Let Them Eat

Today's Art Journal Posting

Thought Note: In DC our apartment is in Capitol Hill, and I encounter the homeless every single time I leave the apartment. I keep quarters and Sacagawea dollars handy to give out, and I usually greet them. It's so little to do. My son volunteered at a soup kitchen in DC, and spent the whole day with a homeless man who had a Master's degree. I can never thank God enough for this man, and the impression he made on my son; how he sees a homeless person not as someone who "deserves" what they are getting, but as a human, like any of us, who has, for now anyway, hit on some very hard times. How close we can be to that - and how glad I am that I don't think I'll ever hear my son complain about the poor or their neediness.

This is an Art Journal spread I just finished this morning. The first line of the hymn is "Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy;" and the words "Let Them Eat" speak for themselves . . . but remind us of the "Let Them Eat Cake" attitude that many people have - I've got what I need, so screw the rest of the world. It's a heartbreaking thing to see and hear . . . but, I do believe that most people have bigger hearts than that.

Tech Note: the background was made with watersoluble crayon scribbled, then brushed around with water; the dotted pattern is from dipping small-bubble bubble wrap into acrylic paint and using it as a stamp. I made the envelope from Satin Design 100% rag vellum, and then stamped a design on it with acrylic.

Baking Fail

I'm a good cook, but a terrible baker. Baking is so scientific, and with cooking, you can be sorta loosey goosey and throw things in last minute. Not so with baking . . . you have to be v. precise with the measurements of everything and know if you use self-rising or all-purpose (which SHOULD include self-rising, when you think about it!) flour, and pay close attention to sifting. MEH. Here's me baking.

I'm Not OK, You're Not OK . . . But That's OK

We are all on a journey . . . and we should remember that. People can change. We can grow. And we are all in the middle of silent (or not-so-silent) struggles . . . in which we try to better ourselves, we beg God to make us better and/or we beat ourselves up for not being better. Hang in there. A cliché I love.

A Very Different World

Illustrating yesterday's Tweet . . . I think that if when people had sex, we didn't know whether the man or the woman would get pregnant, we would have a VERY DIFFERENT WORLD. So, here's my art journal page about that . . .

Homebook

I've put together so many pages of stuff I love, that it's hard to fathom getting it all posted to share - but I'm starting here, and using my Pinterest page to get the word out as well! So, follow me on Pinterest (laughingredhead) and on Twitter @LaughingRedhead, to keep up with all the visual inspiration and cartoons I'll be posting. I LOVE decor and interior design, as well, and I'll be posting from my Homebook (as I call it) as well as my art journal pages . . . lots and lots of things. I'm very visually oriented, and love to put things together. So, here goes!

Quilt/Art

Every night I go to bed under a pile of quilts my grandmothers made. They are varying in style and intricacy and color and technique. And I believe they are the first art which ever inspired me. My grandmothers were always piecing a quilt, finishing a quilt, collecting and cutting fabrics. When they weren't cooking awesome food, I should say. My Dad's mom had a quilting frame hoisted up above the family room, permanently tied there, and usually there was a quilt in it in a varying state of finish. My Granny Jean was always collecting and organizing fabrics and making things for me. Art aprons, nightgowns, quilts. My mom is an amazing seamstress. One year, she made an entire wardrobe for my Barbie dolls (though, as I recall, I had Stacey, not Barbie. And I liked her mucho, as she had red hair. I never thought Ken was good enough for her.) Today I'm going to cartoon as usual - but I've spent the morning being a domocidal maniac. Cleaning and washing and such - and I'm also going to repair a quilt. Our quilt collection gets a lot of usage, and I confess I'm intimidated. I don't have nearly my mom's or my grandmoms' amazing abilities with a needle and thread - but I'm fortunate to have these works of art and comfort in my life.

BTW, my mom is an excellent painter, too, in addition to being able to sew just about anything . . . and she always encouraged me in my artwork.

I'm thankful for all kinds of art - and all kinds of creativity . . . and today I'm particularly inspired by my Mom, Granny Jean, and Grandmomma . . . love to y'all. To Mom in Florida, and to my Grandmothers in heaven. I like to think that in heaven you don't have to work, but I sure would like more quilts and some of their biscuits and fried chicken right about now . . .

Ha! And, BACK TO FOOD :-)

PEACE AND HAPPY FRIDAY!!

trl

(will add quilt photo later - see my Twitter account (@LaughingRedhead) for today's pic. Uploading is muy dificil today for some reason!)

No Regrets - really?!

You know sometimes when you hear that movie quote "LOVE means never having to say you're sorry," and you think, well that's a crock o' crap?

That's how I feel when I hear people say, "No regrets," meaning, I presume that they don't regret, or allow themselves to think about regretting, ANYTHING. Which would be either, that they have delusions of perfection, or that they are totally in denial. Though, I'm sure I could use summa dat denial stuff, now and then. Like I'd like to forget about posting that Calista-Gingrich-has-woman-arrested-for-breastfeeding-in-public article, only to find out that it totally wasn't true. That is totally what I get for breaking my never-talk-about-the-candidate's-family-members-unless-it's-Todd-Palin rule. (Because, I mean, how can you NOT?)

Anyway, not to be sidetracked by my temporary dopiness, (hey, that IS a word!), THIS post is about regretting not having said or done certain things. When you lose a friend or family member, and you wonder what you could have done or said that would have made everything better . . . made things easier for that person in their last days, communicated how you felt and how much you truly loved them  and were glad they were in your lives. I think the best we can do in this life is to make sure we are more OPEN than CLOSED.

It causes a lot of embarrassment, of course. Exposing yourself in certain ways can cost you.

But I remember when I decided to leave my job as an artist/writer at Hallmark - it was tough. I got to write and paint all day, and had lots of cool friends! But, I knew if I didn't leave to learn the craft of comedy, I would always look back and be sorry. I never wanted to get to my death-bed and be worrying about myself in that way.

I probably won't die by something like parachuting out of a plane, it will be something stupid like "She fell off her platform shoes into a tub of water while holding a plugged-in radio," or "She drank her turpentine instead of her Diet Coke while painting her last masterpiece," which, btw, is something I've actually done. Yes, I once drank a sip of turpentine by accident instead of my Diet Coke. Not much, obviously . . . I'm still here. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.) Also, now, I keep the turpentine v. far away from my beverage while I work. Also, I've switched to acrylics, so now it's just murky water tempting me.

Anywayz, I want to be more like Oscar Wilde and say something like (slight misquote): "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."

Try to achieve great things, fail a lot, make fool of yourself, achieve some stuff, love your family and friends, (and your ENEMIES, too, if you are VERY evolved, like Jesus), and laugh a lot along the way.

Allrighty, then.

No regrets.

peace,

trl

 

p.s. - In tagging this latest post, the auto-fill jumped in when I typed "Jesus," and tried to fill in "Jerry Lewis." That was jarring.

 

You Gotta Fly First and i mean it . . .

Listening to the radio right now like I do. A lot. And there are a lot of shows and interviews about (but not enough, they are too busy trying to figure out WTF is up with the latest candidate-we-never-heard-of-but-he's-got-an-ego-and-a-kabillion-dollars-so-why-shouldn't-he-run??!!!) job-hunting, how to survive being unemployed, and I feel the pain. But, unlike the viewpoint of a lot of those shows, it's something I'm used to. So, maybe I should say I'm empathetic, but not really in pain. Anymore. You see, I'm a freelancer. I've been a freelancer for many years. Also, my hubby has been a professional in theatre for decades. And, in theatre, most of your work is year-to-year, month-to-month, or show-to-show contracts. So, we know what it's like to put ourselves out there, work our butts off, and hope people don't stop seeing shows and buying art/cartoons/handbags-I-make-while-watching Rocco's Dinner Party.

My several years of attempts to get back into the "corporate" world just proved to me that even though MAYBE I could get in, staying in was another matter altogether. I mean, they TELL YOU TO DO STUFF. Like, all the time!! And, after you've been a stand-up comic (IS THAT WORD HYPHENATED?! I dunno), and a freelance cartoonist . . . well, let's just say that being a professional smartass doesn't exactly prepare you to EXCEL in a cubicle. (Read: they don't LIKE it when you say what you really think. They just asked you that because HR told them they are supposed to look like they give a flying f--- . . .) gaaaahhhh. See what I mean? Anyway, I gotta stick to jobs where brutal honesty and political incorrectness pay off. So, being a comic/writer/cartoonist/artist, or however you prefer to describe me, is PERFECT for me. I can blog in my  PJs. I can sleep in my clothes and then work all day in the same thing. Saves time. I can wear no makeup. Like EVER. I can pontificate on my blog and Tweet and Facebook and other nouns-turned-verbs. Is that a gerund? I dunno THAT, either. SEE HOW HONEST I GET TO BE? See how I get to yell in type whenever I feel like it!! THAT is freedom.

But, there are tradeoffs.

The freedom it does not necessarily allow you is financial freedom.

This doesn't mean you don't make money. It means you never know WHEN you're gonna make money. It is feast or famine. With a lotta famine in between. It works for me to wear my PJs as clothes and my clothes as PJs, first of all because I wear black all the time, so it works as a fashion statement, but also because I haven't bought new clothes in a long time. But, I don't care. I use gift money to buy art supplies. And then I make art and then I sell it. Circle of Life. Like in The Lion King! (Though, as our very little boy pointed out to us when that movie came out, "It's actually a Circle of Death. Because the lions eat the other animals.") Which brings me back to the corporate world.

The thing about not having a job and being in this scary scary market? Well, first of all you need to know that every artist, writer, singer, musician, actor, performer, event planner, filmmaker, freelancer of ANY sort which you know is USED TO SCARY. We live it, we breathe it, we ride the knife edge of when will another licensing check come, and will it, and do I have the money to go after fill-in-the-blank who definitely did not pay up, and thanking God that there are still AWESOME companies and people who value artists and writers, and then back to pleez-let-them-return-my-original-artwork-intact - WAIT!! This knife has too many edges. Bad metaphor. Roller coaster better? More of an analogy than a metaphor? I'm blogging, I don't have time to look these things up, and I have to get back to my 1920's-Paris-Bistro-Table-turned-art-table  and make some draw-rings. Man, don't I love the dash? Or hyphen? You can look that up, too, if you feel compelled. I have a Harbrace College Handbook, but it's gathering dust at the moment. I'm too  busy downloading vampire novels on my Kindle to bother that thang at the moment.

Anyway, all this yammering is meant to ENCOURAGE you. For reelz. Because, I have put myself out there. As have many others. Many of us are hurting in this economy (and if techies and nurses are having trouble being un- or under-employed, how do you think this economy is treating comics and writers and artists? The non-famous ones, I mean), but you need to put yourself out there. And keep doing it. It ain't easy. Matter of fact, mostly it sucks the biggest wind.

You might be surprised at this, but I'm actually an introvert. I'd rather sit and have a glass of wine with one or two friends than work a room or attend any party. I avoid crowds. (With the notable, which is why I'm noting it, exception of being on stage performing stand-up, and don't get me started on the psychology of that one! I just enjoy. Then I go backstage and beat myself up for all my mistakes, make notes on my set list and wish I'd been skinnier because then EVERYONE woulda liked me, really liked me!) Anyway, I do love performing comedy. I hate the business of comedy.

Trouble is, the business of freelancing ANYTHING is how you get the work. I have a couple of clients right now (and I feel really really BLESSED in this way) who really like my stuff. So, it's a volume game for the most part. If I do ENOUGH work, usually I make sales. It's a LOTTA work, I mean. You'd be surprised how many ideas get generated, drawn, and submitted to get ONE accepted. And I've been in this a while, so I'm not sending in stuff they've seen a kabillion times. But I love it. That's why I'm in it.

I had a whiny little text session with a friend in LA t'other day about how much I HATE the comedy business. Not the comedy, not performing it or writing it, or having tons of awesome hilarious people as friends, but the actual GETTING OF THE WORK. It sucks.

It's gonna suck.

This reminds me of a little thingy I read in (I think, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) Syd Field's book on screenwriting. Someone asked him in a seminar if Hollywood was really sexist and misogynist and racist and religionist and ageist . . . 'cuz that's what they had heard. His answer was . . .

YES. Are you IN or are you OUT?

So, that's the attitude we have to have. Even when we owe people money. Even when we don't know how to look nice for an interview, even when we are sick of getting new photos and spending hours resizing files and posting videos. Even when we really don't want to hear a critique of what we do, even when it seems everyone else is getting the breaks. (They're NOT.)

Are you in or are you out? Your decision.

I'm in.

I am a professional smartass.

And I'm glad my meds finally kicked in.

peace, love, and other things hippies say,

trl

ADDED AFTER ORIGINAL POSTING: BTW, I'm not trying to give advice here. I'm just trying to encourage you. You are not alone. A lot of people feel your pain. And, really, actually  know how you feel, deep down. Ignore the politics of this - the politicians who tell you they care usually don't, or used to, but are so far away from our day-to-day, they are clueless. (When your job is trying to be popular, well, I guess it does something to you . . .) So, hang in there, in spite of them. (Okay, maybe that IS advice.)

Put Your Game Face On

"Any idiot can survive a crisis. It's this day-to-day living that wears you out." - Anton Chekhov I'm so worn out by the day-to-day living lately (a hard fall on concrete, some freak virus (or maybe food poisoning?), and total car breakdown, all within a day and a half), that I don't really have the wherewithal (a word I use whenever I can, sorta kin to "lemon zest!") to write much more than this. BUT! As you know, I always seem to have energy for art . . . so, here's a little of what I've been doing lately . . .

Mini-Journaling

These are from the mini-journal I keep with me at all times - I do backgrounds randomly, in addition to whole pieces, so that I'm at the ready with just a pen . . . I keep black and white pens with me all the time. Nerd alert! Get over it, I love this time of year! New pens everywhere in the stores! Here are a few spreads I just finished. These are in my Moleskine mini-journal - the ones with fewer page counts are the ones which have thicker pages :-)

What makes you happy?

Our power finally came on last evening - just in time for me to watch a new episode of Ghosthunters! You know you're addicted to a show, when you've spent five days without power, without a/c or cold food - and the only thing you can think of is dangit, I'm gonna miss Ghosthunters tonight! But, the power stepped up to the plate about 18 minutes before the ghostie show aired. Yaaaay!! So glad to have power back on, though I know a lot of people are without it still, after Irene. I realized I was getting into the groove of candlelight and Coleman lantern each night, reading, or drawing with a book light on my lap. It works for me, actually! The main thing I missed was easy internet access, so I would drive 25 minutes to Starbucks, take a power strip, make some friends, and charge up. I don't talk on the phone much, but I missed texting, too. (Kept my power usage to a minimum because of the "trouble" it took to power up!) Plus, more than one person advised me to switch from white to red wine . . . but I'm not exclusive to either, thank you very much. I misspoke! The MAIN thing I missed was my icemaker. Sad but true! I was tired of  daily trips to buy bags of ice. So, I made some art about it!

Also, I was going through magazines from 1962, and 1965, and I saw the view of women was that we LOVE our cleaning products so much, that we find it downright fulfilling when paired up with a fine one!! I guess that attitude hasn't changed much, else we would see mostly MEN cleaning toilets on TV . . . anyway! If that's what melts your butter, you go, grrrrrl!!! Or come, rather, to MY house, and enjoy MY cleaning supplies for a few hours. I would LUH-UH-UHV that!

Have a great day, y'all! peace, trl (enjoying the cool air in my house . . . aaaaaaahhhhhhh)

what i missed most when the power was gone . . .

Art in the Dark!

Still art journaling during Irene and in the aftermath - using daylight and a tiny little book light to work with at night :-) I cannot scan right now, no power since last Saturday mid-day, so forgive the quality of some of the pics, which are taken with my iPhone and might not show the detail I usually like to! I'll upload scans when I can :-) Happy journaling, all, and I want to remind you who live in the Hampton Roads area (provided you can read this, since 100s of 1000s are still w/o power!), to take care, the trees are still falling!! AND, that I will be teaching MULTI-MEDIA ART JOURNALING at the Williamsburg Art Education Center in September, starting the 15th. Just click on the link to the right, to sign up!

peace, y'all!

trl

Art Journaling during Irene

I'm at a Starbucks right now, with a power strip, charging up everything! I've been doing a lot of art with the daylight hours, as our power's been down since mid-day Saturday, and they say they expect it to be down for 10 more days. We are hoping they are wrong! Anyway! I'm posting a couple of images while I can, I took these with my iPhone, and will scan images when I get power back, so you can get a better look at the artwork. Two things I'm working on, are making a journal from Kleenex boxes, (the designs are so fun, and the chipboard is easy to gesso and decorate), and doing some more of my detailed "paisley flower" pages. Working with daylight and a tiny book light and an iPhone, so forgive the pix quality here! Focusing on the repurposed tissue boxes here - just cut them apart into like-size panels (I used the smaller square-ish) ones here, and then bound them together with white duct tape. I'm in the process of painting the pages with gesso, and then I'll get to journaling in it! Keeping this short, as we are about to vacate our Sbux space so others can use it!

 

Jacob's Ladder

I love this song - cannot get it out of my head - the version by Jane Siberry, aka Nissa. I know I used to know what this means . . . but for now I cannot recall. I did the majority of this page on 8-23, but went in this morning with a white pen and added some words. I think it's done now. peace, y'all - trl

Egyptian + Eye Candy

My first eye candy/breathing space pages are here. These pages are just women in art - lots and lots of women in art and design. I'm going to do more of these. It's a happy place in my journal. So far, I'm not gonna write on them. As much as I know you LUH-UH-UHVE my yammerin', I'm not writing on these . . . yet. That could change, but I like this spread just the way it is! As for the IMHO-tep page, I have always loved Egyptian stuff - but then, who doesn't? It's so odd and weird and strange. Not to be redundant er nuthin'. I think that's what we love about it - it's FOREVER interesting. The design, the culture, the art, the architecture, the politics . . . on and on!! I'm thinking Liz Taylor and Richard Burton (*sigh*) as we speak!! I worked with the kids this year doing hieroglyphics and Egyptian columns - and one permanent resident in my home, for going on 15 years now (?) is a tall-as-me inflatable mummy :-) sarcophagus. luv luv luv my mummy . . .

Anyway, here is my Egyptian page. I bought the papyrus roll at Plaza Art Supply in Richmond at VCU (btw,they have some awesome papers). The earrings are some of my favs. I taped them in here so I can wear them again, and then put them back. Anything for my art!!

So, we have red-zone air quality here today due to the fires in the Great Dismal Swamp. We had a 5.8 earthquake a couple of days ago, and we are bracing for Hurricane Irene here on the Virginia peninsula. Mother Nature, that big Earth Woman, she do make herself known!

peace, y'all, t

Random Silly Thoughts . . .

Another way of art journaling. I like to do backgrounds and have them at the ready - sometimes I do collages, sometimes collages with paint, sometimes just very basic backgrounds. That way, I can travel with my art journal and just carry a few pens with me to complete a page, if I wanna go sit somewhere and satisfy that jones I'm havin' for a grande-sugar-free-hazelnut-soy-latté. I'm also fine with just throwing down a silly thought on a background - this rose background triggered this silly thought. I didn't edit my silly thought - I just threw it down. Art journaling can be way fun - and there's a freedom you get in the process . . . especially when you don't try and judge everything you are putting down on paper!

Jonesin' for a Latté

I confess - I like prissy coffee. By that I mean, enhanced coffee. Where you add a lotta milk, or some multi-syllabic syrup flavor. I think this started when I was a kid, at my grandma's house, having fried chicken for breakfast, and she would make us coffee-milk. Which was basically, coffee for the kids, mostly milk (this could have been to camouflage that fresh, very rich cow-milk, which wasn't my fav - I wanted "real milk!" My grandmama had no idea she was training me for Sbux!! Yep, I love me some grande sugar-free hazelnut soy lattés. *sigh* Salivating as I write this. Speaking of which, one day I was at Sbux, and this guy ordered a (and I quote! because I WROTE IT DOWN!) - he ordered an "iced-grande-breve-four-cups-of-ice-white-mocha." And I remember thinking, I don't wanna know THAT guy. He R high maintenance incarnate.

By now you know I save all kinds of trash - such as chopstick wrappers, train ticket stubs, and those little cardboard hand-protector-thingies you get when you buy coffee to go (when I don't have my huge travel "mug" with me!)

I'm working on creating pages from trash - so here's the first one I think I've published. You can tell how this page was made - with discarded cardboard-thingies (what ARE those things called?) which I taped together with clear packing tape. I added paper flowers and sewed them on with beads. I added grommets to the ends and used jewelry wire/hooks to add them to my spiral sketchbook. I still have not mastered the little grommet thingy, though.

The shape of this page is as you see it, just defined by the shape of the handholder-cardboard-thingies; the page you see peeking from behind it is part of a sheet of papyrus - working on an Egyptian page for later.

Today we are getting air quality warnings due to the Great Dismal Swamp fires in North Carolina. We are getting ready for Hurricane Irene and recouping from the shock of a 5.8 earthquake yesterday. Who knew Virginia had all THAT goin' on? And you thought it was all tricorn hats, peanuts, and ham.

peace, y'all

trl