial, at least, I think so – because google images only helps so much. It’s hard for me to really get a feel for Picaso, or Van Gogh, or  Martin Johnson Heade (and so many others) without having seen the art in real life. The pictures really don’t do justice to the amount of detail and effort and care put into the paintings. It was an amazing feeling, entering a museum for the first time, and being drawn to particular pieces and inspired to create more (and better) art myself.

Beauty
I found a plaque about the Aesthetic movement that sort of nailed my perspective on art – or at least, the way I create it.

I appreciate art that tells stories – like the mural LePage took down, or Picaso – but what inspires and motivates me to create is not social commentary (as great as that is) but beauty.

Good art did not need a moralizing story or a historical narrative; beauty alone was sufficient.

And this is what I generally try to achieve. I don’t try to communicate a moral lesson or obvious metaphor – I try to let the feel of the painting and the loveliness itself say it all. I’m not sure how good I am at that or how much of the back story (like in Burning Shadows) comes through. But that said, the focus of my pieces, when I make them, is not message centered. So, it was cool that it was/is actually a thing, that there was a movement that was less concerned about message and more concerned about beauty, and I feel like I kinda fit in there.
Figures
The unintended side affect of the art museum was the self confidence boost. I realize that a lot of the people who will read this might be irked at what I’m about to say, so let me stop here and mention something: if you disagree, that’s fine, I’m not going to get into a debate about it or the right or wrongness of art in this form, I can not change your perspective and I won’t try – this is just something that I noticed and that has inspired me – as an artist and as a woman. So please keep your comments intended to debate the idea to yourself, or find another outlet for it. 🙂
I’ve touched on the subject of figure (or nude) drawings before, but I’ve never seen them in real life. Until yesterday.
There were so many beautiful portraits and sculptures depicting people – with all their perfections and imperfections. Women with stomachs like mine, people with insecurities and yet, unhindered beauty. There were so many pieces, but I only managed to take a photo of one, “Ariadne”.

You can’t even see the level of detail on Ariadne in this picture – painstaking. Every individual line. I loved that the people forever captured in the pieces were perfect in their imperfection. People have bodies – and it wasn’t just female forms captured by the artists, but men and women – in their awkward and honest beauty – with wrinkles and flab and everything that we look our selves and think is unworthy and yet here, it’s all captured, and when you look at it, you see yourself, and your imperfections, and the very things that you’re self-conscious about, and then you find that it’s beautiful. Even when you go home and you see your scars and you still feel fat and bloated and unattractive and imperfect, it’s beautiful. You’re still beautiful…I’m still beautiful, with my hormones and bloating that won’t go away, and the weird scars on my legs from an infection a few years ago…if I were captured in a drawing, if I could look at myself and see, really see myself and not just look at the areas I don’t like…I think I’d finally know (like really know, not just know that Alex thinks so, but inside) that I was beautiful too.
In the future, I hope to explore this more – the Museum of Fine Art was probably the best thing I’ve done for myself art wise so far (apart from starting to paint) I hope to go to more someday, definitely hitting the one in Portland. I feel like I learned so much yesterday that I’m just now beginning to realize, and I can’t wait to keep going.

Anniversary Leave

Our 2nd anniversary is on Memorial day, so I probably won’t be posting until Tuesday.
Today was warm, really warm – we might put in our AC soon – although now it’s drastically cooling down and we’re under a severe thunderstorm watch, so I’m almost shivering. I didn’t paint anything today, but I did exercise and play with my hair (which should be an art of it’s own, really, because the most creative I usually get with it is pigtails, ponytails or hats). I made a weird side braid that I then attempted to twist into the rest of my hair to make a bigger braid. It didn’t last long in my greasy hair, but it was kind of fun, I’ll have to play with that a little bit more.

I’ve been working my way through some of the programs on Your Shape for the Kinect and well…..my muscles are working I think, found some I didn’t know I had. I feel good even though I’m in a little bit of pain and my legs feel like jello. I like that there are programs and routines and whatever that take place over time, and that I can mix it up if I want to – they even have things for getting bikini ready, which I haven’t downloaded yet (I don’t have enough points or something?) but I would like to, sometime, after I work through the beginner levels and into the other slightly more intense programs. Right now I’m just sort of trying to get through the easy stuff.
I’m hoping that all the walking and sit ups and working out I’ve been good about since March will pay off soon, but my hormones are all nuts so I’ve actually gained 4 pounds instead of losing. I hope they figure themselves out soon, or I might look into donating them (if that were ever a thing). I feel like the medical procedures I make up should exist and have no harmful side-effects, but alas…
I also made soup today, which was fine until I couldn’t lift the pan with rue-d veggies without hurting my list and had a breakdown in which I swore off cooking ever again. I can only take so much of it, and then I flip. I’ve cooked more in the last month than I have in a lonnnng time and I started getting stressed. It smells good though, I feel like I should take another long break, but I don’t know. We need to eat, and I don’t want to eat out all the time, and frozen stuff is only so good when neither of us feel like cooking. I like it when Alex cooks. ^.^
Anyway, all that to say, I (probably) won’t be around till Tuesday. Have a great Memorial Day everyone!

Keep Off the Dirigible Plums

I decided to try something new today and paint standing up. I held my palette of watercolors in one hand, brush in the other and had a cup of water on the desk beside me. It worked out pretty well actually, and I think I hurt my shoulders less than I usually do, so that’s a plus. Anyway, I decided to take another thing from Harry Potter and paint Dirigible Plums. We were introduced to them in the last movie, and thought they were cool, especially how they kinda floated and grew upside down – I reached that part of the book today, and as I’m (intending on) only reading listening to half of the Deathly Hallows until the last half of the movie comes out. Mostly because Alex wants to keep up with the story the way we have been and doesn’t think a month with one of us knowing the ending would be very fun – I’m going to wait until we reach chapter 24 and go from there, it might drive me nuts. 😉

I’m trying to decide if I should keep everything to one post a day and have art mixed in with dinner and life and World of Warcraft, or if I should separate them into separate posts spaced out every few hours. While I’m thinking about that, I’ll just go mush it all into one post for now.
*World of Warcraft*
I spent the morning doing some more quests around Dragonblight, and I really like Emerald Dragonshire, it’s pretty and there are birds and flowers, admittedly, they try to kill you, but if you kill them first you can gather herbs or watch them reincarnate, which is nice and makes you feel good about yourself. I also ended up getting some nice armor that I can sell once I get to some vendors or an auction house, raking in the gold nicely too, eventually I’ll make enough to buy a fast flying mount and training for it.
*Cooking*
I had every intention of making soup (and tea, darn) this afternoon, like, 2 hours ago, but then I started painting. I suppose I could make it the old fashioned non-crockpot way, but I feel like that involves a lot more standing and stirring, and I’ve just been standing for the last 2 hours, and walked a little over a mile before that, and my legs are still sore and stiff from all the walking and extra exercising with the kinect I did yesterday (and need to do again today come to think of it). So I think I’ll make chicken with a spinach salad instead…or something.

Plein Air fun

Today was warm and sunny so when I woke up I decided I wanted to try to paint outside at the top of my steps. I’m hoping to be able to do some Plein Air paintings during vacation this year too, so I figured I might as well try it in a more controlled environment and see how it went.
It started off fine, I realized that I needed to wear a hat so I could actually see my paper and the glare would stop hurting my eyes – it helped alot, I was able to actually see the shade of blue I was painting which is handy. Then there were several breezes containing absurd amounts of dust or pollen that coated my paints, and phone, and well, everything, I’m still brushing it off of myself.
It didn’t seem to affect the watercolors much though, it just sort of floated to the top, so I kept going – I wanted to enjoy the sun and soak up as much as I could before it starts being gloomy again (I’m wayyyyyyy happier when there’s sun, but I’m losing my optimism). I could have painted the lilac tree and stuff below me, but it’s not fully blooming yet, so I decided to paint something different…and requiring a bit of depth (which isn’t my strong spot), I think though, that I’m figuring it out.

 
I feel like I’m finally starting to acclimate (again). It’s 70 and I’m wearing summer clothes, which is awesome. I’m also starting to get back a little bit more energy with the sun being around – last night Alex and I walked to the grocery store that just re-opened/expanded and bought some really good local feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette and came home and made steak and greek(ish) salad. Of course with the heat coming back, I’m much more likely to go outside and do things and stay in the sun, but Alex isn’t enjoying it as much. We keep talking about buying bikes and riding everywhere in town instead of driving – saving gas, getting exercise, and it would hopefully be slightly less miserably hot for Alex because we’d be making a slight breeze? So that’d be cool.
I really like the idea of being able to bike to the beach (too far to walk, we tried) and hang out there.

Energy Spurts

Occasionally I get on this kick where I update everything, yesterday was one of those days. I added my two most recent paintings to etsy and then updated the pricing, shipping, and display pictures (now they’re all uniform) to all the paintings in my shop.

The internet didn’t seem to like etsy, so it took most of yesterday afternoon. Prior to my “update everything” kick, I did some questing around Dragonblight and made quite a bit of progress. 😀

Today, I’m listening to more of the Deathly Hallows and cleaning and possibly painting.

 

Cleaning and Snitches

Forced myself to do things today – did some massive cleaning including dealing with the wires and removing our stereo system that we never use. Soooo much dust.

And way too many wires. Admittedly though, it looks much better now. I need cable ties or something.

After that, I decided to paint my last  acrylic Harry Potter painting (for now). It’s still gloomy, but the gold snitch is nice, I’m remarkably proud of this one actually.


Dinner tonight will probably be eaten out because it’s FRIDAY (or I’ll make something easy).

Sluggish

I thought I was tired yesterday. I’m beginning to think that I need the sun to like, live and stuff.
I can’t seem to muster up the energy to do much of anything. I did play World of Warcraft until the lag or connection or something overtook it and I was wandering around Azshara waiting for snipers to come out of trees and they never did, and my companion stopped following me, it wasn’t until I tried to exit my machine 30 minutes later that I realized something must not be working right.
It’s that kind of day. My brain is slow.
So, I went on a walk, and came back and decided I didn’t want to make soup for dinner after all, and I didn’t want to do the dishes, and I didn’t have the energy to paint (seriously, the last time there was a *glimpse* of sun was sometime last week) because it would involve doing dishes so I could clean my palette.  Although, I did come up with a brilliant idea of *what* to paint when my energy returns to me.
The golden snitch! It’s yellowish. When I paint again, and consequently, use my last canvas – I want to paint something bright…and Harry Potter related. The Snitch is perfect for that.
I’ve spent the time since then on Pinterest -where I’ve been finding cool artistic things and pinning them. I have a board for things to inspire me, and things that I like, and house things, and cool things. I’ve had way too much fun with it – you can even follow me here: http://pinterest.com/kiery/
Lastly, dinner is frozen steak fajitas from TGI Friday’s, because…….I’m freezing, tired, and neither of us feel like actually cooking.

I need sun! (and also, dinner adventures)

Today was just one day in a string of dismal, misty, cold, wet, days. Unfortunately, it’s not the last either – although at the moment the weekend is looking a little brighter. Needless to say, it’s taken it’s toll on me. I’m not used to this much lack of sun. I feel like winter hasn’t ended yet even though it’s been in the 40’s and 50’s. So today I was lethargic. I didn’t end up painting or doing all that much. I did one interesting though, in hopes of brighter days ahead. I took all my shirts and all my jeans and all my jackets and scarves and hats and put them together in ways that I *hope* I’ll remember to wear them this summer and maintain a look of artistic cuteness as opposed to this-shirt-was-at-the-top-of-my-drawer-and-it-matched-ness.
I get tired of how I feel in my clothes – I feel like I should probably put a little more thought into it than I currently do, because I want to look and feel good about myself in what I’m wearing. Hopefully this will help, and I can always do it again if I need to.
The other, slightly less interesting thing I did was make dinner. I got Alex hooked on this version of Shepherds pie I made up a few weeks ago.  Mostly because I made an inside gravy/sauce thing.
Which is roughly this:

1/4 c water
1/2 packet beef bullion
1/2 tsp cornstarch
3-4 drops worcester sauce
season to taste (or smell)

(I used a little more water this time, because I made more filling). Basically I just eyeball it to make sure all the meat/peas/corn are coated and then I put in some cornstarch so it’s not all watery.
I also cheat and use Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes that I microwave for 6 minutes and then put on top.
Tada!
/this has been dinner adventures with Kiery, tune in next time.

Pink Thicket

Yesterday I made a really cool watercolor painting, that inspired me to create a similar painting with acrylic on an 8×10 canvas. Again it’s relatively simplistic, although, I had a broader color palette this time and did an undercoat of pink before applying the blue to make an interesting periwinkle sky. The fairy’s dress is just a faded shade of the colors of the plants surrounding her – I used black to outline it all because I like how it stands out. I wanted to try something different though, so I added  white dots at the end across the painting to give it a different, more grunge like feel, as opposed to the smooth swirly feel in the watercolor.
I really love how both paintings turned out in their similarities and differences. I might try and do some more of these in watercolor, as I learned that I actually prefer it when I’m doing something like this. I think it’s because of how much I need the paint to flow…

Infographic

I need someone to make an infographic of all the vitamins and things you need to have every day and what kinds of food to find them in, that way I can look at it and figure out how to make food that has all of it in there. Something that I could draw lines between to make a meal would be super fun. I really wish I remembered the things from my nutrition dvds in highschool…
Also, an info graphic on how to adjust my eyes and nose to cat hair would be cool too. I don’t think the weather outside is helping at all either. It’s too cold and wet to open the windows for long. I did just sweep up though, so I probably got some more furs on me. It’s nothing unbearable though, just not used to it yet. Tonks is so worth it though, he’s adorable.

sidebar: I did some more screenwriting in my office on my comfy futon. I think I’m going to finish the dishes and paint to Harry Potter, and if there’s time, do some questing in Northrend before I finish the laundry and go grocery shopping. (Dinner adventure consists of applebees because we already ate the tasty salisbury steak for lunch).