I NEARLY DIED not even kidding

Okay so the only people who look at this blog are Nell (maybe?) and apparently someone in Ukraine (привет! Please don’t hack me!) so I’m just gonna publish my excuse letter here. So I have psoriatic arthritis – old news. I am on methotrexate, a form of low-dose chemotherapy, in order to combat said arthritis. When you’re on methotrexate, what it actually does is steal all the folate from your cells. This kills the arthritis cells. It also kills your healthy cells – it can’t tell the difference. So you’re pretty much always put on stupid-high doses of folic acid supplements, which replace the folate the methotrexate steals.

Due to a miscommunication with my rheumatologist, my mother and I thought that he said to put me on two different supplements INSTEAD of folic acid. I was actually supposed to take them IN ADDITION TO folic acid. So for the last two to three months, without my knowledge, I’ve been losing all the folate in my body, making my red blood cells too large to pass through my bloodstream. I’ve had a “cold” for a month, which has turned into bronchitis and sinusitis, which I assumed was responsible for my lethargy, paleness, mouth sores, and depression, when it was actually my body shutting down.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. It probably didn’t cause any permanent damage, and all I have to do is start back on the folic acid again. Unfortunately, I can’t get back the productivity and sleep and peace of mind that I lost.

Hopefully it’s all uphill (downhill? What do you say when you hope stuff is easier but improved?) from here. Anything apart from literal organ failure will be an improvement. Expect process logs shortly.

A POEM FOR INSPIRATION

By my favorite punk-rock poet, John Cooper Clarke.

ARTS N’ CRAFTS

Out of bed into the Shed 

To paint the wooden roses red 

To ride a rocking quadruped 

With a big idea in your head

Form and function in a line 

The rudiments of good design 

From the oaken leg to the fine wine 

To table tops of melamine 

There’s nothing that you couldn’t make 

No effect you couldn’t fake 

A pebble sprayed with metal flake 

Would make a precious paperweight 

Teddy bears to stuff with stuff 

Like nylon mink from a lady’s muff 

Cotton balls and a powder puff 

Pom poms and pocket fluff 

Stainless steel and a rock hard aura 

The marble glance of a lost explorer 

A heavy heart for the love of Nora 

Chains of flowers on a draped amphora 

Time time time to slay 

Each crowded hour of every day 

Where indolence is kept at bay 

In an arty-crafy kinda way

BEHOLD: THE ONLY PIECE OF ART I MADE ALL SUMMER

That’s not entirely true. I actually made some semi-cool paintings by just dumping acrylic on canvases and seeing what happened. I mixed some silicone in there too. It made some cool bubbles. BUT that was not “intentional” art. That was the kind of art a child makes on one of those paint spinners at a fair. Those were fun…

This drawing kind of started out as me wanting to do graphite art again after looking at Jessica Hayworth and Renee French’s stuff. Then I proceeded to utterly lack inspiration and just did this:

And then I mocked myself about it on Facebook because I’m nothing if not self-deprecating. I like my friend Kelsey’s response.

I continued to fill in the bottom of the page with my 2B pencil for another hour or so while watching a horror movie, and looked upon my work with little joy. Eventually I decided that I had to do SOMETHING with it even if it turned out shitty. I did this:

It is honestly one of my favorite things I’ve ever drawn. And with only two likes on Facebook, I can safely say it is one of my friends’ least favorite. But that’s okay. I think I’m nailing down a direction I want to go in, and I’m really excited about it. I’m tired of being “portrait girl.”

Artist who scares me a lil bit but who I want to learn more about: Günter Brus

I’m not  very familiar with performance art. I would like to change that, and I’ve never been a person to wade gently into the shallow end of a thing. I don’t know that much about Günter Brus yet, but I like his aesthetic and I am learning more every day.

^Dat aesthetic^

Some sources I’m looking at:

http://www.phaidon.com/agenda/photography/articles/2014/october/30/photos-that-changed-the-world-6-self-portrait/

http://www.theartstory.org/movement-viennese-actionism-artworks.htm

Some of the best things Günter ever said IMO:

“Art is gushing hot bile on the fields and harvesting the looks of nasty dwarfs”

“In simple terms: art has not been a public nuisance for quite a while now. Either the people have become well-behaved or the perpetrators of nuisances have become tired.”

(Images copyright either Günter Brus or the estate of same or whoever owns his art now. Quotes taken from wikiquote via Nervous Stillness on the Horizon.)

Artist who makes me pretty uncomfortable: Renee French

I don’t know why I like Renee French’s weird little graphite monstrosities. I think it’s probably for the same reason I like David Lynch films: I enjoy being made uncomfortable. There’s a really Lynchian quality to her portrait drawings, too: you have a thing that’s mundane and pleasant, a person sitting for a nice portrait, and then it’s perverted and ruined somehow.

I don’t have the titles for any of these but I’m sure at least some of them have titles. I know the last one was for a “teachers from memory” project where you draw your old teachers, which is why there’s no weird eldritch horror in that one.

She’s also doing this project right now with these little animals (?) but they actually make me too uncomfortable and I don’t like looking at them. I didn’t even like The Lion King as a child; I’m just not an animal person. I’m putting one below so I’m not suffering alone.

Renee French’s blog is here

(all images copyright Renee French)

Artist whose identity I wish I could entirely consume and pass off as my own

Jessica Hayworth.

I took art history, at least the intro class, and I saw all those amazing paintings and drawings and photos and I was in many cases impressed by the level of sheer technical proficiency humans could achieve. But none of them really made me feel anything much.

This illustrator and grad student’s(!) work makes me feel feelings. I don’t know if that’s the point of art, I don’t know if there is any point to art, but if there is she’s achieved it.

She works as an illustrator for (among other things) the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, which I used to like years ago before listening to it started to feel like homework, and she’s done a gallery show called I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS.

Part of I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS and I am considering getting it as a tattoo

Self portrait with void

 

part of I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS

another part of BARE HANDS I think, or maybe a standalone piece

an illustration for a poem

I don’t know what this is, she didn’t title it she never titles things she’s too cool for titles

^these three are oil on wood and if I had enough money to give her what she deserves for them I would buy them and hang them in my house I love them so much.

 

You might notice a marked difference between this artist and the other artists I’ve posted – all of the others are very colorful, mostly do portraits, have a unique “style.” They’re the kind of artists I like. The kind of artists I buy prints from and favorite on Instagram. Jessica Hayworth – who I discovered wayyyyyy back in 2012 when she was drawing weird little existential comics – is the kind of artist I aspire to be.

(Although I should really buy her book remind me to do that.)

 

Here’s her blog

(all images copyright Jessica Hayworth)

 

Artist I like: Lois van Baarle (Loish)

Lois van Baarle, known online as Loish, is a digital artist known for her portraits done in a cute, pixie-ish style. I really admire and covet her command of color.

These are just a few of her recent works that I’ve culled from her Facebook page but as you can see she loves experimenting with color and light:

I really think that digital artists get a bad rap in the fine art community, especially when you can see that she has such a fine command of all the principles of light and shadow and color theory – she’s not “cheating” by using digital, she’s creating art in a totally different and new way but with a strong command of the basics. She did the bottom two in the app Procreate on the iPad (I have it, it’s an excellent program, although I’m not capable of anything like those two) and then the upper ones in Photoshop. She’s very nice and responds to nearly all comments on Facebook.

Here’s her Website

(all images copyright Lois van Baarle)

An artist I admire: Bokkei

Bokkei is a Swedish tattoo artist who does masterpieces in her spare time. I absolutely love her use of color in skin tone – she doesn’t just use brown and peach and pink, she’s got purple and blue and orange in there and it looks amazing. I would love to have her eye. Here are some select pieces that I shamelessly stole from instagram (@bokkei):


She did this piece for a gallery showing. She’s so amazing at meshing the portrait with the background/foreground; she never leaves anything floating. His hair especially is amazing, in that it’s not super detailed and yet it’s not totally amorphous.


Twin Peaks! That’s a damn good Dale Cooper. Once again, everything’s working together to form a beautiful whole.


Always combining unexpected elements to make a beautiful and seamless final product.