it’s what i do

things.

*i’m eating tiramisu right now. jealous?

* i was able to sign up for drawing 2 the other day, which is the last thing i need for my degree. something told me to look the other day, and i did, and there was one open spot. 😀  this is great news. the not-so-great news is that i’m going to have a very heavy course load for the last semester of my senior year. but the really great news is that it’s my last.

*i started going to zumba with my friend liz a few weeks ago. it’s a lot of fun! very hard work. it makes me sweat like crazy, and i feel really good afterward.

*the weight loss thing is driving me nuts lately. i’m stuck. admittedly, i haven’t been very good with keeping track of my WW points for the last few weeks. i need to work harder. (let’s pretend i didn’t tell you i was eating tiramisu, mkay?)

*i’m addicted to two games on my phone: stupid zombies and where’s my water?  i’ve never been a phone game person, but these are so much fun. willy is addicted as well.

*we took a super fun trip to las vegas at the beginning of june. we met a group of friends there, including jen & liam. you should read about their hilarious escapades on jen’s blog. 🙂  i also got to see my soulmate chelsea and meet niki and gen, two friends i’d never met face to face. it was seriously a blast. we hadn’t had that much fun in a while. willy & i learned how to play craps on one of our cruises, and we love it. it’s so different in vegas, though. minimum bets are higher, and the dealers aren’t quite as forgiving as they are on cruise ships. SO we were elated to find electronic craps tables! there are huge dice inside this tube in the middle of a circle of video consoles, and the roller pushes a button to roll the dice. it was very neat and a lot less stressful than regular table craps. i ended up walking away about $200 richer.

*i got an A in my principles of nutrition class. i’m doing music appreciation right now. this summer’s classes have been electives only. i needed a break from paper writing and painting (paintings i get graded on, anyway).

*i’m already getting anxious about next semester. i haven’t had a photography or drawing class in over two years. i’m also not looking forward to the amount of money that will be spent on supplies with three studio classes. yeesh.

*confession: um, i just cried a little bit while watching chopped  (one of my favorite shows). the chef who always judges food network challenge is playing for the make-a-wish foundation, and he cried a little bit while explaining what they do. i hate that i cry when other people cry. such a baby.

*effie is getting SO. BIG. she’s almost as tall as lola now. she’s also got a zillion nicknames now, which means she’s an official member of the family. i know i’ve mentioned our crazy tendency to give weird nicknames before. effie’s are fifi, feef, fife, fayfay, effer, eff, little b (she’s going through a wild, bad puppy phase, so you can imagine what the b stands for). lola has a new one, by the way. i’ve found myself calling her gogo a lot. don’t ask. i shudder to think what kind of nicknames we’d come up with if we had a kid. lol

*i reeeeally need to make a new wreath for my front door. maybe i can do that tomorrow. i’ll try to post a tutorial if i do.

*we finally have dvr. hee. i love it. i never have to miss an episode of jeopardy or chopped or martha or little house on the prairie. 🙂

*ashley has been coming over a lot so we can work on homework at the same time. it’s more fun that way. we try to keep each other on task (but sometimes we end up on pinterest or disney sites instead). and sometimes i make her read my textbook readings to me. heh.

that’s all for now, i think. i’ll try to be better about blogging. ashley & i are starting up a new beauty blog, so i’ll let you know when that gets off the ground. ttfn!

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things.

1. i do not love apple peels. i hate how they get stuck between my teeth. it’s almost as bad as eating corn on the cob. but i do like apples.

2. i’m excited that my friend lindsey is going to be in my maymester class with me. 🙂

3. there are a few days left to vote in this contest to get my friend jen’s book on the shelf at walmart! you can vote once a day.

4. i want a beer. too bad they’re like six weight watchers points.

5. speaking of weight watchers, i’ve lost 11 pounds. i’m between sizes, which sucks, but yay!

6. a professor (cliff peacock) agreed to supervise my independent study in the fall. i met with him today and assured him that i’ll work really hard and am ready for it.

7. speaking of painting, i’m going to have two paintings set up at jail break 3 on april 14th! they’ll be for sale, but i really just wanted to do it to show myself that i could.

8. i loved the hunger games. i literally had to hold in sobs during two parts. if you go in with the realization that movies are always different from the books on which they were based, you will probably love it too.

9. i only have three weeks of regular classes left for the semester. how is this possible? it’s amazing. i cannot wait.

10. i’m excited for the flowertown festival this weekend. especially because the king of pops is going to be there. i recently heard about him, and i really want to try the lemon basil popsicle. sounds really refreshing and yummy.

that’s all for now. have a good weekend!

it’s that time again…

…time for thirty days & nights of literary abandon! from november 1st to november 30th, i’ll be holed up with my laptop at my desk, on the couch, at starbucks, at the library, and sometimes hiding from it in corners or under tables when i get scared.

i’m actually more prepared for NaNoWriMo this year. i’ve got a loose outline for my novel (a young adult fiction novel this year), most of the names for my characters figured out, and the story arc plotted. i’ve even got a few cute little details that pop into my head every now and then that i wish i could share, but i can’t yet. it should be a fun story to write. much less serious than last year’s, anyway. the tentative title is LIARFACE. like i said, tentative.

my main character popped up in my imagination a little less than a year ago. she seriously and literally just appeared in my head out of nowhere. i know it sounds weird to non-writers, but that’s what usually happens when i write. 🙂  her name is adelaide. her friends call her addy, and her mother (a self-procliamed southern belle) calls her “lady.” it’s a bit of a coming-of-age story in which addy learns that lies and secrets don’t make friends! it’ll be mostly comical, sometimes serious, relatable, and sometimes a bit romantic. i’m excited to start sharing excerpts once i get into the swing of things!

the only downfall is that school is going to be a bit of a hindrance. i have to finish (er, start?) a term paper that’s due nov. 9th, and i have a lot of reading to do for other classes. *and* nanowrimo starts on tuesday (which is november 1st, of course!), which is the day of my four-hour CLASS FROM HELL. it goes until 7:45pm, which means i’ll probably miss the first write-in. boooo.

also, sorry about the whole blogging hiatus. :/  i have a bit to talk about where school is concerned, but i can’t do it right this second. i *will* say that i’m becoming more confident about my art. i’m submitting another painting to a a show. i’m not altogether sure that getting accepted into this one is a possibility, but hey! you never know, right? my other one was accepted into the student gallery, after all, and judged fit by my peers to be placed in the hallway. 🙂

anyway, more blogging to come soon. i’m also going to try to post some “paintings in progress” type of things on my “i heart art” blog. i’ll post here letting you know when that blog has new stuff too. click on the icon that says “i heart art” with a picture of my palette on it over there. ———————>

 

out of the zone.

this semester has made me very anxious so far. most of my hesitance lies in my arts 118 class, where we have to speak in each class and give a presentation during the semester. for someone with an anxiety disorder, this is a huge obstacle. you might think it would be easy to just say, “okay, self. just shut up and do it.” but it’s not that simple when you have a legitimate issue with anxiety. there have been many times when i’ve had something to say during this class, but as soon as i start to plan it out in my head, my heart starts to pound, my breathing speeds up, and i start to shake. the beginnings of a panic attack. it sucks big time, because i know that what i say will contribute a good point to the conversation. it’s a reflex. it’s not easy to just push myself through it. but sometimes i have to. of course it almost always turns out okay in the end, but getting to the end is difficult.

anyway, i only wrote all that to explain how i’m trying to step outside of my comfort zone in other areas this semester. last night, i dragged my friend chelsea to the semester’s first meeting of the visual arts club. i was iffy about it at first. but once everyone started tossing around ideas about what activities to plan, things starting to sound more appealing. we’re going to have tutorials and fundraisers and some community outreach projects. i think it’s going to be fun, and hopefully i’ll get to make some new friends.

the club has a student run gallery, and they’re asking for submissions for the first show of the year. the student gallery consists of the walls on the first floor of the cato/simons center, which make contains the studio arts, theatre, and music departments. after seeing previous works that have been featured there, i don’t honestly expect to be chosen, but i want to submit something anyway. you never know until you try, right? or as my papaw says, “can’t never could do nothin’.”  heh heh. even if my works is not chosen to be hung on the walls, it could still be featured on the visual arts club’s website.

so here are the ones that i’m considering submitting for consideration. it would be awesome if you would vote for your favorite, or the one that you think would be most likely to be considered, that would be so great. the titles are tentative. i’ve never been great at coming up with titles. you’re welcome to suggest alternatives. i’m still a newbie at this, remember…

1.

Natural Selection, 2011 dimensions: 16x20

 

2.

Obstruction, 2011 dim: 8x16

 

3.

West Fall, 2011 dim: 12x16

 

any suggestions? thanks.  🙂

to be or not to be…offended by art?

this semester, i’m taking a required course called “issues and images in contemporary art.” i knew as soon as i saw the title that it would be a class filled with heated discussion and conflicting viewpoints and opinions. and it is. as i said on facebook and twitter during the break of my first class, i’m not sure if the people in my class are way smarter or way more pretentious than i am.

why can’t i just appreciate art for its aesthetics and not have to read so deeply into it? i don’t like ripping apart a piece of art until i can’t appreciate its beauty anymore. i like the feeling i get when i first see a work for the first time. i like to appreciate that part the most.

anyway, the interesting thing is a question one of the professors (there are two for this class) posed to us. we were looking at some paintings by john currin, which were a complete turnaround from his previous work. DON’T click on the link if you are easily offended. this brings me to the point of the post. the professor asked us how many of us were offended by the images he showed us. no one raised a hand. then he posed this question to us: how many of us are saying we’re not offended because we want so badly to *not* be offended? how many of us aren’t offended because we’re artists, and we’re not *supposed* to be shocked or offended by images we see? we see some pretty gruesome things on an everyday basis, right? we’re offended by things in the news and things we see on the street. but when it comes to art, anything goes, right?

that was the most interesting thing i’ve heard in a while. i had to ask myself how i actually felt. when i looked deeper, i found that i actually was not offended at all. unless something downright mean is said about me or my husband (or some close friends or family), i don’t get offended easily. it’s true. i think a lot of things i see are ridiculous (such as the amount of butt cheeks i’ve seen on campus this week under the shorty shorts girls are wearing lately), but i’m not offended by them.

john currin, the artist we were viewing at the time, changed his style completely. his recent works were inspired by danish pornography. yes, they are pornographic images. but they’re painted in an almost renaissance style. to me, the contrast is amusing. renaissance painters painted nudes all the time. but they were presented in a much more intimate way. currin’s paintings are full-on, like i said, pornographic. when we came back from our break, we studied an interesting contrast among three paintings to get an initial reaction.

***note: i debated whether to post the images of the following paintings because of their natures. it was a hard decision to make, since some people may actually be offended by the images, and a lot of my family members read my blog… i’m going to post the first two, but not the last, since currin’s works are actually modeled on pornography. as long as you don’t mind renaissance or impressionist nudes, then you’re fine to proceed from here.***

the first painting we viewed, pictured below, was italian painter titian’s venus of urbino (1538). it’s a painting i’ve seen many times in art history and other classes.  something that i like to point out is that the venus of urbino was actually based on the painter giorgione’s sleeping venus. it was completed by titian after giorgione’s death. mark twain actually wrote about this painting after seeing it in the uffizi gallery in florence. he was highly offended, not by the subject matter or the fact that it was a nude, but by the placement of the hand (is the hand placed there for modesty or for some other reason?). but most of us will look at this painting and think, “this is a renaissance painting. it looks real, and it looks beautiful.”

the second painting presented to us was edouard manet’s olympia (1863). not a surprise, as it is usually studied, compared, and contrasted with titian’s venus. it’s a bit more confrontational, as the woman (a prostitute) sits up and looks directly at the viewer. her posture is comfortable, confident, and open, whereas the venus or urbino’s posture is more coy and demure. note, however, that both have their legs crossed, and that the vital parts are not visible. the shocking thing about olympia, when it was first painted, was that there are several items in the painting that clearly identify the subject as a prostitute. notice the difference in hand placement and the tension there. olympia’s hand seems fiercely protective. the venus of urbino’s hand seems more delicate and demure in its protection. there are lots of symbolic items here. google or wiki them if you want to. it’s very interesting.

on to the next:  john currin, contemporary artist (born in colorado, raised in connecticut). his painting anniversary nude (2008) was the third we saw in this part of the lecture. it was kind of like, “oh. okay. well, that’s different.” it’s not that i was offended, but yeah, i was a little shocked. the obviousness and provocative nature of the painting is divergent…yet still similar to the first two. think about it: society today is largely about sex. “sex sells.” and it’s true. sex is present in some form everywhere we look. the openness, the extreme provocative nature of the subject…it’s like she’s just putting it out there for all to see. there’s no sense of modesty or decorum whatsoever. is this bad? is it the objectification of women? or is it empowering?

are you shocked?

are you offended?

if you aren’t, is it because you don’t think you’re supposed to be shocked in this day and age?

i still can’t decide. even if i’m not good at reading a work of art the way some people can, i love the way art makes me think and ponder.

what do you think?

***ETA: the previous link for anniversary nude did not show the full painting. the new link will.***

i cain’t rite good like they had did.

Little Women has got to be one of the greatest stories ever written. It makes me cry like a baby every single time. The prose and dialogue are just so…pleasing. The characterizations are amazing, and the people seem to leap from the pages. The eloquence of it even shines through in the dialogue of the movies based on the novel. The relationships between the characters are so well-developed; the characters are wonderfully flawed (though Jo says she is “hopelessly flawed”), and there’s nothing glamorous about them. It’s beautiful.

I only wish I knew how to write like that. The fact is that most people don’t have nearly the vocabulary everyday people had one hundred years ago. With all of the advances made during that time, I feel that there just aren’t many writers anymore who are able to write prose with the type of rhetoric that was common during Louisa May Alcott’s or Jane Austen’s time. It just seems to me that language was grander then.

Of course, I know that the language varied between the classes and from region to region. But there are simple words that some people don’t even understand these days. I believe I once wrote on this very blog that I had a friend who didn’t know the meaning of the word “swoon.”

I’m sorry if it makes me sound like a judgmental snob, but when someone can’t use proper grammar or can’t be bothered to even try to pronounce a word or name correctly, it makes me wince and consider them ignorant. The worst is when someone knows grammar rules and is purposely obtuse just because they don’t feel like it’s important. It is. If you don’t think so, read letters written by not only writers like Jane Austen, but by regular people of the same era. Simple correspondence written so beautifully. Do love letters still exist, by the way? I would…ahem…swoon if someone wrote a love letter like this simple line Mozart wrote to his wife:

Adieu – Dearest, most beloved little wife – Take care of your health – and don’t think of walking into town. Do write and tell me how you like our new quarters – Adieu. I kiss you millions of times. 

It’s not even a particularly romantic line, yet the language is so pretty.

I wish people would acknowledge the beauty of language and actually make an attempt to use it properly. It’s not that difficult.

The difference between “good” and “well,” for example. Good describes a noun. Well describes an action. This ice cream is so good! He plays the piano very well. It’s really not that difficult.

On the other hand, I realize that it might not be considered “cool” to sound intelligent. I don’t understand it at all. My sister and I were having a discussion about this very thing a few weeks ago. Even in our adult lives, both of us have been made fun of for this. Maybe it’s done in a teasing way, but it still stings somewhat.

This post took a turn somewhere… I only meant to write about the beauty of Little Women. Haha… I’m sorry that it turned into a sort of diatribe. If you don’t understand what I mean, pick up a copy of this novel (or most novels of the era or earlier). Flip it open to any page (you could even just google an excerpt). I guarantee you that any excerpt you pick will resound with greatness and vivid language. This sentence, for example:

The first of December was a wintry day indeed to them, for a bitter wind blew, snow fell fast, and the year seemed getting ready for its death.

I rest my case with a final snippet from this wonderful book that has been treasured by generations. I love the irony of the final sentence, spoken by Amy. It makes me giggle.

“I don’t believe any of you suffer as I do,” cried Amy; “for you don’t have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don’t know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn’t rich, and insult you when your nose isn’t nice.”

“If you mean libel, I’d say so, and not talk about labels, as if papa was a pickle-bottle,” advised Jo, laughing.

“I know what I mean, and you needn’t be statirical about it. It’s proper to use good words, and improve your vocabilary,” returned Amy, with dignity.

things i love sunday…art journal edition!

since i’ve been journaling so much lately, i thought i’d share a top ten with you on this subject. 🙂

1. i got these yesterday on a short shopping trip. they were the only things i bought. the book came from tj maxx, if you can believe it! it’s just a plain novel (ken follett), but i thought the book was too beautiful to not buy for $4! so now it’s an altered art journal. i bought the little notebook because i love the cute drawing on the front, and it’s the perfect size to keep in my purse for spontaneous journaling.

2. my new favorite pen: the papermate flair. it’s great for doodling, and it doesn’t bleed through the pages.

3. my box o’ crap. i mean supplies. 😉

4. the cover of my journal for the online ink blots class i’ve been doing. i’m sad that it’s over, but i’ve come away with some great ideas and advice!

and a few of my favorite recent pages:

5. 

6.

7. 

8. 

9. 

10. 

hope you had a fun weekend! here’s wishing you a great week. 🙂