Monday, February 20, 2012


So the other day my friend Sarah sent me the link to the form to submit art for a local show season. They are juried and I have a low opinion of juried shows. Rather a low opinion of the hope of selection. Now this morning I wake up to find another invitation. This one is for a show in Montana as a fundraiser for a semi-private school. Maybe a charter school. To be honest I do not know much other than my oldest "kid" sent it too me.

Is this a sign? I think so. And I've decided that since I do not have to be in Montana for the show. It is probably the safest way for me to send my stuff out and not have all those stupid editors in my head tell me how much my stuff is crap. If it sells it sells. If it does not then I'll let Jess keep it if she wants it.

Is it the Hope to End All Hope? Nahhh. Oh sure it would be nice if her kid went to school with some artsy big shot who likes my stuff so much that I get a licensing deal out of it. But that is sooooo far out of the realm of possibility it would be unrealistic to expect that. And more than a little heart breaking if it didn't happen.

So I send in forms and then I deal with the rest of my life as if this is just another thing. And really... it is just another thing.

I am an artist and I want to sell stuff so this is just "what I do". No biggie. It's like SG-1 steppin' out in the Stargate. Just another day. Wake up, have some fruit loops, screw up a planets sun, fix it, come home and have some jello.  Meh.

All things are possible when I quit telling myself they are not.


Okay, so Phaelen was a no-brainer. But what do you name a cappuccino machine? Why name one? Because it makes life a little more interesting and if I want a Looooong vacation then I will have to be committed? I do not name cars as those in my family have a habit of doing? It seems the thing to do on the corner of the world that I live in? It's what I do?

I do not know really. Its just something that I want to do. So everybody meet the other studio mate, my exalted friend and cheering section....

Cappi? Ya know, because that would be short for cappuccino.
Fra Marco because that is who everyone decided invented the drink in the first place?
What about Luigi? He is the guy with the patent on the first espresso machine back in 1901.

I do not know. So I am doing a Little more research on how cappuccino got invented in the first place. There is no doubt that the mass marketing appeal began in Italy. But I have always wondered why it seemed so much like Turkish coffee. And now I know. It might actually be.

It would seem that way back in 1683 the Hapsburgs finally launched a campaign that would start to remove the infiltration of Islam from south central and central Europe in Vienna. Fro 300 years the European continent struggled to maintain its autonomy from Islamic advances. The Battle of Vienna marked a turning point in that struggle against the Ottoman Turks. It took 16 years for the Hapsburgs to remove the Turks from Hungary and Transylvania.

The 300 years of Ottoman Occupation would have provided more than enough opportunity for cultures to bleed as it does now in our modern wars. So the Italians fell in love with the drink but found it what? Too bitter? Too thick? Or perhaps to cumbersome a process to produce? But nonetheless, there was love for the Turkish drink. So, ingenious thinkers with time on their hands that they are, some group of monks perfected the production of espresso. Rich, dark, smoother and with less viscosity?

Those monks were a group of Franciscan Friars known as Cappucin because of their hooded robes. And the story goes that Fra Marco d'Aviano was the monk to refine the process.


So why not, in the spirit of celebrating ones German heritage name it for one of the Hapsburgs? Oddly enough... I find I don't much like the goings on of that family. I know. We wouldn't have a Christmas tree if it were not for the Hapsburgs meeting up with the Mountbatten's. From what little I've read there seemed to be a tyrannical streak in them. I never have liked people who steamroll their own kind to advance their agenda. It's rather cannibalistic to me.

I'll have to give the name more thought. In the mean time, a cappuccino machine without a name still makes a damn fine eyeopener.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Necessity being the mother of invention or maybe innovation, I used the Twinkling H2O of Starry Night to add the greys to our bird friend.

They are watercolors that have mica powder in them so you get the best of transparency and glitter without any of the mess. And the best  part of the H2Os is that the effect is very subtle. In the picture it looks grainy and not smooth. But that is the glittery watercolors. It looks like much better in person.
I added the grey to everything but the pantaloons.

Crows, grackles or whatever name you give them are irridescent in the sunlight, glittering with a radiance that seems too good for the cheeky little sca vengers. And I was terrified that adding darker colors over the jewel tones was going to destroy what I started. But it has turned out so well!

I also used the H2Os to draw out the claws and finish the talons. As the painting is drying the colors are deepening. I wonder how many layers of the Starry Night it will require to get the right effect.

Then the next step will be to finish dressing the bird. (pun intended) I had thought that I would do some sort of a belt. But I'd rather skip it and make a collar with a gem in it. I'd been thinking gold. Silver would be the best choice though. To keep things a bit dark and mysterious, I think.


Friends meet Phaelen. Phaelen meet my friends.

This is a phaelenopsis orchid. And thus the name Phaelen. I know... not very original. But hey! When the name strikes it sticks.

Anyway. I bought this for myself on Valentines Day. I've been needing a new studio mate, one that breathes anyway. Apparently it is important to have living things to take care of while you are relearning to take care of yourself. Anyone remember that Sandra Bullock movie? Yeah. So does my therapist. And why did I chose a temperamental plant like an orchid?

I suppose I could have cheated and stacked the deck in my favor with an easy care thing like a fern or cactus. But I like the orchid faces. These remind me of dragons.

I had an orchid a couple of years ago. And then there was a cold snap and I couldn't keep the thing warm enough. Hell, I couldn't even keep myself warm enough. Then I got another one from a friend. It was pretty. But it was not a sturdy plant to start with. And the stark lighting in the house I lived in didn't help. So I am hoping that Phaelen will outlast Gomer and the Unnamed Orchid.

He is a cheery little thing. It was nice to see these happy little faces in the window as I was coming home from work today.

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