Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Princess Odette is a fictional character from the ballet Swan Lake. She is the lead ballerina role. Von Rothbart's daughter Odile is danced by the same ballerina; this explains how Odile is able to trick Prince Siegfried into being unfaithful to Odette. She also appears in many adaptations of the ballet.
Odette is an enchanted princess under a spell of the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart; she has been transformed into a swan by day and can only regain her human form at night. She has many companions under the same spell, who have made her their queen, hence her title 'The Swan Queen'. She is forced to live by a lake that was magically formed by her grieving mother's tears when Rothbart kidnapped her; Rothbart's reasons for kidnapping Odette and enchanting her are unknown in the ballet. The only way for the spell to be broken is by the power of eternal love between Odette and a young man who will remain faithful to her, for if the vow of eternal love is broken, she will remain a swan forever.
One day, the young Prince Siegfried ventures upon the lake while out hunting and sees Odette transform from her swan form back into her human form. He is so struck by her beauty that he falls in love with her at once and when she tells him her story, he promises to love her forever and invites her to a Royal Ball at his castle so he may choose her as his bride. They spend the night dancing together, falling more and more in love with each other until dawn breaks and Odette is forced to return to the lake as a swan, leaving Siegfried alone.
Siegfried waits for Odette at the Ball and believes she has attended when two strangers arrive. But it is actually Rothbart and his daughter Odile in disguise. Rothbart has planned to trick Siegfried into breaking his vow to Odette by magically disguising Odile in Odette's shape and form. Siegfried dances with her and fails to see the real Odette appearing at the window in her swan form to warn him of Rothbart's plot and pleading with him to remain faithful to her. Rothbart's plan is a success when Siegfried declares his eternal love to Odile, thinking she is Odette and Rothbart joyfully reveals that Odette is now forever in his power.
Odette flees back to the lake in distress and Siegfried follows her, begging her to forgive him, which she does but she tells him that she will never be freed from Rothbart's spell. The only way she can be freed is if she dies, for she would rather die than live without Siegfried. Siegfried cannot live without Odette and declares that he will die with her. When Rothbart appears, Odette throws herself into the lake and Siegfried follows her. In the climax of their sacrifice, Rothbart's powers are destroyed and the spell is finally broken; Odette's companions are freed from the enchantment. As the sun rises, Siegfried and Odette ascend into Heaven together, united in love for all eternity.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
soooo.....I WAS going to write a blog about how Crayola is going to save the world (albeit I had a few glasses of wine in me). They seem to be the only toy company trying to get kids away from a screen. Perhaps some of you have seen their new toy? A glow-up dome that kids can draw whatever they choose on the inside, only to have it staged into a sort of little theater production! (not that I want one or anything.... uh...hm.....ug)
I'm feeling a little deeper (this is news) than crayola tonight.
So thanksgiving came and went. I was thankful on and off throughout the weekend. I saw family, some my own, some not, and even some pets I was truly thankful to know.
I was also very self absorbed.
Here I am, on the brink of some really cool stuff happening with my career, and I'm absorbed with the fact that I don't always know what to paint.
May I mention that the same week I was in Charleston, my little sister found out she is moving to New York City! Which is so, so so exciting! And sad, of course, since I am losing my beautiful, witty, courageous roommate to the hands of the Big Apple.
So, there's these two things going all on the time, it seems, for me. One is that I feel a little too much thanks and gratitude. I have been known to burst into tears at sunsets, at men holding babies, hell, even when those women on tv get a total makeover and their families see them for the first time and cry. I cry because I think it is so awesome, this world we live in. When I was eleven years old, I would cry myself to bed fairly often thinking about how it wasn't fair that handicapped kids couldn't play certain sports with other kids. But I cried even harder when I thought of the kids who DID play with them. I'm a soft heart, I've been told.
And then. And then.
And then I am totally absorbed in my own painting world. "How am I going to get old and gray and continue to paint?". "What do I think people see when they see my paintings?" "Are my paintings too feminine? Too Masculine?" " Do I show beauty or grit?" oh, and the oldy but ever-present "What is my REAL intention when I paint?" Yeah... that one looks like a big lizard. No, like Godzilla Himself. With two heads. and he's pissed off. and he sits right on my shoulder every day, snapping up flies. my flies. grrrrrrr.
I like to make my own fears look like animals.... lizards being the animal of choice for my friend Meg and I. So creepy and sneaky. She has been calling her fears banshees, which I really like too.
So, in a nutshell, I feel totally thankful and crazy. There.
Meg has said this thing to me since I met her (though I don't think it's her own idea). We are a two-sided coin. On one side, this time, you get all the amazing gifts that you feel, that you live, that you would do anything to protect. On the other side, you get selfishness, consumption, total tunnel-vision.
So If you try to throw one side of the coin away, you are, without fail, throwing the entire coin.... BOTH sides.
I HATE it when she's right.
It happens a lot, this two-sidedness. You are in love, but scared out of your mind. If you are not scared, chances are you are probably not in love.
So I had to stop beating myself up today for my moments of absolute short-sightedness. I've been so worried about my art. But it's because I care so much. And I care because of that other side of my coin.... because I am a lucky, feeling, empathetic person.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Ha ha! Just kidding.... 30 is still far from any hump (insert obvious sexual comment here). I had a FABULOUS week. 30 is proving to kick 29's ass, as it turns out. The week was complete with massages, sushi, birthday breakfasts, flowers, obnoxiously bright festive decorations, a few too many vodka tonics, a stunning homemade cake, friends, hugs, and the obligatory drag queens.
So tonight, I'm sitting on my front porch in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The heat, for the first time in almost three months, has let up. It is a perfect temperature.
I tried to write a post about an hour ago. But it was just so damn happy and boring, so I erased it. And one of the cool quirks with Blogger is that you can look at other blogs you have written. So I started to read my blog from 2 years ago, openfire. It is absolutely hilarious! Ok, so the last post was very, very sad. I was very, very sad. A large part of this year was spent licking the wounds from that time. I spent the rest of 2009 lost, I can say. I also had some amazing things happen to me . I met my most amazing boyfriend Tim last December. Poor Tim had to deal with a lot of the scars on my heart from last summer. And wait it out with me. And put up with my knee-jerk reactions. But people come into your life right when you need them. And the ones you don't need find their way out.
Ok, but I'm not ALL sadness! Some of the posts are a total roar, if I don't say so myself. There is a post entitled pack rat that was written about my sister and her hoard of bizarre hobbies that I almost pissed myself reading. Or when I went to New York and heard Enya playing at a Burger King in the Bronx. I'm not ALWAYS writing about Zen and keeping it all together and letting the moment be with you. Sometimes I just want to laugh my ass off. Sometimes artists get SO caught up in their survival and what it all means and all the hustle that is required, they forget to take a freakin piss at the world.
Tim and I had this conversation recently. He has a man-crush on some photographer that doesn't post anything about himself, just his work. On FaceBook. Freakin' FaceBook. The guy doesn't put photos of himself, or any info. That's fine... I get that part. The only info he DOES put, however, is that one day he is going to be famous.
Don't get me wrong, the guy is very talented.
But what a D-Bag.
Tim, having seen this, became self-conscious about how much personal info he has on the internet. He likes to write on FB about what people are doing, what he likes, photos of those around him. His website has info about him, his background, etc...In short, he is connected. He opens himself up for targets and also for friends.
He was self-conscious about not having enough mystery, and therefore, not doing a proper job in selling his goods.
I truly think, in my heart, that mystery is overrated. It is obvious, it is everyday. Move on. We can't know. That is so, so obvious. But to use this fact as a sales tactic, is, in my opinion a waste of time, in the long-run.
Ok, not everyone should know when you go to the bathroom and wipe you ass. There is a grey zone here. But to purposely HIDE yourself is something totally different. There are repercussions. No one ever knows you. No one can see you vulnerable. No one can know you are HUMAN.
I know some artists (including myself at different times) who only put out information that sells them. No funny business. Make a buzz, sort of speak. And, supposedly, their artwork is enough for you to know about them.
Ok, let's set things straight. I think artwork should speak for itself. It doesn't matter who the artist is if it sucks.
But, BUT, do the REAL great artists conceal everything?? In my mind Thom Yorke and Bjork are two VERY great artists. I know exactly why Thom Yorke has a wonky eye. I know he laughs like a dork. I know he is a classically trained musician. I know Bjork was a slightly bored teenager who took long trip into the wilderness. I know she is a total nut and hard to listen to in interviews.
And I love both of them even more for this. I love that they talk about their work. I love that it makes the work more accessible. I love that I can enjoy their music even more. I am officially obsessed with both.
And one of the most redeeming qualities about all the hoop-la surrounding artist Richard Schmid is that he put info about himself in his book, Alla Prima. It is not a dry, sterile book on painting. It is full of laughter and wittiness. It is a little piece of him.
What do you think??
I don't have anything figured out in this business. I suck at it, frankly. But I know, in my gut, that hiding myself isn't a smart move. I'm smart and fairly together... why wouldn't that help me sell my work? I don't think my personality will take away from my art. Hopefully, someday, my work will be thousands of miles away from me. And I can laugh my head off as best as I want to with my friends and it won't make me a less professional artist.
But what do I know.
For now, I'm happy to laugh, enjoy my friends and family, and try not to get too serious about myself. It's not always easy.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
My sis and I are sitting in her bedroom listening to NPR's "This American Life". This is a noticeably weird episode. It is about the President of France in the early nineties, François Mitterrand, and his last meal. If any of you have spent any time around me, you know that for a long time I used to ask people what their last meal would be, cook it with them, and then send them a photo of it 6 months later. I did this a lot when I lived in Boston. MOST people (with a few exceptions) fall into three categories:
1) Their mom made it for them their whole life
2) It was a treat of exquisite value (lobster)
3) it was something they had every single day (cereal and fruit for a few)
weird, right? Doing this project with several friends, I ate scrambled eggs, fried chicken, Portugese eggs and cod, and PBR and cigarettes. hmm.
But I digress.
So this most informative episode talks about the former President of Frances' last cravings.
One of those things, ironically, being a small, thumb-sized bird called Orelin, which symbolized the French Soul throughout history.
You see, this bird is illegal to cook. It is an overfed, small songbird that has been known to drown in cognac. Hence why the French are drawn to it.
So I wondered.... what food would symbolize the artist soul?? A chicken? ha! A bull?
Maybe a small plate of something "exotic but also simple? Italian? " (my sis) A good Roma tomato? Good when ripe. lousy when spent. No frills, useful and fairly resourceful. Good for a while in the fridge. However, when overly ripe, or totally green, one of the worst things you can use as a main ingredient.
hmm. Any ideas? What food would you be?
My sis says she is ratatouille (stew of tomatoes, onions, squash and zuchinni). Wonderful any time, great side dish, but can be eaten alone. Vegetarian, and thus, modern.
Me, I think I may just be salami.
Wonderfully salty and exotic, easy to get sick of, tied to tradition, pushing barriers of what meat can do. hmm. Oh, and a high percentage of wonderful fat. Revolting to some. Not something you order at a bar, but maybe when you are on vacation. Beloved by traditionalists and foodies alike. I will not inset a cracker joke here. Or the obvious phallic reference.
Not carried at Walmart...fyi. Neither is ratatouille.
So, when you think about it, it is pretty weird that NPR did a story on Mitterrand eating his own country's soul.
Just a thought that maybe could be shared.
Maybe you've got one eyebrow up???
Thursday, August 26, 2010
You know, I write this blog fairly often (although not in the past 2 weeks...sorry!). I write about things like karma, openness, vulnerability, fear, etc... How the hard stuff in life is supposed to help you out, how it is supposed to make you who you are. How you react to it all is up to you.
First and foremost, I'm full of crap.
I don't mean that in a "oh, woe is me" sort of way. I genuinely cannot do what I write about. I would LIKE to do those things. I would LIKE to react in a positive, open manner when rejection comes busting through my walls. I would LIKE to look at it in the eyes and say it's going to be ok. I would LIKE to not judge myself and those around me.
But in the end, or at least for now, I suck at it. I got rejection yesterday, and I did not act like a little Zen master. Or student. Or anything close to Zen -like, for that matter. I was a little girl, and I wanted someone to go beat up the big bad monster out there. Enough with all the openness... I just want to be comfortable.
Ha. I guess that's not really what I signed up for, is it?
One time my sis and I went for a hike. We both have a weird fear of bears, but for that moment, we were ok. I asked her why she thought we were so scared all the time of such weird stuff. Were we scaredy-cats?? We are both always worrying about everything. Don't jump off of a high rock into the river with these two gals. We will pee all over ourselves with worry that you may hit your head, end up in the hospital, and we have to go along for the ride. She looked at me after I asked this and said, very wittily as always "Mia. Seriously? You are a painter and I'm a writer. We both live our lives in a way that most people would be too fearful to even try. We are just scared of stupid stuff and not important stuff."
Very right she is, most of the time.
Maybe some of you have had this? Your ideals are a little ahead of you? It is not wrong to have ideals. It is a good thing to look at yourself, like this morning, and sort of laugh at how silly you can be, and how off -beat you are.
Sometimes, in my head, I think of the people whom I really admire in my field of work/love/study. I think of them as never truly struggling. They were just BORN talented, and everyone knew it. They never had a mediocre moment in their life. Or, on the flip side, I think they have worked their butts off, and every inch of their development was hard, hard, HARD! work. Excruciating, really.
So I guess I find myself in the middle with not knowing what to do. I'm a hard worker, with moments of laziness. I've been told I'm talented all of my life, but never really enough to believe. I have dedicated myself to art more than many amateurs, but not quite as much as many pros. I have days when I want to quit, days where I feel on top of the world. Days where I wonder what's it all for, days where I think civilization would die if it weren't for art. I'm like everyone else.
And sometimes I react well, and sometimes not so well.
I turn 30 in one week. It's actually not that big of a deal, but I'm feeling it.
Ironically, Tim said to me yesterday," You know, I've heard that your 20s are for figuring stuff out, your 30s are for the hard work, and your 40s are for enjoying the fruits of your labor". In my mind I was saying " F#*@! You mean the hard work is about to START??? What the hell was all of that then???"
Not quite Buddha on the Mountain.
That's more like it....
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I thought I would share two really wonderful sources that I found this week. Both have to do with growing and changing.
The first is a book I am reading. It is called "Start Where You Are" by Pema Chodron. Pema Chodron is a female Buddhist monk who is part of one of the only Buddhist monasteries in North America. She is great because she is a bit of a go-between for western and eastern thinking. What I like so much about her book is that it seems to really stress how much wasted time we spend on grabbing on to the past and future, and how useless of an act this is. We are always trying to change, trying to be better, trying to be somewhere we are not, rather than looking at all of the messy and beautiful stuff we are made of today. I won't get into it too much, but I HIGHLY recommend this wonderful author to anyhone who wants to get a little quieter with themselves and have some help on the way.
The other source is an old high school friend of mine, Danny. Through Facebook (it's always Facebook, it seems) we reconnected after a little while of silence. He has a WONDERFUL website. Basically, he quit his job, and is out to prove, for the next 4-5 years, that anyone can pick up a new interest or love and do it full-time. Danny was a professional photographer, and quit his job in April to go on a quest to put in 10,000 hours in becoming a professional golfer. Why? Because he has never had much experience in playing golf, and wants to see if at his age (30), anyone can, through deliberate practice, become professional at something they love. I fully support this idea.. Please check out his website www.thedanplan.com. .. He explains it way better than I can.
Ok, more later! Thanks for reading.... now I gotta go celebrate with La Mama.