Friday, March 16, 2018

Spotting an Artist in Action!

My friend and I went to go see the Yayoi Kusama infinity room exhibit at the SAM a couple of months ago. My phone ran out of batteries so I do not have any pictures of it, but it was really beautiful and amazing. I had to wait in quite a bit of lines, but it was worth it!

While at the SAM, we also wandered around and looked at all the other art on display. In the room that plays videos, there was a video playing called 'Dragging a Painting' by the artist Margie Livingston.  I was super excited because not only was it by a local artist, but this video was created right by my work! My works building is even in a shot. It is kind of strange to think that the sad alley you have walked down hundreds of times to get to work is featured in a work of art in a legitimate museum!

Then, several months later, something even more exciting happened! I saw the artist in action! I hollered to my friend/coworker that we were witnessing a true-blue respected artist int he process of making her art! She was wearing the same black garb that she wore in the video and she was dragging a canvas, just as she did in the video, but the one she was dragging when I spotted her was much smaller. I took some pictures and considered saying hello, but she seems the serious sort that would rather not be interrupted by onlookers. Plus, I am shy. But it was definitely exciting!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Oscar and the Big Orange Ball

One of Oscars favorite toys is the same size as his big Oscar head. Oscar likes his big orange ball. We kick it for him and he goes bounding after it with jaunty enthusiasm.

He shows of his grace and agility while chasing his ball. Look at him! Leaping like an elegant ribbon dancer.

Oscar learns the true art of concentration when chasing his ball. He is like a lion, herding a lonely zebra.

When he sees the ball soar into the air, it makes him think of all his hopes and dreams.

The best part for Ozzie is he knows he can catch those dreams and catch that ball!

And if he can't catch it, the joy of the chase is enough for him!

This little goobers lust for life and joy is what we should all strive for. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Quarter-Life Poetry: The Trumpet Player

When I was in my mid-twenties, I wrote a lot of poetry that I have just kept on the computer, wedged in notebooks, or stacked in old suitcases I use for saving things. I recently collected all of the together, made some edits and illustrated pictures for all of them, all of which I will be sharing here. Her is the first one!

The Trumpet Player

Part One: The City

On a balcony, empty
except for a basil plant and
a rusting music stand
the trumpet player
plays to an almost sleeping city.

The gentle warble and moan
of his trumpet
sends descending sound waves
to lonely ears

1 AM, and the night security guard starts his shift
his vision murky with
the remains of interrupted sleep
the trumpet player plays
a song to liven
the bleary thoughts and slouched shoulders
of the security guard, living in a reversed world
night is day, the sunrise his sunset
The fried egg breakfast his wife carefully cooks
is his last meal before
falling into dreams.

2 AM, and the merriment seekers stumble from bars
laughing and shouting, they teeter
down the grimy streets
past closed restaurants and
apartment buildings with propped up windows
the only sound the gurgling rush of summer fans
pushing thick air in circles
until the trumpet player plays
an unsteady melody matching the
rhythm and wobbled movements
of giddy steps

3 AM, the neighbors pound on the walls
the most direct way to beg for silence
but the trumpet player hears nothing, except
gentle thumps between
the deep inhale of breath and
the exhaled brassy whine
swirling listlessly through the muffled night

Part Two: The Circus

The trumpet player leaves the city
to join a circus, or maybe it was not just a circus
but 'the' circus. The only circus left.

With three other musicians
the trumpet player plays for the dancing bear

a sturdy bear with vacant eyes
he is dressed in a tutu
a giant pink bow sags from his neck
he totters and twirls
to the same song over and over agian
with each twirl, the bear heaves
a great and disappointed sigh

and even though the trumpet player never
heard the neighbors pounding on the walls
he hears the bear
and sometimes he ignores the scripted music
instead makes his trumpet match
the sound of the bears sigh
'A Flat' he thinks when he hears the sigh
or on some days, 'E Minor.'

and when the circus lights are off
everything that glimmered in the spotlight
looks dull
and sticky with ancient residue

so the trumpet player runs away from the circus
and brings the dancing bear with him.

They move to a new city
and on a new balcony with a different basil plant
the trumpet player plays songs to the night
while the bear lies naked in the open air
watching the slow shimmer and swirl
of the slightly sleeping city
he decides to forget the circus
and he lets his thoughts loosen
so he can spend his time
wondering, wondering, wondering. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Vac Shop Creatures

On the edge of Georgetown in Seattle is a vacuum shop with both artistic and religious flair. They offer free bibles inside and remind passerbyers that Jesus loves them. On the outside of the shop you are greeted by an array of kooky and charming vacuum creatures. I've admired this shop may times while in the car or on the bus, but finally I passed it on foot with a camera in tow. 

Based on the Jesus signs and the fanciful vacuum characters, I knew there must be a story! I decided to do a bit of an Internet search to see if I could dig anything up. It was a very fruitful internet search! I found this amazing video about the Vac Shop: Vac Shop. The owners of the Vac Shop seem like admirable people who put a lot of care into both their job repairing vacuums and their moral duty helping people in need.

I love the little creatures and think that the elephant with it's big eye lashed eyes is my favorite.

The Vac Shop also represents a Seattle that is slowly disappearing- the creative and the quirky, the blue collar, the historical. The Seattle that isn't shiny new developments. There is a whole website dedicated to chronicling Vanishing Seattle.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Stoic Bird Vs. The Zealous Crows

A stoic bird graced the street lamp outside my work recently. He came swooping in with crows bickering and bridling behind him. After he landed, the crows still darted and dashed around the intruder.

I am not sure if the stoic bird was a falcon or a hawk, but he was definitely a bird of prey. The crows prayed for him to leave, more than that they insisted he leave. They didn't trust his shifty eyes or his loner mentality. The crows have things to protect. They have nests with eggs or hungry children. They have garbage cans full of delicious treasures to scavenge. They have perching spots that they look forward to sitting upon bothered by other birds.

The bird of prey knows his own strength though. He knows he is mighty. Five crows, a dozen crows, fifty-seven flying, flapping, attacking crows can't diminish and cannot compete with his strength. His livelihood is preying on the weak. His greatest source of success is his own strength. He can't ever let himself question this about himself.

In the end, the stoic bird did fly away, not out of fear but out of irritation. The cawing, black feathered creatures created a racket he need not endure. He didn't desire the crows eggs, or food or approval. He just needed a quiet place to take in the blue sky. But the sky is grand and expansive and he could find this in some other corner.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Gloriana Buys a Potion

Here is an illustration I did recently! 

Gloriana did not have much to offer Marvina for the the potion. The cupboards were empty, the garden was full of wilted plants and the root cellar contained only one limp beet. But the time had come, she needed to meet Marina now or never have a chance for the potion. So, with a heart full of hope and cheeks rosy with uneasy embarrassment, she offered the Great Marvina the beet in exchange for the potion she so longed for.

To Gloriana's utter shock, Marvina wasn't just great, she was kind and wonderful and generous. She accepted the meager offering in exchange for the potion. "Thank you Marvina! Thank you, thank you! Now my greatest desire will come true!"

Marvina smiled at the young woman and slightly curtsied. Marvina turned around and walked through the field. The beet was gripped firmly in her hand. Marvina pondered what she would do with the vegetable. Boil it for supper? Use it to die her old white hat purple? Use it in one of her potions?

Gloriana hid the potion in her frock and began her walk. She walked five miles till she was at the seashore. With her long gown dragging along the sand, she walked into the sea till the water hit her knees. She pulled the potion from her frock and gulped it down. It tasted like sour berries and seawater. At first she felt normal, then she started to twitch. Her body twisted and morphed. She looked down at her hand and saw it was covered with shiny silver scales.

"It is happening!" She cried with joy.

The next moment, she shrank, her body finished it's metamorphosis, and she was who she was always meant to be, a fish, swimming merrily in the open sea. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Bodacious, Radical, Botanical!

Botanical sounds to me like a slang exclamation of enthusiasm from the eighties...and I recently realized why.....the word is a pretty good combination of two common eighties slang that are exclamations of enthusiasm...bodacious and radical. I can just imagine someone saying 'I had an amazing day." and someone replying by saying "That's botanical!"

The reason why bodacious seems like such an eighties word is because it was used frequently in beloved eighties movie 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.' But really, the first known use of the word bodacious was in 1845! It is thought to be a combination of the words bold and audacious.

Radical is more commonly used now a days to describe someone with extreme views, but it use to be used often to describe something cool. The ninja turtles frequent use of the word (and it's shortened version, RAD!) helped popularize this as slang.

As of this date, botanical is still only used to describe plant life.

Near my house is a pretty bodacious and radical botanical garden. I went several times in the summer and now that it is still cold, it is nice to look back at the pictures and reminisce about when plant life was thriving and green.

It may be gray and gloomy, put plants will reign green and supreme again!


Radical (Quora)

Bodacious (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)